Friday, June 1, 2012

Of birthdays, cutoffs, and the reason for school

Over on Imamother, there is a post about kids who are born a few days past the cutoff.  Should you try to push them into the next grade or not.  The consensus is that the kid is almost always better off being the oldest in the class, rather than the youngest.  Older kids are bigger, more mature, more physically coordinated, and will have an easier time making friends and playing sports.
And now for something not completely different.
Thing 1 is a November baby.  Here in NY state, that means that she was born about 5-6 weeks before the cutoff.  She will be of compulsory school age in the fall (and I get to begin the paperwork saga that is the bane of every NY homeschooler's existence).  However, she is in a very unique position.  I happen to know two other November babies--both of whom were held back.  I've never held her back.  As a result, she was always in the older group--with the entering kindergarteners (or Pre-1A kids, depending on lexicon) at camp, with the Pre-1A crowd in her Sunday program.  She's also earned her siddur, and has worked her way through material appropriate for five-year-olds.  And she's not having any problems.  She's tall, well-spoken, and mature--even though she's young.  Had I held her back, she's be learning her ABCs instead of reading Little Bear.  She's be learning her numbers instead of manipulating them.  Also, I keep hearing about the social effects trumping academics.  Isn't school supposed to be academic?  Otherwise, it's just a six-hour a day social club.

1 comment:

  1. Miss Michal....

    Yeah, I don't know anyone else with little girls like that. I also don't think I've EVER seen her throw a fit the way I see other people's kids do. Maybe thing 2 once or twice, but she's younger and still acts up less than her peers. The public schools are also all about social, be nice and non-academic, too. It's just not like what we grew up with. Then in college they emphasize the social more, because employers are complaining to colleges about the crap they are getting that won't play nice with others. If people had pride in their work, there wouldn't be this attitude of just smile and be nice and I don't have to do anything that pisses off co-workers and classmates with whom you work.


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