42 answers

Whether to Repeat Pre-school or Go on to Kindergarten

I have a 4 yr. old that has attended pre-school for 3 years (2,3 and 4) She has
a late birthday...August.
Her pre-school teacher seems to think she should not go on to Kindergarten next
year as she is struggling to learn what they are teaching now....She knows her
ABC's and and knows colors,shapes,and has got most of her numbers down...she is
beginning to write her name really well. She is very social and gets along with
other children really well. I think by the end of this school year she will
eventually catch up. I think she should go on to Kindergarten and if there is a
problem with learning we can address it then and maybe hold her back another
year in Kindergarten...I think she needs the Kindergarten exposure and maybe
because of maturity thinks will start to really click with her. Has anyone had
the same problem and maybe can share your experience with me....?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Please read the book "Better Late than Early" which summarizes years of government funded studies on how children fare best, learn best. The wonderful authors "studied the studies" to take all this great tax-funded info and put it into english so we all can use it -- concluding that we do not do children any favors by pushing ahead in school when they are not ready.
We actually harm them and their ability to learn later. Their eyes are not ready, they are not ready to sit still that long and it's just so not a good idea. What does it matter -- is it the cost of preschool? Can you keep her home with you?

I know it's hard, but if the preschool teacher says waiting another year is something you should really consider, then maybe you should talk to the teacher more and see why. Usually the teachers can see something that we as parents aren't willing to see.

Would you rather hold her back in pre-k (where she doesn't know the difference) or in Kindergarten where all her friends next year will know that she didn't make it to 1st grade and will tease her for it?

Talk with the teacher and then go from there.

AC

Maybe you could find a 5/6 program or a school like St, Anne's (assuming Atlanta) so she could go ahead academically, but give her a year to fully get where the teacher thinks she could be. Many preschools have 5/6 programs in my area. Good luck, J

More Answers

It's a big decision. I have a son who has a birthday 8/17 I put him in prek and then kindergarten when he was of age. It didn't go well I pulled him out over the christmas break and I did this with the advise of a doctor who had children of his own they were grown and he only dealt with child as a ped. neuro.. he said "I've seen it many times it's much better to be the big fish then a guppey and fight to get by" I did what he suggested...do i regret it? not one day. My son is in 2nd grade now and would of been in 3rd grade if I left him alone. He is reading at an excelled level and is doing very in his other subjects. He helps other children and enjoys it he likes being able to help his teacher. He feels like a leader in his class and he is a leader. Now his maturity level well, he's like a 1st or 2nd grader he's not a 3rd grader in that area. I asked his teacher at our conference today "should we consider moving him to 3rd grade?" she said "no" he will not be the leader deep concern they will eat him alive he may fall behind and don't think this would be a good idea at all it can effect self esteem and domino effect to school work. After thinking about it tonight I agree with her and I respect her opinion since she see a different child then I do at school, lets face it we all act different at school then at home.
Hold her back now not in kindergarten children know when it happens and they talk and to each other. It's way easier to do it now then in the public school yes it would be better in kindergarten then say 3rd grade to be held back but lets face it kids know and have opinions. I recall my parents holding me back in 1st grade the teacher was a horror and was so old she played stick ball with Jesus, she should have retired but my parents listened kids went on the 2nd grade and it was just a nightmare to me. This is back when they use to paddle kids and hit you with rulers lets see like ok 40 years ago. So times have changed teaching methods have come a long way since then.
Maybe have her tested at your school she would go to kindergarten and see what they say like in April or just before school starts, see what you think then but if you are going to hold her back I suggest now not waiting for her to struggle you don't want her to dislike school when things are a big struggle. My best wishes i hope this moms experience is some help.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

I was in the exact same situation 8 years ago. My daughter also has an Aug. birthday. Her 4 year old pre-school teacher mentioned that she was not quite up to speed and should probably be held back. She did however say it was best if you are going to repeat a grade to repeat kindergarten since you learn so much that year. We were in a preschool at a church which also had a half-day kindergarten so my daughter went to kindergarten at the church school and then again in public school. It was a great decision because now she is a top student and does great socially as well.

Good Luck!

A.

Hi J.,
I have 2 children with July birthdays. My daughter is 11 and in middle school, 6th grade. She is doing well, gets As and Bs. Now, my son is 5 and July 23rd BD. I have had him in private K this year and he will then go to public K next year. I asked so many people, including teacher friends, what was the best. At the time, we lived where the cut off was Sept 1st, so it was a much closer issue. I had decided to hold him because they say that is really a good idea for boys. My son is very social with 2 older sisters and he is very outgoing! One thing I want to point out that was brought to my attention, is to think of the other end of the spectrum. How old they will be when they need to go off to college? I have also heard that pyschologist offices are filled with college freshman who are depressed and unable to handle the responsibility of being on their own. I realize every child is different, but why take that chance? I sometimes wish my 11 year old was in 5th grade...they are exposed to so much in school and it was hard to have her going to middle school after just turning 11! They grow up WAY too fast! So, that is my 2 cents on the whole thing. My son could have gone to Kindergarten this year, but remember Georgia has all day K and that is alot. I think it would have been a bit much for him, but I am very happy and confident knowing he is completely prepared for next year! If it is money issue, I have been there too! But it is a small sacrifice compared to the next 12 years. Don't take anything the teacher says personally...it is not fun towatch your child struggle or not be able to play with friends after school because they have to be in extra classes or it takes them longer to do their homework!
All the best in making the right decision for you and your family!
M.

So, she'll be five in August? Well, I have a June baby in Kindergarten right now -- she'll be the last five-year-old in her class. I don't think that age is a hindrance.

What I DO think is significant is that you say "Her pre-school teacher seems to think she should not go on to Kindergarten next year as she is struggling to learn what they are teaching now." I would not start my child out with a handicap. If she's struggling in preschool, she'll struggle through Kindergarten. You want her to find school to be an enjoyable experience -- not a source of stress -- it sets up a lifetime of dreading school. I think I'd consider moving her to another preschool -- not because the first one is bad but to allow her a feeling of graduating on to something (unless she's happy and secure there in which case I'd let her stay.) But I WOULD wait a year to put her in Kindergarten.

My son is now in kindergarten and had the same problem. In pre school, he seemed to just have fun all day and not want to learn. When he got to kindergarten, they tested all students to determine what level they were at. After his kindergarten exposure, we realized that he is a smart boy, just in his own time. He doesn't show it, but he is learning and doing great. He has satifactory marks in everything. Go ahead and put her in kindergarten. That's the only way to know if she is ready. And having a late birthday doesn't mean anything. My birthday iss in August and I was always the youngest in my class. It just made me what to try harder. I never let my age keep me back. I graduated high school at 17. Age is only a number.

Please read the book "Better Late than Early" which summarizes years of government funded studies on how children fare best, learn best. The wonderful authors "studied the studies" to take all this great tax-funded info and put it into english so we all can use it -- concluding that we do not do children any favors by pushing ahead in school when they are not ready.
We actually harm them and their ability to learn later. Their eyes are not ready, they are not ready to sit still that long and it's just so not a good idea. What does it matter -- is it the cost of preschool? Can you keep her home with you?

You are the only one who knows your child. I held my middle son back a year because he was not reading at the proper level and I knew it would hinder him in a higher grade. You first have to look at what problems she is having and what aspects of learning she has not learned quite yet. If it is something that will affect the way she learns with other areas of school learning, such as reading, writing, memory skills, etc. Then you may want to hold her back. If you feel sure that she will grasp all concepts as they come and you have the time to spend with her working on areas she really needs help then I would go for it. Hope this helps..Have a wonderful day.

I'd say go with your gut.

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