Skip one level from N2 to K1?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Skip one level from N2 to K1?

Postby Picolo » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:35 pm

Hello KSPs,

Understand there's many bright kids' parents and educators here. Need to pick your brain here: If you have a child at N2 level and slightly more advanced than other kids (as in ie. able to sound out the first 42 sounds, can do blending and read common sight words, able to read worksheet instructions and questions on his/her own, able to read Peter & Jane to say Book 6a without any help, enjoys numbers and can do dot-to-dot to more than 150, do simple mental sums and abacus, able to read simple Chinese reader books and recognition of Chinese characters, able to write numbers and not all letters yet), would you send him to a K1 class instead?

I see the pros of keeping the boy in N2 so that he can socialise with his peers and all of them can go to P1 together. To me, the 2.5-hr kindy class is like a babysitting service to the N2 kid now, as I need to free up some time to look after the older boys. But, if the N2 kid joins a K1 class, I believe he can learn more general knowledge and science in a school setup and whatever it is, at least he is learning new things. After his K2, he can always join another kindy's K2 class. What do you think?

Picolo
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Re: Skip one level from N2 to K1?

Postby ksmummy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:40 pm

Picolo wrote:Hello KSPs,

Understand there's many bright kids' parents and educators here. Need to pick your brain here: If you have a child at N2 level and slightly more advanced than other kids (as in ie. able to sound out the first 42 sounds, can do blending and read common sight words, able to read worksheet instructions and questions on his/her own, able to read Peter & Jane to say Book 6a without any help, enjoys numbers and can do dot-to-dot to more than 150, do simple mental sums and abacus, able to read simple Chinese reader books and recognition of Chinese characters, able to write numbers and not all letters yet), would you send him to a K1 class instead?

I see the pros of keeping the boy in N2 so that he can socialise with his peers and all of them can go to P1 together. To me, the 2.5-hr kindy class is like a babysitting service to the N2 kid now, as I need to free up some time to look after the older boys. But, if the N2 kid joins a K1 class, I believe he can learn more general knowledge and science in a school setup and whatever it is, at least he is learning new things. After his K2, he can always join another kindy's K2 class. What do you think?


Why not place him in a Montessori-based kindy whereby the kid's progresses based on individual advancement? That way, you may have the best of both world: socilaising with kids of the same age as well as learning at his own pace?

You mentioned that he is still not able to write all letters yet, would he face problems with K1's writing requirment? Also, to repeat K2, isn't it worse - as in boring for him?

Just my opinion.

ksmummy
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supplement with enrichment classes?

Postby foreverj » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:07 pm

hi how abt keeping the kid in N2 but supplement with enrichment classes such as art n music (must be something that interests the child eg. learn to play an instrument). to me, if the kid is able to socialise with his peers n enjoys their company n find the curriculum a breeze, it is actually a good thing for the parents. it means the kid is likely to be at an optimal level of "giftedness" or at least very bright.

agree wif ksmummy that not able to write all letters may affect the kid's ability to match k1 requiremt. it may frustrate the child n make him feel he's not up to par with his classmates when he is in fact a whole year younger than them. suggest to at least make sure he can write before seriously consider moving him up one level, if that's even something the school allows? (btw have u sounded out the teachers becos skipping levels is obviously something that wil step on toes of school administrators. have seriously not heard of anyone in spore skipping levels in pre-school :?)

montessori sounds like good idea but ultimately i feel a good balance between inspiring creativity in the child n teaching academics beyond preschool needs to be achieved. unless the child has such an intense hunger for more advanced material, why not spend time on building other interests which wil continue to cultivate the love of learning? afterall, creativity may be a more essential ingredient towards a successful career for the child's future.

just my five cents worth :D

foreverj
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Postby radiantmum » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:38 pm

My kid's chilcare conducts both montesorri & non-montesorri classes for the same level. My kid was in non-montesorri class in N1 initially. Half way through, his school principal spoke to me and strongly encourage me to swop to montessori as he's advanced for his level. I hesitated prior to the switch as I wasn't sure about montesorri-style and whether it's just another way of paying more money :oops: Took me a while to switch. The deciding factor was when the class teacher commented that he was always wandering around and is now the last person (after reminders) to start to work on his worksheets - a clear sign to me that the self-motivated boy i know is not interested.

End of K1, teacher started him on P1 worksheets/assessment books. He is in K2 now. So far so good. Of course, I am still concern that he will loose interest when he is in Pri 1 next year but I agree with the foreverj, I kept him occupied with other activities he enjoys like music, swimming, mental abacus, teach him computer skills myself such as excel, powerpoint and even MSN ... & oh subscribe to good magazines such as Young Scientist which he is absolutely thrilled and excited to every new monthly issue.

Happy parenting - hope this helps.

radiantmum
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Postby Picolo » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:10 pm

Thanks for your inputs, ksmummy, foreverj and radiantmum.

I didn't know I have the option of putting him in a Montessori-based kindy where kids can progress according to their personal advancement. Will check it out. Thanks so much. Would I be able to tell from a kindy's name that the kindy is Montessori-based, or, where can I find a list of such kindys near my place? I stay in the West, around Bt Batok. If anyone has a good one to recommend, please let me know. Thanks.

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Re: Skip one level from N2 to K1?

Postby cnimed » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:42 am

Picolo wrote:I see the pros of keeping the boy in N2 so that he can socialise with his peers and all of them can go to P1 together.


Even in K1 half the class would not yet be reading/writing in the first few months. For me the most important thing is whether or not he enjoys his classmates. If he's very comfortable I would just leave him and provide other activities at home. But if the level of play/conversation is very different, it may be just a very frustrating/boring 2-3 hours for the child.

Good to start cultivating hobbies now, especially hobbies that take up a lot of time, hahaha.
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Postby icemountain » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:47 pm

I would keep him in N2. At this age, the focus of preschool education should be learning socialisation skills, working in groups, learning to take instructions i.e. the "softer" skills in preparing the child for the more academically focussed primary level.

If he's happy in his class, it'll do for me. Another concern of moving him up is that he may be unhappy seeing his K2 friends eventually leave for primary schools and him having to make new friends in his K2 class. Plus, even if he transfers to another kindy, he will still be learning K2 level materials all over again, for the entire year.

He sounds bright, you can do your part by encouraging his learning interests at home.

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Re: Skip one level from N2 to K1?

Postby Picolo » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:57 pm

Thanks deminic, I saw your post yesterday but didn't have time to respond immediately. Thanks icemountain for your post too.

After sourcing around briefly, I find the Montessori schools fees too expensive for me. The fee I am currently paying is only about $170/mth. Why my N2 kid is in this current (flexi-time) childcare/kindy is because it is near to the market and so I can save time - drop him off and buy some stuff quickly. If I really really cannot fetch him due to the extra school activities of my older boys, my domestic helper can always be activated. So, I'm not ready to give up all the convenience by changing school.

Though my kid has only started N2 for a month, he is very comfortable with his friends and he already has a best friend. My son can remember my mobile no. and this morning, he told me he gave my no. to her (the girl also purposely stopped me to tell me that when she saw me.) He always introduce me his classmates and even the other N2's class friends to me when I fetch him from school.

So, even if I'm prepared to transfer him to another school, I believe it is not in his interest to do so. Actually, I just found out that in this pre-school, K1 is not so easy as the kids will need to learn spelling and tingxie. :shock: My 2 older boys never had spelling and tingxie at K1 and K2 but they are still coping quite well now. Anyway, I think this N2 kid will enjoy spelling because at the beginning of this year, he 'threatened' (well, that's what it seemed to my ds2- the P1 son then) to learn the spelling words faster than his gor-gor, and insisted that I photostat a copy of the spelling list for him.

While checking on Montessori methods from the web, I realise that I actually have many similar toys and activities I bought pretty long ago, and I could introduce the suitable materials I have to my kid systematically in the afternoons. So, thanks ksmummy, foreverj and radiantmum.

And, I will keep him at N2 level at the current kindy.

deminc wrote:Good to start cultivating hobbies now, especially hobbies that take up a lot of time, hahaha.


What do you suggest? He loves to meddle with my PC,my cameras, my speakers, my mobile phone and any electronic gadgets and it's driving me crazy sometimes. :x I know, piano is time-consuming right? But, isn't it too early to learn now? He just turned 4 last month. What else?

Picolo
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Postby metz » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:19 pm

Hi Picolo,

I know, piano is time-consuming right? But, isn't it too early to learn now? He just turned 4 last month. What else?


It would really depend on your boy and your level of patience. I'm keeping my almost 4 year old at home as we (as in she and myself) decide we are not to ready to spend time away from each other. On the academic front, I have no worries as she's also pretty advanced for her age. In fact, to avoid being too focused on the academics, she's taking a couple of programmes concurrently - violin, piano, chinese, arts and ballet. On my part, it's quite easy to get her to practise the instruments because she enjoys them. Another reason is she wants to be on par with her brother (also learning both instruments). One way to determine if your son is ready for piano is to get him assessed by a piano teacher. That's what I did for my girl. :D
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Postby cnimed » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:19 am

Hi Chamonix, it's been a while. :) my kid is at home too, it gets pretty comfortable. But now I have to start thinking about primary school. :roll:

picolo,
just go with your child's interests and personality - encourage the interests and balance out the personality. my child's interests are in chess, art and construction sets. We introduced him to taekwando for confidence-building and he will be starting gym. Music and drama classes are good expressive outlets.

As long as your child finds something he's passionate about, it will take up a lot of time, even if it's just watching insects! :D As parents, we just provide them with opportunities to explore different things.
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