Repeat Kindergarten? I need advice!

Tamara - posted on 03/16/2012 ( 54 moms have responded )

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My son's birthday is in September and he started Kindergarten this year. He did 2 years of preschool and we felt that he was more than ready and he has ready enjoyed going to school. We had parent/teacher conferences this week and his teacher asked if I would considered holding him back. NO! I said. He is at the reading level he should be to move to 1st grade, knows all letters counts to 100 etc. Problem is his writing. He doesn't hear or speak all the correct sounds which isn't uncommon for kids in his class. examples L's could be confussed as W's, T with P, F with TH. So when he writes a sentence I would say 30% of the time there's no words at all just letters. He did speak late, after age 3. He's being evaluated at school and will start speech next month. I feel that the speech sessions will help him and once he starts hearing the sounds correctly, his writing will take off. I'm I setting him up to fail by insisting that he go on to first grade? Please any input would help. Kindergarden is not what I remember!

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Louise - posted on 03/19/2012

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If you feel your son will be ok then push to continue on. Tell the school that you want him to have the chance to continue on with his friends and that if he starts to struggle then you will consider reverting him back a year. He has to have the chance to prove himself. This way you have listened to them and considered what they have said and you have not said absolutely not, you just want to know if he can do it.

Dottie - posted on 01/02/2013

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Please do your son a favor and hold him back! I am a special education high school teacher and many of the students that fall behind are the summer and early fall babies. My son's birthday is August 17th and he started first grade when he was six. Many students start first grade at age 5 and turn six during the year. I would not want my child to be the youngest in class. I'm sure your son is very bright, but school is hard for kids today! There are so many demands / expectations placed on kids today. My son's third grade teacher once said, having my son start first grade at age six, was the best gift I could have given to him. I really believe that. Use his September birthday to his advantage and have him start first grade when he is six not five. I hope this helps you with your decision. Please listen to his teachers!!

Barbara - posted on 12/20/2012

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My son repeated kindergarten and I am glad he did. I felt that he was not matured as much as his peers. He was fine with speaking, writing and reading but he seemed like he was not maturing like the others were. My son is now in 3rd grade and he won a certificate for reading the most over the summer that I am proud of the most. He loves going to school and loves doing his homework. I do not regret this at all I felt it was better to hold him back in kindergarten than an older class. Its up to you and good luck.

Darlene - posted on 07/17/2012

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Excellent advice Chaya, I could not agree more! In my oppinion, there are very few teachers in the public school system that know even know 20% of the students in their class rooms 1/8 th as well as we know our children. I have talked to so many of the teachers in our community and very few of them acknowledge the fact that even thoe they spend 5 days a week with their students, they get to know very few on a somewhat personal level. They have a job to do and that is their focus.

In my 51 years of life, I have known of very few teachers that truly care. I am a late blooming mom, my daughter was born when I was 44. I am very protective of her and when I sent her to kindergarten, (In a Christian school) her teacher was not very personable when it came to her students. She picked on a chosen few and my daughter was one of them. She is a shy child and in any other setting aside from home, she did not talk much but would respond when an adult would talk to her. She is not a problematic child. She obeyed her elders, and does not talk back. Some of the other Moms who's children were in the same class, were asking me why the Teacher was picking on my daughter...I was confuses and shocked! I began to watch more carefully and pay more attention to what was going on. She was in 1/2 day class & often w/o the teachers knowledge, I would watch from outside the class room, and could hear what was going on in the class and not only myself but the teachers aid and the principal (at my request). When I saw it for my self, "Mommy Claws" came out! When my child came home crying because she said her teacher was not being nice to her, would embarase her in front of her class by making her take her green dot down in front of every one and making her tell the class why she had to do that, I was angry. She was dubbed "A Trouble Maker"! My daughter is shy, will not pester her class mates, did not talk out of turn, but yet she was in trouble for just that. The aid in the class told me thay my daughter was one of the best behaved students in the class, and never saw her be disrespectful or wrong in her actions. So why was she in trouble all of the time? I began to ask questions and I was so angry at the responses I was getting from our daughter and the teacher. I had a meeting with the teacher and she was more defensive of her actions than trying to understand mine or my daughters point. The next year, my daughter had the most wonderful teacher...to this day we still have a great relationship. When I have need of help with home schooling, I can talk to her and she is so willing to help me. How many past teachers will do that? Very few.

My point in telling that story is...Teachers do not always know our children and they are not always willing to admit their faults. In the defence of some...There are some compassionate, kind, loving educators, but there are several lemons in the bunch.

Be very aware of what is going on with your child, you know them better than any one else, listen to what they are telling you. Be very involved in your childs education. From one mom to another...just sidten to them.

Be well.

Stacey - posted on 03/26/2012

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I would let him go into the 1st grade, from what you said it sounds like hes already learned the basics of kindergarten, kids really dont start learning to write and read until the first grade anyway. and if he does need some help, they do have chapter help classes in reading and writing offered through the schools.

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Tianni - posted on 03/03/2013

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Also, I must add this I am a teacher in Universal Pre K here in Brooklyn NY. My son and daughter went to the preschool I worked at the past 7 years. The 3 years I worked in UPK I can tell you that under that prek curriculum here in NY, the children are not supposed to learn to write their names. So writing is not stressed heavily in UPK even numbers are not heavily a focus under UPK guidlines & curriculum. The basis is learning through play- So from there the kid goes to Kindergarten (no longer available in Day Care Centers thanks to NYC Mayor), Day 1 my son was expected to know how to write his name, identify letters, and numbers, not even half way into the school year, hes expected to have neat work, be able to read simple sentences, & draw pictures to match. Half way into the year promotion doubt letter given, he has projects, book reports, spelling tests every week to pass. Plus he must know a certain amount of words & addition & subtraction by the end of the year? & they expect every child in this class to get this by June? Thats some BS. Shame on the Department of Education. That is beyond Ridiculous & shame on the parents who sit back and allow the school system to do these kids this way.

Tianni - posted on 03/03/2013

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The point in being a parent a good parent is not to sit back and settle for what the Department of Education feels is right for our children. Personally I feel its absolutely ridiculous, for Department of Education to sit up there and determine that children as young as 5 & 6 should be able to not only write a full sentence, but pass spelling tests every week, do projects, and book reports every week, read, & draw pictures with sentences thst match the pictures. That is way too much to load a 5 year olds brain with during their first year of public schook then to in turn, give parents a Promotion in Doubt Letter? Thats beyond ridiculous, leaving children behind in Kindergarten at all. And parents need to start telling the Department of Education that this Curriculum does not work for these children, and it needs to be changed back. Dont settle for their experimental Educational practices on our children. Make it your business to make visits to the Department of Education offices for your childs schools district with the promotion doubt letters & make noise about it! Tell them No! My child will be promoted, its ridiculous holding children back in kindergarten for things they should be learning to do is first and second grade. You have the right to do this as a Parent. Stop being scared to speak up for your children. I met with my sons teacher & some dean. But im still unsatisfied with their explanation and answers so im taking the letter to the Department of Education in the school district with my complaint! ! As long as you sit quietly and except their ridiculous education ideas for these little children they will keep doing it. Make noise and speak up for your children. Overloading these kid brains too early will cause them to get bored too quickly in later grades. The system is designed for them to fail. My daughter is in High School & doesnt get nearly as much work as my 5 year old. Time to speak up!

Sylvie - posted on 12/31/2012

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get his hearing checked you will be suprised how many time this has been the problem my third son still has so much prblem because he never really learnt phonic due to fluid in his ears try hearing what is said when you have ear muffs one that what they hear hope that helps

Jmiller693 - posted on 12/26/2012

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Being held back a grade should'nt be viewed negatively but as a chance for your child to get a head start from the other children. When they see other children doing well why they are struggling, their self esteem tends to go down which can cause them to not do as well even more. Stress has a huge affect on children and what knowledge they can keep in their brains. I hope this helps:)

Rachel - posted on 12/24/2012

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As much as it seems that the average parent absolutely abhors teachers, if he/she thinks your child should be held back, it is probably for a good reason. Grit your teeth and take the teacher's advice, or look at alternative schooling options. Whatever you do, try to make it as easy and uneventful for your kid as possible.

Tamara - posted on 12/15/2012

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Just wanted to add an update......We did decide to move our son on to the 1st grade and he's doing great! I'm so glad we decided to trust our instincts. We had parent/teacher conferences last week and he is right up with the other 1st grade students. Apparently his kindergarten teacher didn't pass along the info that she recommended to retain him. So when I mentioned this to his 1st grade teacher she said she would have never suspected that with by the progress he has made. He still sees the speech therapist twice aweek and he does group reading 3 times a week with a para pro. Thanks for all your feedback!

Chaya - posted on 07/11/2012

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My daughter read a couple of paragraphs of an adult novel (Sue Grafton) when she was five. Blew me away. I knew she could read, but that was far beyond what I expected.
I'm not critisizing teachers, but they don't really know our kids as well as we do. Trust your instincts

Miriam - posted on 07/11/2012

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I'm an elementary teacher, and what we see is typically, boys develop a little later than girls. Late birthdays (just turning five at the beginning of the school year) could simply mean not all has caught up with him yet. The Common Core standards that are coming about in many states are requiring more than ever of kids. I would have a very long talk with the first grade teachers, and ask them to even do an evaluation of your son for you. This will give you a better picture of what the upcoming teachers are expecting and whether he will be academically ready. The other aspect is socially ready. It's definitely not all about centers and nap time anymore. First grade is a HUGE grade, packed with many new and challenging concepts.

Tamara - posted on 07/10/2012

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Thanks for all the comments and advice! In April, my son started speech sessions during the school year and she gave us some games and activites to continue through the summer. He's seeing a tudor 2 days a week. I have also come up with a daily schedule at home of Math, Reading, Journaling and fun learning activities. Most days he doesn't fight it. I do about 20 minutes each subject different times of the day. It seems to be working. And for those who have asked...He's been tested for hearing and there are no issues. My younger son is 3 1/2yr and had similar speech issues. He attended a preschool focused on speech therapy 5 days a week this last year and he loved it. Too bad we didn't know about it with our older son because I'm sure he would have greatly benefited from the program.

Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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I repeated first grade because I missed a lot of school due to illness and my dad's wife just didn't want to send me.
If he's hearing or speech impared, you may wish to get him into special education for an hour or two per day, All day spece, ial ed isn't a good idea unless the child is quite disabled.
My questions would be this: Does he like school? If he does, and he's mostly at grade level, there's no reason to hold him back. If he doesn't like school, holding him back may cause self esteem issues. It did for me, but my dad's wife was probably most of it.
Speech therapy: Get it for him if he needs it. if he's having speech issues, he's likely having hearing issues. My deaf siblings and parent use cued speech when that's appropriate. It's not ASL, just the alpahbet. When I was trying to explain to my sister that if my daughter was a boy, I'd name him Tevin, I have a brother named Kevin, she thought I was naming the child after that brother. I explained by signing a T in ASL and tapping the side of my forehead with it. It Bstarts with a T, this would work also if you were telling your son to eat his "B"eats or his "M"eat.
If it were me, I'd send him ahead unless the speech therapist suggests otherwise. I had a bad experience with being held back because my first grade teacher was probably mentally ill. I'd have done fine with another teacher.

Faye - posted on 07/09/2012

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For years our district had a class named T1. It was a transional First grade. The students were moved into this class instead of repeating Kindergarten. The morning was K review and the afternoon was 1st grade work. If at fall semester, the child had progressed to the point that the teacher and parents were satisfied, then the student went into the 1st grade at the beginning of the spring semester. If not enough progress was made, then the student remained in the T1 class until spring was over and started 1st grade the following fall.

About 25% of the students advanced into 1st grade at the end of the fall semester.

The prinicapal at my daughter's school did not believe that kids needed to be held back. So she struggled all 4 years in his building (K-3). 4th and 5th grades were at another building and that prinicapal agreed with me that she needed to repeat 4th grade in Feb of that year. 4 weeks into the new school year (the next fall) the teacher wrote me a note which said she was glad I had held her back as "she fits into this class so much better." My daughter's birthday is July 10th, (KS law reads 5 year old cut off is Sept 1 and our district starts school by Aug 15 each year) so she was 6 weeks old then the school year starts. My son whose birthday is in late Jan, is about 7 months 2 weeks when the school year starts. Where she struggled, he sailed.

Christina - posted on 07/05/2012

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My daughter was a Kindergarten repeater. It actually helped her alot. But she was developmentally behind in a lot of stuff. If they did infact hold your child back, I wouldn't worry about it. It might actually help them. Now after two years in k, my daughter is heading to 1st grade. Lets just hope she is mentally and emotionall ready for that step in her life. Oh, and the mental health doctor I take her to thinks she might have Asburger's Syndrome. That is a form of Autisim.

Jennifer - posted on 06/06/2012

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My son went to preschool for two years and has been in speech for two years also. He is having the same problems your son is. His writing is not what it should be. I am keeping him in kindergarten for another year because i do not want him to fall behind in 1st grade and then start to have trouble and not learn what he should. I think that you should consider it. It is only going to make him a better student and ore confident student for 1st grade!! But that is just my opinion, good luck with your choice.

Darlene - posted on 05/01/2012

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Every child is different, and they all learn on different levels. What most "Public" schools fail to realize is that not all children are the "Robots" they are expected to be. Each and every child is unique and different in the style to which they comprehend, they all have special skills and special needs, that is the key. I had a problem when my "ADHD" nephew was actually suspended from Kindergarden for behavorial issues...Seriousley!~!! I gave the principal what for, because our state regulates when a could or should be on medication for this. They are also instructed to help "All" children, yet they did not in this case. Some states have regulations for this problem. (Because I am not his Mother, I have no legal right to say what happenes to him, but I can be an advocate!") Certainly, it does start at home, but...Is it not Governmentally regulated? Are they not setting the regulations & standards as to how our children are educated? Yet, they tell the educators how to handle certain situations & children, not always in the correct manor. I am sorry, I am so against public schools, so much that I chose to home school. My ADHD nephew went from public school grading as all "F;s" to home schooling now (on a very hard program) to making C+ and B- (They were actually going to send him off to the next grade because they are only allowed, in our state to hold them back 1 grade school year) weather they are ready or not. My point is, research all aspects of education first, before you make your decision. I did and I am so very thankful that I did.

I do wish you the best.

The only advice that I can offer

Machelle - posted on 04/29/2012

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Now ..now.....before everyone goes and thinks its a negative...and ultimately your decision....but my daughter went from a slower learning school to a faster one and couldnt get her reading..numbers...or letters the right way..i thought there might be a problem....after talking to her teacher whose been around teaching kids practically her whole life ...we decided what would it hurt...another year of learning and free....when did another yr of school hurt anyone....please understand its ur own pride...kids dont have any yet atleast not that age...my daughter is in 10th..she should be in eleventh and i never told her..and she is an honor student!!! too many parents lose sight of whats important ..trying to keep up with the jones's!!!! what your child needs should be priority!!!!! when she graduates ill tell her!!!!lololol

Tracy - posted on 04/29/2012

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My son's birthday is Sept 25, Academicly he was ready for Kinder but not emotionally. He is finishing first grade this year and is the oldest and tallest in his class but is doing great. The issue with moving your kids on into the next grade when they are not exactly up to speed is they become easily frustrated and get a negative attitude towards school. Also if you plan on your son playing sports in Middle and High School he will be more physically ready for the demands if he is given a little more time in Kinder. Many of my friends have held their kids back in kinder, where there is not stigmas attached to the child, where when they get older the child feels singled out and a personal sense of failure.

Trust your child, pray then go with your heart not where you feel he needs to be but where he will do best. Also it will come down to you to keep him up to speed in 1st grade and a lot of interaction, and communication between you and the teacher. Good luck.

Rachel - posted on 04/26/2012

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My daughter went through the same thing. I can only tell you now, that my daughter Patience is in 1st grade and she is at the top of her class. Her teacher says my daughter is so advanced she should be in 3rd grade, however I refuse to move my daughter. Instead the teachers of first grade have taken the 5 students that are advanced in 1st grade and work with the on top of what they are learning in 1st grade. Speech works in time.. Its not overnight.. I know from having 2 premature daughters (not twins) work with Easter seals, both 2 yrs preschool, 1 yr pre-k, speech therapy, occupational therapy and developmental. My daughter Patience learned sign language at 12 months. My daughter Patience did not start speaking until she was almost 4 yrs old. Holding your child back is not a bad thing.. however if you let him go forward and speech does not work the way you think it will, then you will only be hurting your son..and to me I would feel like I failed my child.. where if you hold him back a year, he does great and gets caught up, he can always advance a grade. Also when your son is out of school perhaps looking into outside speech therapy and working with him daily with reading and listening to cds that read along with you may help more. GL

Brandi - posted on 04/26/2012

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My son was and is the same way...he started talking late...earlier in the year they should have brought these issues to u and suggested speech classes. I was about to do this with my son but ended up moving a week b4 my meeting. He knows all his things to but his sounds make it hard for him to sound out the word and spell it correctly...i made flash cards of his sight words from his class, and his days of the week...he gets thursday confused with satutday because his s sounds like th...but i think thats its not fair to hold him back just because he has a speech issue...as a school and teachers they should have given the option for speech classes way earlier...i would recommend that u find some where local and see if there is anywhere u can get speech classes outside of school and by the next school year he should be fine...if its a health issue (God forbid) it cant keep him form passing every grade....have him looked at or assessed and go from there...Good luck =) I know how frustrating it is...

Rebecca - posted on 04/25/2012

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My son is possibly repeating Kindergarten (will know for sure in the next few weeks). His birthday is in November, so if he repeats, he will turn 7 when most classmates will be turning 6. Age is just not a big deal for me. it's the academics. and his teacher has pointed out to me what all they will need to be able to do in 1st grade, and my son is NOWHERE near that level....so I am thinking we will retain in K to give him that extra year. We also just got an ADHD diagnosis and possible signs of a learning disability. I want that strong K foundation, even if it means doing it for 2 years.



You need to clear your mind, ask what services are available, ask for testing if you think it might make a difference, and make the best ACADEMIC decision...

Becky - posted on 04/25/2012

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I'm going through this same thing except my son is in K4 and having issues with letter and number recognition. He recently tested into Early Childhood classes and we are hoping with the one on one help in the afternoons he will be ready for K5 with the rest of his friends. My sister had speech issues and was never held back by the school because of it. She would attend speech/language lessons as part of her school day when the rest of the kids would just be playing (like a second recess period). She caught up and never fell behind in school. There were times she'd get bullied because of not being able to understand her talking but let's also keep in mind bullies weren't nearly as horrible 30 years ago as they are today. In the end - you need to do what is best for him academically, not socially. Perhaps he could move forward with the classes he's ready for and spend one-on-one time with a speech therapist as part of his school day? Are there any programs in your area outside of school that he could attend to get him extra assistance after school?

Erin - posted on 04/19/2012

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If you are going to place him into first grade I would see about getting him occupational therapy as well as the speech therapy and that should help his handwriting. Two of my girls occupational therapy and it has helped them tremedously

Anne - posted on 04/19/2012

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My son is a September kid. We decided to keep him in pre-K for an extra year. He has made huge jumps since the start of the school year - socially and academically. I am glad we held him back one year. He might be the oldest in class starting Kindergarten this year, but overall, I think we did him a favor.
I don't think there is anything wrong with holding your son back one year. Better now than later.

Dara - posted on 04/18/2012

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hi. i have a 7 year old boy who is turning grade 2 this coming school year. when he finished pre school he is only familiar with letters, numbers & shapes. he could read a little. not a sentence but word. i put him in a summer class hoping he could read. amazingly after a month of tutorial he could read a short story. he could add simple addition. he could spell. what your child needs is a full focus on learning. your right, put him in a speech session. it would help alot. Consider also seeing a doctor (eent) 'cause he might have ear problems.

Darlene - posted on 04/16/2012

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Do not be discouraged. My daughter was in kindergarden at a christian school, she actually started on her 5th b-day, her teacher said the same to me, I said the same as you. Only differance was I did home-pre-school. 5 weeks after the parent teacher meeting a light bulb went off in my daughters head and she sailed thru to the next day.

Don't give up! You know what your child knows. Good luck to you.

Heather - posted on 04/15/2012

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Nothing is harder than to hear that your child just isn't cutting it at school. A friend of mine has a 7 year old who will be finished with 1st grade this year, and he does really good. The thing is, it that when he thinks he has done a really good job on whatever he's been working on and his teacher marks something on his paper he breaks down. Like he did his best and it just wasn't good enough. Then his mother has to console him. All I can say is that next year my son will also he in 1st grade and if he gets this teacher I'll be getting him moved to a different class. This teacher just seems like she's had her time with the young kids, she should be at the high school teaching. I think that there is a lot of work associated with 1st grade, a lot more writing and a lot more paper work to keep up with. Speech will probably help him a lot. If nothing else, if you feel he hasn't improved through 1st grade you should probably keep him back a grade then. The longer he doesn't get it and the more he just moves on not getting it that harder it's going to be for him. Not just with the academics, but making new friends and then having to explain why he's not moving on with everyone else. Is there a summer school program at the school he attends? You may look into something like that for summer to keep up with speech between others. Or to maybe do the kindergarten section over in summer school to help with improvements.

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By the end of kindergarten my students are required to write a narrative, informative expository and expository story explaining why ... Using correct punctuation spacing varying sentence types- 3 or more sentences. Recognize 102 sight words, write a short poem, read primer level or beyond as far as we can take them---decode words and identify word families etc---
The pace of first grade is furious and a bright but "socially young" child could be intimidated and self confidence dashed :( or they could dazzle everyone! We never know- but I think kindergarten is a good place and the best time and place to grow up is when you are very young! Those that repeat love already knowing lots of stuff and being so strong academically.
If u think it's best, give your child the gift of extra time to be a little kid and savor that growing up instead of struggling with it when they are older..
One extra year of improving speech and language is beneficial socially and academically as well- u know your child best and I'll bet your child's teacher has his best interest in mind as well...

Claudette - posted on 04/12/2012

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It sounds like your son could benefit from being in Kindergarten for one more year - let him master his letter sounds, etc before going into first grade. His confidence may be an issue if he gets to first grade too soon and can't keep up which might present a new set of problems. Repeating a grade is not a bad thing, I think if that's what needs to be done to ensure he gets the best possible foundation, I think you should do it.

Cassie - posted on 04/04/2012

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If he isn't hearing the sounds then have his ears checked. Some of the sounds you are describing aren't developed until age 7 or so. I wouldn't worry to much about that but I would be concerned about the hearing issue and speech therapy won't necessarrily help if he can't hear them. I would talk to your pediatrician about all this As for the writing it is kindergarten. They are pushing way to much on kids at younger and younger ages. Writing is important no doubt but like all other things it takes time to learn and even those who are right on target might struggle with it.

Audrey - posted on 04/03/2012

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my son is a september baby also. He did 2 years of preschool also and did fine each year until 2nd grade and then he stalled according to his teacher. He was reading where he needed to be the issue was math. He wasn't testing where they wanted him to be for going onto 3rd grade. after lots of discussion I decided that it would be best for him to be held back. Sounds like your son is doing fine just stay aware and keep pushing him at home and doing lots of things with him to keep him moving forward. We usually do things in the summer time to help him prepare for the next grade. You just need to do what you feel is best for your son and if you feel he is ready for 1st grade then don't let the school make you feel that you need to hold him back

Tamara - posted on 04/03/2012

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Thank you so much to everyone who has answered. We aren't going to hesitate moving our son to the 1st grade. His speech pathologist believes alot of his errors can be easily corrected before the end of the school year and she will continue with him next year. She will also send home tools we can use over the summer. I'm in Michigan. The cut off age for kindergarten is 5 before December 1. This year was the last year for 1/2 day kindergarten. Our district is mandating all day next year which another debate for some but our son would have been more than reading with 2 full years of preschool (one summer included). There are so many state requirements for these kids. They are supposed to be at a certain reading and writting level before considering the next grade. My son is average but his teacher fears that he "may" fall behind in this last semster because things will pick up but she also thought the same thing back in November for that next semster and he did fine. So thanks again ladies I appreciate all the support and advice!

Sherri - posted on 04/02/2012

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how long has his teacher been teaching kindergarten? Sounds like she is being too picky! My son was ready for kindergarten this yr but is only in prek because his bday is october 31st! The cut off here is sept 1st. He's 5 bright and somewhat bored! We do Phonics at home sometimes but his prek teacher says not to push him as he's well ready for school.My girls are both august bdays so they make the cut off I worry about my youngest daughter being ready but she's bright and coming along in social skills so at 3 she is where she needs to be and ready for another yr of prek! I so wish public schools would let kids test into school younger if we as parents think they are ready!

Heather - posted on 03/27/2012

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I have a birthday in October and I did 2 years of kindergarten. It didn't do me any harm, in fact it was kind of fun because 2 of my other friends were held back as well.

Sometimes it's not just about their education level, it's also about maturity and social skills. My daughter has a birthday in the summer and is in the 1st grade. She tends to be one of the youngest in her class and her teacher has said that it shows in how she deals with situations and problem solving and interactions with other kids. She is not getting held back but her and a few other kids have had some special group sessions with the school counselor to help them work on those skills.

I would not stress about if he does need to do 2 years of kindergarten, better now than later on. He won't be scarred by it, probably you are more bothered by it than he would be. If anything it might help him down the line fit in better with his peers.

Jane - posted on 03/26/2012

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My son was born close to the cut off date. We thought about holding hm back early on but his teacher said he would just get bored doing everything over again. it seems like your son's real problem is hearing and speech. With extra help with that he may take off. If he does have trouble in first grade you can always get extra help from teachers or a tutor.

Deirdra - posted on 03/25/2012

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I made the mistake of moving my son into first grade instead of holding him back and regreted the decision. He struggled all through first grade. I finally made the right decision to hold him back and repeat the first grade. This year has been a wonderful year and has proven to be the best decision Ive ever made. It has made the difference between night and day. Only you know your child the best and the decision is up to you, but remember to listen to the teacher too!

Shumei - posted on 03/25/2012

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being able to write 2 pages in kindergarten should probably qualify him for gifted program. His teacher must have got the kids mixed up. I have a gifted boy who can write 1 paragraph when completing kindergarten, counting to 100 wasn't until finishing a semester in 1 grade.they have several boys in the gifted class need speech as well

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Girls develop their mental skills much earlier than boys, who grow physically first. There are many, many boys and girls who have borderline September birthdays. I see a very large portion of those boys being given a 3rd year of preschool or even a repeat of kinder. The bottom line is that they will either be one of the youngest in class and possibly a bit behind academically or hold him back and have him be one of the oldest with a leg up in academics because of the extra practice. It's your choice but please don't ignore the advice of professionals just because of the stigma. I have a daughter with a late August birthday. I put her in 2 years of preschool and she went to kinder at 5. If she had been a boy, I most positively would have given the extra year. I would just want there to be more successes in grade school than challenges... Just be sure to look at both sides and I'm sure you'll make the right choice for your boy!

Jackie - posted on 03/25/2012

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Is Kinder all day or half day? If you are even considering repeating a grade level, it should be repeating a FULL day of instruction, not half. You may see huge improvements with speech therapy alone. Is he working at a frustration level at all? If not, he should be fine. There's still almost 3 months of school left also. You would be surprised at the growth you will see in that short of time, especially if you work with him at home too.

Bonnie - posted on 03/21/2012

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I live in Ontario Canada and here kindergarteners need to be able to be able to write the letters of the alphabet, write their name, and be able to read (assisted or not) small books with 10-12 pages about 10-15 words on a page. I am suprised they have him writing sentences where you are.

Tamara - posted on 03/21/2012

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I'm in Michigan, US. The kids need to be able to recognize the alphabet, write their first name, count 1-10 and know basic shapes before beginning kindergarten. Thats great that your daughter is reading Shelly! My son started bringing home reading books in December. He is starting the 1st grade level book soon.

Shelly - posted on 03/20/2012

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Writing sentences in kindergarten??? I couldn't even convince my daughter's kindergarten teacher that she was actually reading, not just "sounding out" (and she was reading whole books, completely on her own). I don't know what they are teaching in kindergarten where you are, but quite frankly, the only "academic" things they teach here are the names of the letters, perhaps how to print them, and numbers. The rest is pretty much play time. Quite frankly, it's pretty normal for a 5 year old to not sound out letters properly.

Celia - posted on 03/20/2012

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Hello! I am a preschool teacher of 9 years. I have had 13 years experience with special education (DHH & AUT). I believe your instincts are correct. There are a lot of reasons that you could use to justify holding a child back a grade but if he is being assessed, then there is no need. allow him to move up with his class and insist that your concerns about his writting are addressed at his initial IEP meeting. He may end up qualifying for OT as well as Speech Therapy. Then you will get the support for him that will help him become a legible hand writter. Sometimes you just have to follow your first mind. Good luck!

Sachi - posted on 03/20/2012

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I would not hold him back. If you are sending him to speech therapy then I don't think there will be too much of a problem. He may need to do a little catching up but kids learn quickly. Let his therapist know what your concerns are. They do rev it up in 1st grade. If you see him having difficulty then send him to some tutoring but I wouldn't hold him back based on what you said.

Pam - posted on 03/20/2012

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I am considering holding my grandson back and repeating 1st grade. I can tell you that the demands of 1st are pretty heavy. He is an August baby so a very young 5 when he started K. He was right where he needed to be or above at the end of K but over the summer, ( and I worked with him ) he lost a lot. He is in Title 1 reading now and help with math. You know your son better than anyone....go with your gut, but, please research what is expected in 1st. They have to not only learn to read 200 sight words but spell them too, and then there are also the regular spelling words. I for one know that I am doing the right thing by having him repeat, its not that he doesn't know what to do or how to do it, its also a social emotional issue at this age. Most of his classmates are 7 already.

Good luck

Tamara - posted on 03/19/2012

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Thanks for all the advise. I do feel like he will be fine. Last night I had him write about what he did over the weekend. When he would ask how to spell something I would just say how would you do it if you were at school and he did great. It took him about 20 mins to write 2 pages, I asked for 4 sentences and he went beyond that on his own. I think he did great and he enjoyed it. There were only 2 words I didn't recognize. The writing is the only area his teacher is concerned about everything else is average or above. I asked him if they time him when he writes and some days they do. And lot of times there told they get free time and snack when they finish. I think he rushes his work when he's being timed because I've timed him when he wasn't cooperating doing him homework and he would freeze up. Socially he's great. Gets along with everyone. She said there's never been a problem with him following directions. I think with him starting speech and us giving him extra help through the summer he'll be fine. I will let his teacher know that we will keep an open mind. Thanks again!

Bonnie - posted on 03/19/2012

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Sounds to me like your son is doing more than fine, Tamara. Kindergarten is definitely not what it used to be. All I remember doing at 5 is playing. Not saying the curriculum nowadays is a bad thing (it's good to prepare them earlier), but sometimes I feel they expect too much out of kids ages 4 and 5 today.

Amy - posted on 03/17/2012

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I had just the opposite problem. My son's teacher said he was ready to move on but I wasn't quite so sure. I decided teacher knows best and sent him on to first grade. Within two weeks of starting first grade, it was clear that my son should have stayed in Kindergarten. We immediately put him back in Kindergarten and he did another year. He's now in first grade and doing great!



First grade is a lot more difficult nowadays. (Did I really just use the word nowadays?) If you think he will struggle in any part of first grade, I would hold him back. He would be a very young first grader and confidence plays an integral part of their success. If he struggles, he will lose that confidence.



Our schools are now moving the date where kids can start Kindergarten. It used to be that the cut-off for Kindergarten was October 1 and now it will August 1.

Heidi - posted on 03/16/2012

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I can only tell you what I have experienced- My oldest son repeated 4th grade because he was struggling in school from 1st grade on, but the teachers kept telling us he was fine. We finally made the call ourselves and had him repeat. He has improved alot, but I often wonder if it would have been easier if we had held him back younger. I think as parents, it is often a pride issue that keeps us from admitting that our kids need time to catch up in certain areas, but ultimately, you don't want him struggle for the rest of his schooling.

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