Pre K

Updated on February 20, 2010
S.J. asks from Arnold, MO
10 answers

I'm confused. My 4 year old son is a little on the imature side and his pre k teachers suggests that I wait until he is 6 to start K. His b-day is 4/21 so he'll be one of the youngest in the class. I had him tested for Kinder G by Parents as Teachers last week and they said he scored perfectly normal and even higher than most kids that day! He DOES have trouble answering the wh questions pretty often. Parents as Teachers are AGAINST holding kids back for Kinder G. Who's advise is the best? I'm looking for other mom's out there that have been faced with this situation in the past. Thanks!

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answers from Lawton on

Send him on to Kindergarten. Boys mature slower than girls anyways. My son's birthday is in October, the cut off in Oklahoma is Sept.1. He is older than most kids in his class, but by far the most mature. Don't get me wrong, he is just very active, even excited maybe. I think it has to do with boredom sometimes. He is very good with reading, math, and the imagination he has is crazy creative. Your son may just be ready for the more stimulation of kindergarten than the pre-k. It happens more often than teachers like to admit. They would just rather push them off to the side and let someone else deal with them. My sons teachers tried to say he was ADD or ADHD, but he isn't always that way, so I know its not that. Good luck with your decision, you are his mom and know what you feel is right for him. Go with your gut and heart, it will be the right decision!



answers from Kansas City on

Hello S. ,
When teachers say that a 4 year old is imature I start to thing why should they be mature. The are children the only thing they should be worrying about and discussing are the colors the see on a rainbow. What I believe to be the problem is that they want all children to be the same, learn the same, act the same etc. That will never be the case, maybe they will need to verify what they mean as far how mature should a 4 year old be. They are about a couple of years from being in pampers, learning how to talk, walk etc. So do me a favor unless they are saying the baby is mentally handicapped or something of the such i would say work with him at home as much as you can but do not deprive him of his education based off of underpaid, overworked and underappreciated, sometimes bitter teacher.

I do not mean to insult any other reponse you have gotten this is just my opinion, just like it was just that teacher opinio. DO not worry about what others say you know your child better than anyone you make the decision based off of what you know to be truth not them .
Sorry for any Type-O's using a ergonimic keyboard



answers from Kansas City on

My son will be five on 4/7 and he is very bright for his age. At least that is what daycare tells me he won't show me alot of the times what he knows like writting his letters and his name etc.. all you can do and what I plan on doing is sending him to school and if he starts to have problems deal with them right away or take him out till next year. S.



answers from St. Louis on

It sounds like the teacher is reacting more to your son's emotional age than his skill age. Also since he is small for his age, she may observe his reaction to others with more skill in "sport" like play activities or the reaction of others to him. No matter how much intervention occurs from a teacher, kids tease each other and are very aware of the "Pecking Order" in their small society. The more maturity a boy has when going through school, the more successful he is academically. It affects his concentration, his social interactions, and his reading skills.Ask yourself, is your son confident and secure? How important is participation in sports to your family? Will it help him to be one of the oldest in his class rather than always tring to catch up with boys who are older and stronger than him? In the end, I chose to keep my son back and let him be one of the oldest rather than the youngest. I have never regretted that choice.


answers from Springfield on

Ok, being the mom of an extremely hyper, energetic, and immature 6 year old, I can give you a little experience advise. I put my daughter in K, when she was 5. It was early, and it was a rough start, but once we got settled in one place (military family), and she started K here on post, she had to learn everything they learned in a year, in the last four months of the school year. I worked with her night and day, we practiced all she had to know during breakfast lunch and dinner, we got her the foam letters that stick to the bathtub wall, and practiced with her on those, and all this came to her passing the Kindergarten year. The teacher doesnt decide when you put them in, you do. Its their job to teach them at whatever level they are on. They have teachers that specialize in certain subjects and give one on one time. And if you feel that he didnt learn enough, or he isnt ready to move on to 1st grade, YOU have the option of keeping him back another year. Dont let a teacher tell you whats best. He's your baby, you decide. But like I said, I worked extremely hard with her, and she was able to pass on to 1st with a little bit of immaturity issues, but when it came to book smarts, she aced it. Hope this helps...and again, he's YOUR child, not theirs!!



answers from Milwaukee on

I've seen this situation from both sides. I myself entered Kindergarten when I was the youngest in my class. My smarts carried me through until High School - when the struggle is to keep up socially. Then I fell behind very fast and never caught up again. I've also seen parents who struggle with this, especially after thier pre-K teacher has suggested waiting. The most important thing to consider "Is your child socially ready?" That is what most Pre-K teachers look for. When they say your child has immature behavior - that often has nothing to do with academics. Children need that social base to build off of. Look at his behavior (not negative behavior - but all kinds of behavior) compared to other children his age. Does he seem to keep up and does he seem to be able to connect with them? Is he being silly and keeping the other children from learning? Is he being too quiet or shy that he isn't making friends? If he's having problems answering the "wh" questions - he may know the answer but has to have time pulling the answer from his memory or understanding the question. Those things come with time and maturity. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with him - he is just developing at his own pace. I had another mom and teacher once tell me "When in doubt, keep them out". You don't want to find out later that you should have waited when he is struggling in school.

And yes, as stated before me...You do know your child best. But the "underpaid, overworked and underappreciated" teachers know children of that age the best - they see them every day, every week, for years and years. If they are "bitter" they wouldn't be in the profession they are in. They are there solely for the children (not for the money or praise) only for what is best for them. They can only report what they see - and you have to decide where to go from there. Good luck! Let us know what you decided.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I have read all the responses you've received and I have to say I disagree with those who are telling you to send your son on to K. I think you answered your own question in the first sentence of your request. If your son is on the immature side that is the very reason you should WAIT to send him to K. He wouldn't struggle academically but maturity level is just as important, especially as he grows older. Academics is not the only factor to consider.

We faced this same decision with our now 10 year old son who has a June birthday. We had him tested on two separate occasions while he was in 4 year old preschool. He excelled academically (off the charts) but lagged behind in maturity issues such as tying his shoes, dressing completely on his own, etc. Both testers recommended we wait to send him to K.

We talked with numerous parents who had faced this issue and teachers as well. Every teacher recommended we wait. Not one parent who waited to send their child to K ever regretted it. But many of those who sent their child ahead regretted it later. Their children were fine until upper elementary or junior high and then began to struggle academically and/or socially. Many of the children had to repeat a grade, which presents another challenge to deal with in itself. If, as a parent, you could avoid all those issues by waiting now, why wouldn't you?!

We opted to wait another year to send our son to K. We are SO GLAD we did. Our son excels academically and socially and he is a leader in his class. He is able to stand up for what he believes and what is right. He has the maturity to make wise choices. I believe waiting to send him to K has given him an advantage and has made school easier and much more fun. I would much prefer he be a leader than to be a follower of a leader who may or may not be a good influence.

It is not a negative thing to wait to send your son on to K. The way we approached it with our son was that we were "redshirting" him. We told him he was not required to go to K at age 5 and parents were able to choose what was best for their child. We explained to him that waiting was what was best for him because he would then be one of the oldest in his class and school would probably be easier. We NEVER used the term "held back". We opted to send him to a private Pre-K program that met 5 half-days a week and when we sent him to K the next fall he walked in confidently and never turned to look back!

I say wait to send will only benefit him!



answers from Lawton on

I had the same problem with both my kids and I handled both of them differently. My oldest they wanted me to wait on based on the same thing, well my husband agreed and we did. Now she is 16 and I wish I hadn't she is an excellent student that just needed to adapt to it all. My youngest they wanted to do the same thing I put my foot down and said no and within a few months she was fine. Teachers are great I admire them but they don't know our children worse case you keep your son in and he doesn't adapt then he just repeats it. Don't hold him back later on you might regret it, just give him time. If he tested high to be there then let him stay and the teacher will have deal with her/his issues about it.



answers from Springfield on

Will he be 5 this April? If so, take a look at his "maturity" level closer to the registration time for Kindergarten. I believe the cut-off date for Missouri is July 15th (?) I don't know what it may be in your district.
Trust your gut instinct, and listen to others as well. You know your son best. Does he get along with others? Does he listen to his teachers? Can he sit still? Is he ready? Is he anxious to go to "Big Guy School"?! etc....I would say if he is 5 years old by the cut-off date, go ahead! Good Luck



answers from Tulsa on

I have taught prek and K for Tulsa Public. The teacher is only allowed to suggest to you to hold him back a year. However, it is up to you what you do with your own child. I taught kids that did not know one letter of the alphabet when they started Kindergarten and at the end of the year they were reading. If you are willing to work with your child at home, then there is no reason to keep your child from starting K.
Also... you can only hold your child back once in Elementary school so I would wait and hold him back in K or first grade if he is still having problems. You may want to make sure that if you do hold your child from going to K that you would still be able to hold him back in upper grades if you need to.

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