web analytics
July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Leave Them Back Or Push Them Ahead? School Date Debates

Schonfeld-logo1

“Mrs. Schapiro. Hi, this is Mrs. Rosenfeld from XYZ Yeshiva. I am calling you because I noticed that your son’s birthday is September 28. We have recently pushed the cutoff date at our school from January 1 to September 1. Because of that, I am afraid Yaacov won’t be able to apply to kindergarten until next year.”

“Mrs. Rosenfeld, thank you for calling me. I’m confused. The cutoff date has always been January 1. I have an older son who was born on December 1 and he started kindergarten before he turned five.”

“Yes, I understand. And I am sorry we weren’t clearer before, but we won’t be accepting applications from children who were born after September 1.”

“But, Yaacov is ready for kindergarten. He knows his letters and his numbers. He loves school. And it’s only a few weeks. Can’t you just make an exception?”

“Hmm. Mrs. Schapiro. Maybe we should set up a meeting to talk.”

***

The above conversation is a very real possibility for many people in our community today. While some schools have already switched their cutoff dates, others are considering making the switch. Some of the reasons for the decision include:

More time to learn the basics. Today, kindergarten is increasingly about learning how to read. Children who are older and exposed to more print enter with greater phonological and print awareness. With this foundation, children are better able to learn to read.

Greater ability to sit. Generally, the older the child, the greater his or her capacity to sit. Kindergarteners spend a lot of time sitting and listening to a teacher’s instruction. The earlier cutoff date ensures that the children will have longer attention spans.

Leveling the playing field. The earlier cutoff ensures a more homogenous class in terms of dates. Rather than an eighteen-month span of age differences, the children who enter the class are all within twelve months of each other.

 

Those who oppose moving the cutoff date provide the following reasons for their position:

Children aren’t defined by their birthdays. Many educators and parents argue that simply looking at a child’s birthday should not indicate whether he or she is ready for kindergarten. There are some four-year-olds who already know how to read while there are some six-year-olds that do not know how to hold a pencil.

Homogenous classrooms aren’t not always the most conducive for learning. While it is true that teachers have the easiest time managing a classroom of children with similar skills, research has shown that non-heterogeneous classrooms provide different opportunities for learning.

Later starts involve more childcare costs. For those who are not going to send their child to school until they enter kindergarten, starting a year later means greater costs for childcare for that extra year at home. These extra costs are offset by yeshiva tuition for most people in the Jewish community.

Playing With The Cutoff

Parents who have children with birthdays that fall between September 1 and December 1 are often faced with a dilemma. Should they push the school to make an exception and have their child be the youngest in his class? Alternatively, should they keep him out of kindergarten until the next year, making him the oldest in his class?

Many parents in NYC have chosen the second option, opting to keep their children back in order to ensure that they will be the oldest in their class. This process is colloquially called “red-shirting,” a term used in sports when coaches keep the freshmen on the team on the bench for the first year in order to ensure that they will be healthy for their stronger, peak athletic years.  Parents who “red-shirt” their children believe that it will give them a leg up on their classmates because they will be older and wiser than their peers.

In a recent article in The New York Times, Sam Wang, an associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton University and Sandra Aamodt, a former editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, explained why they believe red-shirting can have negative impacts on some children.

It matters very much who a child’s peers are. Redshirted children begin school with others who are a little further behind them. Because learning is social, the real winners in that situation are their classmates.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Leave Them Back Or Push Them Ahead? School Date Debates

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama escorts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of the Oval Office
Pirated Phone Conversation of Obama Slamming Bibi from Unverified Source
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schonfeld-logo1

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

In reality, Baruch is one of many children who can be described as twice-exceptional. He is both gifted and struggling with a learning disability.

Explosive children or those with ODD are easily frustrated, demanding and inflexible.

Have you noticed that your child is doing something radically different from his cousins (even if they go to a school a block away from each other)?

“If you have Asperger’s Syndrome, you are really good in your brain and your brain is wired a different way, so you are really good at drawing or school. But your social level is not high.”

If your child is struggling with these skills, it might be helpful to seek social skills training.

However, for some children, the split between home and school can be severe and potentially debilitating.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/leave-them-back-or-push-them-ahead-school-date-debates/2013/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: