April 19, 2010,
C.P. asks from Bloomington, IL on April 15, 2010
ECE (Early Childhood Education) Verses Kindergarten
My daughter turned 5 years old on February 10, 2010 and is in her 2nd year of ECE. She is mostly in the program for her Speech and has shown great improvements in her academics and speech. She still is struggling with a few things but we are working on it and she's getting better. The teachers and I had a conference about her and they would like her to be in ECE again for a 3rd year instead of moving on to Kindergarten. They said it's her maturity level they are worried about and may get lost in the shuffle. She can be shy at times but it takes her time to warm up to a new person. What the mean by her maturity level is that she lacks self confidence in herself, if they ask her to do a certain task, there are times that she does it and then there are times she just shuts down and won't say anything. I'm not sure if that is her stubborn streak or a authority issue. Is she afraid that if she gets it wrong, will she get in trouble? Is she getting bored in that class? She knows all of her colors, shapes, can count to 30 or so, can cut in a straight line, write her name, tie her shoes, etc. So, I 'm confused on what to do, send her to kindergarten and see if she can do it (which I have faith in her) or let her do a 3rd year of ECE.
So What Happened?™
Thanks Moriah for your advice!! I think she is academically ready too, we will continually work with her struggles at home. Especially with her numbers, like I said earlier she can count to 30 but there are days where she is stubborn and just wants to count to 4 or 5. Or when we mix up the numbers, she gets confused easily. That will be a task we will have to work with her everyday. They also mentioned that she struggles with 2-step directions, which I really find hard to believe. I can give her 4-5 step directions at home and she has no problems with them. No parent wants to see their child struggle in school and everyday life but I think it's in their best interest to let them move on to the next level of education. If she does struggle with Kindergarten then I will have to prepare myself to have her repeat it again.
R.J. answers from Chicago on April 19, 2010
According to Chicago Public Schools you have to be 5 before Sept. 1. As an Early Childhood Specialist for 17 years, I believe in this as well. Her attending another year will be good for her Social Emotional Development.
I.M. answers from New York on April 15, 2010
She sounds like she is doing very well academically, so if I was you I would let her go onto Kinder. You know your child better than anyone else! If you believe she is ready, by all means send her to Kinder. The teacher would be able to assess her and tell you if she is ready or not. When my daughter was in kinder in her class was a little boy that had been in kinder the year prior, but the teacher knew he was not ready and he was kept back. He would fall asleep during class, didn't know how to cut, didn't know his colors or shapes, I mean really; he was not ready.
Then she had a little girl in my son's kinder class that was the most timid and quiet girl in the class, she would not talk to anyone but she was one of the smartest and most artistic talented in the class.
So, don't hold her back. You know her better than anyone else does. If the teacher thinks that she is not ready, she will let you know. You have nothing to loose.
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J.F. answers from Minneapolis on April 15, 2010
As an elementary teacher, my gut says go with their recommendation. But, you are her parent and know her the best.
The concerns I see are that schools are so overwhelmed with several students (too many) in a classroom with little to no support from the district. Also, the standards for all students keeps creeping up each year to an almost impossible goal for the students' developmental levels.
If you decide to send her to K, be prepared to retain her another year in K, IF she doesn't seem to be doing well. Retaining kids after K (or at the latest first grade) is about all you can do. The next step would be to evaluate her for a possible learning disability and see if she would qualify for additional services through Special Ed. (which it sounds like she has an IEP for speech already, so you have some idea of what to expect).
If it were 15 years ago, your daughter would be just fine in K. A LOT has changed in the past 10 years...and not for the better in public education. It is not your child that is the problem, it is the system and what we expect out of kids without the proper support or understanding of developmental levels. So, you have to play the system to best benefit your child. So sad, I know. Good luck with your decision.
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M.L. answers from Hartford on April 15, 2010
Kindergarten teachers shoudl be trained and equiped to work with any child. She does not seem like she has many issues. Many children are shy. Kindergarted teahcers have children with many special needs. I am actually an earlychilhood major- in my BA program currently!
Maybe you could talk with the pricipal at the new school and maybe she will qualify for a one on one teacher in her classroom. Teachers should not allow her to get lost in the shuffle. I would hate to see her not move on to bigger and better things.
Try to work with her at home as well, she seems academically ready! I would give it a go!
Working From home and loving it!
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M.M. answers from Jacksonville on April 15, 2010
If she is already hitting the Kindergarten benchmarks then send her along. Why hold her back if academically she is ready? She will get bored and then see school as just an inconveniene and stupid. Why go and do the work if I know it already. MAybe she only needs one or two other little girls to be friends with. Kindergarteners aren't all social butterflies.
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S.S. answers from Chicago on April 16, 2010
Guess they should put me back into ECE as I seem to exhibit some of those traits myself. Are these young teachers? I never heard of such a thing. She is obviously mature enough to be in some program as they are urging her to stay in that one. So what difference will it make if she moves on. Does she have feelings about it? I have worked in kindergartens often and it is impossible to generalize about them. Some have hung on my leg and cried off and on all day, some wanted to write a presidential speech. Then the next day they were the ones that cried. I hate to say it, unless these people can pinpoint more specific information if you and she are ready for it, then go ahead and send her. Sometimes you have to take the bullies by the horn, meaning these teachers do not sound very nurturing...sorry, but I am taking your confusion away and telling you to send her to kindergarten unless you aren't ready (I know I wasn't when my baby turned five)!!!!!
L.C. answers from Chicago on April 16, 2010
listen to the teachers!!!! they know who can make it and who will struggle. give her an extra chance!!! also, counting to 30 is a memorization skill just like saying the abc's....anyone can memorize. so when they mix up the no's and say she gets confused, that's what they mean. teachers most often know their business and you would be doing a favor to your child by sending her one more year. why should she have to struggle??? it will affect her in many ways.
J.F. answers from Chicago on April 16, 2010
If the teachers are that concerned I'd listen to them...social skills are just as valuable in school as the academic ones and by your own admission you are not even sure why she shuts down and refuses to talk, etc...It would be tough for her if she was the only child unwilling or unable to follow directions and also play in a more structured way with the rest of the kids. No harm in not advancing her...I don't know many kids at the top of their class academically that don't feel good about their achievements. Best wishes!
B.H. answers from Detroit on April 15, 2010
I believe that as parents w e do know what your children are capable of then on the other hand these people who are supposed to be trained so you want to believe that they know what is best too. It's a hard decision to make.
Does she attend an all day Program? and is the preschool class and Kindergartin classs located within the same building. If so, maybe you can work something out where she attends preschool half day and Kindergarten the other half of the day. At least then you can get familiar with Kindergarten and gradually work into it.
I'm doing this with my son who is also 5 and enrolled in an early childhood program. He is also in early childhood program because of his maturity level and attention span.