Weekend Links: “Playing Hooky From The PTA” and More!

An abundant library at Clairbourn School, Pasadena. Photo: ThePrivateSchoolLady.com

 

Checklist Mommy plays hooky from major PTA volunteer jobs at Temple Israel of Hollywood. (Checklist Mommy)

 

To Redshirt Or Not For Kindergarten? (Abcnews.com)

 

What if your kid doesn’t like soccer or baseball? Here’s a wonderful piece by Betsy Brown Braun about really getting to know your kid. In her piece, a 5th grader defied the sports trend and plays the bagpipes! (Betsy Brown Braun)

 

Here’s a really good overview of popular social media sites for kids. I’m a big user of social media…Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, You Tube, Vine…but, I don’t think anything good can come from kids asking anonymous questions on some of these sites. (What Is Privacy)

 

I adore this kid’s book by Garcelle Beauvais. Here’s my review of I Am Mixed (Momangeles)

 

Private kindergartens are cropping up in China–and, the competition for students is turning deadly. (L.A. Times)

 

Check out this amazing piece on bizarre buildings your kids will love to see, like The Dog House, The Happy House and one with gigantic bright green octopus tentacles coming out of it. (Timbuktu)

 

(Top photo credit: www.theprivateschoollady.com)

 

Have a great weekend! -Christina

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What Is Kindergarten Readiness? By Sandy Eiges, L.A. School Scout

Editor’s Note: As we mentioned on Beyond The Brochure’s Facebook Page, our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and their families. 

 

LA School Scout Logo

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that not all applicants who apply to private schools get in to private schools. Some of you have been stunned to learn that your child was deemed “not quite ready,” or “not qualified” for a particular school.

 

Now this isn’t New York, where all children applying to private schools must take an IQ test, and all children applying to some of the better public schools must do the same.There is no entrance exam for public school in L.A.; there is no uniform Kindergarten readiness assessment used by all of the L.A. private schools.

 

But there is concern as to whether a child is truly ready. In recent years the concept of “kindergarten readiness” has been a rallying cry – for teachers coping with increasingly demanding academic standards when there are 4 ½ year olds in the classrooms; to parents who feel like their child is ready and eager to learn, no matter the chronological age; to state departments of education, trying to determine how many children can comfortably fit into the norm, by age.

 

It is part of the accepted canon that “school readiness” means having the ability to learn and cope with the school environment without undue stress – and that a child’s intelligence plays only a minor role in his or her ability to cope with the school day.

 

Different schools use different criteria for kindergarten readiness. In most cases, children must be around 5 years old in order to begin, but age alone, just like IQ alone, is not indicative of whether a child can handle what is in most cases an increasingly academically rigorous curriculum. In addition to academics, children must be ready for school physically, socially and emotionally. Language, fine and gross motor skills, and the ability to self-regulate will support their success in school.

 

These days many children start school at closer to six years old. But there are parents out there who think that their child is ready at four or five – and some are. That said, there is no one-size-fits-all in Kindergarten. But there are some basic skills and abilities your child should have in order to increase the likelihood that your child will have a successful Kindergarten experience. And some of those skills and abilities are the result of the individual child’s development.

 

If you need the peace of mind that your child is on track and developmentally ready for an academically rigorous Kindergarten, or that your child could use an extra year of preschool to solidify his or her social-emotional development, we are now scheduling Kindergarten readiness assessments from May through August. Please contact sandy@LAschoolscout.com for details.

 

Until next time,
Sandy Eiges
Sandy Eiges, M.S.W.
L.A. School Scout
877.877.6240
310.926.0050
sandy@LAschoolscout.com
www.LAschoolscout.com

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Guest Blogger Samantha: My Son Wasn’t Held Back…He Was Given A Chance To Move To The Front!

 

Redshirting For Kindergarten: A Popular Trend

I’m from Texas, and there, redshirting is a term used in football.  I had no idea what it meant concerning kindergarten, but I was soon to find out…

 

My son has a summer birthday.  I didn’t plan it that way, of course, that was up to the Gods.  In fact, he was born 9.5 weeks early, so he would have been almost an Autumn baby if things had worked out as they were supposed to, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

 

Anyway, when it came time for kindergarten, my kiddo still seemed young.  Not chronologically, necessarily, but he was still carrying around his transitional object, read: lovey.  Need I say more?

 

It’s not that my boy couldn’t go to kindergarten — he’d met all the cut off dates, and he was ready intellectually.  It’s that he would probably be learning phonics from underneath a table or while somersaulting, because emotionally it was clear that he wasn’t ready.

 

Initially my husband wasn’t happy with the idea that he was being “held back”.  But, as I told him, and now share with you, I think that’s the wrong way to think about it.

 

See, my son wasn’t held back, he was given room to move to the front.

 

We gave my son a gift, which allowed him to have a little more time to mature and, as a consequence, gain self-confidence.  As one of the oldest boys in his class, he became a leader at his preschool; a child the other kids looked up to.   He was the cool, older guy.  Ya know, the one who’d moved past Star Wars and graduated to Harry Potter. That’s serious stuff at a preschool. It was truly wonderful to watch!

 

When kindergarten time came, my son was six and he was ready.  My boy felt good about himself and I knew I didn’t have to worry.  Juxtaposed to how unsure I was of his ability the year before, it was such a relief!

 

And, it goes without saying, my husband thinks it’s one of the greatest ideas he ever came up with (whose idea was it?), and both of us think it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

 

In the end I gave my son a better head on his shoulders as he starts his journey through school and into adulthood, and who can argue that isn’t a good thing?

 

Here’s a previous post on Redshirting from Perfectly Disheved. It includes the 60 Minutes story on the topic.
Samantha Goodman is the mom of a First Grader at Wildwood School and a preschooler at 10th St. Preschool in Santa Monica. Samantha’s son also attended 10th St. Preschool. Before her current parenting hiatus she was a screenwriter in Hollywood.

 

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