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dandelionmom

Starting Kindergarten Early?

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I'm considering asking the school to start my daughter in kindergarten a year early so that she'll be in the same year as another little girl who has celiac. I would love her to not be the only kid who has to have special treats. Plus it seems like it would be a lot easier to get the classroom to be gluten-free if there were two gluten-free kids.

My daughter is tall for her age (my older child is as tall as kids that are 3 years older than her), she is bright, and her birthday is only 20 days after the school's cut off. I'm trying to decide if this is just silly or if it is a good thing to look into.

What do you think?

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I'm considering asking the school to start my daughter in kindergarten a year early so that she'll be in the same year as another little girl who has celiac. I would love her to not be the only kid who has to have special treats. Plus it seems like it would be a lot easier to get the classroom to be gluten-free if there were two gluten-free kids.

My daughter is tall for her age (my older child is as tall as kids that are 3 years older than her), she is bright, and her birthday is only 20 days after the school's cut off. I'm trying to decide if this is just silly or if it is a good thing to look into.

What do you think?

It depends on when the cut off is. Our cut off date is March 1st, so kids can still very much be 4 when they start kindergarten. I find it's way too early. I started my boys a year later (Jan & Feb birthdays) and don't regret the decision at all, they are exceptional students. Quite frankly, I've heard of no one who was unhappy with waiting a year, but have heard of a few who wished they'd waited.

I've got friends who have chosen to wait a year with kids who have November birthdays too...they based it on their child's readiness and maturity. Another friend had her daughter (another November birthday) repeat kindergarten as she just wasn't ready to make the leap to grade 1.

If you choose to put your daughter in early, do watch carefully how she does. Be ready and willing to change the decision if it isn't working out as well as you'd hoped...don't push her into doing anything she's not ready for.

Michelle

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Just one more thought...

Do remember that the most important part of school is that your daughter is learning well. The diet is also important, but I don't think it's essential to have the girls together just because of the diet. You'd advocate strongly for her regardless of who is in her class, and the school will have to support you in that. So, your girls are in different grades, but both will eventually be in the same school, so that school will have to still accomodate both girls.

Our school now has 5 children with (known) celiac, and they have had as good support as any of the food allergic kids (of which there are many!) None of these kids are in the same classes either.

Michelle

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I'm curious... Where do you live that you can 'ignore' the school's cut off. We missed ours by about five hours and we have to wait a year to start kindergarten. The school superintendent said that a firm, 'set in stone' cut off is the only way to avoid law suits.

In any case, in most states the kindergarten curriculum is what those of us 'old' folks think of as a first grade curriculum. They expect kids to read sometime during that first year.

In Massachusetts, the focus is on getting the kids to do well on certain NCLB induced tests, not on what a 5 year old child needs. Hence a lot of people are waiting.

It's a bit frustrating to pay for an extra year of preschool for a kid who is probably ready.

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I think it is a very personal choice and it totally depends on the child.

Personaly starting her early because another kids in kindergarten ahs celaic isn't enough of a good reason. I look at it this way. hopefully the school will get all the gluten-free kinks out by next yr so your dd will have even a less chance of being glutened. Also just because that other child with celiec is in her class in kindergarten it doesn't mean she will be in her class every yr. She also ahs to learn that it is ok to be specaila nd ahve specail diet needs. So many kids have allergies thse day to peanuts and such she isn't alone totaly. Sadly she has to learn not every one will eat like she does but i am sure she knows she is much healthier for eating the way she does.

Now if your dd is accademicly ready and emotionally ready I say go for it! I personally don't beleive in holding kids back if they are ready for something there is no reason they shouldn't do it! My DH started kindergarten when he was 4 and did just fine. My DD was so ready to start Kindergarten earlier but because she is a Nov bday and the cut off is Sept 1. She had to wait. Now my DS was a summer bday and every one said they would hold a summer bday kid back but I chose to send him. After helping out in his class alreadya few times this yr I realize he will be just fine and is better behaved than most kids in his class.

Like I said it all depends on the child. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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Just to clarify: I'm not "ignoring" the cut off date. I'm considering asking the school (whose cut off is actually earlier than our state's guideline, note not a mandate) for their opinion on this issue. Nor am I talking about pushing a child into something she's not ready for.

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Just to clarify: I'm not "ignoring" the cut off date. I'm considering asking the school (whose cut off is actually earlier than our state's guideline, note not a mandate) for their opinion on this issue. Nor am I talking about pushing a child into something she's not ready for.

I know you didn't direct your response only to me, but just wanted to clarify the reason I asked about the cut off date. Because my province has such a late cut off, it makes the decision about starting school a bit more difficult for a lot of parents. March is obviously a much later cut off than September or December, and to be 20 days past a March cut off means the child woudn't be turning 5 until 7 months into the school year! It makes a huge difference in the maturity and capability of students. One girl in my eldest son's K class was 5 days past the cut off...she didn't make it through the first month of school before being pulled out. A lot of parents are unhappy about the cut off date, and would love to see it changed to September or December.

Michelle

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Just to clarify: I'm not "ignoring" the cut off date. I'm considering asking the school (whose cut off is actually earlier than our state's guideline, note not a mandate) for their opinion on this issue. Nor am I talking about pushing a child into something she's not ready for.

If she is ready I say go for it!

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If you feel your child is ready it would be a great thing and definitely worth persuing. There are other kids at my DDs school with Celiac, but they are in 7th and 8th grade (DD is in 5th). It would be nice if she had a gluten-free buddy closer by.

I'm thinking if they consider your request the teacher will want to do some kind of assessment to make sure socially and academically your child is ready as well.

Outside of those things, I think it is a fine idea.

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I'm considering asking the school to start my daughter in kindergarten a year early so that she'll be in the same year as another little girl who has celiac. I would love her to not be the only kid who has to have special treats. Plus it seems like it would be a lot easier to get the classroom to be gluten-free if there were two gluten-free kids.

My daughter is tall for her age (my older child is as tall as kids that are 3 years older than her), she is bright, and her birthday is only 20 days after the school's cut off. I'm trying to decide if this is just silly or if it is a good thing to look into.

What do you think?

As a former middle school teacher, I would advise not letting a child start early for ANY reason. I have seen far to many kids who did quite well through grades 1-5 fall apart because of lack of developmental maturity (yes talking about hormones/puberty here) in 7th and 8th grade.

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Good point Kibbie. I think the only reason I'm even thinking this way is we're talking a 20 day difference.

Right now my husband thinks I'm a little crazy for even thinking about this so we'll probably not worry about it.

I like the thought that the older child will help prepare the school for Julia's needs before she even gets there!

I think I'm just really still struggling with the idea of her being the "special" kid. I see the things my older daughter does in school and so many of them just won't be okay for Julia (the art projects, the counting with pastas, the field trips to bakeries, the hay rides with the wheat straw) and I think it makes me worry too much about Julia.

I might change my screen name to crazy-paranoid-mom. ;)

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I think that you, as her mother, know best whether she's ready or not.

I've known kids who started early and late (my younger son started late as I didn't think he was ready--and it was the right decision for us) and both can be fine--it all depends on the child.

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it's 20 days. go for it. my first thought however was that by next year the teacher would no how to handle it. my biggest fear on that is:::: What if that child's mom is not as educated as she should be, and not as strict with the gluten free diet? what if the tacher has it in her head that she doesnt have to wash the tables after snack, or play-doh is okay, or that wet wipes are good enough, no need to scrub hands all day? Hopefully that wont happen, but i worry about that. if you are more "conserveative" (for lack of a better word) than the other childs mom the teacher will have already seen that that child did fine the way she is already handling things. i mean after all, it didnt kill her. just thought id through that out there. good luck with whatever you decide. i would atleast try, and do get the teacher to evaluate her. i wouldnt want to send her in unprepared. if the teacher thinks shes ready, shes ready. good luck!

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Good point Kibbie. I think the only reason I'm even thinking this way is we're talking a 20 day difference.

Right now my husband thinks I'm a little crazy for even thinking about this so we'll probably not worry about it.

I like the thought that the older child will help prepare the school for Julia's needs before she even gets there!

I think I'm just really still struggling with the idea of her being the "special" kid. I see the things my older daughter does in school and so many of them just won't be okay for Julia (the art projects, the counting with pastas, the field trips to bakeries, the hay rides with the wheat straw) and I think it makes me worry too much about Julia.

I might change my screen name to crazy-paranoid-mom. ;)

Nah not crazy just a concerned mom!

Sure your child is 'specail ' BUt are all children 'specail' your DD just happens to be specail with Celiac too. :D Ok I have to thank my mom for that one I said to her the other day I am still ahving a hard time adjusting to my little girl not being perfect and she responded she still is perfect she just has celiac! then i thought about it she is right :P so look at it that way B)

I will say I never thought about the whole hay.wheat thing! Guess I need to with halloween comming up/

Could she do the art projects with rubber gloves on? This way she can still do it and she is protected. I was never one t get messy with art projects because I just don't like the icky feeling so glove would be my preferance any way! LOL

Wow bakery feild trips! I am jealous of that one! LOL

Good luck and keep us posted

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I think I'm just really still struggling with the idea of her being the "special" kid. I see the things my older daughter does in school and so many of them just won't be okay for Julia (the art projects, the counting with pastas, the field trips to bakeries, the hay rides with the wheat straw) and I think it makes me worry too much about Julia.

Hi there! I just wanted to say that whether she starts now or later, she is still going to have to deal with being "special" . Sometimes it was hard, like when they made playdough or cooked with flour, or when we made the field trip to Publix in kindergarden and i couldn't go back in the bakery. haha, But really for the most part it isn't that bad, she will learn quickly what to say to people and she can and cant eat. Sometimes, friends would want to eat my foods because it tasted better than their cafeteria food. I was the only kid with celiac from elementary to high school, so just the fact that this other child will be in the school will be a big help. The cafeteria and teachers will have to be more aware of it and so will the whole school in general.

If it makes you feel any better I was never made fun or anything in elementary school, in high school, my friends thought it was funny to offer me a cookie or somthing, but by then i learned how to quickly shoot them back down. (usually i ignored them or said something along the lines of.."sure! will you visit me in the hospital??" i know..horrible..but it got the point across) For the most part, kids are so understanding about it, and while they will probably go through the list of "can you eat.." questions..its really not that bad. kids were just amazed that i couldnt eat pizza, but didnt pester me about it at all.

on a side note..hay rides?..i never thought of that either..i wouldn't think that would effect you unless you had DH, as well as art projects with pasta. If we were ever going to eat our counting things afterwards we usually used m&m's, so that was fine, but I don't have DH so I always did the projects with pasta because i didn't want to put the raw pasta in my mouth anyway. haha

Whatever you decide though I am sure she will do awesome.

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