August 26, 2008,
P.C. asks from Orlando, FL on August 25, 2008
I have a 5 year old, soon to be 6 year old in Sept, and he just started kindergarten at Kaley Ele.
Here's the thing, my son went to pre-k age 4-5 in New York. This past year I have been homeschooling, becaus eof travel, and moving. Now my problem is that, I don't think this kindergarten class is going to be challenging, or I should say interesting enough for my son. I don't really know my options. Do I have him tested to see if he should go up 1 grade, or should I seek out options like another Kindergarten in another school?
I don't know, and I'm worried. He and I do math problems,workbooks,he writes and he wants to learn another language.
He's starting to understand the basics of chess.(I wish I understood the basics of chess) I can't have him just playing for 6 hours. I don't mind doing some teaching as well, like I have been and he really needs the socialization. I just want the best fit, and I don't think this is the right for him. What should I do? Thanks for any input.
So What Happened?™
I am going to check out Merris Montessori next week. I love that they teach 2 languages, and I have always loved the Montessori method. I was a Montessori kindergartner myself, and remember so many wonderful things from that time. The sitting, and following orders for a 5-6 year old (constantly for 6 hours) is rough for me and him. I want him to be in kindergarten and I'm hoping Merris won't cost too much for us. Thank you all for your responses. Have a wonderful weekend!
L.W. answers from Orlando on August 26, 2008
Socialization, socialization, socialization. Your child needs to learn how to interact with others his age or he will be an outsider. Let him go to kindergarten and let him be for this year.You may want to consider a private school, or even religious based one. However, we really haven't been in school long enough to make any sort of judgement, either. Kindergarten, when the kids are actually there for more than 2 days, moves fast enough to keep his attention. You can do things for him after school, but even then I would highly recommend some sort of sports so that he gets physical coordination. I would be more concerned about his well-roundedness at this age. Pay attention to his whole being. I knew a girl who moved up a grade because she was so bright, became a teenager and wanted to fit in because she didn't, so started sleeping around at 14,and partied every time she could get away from her parents. She didn't want to be different anymore. It seems so far away now because they are so little , but wanted to be accepted is right around the corner.
PS I just read what some of the other moms' said and i really agree with getting your teacher to work with you. The education system is there to help us; we should use it better.
G.A. answers from Orlando on August 26, 2008
Please take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I have my daughter in private Montessori, not b/c I think we're better than public school; I am a public school grad., but I'm not so sure about Florida schools and I'm not moving. My daughter attends a very small school owned by a former public school teacher. She has run her Montessori school for over 10 years. She's on Conway and Curryford Rd. leasing the building belonging to the United Church of Christ (of course, she has NO connection whatsoever w/ the church). This is my daughter's third year (she's in Kindergarten). She also plays basic chess, reads on a mid- year 1st grade level, does Math on a mid-year 1st grade level, knows basic Spanish and as of this summer, started French w/ the teacher and other students.
Her number is: ###-###-#### and her name is Marina Merris.
The school number is: ###-###-####; it's easier to reach the first number. You can also email her at: ____@____.com!
There are charter schools in Orange County that are supposed to be quite "good". One is Hillcrest Elem. dual language program and another one is Lake Eola Charter school. Not sure they accept applications as the year has already started, but there's always next year......
Hope this helps!!
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T.F. answers from Orlando on August 25, 2008
Not sure what your options are financially, but you may want to look into a private school- especially Montessori.
My daughter went to 2 years of Montessori before kindergarten and entered the public school system in K already knowing how to read. I was worried she'd be "bored" but her teacher did things to challenge her, so if you get a great teacher who is willing to work with your son, you can keep him where he is, plus you can continue to do workbooks at home. They wouldn't test for gifted until the end of kindergarten, but that was Seminole-- Orange County may be different.
As for my son, he went to Montessori for preK and K and he had a difficult time transitioning into public school in first grade because of gaps in teaching him writing skills and time management... but he's in 5th grade now and has adjusted fine. He beat his grandfather at chess when he was in K, but was unable to test into the gifted program (he is a wiz at math but an average student in other subjects). I would start speaking with his teacher about gifted testing, but keep in mind that is based on IQ-- some kids just soak up whatever they're exposed to and level out eventually with everyone else, and some kids have the IQ to excel and should be challenged.
K.W. answers from Orlando on August 26, 2008
I would first inquire at his school about ESE (Exceptional Student Education) which is the "gifted" program here in FL. If he tests in he will get a more challenging and suited education.
Also look into magnet schools--the one downtown is for foreign languages and the one in college park is for sciences. There is a lottery for those outside of the district to attend these schools.
There are also some good private schools around if this is financially feasible for you--Lake Highland Prep, Maitland, etc.
You can have him tested to skip a grade, but I would (at least for now) advise against it--being that him much younger than the rest of the kids in his class may not affect him that much now, but could later down the road as he starts to grow and develop. He will be one the smallest, probably start growing later and watch as the other kids in his class mature before he does--get the Drivers' License a year earlier, etc. Puberty is already hard and is even harder for kids that don't "fit in." Grade levels are not all about how smart a child is, but socialization and maturity too, so I would try and find a program that suits him for kids his age and not try to jump him ahead grade-wise...
A.G. answers from Orlando on August 25, 2008
It sounds like you have been doing a wonderful job with your son! Have you thought about continuing to homeschool him?! Many families choose to homeschool for the same reasons you mentioned. It is legal and there are many resources/groups to help you along the way, especially here in Florida. Playing is the best and most fun way to learn!! I could send you a few websites and info about groups and activities for your son if you are interested.
If you have to work, like me :< (single Mom) and can't homeschool, then I would recommend a Montessori school. My children have been in a Montessori school and we love it. They learn soo much and they look forward to going everyday. They focus on each child's learning abilities - and each child can work independently at their own learning pace.
You can also work with him on the weekends and in the afternoons on fun/learning projects to supplement what he is missimg out on in school.
Listen to your heart, mother's intuition is a powerful thing!
V. answers from Orlando on August 26, 2008
My son just started 1st grade in public school. He'll be 6 in September. In florida, the law stipulate that if you have proof of him completing kindergarten in another state or country, the school system has to get him in the next level. If you don't have that proof there's nothing you can do but offering him challenge outside the school.