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Placing kids in school

Placing kids in school

Old Aug 25th 2004, 10:06 pm
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Question Placing kids in school

Hi yall,

Does anyone know how they know what year to put British kids in school in the US? Is it done by age or year completed? American kids start kindergarten at age 5, but in the UK they start reception at age 4.....so does that mean they will be a year younger than the other kids in the same year/grade? Do they test them on entry at all? Thanks in advance!

Tina
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Old Aug 26th 2004, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Placing kids in school

You can ask for a child to be tested and the schools my children have been to there is a reading test done on entering automatically. But to be honest, if you intend to stay in the US for the whole duration of your child's education I would seriously consider putting your child into the school year of their age range and not advancing them a year, especially if you have a boy. If they are staying through to senior school and you pull them back a year, they will learn to drive a year later than all the other children which isn't always good for their social standing. As I understand it US schools have accelerated programs which accomodate for children that are futher forward accademically. Our school district has this which starts in 4th grade. Other school districts, I know, start them younger than this.

Also, the other issue regarding schools over here is the amount of homework given. Some school disctricts give a rediculous amount of homework which a younger child could find too much because homework can often take up a whole evening.

Talk to the school district - I'm sure they will help.
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Old Aug 26th 2004, 6:01 am
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Default Re: Placing kids in school

Grandaughter starts tomorrow.

Surprised that although she is 5, only does 8 till 10.45 for a year and does not go full time till next year.

May vary state by state.

PS The Headmaster thought I was Australian, not very comforting.
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Old Aug 26th 2004, 8:51 am
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Default Re: Placing kids in school

Originally Posted by pushing tin
Hi yall,

Does anyone know how they know what year to put British kids in school in the US? Is it done by age or year completed? American kids start kindergarten at age 5, but in the UK they start reception at age 4.....so does that mean they will be a year younger than the other kids in the same year/grade? Do they test them on entry at all? Thanks in advance!

Tina
This is our experience....

Kids ages 6,4,2,2
Age 6 .... had 2yrs preschool/nursery and 1yr primary school in UK
Age 4..... had 1yr preschool in same school as eldest.

Moved to California USA 1997....

Eldest was put in 1st grade with children same age. We found he was allready doing 3rd grade work.. He wrote in cursive and knew his times tables etc...... He was made to write in 1inch high letters and practise alphabet etc...... I didn't know at the time he could have been tested... He had problems as he was bored.... I allways got complements that he was very helpful and a wonderful student but later it changed to he won't stay in his seat etc..... It took a while but he settled...... (I later found out he just gave up)

4yr old..... We were told he was too young for kindergarten so he had to have a yr off........ Once he did start he excelled in everything, he later entered the gifted program.... I will say though that the homework was sometimes excessive.

We have now returned to the UK almost 7yrs later... I am now facing the fact that my children may be behind in UK standards (except the gifted child) and to be honest I find that very worrying....
We had not planned to return to the UK, so we did not consider what would happen should we have to return.....
Had I known what I know now, I would definately have had the children tested and advanced them to a higher grade.... As far as the social side... My 6yr old son had more social skills than kids his age when we moved. He wouldn't have had a problem fitting in with older children. But thats hindsight.

In California a parent can simply send in a letter requesting that their child be tested. The school must then have the child fully tested within if I remember rightly 50 days.... You can also have them privately tested which you pay for.

I would advise any parent to fight for their child to get the appropriate education depending on their needs and abilities. (both social and educational). I have found that mainstreaming is the norm for the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) as it is under budget and understaffed....

I cannot give a view of any other school district, but from what I have been told USA standards are lower than UK. USA children grow up socially slower than UK. BUT.... Basically it all evens out in the end, otherwise all USA adults would be less educated wouldn't they? Plus they don't finish high school till 18yrs instead of 16 in UK.......

Ok gone on enough.... LOL
This is more than you asked for in your question, but thought it may help to see someone elses experience......
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Old Aug 30th 2004, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Placing kids in school

OK my experience has been with a private school and a public HS in the south and from a variety of kids visiting froom the UK...As the post above says, it all evens out in the end, our UK friends are probably ready for teh sophomore year of college in their A level subjects but their math skills, for example, (if they have no A level math) are behind my kids. The two educaational systems have differing aims. recent problems in the British sytem point to Academics complaining that Univ. is turning into "trade school" in the UK, while in the US the education is broader but the end result may be that kids are less prepared for a specific occupation, take your choice. As usual no good or bad just "different".
Mark (some insight as I am a University Prof. here)
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