M.A. asks from Roseville, CA on May 05, 2008
Considering Holding Daughter in Kindergarten
My daughter is almost 5 1/2, and has been in Kindergarten this school year, her birthday is late November. My question is should I hold her back, the only issue is her age. She is meeting all the requirements, academically and socially. She is set on "going the 1st grade" and I don't know how to talk to her about this or who to talk to. My husband pretty much has left the dicision to me, but is leaning towards repeating, he wants her to be the "smartest" in the class, and not just on the line of average. Anyone have advice on what to do, have you been in the same situation. I don't want to move her on, and next year be lost, and end up not liking school. Help!
So What Happened?™
Thank You all for the great responses! I never imagine so many moms were out there with my same situation. I haved talked to my hubby, and WE decided to move her on. She is too wrapped up in her new friends and school life, and I don't want to hurt that in any way by holding her back! On a side note, many of you asked what her teacher thinks, and her teacher is saying to move her on, this is all my insecurities, that I made the wrong decision last fall! Thank You all!
R.M. answers from Sacramento on May 06, 2008
What's the reason for holding her back. If she is doing good academically and socially it doesn't make sense to hold her back. Holding her back a grade does not mean she'll be the "smartest" in her class next year. I was skipped ahead in school, I was two years younger than my classmates and was still the smartest in the class. I grew up just fine.
K.H. answers from Sacramento on May 06, 2008
I don't believe this is a valid reason to hold her back. If you hold her back, she very well may end up being the "smartest" in the class but very, very bored socially!!!
A.B. answers from San Francisco on May 06, 2008
I have 2 Sept. boys and waited with both of them. My issue was not neccesarily with their age now but when they are older. I would rather have them start college when they are 19 rather than 18. Do you want here having to wait a year longer when all her friends are driving. Do you want her body developing a year later than friends. The social implications of being on the young side are greater than being older. It is better to repeat now than later. It should not be based on her ability to learn. Both of my boys would have been fine academically. It was the other issues for which I was more concerned. Teachers would rather have an older child than one younger.
I am a mother of 4 ages 14, 10, 7 and 4.
D.L. answers from San Francisco on May 06, 2008
I too had to face this decision...my daughter was born the 24th of November and just made the December 1st school cutoff date. I did send her to kindergarten when she was 41/2 and truly in hindsight (she is now 21) I would have waited. She has always struggled with school, not socially but academically. She really had to "work" hard for her A's and B's. I wanted to make things easy for my daughter and this is one area where I totally blew it! Consequently when she started college she was really, really young! This too was extremely difficult...to see a 17 year old go off on her own is not something I want to repeat anytime soon. In my opinion holding your daughter back at this time will only benefit her and give her a boost to really excel!
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C.C. answers from Fresno on May 05, 2008
If she's mature for her age, there's no reason to hold her back. I was a mid-October baby and started kindergarten at age 4, and always did very well in school.
My daughter is a mid-September baby, and our school's cutoff is September 1 - however based on her readiness I pushed them to let her into Kinder this year and she has done very well. (We will definitely not be holding her back due to age!) I think I would have mutiny on my hands if I told her she had to repeat Kinder - all her friends will be going to first grade and she knows that she has done well on all her tests, is a good reader, etc. To tell her at this point that she had to repeat would make me the most hated mommy on earth, I'm sure of it!
The only reason to hold her back would be if the teacher recommended it, in my opinion.
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P.W. answers from San Francisco on May 05, 2008
One year does not make the difference between "smartest" and "average". Smart is smart, and average is average. Unless she is struggling now she won't get "lost" due to one year. You know your daughter -- if she seems smart enough, and is happy socially then let her go on. Ask her what she thinks. My daughter is a Nov. baby and is smart, but not brilliant. I started her early and let her continue. She just got straight A's with two honors classes.
N.D. answers from Sacramento on May 05, 2008
I'm not understanding why you are thinking of holding her back. If she has been in K all year and is meeting all of the requirements why would you even consider it? You already made the decision to start her young and she's been fine. If she is having social or academic struggles then I would consider it if the school felt it was appropriate but if not, I would send her on. If she is indeed doing just fine, the school won't hold her back due to her age (or they shouldn't).
I teach first grade and we do get young ones.....most do ok. The ones who struggle are the ones who struggled in K being so young. If it was last year, I would have advised holding her out until this year but it sounds like she's doing just fine.
As for your husbands desires....honestly, I don't know how to put this kindly but that's just silly. That is not a reason to hold a child back an entire year. There is a HUGE academic jump with more curriculum and a longer day so she may struggle a bit at first but many of them do for the first 6 weeks of the adjustment so don't be worried.
C.M. answers from Chico on May 06, 2008
If your daughter is socially and academically ready, then there is no reason to hold her back. If she is "set on going to 1st grade" you need to let her move on as not allowing her to go on to 1st grade with her friends may cause her to dislike school and/or she may get bored repeating Kinder and end up doing poorly. Retention is for kids who are struggling socially or academically.
If you want your daughter to excell academically, find fun way to integrate 1st grade concepts into games or activities over the summer, don't hold her back. If you hold her back when she has done well, it will confuse her and crush her self-esteem.
I am also a November baby who started Kindergarten at 4 and graduated high school at 17 in the top 10% of my class and college with honors. Doing well in school is more about your child's attitude and feelings about school. If your daughter enjoys school, she will do well and she will be smart if you encourage her. It is a fine line...don't push too hard or she will get burnt out before she finishes. If you feel she is too young to go away to college at 17 when she graduates, then enroll her in a local college or provide her with some other experience for a year before starting college.
My son is also a November child who started Kinder at 4. He had some struggles over the years academically in 1st through 4th grades. Socially, he is extremely responsible, but also can be very silly and goofy...he found friends that have similar personalities and has had no problems since 4th grade. What really helped him academically was music, joining the school band. He is in 8th grade now, still in band, on the Honor Roll, playing two sports per year, and working towards his Eagle in Boy Scouts. At times it has been tough, but we worked with him and keep encouraging him and helping him as needed in school. He now realizes that his job is doing well in school and good grades lead to college and a good job in his future. He now earns good grades for himself, not for my husband and I...although he knows we could not be prouder of him.
Good luck with your dilemma! Based on your comments, I would let her move on if I were you.
S.B. answers from Redding on May 06, 2008
My daughter's birthday is in October. She was 4 when she started kindergarten. I thought it was too early, but her Head Start pre-school teacher said there was no reason for them to keep her. She was bright, precocious, and advanced linguistically. So, off she went. We didn't have any problems until we moved to Oregon. Their age laws are different, so after she had already been established, they said they couldn't keep her. She was devastated. She loved school. Nothing I said could convince her that she hadn't done anything wrong or they didn't like her....it wasn't her fault. But my husband got transferred back to California and she was good to go again. She was always the youngest in her class. But she did fine academically. She was more advanced than some of the kids who were older and obviously less advanced than some of the others. There was never any discussion about retaining her. In any grade. I would have, had it been advised by her teachers or if she seemed to be unhappy or struggling. But she was fine.
I would really worry about holding your daughter back thinking that she will be the "smartest" in the class. First of all, if she is not exhibiting any signs that she can't function in the 1st grade, I would be more worried about her little psyche when everyone else gets to advance and she doesn't. Holding her back so she can be the smartest, might make her the most depressed. As far as being the "smartest" that's a lot of pressure to put on any child. And I'm sure your husband is wonderful, but he needs to get over it. There will ALWAYS be someone older, taller, faster, or smarter than your daughter. And that's okay! Let her be herself and excel at the things she excells at and work on the things she doesn't. She doesn't have to be the best at every single thing. Not letting her move forward and learn above what she's learned could backfire. And you are worried about her feeling lost, but I don't see any indicators why she would feel that way.
Schedule a conference with her teacher. My best friend is a teacher and I think that if your daughter was struggling, you would have already been called in to discuss it. But be pro-active and discuss your concerns and the reasons you are considering retention. They can advise you as far as their professional opinion what would be best. Do it right away.
It sounds like your daughter is a happy, well adjusted little girl. I say relax, be thankful, don't mess with it, and let her go.
Let us know what happens.
L.P. answers from Sacramento on May 06, 2008
We went thru the same thing however I held my daughter back in pre-k. She was in a Pre-K program & they suggested we wait a year before enrolling her in Kindergarten. Our daughter's birthday is also late November. Her birthdate was just 4 days prior to the cut off for when you can enroll a child,so we waited. She spent another year in Pre-K class, which i think helped her alot.
She SOMETIMES has issue with the fact that she is 6 months older than all her other classmates. Since her birthdate is November she is almost a full year older than some. It has only recently bugged her/she's 12 now & going into Jr. High. But we explained that she wasn't quite ready at the time. It still bugs her sometimes....or maybe it's just that it bugs me?????
I really don't think it hurt her at all academically, in fact she probably needed the extra time she has always had some learning difficulties. She IS much more mature,personality wise, than most of the girl's in her class but I'm not exactly sure what to attribute it to, that she is a lil older, or that she grew up with siblings that were 10 yrs older than her???
Anyway, if you feel the need to hold your child back do it now! It's much too hard at an older age! At this age,she probably won't have a problem not going on with the others.
Good Luck, whatever you decide.....I know it's a hard decision,but try not to let the feeling of guilt,in keeping her back, make your decision for you.
I hope it helped just a lil...you are not the only mom with a husband that prefers you make all the hard choices yourself.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my husband of 24 yrs but these type of choices were always made by me.
I will thinking about you today.....Lisa
J.M. answers from San Francisco on May 06, 2008
I don't recommend holding her back. Move her to first grade. She will be a very old Kindergartener and since she is academically and socially ready, there is no reason to hold her back. You are just putting extra strain on the teachers having to give her more challenging material because she's way above the other children. Her friends are in kinder with her right now. It would be a little traumatic for her to see her friends move and not herself. You can supplement her learning by giving her workbooks at home to make her the "smartest" kid in the class if that's what your husband wants. But holding her back isn't the answer.