Re: Red-shirting.

1

It was suggested to us that we have our son repeat kindergarten because he wasn't able to read yet. We said no, because the fuck, but about half the boys' parents seem to have said yes.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:11 AM
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God forbid that the time to learn to read might be allowed to vary organically. (Montessori kid here. I read early but plenty of my peers took longer and that wasn't a problem at all.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:14 AM
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We ended the Montessori because it just wasn't working for him.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:15 AM
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If Gladwell said it, it must be true.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:16 AM
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||

Everyone here who loves to make fun of "the veldt" will enjoy this:

http://bahfest.com/

I'm not as down on veldt style explanations as the Unfogged community as a whole, but the comic there is pretty funny.

>|


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:25 AM
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I knew a family with 4 boys who were all "redshirted." They all were pretty successful in school, one is a doctor, two others others international business dudes of different kinds, and the third a more local entrepreneur.

Good fellas all, and I'm glad that the ones I knew well timed as they did with me. Still, I do wonder about their parents decisions. They were both educators and they would have entered school in the mid 80s.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:29 AM
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For a moment I was confused as to why a parent would put their kid in a Star Trek ensign's uniform and send them off to get killed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:31 AM
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My sister held back her daughter (one of three kids), who was right on the cusp. She agonized over the decision and ended up deciding because that her daughter was physically small for her age and lacked confidence, an extra year might help.

My niece certainly doesn't lack confidence now, but there's no way to know if the red-shirting had anything to do with that.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:33 AM
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I just realised that Babylon 5 had a security chief called Garibaldi, and this is clearly a redshirt joke. Everyone else has probably known this for years.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:34 AM
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Slightly more relevantly, I was purpleshirted - i.e. put into school a year early. Spending your entire school career as the smallest and youngest kid in the class is not great.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:35 AM
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Being tall early was nice. I was a year younger than everyone else from third grade forward, but I was always big enough to blend in physically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:41 AM
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Prefer this version of the Garibaldi.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:41 AM
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I was given the opportunity to skip sixth grade when we moved to Geneve but my parents decided not to do it out of worries that their already rather shy kid would have too hard a time fitting in. And in Poland where they're trying to shift from first grade at seven to first grade at six there's been a huge amount of parental resistance and during the transitional period where parents have a choice the overwhelming majority of parents have chosen to keep their kids out of school for the extra year.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:44 AM
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Myself, I like this one. Not that they were called that in NY when I was a kid, but they were my favorite.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:44 AM
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My kid is right on the cusp and definitely didn't seem ready for kindergarten last year (not so much "academically" but in terms of behavior) so we held her for a year of "pre-K" which now seems to be a thing, a last year of preschool for kids on the cusp or red-shirting parents (some of the kids in the pre-K were 6 months or more older than my kid). I think it was great for us, she definitely seems ready this year and really wouldn't have been last year. You can't really claim that your kid is a precocious genius, though, if he/she is older than everyone else.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:44 AM
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I think it was great for us, she definitely seems ready this year and really wouldn't have been last year. You can't really claim that your kid is a precocious genius, though, if he/she is older than everyone else.

Interesting, this policy seems to produce conflict between the instinct to say "My kid is the best, he can do anything so great" and the instinct to say "My kid must have every advantage above other kids, I must put him in a position to succeed so he can succeed"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:48 AM
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Redshirting, generally, is the sort of thing I kind of want to be outraged about, because I associate it with system-gaming. But given that it doesn't seem to have any detectible effect on anything other than high school sports, either positive or negative, I have a hard time working up a good head of steam about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:48 AM
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Myself, I like this one. Not that they were called that in NY when I was a kid, but they were my favorite.

Mine tooooo. My grandmother was English, though, and it was she who gave them to me, so I did grow up calling them that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:49 AM
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Squashed-fly biscuits is what we always called them...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:49 AM
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They were Sunshine Golden Fruit bars, if I remember right. And the brand must not exist anymore -- I haven't seen them in decades.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:50 AM
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But given that it doesn't seem to have any detectible effect on anything other than high school sports, either positive or negative, I have a hard time working up a good head of steam about it.

I suspect it's had an effect on the first-grade-ification of kindergarten.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:50 AM
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Weird, I thought the evidence was the opposite -- that kids who are the oldest in their class do better athletically, but the kids who are the youngest do better career-wise.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:51 AM
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Oh, that's probably true. But it doesn't seem to negatively affect the non-redshirted kids, at least I haven't seen any indication that it does.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:52 AM
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My wife and I regret not redshirting our son, since he's close to the young end of his grade, is immature for his age, and has consistently struggled in school and scored one grade below grade level on standardized tests. Now he's a fifth grader who mostly hangs out with fourth graders. No way to tell how his life would have been different.

I was started early myself, and was smallest in the early years, and in high school was the last to get a drivers license and to drink legally. That sucked.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:52 AM
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24: You don't think it'll even out in middle school? There are a couple of years where it seems to be mostly about consolidating what the kids learned in grade school, and it seems as if he plausibly might catch up just fine then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:54 AM
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16 -- exactly.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:55 AM
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I don't know anything about Malcolm Gladwell other than he's someone people talk about on unfogged, so I just imagine the topic is Malcolm McDowell instead. It makes perfect sense for a Star Trek villian to favor red shirts.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:56 AM
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Kid the Elder, by being born a few weeks after the cut-off date, is effectively red-shirted. He's just started now, and has clearly been ready for it for at least six months. He was also an absolute fucking PITA for the last few months of nursery, probably because he was bored.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:01 AM
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"We ended the Montessori"
That was kind of rude to the other kids who still wanted to go there.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:02 AM
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What I find bemusing about parents' worrying that their kids aren't ready for kindergarten is how fast kids develop at that age. I mean, I'd think a kid who was clearly 'not ready for kindergarten' in August, but coping perfectly happily and successfully in October, would be a very normal sort of course of events.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:04 AM
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My uncle did his kids, but they really did have learning problems and benefited from it.
My kids are all fall birthdays and the cutoff is Sept. 1 so they are all the oldest. Even if they weren't, no way I would pay for another year of child care. Actually here we have junior kindergarten for kids born Sept-March so they essentially get two years of K anyway.
Youngest boy is almost 4, I measured him this morning and he is where his brothers were when they were 5. I need to make sure the ruler hasn't slipped down the wall or something.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:06 AM
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Before Zardoz had a definite gender and birth date I was hoping that if we had a boy he would be born close to the cutoff and be relatively small (probably not actually small, since I'm not at all small) and thus less likely to be recruited for contact sports. As it happened we didn't have a boy and she was born far enough away from the cutoff that the fact that she is precociously lengthy doesn't impact much one way or the other beside diaper sizing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:06 AM
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33

I guess we should keep her away from too-competitive soccer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:07 AM
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34

Good news is if she's a tall cheerleader she won't be one of the ones who gets hurled way up in the air.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:09 AM
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Eh, the kid will want to do what she wants to do. Newt's a giant strong brute of a boy, but has no interest at all in contact sports -- he is Ferdinand the Bull. You couldn't recruit him for a football team with both hands. And Sally's rugby team has some adorable little pixieish girls with murder in their hearts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:11 AM
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36

Actually, I'll start claiming that we timed the kids birthdays to be in the fall to give them an advantage in school.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:14 AM
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37

My sister was redshirted by my parents "to develop better social skills." It failed spectacularly.

I recently learned that some kids take a year after high school to attend a private academy to improve their skills at a sport, say lacrosse, to get either an athletic scholarship or admittance to a school with a better ranked team. I understood academic redshirting, but this is truly weird to me.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:16 AM
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38

It was suggested that I delay graduate school to develop better social skills.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:18 AM
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37, that sounds MORE logical than academic redshirting. You are trying to get a scholarship for a kid who is already 17 or 18, and that is a straightforward way to do it. As opposed to speculative effects of a decision made at age 5.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:24 AM
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40

Somebody should think of a word for academic redshirting, but when done for athletic reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:26 AM
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40: Blueshirting? Wait, I think of something better...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:35 AM
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But given that it doesn't seem to have any detectible effect on anything other than high school sports, either positive or negative

Well, it's certainly more readily available to the haves than have-nots (since daycare costs money, or lost wages for a mom who will return to work), and if it serves any advantage, then it heightens that gap.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:37 AM
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Right, that's why I want to get pissy about it. But the research I've seen on it seems to show that it is actually no better than harmless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:39 AM
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October birthday, so I was among the elders K-7. Skipped from 7.5 to 8.5, though, because we moved, so then I was among the youngest. Until I was 30 and went to law school, then I was ancient. Continuing unto today.

My son is late December. Before the cutoff in MoCo, so he was the youngest (usually, but sometimes only in the top 5) in every grade K-12. Graduating at 17 really sucks if you want to take a year off, or do something else where being 18 will make a difference. Taking this semester off, but with AP he'll still graduate just 6 months after turning 21. We often wonder if we should have redshirted him, but he doesn't.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:40 AM
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I wish I had done that for my first boy. People recommended it, but we did not do it. It is now clear that he has adhd without the h so it might have helped him out. The way it is now the two kids I have that have no problem in school are among the oldest in their class and the the two that struggle or have to work real hard are among the youngest.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:40 AM
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One funny thing in math ed research is that a publishable result is "We did no harm! Test scores did not get worse!" because it's so spectacularly difficult to figure out replicable ways to get kids to engage in and understand math.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:42 AM
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My grandmother hectored my parents relentlessly that I should skip a grade, because she believed I was the smartest snowflake that ever snowed. Eventually they relented just to shut her up, so after New Year's, my kindergarten year, I was put in a first grade classroom for the second half of the year.

Then I grew up not knowing the story, so I thought I'd been skipped because my genius was irrepressible, even though that's inconsistent with my parents' approach to life. Finally I asked about it in high school, and when I found out my grandmother nagged them into submission, it all made sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:45 AM
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If I hadn't been skipped, I'd seem a lot smarter here on Unfogged. OTOH, this way it seems so natural to hang out with smarter people than myself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:46 AM
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49

I think my family would start stabbing each other if anybody got that relentless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:48 AM
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I'm pretty sure it says horrible things about me that my major reaction to the concept of redshirting (there are some boys in my daughter's kindergarten class who were clearly redshirted) was: yeah, if you think that extra year is going to help your kid against my kid, you go right ahead with that.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:48 AM
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50: Yes, you're a horrible person. There's room over here on the horrible person's bench right next to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:50 AM
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I think my family would start stabbing each other if anybody got that relentless.

Nagging and intrusiveness is how we show our love.

So, my friends divorced over the summer. It was not a secret and there weren't divvying up of friends or sordid details. Other friends in the inner circle did not know any details for months and months "because they didn't want to pry". I cannot understand this. I have no fucking clue what planet Texas is on, sometimes. Months and months! Just ask someone on the side for details! Or the person themselves!

It never occurred to me that they hadn't been filled in, besides the single fact of the divorce, because why on earth would the conversation stop with that one sentence?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:55 AM
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You sound like my grandma. She was always, "Why don't you people tell each other anything?" We never answered her, of course.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:57 AM
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46: Isn't it a lot easier statistically to prove non-inferiority than to tell which approach is actually better?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:57 AM
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But aren't you curious? And rude? Or just me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:58 AM
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I'm afraid if I ask and there's a problem, I'd be expected to help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 9:59 AM
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54: That comment didn't worsen my 46.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:00 AM
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Or, worse than helping in some tangible way, be expected to provide emotional support with empathy and listening and such.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:00 AM
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And Sally's rugby team has some adorable little pixieish girls with murder in their hearts.

One of my sister's best friends and teammates is one of these. My sister always marveled at the on-field shit the pixie could pull off. If anyone bigger did that, she'd get called on for sure.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:02 AM
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I always curious. I often want to know the details. But unless someone offers, I will stifle my curiousity until I can speculate wildly with someone else who doesn't know.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:03 AM
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I am Megan. I am both wildly nosy, and very private about my own stuff, so I don't push for information at all about other people's personal issues. Which means I never know anything about anyone they didn't buttonhole me and aggressively tell me about.

That's half of what I love about this place, getting to talk over people's personal lives under circumstances where I know I'm not being unwantedly intrusive, because whoever it is talking about it on the internet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:07 AM
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59: The specific kid I'm thinking of isn't a particularly dirty player, just astonishingly powerful and aggressive for a cute little round thing. If she doesn't get hurt in college, everyone's assuming she's on the national team in a few more years.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:08 AM
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25: Growth evens out by middle school. The experience of thinking of school as being difficult and unpleasant might not. Kids tracked into the high reading group by second grade tend to be tracked into honors classes later on, and those who weren't, usually aren't.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:12 AM
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My boy was born in July so he would be younger right? I am tempted to do this, but it means you have to arrange your own child care for another year.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:14 AM
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Never ask a man the size of his spread


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:14 AM
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66

Interesting variant on redshirting: several major universities offer one year liberal arts masters degrees exclusively to scholarship athletes who graduated but have a year of eligibility left. A colleague has an M.A. from Stanford that way. The department only offers a Ph.D. program for non-athletes.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:18 AM
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My great uncle had a kid with a woman he never married back when that sort of thing was hushed up. Everybody older knew, but nobody ever talked about it until the kid, now well past 50, said he wanted to come to a family reunion. That was the first time anybody ever mentioned this in front of me despite the fact that most of my dad's relatives lived their whole lives within forty miles of the guy and were in semi-regular communication with him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:19 AM
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67 to 55, etc.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:19 AM
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69

I have very little patience for people who spend excessive energy trying to game a system.

This, this, this.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:23 AM
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re: 10

Ditto. Not a year early, but I was born about two weeks before the cut-off date, so was the youngest and smallest in ever class until I was well into my teens.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:23 AM
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Ditto. Not a year early, but I was born about two weeks before the cut-off date, so was the youngest and smallest in ever class until I was well into my teens.

I was youngest or smallest (or second) in most of my classes through middle school, but it never bothered me and didn't feel like a problem.

But somehow I managed to be small, introverted, private, and distinctly a weird kid without having much problems with bullies or giving off "target" vibes, and I'm not quite sure how that worked out.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:39 AM
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I think there are plenty of schools where there just isn't much, if any, bullying at all. People are so concerned about it these days (not that they shouldn't be, but it's a trendy topic) that it seems as if it's ubiquitous, but it really isn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:46 AM
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You really think so? Everyone knows someone in school that was picked on relentlessly. I think NickS probably didn't actually do the triggering-social-ineptness that makes someone a target.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:50 AM
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I don't, really. I mean, I'm the closest person I know to being that person, and I wasn't actually bullied, just ostracized a bit. I don't think anyone at my 7-12th school was.

And the same for Sally and Newt's school, as far as I can tell. In that case I'm relying on a kid we know as the canary in the coal mine. He's definitely got the seriously irritating social ineptness and emotional fragility to an almost cartoonish degree, but the other kids seem to be treating him decently. If he's not getting pushed around, and I'm pretty sure he isn't because I check in with Sally to make sure that she steps in if she sees anyone giving him a hard time, I doubt anyone is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 10:54 AM
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75

50,51: budge up, I'm sitting down.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:02 AM
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I think NickS probably didn't actually do the triggering-social-ineptness that makes someone a target.

I think this is the case, though I'm not quite sure why my social ineptness wasn't triggering.

There wasn't much bullying in my schools -- I can't think of any notably serious incidents -- but there were definitely people who got enough abuse that it was clear that they were low on the social hierarchy.

For most of school I felt like I was just outside of the social hierarchy. I had some friends, I got along reasonably well with people, but I was outside of any of the normal channels of gossip or information, I never really cared what most people were up to, and it all worked out okay -- though there are definitely days when I feel like taking that position developed habits which do not always serve me well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:06 AM
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re: 71.2 and 74.1

Yeah, sort of ditto. I wasn't particularly anti-social, fwiw, but definitely small and somewhat introverted.

Also, fwiw, bullying wasn't a particularly big thing in any of my schools, either. We've discussed this before. There were a very small number of kids who got picked on more than average, and there were definitely some wannabe bullies. But there wasn't much of a culture of bullying, and the bullying there was wasn't relentless. My approach when people tried to bully me was always to fight. And I used to put down the fact that I was never successfully bullied to that, but looking back, the other small, smart, quiet kids in my high-school weren't consistent targets for bullying either. The culture just wasn't there.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:08 AM
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78

Now I'm confused. I tended to think of myself as one of the smaller/younger kids in my grade, but I have a September birthday, so that doesn't add up unless the relevant cutoff <mumble> years ago was mid- or late September, which itself seems odd.

My kid (who needs a pseud, hmm) was a summer baby, so he'll definitely be on the younger end and this will be an active debate. We're doing our part right now for anti-redshirting by resisting the day care's veiled suggestion that we delay his infant->toddler transition. Our theory is that he needs the exposure to older kids (having been the oldest in his infant room for a while now).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:15 AM
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79

Some districts do a calendar year cutoff, others do a first-day-of-school cutoff, I think, so it depends where you are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:17 AM
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My kid (who needs a pseud, hmm)

Nathinho


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:17 AM
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78.1: I feel like it was maybe october or something when I was a kid. Could be wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:21 AM
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Come to think, though, 79 doesn't explain 78. I guess possibilities are that you were purple-shirted by your parents, a few weeks too young for a first-day-of-school cutoff, but your parents thought you were ready, or that your school had a calendar year cutoff, but happened to have unusually few kids born in the last few months of the year.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:24 AM
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83

My current city it looks like the cutoff is September 30, so it does happen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:25 AM
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84

Oh, then that makes perfect sense. Funny, I wonder how they came up with that date.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:30 AM
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85

Curious that it's August 31 right next door here, then.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:32 AM
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In my city, it's September 31. Because fuck proofreading.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:33 AM
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We waited an extra year for my son, whose birthday is in July, but in order to avoid spending excess energy. The cutoff is technically September 1, but in practice with the private schools, it's typically June 1 for boys. We didn't want to go through the whole crazy process and be told, "Nice kid. Make sure you apply again next year."

Today's NYT announces that at least one part of the crazy process is being eliminated.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:44 AM
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I thought the public schools were December 31. Although, come to think, both Sally and Newt are summer babies, so it would have come out the same either way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:48 AM
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89

Yup, it says your kid is eligible for kindergarten if they're turning 5 in 2013.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:50 AM
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85: yeah there doesn't seem to be any consistency across the state.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 11:52 AM
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83- I'm pretty sure it's Sept. 1.
"the day care's veiled suggestion that we delay his infant->toddler transition."
Infant$ pay more. Although most centers have no problem filling their infant quota.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:14 PM
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Yeah, paying more occurred to us, especially since we got the paperwork for the toddler situation and were reminded that it's a double-digit percentage cheaper. But we're only talking about a few weeks, not six months, and I do expect them to want to move us up into the open toddler slot and get another high-paying infant in from their waitlist, if they're being truly mercenary.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:33 PM
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"Sorry Nathinho, we've been monitoring your progress and you haven't shown us enough to warrant a promotion to toddler."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:37 PM
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Zardoz's birthday is three days after the cutoff for when she would switch from infant to toddler prices (for the entire year) at her daycare. That is, if you count it one way. If you count it another (arguably wildly incorrect) way she is well on the other side of the cutoff. That we should be paying the (much, much lower) toddler rate all of next year is an argument that I am totally uninterested in making, and yet will definitely make as forcefully as I can.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:37 PM
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(Was I clear that they set the rate based on their age in September and then it's the same rate all year? Now I have just been more clear on that, I hope.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:38 PM
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"Obviously as a day care that is committed to children freed from petty adherence to historical traditions that, by the way, were imposed on our ancestors by genocidal agents of a corrupt and superstitious religion in which we do not believe, you should be calculating this cutoff using synodic months" will I think not be my opening.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:41 PM
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Calculating daycare prices for an entire year at a time seems really fucking stupid. Why don't you start with that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:44 PM
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97: they get placed in a room for the whole year and the different rooms have different staffing requirements depending on the age of the kids. And actually the caregivers in her current room have already said that they think she'll be skipping the next room up (second infant room) for the first toddler room, which would mean she'd pay the lower rate, I think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:45 PM
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As long as they're calculating staffing requirements based on what a child needed 12 months ago, it makes complete sense.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:48 PM
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Now since I determined by clothing requirements for the year in February, I'm going to put on my parka and head home.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:50 PM
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99: I don't exactly know why I'm continuing to defend them, but I think the idea is that they want classes to be continuous throughout the year so that the kids (and families) get to know each other. It is I think a holdover from when the day care was a coöp. Aside from the part where it might cost us a shitload of money I kind of like the policy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:53 PM
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I'm mostly joking. It's not like it hurts your child to get more attention from the staff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:54 PM
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98: Making your baby pay for her own daycare is hardcore!

Mara was born a month past our state's cutoff and she is loving every bit of kindergarten, whereas last year her speech would have been even worse and she would have been sort of an emotional mess, though I'm sure she'd have done fine. She writes her full name, hyphenated last name and all, in these adorably loopy letters and I love it.

Nia has a summer birthday, so while Mara gets to spend 3/4 of kindergarten as a 6-year-old, Nia was 5 for all of K (and attended at least three schools in two states, which doesn't do much for stability or consistency) and I think that must make some difference. Nia is so much more mature as a 7-year-old and after having been with us a year that this year is going to be way more academically successful than the last, where she did the best she could and made 1.5 years' progress in a school year, but that still left her behind where she should have been.

No one gets redshirted at their school since 90-some percent of the kids get free or reduced lunch and so none of those parents can afford an extra year of whatever comes before all-day kindergarten. About a third of Nia's first grade class was held back, though, which is very high but not unheard-of. I haven't seen the numbers or the gender breakdown (roughly equal in her room) but the theory seems to be to hold back kindergarteners who can't emotionally handle school or can't follow basic rules and to hold back first graders who aren't making sufficient academic progress but don't have learning disabilities and just need more practice and maturity. The goal is to prevent any more repeating of grades down the line and to get all the kids reading adequately by the end of second grade, but I think there's a big difference between the experience of a child who's been failing and floundering for a year before repeating and one who's being redshirted for another year of nurturing pre-K.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 12:56 PM
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The goal is to prevent any more repeating of grades down the line and to get all the kids reading adequately by the end of second grade, but I think there's a big difference between the experience of a child who's been failing and floundering for a year before repeating and one who's being redshirted for another year of nurturing pre-K.

That's, I think, a really big part of why it sucks so much that K isn't nurturing anymore. (I realize this doesn't address the first-grade-repeat experience, but still.) Agh, I hate the death of the children's garden!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 1:02 PM
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104: I also think our school is doing well at creating a nurturing K experience to the extent they can, but they definitely also have the testing standards and all that, common core standards. Mara is learning nursery rhymes and sharing and trying new foods and spending time in free play and art class, but they're only able to do that because it's a full-day program, which I know is exhausting for a lot of kids.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 1:06 PM
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Public preschool for kids who qualify is only maybe 3 hours/day (including either breakfast or lunch) and only 4 days/week, so I think the K classes have to cover what gets done at more elite preschools.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 1:08 PM
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My parents sent me to Kindergarten at age four, which was almost assuredly the right call, because I was bored out of my skull for most of elementary school as it was. But it had the unfortunate consequence of severely handicapping my football career. Not that I would have been a standout athlete in any event, but if I had been a year older, I'm pretty sure I could have played and maybe started varsity at my small school. (Oh, and my parents would have had to figure out that I was severely myopic so I could get glasses before I turned 15. I'll never forget that feeling of "OMG, everyone else has been seeing the world this way all along?!?!"



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 1:08 PM
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I have a late October birthday and went to school at 4. Being comparatively young made absolutely no difference to me, as I was also mostly immune to bullying and teasing (and was usually on the taller end).


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 1:17 PM
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You know where there's bullying? Boy scouts. Fucking dickheads.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 2:12 PM
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109: When they recently changed course, my reaction was, "Oh crap, now I don't have a concrete reason to rule them verboten."

Although I can't imagine Kai wanting to join. It's like the early Calvin was in the Boy Scouts, then Waterson realized he'd never join in a million years.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:04 PM
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Yeah, the start of 107 describes me as well; my SAH mom was always quite clear that I would have driven her batty with any more time at home (which is funny, because my scant memory of those days is lying around watching soaps with her). By my BDay is late November, so I wasn't that far behind the bulk of my peers (that is, the bulk that stretches between January and September, and then is cut down in the other months as kids go one way or the other). I don't think I was enough younger that it really affected anything, and another year would have had more downside (in terms of being bored) than any plausible social upside (I was more like 3 years behind being socially competent, not 12 months).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:08 PM
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But given that it doesn't seem to have any detectible effect on anything other than high school sports, either positive or negative, I have a hard time working up a good head of steam about it.

I first learned about this from a mom on the sidelines of Rory's kindergarten park district soccer game. She indicated that parents were redshirting for the purpose of securing the advantage in just such park district sports. I suppose the end game must have been the belief that if their kid dominated park district, she'd have the leg up on traveling teams and then high school and then...? Can't imagine sports are fun for kids whose parents are that invested.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:26 PM
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But given that it doesn't seem to have any detectible effect on anything other than high school sports, either positive or negative, I have a hard time working up a good head of steam about it.

I first learned about this from a mom on the sidelines of Rory's kindergarten park district soccer game. She indicated that parents were redshirting for the purpose of securing the advantage in just such park district sports. I suppose the end game must have been the belief that if their kid dominated park district, she'd have the leg up on traveling teams and then high school and then...? Can't imagine sports are fun for kids whose parents are that invested.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:26 PM
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But given that it doesn't seem to have any detectible effect on anything other than high school sports, either positive or negative, I have a hard time working up a good head of steam about it.

I first learned about this from a mom on the sidelines of Rory's kindergarten park district soccer game. She indicated that parents were redshirting for the purpose of securing the advantage in just such park district sports. I suppose the end game must have been the belief that if their kid dominated park district, she'd have the leg up on traveling teams and then high school and then...? Can't imagine sports are fun for kids whose parents are that invested.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:26 PM
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I suppose the end game must have been the belief that if their kid dominated park district, she'd have the leg up on traveling teams and then high school and then...?

Traumatic brain injury, pre-Parkinsons syndromes, personality changes, crime sprees, investigative journalism. You missed out on nothing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:58 PM
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I suppose I quasi-redshirted myself -- I skipped a grade in elementary school, then repeated 8th grade when I changed schools because I didn't want to be the shrimpiest nerd around. My Hebrew day school was already a year ahead of the school district in American history so I ended up learning two years of curriculum twice over, and my parents fretted for a while about giving me some kind of independent enrichment project but gave up after first giving me a Latin lesson and then proposing that I make a documentary about George Nakashima and the Moravian Tile Works.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 4:14 PM
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Your parents sound like my kind of people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 4:31 PM
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Except possibly more Hebrew.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:11 PM
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I was purple-shirted originally to a degree not now possible - I started a half year of junior infants* the January I was four so was up to a year younger than most of my class. Not only was this in the heyday of nurturing play infant classes but my mother was the actual infant teacher. (Junior and senior infants being the kindergarten equivalent, sometimes colloquially known as Low Babies and High Babies).
Academically and socially I was ok but it never occurred to me that maybe part of the reason I was poor at sport was that I was just younger. I stayed back a year when I was 15, I was still younger than a lot of the class.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:50 PM
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My birthday is in mid-December, and I was not "red-shirted" (nobody thought of such things when I was child, way back in the mists of time). So I was always one of the youngest kids (some years, probably the youngest kid) in the class. I don't think it made any difference, except that I was always among the shorter girls in the class. But it was a different world: much less competition, and far less anxiety over test scores and student "performance" and so on.

My son has a friend who attends a very posh, very expensive private school (which my son does not attend, btw). This kid is the same age as my son, but a grade behind. And he is very bright and articulate, and apparently at the head of his class. I am all but convinced that he was deliberately "red-shirted" (but I only learned that term from this post). His parents plan to send him to an elite boarding school (the same venerable East Coast institution that his father attended), with the aim of maximizing his chances for admission to an Ivy. Are they gaming the system? Probably. Do I care? No, not really. That whole game just seems so bizarre and crazy to me.

And there shouldn't be a "system" to "game" with grade-school children, anyway.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 8:56 PM
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And there shouldn't be a "system" to "game" with grade-school children, anyway.

I dunno, I feel like universal education is sort of a system by definition, and as long as it isn't absolutely uniform in administration there are going to be opportunities to game it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-21-13 1:51 AM
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