Pre-k or Move Him On?

Updated on September 27, 2011
K.M. asks from Parker, CO
9 answers

Hi! Curious what you gals and guys would do! So my son just turned 4 on the 17th he is currently in pre-k with an IEP for ST and OT he has SPD. In our school district you have to be 5 by Oct 1 to start kindergarten, so that means next year he is technically supposed to start kindergarten because he will turn 5 before the cut-off. During his last IEP review I was remarking how I would probably like him to do another year of pre-k because he is young and has the SPD and it would be nice for his system to mature more etc etc...well, apparently if they are age appropriate he HAS to move on to kindergarten if I would like him to continure receiveing services through the school, so basically I can either keep him back another year but then he wont get any services and his IEP will basically be put on hold OR I can move him on to kindergarten and he will continue to get the services. His current OT (whom I really like) assures me that he will get all the services he needs and that he does not need to be ready for kindergarten, kindergarten needs to be ready for him...but, I am still not sure. Academically he is doing well, knows all his shapes colors, letters, is starting to read a little bit. He has a harder time with getting routines downs and when he is feeling overwhelmed his processing time can take longer. I am not sure what to do. K registration isnt for another couple months but I am curious what other people would do in my position? What do you think?

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Put him in K next year so that you continue to receive services, and then consider holding him back later if needed. e.g. repeat Kindy. Just a thought anyway.

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answers from Washington DC on

I don't understand why you are jumping the gun already. I would wait and see what this current school year produces ya know? Sounds like his OT has the right idea (Kindergarten being prepared for him)....just give it a little time to see what shakes out and reevaluate in the late winter/early spring. good luck!

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answers from Denver on

mine are august and september birthdays. we had the opposite - they both are in the GT with ALPs so they were being pushed to go (the youngest could read little house on the prairie going into kindergarten). but....we waited on both. they were not ready socially. and it was the best decision on schooling we've made so far. when we were trying to decide almost everyone said they wished they had waited for their kid who had a summer or early fall birthday. not one person said they wished they had started sooner if they did wait.

I cannot believe the school district would force you to push him up. if you can at all afford it, I'd wait and give him private services and/or continue at home with therapy. my daughter has three kids in her class that turned 7 this month (she's in 2nd grade) while she just turned 8. two of those three would be much better off in 1st grade right now. one of them still cries at everything (I mean everything - a paper brushes her, she didn't get to the rug on time, etc). the other doesn't know how to handle his fellow boys being boys. and these are GT kids!

he has so much time to be a big boy and an adult, but so little to be just a kid. I'd wait if you can figure it out! I'd push the principals or talk to someone at the district offices to see what your options are.

Also, I assume by SPD you mean sensory processing disorder - a lot of GT kids have sensory issues and I've watched classmates of my children's really struggle with this - it gets easier as they get older. do some research and see if you can find some expert opinions on waiting - or ask your pediatrician.

good luck.

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answers from Columbia on

I say that you take the advice of your OT and go ahead and move him on. You and his OT can work together to ensure that the transition is not too hard.

(Things like this make me wish that we had year-round school in the USA)



answers from Denver on

My son's birthday was May 19. He was big for his age, and was receiving services prior to starting school. I was told he was ready and would continue to receive services, but I knew that he was not ready. I explained that if he I was wrong in my decision he would be the biggest kid in the class, by far. I also knew that if I sent him he could potentially struggle for many years. I believe, by law he still has to have services available, but once they are in the school age range they get them through the school. He went to our school just for those specific services. The speech therapist was shared among three schools and we would go to another, nearby elementary school for that service, so that he would be with kids receiving similar services. I never regretted my decision.
Similarly, I have a daughter who had a February birth date. I was questioning if she was ready and sent her anyway. I knew within months I had made a huge mistake. She was not receiving services but I kept talking to the teacher and really pushed for testing. Our school offered both half day kindergarten and a tuition based full day. I decided to have her do a second year of full day kindergarten following her initial year of half day. She will turn thirteen this year while, still in sixth grade, but again, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Recently I had a parent approach me whose child was headed to middle school, and the said that they always wished that they had the courage to do the same, but they were afraid of stigmatizing their child. The result was they had a child that has continued to struggle and they are really concerned about this next stage.
In the spring of her initial kindergarten year I explained to parents and kids alike that Ali would be going to full day kindergarten the following year. I likened it to wearing glasses. Some kids love to wear glasses, some kids hate it, but bottom line is if you need them, you need them and there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Some kids need more time or help to reach their potential and there is nothing they can do to control that, so like glasses, we just accept this is what we need.



answers from Denver on

I would suggest waiting a year. My son has a June birthday and had speech therapy when he was younger and all seems fine now but I was told boys with summer birthdays to wait a year. I did a ton of research and will tell you that about 95% of what I read, learned, heard, was to wait a year. So I did and had him repeat Pre-K this year and I am glad I did that. He has the same teachers as last year and they told me they can see the progress in just a few weeks of school already and they agree I made the right decision to wait. Not only for him now but for in the future. You want them to be more mature when they are ready to head off to college. Good luck in your decision!


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't send him yet. I do think it's more than just kindergarten being ready for him. I personally think they start kindergarten too young already. There are other countries (I think one is Sweden) that starts when they are 7 years old, and studies show there is huge benefit to waiting to that age. They learn faster, comprehend deeper, and in the end, they show better results.

Obviously you won't want to keep him out until he's 7, but if it was my son, I would wait like you were thinking. I would do schooling with him at home to keep him up to date on everything he's already learned - just 10-15 minutes a day. It doesn't need to be a big thing.

Also, if you haven't already, having him watch Leap Frog Letter Factory teaches all his letter sounds. Then follow up with Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten, and it'll really help him with reading.

Right after my son turned four (like a few weeks later), he learned his letter sounds in less than two days from that DVD and then he was reading at 1st grade level in a few months time due to Hooked on Phonics. He's homeschooled, so I don't have to worry about dealing with the school. But even with my son doing so well, I don't think he would be emotionally ready for school. Anyway, I'm totally rambling...I vote you wait. And if you want to help him keep learning, the suggestions I gave have worked great for us.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

ADDED: Someone mentioned year round school - different areas of the country do it. When I was in high school, it was year round. I'd be on for a while, then off for a while, then back on. It got complicated for families of multiple kids who were on different tracks (being out of school at different times). With homeschooling, I don't really take a summer break (this time I did due to pregnancy, but it's my last baby, so it won't happen anymore). I like the constant teaching and not having to relearn.


answers from Dallas on

Wow, our school district has the September 1st deadline, my son's birthday was 9/11 so he cannot start kindergarten until next year. He started preschool last year with services for his speech delay. He's blossomed a lot in preschool. The school year just started, I'd just wait and see, he might do very well, and be ready for kindergarten next year.



answers from New York on

If your son needs the services, he needs to attend an accreditted Kindergarten. These are your choices- just like they have said. Special Education is all about "eligibility" and one of those "eligibility" issues has to do with school-aged eligibility for one primary reason. Preschool services are paid for by your County and are ONLY available to children who are NOT age-appropriate for school. School-aged services are funded by the local tax payers (often two different groups of people) and are ONLY available for those children who are enrolled in a school-aged program

If your son really needs the services- put him in Kindergarten. The school will have quite a bit of time to get to know him between the screening and aging-in processes. When I was working as a school psychologist, I spent a lot of time with my K teacher in the preschool programs around our county getting to know our incoming students. By the time they showed up in September, we knew them and they knew us.

It's a huge leap of faith and public schools get a bad repuation on this site, but communication is KEY. Talk with the school and let them get to know your child. Reach out to the building-level special education coordinator or school psychologist and ask what the process is for recommending placements and services. Don't start calling until March or so b/c they won't have your child's file yet... but don't ever hesitate to call.

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