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Kindergarten Evaluation: Skipping?

By Christine.Coppa |

This morning JD and I attended what’s called “Kindergarten Tea” at the public school he will attend in the Fall. I’ve decided not to “redshirt” him (hold him back due to his age). JD turns 5 on August 30 and the first day of Kindergarten is September 6—BAM! He will certainly be one of the youngest, but I know he will be fine. When JD was two he entered a competitive enrichment daycare and is currently in Pre-K 4 at this school. Cognitively and socially he is beyond on track—and this isn’t just me raving about my kiddo. All of the incoming Kindergarteners were tested at the school last week. JD counted, sang his ABC’s, stood on one foot, identified his colors and everything else he was asked to do. He passed the hearing and eye tests. The only thing he didn’t fully prevail at was…skipping. Skipping.

My child was able to identify the word “House,” read a small sentence, spell his name, count to the point where the person testing him had to cut him off, catch a ball—but “he needs a little work on skipping” was what the tester told me. I almost laughed in her face. This is horrible. I know how this reads. I really, truly do. I apologize if I’m insulting anyone. The thing is, in my adult life I just can’t count “skipping” as a life tool. I totally get it’s all about development and ability, but JD can knock a t-ball out of the field and wins every running race. He dresses himself. He drinks from a cup and walks up and down stairs properly. He can stand on one foot and does yoga with me (yoga!). He battles me at dance contests and always has the last move. He hops like a frog and walks like a penguin. He creates teeny-tiny extravagant Lego projects, colors in the lines, sings; remembers things from months ago. He’s kind: He worries my Mom’s fish, Katelyn (who he named) is lonely in the bowl alone.

I admittedly have not practiced skipping with him—rebelling! I am somewhat anti-skipping at this point. Who skips? Do you skip? Does this make me a horrible, crazy mother? I mean, we play ball every night, do worksheets, eat fruit; I’m the first one on the T-ball field every Saturday. I’m not that concerned my son doesn’t skip as well as he should. Is there a bar for skipping? On a scale of 1 to 10 how bad does my kid suck at skipping?

In fact, there was no skipping at the tea today. There was a school tour, a school bus ride (I felt pukey), circle time and coloring. Ah, [insert sarcasm] I see myself telling JD to skip away as I leave him at his college dorm in 14 years. Something tells me he won’t—for several reasons.

Discuss. Skip!

More from me on Kid Scoop:

Talking To Your Preschooler About Homosexuality

Glamour.com’s Storked! Blogger Christine Coppa Joins Babble Kids

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About Christine.Coppa

christine-coppa

Christine.Coppa

Christine Coppa is the author of Rattled! (Broadway Books, 2009), the creator of glamour.com's Storked blog and a freelance fashion market editor. Her son, Jack, is 5 and they hail from North NJ. Her work has appeared in Glamour, First for Women, Redbook and Parenting among other publications.

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22 thoughts on “Kindergarten Evaluation: Skipping?

  1. Pauline says:

    Funny — my brother/parents were told the *same thing* in the very early 80s and it was one of the main reasons he was held back in kindergarten. Funny how some things don’t change….

  2. Kim says:

    This is a little funny… I’ve been helping my mom and dad clean and organize their house. I found my kindergarten “report card” the teachers gave out a plus or a minus for different tasks. I received a minus from my gym teacher because I needed help catching and throwing a ball. The kicker is my MOM was my gym teacher. Don’t worry about skipping, they’ll probably do a lot of it in gym class and recess. :o )

  3. arleen says:

    I can’t believe they do all of that so I’m with u on the skipping. I don’t even remember my son’s school testing him. I signed him up & I think they checked where he was level wise once school started. My only question is what if he or any kid didn’t pass what would they do…not let them in school? Just wondering…lol

  4. Christine says:

    I am dying laughing. I’m in a hotel on business tonight and right before reading this I had been in the lobby. When I came back up to my floor and saw the long, empty hallway leading to my room, I was overcome with the strongest desire to skip all the way down it. (No idea why) You’d better make sure he’s fully on target with those skipping skills . . . 30 years beyond this Kindergarten Tea, he just might want to do some inappropriate public skipping too. :)

  5. Michelle says:

    My son went for a preschool evaluation a few weeks ago. He was one week shy of turning three. The evaluator told me “he isn’t skipping, but he can gallop, so we suspect this is an emerging skill.” I never knew there was so much weight placed on skipping! Bizarre!

  6. Joyce Perkins says:

    I must of skipped skipping class….it seems whomever was your tester may have their own issues as there is no other reason for that skipping subject to be brought up. JD surpassed the tests that matter…skipping will come or not he will be fine. Your a great Mom don’t let a tester test you.:0)

  7. AmyRyb says:

    I totally get why you’re laughing this off, but let me say one thing…inevitably there’s probably going to be some sort of skipping race in Kindergarten–don’t ask me why, just an educated guess–and I’d only suggest working on skipping so JD can do it when the time comes. Not for the people that told you he needs work on it, but for him so he’s ready. I also believe I wasn’t a great skipper and I turned out ok, but I think it’s worth working on casually :)

  8. Rebeccca says:

    It’s all about “gross motor skills” and how well kids can “control” their body movement and be aware of their “space”. While yes, your son can run faster than anyone, walk like a penguin, go up and down stairs, etc. It still takes different combination of muscles and control of movement to “skip.” While no it’s not really a “life skill”, but neither is catching a ball (aka hand-eye coordination), or even “running” (aka kids who have no use of their legs), etc. So while your son is very likely just fine, i’m just explaining the importance of it to you of how the people who screened him see it. Love your blogs btw :) I’m a Speech Therapist and “screen” kids for speech and help screen for other skills, so i know how these “screening people look at things LOL!

  9. dadcamp says:

    This redshirting business is absolute nonsense.

    My son is a January baby and so he will be starting “early.” He goes to preschool in the fall, then Pre-K. He will still be 4 when starting kindergarten, not turning 5 until January.

    My oldest son just turned 5 on May 31, and he’s been doing fine in his Pre-K class, and is beyond ready to start full day Kindergarten in September.

    These redshirters, trying to get a leg up, are causing a mess for the rest of us. It is so silly. Your kid may be big, but things are going to be so dumbed down for them. You’re creating artificial greatness. Stop it. It’s okay to be challenged in life.

  10. zcmom says:

    OMG I just laughed out loud. I’ve been reading your blogs forever and LOVE them and totally relate (single mom of 2; ages 3 & 5). Funny thing is, my three year old boy seems to be a “skipper”. Instead of running with his sister/other kids, he does kind of a combo skip-run which I guess is maybe faster for him since he’s a little guy trying to keep up with the bigger kids. So here I am wishing my kid would just run and leave out the skipping part; ironic! LOL

  11. Christine.Coppa says:

    We live in a new condo building. We have giant, long hallways. I have decided, this morning, we will skip every night. I have nice neighbors, thankfully.

  12. EL says:

    I can totally appreciate your laughter. My son just had his end of pre-school eval. It was 4 pages of cognitive, social, behavioral, and motor skills. He was in great shape on everything…..except skipping. My husband and I got a good laugh out of that one! Who knew they were judging him on his skipping skills?!

  13. Christine.Coppa says:

    I know a successful mag editor who repeated first grade because he couldn’t master cutting with scissors. I’m not kidding. I had math tutors my entire life, but published a book at the age of 28. We’re not all masters of the universe and that is a-ok in my book.

  14. Stacy says:

    HA! I’m laughing w/you!!! Seriously “your son is awesome but he can’t skip so he’s out” What the… I’m sure he’ll be fine :) & i’m so happy to be reading your blog again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh & just to state… not every district is the same as far as “redshirting” goes… heck i didn’t even know WHAT that was until i looked it up… Mason will be 5 Sept. 10th but if you aren’t 5 by July 30th no go.. you have to wait no choice. so he’ll be 6 a few weeks afters school starts…

  15. Christine.Coppa says:

    Rebecca, I hear you, but JD can skip. He just isn’t skipping at the level he should be I guess. Ah, skipping. I love my problems.

  16. goddess says:

    Man Christina, your son sounds like he is excelling in all the right areas- I think ‘d be amused by the skipping thang= and not sweat it at all!

  17. Megan says:

    My son was a late July Bday(September 1 cut-off in our state) So he was one of the youngest in his class when he started kindergarten. By 2nd grade he needed to spend half the day in a 3rd grade classroom for math and reading because he was so far ahead of the rest of his 2nd grade classmates. This year(3rd grade) he ended up moving full-time to the 4th grade class right after state-testing. I was just informed by the principal that he is one of the top 5 students academically in his grade and that these 5 students will be placed in the same 5th grade class next year in order to give them a more challenging curriculum. So don’t worry about not red-shirting. My son isn’t even 9 yet and was only in the 4th grade for 10 weeks at the end of the year and he’s still excelling. Age isn’t everything

    PS: He is doing just fine socially and has a lot of friends in his new grade. One of them is spending the night at our house Friday.

  18. Tara says:

    Not all of us (Dadcamp) are “red shirting” our kids to “get a leg up”. Some kids are not mature enough. There is an entire program in our school system directed at kids in the fall birthdays (young fives – just a half day versus full day kindergarten) so they don’t start out set up to fail. My son – born in October – will not be going to kindergarten. Not so he is bigger (he already is tall) and not so he is smarter (he is really smart), but because sitting in a class for eight hours a day is not for him. Yet. His interests lie in exploring, playing in the dirt, and running around. He is not interested in sitting and looking at letters or drawing. I don’t look at it as “redshirting” him when programs have been created for the late fall birthdays.

  19. El says:

    My son is also Aug 30 and we are sending him to kinder. I’m glad he started skipping or I might be worried about his future! ;-)

  20. Marilee says:

    I am so glad you are back – I am a choice Mom and I can really relate to your posts. I don’t have any other single Mom friends so it’s really nice to hear from you. The Kindergarten decision is one I struggled with. My son E is only two weeks older than JD. He cannot skip either – it’s more of a gallop at this point. It’s super cute. I think the Kindergarten thing really comes down to the kid in question; in E’s case I decided to hold him back. It was a difficult decision and one that I agonized over. I work on computers and I know very little about education so I felt really out of element making what seemed to be such an important decision. Academically he is ready but I do not think he is socially ready. Plus he goes to a private school (it’s ages 3 – 8th grade so he is not changing schools no matter what the decision) and in private schools, at least where I live in California, it seems very common to hold kids back. I toured a few schools that did not accept kids with any later than a June birthday. Their brochures all said Sept. 1 but the realistic cutoff was July 1. Last night we met some of the incoming Kindergartner’s and the boys were so much bigger and older looking than E. It was the first time I really felt good about the decision. Luckily the director is really great and she said if he needs to move mid-year then they will do it. So I probably worried way too much but as a single parent it’s all on me.

  21. pinkflipflops says:

    haha oh man. I am a preschool teacher, and yes we do take note of their skipping, but I frankly don’t care as long as their overall traveling skills are where they need to be! I much prefer the kiddos with the school stuff down pat! ;)

  22. Rory's mom says:

    Haha. Pretty much this exact same thing happened to me when I brought my son to his Kindergarten screening. Just replace skipping with, knows his exact birth date and home address. Although he could count past 100, recognize all of his letters, write his name, recognize a number of words etc., she was a “little concerned” he did not know his birth day and address!!!! I had to bite my tongue and say we would work on these things.

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