The Cutting Edge

In more ways than one.

Ran into an article referencing homeschool for little guys who are "redshirted" from kindergarten.  (Catchy phrase, that.  You could write a new research paper on a term like that, I’d bet, says oh, so cynical me.) S and C with Susan at future in-laws

I ran into a familiar name; Dr. Lillian Katz.  Familiar name with our experience of Dr. Katz and the University Primary School.  Apparently UPS is now Investigating The World Through The Project Approach as opposed to Investigating The World Through The OpenClassroom Approach of 20 years ago.  (That approach worked for one kid and not the other in the ‘classroom’ despite wonderful teachers like Mary Jo and Polly.)  And it’s now under the special education umbrella. That’s interesting.

Could have guessed she’s something like the Pooh-Bah co-director of the Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative.  Oh, my…smack dab in the middle of the very busy Early Learning Project as well as a “Practical Strategies” section of the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL).   

From the Practical Strategies section with my ‘revisions’:

Scripted Stories for Social Situations Tip Sheet (for caregivers’ use)

I go to Preschool (on the bus) –Not.  I would have to climb up the bus steps.

I go to Preschool (in the car) –Not. It’s ok to stay home, isn’t it?  Isn’t it??

What Do We Do In Circle? –Spin

I Can Be a Super Friend –I help my mommy mix up chocolate chip cookies.

I Can Stay Safe –When I’m with my family

I Can Use My Words– To tell people that I love my teddie, my blankie and my family

Our experiences with UPS began our slow learning adventure about our kids’ education forever ago.  And we talked then about homeschooling after the older kids’ classes were dumped so that Dr. Katz could concentrate on her ‘cutting edge’ early childhood studies.  At the time it was out of our comfort area for various reasons to do that. 

One thing I remember about Dr. Katz was that she didn’t have a way with people, let alone kids.  I think that’s obvious when I see what she allowed in print about her twin grandsons.

But she did ok studying kids through a one way mirror, I guess.  Maybe not.  A researcher that has an obvious bias about “redshirting” with the use of anecdotal evidence doesn’t seem like much of a researcher to me.  But what’s new in the world of education research

Based on anecdotal evidence, however, researchers have begun to question the benefits, which Katz believes are short-lived. She has watched her 13-year-old twin grandsons, who were redshirted, struggle socially.

The boys are the oldest in their class. The children who are their age but in the next grade look down on them, she said.

"As kids get older they compare themselves to others of the same age," Katz said. "They seemed to do well academically, but now they are complaining."

According to Katz’s research, redshirted students had more behavior problems than their peers. Some may have had special needs or learning disabilities that were not diagnosed; instead they were dismissed as immaturity.

And also included in the Star-Telegram article, Brigitte Gimenez seems to understand little people and their uniqueness.

"There’s nothing magic about the number 5," she said. "All children are gifted. Some just open their packages later than others."


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