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.

I was six when I went to kindergarten because my birthday is September 4th and I am very glad my mother sent me then. To use the term one gal used, I was "the big fish in the pond" and it was great all the way through college. I think it served me well. My daughter was born on Aug. 17th and I plan on doing the same wehn she is of age, unless she is showing genius at an early age.
But you are her Mom and have the best instincts for your daughter. But, better to hold back now than at a later grade when the child would be more embarrassed by it, if need be.

My 5 year old with a late birthday attends a private preschool with a class for 5 year olds. It's kind of like "Kindergarten light". It's been absolutely perfect for her this year, because she is learning the things she needs to learn, but in a small group environment. It's given her a chance to further mature both emotionally and academically before she gets thrust into "big kid" school in a class of 20 kids. She will finish in May, and at that point, we can test her if we choose to determine whether she should be placed into kindergarten or first grade. We may do the testing, but honestly, I am leaning towards enrolling her in kindergarten. As another mom mentioned, I've never heard parents regret taking it slowly for their kids instead of rushing them, so I think that's what we'll end up doing. Message me if you are interested in the details about the school, which is in the Kennesaw/Acworth/Woodstock area and I will be happy to share the info. Good luck!

As a previous kindergarten teacher, I would normally say to wait a year for a child with a late birthday. However, in your daughter's case, she seems ready for kindergarten. She has mastered the preschool level skills and is ready to begin learning kindergarten skills. Learning shapes, colors, alphabet, and writing her name are preschool level skills. If she stays in preschool, she will just continue to learn the same thing. There's no point in keeping her in preschool to learn what she already knows. Seems like a waste of time. Plus, some children who get bored begin to have behavior issues. And I doubt that a preschool teacher will individualize her instruction to meet your daughter's learning needs, because preschool does not fall under the same requirements as the public school system. She needs to move on to kindergarten, where she will begin to learn letter sounds and combinations, reading, writing sentences, adding, etc. Your daughter is ready for kindergarten and should be encouraged to continue to blossom and learn. Children learn at their own pace, and sometimes age has nothing to do with.

Good luck as your daughter begins school!
K.:)

Kindergarten at age 4???? Don't you have the option of Pre-K for 4 year olds? I'm from Georgia and our children go to prek before Kindergarten. My granddaughter has a late birthday (December - I don't consider August a late birthday) and she is more than ready to go to pre K. She is in a preschool right now and they say she is doing so good. I just hate that she will be 5 shortly after starting PreK. I wish she could just go to Kindergarten at 4 1/2.

I do wish we had Pre-One classes in Georgia. They have that in New England and it certainly is a good bridge for those children not quite emotionally mature enough for first grade, yet having the skills for first grade. Since we do not, I would say put her in the kindergarten on time and evaluate her after that. More than likely, she will reach the desired maturity level by the end of Kindergarten. It certainly sounds like she knows what she needs to know otherwise and holding her back now could cause her to become bored and dislike school.

Hi J.!

It's always a tough call when they have late birthdays. My daughter is in kindergarten this year but her birthday is in May so we haven't had any problems with her. My son who is in 2nd grade now, has a July birthday. I went through the decision with him. His preschool teacher said he had the academics down but if we were going to have any troubles, it would be with his maturity level. He did fine in kindergarten but we were always getting notes from the teacher because he wouldn't sit still or he wasn't paying attention or he was goofing off in line-- maturity issues. Girls mature faster than boys so you shouldn't have those issues so much in the forefront.

I would have a really good talk with her preschool teacher. Do you trust her opinion? If your daughter is really struggling you may want to give her opinion a second thought but maybe you could find out exactly where she is having troubles and work with her in those areas to make her stronger. Someone else mentioned all that they expect in kindergarten and I tell you... it gets worse each year!! My daughter has been learning about money since before Christmas! She needs to be able to name the coins and how much they are worth!! My son didn't even touch on that until he was in 1st grade-- just last year! It seems like they expect so much more out of them each year.

A girl friend of mine has a son with an August birthday and she decided to hold him back and he repeated pre-K but he was struggling with coursework and maturity issues and she's glad she made the choice. I really think girls with late birthdays don't have the problems that the boys do.

You have to trust your gut opinion. I do need to add that if you have any doubt-- you now have a choice on what to do (pre-K). I've heard that once they start "officially" in school you lose that choice. You don't have a choice about them repeating kindergarten-- they only repeat if they don't meet all of the school standards- in essence the school decides. You might want to check with the elemetary school she would be attending. I just don't want you to progress thinking that was an option if it's not. I don't know where you live but that's what I heard about Gwinnett County in Georgia.

Good luck with your decision. You know your daughter-- talk to her teacher again and see if you can work with your daughter on some difficult areas. R.

J. I am not a teacher,but in my opinion I feel that you should go a head with kindergarten...Each child matures differently and this seems to be your major concern..I have a daughter in kindergarten in a private school..I can tell you they are only one half through the school year and this is what they are expected to know...Sight words like the,it,on,over,under,go stop, and so on..she has to know how to count to 100,know the days of the week in order,the months of the year in order,how to count by 10 to 100,how to count by 5's to 100, and read easy books...it has literally blown me away....this in my opinion seems extreme....but having said that I think had someone told me in advance as I am to you,I would have known that these things were expected and could have practiced them with her to ease her into it...She is doing well academically,but her maturity level is not where it should be....We were instructed to begin giving her 3 to 4 instructions at a time and have her follow through exactly as we instructed...we are hoping this increases her ability to stay focused..I hope some of this will help you. Be blessed.

It looks like you've got tons of responses, so I'm not sure if I'll have anything important to add. My son turned 5 in August & is in Kindergarten. From the various conferences with his teacher, I know he is behind in maturity, but most often boys are immature than girls at the same age anyways. But as far as his learning is concerned, he is excelling. I don't think I was as prepared for Kindergarten as I thought. They have so much to learn. He has to be able to remember 50 sight words & be able to read at a beginner level. Count to 100. Tell time. Know story order. Ordinal positons (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Learing money. A couple of weeks ago he had some practice on basic addition, like 2+3. You might want to check your state requirements for what a Kindergartener will have to know to progress to 1st grade and if you think that your child is capable of learning the various things then I say go for it. And if you do send her to Kindergarten & she's not doing well hold her back another year, at that age I don't think her or her friends will care.

You bring a lot of memories to me My baby is 26 and let me tell you about our experience When he was in pre-kinder his teacher eanted to hold him back and we change schools on Jan Wnet into kinderder no problem And on 1st grade his teacher call me wanted to hold him back with others 4 kids I said let's talk in a few weeks and I got him a retired teacher that gave tutoring and made the homework with him Guess what, he went thru 1st grade and all other grades with no problem He went to college and has a master degree Maybe what you have to do is sit at home and review some of the material Hope this helps

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

My daughter's birthday is August 12. She never attended pre-school and only went to pre-K for the second half of the year when we moved and our school district had a program in the public school. She started Kindergarten right on time and is doing great! Every child is different, but I wouldn't recommend holding her back right now. If you are in a good school district, they will help her out if she struggles any, and of course, you can help at home after school. Good luck to you.

Hey
I have two kids that have fall b-days. My 5 year old is in pre-k this year and is doing great. She is a leader. I did have her in a privte pre-k last year just b/c i did not want her to just in a daycare room. I think it has done her good to have two years of p-k. I will do the same with my son he will do a privte pre-k next year and then will be 5 in pre-k. I am now pregnent with my thrid child and it is due at the end of August. My sister is a school teacher and the first thing she said to me is that i am going to want to hold the baby back. My other sister who had and august child and did not hold him back said that her son did fine. I think it is up to each child. If the teacher is telling you that you need to hold her back then I would that way you will not need to hold her back later.

I am going to speak honestly. If she is going to public school then where she is at is probably okay. However, when my son entered private school and their advanced studies, he had to know a lot more. He actually was doing spelling tests from day one. They are pretty much reading by day one. They are pretty much able to write complete sentences by day one. I will tell you that my daughter missed PreK by twenty days (Sept 21st) birthday so she is not even able to start PreK until this fall. They have what is called a just missed PreK class. She currently knows all shapes, colors, numbers to 20 (can count to 30), all ABCs and can recognize them, phonics of individual letters, understand patterns, can write her name and knows all of the letters in her name (Michalyn). I am not saying that she should be kept back but you may want to look at the school to see why they are not more advanced in what she has been taught. Maybe directly compare her with other students? If the rest of the class is more advanced and the teacher has been teaching more advanced then maybe it is her. I don't know about the August birthday thing, I struggle with that. I too had an August birthday. I graduated at 17. I never noticed a difference and was always an A/B student. I have a son that's birthday is in June so he was pushed into PreK at 4 (3months). As I said my daughter was kept back, while I fear for her being teased since she is a large child (large parents); I know she is leaps above other classmates and socially is very on top of things. Good luck.

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

My husband had a late July birthday when he started school. He looks back at his experience in school and has stated numerous times that he wished his mother held him back a year. He said that he was always "lost" in school and did not like being the yougest.

I also remember teaching third grade one year and taught a girl with an August birthday. She STRUGGLED so much it was painful to watch. She was a sweet child but was very immature emotionally, physically (very small), and academically. I always wondered if her mom wished she held her daughter back when she was younger.

Saying that...YOU know your child best. I would look at everything from her size to her maturity level. Have you thought about having her interact with kids youger than her and seeing how she does? I agree with one mom who mentioned something about boredom. If you think she needs more stimulation then I would go ahead and put her in kindergarten. Kids DO start to act out if they are bored.

Our daughter has a late August birthday so we did a lot of research on how children perform, both emotionally & academically, when they are either the youngest in the class or the oldest in the class. Hands down the answer was to hold her "back" and let her be the oldest in her class rather than the youngest! At most private schools the cut off for birthdays is May- not September like in public schools. So your daughter would not even be eligible to attend a private kindergarten this fall. Looking forward your child will compete against kids who are full year older than her in school placement, sport teams, SAT's. If you think your daughter needs exposure to more school perhaps apply for the GA Pre-K lottery or chose another preschool that is more challenging. I have noticed a HUGE difference in pre-school ciriculum.
A little about me: I have a 5 1/2 y.o. girl in a private school- but she is in their 4K class. (Everyone in the class is her age! They all turned 5 y.o before November. This is who your child could be compared too-which I think would be unfair to your child!) I also have a 3 y.o. boy with a Feb birthday, so he will soon be 4.

First, has she received any services or testing
Is her pre-school a Head Start program
If the answer is no, please get her tested immediately, this should have already taken place..it is early enough in the year to do this and prepare for kindergarten.

I am a former Head Start Director and Ele. teacher, please please do not guess, get her tested...give her the tools she needs to be successful and remaining in pre-school is just not the right solution..good luck..your pre-school should have service providers, if not check with you local school district

I am curious why the pre-school teacher feels your child isn't ready for Kindergarten. What specific subjects/skills/problems did the teacher mention to support her statement? With this knowledge, you could work with your daughter at home to ensure she is closer to being ready for Kindergarten. You are correct that if problems are identified in Kindergarten then she can repeat that grade.

Send her to kidnergarten. I don't know what you mean by her catching up because she sounds right on target to me. The kids have only started their 3rd grading period out of 4 so she has plenty of time to learn anything she doesn't know already that is needed in kindergarten.

Good luck!
S.

J.,

Although, I have not experienced your issue, I say to go ahead and put your child in kindergarten. I think it may be too soon to hold her back.

I have a son who just turned two. His peditrician is concerned that he isn't speaking many words. I think he is fine and just is a late bloomer; especially since he is home with me all day vs. daycare. I can tell that he is becoming interested in sounding out words more. I think he will come around on his own.

In regards to your 4-year old, you should just work on the schoolwork with her at home. Just reinforce what is being taught at preschool. I have a 4-year old too who will be in kindergarten this August. Although, she is not attending preschool, she is pretty advanced. I spend time with her and know she will be prepared for school when the time comes.

Move your child into kindergarten. If she then falls behind, hold her back. Right now, I think it is too soon! Good luck.

If all the things the children are learning and your child has passed those criteria,find out from kindergarten teacher what is needed to be there. Sounds like the pre-school teacher wants to keep her another year, but check for yourself what is needed to go to kindergarten. I myself didn't go to school until I was 7, but it wasn't immaturity, or not knowing items, it was the conditions (road, me being small, etc). Is the child mature, plays good with others? Why is pre-school teacher saying child shouldn't go?

There are a lot of benefits to holding a child back. Research shows that children with late birthdays who are held back do better even up into college. Also, many schools are reluctant to hold children back in kindergarten. Children are pushed so hard now in school that if there is any doubt it is better to give them an extra year. If your child is struggling in pre-k it will only get worse. That being said you need to find out what your child's teacher's specific concerns are. I have taught pre-k for eight years and only see the need to hold a child back if they are struggling academically, are immature, and have no desire to be independent. It sounds like your child is doing well academically. Is the teacher perhaps not seeing the same ability that you see at home? What exactly is the teacher trying to teach her that she is not getting? If your child is doing well in school you run the risk of her getting bored if she is held back. I would love to here more about where your child is struggling so I could give you an opinion about what I would do in your case. plus I would like to know more about the preschool. What are they teaching, what curriculum are they using? Some pre-k teachers try to teach way above the developmental level of the children. If that is the case no wonder she is not getting it. Feel free to send me a message if you would like to discuss this further. Hope I can help!

I agree with you. 7 months before school starts and she can do a lot of maturing in this time. I would suggest you interact with her on her writing and reading. Most K-5 are reading by mid year. If she is still lagging behind at the end of next year she can always repeat K-5. Many schools have a class for this so they are not in with those just beginning K-5. Work closely with her K-5 teacher and give whatever help may be needed. V.

You have had so many responses, but we did struggle with this decision with our son. His birthday is in July. He was doing okay academically in 4K, but we felt another year of maturity would help him. It did, especially with maturity, but also with reading skills. They really move fast once in the public and private school systems- a lot is expected of the children. An older K5 teacher told us that kids are now doing in Kindergarten what kids used to learn in first grade.
One thing that was important to us was that he did not have to repeat a grade at the same school-by kindergarten, the kids are more aware and realize the other kids are moving up when he/she is not, if held back. Therefore I would recommend either holding her back or putting her in a different kindergarten program in case she needs to repeat kindergarten if you move her forward - she can then start at your local school in first grade or kindergarten with the kids you are sure she will be with the rest of her elementary years. Like many other respondants said, we also felt it would be better for him to be the oldest instead of the youngest child in his class. As it turns out many of his classmates the past few years (he is now in second grade) have had fall birthdays so actually they are only a few months younger than him (as opposed to several months older if we would have had him go onto Kindergarten).

It is a hard decision, I know we struggled with it. We went on recommendations from his teacher, and I asked several lower grade teachers who recommended keeping the child back if there were doubts. I also asked parents of older children who had to make the same decision. Some of the parents I spoke with who sent their child on ahead to the next grade regretted it, none of the parents I spoke with who held their child back regretted it.

Good Luck!
M.

From what you've described, it sounds like she knows most of what the teachers work on in preschool, and she sounds like she is prepared for kindergarten to me. If there is any doubt, I think some public school systems will test to make sure she is prepared. Call your county school system to see if she can be evaluated.

As a retired elementary classroom teacher, I understand the wish for our children to make progress. However, though your daughter has some basics in place, her teacher expresses that she is having some problems catching on to what they are teaching. That aside however, she is still 4 years old and needs the additional year to mature into being a 1st grader. No need to rush things. Though her intellectual ability may be in place, emotionally, psychologically she needs another year. If she goes to kindergarten and has to be retained because she did not catch up, that will be traumatic. My son was like your daughter with respect to age and was intellectually ready for 1st grade but not psychologically. Let her stay in pre-k she will fare better in the long run. Jay Gordon

You have a lot of good suggestions. Maybe have your child evaluated to see if there are any other challenges going on. That way you know the best way to help them. Ask your pediatrician for a recommendation. Sometimes its not a question of holding back but finding the best way to work with your child.

i have NEVER heard a parent say "I wish i had NOT held my child back". THat said, if you have an option of doing private kindergarted (i.e., at the preschool, I'd try K there and then if she is still struggling, either acedemically or socially, you can have her repeat Kindergarten at public school. THats what I did with my son who is now 13, in 7th grade and a straight A student. Academically he was doing okay in private K but was emotionally ssensitive and immature. Today, he's 6'2" and is so confident and self assured. I'd rather have the oldest in the class rather than the youngest. good luck, and don't agonize

If your child in is private school, you could speak with the administrators about letting her progress to kindergarten and then if there are SPECIFIC areas of need, then she can take those subjects with the PreK class...my daughter was born late August and by the end of her PreK 4 year she was so EXCITED about being a Kindergartner that we didn't want to rob her of that milestone experience...and believe it or not, classmates do notice who didn't progress to the next class with them...needless to say, my daughter has done well in Kindergarten and didn't even need to visit the prek4 class like we thought she would've.

Hate to scare you about the public school system but.... you will find your child will be ahead of the curve. Alot of kids do not got to pre-k and in Georgia Kindergarten is not required. Quite a few of the kids that enter Kindergarten don't know their ABC's, and can't write. My son will be entering kindergarten this year also and know's a little math and reading but the only reason I put him in a private kindergarten is because the classes are smaller and from my understanding the kids that go to public kindergarten start from ground one learning ABC's and stuff they should have gotten before they went to pre-k. If he's going to a public school he should be fine if not ahead of most of the class.:-)

Based on what you wrote it sounds like she should go on to kindergarten. I am a former jr. high and high school teacher and I have seen many girls who end up being the oldest in their class because their parents held them back at a young age, but they end up bored and frustrated feeling too mature and unchallenged in high school. This can be a disastrous situation because those students often end up withdrawing from their classmates or getting into trouble. (This situation is much more prevalent in girls because they tend to mature more quickly than boys). However, if you do decide to send her on to kindergarten it will be very important for you to work with her daily to get her to the level she needs to be at when entering kindergarten. Continuing to help her throughout school will also be important since you don't want her to feel like she is slower than the other kids. This can also be dangerous. I do tend to agree with what some of the other responses have said about kindergarten being a starting point for kids at all different levels. Kindergarten is the time when teachers strive to get kids up to the same level because kids enter kindergarten at many different levels and many times the basics will have to be taught (or retaught) in order to get everyone in the class at the same place.

You may want to check out the web site below. From this site you can access a list of the standards that are to be taught in Kindergarten (for the state of GA). It should help give you an idea of what all she should be prepared to learn next year. You may also want to start working with her on learning some of these things over the summer so that she will at least recognize them when she gets to kindergarten.

www.georgiastandards.org

Similar situation, but my kid is one year ahead of yours. He turned 5 in August & started kindergarten.

Last year near the end of pre-K, the teachers and principal had a meeting w. my husband and I because my son was having a hard time staying focused on stuff he thought was boring, working independently on things that seemd pointless to him. ("Gosh, I have *no* idea where he could've gotten that from." sarcasm). I think they said he was having "difficulties internalizing classroom expectations." One teacher even said I needed to lecture him on the importance of keeping his "nose to the grindstone." I mean, for Pete's sake, he was 4! How many 4 year olds have a strong work ethic, especially when no one has gone to much effort to make the work interesting or explained how it's at all relevant to him. He just saw it as grown-ups being bossy for no reason. I interpreted it more as "has difficulties pretending to be interested when he's bored out of his mind." Of course he's more interested in playing - that was fine with me. I've studied enough about early childhood development to know that's how kids learn best at this age anyway.

So I suggested holding him back in pre-K. He was only getting 3 hours a day, 3 days a week and next year he could go to pre-K full time. Besides, his two best friends, born just a few weeks later, over the "cut-off" date, wouldn't be starting until the 2009/10 school year.
And, the biggest kicker for me, I would get him one more year around 17-18 before he went off to college (I hope) and gets exposed to... well, all the stuff *I* was exposed to in college. YIKES!!

But the principal said "Nooooo, he'll be bored!" The two pre-K teachers said "Nooooo, he's a smart cookie, we don't want to do that!" My husband said "Nooooo" but I can't remember what his dopey reason was. :) And I have a very strong suspicion that the principal had already made decisions about the classroom capacities and holding him back would create a vacancy that she would want to fill. (It's an independent school) They did have a point. I'm not gonna get all smarmy and go on about how brilliant and gifted my kid is... but i'll say this - he's NOBODY'S fool. Let's just say that no one thought the problem was intelligence or learning abilities.)

Bottom line is, there was some doubt, but he progressed to kindergarten. And now there are problems. Yeah, he's still plenty smart enough, but he doesn't have the self-control they expect, he giggles when he's not supposed to, he hums when he's not supposed to, etc. Nothing mean-spirited, he's very kind and gets along well and doesn't throw fits. I talked to the school counselor and she said that it's just basic maturity. You can teach a kid a specific skill early, like reading, but it's really hard to teach them to act older than they are, and what's the point really, when it *does* some naturally with time? I'm simplifying this some, we *are* working on self-control and started him in a kids' Aikido class, but the bottom line is that the best way to deal with this is to take off the pressure.

We pushed him before he was ready in ALL aspects, (again, his "academics" were fine, emotionally he was fine), and now he's having a bad experience in kindergarten because he's suddenly the "troublemaker." He's failing not because he isn't trying hard enough, his current teachers TELL me he seems to be trying, but because the adults around him made the wrong decision and put him in a situation where the expectations are just out of his reach. So now that he's had his first bitter taste of failure and had his confidence shaken,
we're going to repeat kindergarten, and I kick myself every day for not doing this last year, when he could have had another great year of preschool, and had lot more self-esteem.

So here's my take on it. If you're going to repeat, the sooner the better. Pre-K is better than kindergarten, and kindergarten is better than the "grades." Once they are in "Grade 1" they expect "grade 2" then "grade 3" etc. A lot of folks push to get their kid in kindergarten, but then find that every year is a struggle to keep up. (Or worse, the kids have to reapeat 3rd grade and there's soooooo much more stigma. Or even worse than *that*, they may develop those mysterious stomach ailments, or other problems that are stress-related but they just don't understand that or know how to cope with it.)

So many things will take care of themselves when you give a child "the gift of time." What's the rush? The stress of homework and tests will come plenty soon enough. Preschool is a pretty golden time to just enjoy being a kid. And that extra year at 18 will hopefully give them a little more wisdom and judgement before they're on thier own.

good luck!

After talking to a couple teachers, I decided to have my daughter stay in preschool another year. (her B-day is the end of Aug.) She is in kindergarten this year and doing excellent. I'm so happy that I made that decision even though it wasn't required. One teacher asked me if I want her to be the "leader of the class" (being older and more mature) or the "follower of the class" (being younger tends to encourage following their peers) This will become more evident as she gets older. (think middle & high school)

Hope this helped. :)
C.

Seems like you have plenty of wonderful suggestions... I can sympathize with you. I have a 5 year old daughter with a late Aug bday. We chose to pull her back. She doesn't go to pre-school but she is able to socialize really well. Knows how to take turns and is very empathetic towards others and yet knows when to speak up when needed. Her academic skills are probably high for her age. Yet, our gut feeling told us not to rush her into K. I graduated high school as a 17 year old since my bday is also in Aug and felt that I could have used another year to mature "psychologically". I had no problems academically, graduated with honors... yet looking back I know that I could have used another year to mature. And that was me. My older sister, another Aug baby, was another story. She graduated at 17 (high school) and felt confident and ready for the world. She got her BS and MBA in 4 years. No time wasting. She was just ready. So, it really depends on the child. You probably know your daughter best. I think you should stick to your gut feelings. If you feel the need to get professional advice, perhaps you can visit the elementary school and talk to a counselor? Really depends on the school and your district. Personally I think kids today are pushed into learning too quickly too fast. Best of luck with your decision.

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