***gimmetimmies*** — The Bump
School-Aged Children


I was just reading the post below about the 5 year old going to kindergarten and was wondering if I can ask you a few questions. I'm also in S. Alberta but I don't have any friends with school aged kids to discuss stuff with. 

DS (who's only 3 right now), has a November bday and I'm conflicted about when to put him in kindergarten. In my city the cutoff is to be 5 by December 31st so DS can start in the fall and turn 5 two months in.

He is currently in a 3 year old preschool class and will be in a 4 year old class next fall.  My original plan was to put him in K the year he turns 5 but dh is wanting to hold him back until he is 6. He doesn't have any concrete reason for this other than he doesn't want DS to struggle in later grades and thinks it would just be better overall if DS was older. I can't come up with any benefits to putting him in "early" (or, I guess, on time). 

So, with all that said...do you find it common in our area to hold kids back or have you found that parents put their kids in Kindergarten if they make the cutoff?  I know red shirting seems pretty common in the States so I think my judgement is skewed a bit from hanging out on these boards so much! Lol

I'm so glad dd is an April baby, way easier! Lol 

 Thanks! :-)

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Re: ***gimmetimmies***

  • Are you sure cutoff is dec 31? The cutoff is mandated by Alberta Learning. Here's the good thing about Kindy, you can register now (or soon, phone and find out, most are coming up quickly), and they will do the Kindegarten Pre-screen, which is usually spring. They look for lots of markers, including general academic level, fine motor skills, social markers and general readiness. It usually takes about 30-45 minutes, and you can absolutely ask about what constitutes being ready.

    LOL, redshirting here is extremely uncommon here, it's definitely TB influencing it. So for reference, K is going to be 5 next month (beginning of Feb), so she's a month before the cutoff. There are 2 kids in her kindergarten class who have a Jan/Feb birthday and are turning 6, all the rest willhave turned 5 or are already 5. Early here is usually considered start at 4 1/2 years to about 5 on Sept. 1. Any child who is 6 as of the start of September is considered eligible for school, which is grade one, so you might not be able to put him in kindergarten at 6 anyway.

    So if he has a November birthday, and will be 4 at Sept 1 turning 5 that November, he's eligible for school. Because of where his birthday falls, I think he might be able to do a repeat of kindergarten if he's not ready for grade 1 (it's allowed. and much cheaper than preschool, with a proper curriculum). Starting early is fine if your ds is ready.

    If you're worried about how he'll do academically, don't be too worried. We do our academic much differently here than the US, and the report cards will weird you out at first. You won't see a number or letter grade until junior high (if it hasn't hit your school district yet, it will soon).

    Here, these links may help, fire away questions after. The school system is something I have had to get to know inside and out, ds is special needs (medical) with a learning disorder.




    This one might answer you about the benefits and a less than brief overview of the entire program, but a good read:


    http://education.alberta.ca/media/1176496/2012_july_fs-elb-age%20of%20eligibility.pdf This gives the age guidelines. On page two it talks about being developmentally immature and being eligible for a second year.

    I tried to find something about the report cards, but I'm not finding it just yet. And yes, April birthdays are a bit easier with school! I get you about having people to talk to, most of my friends don't have kids or they have older kids.

    Sorry for the wall of text!!!

  • Yikes!! Sorry, I took so long to reply!  I rarely lurk on this board and had forgotten all about it! Lol

    Thanks so much for the info! Ill definitely check out those links!

    I double checked and our district website says the cut off is Dec 31. I spoke with ds's preschool teacher and she said that the districts around us all have different cut offs as well.

    I'm so torn because now his preschool teacher is saying that she would recommend that he stay in the 3 yr old program for 1 more year. Then do the 4 yr old class then kindergarten. So with her plan he'd enter kindergarten when he's 5 then turns 6 two months into the school year.  

    It's frustrating because he's already doing all of the "academic" things that the 4 yr old class works on but she doesn't think that he will be mature enough / on par physically to go into the 4 yr old class this fall :-(. One of the examples she gave me was that he doesn't jump high for his towel in the bathroom (they make a bit of a game out of it). I guess the other kids jump fairly high and ds's feet only come off the ground a couple of inches. I don't know...it seems like a lame reason to me!!! 

    I could always put him into district preschool next year (he's currently in a private preschool), then see what his teachers suggest from there. The other hurdle is that dh would prefer he be older as well so now I feel like the crazy tiger mom for pushing my son!! Lol 

    Sorry, this just turned into a bit of a rant I guess! Lol. I suppose I still have time to figure it all out! 

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  • lol, way too early to tell if he'll be ready. I would wait to assess him until the four going on five year, you go in (I guess it would be about now, next year) and speak with the kindergarten teacher at registration. Let them know your concerns, and sign up for the pre-screen testing. They use a standardized test to see where he would be at for readiness, and they can give an assessment based on where he would fit in comparison to his peers, and if they felt he was ready or not. If you're not comfortable with him starting that fall, you can push it back to the following year.

    Yeah, the comment about being able to jump is weird. Gross motor skills have some bearing, but that doesn't seem in line with any standard I know. Is the teacher an ECE, or BEd or any particular training? I took the preschool "teacher" assesment with a grain of salt with T, she was sweet, but the courses she had were the 6 month ECE courses, she wasn't an actual teacher and not one that could do psychoeducational assessments. I'd be asking for more concrete reasons (like the checklist in the one link, it should have the expectations list).

    No worries about the rant, it is kind of hard to figure out. We debated on K, and felt we couldn't make the decision based just on our gut or random reasons, so I brought our concerns to the assessment, and they had no concerns either, other than pencil grip and some fine motor, but she's gotten past that. Kindergarten has gone well so far.

    I don't think you're being tiger mom at all, he'd still be in a class with other kids his age at 4 Sept 1, but 5 going on 6, he'll be in with others that are 4 going on 5 or new 5s, kwim? If he's just at the cutoff, I get you on it being awkward. We only just this month had our first 6 in K's class, so I see the "gap".

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