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(The New York Times)   Nurturing, caring and not-at-all helicoptery Manhattan parents hire tutors to get their kids ahead on the big entrance exam...for kindergarten   (nytimes.com) divider line 120
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6405 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Nov 2009 at 10:46 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-22 11:46:28 AM
jake3988: Why, in the name of all that is holy, spend 20k on private school kindergarten?

If you have that much money to waste, give it to a goddamn charity or something.


I bet they'd actually learn more from watching the Simpsons during that time.

/Dodecahedron!
//Xeebu
 
2009-11-22 11:48:05 AM
TsukasaK: Fengen: in terms of connections coming up through the grades.

Connections!? In farking grade school ????


Connections as in meeting people and making friends, yeah. When the people who are running major companies are people you went through grade schol with and have a connection with, doesn't that give you some advantage in dealing with them? It's a long-term advantage.

AgentKGB:

Would you really want to tutor 3 - 4 year olds for 12+ hours a day?

I don't have the skills to do so, though I've had several jobs working with children for extended periods. And I'd expect the people with the qualifications to do so have the drive and inclination to do it professionally. Especially for money.
 
2009-11-22 11:51:20 AM
Lance Russell's Nose: Lawnchair: Maxor: See its important that little whomever have the right sort of friends early these lifelong connections an entirely effect the level of hookers and blow he gets later in life.

There's also networking with the right fellow parents... good for your career and status. And, sending your kid to the right school so that she has the right tastes and up-to-date spending culture.

Yet, with all those intangible benefits these schools provide, it must be frustrating to know that there are kids who grew up in modular houses in Arkansas, went to mediocre public schools, and never set foot in a Kaplan, who manage to pull scores over 750 on their SATs.

I've got an acquaintance who pulled his kid out of the same public school that mine attends so that he could enroll her in a private school. He pulled her out of the top public school in the city, and perhaps the region, to enroll her in a private school that is about as good, and is paying $5000 a year in order to do so!

The bad thing is that if you ask him what she's learning there that she wasn't learning in the public school, he doesn't have an answer. Yet he swears that the education his daughter gets is head and shoulders above what she would have received. The only benefit I think they get is that he likes to brag that he cares so much about his kid's education that he's willing to spend $5000 on it.

Hope he never reads that one chapter of Freakonomics.


Why would anyone pull their kid out of Stuyvesant? The entrance exams are more difficult than any private school and the bragging rights are higher if your kid gets in.
 
2009-11-22 11:56:41 AM
Lance Russell's Nose: Fengen:
There's also a bit of game theory involved here. Since everyone else is getting tutoring, people feel the need to have their kids trained by professionals to put them in the same position. All in all, I wish I owned a tutoring business, looks like they can clean up in this kind of situation.

It looks like the progression of steroid use in bodybuilding.

First, it was the guy who worked the hardest in the gym and who had the best genetics who won. Guys whose genes weren't wired for that kind of muscle growth started roiding to be able to compete with them.

The orignal winners caught on to that and started roiding to maintain their edge over the other guys, and they were back where they started -- the guys who worked the hardest and had the best genetics won.

This high-class kindergarten prep shiat looks to be another fallacy of composition in the making.


Going back further, some people are more naturally strong. Others, wanting to be stronger, joined gyms and got personal trainers, learned the best proteins to take, the proper regiment to optimize every hour spent working out, the best foods to eat while training to maximize muscle growth. Is getting tutoring, putting in extra time and effort to pass a test, cheating?
 
2009-11-22 11:59:23 AM
jake3988: "It's quite pricey, but compared to private school, which averages about $20,000 for kindergarten, the price is right," she said of the tutoring. "I just want the opportunity to have a choice."
==================================================

$20000 for private school kindergarten?

Why, in the name of all that is holy, spend 20k on private school kindergarten?

If you have that much money to waste, give it to a goddamn charity or something.


private kindergarten schooling sounds retarded granted ... but then you get moranic farkhole comments like these telling people how to spend their own money ... its not like were talking about parents that are trying to divvy up their spendings between a crack habits and their children.
 
2009-11-22 12:01:47 PM
There have been similar services for years and years in the city where I grew up. We had a fairly decent gifted school (before magnet schools became so popular), and rich parents would pay for extra tutoring if their kids failed the initial entrance exam.

I can't comment on those kids' performance (and to be fair, some of them worked a lot harder than the kids who were naturally brilliant), but I will say that it made for a very moneyed public school. It had the best campus and faculty in the county, all thanks to the annual silent auction and other fundraisers.

/Cool story, etc.
//Of course, a lot of mid to upper middle class students got without tutoring, but you didn't see too many kids from the 'wrong' side of town.
 
2009-11-22 12:05:51 PM
AgentKGB:

"While you could hardly pass the entrance examination to kindergarten! I'll just give you the customary 2 minutes to say your prayers"


I didn't know that Wile E. Coyote could be so articulate. Now if only I could figure out what the E stands for.
 
2009-11-22 12:05:56 PM
maulrat1967:

private kindergarten schooling sounds retarded granted ....



If you had to choose between sending you child to a school where most of the students could read when they entered kindergarten vs a school where many of the students could not when they left 12th. grade which would you prefer?
 
2009-11-22 12:18:29 PM
I sent my 4 yo to pre K summer school. I did not want to hold him back a year (sept bday) so the decision was made. But- public pre-K, and public school. And yes I met a dad in that pre K that is a great connection at a company I would be happy to work for should the need arise.
 
2009-11-22 12:24:18 PM
Sumo Surfer: AgentKGB:

"While you could hardly pass the entrance examination to kindergarten! I'll just give you the customary 2 minutes to say your prayers"

I didn't know that Wile E. Coyote could be so articulate. Now if only I could figure out what the E stands for.


Ethelbert

/not kidding
 
2009-11-22 12:24:51 PM
Too much standardized learning. Kids don't get to play outside, kids don't get exposed to stuff, kids immune systems stay weak, swine flu actually kills people.

As the great George Carlin said, what ever happened to letting kids play with a stick? I don't even think kids know what a stick is anymore. I think the production of sticks got exported to China!

- "It's Bad For Ya"
 
2009-11-22 12:27:04 PM
Isn't it that a little bit goes a long way?

That is all.
 
2009-11-22 12:28:05 PM
TsukasaK: Connections!? In farking grade school ????

Work backwards:

How do you get that high-flying $5,000,000/yr CFO job? Connections with former co-workers at the big investment banks.

How do you get the $200,000/yr consulting job? Connections with your Harvard MBA buddies.

How do you get the Harvard MBA? Connections from your Ivy league undergrad and your analyst buddies.

How do you get that Ivy undergrad degree? Connections from prep school.

How do you get into the right prep school? Connections and the right primary school.
 
2009-11-22 12:32:04 PM
Could someone please tell me why the public schools in NYC/Manhattan suck so bad? If I understand correctly, NYC inhabitants consider their city to be the most AWESOME place in the world, yet their schools can't do what any farm town in a "flyover state" is capable of?
 
2009-11-22 12:34:50 PM
Pre-K seems a little early to be separating the wills from the will-nots. But then again I hated Brave New World.
 
2009-11-22 12:39:01 PM
Foxxinnia: Pre-K seems a little early to be separating the wills from the will-nots. But then again I hated Brave New World.

Hate to break it to you, but the wills and will-nots are pretty much determined before birth. What's the most accurate predictor of an adult's income? Work ethic? Intelligence? Try "father's income".
 
2009-11-22 12:40:04 PM
How else will they eventually get into the Good Ol Boys Club? That upper-level job at Goldman-Sucks isn't going to happen all by itself. Who will steal from the taxpayers if there aren't people to staff GS?
 
2009-11-22 12:47:01 PM
We know parents like this and think it is completely insane. They run every aspect of their kids lives. Everything is highly regemented and they only get the BEST for their kid. Let your kids be kids and make mistakes.
 
2009-11-22 12:47:28 PM
Noone ever said life is fair and equal, move on folks. It is their dime to spend so let them do as they will. Worry about you, and yours. muff said
 
2009-11-22 12:51:16 PM
scut207: Could someone please tell me why the public schools in NYC/Manhattan suck so bad? If I understand correctly, NYC inhabitants consider their city to be the most AWESOME place in the world, yet their schools can't do what any farm town in a "flyover state" is capable of?

ca.movieposter.com
 
2009-11-22 12:53:55 PM
Fengen:
Going back further, some people are more naturally strong. Others, wanting to be stronger, joined gyms and got personal trainers, learned the best proteins to take, the proper regiment to optimize every hour spent working out, the best foods to eat while training to maximize muscle growth.


Which works well until the naturally strong people start doing that same stuff. In the end, those with the most natural ability and the proper work ethic tend to keep winning.

Is getting tutoring, putting in extra time and effort to pass a test, cheating?

It's not cheating, but the benefits of it are diminished once everyone else starts to do it.

What really bothers me are those kids who get enough intense tutoring --cramming-- to get them through the test so that they can be placed in a program that is demanding beyond their capabilities.
 
2009-11-22 12:57:38 PM
stiletto_the_wise: Foxxinnia: Pre-K seems a little early to be separating the wills from the will-nots. But then again I hated Brave New World.

Hate to break it to you, but the wills and will-nots are pretty much determined before birth. What's the most accurate predictor of an adult's income? Work ethic? Intelligence? Try "father's income".


Citation needed.

You talking about father as in biological or father like guy who raised them? The former suggests that income is genetic, the latter that it's environment-based.

It's hard to accept without some hard statistics, especially since antecdotally it hasn't been the case for me personally.
 
2009-11-22 01:04:49 PM
T.M.S.: maulrat1967:

private kindergarten schooling sounds retarded granted ....


If you had to choose between sending you child to a school where most of the students could read when they entered kindergarten vs a school where many of the students could not when they left 12th. grade which would you prefer?


Something in between perhaps ?

T.M.S.: ...costing upward of $1,000 for several sessions

Kindergarten here costs about $33K a year. Not sure how much I am going to worry about a few grand for a tutor.


That can't be right. Or normal. Or modal. Or anything. A person really needs to be around a cross-section of society for at least a significant portion of their life. Otherwise perception gets skewed.
 
2009-11-22 01:11:33 PM
AgentKGB: drinki bird: this being a major news story is no good for me and my daughter...

my daughter is 4, and she can already read, write, add, subtract, and is starting to learn her multiplication table.

she is going to go insane if she is put in a class of kids who all still have yet to learn those things, she needs the GT program, but I am scared that all these rich parents with tutors are going to take that opportunity away from us. :(

Keep her away from the paste eaters...
On a serious note, your daughter does sound very bright and a more advanced class is probably a good idea to keep her from getting bored.


we call them window lickers
 
2009-11-22 01:12:21 PM
Fengen: Citation needed.

Admittedly, I don't remember where I read that. Probably some economics class in undergrad. Makes sense to me and jives with what I see around, but we can probably point out anecdotes both ways.
 
2009-11-22 01:13:01 PM
Lance Russell's Nose: Fengen:
Going back further, some people are more naturally strong. Others, wanting to be stronger, joined gyms and got personal trainers, learned the best proteins to take, the proper regiment to optimize every hour spent working out, the best foods to eat while training to maximize muscle growth.

Which works well until the naturally strong people start doing that same stuff. In the end, those with the most natural ability and the proper work ethic tend to keep winning.

Is getting tutoring, putting in extra time and effort to pass a test, cheating?

It's not cheating, but the benefits of it are diminished once everyone else starts to do it.

What really bothers me are those kids who get enough intense tutoring --cramming-- to get them through the test so that they can be placed in a program that is demanding beyond their capabilities.


The effects are diminished if everyone starts to do it. There are plenty of people with innate ability who aren't willing to put the work in, and therefore get surpassed by average or above-average people who have the drive to do better. In the end, people with natural talent and work ethic will do better, but I'd expect those with less of the former and more of the latter to surpass lazy people with natural ability.
 
2009-11-22 01:24:30 PM
Part of the confusion here is the fact that NYC public schools in general are not the clean, well funded institutions that the vast majority of Farkers attended. The deplorable conditions in New York make private school virtually a necessity for many families. That could mean anything from an inexpensive Catholic school to a high priced pre-ivy league type of joint.

Also, $20K is not that expensive by local standards and in most cases the parents of those children are not what you would call "rich".

Of course NYC also has the best High School in the country and it's public and absolutely free.

Good luck getting in.
 
2009-11-22 01:29:00 PM
T.M.S. I will never understand, then, why the people of NYC don't rise up and demand appropriate education for all the students. Is it because the people who can get their children out do so and leave everyone else to fend for themselves?
 
2009-11-22 01:36:38 PM
LadyDonald: T.M.S. I will never understand, then, why the people of NYC don't rise up and demand appropriate education for all the students. Is it because the people who can get their children out do so and leave everyone else to fend for themselves?

I wish I knew. Obviously education is not a priority in much of our country.

What I can say is if NYC residents did not have the "honor" of having their tax dollars used to fund schools in the rest of the country there would be many more resources available to our own kids.
 
2009-11-22 01:44:45 PM
Meet the future douchbags of America.

/school, like life, is what you choose to make of it.
//educator
 
2009-11-22 01:48:23 PM
Hey kid, you in there?

What's two plus two?

Answer me now, or you're not coming out of your mother's belly, EVER!!!

////Testing is done younger and younger these days
 
2009-11-22 01:50:41 PM
Fengen: stiletto_the_wise: Foxxinnia: Pre-K seems a little early to be separating the wills from the will-nots. But then again I hated Brave New World.

Hate to break it to you, but the wills and will-nots are pretty much determined before birth. What's the most accurate predictor of an adult's income? Work ethic? Intelligence? Try "father's income".

Citation needed.

You talking about father as in biological or father like guy who raised them? The former suggests that income is genetic, the latter that it's environment-based.

It's hard to accept without some hard statistics, especially since antecdotally it hasn't been the case for me personally.


The quick 'n dirty, because I've long lost the bookmarks for these sorts of stats...

Higher income people are generally better educated (read: college degree), believe strongly in education, and take an active role in the education of their own kids. Kids whose parents take an active interest in their education tend to do better in school and are more likely to graduate from college. College graduates tend to earn more money than non-grads.

I think I may have something more concrete in a book laying around here somewhere, but that's the nuts and bolts of it.
 
2009-11-22 02:00:09 PM
I'm sorry but wanting kids to know how to do anything but how to be kids when they enter kindergarten is just wrong. They're just not ready for much else save for very few select cases. It's fun trying to explain to Europeans what the hell is going on trying to get kindergarten kids to read.
 
2009-11-22 02:26:54 PM
BAH!

I stick earpods playing scientific lectures on my balls so that my sperm get a head start in life!
 
2009-11-22 02:29:31 PM
Maxor: Lawnchair: Maxor: See its important that little whomever have the right sort of friends early these lifelong connections an entirely effect the level of hookers and blow he gets later in life.

There's also networking with the right fellow parents... good for your career and status. And, sending your kid to the right school so that she has the right tastes and up-to-date spending culture.

Yet, with all those intangible benefits these schools provide, it must be frustrating to know that there are kids who grew up in modular houses in Arkansas, went to mediocre public schools, and never set foot in a Kaplan, who manage to pull scores over 750 on their SATs.

Isn't networking with the right fellow parents, and the culture all about a better class of hookers and blow for the whole family?


Illusion. A trick is what a whore does for money or cocaine.
Obscure?

/daughter went to Waldorf preschool, now a successful bartender
 
2009-11-22 02:30:15 PM
WhyteRaven74: I'm sorry but wanting kids to know how to do anything but how to be kids when they enter kindergarten is just wrong. They're just not ready for much else save for very few select cases. It's fun trying to explain to Europeans what the hell is going on trying to get kindergarten kids to read.

I'm a substitute teacher, and every time I get a kindergarten class, I'm amazed by how they're trying to shove learning down these five-year-old's throats. When I was in kindergarten, I played with blocks, and sometimes we did letter worksheets or something. I think the most demanding thing we did was learn how to stand in line.

Now? These kids are expected to spend a whole day in school (they get out at 2), work all day long, learn how to read, do math, and color inside the lines. So why aren't American school kids extremely advanced? This approach doesn't seem to reaping results.

And oh yes--I was always about four grades above my classmates in reading ability. How could I have done that, without an expensive school and tutoring????

I'd rather hang out with the dumb people than with people so obsessed with competition and showing how smart they are.
 
2009-11-22 02:35:28 PM
WhyteRaven74: I'm sorry but wanting kids to know how to do anything but how to be kids when they enter kindergarten is just wrong. They're just not ready for much else save for very few select cases. It's fun trying to explain to Europeans what the hell is going on trying to get kindergarten kids to read.

Well, my daughter's preschool taught her how to read. Funny thing is I just enrolled her there so she would learn how to talk--she inherited my language delay--but they covered both halves of the language coin at the same time. I honestly wonder if learning to read isn't how she learned to talk: if the extra stimulation to the linguistic parts of her brain was necessary to get them in gear. Sort of like kicking an especially lazy dog to make it get off the porch. Hell, I didn't learn to speak until the first month or two of kindergarten, so there's precedent in the family.

I know, I know, cool story sis. And with my cool story said, I admit I regard anything a kid learns before Grade 1 as a bonus--nothing to say no to if it shows up, but nothing to angst over and spend money on if it doesn't--and under no circumstances would I spend a grand on prep for a multi-grand kindergarten. That selfsame moolah could get a kid in a poverty-stricken country into school period, never mind whether it's a better school than the Joneses' choice.
 
2009-11-22 02:59:08 PM
Helen_Arigby: WhyteRaven74: I'm sorry but wanting kids to know how to do anything but how to be kids when they enter kindergarten is just wrong. They're just not ready for much else save for very few select cases. It's fun trying to explain to Europeans what the hell is going on trying to get kindergarten kids to read.

Well, my daughter's preschool taught her how to read. Funny thing is I just enrolled her there so she would learn how to talk--she inherited my language delay--but they covered both halves of the language coin at the same time. I honestly wonder if learning to read isn't how she learned to talk: if the extra stimulation to the linguistic parts of her brain was necessary to get them in gear. Sort of like kicking an especially lazy dog to make it get off the porch. Hell, I didn't learn to speak until the first month or two of kindergarten, so there's precedent in the family.

I know, I know, cool story sis. And with my cool story said, I admit I regard anything a kid learns before Grade 1 as a bonus--nothing to say no to if it shows up, but nothing to angst over and spend money on if it doesn't--and under no circumstances would I spend a grand on prep for a multi-grand kindergarten. That selfsame moolah could get a kid in a poverty-stricken country into school period, never mind whether it's a better school than the Joneses' choice.


I am wondering why you, her parent, didn't teach her to read.
My daughter addressed the invites to her 5th b day party with little help from me.

/simple, really
 
2009-11-22 03:09:54 PM
I believe that getting a kid in one these "prestigious" kindergartens is somehow more for the parents to confirm their social status than for the welfare of the child. Pretty damn disturbing actually.
 
2009-11-22 03:17:56 PM
Work hard, pigs.

Because EVERYONE in the world is watching you, judging you.

Your life is to make money. You are your money.

Go make money, slave.
 
2009-11-22 03:31:19 PM
DaShredda: Work hard, pigs.

Because EVERYONE in the world is watching you, judging you.

Your life is to make money. You are your money.

Go make money, slave.


You sound poor and bitter.
 
2009-11-22 03:31:21 PM
scut207: I believe that getting a kid in one these "prestigious" kindergartens is somehow more for the parents to confirm their social status than for the welfare of the child. Pretty damn disturbing actually.

The Hell you say!!
 
2009-11-22 03:37:24 PM
Lance Russell's Nose:
I've got an acquaintance who pulled his kid out of the same public school that mine attends so that he could enroll her in a private school. He pulled her out of the top public school in the city, and perhaps the region, to enroll her in a private school that is about as good, and is paying $5000 a year in order to do so!

.


Hiring coaches so your kid can get a high score on a kindergarten entrance exam is just absurd, no doubt. But I can see spending the money on a private school simply becuase public school administrators are some fo the sorriest pieces of shiat in American society.
 
2009-11-22 04:15:34 PM
scut207: I believe that getting a kid in one these "prestigious" kindergartens is somehow more for the parents to confirm their social status than for the welfare of the child. Pretty damn disturbing actually.

Let me guess. You went to a school that looked more like The Breakfast Club than Cooley High.
 
2009-11-22 04:50:22 PM
Here's a story:

I remember taking the gifted-kindergarten test when I was four. With no prep, I tested well. This got me into the gifted program in my rural public school. The program wasn't great, but it allowed some time for independent study.

Now I'm at the University of Chicago, a pretty decent school. While I was first jealous of my more privileged classmates who got to go to fancy prep schools, I realized soon that they lacked something. The kids who were primed from an early age for "success" only coast through school. The kids who had to struggle to get a higher education tend to work harder, learn more, and take more risks. Of course, there are exceptions on both sides.

I wouldn't trade my past education for anything. It taught me so much about the value of hard work and perseverance. I've noticed that the kids with helicopter parents and a trust fund don't know what to do if anything doesn't go as planned. The rest of us, raised in the real world, just deal with it.

So...test prep for kindergartners is ridiculous.
 
2009-11-22 05:09:57 PM
I think the sickest thing in this whole story is that these parents are paying god-awful amounts to teach kindergarteners. What in the HELL could possibly be so tough to teach a 5 year-old that you need to drop some major G's to get it done? Anecdote alert: I was very low on reading ability for my age when I was 4 or 5 or so. So my mom took me aside after school every day for an hour, and became an active part of my education. She looked everything up (before the days of the interwebs), made flashcards, the whole deal. After that, for the rest of my school career I always came up around the 99th percentile in reading tests. Private schools, in later grades or areas with absolutely disgraceful public schooling, may make some sense. Having a professional tutor your very young child (if they have no severe learning disabilities), however, should be punished with a punch in the throat. Be an active part of your child's education god damnit.
 
2009-11-22 05:20:33 PM
So when these parents have managed to get their children into Kindergartens for gifted children when their children are not gifted, what are they going to do when it becomes obvious that they cannot keep up with the curriculum? Parents you need to allow your children to naturally develop at that age and only concentrate on numeracy and literature when they show an interest, that way your child will enter a kindergarten when they are ready and that kindergarten will be in accordance to their needs and intellectual level.
I also believe any test for giftedness should not include questions that can be learned by rote; that is no counting to 20 or saying the alphabet, but puzzle questions or simple problems whereby the child needs to work out a solution. There is a difference b/w memory and the ability to think of different scenarios that cannot be learned by repeatedly saying the same thing.

My daughter can count to 10 and that includes understanding that an object represents 1 or that 5 objects represent 5 but I believe that started due to a toy vacuum cleaner that counts as you push it; I do not consider that a form of advanced intelligence at the age of 22 months because she is always pushing the vacuum cleaner and thus I consider it just a good memory. However, the ability one day for her to count backward with never having anything that showed her that and because I refused to because I was concerned about her becoming confused. Also with her one day shoving a face cloth into the plug hole of the bath after I removed the plug and after it stopped the water going down, well at least to the naked eye, and then saying "fixed it" is to me more of an indication that she does have the intelligence to work out problems that she has never come across or been shown. However, even with that I will not push her and I will allow her to only to go over numbers and letters when she wants, which seems to be as soon as she gets out of bed and before she gets out of bed.

Yes as a parent I would like to think that she is intelligent, but I will let someone who is a professional in that area tell me that rather then rely on myself, lest my ego get in the way and blur the truth.
 
2009-11-22 05:28:19 PM
drinki bird: this being a major news story is no good for me and my daughter...

my daughter is 4, and she can already read, write, add, subtract, and is starting to learn her multiplication table.

she is going to go insane if she is put in a class of kids who all still have yet to learn those things, she needs the GT program, but I am scared that all these rich parents with tutors are going to take that opportunity away from us. :(


If your child is advanced then she will pass the tests without you having to pay the tutors. You may want her to go over some practice tests just so she is not nervous, but you should not have to pay for multiple sessions just so she can appear more intellectually (spelling) advanced then she is. So stop worrying.
 
2009-11-22 05:56:03 PM
Look, I'm as willing to bash idiot over the top parents as the next guy, but let's not dilute terms here. A helicopter parent is someone who continues to be involved too much in a child's life after he should be out of the house and fending for himself, like parents who try to do their children's job interviews.

These nutcases probably will turn out to be helicopter parents, but they are not at this time.
 
2009-11-22 06:22:02 PM
You don't need to spend money on educating your child. Seriously.

I went to a public school for my entire life. My first public school didn't introduce us to letters until the 1st grade. I grew up thinking that was normal until I learned most start in pre-school. Still, I turned out fine. And read very well.
 
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