My Son Needs to Repeat Pre-K Help

Updated on March 29, 2011
D.W. asks from Athens, GA
17 answers

We adopted our son two years ago from a difficult situation and he is doing great, but deals with some social anxiety issues that make school a challenge.. It was a huge transition for him to begin Pre-K, but he is in an excellent lottery funded program in Athens GA with a great teacher. The problem is that we both feel that he is not ready for kindergarten for several reasons, but I am being told that there is no way for him to repeat Pre-K in his current Pre-K b/c it is lottery funded. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas I would be very grateful. He has just started to get use to the school and he is beginning to feel better socially, so I hate that he may have to transition again before he is ready. Thanks for your help.

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your ideas and sharing your experiences with me. He is in therapy and making progress and we have tried a couple of activities that he was interested in, but he began to have nightmares even though we were taking it really slow. We plan to try again this summer. He is involved in our children's program at church and we do story time along with a couple of play dates in our home. I met with his teacher yesterday afternoon and we did talk about that he does have several months to continue to improve, but the other factor is that his Pre-K does not feed into a certain Kindergarten program so he may not be with children he already knows. We do plan to put him into a private Montessori school since the ratio numbers are better and we think it will be a better fit for him. On of the reason we are discussing this now is that the schools are already having open house and taking applications, so we have to try and secure a spot if he is going on to Kindergarten. I guess the choice is down to putting him into private Pre-k at the Montessori school or Kindergarten at the same Montessori school. Thank you for the suggestion of talking with his potential teacher at the new school. I may also ask his current teacher to talk with them as well. He really suffers from anxiety and if he feels that he cannot do what other children are doing or if he feels left out he really takes it hard. It is one of the issues we are working on in therapy. I know most of you can relate to this, but it is so hard to see him struggle and we just want to give him the best opportunity to succeed. Again, thank you so much for listening to me and all of your help. I found this site at just the right time. Have a great day.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't understand the whole "lottery funded" concept. But if they are not allowed to repeat Pre K at that school, and you and the teacher agree he is not ready for K, then I guess adjusting to a new PreK will be less stressful that attending K for which he is not ready, right?

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answers from Sacramento on

It sounds like there's not much choice but to move him to another pre-k program. Have you talked to his therapist about ways to ease the anxiety with these types of transitions? He/she might have some great tips to make this easier for him.

Also, most likely there will be some sort of graduation ceremony with his class, so the fact that other kids will be moving on to other schools after pre-k may make this the ideal time for the transition.

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answers from Phoenix on

Are you talking about starting KG this coming September, 9 mos. from now?

A lot of great development can still occur between now and then. Especially if you continue to incorporate the suggestions you receive from teachers and counselors already on board.

Perhaps he could give it a go and repeat KG, even if necessary. PreK is always a big transition, even for some well adjusted kids without a prior 'difficult situation.' Once the end of the school year comes and he starts to understand that everyone is moving on, the next transition won't be as difficult as this first one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Wow! I am so proud of moms who are not afraid to speak out for their children! I commend you on your love, compassion and savvy in trying to get the best attention for your child. It seems that you are saying that your child is meeting the educational requirements of PreK, but you are worried that he is not ready emotionally. You could approach this in one or two ways. Does his social anxiety put him in a situation that he would harm other children or himself? If your answer is no, then there is the possibility that he grows out of this through continued exposure to other kids. If your answer is yes, then with a Lottery-funded PreK, there are procedures that allow you to ask for the help of a social worker to start to evaluate your child. It takes about a year to reach a decision, so it is best that you start now. Before you do anything, call your pediatrician and get an appointment to get your child medically evaluated. Meanwhile, you, the teacher, and a social worker will evaluate your child educationally and document his actions in the classroom. Bring to all appointments your child's history, and a list of what your child does and what times of the day this occurs. Once you get the results from your doctor, and school, you will know what to do. When you know the source of the social anxiety you can begin to create informed decisions for your child. You are such a great mom! Don't get overwhelmed because you have all these great people supporting you and your child! Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

I think you should check out the montessori school in Athens. I've always heard great things about it and that way he could work more at his own pace. Even if that doesn't work out, perhaps another pre-k option could -even a half day situation at a local church. That way he would still be going to a school setting, but it would give him the extra year. Also, please realize that it's January right now -in the life of a 4 or 5 year old, it's a LONG time until August. He will definitely learn more, grow more and mature more before then. You may want to reconsider the kindergarten option.

****For those of you not in GA or another state with lottery-funded pre-k -here part of our lottery proceeds to to fund pre-k programs in local elementary schools around the state. They're free -just like regular public education and the good ones are VERY good. My oldest son is in one as well. They were originally developed to give kids who are not having their learning and socialization needs met at home or another preschool a chance to get ready for kindergarten and it has definitely helped.



answers from Atlanta on

I had to learn to trust that the experts knew more than I. Sometimes you really just need to say to yourself "getting him through this and on to the next step is out of my skill set". If they felt as though he would benefit from repeating pre-k they would figure out how to make it happen. Is he in therapy for whatever bad situation he came from?



answers from Atlanta on

B/c of my son's August b-day, we put him in a 1/2 day private kdg (yes, we paid for it) @ 5 y.o. and then in full day public school kdg @ 6 y.o. We did this b/c his 4 yr preschool teacher, my husband and I felt like our son was just too immature. If you think you might keep him back at all, do it when he's young. Less social stigma than repeating 1st or 2nd grade.

PS - my son is know 12 yo and ahead in so may ways. We literally paid for him to grow up when he was 5 y.o - and he did!. Best $ ever spent! He is now one of the older kids in the grade and is considered a leader. He has so much self-confidence and compassion.



answers from Columbus on

I wonder if you might advance him to kindergarten, and *IF* he exhibits signs of being behind at that level, then keep him in kdg again a second year.

we did 2x preK for my daughter that has a bday early october and she's so far advanced in kdg it's not funny, BUT, i would rather her be ahead than struggling. it makes school easy and fun instead of un-fun.

repeating at early ages is no big deal. if the cost thing is the problem, perhaps a year in kdg and if he struggles, then a second year in kdg which would be an easy year for him. it would correct the impression in his head that it's too hard/too challenging.

just a thought


answers from Atlanta on

I am a licensed teacher who teaches in the Pre-K program. I can tell you if he's making progress rest assured he need not look back. It seems like all "new" social experiences could be a challenge so continue to teach him about change and try to give him as many coping experiences as possible. If you have a great teacher now, pick from her brain for next year so you can fill in his Kindergarten teacher as much as possible. As the "former" teacher, I have spoken a few times over the phone to student's current teachers about successful academic and behavior plans of actions. As soon as you find out who his teacher is, ask for a conference and be up front about your concerns and what things have worked best in the past. Ask around and feel them out to see if your child is a good fit. Don't be afraid to investigate other teachers and request a change if need be. Hoping for continued success and progress:)



answers from Atlanta on

You can do pre-K again at a private day care and pay for it. It should be between 130-180 per week depending on where you go.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Kindergarten is months and months away. Let him start and if he is having issues then he can repeat Kindergarten. Let him at least try before expecting him to fail.


answers from Phoenix on

I agree to wait til the last min. Even through the summer with some social skill things you can do. On a side note....monessari schools are good for kids who are lacking in social skills. They are independent students and less work with groups and kids...but that may only be for a period of time for some kids to get a handle on it. Just thought I would throw that in. But I realize your settled in what your give it the months ahead and evaluate again then.



answers from Norfolk on

It is only January, he still has 7 months to grow and develop. I would not worry to much. What kind of extra activities does he do if any?

Look into T-ball or gymnastics. Take him to story time and craft times. many bookstores will have them or the library. Restaurants are also starting to have them. During the summer look into camps offered by the county or see if the school/colleges are having any. Just get him to join something with other kids around but low stress. Make sure you have a leader that is ok with him just sitting and watching and joining in when he is ready. That way if and when he feels stress he as the option to sit out without punishment.



answers from New York on

I would find another pre-K program to put him in.



answers from Atlanta on

FYI, my son is going to need to repeat Pre-K, lottery funded, also here in GA. The director said that since they don't think he is ready, they can appeal to the state for a repeat and that he would probably get approved. Just a little FYI. And you can find this on GA Bright from the Start website. Just search "repeat pre-k" and it is in the handbook. Hope this helps.



answers from Atlanta on

This might be late, but maybe ask the other parents where their kids are going? If many are going to the same school, ask the Principal there if your son could come by during the first hour of school day to meet his new teacher and see the room? Maybe they would be OK with doing this a few times before the year's up or even allowing several of the kids from his school with him to meet the kids already almost done with Kindergarten to give a boost of self-confidence? Or do they have other ice-breaker ideas at the new school or could suggest a certain K teacher versus another to be ready for your son?


answers from Dallas on

I like what mum4ever wrote that Kindergarten is still 9 months away, there a a lot of room for improvement. If most of his pre-k class is moving to kindergarten then it may not be too bad for him to move with them. He would know some of the kids already and that might help with anxiety. Another thing is ask the teacher if there is any particular kids he plays with a lot. Then do some play dates with those children or have some get together with the classmates.

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