UCB Parents Advice

Schools & Non-English Speaking Kids

Advice and recommendations from the UCB Parents mailing list. This page is brought to you by UC Berkeley Parents Network

Back to: Advice about Schools

First or Second Grade?

I shall come to UBC as a visiting scolar for the academic year 99-00 with my family. Our children do not speak english. The older one will be seven in November, and I would like to hear opinions whether to put him to the first or second grade? He has been going pre-scool for one year and can consentrate on his work. He recognizes some, but not all letters, and can, for example, write his name. He can do simple additions and knows a lot about science (and loves it).
Markku 7/99
I have a daughter who will be 7 in November. I think it's expected that children not only know their letters but are reading, at least to some extent, by the end of first grade. It sounds as if your son's skills would be more appropriate for an entering first-grader than an entering second-grader. And, of course, there is the additional burden of coping with instruction in a foreign language.

Your son is at kind of a borderline age, anyway. You may or may not know that in California, the cutoff date that decides which grade your child will attend is December 2. My daughter will be entering 2nd grade this fall, but it is not unusual for parents of children with fall birthdays to hold them back a year. This is especially true of boys, who are typically a bit slower to develop, and in fact, in my daughter's classroom were 2 or 3 boys who were a year older than she. For all these reasons, I would suggest you enter your son in first grade.

There are a number of good preschools in the area, including several in Kensington. If you can provide a little more information on what you look for in a preschool, as well as how you will be getting about (car, bus, etc.) I may be able to make some specific recommendations.

Good luck!
Greg (7/99)

UCB Parents Home Page UCB Parents Recommendations UCB Parents Advice

The opinions and statements expressed on this page are those of parents who belong to the UC Berkeley Parents Network and should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of California, Berkeley.