Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thrive in 2025

With Cohen going into Preschool early, at the age of 2 1/2 he adapted well and didn't seem to struggle being the youngest. Turning 3 in January or having his birthday at that time of the year will make it hard for us to decide whether or not to hold him back and push him earlier. 

We have decided that the best thing for Cohen is to have him do 2 more years of Preschool and start Kindergarten at the age of 5 turning 6 in January. 

Talking to the director of Preschool she gave me some information that I didn't really think of when it come's to the age differences and when to start them in school. 

Of course you want your kids to enter Kindergarten, it is exciting. But at what age or what month their birthday falls on depends on the maturity and their learning capacity. 

Something known as "Red-shirting"

It's a term coined for college football players who maintain an extra year of sports eligibility by practicing with the team as freshmen but not playing in games. Researchers Kathy Bedard and Elizabeth Dhuey found that grade-schoolers who are among the oldest in their class have a distinct competitive learning edge over the youngest kids in their grade, scoring 4 to 12 percent higher on standardized math and science tests. While the achievement gap narrows over time, it doesn't go away, since the skills acquired in the early grades are complementary to later education as well. The same study showed that the oldest middle-school students outperformed younger classmates by 2 to 9 percent, and that high-school students who were among the oldest in their class were nearly 12 percent more likely to enroll in a four-year college or university.

These ideas have turned holding back into a national trend. Especially for boys since at the age of 5, girls are much more mature.

Something that we have talked about for Cohen. If he were to enter Kindergarten at 4 going on 5 in January, it's not so much the early years of elementary or even Junior High; more so extra curricular such as football, hockey. It's generally not by age, it is by grade. Him being older he has a greater advantage.

  • The Preoperational Stage: A period between ages two and six during which a child learns to use language. During this stage, children do not yet understand concrete logic, cannot mentally manipulate information and are unable to take the point of view of other people.

This summer we thought that practicing writing, math, learning the alphabet (all over again) was important. He is very sharp and has a memory like no one else that I know. He knew his alphabet at 2. He recognized numbers at the store at 2 1/2, even colors he has known since the age of 2. I picked up some flash cards and booklets that focus on letters and numbers.

The flash cards have the lower and upper case letters. They also have a picture on the front and two of the same letter in the stack.

When at first going through the letters he actually had a difficult time, or not even difficult. I had just thought he knew these letters. Evan and I have been working with him on them for over a month now. He was struggling with letters that looked the same; (p,b,q,d) and vowels (a,e,i,o,u). After a month he knows every letter of the alphabet. I wasn't sure at what age the milestone of recognizing all letters of the alphabet was but I wasn't so much worried about "What you read on the blog" or "The milestone chart" I just wanted him to learn something at his own pace.

Super cheap and you can find them at Walmart. At first we held up the card and waited to see if he knew the letter. If he didn't we sounded out the letter and he usually knew it. Eventually we started playing a game (in the video above and below) We laid out the cards and asked him to please find us the letter (s) or (a) etc. Instead of asking him to find us both of the letters (s) we wanted to see if he could find 1. It was amazing. He found the letters in less that 3 seconds. I was amazed. Seeing your child strive and be successful is such a rewarding feeling. Positive reinforcement helps. It's one of his favorite things. We clap and cheer. The glow on his face is unforgettable. 

Information taken from Thrive in 2025 at


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