Second — First Grade

Second — First Grade

This year we decided to enroll our son into a once a week homeschool program (or co-op) at a private school near us.

I would say it was a tough decision, but it really wasn’t. A friend of mine was speaking at the school one day during chapel, and I decided to take our son. As we were leaving, he decided he wanted to go to this school.

I found out more information regarding their program for homeschoolers, and told him to pray about it. It wasn’t long after God heard the desires of his heart, that it was confirmed for us to apply.

The admissions process went well and we felt like the Lord ordered every step. From financial provision to testing, the door just flew open. We truly felt like this was the way we were to walk in.

During the admissions process, we were told that because our son had a late summer birthday, we could choose to have him placed in first grade or second grade. I had recently heard about this from my friend, and had done some research.

I found out this was pretty common and often referred to as academic redshirting. I also found out that this is more popular and successfully done amongst families in upper socioeconomic status populations.

After sharing this information with my husband, we both agreed that it would be best to place our son in first grade while in school. Even though he had completed his first grade year as a homeschool student, and would be moving into his second grade year in homeschooling. Here are 6 of the top reasons we made this decision:

1. We could see a difference in maturity level between he and his friends that would turn a year older 6 months sooner than he would.

2. He’d be able to practice being a leader as one of the older kids versus always being the youngest.

3. Although we believe academically, he could do the work, we wanted him to experience social success as well.

4. Studies show that academically redshirting a child allows them to grow physically, cognitively, and emotionally, making their school experience more successful.

5. We would still be able to individualize his homeschool lessons and teach to his abilities.

6. We wanted him to feel confident in his abilities, while enjoying learning and school.

Might our decision change if we weren’t homeschooling? Sure, it may have.

Are there pros and cons to both choices? Of course there are.

Did we include him in the decision? We talked to him about the decision that was made, and explained why.

We also answered any questions he had in order to help him understand and feel more comfortable.

There are many things that go into making this experience a success. For example, studies show that having two or more years of preschool education under their belts before setting foot in kindergarten improves the success rate.

As with anything, I believe this process should be individualized. The unique characteristics of each child should be considered when making this decision.

Although we won’t know for sure or right away if we made the correct decision, we feel pretty confident, and believe this is what’s best for our son. As with most things, we will continue to monitor and evaluate for any changes necessary, as needed.

In the mean time, our son will be in First grade while at school, but continue on with second grade homeschooling.

Happy school year!

Deitra B.

I am Deitra Baker, a servant, follower and lover of Christ. I am a wife to one amazing husband, and mother to two of God’s most amazing children...Read More »

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