UCB Parents Advice
Schools & Non-English Speaking Kids
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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).
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
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.
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.