Help! My son is going to flunk Kindergarten!

Devinn - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 104 moms have responded )

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I don't know what to do for him. We have tried to teach him his alphabet and numbers since he was very young and he still doesn't understand. We have gotten him tons of games to help him, but he won't play them right so he can learn and he is so bull headed it's frustrating. The homework just keeps getting harder and he doesn't understand what he's being asked to do. There's no way we could ever afford a tutor. If he doesn't catch up by the end of the year, should we hold him back?

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Tracy - posted on 01/24/2010

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Definitely hold him back. My son struggled through pre-k, kinder, first and second grades. (he was the youngest in his class) And we kept asking the teachers whether or not we should hold him back. He was miserable up to and through 2nd grade. He's a very smart boy, just matured at a different rate. We held him back finally in the 2nd grade. Luckily Justin is a very easy going kind of child and it didn't affect him adversely as I had feared. He still talks about how he "did" 2nd grade twice. I wanted to hold him back in Kinder, and in 1st, but the teachers fought me. They fought me when I wanted to do it in 2nd grade too, but we had a meeting with the principal, teacher, counselor and vice principal. Justin has never been happier now in school. It's still not his favorite thing to do (he's definitely ALL boy), but he doesn't struggle with the school work like he used to!! He's now in 4th grade and doing well... stays on the A or AB honor roll.

From this experience I also learned that kids will mature and learn at their own rate. DON'T LET THE SCHOOL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO! He/She is your child and you know what is best for them. Good luck. I know it's frustrating.

Maricris - posted on 01/24/2010

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holding back is no big deal... maybe he's at the stage of finding his own way of studying. that's just the way it is. i use to struggle also with my son. i was not able to force my son to study, he even cries if we try to tutor him. what we did, we talk to him tried to understand why he doesnt want to study. apparently he wants to learn on his own, no tutors.. in the end, he graduated 2nd place on KG. he's on 5th grade now and still with honors... maybe, observation and communication with your kid will help.

Kell - posted on 01/23/2010

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i have read a lot of the posts and great advice
have you had his eye site tested? his hearing? is he at the front of the class or the back?
could he be dyslexic?
im asking these as a few of my friends kids were the same and 1 found out her son couldnt see the board, 1 found out her daughter couldnt hear the teacher..well she could but it was like it was muddled and 1 found out her son was dyslexic....after 5 years in school and getting no where, now they are all doing fantastic, maybe see if she can give him work but in a diff way? some kids just learn differantly than others, one friends son gets the same work as everyone else but its set out differantly as in worded diffarent

Caryn - posted on 01/23/2010

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My opinion is if he is not caught up let him repeat kindergarten. It is better than him being held back later on.

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2010

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I am a Kindergarten teachers aide and I work in 2 classes where we have repeat kindergarteners. They are totally benefitting from this 2nd go 'round. They are now eager to learn and doing well. Repeating kindergarten isn't all that bad. The kids do not know any different at this age either so socially it's not a big deal

Danielle - posted on 01/23/2010

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Have u ever tried Flash Cards.....Also they dont have teachers assistants that will help him one on one.....Also as far as holding him back if u feel like he isnt doing well i think it would be smart to hold him back,because 1st grd. is way harder than kindergarden....

Meegan - posted on 01/23/2010

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My daughter is 4 with a mid October birthday. We made the decision last year that we would keep her an extra year before sending her off to kindergarten. She is not behind her peers at all, but she will only be a kid once. School will be there and she will have 18 years of it ahead of her! We need to enjoy our children more and not push them to grow up so fast. The more people I speak to about the decision the more confident I am that we made the right one!

Cecy - posted on 01/23/2010

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Have you asked to get him tested? My daughter was having the same issues. Your school may have certain programs in place as far as testing to make sure you are not missing something. I took my daughter to the local University to get tested. They are more receptive on what your concerns are. Since my son is taking Speech classes there I spoke with the Director about my daughter and she connected me with the correct people. It turns out my daughter processing is slower than other kids. She is now given extra time to do tests and she was assigned a reading specialist at school. It has really helped her. She is now at her reading level and she is not frustrated with tests anymore.

Janice - posted on 01/23/2010

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Did u try the Letterland book and Cd , how old is your son , have you had an eye test or hearing test to rule out those.

Kerryn - posted on 01/23/2010

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I would recommend holding him back at this stage especially if his teacher recommends it. Also you need to ease up on the pressure and let him develop. I work in a preschool and I can tell you from experience that all children learn at different speeds. My son is 10 and is in the gifted program at his school. He didn't learn to write his name until he was 5 and was still learning his alphabet and numbers in grade 1. Just relax and allow him to develop at his pace, accept that all children are different. This goes for mental development as well as physical development. If he was a little short would you make him do stretching exercises everyday?

Tara - posted on 01/22/2010

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I was wondering if his teacher has recommended him being tested? My son struggled with kindergarden and grade 1 as he had no interest in being there, but he also didn't seem to pay attention or hear directions and his hearing was tested as fine. I took my son to the doctor and she felt there wasn't a problem other than he just was not wanting to be there. Hard thing to deal with when they have so many years to go..lol Alot of boys seem to do better starting school a year later than some other children and will do significantly better when they redo kindergarden or grade 1. I really worried about if there was something wrong with my son when he was having difficulties and would have been fine having him do a redo year. I also noticed that the difference in teacher's can make a huge difference. Good luck, i wish you the best.

Stacie - posted on 01/22/2010

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Have your child evaluated he may have a learning delay and has to be taught a little differently just change his setting I realized that my daughter at age 3-4 not getting the work in day care I had her going to early intervention for help . do this now help him now for his benefit good luck

Pammy - posted on 01/22/2010

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I think it will help your son greatly if you allow him to stay back nd repeat the grade over. Some children are just not ready. I also think that his teacher would probly recommend that he should repeat the grade again. If you feel that this would be at your son's best interest, then do what you feel is best for him and you as well. Stick with him and keep encouraging him that he will grow to be very smart littleboy and that your proud of him. It will be okay, just do what you have been doing . It will click in. Best of luck to you both!

Misty - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had the same problem with my son. He turned 5 the first day of school. He didn't really want to do any work at home or at school. He didn't enjoy it at all. The teacher had warned us that he would be held back. He was doing better the second semester, but had not caught up to what he should have. There is nothing wrong with your son.
My son is now in his second year of Kindergarten. It was really amazing the whole year last year I had to struggle with him. Now he gets his homework done and is up to where he should be at his age. His test scores improved 110% just within the first 2 months of school. Don't worry, it is much easier to have them stay back in Kindergarten than 5th grade. I have had both. Good luck to you, don't worry he will be just fine.

Tabitha - posted on 01/22/2010

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My daughter flunked kindergarten because she refused to talk to anyone.She would not talk at all.And Then in 1st grade they got her help.She still wouldnt talk but they still found ways to help her.She didnt start talking til 9th grade lol and all because she couldnt comprehend certain things! Now she is graduating this year! So dont fret, its probably for the best and it will all work out! Just keep helping him learn at home.

Shari - posted on 01/22/2010

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My daughter also struggled in Kindergarten. She tried hard but just wasn't developmentally ready. We decided to repeat her K. year and it was one of the best decisions I've made. She is now in fourth grade and doing extremely well, am Honor Roll student. Some kids just need time to mature.

Wanda - posted on 01/22/2010

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My son is in Pre-K but he is the same way about his letters. His teacher was so concerned that she wanted him evaluated. We don't know the full outcome of the tests yet, but the state usually has a testing center if you feel that your child may have a learning disability. This was hard for me to accept at first, but he apparently has a delay in communication & therefore gets frustrated because he can't understand some of the instructions his teacher & others give him, so he just doesn't do what he's told sometimes. This isn't really ADD or anything but some children have a harder time with understanding instructions & may possibly have language & communication delays. This testing was free, it involves a child pyschologist, speech therapist, & other professionals, one of them was a kindergarten teacher who now assists in testing. I have to go to a eligibility meeting in 2 weeks to see if he qualifies for assistance. If he does most of the time a therapist will come to the child's home school (whatever school he is in & spend extra time with him during his school day. They focus on the child's weaknesses so he may be pulled during a time of day that is more focused on a strongpoint like art if he is better in that category. The goal here is to get them balanced in all the aspects of learning, don't put all the stress on yourself. I felt guilty too, but now I'm glad I went the extra mile. My son actually enjoyed the testing-it's mostly stuff they learn in pre-k anyway. I was also given a free website by the child psychologist that my son whose a visual learner can use as a tool to help memorize his letters it is STARFALL.COM. My son loves that he can understand how to use the computer to see the letters & actually enjoy learning them, not just writing them down. Just check out your local county or state listings or speak to his teacher, as most of these evaluations are free & paid for by the government.

Robin - posted on 01/22/2010

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I had problems with my son in kindergartens so, I hired a tutor. During her tutoring sessions, she picked up a visual problem. My son has 20/20 vision, but it was "how" he was seeing the letters. He was diagnosed with convergence excess and received vision therapy for 6 months. I felt so bad after I found out what was wrong because I had no idea he was having problems. The school wanted to test him for ADHD or something!! I'm so glad that I did it. I continued the tutoring to catch him up to the other kids in his class and now he's reading at grade level. It's something to look into. The teachers and staff don't know much about vision therapy. Believe me, it works!! :)

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YES! YES!YES! from experience i can tell you that my son is in first grade and it is tons faster and harder than kindergarden. if you dont feel he is ready, better to hold him back now, while he is young and can make friends easily than to have to do it when he is older and understands better what is happening. it doesnt mean that he is dumb or youre not doing your job!!!! some children just take a little longer to mature. having another go-round now will just make him a better 1st grader!!!! =) good luck!

Cris - posted on 01/22/2010

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Don't be afraid to keep your son in Kindergarten for another go-round. My husband was held back in kindergarten. He graduated top of his class from Harvard and is an executive in a Biotech. I think he turned out okay. :-)

Gillian - posted on 01/22/2010

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GOOD!!! I know that sounds funny, but it is for the best. Boys mature later than girls, so this really isn't uncommon. I had one son that should have been held back in Kindergarten, but I pushed for him to move forward. Well, guess what happened?? Yup, he had to be held back in First Grade. Not only that, but he got sooo frustrated with school, that even now, he hates it. Do it now... please!!

Linda - posted on 01/22/2010

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I think that you should met with a counselor at the school so that your child could get a few accomodation the help jump start him in school. He mayjust need that bust to get him to the level. I see this happen every year. I am a secretary to a counselor. They don't have to put him se but have him tested to see where he qualify for help at. Please do it don't give up. Letting him be retained should be the last result

Laura - posted on 01/22/2010

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Have you tried talking with his Doctor and maybe he can give you some good Ideas

Phelicia - posted on 01/22/2010

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Oh, I forgot to mention in my last post that your son may have a unique learning style. Schools teach primarily to visual and audio learners. If you have a tactile or experiential learner on your hands, they will be at a natural disadvantage. Try new teaching techniques at home. One great thing I read about for alphabet memory is to have him make his own ABC book. He can go through magazines and select pictures to glue on construction paper, and trace the words and letters on the page. Also, you can get him plastic letters to play with or lettered blocks to stack. This my sound babyish, however, you can ask him about each letter, talk about the phonetic sounds they make, and eventually "build" words. If he is a tactile or experiencial learner, these things should really help him because he is involved in the process more.

Tahvia - posted on 01/22/2010

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Hey Make the learning fun! give him stickers and stuff for getting the correct answer if he messe up let him know what the answer is and have him practice more...that should help....go over with him what he learnt in school that day every day when he gets home from school.Good Luck..

Phelicia - posted on 01/21/2010

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My friend had this happen to her little girl. The first thing to consider is that it is not a crisis if your child does not pick up on these things right away. Somewhere between now and his graduation from High School, he will have it all down. Some children just bloom later than others. That doesn't make them less gifted, just unique. If you have ruled out any learning challenges for your son, I should say that holding him back will only benefit him, since social pressure to achieve within a school setting can place so much pressure on a child who is not preforming like the others. I homeschool my kids, and find that it is a wonderful way to help them achieve at thier own rate. I had to put my daughter back a level in math when I started, but she mastered it quickly and has achieved well, and it is now a subject she enjoys rather than hating. If you find that he isn't thriving, he may require more one on one attention.

Heather - posted on 01/21/2010

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hold him back if that is what he needs, its better now at a young age than in a higher grade!!! maybe another year is all he needs!! you cant expect him to be able to read in 1st grade and do the other work if he cant get the alphabet down!!! just keep working with him he will get it, some of us just take a little longer to understand I was the same way with Math, looking back on it now 'I am like WOW it was really that easy what was my problem" not everyone will always be on the same page or learning at the same rate. Maybe a different learning technique might work, incorporate it into play time without it being a real sit down lesson, you never know what might work!! good luck

Ana - posted on 01/21/2010

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Find out as soon as you can about Learning Disabilities Center. Check with your son's school district about screening tests. They are free of charge and if your kid qualifies, he will be in a special school. He will have the support of a team of educators (psychologists, social workers, therapists, etc) who will evaluate him from time to time and give you a feedback. My son presented a problem in Pre-school and he is in this special school. This is a public service, all free of charge. Next year, during Kindergarten, if necessary, this special education will continue.

Ann - posted on 01/21/2010

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Let him repeat, my son did 2 years of pre K . so worth it. Kindergarten today is not like it was when I was in school , by the time they get out of K they are suppose to know all the sounds of the ABC's , the special sounds ch, th, ay, ir, ou, ow, etc. you would belive it, I had to go ask the teacher WHAT . They are reading and doing simple math. In my daughters 1st grade class they have 15 spelling words a week , dictation sentences, and in math they are basiclly doing simple algebra, 6+ __ = 8 . telling time, knowing how many days in a year, inches in foot, foot in a yard, and money. Before the year is up they will start simple multipication.The best advice is to be very active in your childs education. Don't be afarid to ask the teacher for help,so you can help your child at home. We have quite a few parents who don't even look at their childrens folder to know what is going on in class.Parents and teacher have to work together!

Stacy - posted on 01/21/2010

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My best friend had some trouble with her youngest boy last year in kindergarten. He couldn't focus, and was distruptive ect... She decided to talk to his doctor, cause she couldn't handle the mood swings he had, or his falling behind in class anymore. Turns out he is adhd, and some type of autism. I am by no means saying that this could be your sons problem, but if you are real concerned, talk to his doctor. See if he can help you find a solution. I guess it boils down to how you feel. How old is he? sometimes even though we think they are ready for school, they aren't. Go over all your options before making any decisions. Your his mom, you will know what is best for him.

Kathy - posted on 01/21/2010

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Holding back a kindergartener nowadays seems to be tougher for the parents than the child. My daughter (she's a November who started 'early' and had pre-school) had some focus issues in Kindergarten due to her BFF from pre-school being in the same class. As a result, she had some gaps in her learning. She passed, but the teacher was concerned. We were afraid that she'd end up with some sort of brand or stigma for being 'held back,' so we didn't hold her back. In hind sight, it would have been the perfect time, as we were changing schools anyway, so none of the kids at the new school would have known. Now in 5th grade she still seems to have some difficulties with reading, which is something we can trace back to Kindergarten.
My 2 year olds seem to be learning quite a bit from Noggin and Sesame street. Learning disguised as watching TV.
Talk to the teacher to see how your son acts in class, there are many things that could also be contributing to his 'bull headedness.' I know of one child who needs extra protein in his breakfast to make sure he 'settles down to learn.' He may also could have dislexia, or some other learning 'impairment,' although I have no idea how educators test for these things at such young ages.
Keep your chin up, get involved, and don't feel like a failure for holding him back, it's pobably oneof the best things you can do for him right now.

Robin - posted on 01/21/2010

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Relax in most states Kindergarten is not mandatory..it doesn't even count. My son skipped KG and went straight into first grade. Find hyour little one an after school pre KG class and see if that helps some churches offer them for no charge and some libraries even offer after school tutoring for free..Just breathe..I'm in school for teaching and know how hard KG can be for some children..Don't make a decision to hold you child back until you see what summer holds...children learn from other children in the off season of school. Find him a co-op learning group for the summer or start your won with some friends.

Bobbie - posted on 01/21/2010

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I have a four year old boy.. and im a stay at home mom. If games arent working for you I found that magnetic letters and numbers that you put on the fridge work. When im in the kitchen, he is too and I yell out words then tell him the first letter and he has to find it... or make him count his fav toys and such then hes gotta find that number. Hopefully you can get him to learn by playing into his favorite things, like ive had to count power rangers i dont know how many time... and I got a Fridge DJ from leapfrog that really seemed to help since its number and letters to music, along with classic tunes.

Donneta - posted on 01/21/2010

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They say boys aren't ready as soon as girls. It is true. My son repeated kindergarten and I am glad. It was frustrating at the time but I am thankful now. If they go on not completely understanding it is only going to get harder on them when the rest of the class moves on. My son was also very stubborn but after repeating kindergarten he is doing fine now. In fact his last grade card (he is in 3rd grade) was A's and B's. If he doesn't understand I would consider it. There is nothing wrong with them repeating and it doesn't mean there is anything wrong. He could just not be ready. Best of luck to you.

Karla - posted on 01/21/2010

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i held my daughter back in kindergarten and it helped her out a lot. and check with the school about a tutor. the school that my kids go to has tutoring after school and it is free. both of my kids stay after if they need help in something,mydaughter is in the 5th grade now and is doing great. i hope this helps.

Melissa - posted on 01/21/2010

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Is he an early five? Which my son turned five in June and then started school in August. So he was early. I find that boys tend to take longer to adjust especially if they are younger. My son is now in first grade and doing wonderful. Although he was diagnosed with ADHD 2 months into kindergarten. I think if we didn't catch on to his problem earlier and deal with it, he would have had to do kindergarten again. Which I don't think is that big of a deal. Talk with your pediatrican if your really worried about him. Good Luck!

Yatta - posted on 01/21/2010

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If he is not getting it hold him back. I see no reason to promote him to the next grade if he could not get the previous assignments. They jus get harder and harder!

Have u tried gettin someone his age to come and help with the games to get a better understanding from his peers!! There was a little boy in sons first grade class who couldnt get the work but when another student helped he got it. He paid more attention to the kids.

Myra - posted on 01/21/2010

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Absolutely, each grade plays off of the previous year. The school should be offering additional help. We made the alphabet a game. I wrote the letters on index cards, if she could identify the letter it went in her pile, if not, it was mine and I would say the letter I was getting. She knew her letters very quickly as she didn't want me to have any of the cards....good luck!

Diana - posted on 01/21/2010

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Definitely. Holding him back would be my decision if it were my son. At this age being held back doesn't carry the stigma that it might in later years. Better to have him repeat kindergarten and understand what he's doing than to push him ahead and find him falling further and further behind. I used to teach first grade and if a child doesn't know letters and some basic sight words by that time it is very difficult for him/her to function. My son is in 2nd grade and I volunteer in his classroom as I did last year in first grade. There is at least one student who probably should have been held back and wasn't. He gets very frustrated during spelling tests with even the simplest word families (although not as simple as first grade words). I agree with others that you should talk to the teacher and see what he/she suggests as far as helping him along. If his birthday is later, that could be part of the problem. Boys seem to not be as ready as girls if they're younger, although that is not always the case. See what the school can so for you but staying in kindergarten an extra year would be very beneficial. If he likes his teacher you might request the same one for next year or you could request to have him placed in another classroom next year.

Angie - posted on 01/21/2010

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I had the same problem when my son was in kindergarten. He had two years of preschool and still couldn't identify his letters or numbers half way through kindergarten. I tried having him glue his letters and numbers on cardboard with sand, cherrios, grass, seeds, and other touchy feely items and that really helped. He loves being hands on and for him that was fun. I also took my finger and "drew" letters on his back, letting him feel that gentle pressure as he guessed by feel what letter i was making. He moved quickly with these techniques and now he is in second grade and doing very well (we chose not to hold him back). I hope this helps, good luck.

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If your son is having such troubles, it might be a good idea to take him to the doctor to see if he has a learning disability. Some just need a little extra boost or need things explained differently. Some of my children have learning disabilities and it just took a little extra help and patience, but then click they got it! They are highly intelligent, but just had troubles with focusing on things and processing things. They are now doing really well dn it's exciting seeing the difference!

Elaine - posted on 01/21/2010

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I was a kindergarten teacher for 6 years and a 1st grade teacher for 2 years so I have seen children struggle in each grade. I do think its best to hold your son back for a year and give him "the gift of time." But I would also talk to the teacher and see if he/she has any concerns about learning disabilities or any other issue that could be delaying his learning. You should also find out if your county has an intermediate unit or early intervention center and see if he qualifies for testing (sometimes it can be expensive). If your child is a young 5 (summer birthday) it is very common for this to happen, especially with boys. Don't feel bad about holding him back, children at this age don't see it as "weird" or "bad" I always talked about how great Kindergarten is and how much fun it is and sometimes children stay in Kindergarten for 2 yrs.

Good luck with your decision!

Renee - posted on 01/21/2010

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my suggestion is to look into getting him tested. it may be nothing, but better to have all the information than not. my son is now in 6th grade and i had him tested at 3. we went through a lot and the school district has provided him with many services. you can't get the services if he is not tested. try all avenues. it will put your mind at ease and may reallyl help your son.

Kristie - posted on 01/21/2010

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Don't worry if your son needs to be held back, as so many of the other posters said, all kids mature differently and he may not be ready. My brother, who has a summer birthday, was held back in first grade because he just wasn't interested in learning. It was the best thing my parents could have done, because from that point on he excelled in school and is now a computer engineer.

ANN - posted on 01/20/2010

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Have to talked with / met with your son's school? You need to look at what interventions have been done and / or could be done to assist your child with basic kdg. skills. Also check out his vision - I just had a student in my kdg. class get glasses and we see a HUGE improvement in his ability to read / write letters and numbers!

Devinn - posted on 01/20/2010

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Thank you everyone for the support. I feel like it really isn't such a horrible thing to hold him back if that is what he needs. Oh and no he isn't a younger five yr old. His birthday is in April. We have been trying to get him into some type of tutoring program, but are not getting a lot of help. But I have to report that for Christmas we got him a leapster and in the last few days I have noticed that he is recognizing more letters and is doing really well with the sounds. Even if he doesn't recognize the letter, if you tell him what letter, he usually knows the sound it makes. It is definately giving me some hope that he will be able to catch up to the rest of the class. And yes unfortunately he is really actually behind his peers. His teacher is concerned as well, but she thinks it is more to do with him rushing through his work and not paying attention in class, which we are also addressing. Thank you again everyone.

Rachael - posted on 01/20/2010

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I pushed my soninto Kindergarten because his birthday was in November but I didn't want him to be behind in school. reading took him forever to learn, but numbers seem to "be his thing". Talk to his teacher, see what he/she suggest and you may find that you think he is more behind than he really is. Also, find out what your school's policy is for retaining students, I found out the hard way that in ours a paret requested retention is not the end all be all for the district. My daughter was only retained at our request after I proved with her school work she was more than a grade level and a half behind her peers even after summer school and school provided tutoring. This is where Special Ed testing also becomes involoved.

Racheal - posted on 01/20/2010

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I entered my daughter into kindergarten when she was four, turning five in november, so she was really young. I had tried to teach her the colors and abc's and shapes for years, she just wasn't getting it. I didn't think she was ready to enter kindergarten but my doctor told me it's ok to enter kindergarten early and it's ok to get held back. She said that more boys than girls get held back early on and that you would rather they get held back in kindergarten than first or second grade. It's less embarrassing for them and they are not as good of friends with their classmates as they will be in a year or two. My daughter made it through, barely, and now she is in first grade. It gets a lot harder really fast, she goes to tutoring and is still struggling. Her K teacher told me that most students even out around third grade, so I'm hoping. Good luck. Check to see if your school has free tutoring, that's what my daughter is doing, it really helps.

Tammy - posted on 01/20/2010

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my son had these problems also i get him to sit down and do the computer to learn pbs kids is great.he has come along way this year he does not like to learn. he likes to play. all boy he was in preschool but was awful. i thought a school district ran program would be better i was wrong. they played so money down the drain and it did not help him.my daughter is in another program ran by the state and is doing great they are learning the same as kindergardeners. we love flash cards and he really likes it when his big sister 13 works with him.

Maggie - posted on 01/20/2010

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Repeating kindergarten is not a bad thing, you'll be surprised how many people actually repeat kindergarten or actually 1st and 2nd grade.

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