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schooling Alberta

schooling Alberta

Old Mar 10th 2012, 1:18 pm
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Default schooling Alberta

My DD and GD are finally moving to Canada in June this year.

My granddaughter will be five in September, and would have started school in September, in the UK, this year. By that time she would have been attending pre-school for two years.

Now, I know that kids don't ususally start school in Alberta until the age of 6. However, my granddaughter is more than ready for school (knowing her ABC, counting to 30, writing her name, adding numbers, etc.), and my daughter would really like her to start school in Canada this year, too.

Has anybody been in the same position, and actually managed to get their 5-year-old to start school in Canada a year before the usual entry age of 6?
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Old Mar 10th 2012, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

Originally Posted by TheCanes View Post
My DD and GD are finally moving to Canada in June this year.

My granddaughter will be five in September, and would have started school in September, in the UK, this year. By that time she would have been attending pre-school for two years.

Now, I know that kids don't ususally start school in Alberta until the age of 6. However, my granddaughter is more than ready for school (knowing her ABC, counting to 30, writing her name, adding numbers, etc.), and my daughter would really like her to start school in Canada this year, too.

Has anybody been in the same position, and actually managed to get their 5-year-old to start school in Canada a year before the usual entry age of 6?
Hi. If she turns 5 in September she will be old enough to go into Kindergarten. Not sure what part of Alberta she will be in as it can vary between different school districts but, in our area, Kindergarten is a half day program. My youngest is a September birthday too and he started Kindergarten at 5 after also have done a couple of years of pre-school. Kindergarten is really much the same as Reception class in the UK, its not like doing more pre-school. Its still within the Elementary school and they interact with the older grades etc too.
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Old Mar 10th 2012, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

Originally Posted by TheThornes View Post
Hi. If she turns 5 in September she will be old enough to go into Kindergarten. Not sure what part of Alberta she will be in as it can vary between different school districts but, in our area, Kindergarten is a half day program. My youngest is a September birthday too and he started Kindergarten at 5 after also have done a couple of years of pre-school. Kindergarten is really much the same as Reception class in the UK, its not like doing more pre-school. Its still within the Elementary school and they interact with the older grades etc too.
Thanks for replying. I think it might be a good idea if I contact the Elementary schools nearest to us. As long as Kindergarten gives her more than she is doing now, she should be fine. She is a clever cookie, so we don't want her to basically lose a year.
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Old Mar 10th 2012, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

I wouldn't think of it as loosing a year....Think of it as giving her some time to just socialise and get used to a new country and new people. There is no way she will be allowed to go into Grade 1 as she isn't old enough. I have never known exceptions to be made. Many people hold their children back a year so chances are she will have older children in class with her anyway. She won't be bored as she will do different things.....For example, when my boys were in Kindy they did a lot of presentations and projects. They were/are also in a Spanish Billingual school here in Calgary so were focusing on learning in two languages. Don't know where your GD will be but maybe that might be something you consider to keep her fully challenged.....
Frankly though I would just sit back and let her adjust. People aren't nearly so 'pushy' (not saying you are by the way!!) here about education and the kids all seem to learn pretty well!!!

Enjoy having your family with you!! Good luck
Lisa
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Old Mar 11th 2012, 11:02 am
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

Originally Posted by leepee View Post
I wouldn't think of it as loosing a year....Think of it as giving her some time to just socialise and get used to a new country and new people. There is no way she will be allowed to go into Grade 1 as she isn't old enough. I have never known exceptions to be made. Many people hold their children back a year so chances are she will have older children in class with her anyway. She won't be bored as she will do different things.....For example, when my boys were in Kindy they did a lot of presentations and projects. They were/are also in a Spanish Billingual school here in Calgary so were focusing on learning in two languages. Don't know where your GD will be but maybe that might be something you consider to keep her fully challenged.....
Frankly though I would just sit back and let her adjust. People aren't nearly so 'pushy' (not saying you are by the way!!) here about education and the kids all seem to learn pretty well!!!

Enjoy having your family with you!! Good luck
Lisa
Thanks for your views on this, Lisa. I totally appreciate what you are saying. It is actually my DD who feels that 'missing' a year on schooling might not be very good for the little one. GD is quite advanced to some other kids her age, so the idea of starting proper school seemed better (in her eyes) than staying in Kindergarten.

I, too, feel that giving GD time to adjust to a new new country, and no doubt new school system (even at her age), is a good reason to let her do whatever kids her age do in Canada. I'm sure we'll do it that way.

Whatever happens, I can't wait to finally have my whole family with me. This will be the moment my 'Canadian Dream' will really begin , although I've been in Canada for a few years already.
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Old Mar 11th 2012, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

Why not pop the little one in French Immersion instead of panicking about missing a year.

School is very different here to the UK, your daughter shouldn't view is as going back a year, it's just a new year in a new country.
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

I agree with those who say that she shouldn't consider it "going back a year".

When we came over here, my second daughter was 5, and went into kindergarten despite having been in full time education for over a year. They simply would NOT allow her to go into grade 1. But having a 6 year old who did go into grade 1, I think it was the right idea. There was no way that C (my then 5 year old) was socially mature enough to cope with the older kids - I think she would have been very isolated simply because she was not interested in the same kind of things.

She did very well in Kindergarten, made loads of friends and had a great time.

Kindergarten here should not be considered to be "playgroup" even though it is only half a day - they do very similar things to what is done in the reception class in the UK. But with a more Canadian slant. So I can easily imagine that the little one will have things that she has never learned before.

And if she is bored in the mornings/afternoons (depending on whether she is morning or afternoon kindergarten), I see no reason why her mother can't do educational things with her - read to her, give her workbooks or worksheets printed from the internet to keep her busy.
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: schooling Alberta

Just to add, my daughter had started middle school in the UK. When we moved here, she went back to elementary school, we thought she had gone back a year and just accepted it as just the way it was. She didn't go back a year at all, she learned loads of new stuff, that she would have missed out on and then struggled with in subsequent years - I just wished we knew more about the French immersion thing when we first got here though, we may have done something along those lines at that stage if it wasn't too late. I know if I had a beginning school age kid, she would be doing it.
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