Kindergarten Woes

sullen child

As the mother of a soon-to-be five year-old daughter, I am constantly amused and amazed by the things she does and the words that come out of her mouth!  I may be biased, but my little girl seems to have the wit and cunning of a child years older, as well as humor and personality to boot!

I mostly contribute her social skills and smarts to attending pre-school at three years old, followed by a full year of all day pre-kindergarten, which she attended at a private school in Mexico.  She went to school Monday to Friday 8:00am until 2:00pm, which is unheard of in Canada. I watched her flourish under the gentle guidance of her teachers and soon she was speaking fluent Spanish that surpassed even my skills in conversation!

So, upon arriving back in North America and registering her for the kindergarten program at our local public school I was shocked to learn that she was thirteen days past the cut-off date for enrollment.  In order for her to be able to attend class with her peers, she had to have been born on or before September first.  I was dismayed! This child had been participating in regular school activities for two years, there was no way I was going to take the school counselors suggestion of holding her back a year – after all, I thought, she is bilingual and extremely bright! I couldn’t imagine skipping an entire year of school after she had already begun, and successfully, her path of matriculation.

I can understand the concept of having a “cut-off” date for registered enrollment of a child in school, however, denying an obviously a keen and intuitive child the chance to continue learning and growing in a setting she adored for simply being thirteen days past the tipping point to me seemed ludicrous!  I was told there was nothing I could do, it was the ruling of the school district and the statute was rigid at best, concrete at worst.

After many ups and downs, asking advice and changing my mind a couple times a day, I decided to contact the school once more and ask for an aptitude test to be conducted for my daughter.  I was told there would be a bit of a wait, but that, yes, they could comply with my wishes to have my daughter tested but that she would have to score within the 99th percentile in order to be considered.  Who knew getting into Kindergarten would be so tough!

Needless to say I jumped on the opportunity to have my daughter assessed…. And by the time the testing is done she will only be four days shy of the five year-old mark! The day quickly approaches and I am more nervous than she has a clue to be!  So cross your fingers and toes for us and pray that my little Einstein will meet the mark and be able to finger-paint in freedom again!


One thought on “Kindergarten Woes

  1. I was one who was “held back” similar to what they want to do to your daughter, even though I missed a later (Nov) deadline by a bit – so I was always one year older than my peers for most of the school year.

    There were advantages, of course – the additional maturity helped socially – but I often wonder what I missed out on in intellectual development. Not to mention the fact that school was B-O-R-I-N-G as a result, and I developed the unfortunate habit of never studying, since I didn’t have to. Imagine what I might have learned had I been challenged rather than bored to the point where I had to struggle to remain cognitively engaged in the repetition designed to educate slower minds than mine.

    Fortunately, I had a few really good teachers who allowed me to bend some rules and do special projects. One allowed me to sit outside the classroom and WRITE – and some of the poems I produced weren’t bad, even judging today. I also read a lot of non-“educational” material, fostered and encouraged by my mother (probably the reason I always scored in the top 1% when they tested reading and writing — no thanks to anything they actually TAUGHT me!)

    Given your daughter’s background, it is simply NUTS that they didn’t have a system to bypass the rigidity of the rules. TESTING? Give me a break! How about TALKING to the kid and looking at her educational background.

    America’s school system gets worse every year – but then, what do we expect when we support our teachers so little (and pay them even less!)

    Whatever the outcome of your daughter’s testing and whatever you must do to supplement the Free-and-APPROPRIATE (?) education climate in vogue today, I’m fairly sure you and she are up to it. I am furious on your behalf, however.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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