Is Pre-k Not Ready for Kindergarten

Updated on March 18, 2011
D.S. asks from Mesquite, TX
18 answers

Hi mama's
have a 4 y/o that will be 5 in april. She is in pre-k this year. To start with she was born 27 weeks early. I know maturity and academically wise she will behind her peers. At this time in school she is still having a hard time learning to write name etc. Have any of you had these issues? And if so what measures did you take. Just not thinking she is ready for kindergarten at this time.

Thanks ladies,

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

Maybe do another year of pre-k? Most people don't realize that kindergarten is not mandatory in Texas so its not like you'll get in trouble if she doesn't go this year.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Just do another year of pre k. Its common and not a big deal. 27 weeks early so she was born at 13 weeks?

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Phoenix on

My 4 almost 5 year old still can not write his name. He can write 3 of the 5 letters and he makes a p for a g. So I would not write her off just yet as not ready for kindergarten.

I remember hearing that they would reconize letters, and numbers. So I think we have a good few months to work with them, before registration.

One more thought, you know your child, and as a mommy you know what is good for her.
Best of luck to your little one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that all kids should go to the correct class for their age. If they cannot go to the next for some reason then when they actually fail is when they should be held back.

My favorite age to work with in child care has always been Kindergarteners. The whole world opens up for them and their brain turns on to learning sometime during that year.

Send the child to Kindergarten and if she is way behind at the end of that year then hold her back from 1st grade but at least give her a chance to succeed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

My son went to pre k at 4 turned 5 in july and started school in sept. my friends son went to pre k at 4 turned 5 in april(like your daughter)and wasn't ready for kindergarden in the fall, he needed that extra year of preschool. Your daughter also has a lot of months to learn how to write her name and whatever else she is having trouble with it may just end up just clicking...her teacher will evaluate her and let you know if she is ready for kindergarden. If you don't think she is ready you don't have to send her it's your call you know her best and if you feel it will benefit her to wait a year then you may be right. Go with your mommy instincts

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

At my Daughter's school, Pre-K or Jr.K is for the late born kids, november/december.

If you go online and do a Google Search for "Kindergarten Readiness", you will find a lot of information.

Your daughter was born 6 months early, I don't know the stats on 'when' a premature baby catches up or at what age.

Ultimately, go by your Mommy gut instinct....

You can practice with her, 'tracing' dotted lined letters etc.
Or her doing mazes in workbooks etc.
All of this works the fine motor movements of the hand and fingers. For example.

In Kindergarten, there are many kids who also do not have preschool experience and some that do. It really ranges.
But the emotional 'maturity' of a child and that readiness... is also very important.... and will or can affect, how a child transitions to Kindergarten.

Some schools start Kinder at turning 5 or at 5 years old. Each school having a different age cut off date. Or some schools start Kinder at 6 years old.
Keep in mind, that in many States, Kindergarten is NOT "mandatory."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

The teachers she has now for pre-K should do an assessment by the end of the year and let you know if she is really ready for kindergarten or not. I would talk with them and see what they think. They could also give you some tools and resources as far as working with her at home. You didn't mention when the cut-off for the school year is but most places it is Sept. 1 (it is actually Dec.1 here in Michigan for public school). So if her b-day is April, it's not like she's anywhere close to the cut-off - if she didn't start K until fall of 2012, she would actually be turning 7 during the school year, and 19 her senior year of high school.

In our school district, there is 3 yo preschool, 4 yo preschool, and then kindergarten. They do have a "pre-K" program that is separate from the 4 yo preschool program but the kids have to have certain qualifications - for example, a late birthday that falls between Sept.1 and Dec.1, AND demonstrating, based on teacher assessments, that they are behind their peers socially or academically, have severe separation anxiety, etc.

Another thought would be a Montessori program - there is a Montessori school near us where the kids ages 3 to 6 are all taught together, so maybe a year in an environment like that instead of public school K would be an option - she could come out of there maybe more ready for K, or maybe 1st grade!

Keep in mind too, a lot can change between now and Sept. - it is still 6 months away and maybe by then she will be more ready for kindergarten.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter was born on Feb 1 and it was 5 weeks early. So, she turned 5 last February. I did enroll her in kindergarten, but I think it might have been better to look for a 5 day preschool or transitional kindergarten program. She did preschool for 2 days/week in the 2 yr, 3 yr and 4 yr old programs. She did struggle with learning to write her name (partially my fault I guess because it is 8 letters long). Someone posted that an assessment is done at the beginning of the year. I can tell you that it did not happen in my child's school.

She does struggle with writing--it takes her forever to get writing on paper and not because she is trying to be extremely neat in her writing. She just loses focus, interest, whatever. She also has some maturity issues that affect a lot of what goes on during the school day. She is not a behavior problem so I am thankful for that. I can say that she does better with math concepts (not top of the class, but better than she does with language). Also, she has come a LONG way since the beginning of the year, but with LOTS of extra work at home.

Also, she doesn't qualify to receive any extra help, because while she is slow in learning, she is not far enough behind. That is the EXTREMELY frustrating part about schools (and I am a former elem teacher). In addition, she did not talk until about 2 1/2 yrs old. So, she also has a language delay. Again, she doesn't qualify for speech because she is at the tail end of having the sounds developed on target.

It is very frustrating for me to see her have to work so hard to get it and then forget it the next day. The hardest thing for her besides writing is mastering her sight words without trying to sound them out. She does not yet have immediate recognition of a lot of the sight words. I work with her a great deal at home. The classroom teacher can only do so much (and with the school budget crisis in Texas it will only get worse).

This summer I plan to enroll her in Sylvan to help close up some of the gaps. If I had to do it all over again, I would have waited another year for kindergarten. I waivered a bit at the end of preschool and my husband was pushing to wait an extra year. I should have gone with my gut instinct. She would have been a little older than the other kids, but I don't think she would have realized it and she is so tiny she would physically fit in anyway.

It is a tough decision. I would meet with the school if at all possible and discuss your concerns. See if they have reading recovery programs for kindergarten students or small group pull out. My daughter's school does have a reading specialist on campus, but she works with 3rd/4th graders because they are the ones taking the TAKS. AGAIN--another frustrating issue about schools.

Feel free to email me if you want to discuss it further.



answers from Dallas on

These days there are lots of kids who get a "bonus year" of preschool before starting kinder at 6. In my little social circle, we had 5 kids with spring/summer birthdays last year who were turning 5, and I'm the only one who sent my kid to kinder! The others kept them back for another year of experience. There's certainly no shame in doing that, if it's what you decide to do.



answers from Kansas City on

At this point I would still plan on sending her. Keep practicing the obvious and make sure you take her to Kindergarten Roundup at her school. They will do lots of evaluations and then talk to you about it and give you a heads up. Plus, even if she is behind in one or a few areas when she begins K they will have some specialists to help her. I think she'll be okay. Have you talked to her Pre-K teachers about it...what do they say? They see hundreds of kids in their career so they really are an excellent resource and are probably the most equip to handle your questions and concerns!



answers from Dallas on

You may look into a Transitional Kinder program to give her more time----it is better for her to start strong than to struggle.



answers from Dallas on

Is she in a day-care that does pre-school type work or is she in a school district pre-school. Because they could evaluate her in the school district. I don't think there is anything wrong with waiting a year. my daughter was only born 4 weeks early but was a June baby. So it seems like most of her friends are 3-8 months older than her. And althougth academically she is doing well, socially she seems so much more immature than alot of them. If she is in a day-care, I would inquire about getting her into a true pre-school if possible. To me it is soooooo important to start kids out right academically. Because if they struggle right off the bat, that can make them feel very insecure and could make them dislike school. So I think MOM knows best. If you feel she is not ready for kindergarten then check other options. Find a place that will really work with her to get her ready. To me its not about staying with her speicific age group like one mom mentioned...its about her learning properly!! Good Luck and God Bless!



answers from Pittsfield on

So hard to know. She could have a big readiness growth spurt in the next 6 months. Does her teacher think she's behind the other kids her age or are you comparing her to other children you know that are ahead of average?

How has she adjusted to pre-school? Is she tired and seem to want down time when she comes home from a pre-school day? If she is, you may want to wait. It may be a signal that she's not ready to deal with a school day that's twice as long as the one she's used to.

At the end of the day, I think you should go with your gut. If even after talking to her teacher, you feel she's not ready, why rush it? There's no shame in waiting another year. Here's a website that has information on kindergarden readiness:
Hope it helps :)



answers from Cleveland on

I would go ahead and sign her up for kindergarten. They will do an assessment before kindergarten to see if she is ready. Really, it's probably too early to make a decision at this point. She will grow a lot between now and August and she may do a lot of maturing between now and then. But do make alternate plans, just in case you (or the school) decide that she is not ready.

Over the summer, make sure that you work with her on her letters and numbers. Have her practice writing her name every day. Help her to learn her address and phone number.

By the way, I believe that most health care professionals agree that preemies are usually caught up to "full-term" babies by age 2. Unless there was some sort of problem with her health at birth, she's probably on par with all other 4 year olds.

By the way, I went through a similar situation. I have a 5 year old who is in kindergarten and won't be 6 until June, so he's the youngest in his class. He is a little bit behind the other kids in maturity, but academically he's doing great. I think it's actually helping his maturity to be around the older kindergarteners. He loves kindergarten and I'm glad I didn't hold him back.


answers from Spokane on

She could be ready to start, but if she's not, there's no reason to push. My oldest son had developmental delays and he did two years of kindergarten. The first year we homeschooled him and then he entered a K class at the local public school. Several people were pushing us to start him right away but we didn't feel he was ready either developmentally or emotionally. He had been in a developmental PreK (he did awesome) and then a head start program (horrible experience for him) so we knew in the right environment it would be great but we didn't feel going from a small class with a small teacher-student ratio into a very large class would be good for him. His experience in the head start program showed us that he wasn't ready for it. We are so glad we waited. He's still behind developmentally, but he's had a much more positive experience. And please don't think I'm saying there is anything wrong with your daughter. I'm just saying that if you don't think she's ready, don't push it. Just work with her at home. They really do learn better when they're ready.


answers from Chicago on

have the school do an evaluation on her they will help make decisions on this.



answers from Dallas on

not every district does an assessment. my son's district didn't. so first, i would call yours and ask. i would also talk to your daughter's teachers. also, is she going to a daycare preschool or an accredited preschool? big difference in how closely it resembles real school.

thankfully, it's only march, so you have time to decide.

btw, my son is 6 and is horrible at writing but is really good at reading and pretty good at math, so sometimes, they just have different gifts.



answers from New York on

give her a chance, she might surprise you. if its really not working out, take her out and try again next year...

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions