Repeat or Redshirt kindergartener

J - posted on 08/16/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Ladies,
My son could not be enrolled in K4 at his preschool last year due to his birthday being 3 days over the cutoff date. So we enrolled him in K3 which made him the oldest. During one year, his social skills have improved 200% but not so much academically. This preschool curriculum is known as higher than other preschools. He did go in with advanced finer motor skills as well as other areas academically. I felt like the preschool was not challenging enough for him. After receiving all “Outstanding” progress report and a preschool teacher’s recommendation, we decided to take him out of preschool and enroll him at the private school kindergarten. This program’s cutoff is 10/30 so he made it in, but he will be the youngest is his class.
He is starting his kindergarten in two weeks and I am totally freaking out on the decision. Should I have redshirted him? But instead, I am thinking of repeating kindergarten for him next year. I can’t see him repeat at the same school, but there is another great private school kindergarten that we can move him to repeat kindergarten next year. I am thinking since they are different school, he won’t be bored by repeating same curriculum and feeling bad seeing his classmates promote. Also, the other school offers upper class so he can stay and graduate high school. The other school only offers up to middle class.
What do you think of this idea? I really want him to succeed and be a leader and superstar at sports!
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Concerned Mom

8 Comments

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J - posted on 08/19/2013

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Given some more thoughts on the weekend and based on the conversation with my husband, we have decided to closely monitor him before making the decision to repeat his K. My husband made some good points:
1. Maturity level - We were told by preschool teachers and based on what our experience with our son, he is a very mature kid. He is very matriculate, organized, and with stable personality.
2. Social Skills – The reason why we saw his social skills improvement to 200% last year was due to the prior care he was in. It was home based, small environment where he was not exposed to the bigger and larger scheme of things. But he came out of that care with great finer motor skills. And now the preschool provided him a room to grow into bigger, mature, socially equipped boy.
3. Height - Mostly in gene and of course a good diet will help this. Being older does not really make the boy the tallest in class.
4. Leadership – You are kind of born with this and if you don’t have it, you will not have it even if you are the oldest. With proper training and education, if my son has the natural leadership in him, he will get it regardless of the age.
5. Academic – Depends on the kid, his IQ and the gene. If the kid is smart and motivated, with the proper education and guidance from teacher and parents, he will be fine.
Now if the kindergarten teacher suggests that he has to repeat K, whole another story. We will have to repeat but not at the same school.
I would like to thank you ladies so much for your support and response.
After all, the intentions are good. We are just trying to make the best decision for our son.
Cheers!
Janet

Chet - posted on 08/16/2013

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In general, I favour later school starts (so being older rather than younger in each grade). I think it's better to have a longer richer childhood with a greater breadth of experience. As well, I would rather my child leave for university when they are 18 going on 19 over 17 going on 18 (I've lectured at three different universities and attended five). Similarly, I don't want to be the mom struggling to let my youngest-in-the-grade child do stuff because while ten or eleven seems fine for sleep away camp and all her friends are going, she's still nine. And while twelve or thirteen seems not so bad for dances and all her friends are going, she's still eleven. Of course, you need to consider your particular child and your own unique school situation, but barring any compelling problems with having him do kindergarten again, I would probably switch to the other school and do another year of K. This assumes that the school and the teacher are supportive and will be keen to challenge and enrich your son's learning experience rather than complain that he should really be in grade one because he was in kindergarten last year. And it assumes that you have every reason to expect that your son will mix in fine socially with his new peer group as the oldest instead of the youngest. The thing is, if you're in the US, a lot of states have very early cut dates (in September and August) on top of the trend toward red shirting becoming very pronounced in affluent areas. At some schools, grade one classes now have numerous students who are seven and a half turning eight. This means that the younger kids in the cohort are now even younger by comparison. Teachers are getting classes with a two year age spread. We redshirted our second daughter. It wasn't real redshirting. We weren't aiming to have her make a sports team or anything. She just fit in better with younger kids. She didn't start kindergarten until she was six even though she's been a proficient reader since before she was three. The school is working to meet her advanced academic needs, and agrees that she is well matched with her peers socially. I think she would have done okay either way. Kids are adaptable. We would have been able to support her either way... but given the choice, I think oldest in the grade is usually better than youngest in the grade.

Jodi - posted on 08/16/2013

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How can you say he wasn't benefiting from the program he was in? His social skills improved 200%!!!! You have a child, with massively improved social skills......and you decide to pull him out, AWAY from that social environment where he was clearly developing confidence AND friends. Can you see where I am going with this? You have just helped him to take a step back socially, and then you are considering moving him AGAIN after this year. You are actually setting him up for failure.

School is as much about social skills as it is about academic ones. A happy, socially interactive, socially accepted child from a happy and supportive home environment will succeed academically.

J - posted on 08/16/2013

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Thanks again. If it was not for the private school cutoff allowing him to be in, I would not have ever considered to push him in, I could not have anyway even if I wanted to. :)

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/16/2013

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From my experience, it is better to keep the kids in the age group that they fit into. if they miss the cutoff date, they need to stay out a year. Mine did. Missed the cutoff by 10 days, and I held him out of kindy until he met the ages, and he did much better than if I'd pushed it.

J - posted on 08/16/2013

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Thanks for the response. I pulled him out since it appears as if he was not benefiting from pre-k program. I guess it's too soon to tell now that he has not even started the kindergarten yet..........

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/16/2013

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If you're concerned, why did you pull him out of the other program? Essentially, you're wanting to put him in kindy, and then put him in kindy again...when he actually would have probably benefitted more by being in the prek program as it progressed.

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