Parenting & Family

Jan Baby - Attend JK Early?

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Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
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With regards to Montessori...I went through it and there were elements that were good for gifted kids; but it is far from perfect. In hindsight, I'd have done just as well at the local public schools.
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Sep 24, 2005
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if your child starts in the same grade with other kids born in the same year, your child will learn invaluable leadership skills, because the child is more developed. as noted earlier in the thread, many december kids struggle, because they are behind their peers in both mental and physical capacity.
if i were you, i'd put the kid in gymnastics, swimming, art, music, language, etc, to stimulate them outside of the school. but, your child might also be the next Einstein. who knows? for now, keep monitoring, in the same grade, and take it from there.
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
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Oct 19, 2008
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Whitby
Its not an option based on the education act...but people manage to enroll kids a year early. There's a girl on my kids hockey team and another I know of. No idea how this occurs, I recall needing a birth certificate to register my kids in kindergarten.
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Aug 15, 2003
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moonbaby wrote:
Apr 7th, 2014 11:43 pm
Thank you for the thoughtful responses! I appreciate the various perspectives.

Since my first post, I made one call to a local school and was promptly told that it is not possible, as per the Education Act. Based on what I've read, I sort of knew that already. However, I have also read that there can be exceptions made (hence why it's unclear to me). The person I spoke with was somewhat condescending and was sure to tell me that in their years at this school, they've only seen 2-3 "gifted" students (this was after I asked her about testing, etc. at the school to identify/assess students' abilities). I didn't use the word gifted, however, in discussing my kid with her. I also didn't want to bother telling her that I am well aware that most kids who are very bright are simply just that: very bright. However, I also know that there are varying degrees of giftedness. Even then, there can be varying abilities. I wasn't suggesting my LO is exceptionally gifted. I think she's very bright - but due to my lack of experience with children, etc. I am not sure just how bright she is (average vs. above avg. to mild/moderately/highly gifted). It irked me that this person made assumptions and responded to me as if I were an overzealous parent adamant that her very ordinary child is gifted. That phone call was a total waste of my time. I wonder if talking to the principal would help (rather than a subordinate).

As for enriching her at home -- we already do that. I let her lead. There's very little structure to it, actually. If she wants to read, we read. If she wants to write, we write. If she wants to play, then I let her go and do whatever she wants (which can sometimes result in a mess :o ). She has varying interests and we go into it whenever she requests (i.e. dinosaurs, animals in general, letters, etc.). I don't push her but I do encourage whatever it is she is doing at any given time. She's very creative and loves imaginary play, so she can spend hours off on her own playing.

There are times when I'll go through something more structured with her, but only if she seems ready/interested. Rather than a didactic, formal approach, we make everything fun and light (which I suspect most parents do). As she gets a bit older, I think we might do more structured stuff. I actually sometimes wonder if I should be doing more structured learning with her, given her propensity to absorb new concepts/material very quickly. In fact, there are times when I feel guilty and wonder if I should I be doing more "traditional" learning with her.

We also place emphasis on her emotional growth and try to be there for her as much as possible without coddling her. She knows there are rules and has to follow them. She does go to swimming and skating (just starting to learn). She's also enrolled in a more hands on cooking class tailored for her age (they don't actually cook, they help with parts of the meal making). In this sense, we try to give her some balance. But my gut is telling me we should be doing more (i.e. take her to more museums, etc.). We hope to do more "outside" activities this year.

If the public school system simply won't budge, I may have no choice but to keep her at home or send her to private school. I've read that the Montessori system can be great for "gifted" kids (wherever they may fall on the spectrum). However, it's a bit of a daunting task identifying which one is actually true to the Montessori philosophy (there are so many out there).

Whoever drafted the legislation didn't consider advanced kids in making the age cut off requirement. Why are there no exceptions noted? There have been studies that suggest that kids who are very bright (or ahead of their age group) thrive in higher grades. Why is it so outrageous that a child be placed among her intellectual peers? Very bright children often prefer the company of older kids/adults anyway. To insist that a very bright child, who has demonstrated they are well above their grade level, be with her peers ignores so many things and assumes a great deal. As a parent, I am disappointed.
Honestly, I am not sure a true Montessori is a solution. I went to observe and ask questions at a local CCMA accredited Montessori, and let's just say it was way more rigid than what I was looking for.

OP, you sound like you are pretty involved in your child's development. I would encourage you to continue doing so.

What I learnt is that a true Montessori wants you to drop your kids off and pick up your kids at the classroom door. They don't want you to enter classroom for fear of "disturbing" the other kids. How will I know who my kid is friends with? When I asked questions of this particular Montessori school regarding monitoring my child's progress and being able to meet/discuss with the teachers, it seems like the only option is during the once per term parent-teacher interviews and if I had concerns, talking to the directress who could arrange something. Maybe this was just this one particular school, and maybe I am overly hands on with my kid, but I would like to establish a rapport with my kid's teacher and know who her friends are.

Also, if your kid is advanced already and you enroll her to a Casa above 3, be wary that some schools are very rigid on their curriculum and the sequence. My kid already knows letters/numbers, but basically they will still make her go through the motions with sandpaper letters and numbers, etc. rather than doing any assessment of her and letting her "skip" ahead. They said they would "accelerate" her, but they had the curriculum to follow and she would need to go through the activities. This defeats my purpose of signing up my child for a Montessori because I was hoping it'd be tailored to her current developmental needs. There is absolutely no need for her at 3 yrs 9 months to do the pouring water activity, polishing, etc...skills she already acquired in preschool.

Trust me, they don't like creative/imaginative play. There is one way to do the "work" and you have to follow. No make believe and pretending.

I have to say I like some elements of the Montessori method, but attending a "pure" Montessori school is definitely not fit for me or my DD. We are in a similar situation as you OP and ultimately we are keeping our child in her pre-school and I will continue doing academic enrichment with her at home.
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Jun 22, 2004
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mintchoco wrote:
Apr 8th, 2014 12:45 pm
Honestly, I am not sure a true Montessori is a solution. I went to observe and ask questions at a local CCMA accredited Montessori, and let's just say it was way more rigid than what I was looking for.

OP, you sound like you are pretty involved in your child's development. I would encourage you to continue doing so.

What I learnt is that a true Montessori wants you to drop your kids off and pick up your kids at the classroom door. They don't want you to enter classroom for fear of "disturbing" the other kids. How will I know who my kid is friends with? When I asked questions of this particular Montessori school regarding monitoring my child's progress and being able to meet/discuss with the teachers, it seems like the only option is during the once per term parent-teacher interviews and if I had concerns, talking to the directress who could arrange something. Maybe this was just this one particular school, and maybe I am overly hands on with my kid, but I would like to establish a rapport with my kid's teacher and know who her friends are.

Also, if your kid is advanced already and you enroll her to a Casa above 3, be wary that some schools are very rigid on their curriculum and the sequence. My kid already knows letters/numbers, but basically they will still make her go through the motions with sandpaper letters and numbers, etc. rather than doing any assessment of her and letting her "skip" ahead. They said they would "accelerate" her, but they had the curriculum to follow and she would need to go through the activities. This defeats my purpose of signing up my child for a Montessori because I was hoping it'd be tailored to her current developmental needs. There is absolutely no need for her at 3 yrs 9 months to do the pouring water activity, polishing, etc...skills she already acquired in preschool.

Trust me, they don't like creative/imaginative play. There is one way to do the "work" and you have to follow. No make believe and pretending.

I have to say I like some elements of the Montessori method, but attending a "pure" Montessori school is definitely not fit for me or my DD. We are in a similar situation as you OP and ultimately we are keeping our child in her pre-school and I will continue doing academic enrichment with her at home.
I think there may be issues with the particular school and/or how things were explained.

Regarding their monitoring and accessibility their explanation sounds reasonable. There is no benefit to having parents in the classroom (their own kids will play the parents' heartstrings, and other kids will be jealous and/or disruptive). As for the set interviews, or arrangements as necessary - this is so parents don't try to engage the teacher when they should be in the class with the kids. You may say it is just a minute, but there are lots of parents and therefore lots of minutes.

Just because they want to follow the curriculum doesn't mean that your child will be pouring water, polishing, etc. for the year. They can not take your word for it that your child is 'advanced' or can do XYZ - they use the curriculum to assess where your child is, where their strengths are and where to direct them to. If your child is 'advanced' then they will progress quickly through the 'jobs' until they are more challenged. And with the mixed aged classes he/she can progress up further, and then help others. And a good school shouldn't just stop at that classes curriculum, but should be able to provide access to other options (i.e. if they have higher age group classes).

I wouldn't say that Montessori doesn't like creative/imaginative play, but the jobs are designed/developed to be self-correcting and to lead on to the next, which means that for the jobs they are fairly stringent. That said, there should be other opportunities, especially in a casa class, for exercises that can foster creativity and imagination.

Disclaimer: daughter has been in Montessori from ages 2 and a half to 9 - currently in her final year. Wife is also a Montessori teacher.
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Dec 4, 2009
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Aurora
shopper_of_things wrote:
Apr 7th, 2014 4:01 pm
Here in Ontario, they follow a strict "age based" placement even up to grade 3 (and possibly higher).
+1 children get placed in grades based on age, not enrollment. Studies have shown that your daughter will likely enjoy greater success in a classroom being on the older end of the scale.
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Lucky
[OP]
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Mar 22, 2008
69 posts
3 upvotes
Again, some very helpful posts! Thank you.

It doesn't look like I'll have any luck getting her in a year earlier. I am curious, however, how those that do manage to do it. Zamboni, do you have any thoughts?

For the time being, we'll continue what we're doing and see how it goes. If we encounter issues, I hope we can figure it out with the school. Until then, I will keep my eye out for private schools that suit our needs and perhaps some that will even allow her to attend school a year early (should we decide that is what's best).
Newbie
Sep 5, 2009
2 posts
waterloo
Hi I my son is also dec 27 and eligible for public jk this sept however I am debating ho to send a year later. I agree with you that they should have sort of screening, Jan and dec kids have whole year gap and it's not fair for them both. Anyways I want to hold him back a year because I think he's not socially or emotionally ready, do you mind me asking how did you manage to start him late? how did the school agree? Thank you so much

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