Repeating a Grade

Updated on February 12, 2010
G.A. asks from San Francisco, CA
11 answers

We need to tell our son that he will be repeating Kindergarten this fall. He will do this at the same school, with his sister is is going into third grade and his other sister will be starting kindergarten. His younger sister and him will not be in the same class. I am completly fine he's getting a bonus year of kindergarten, and think it will be GREAT for him! I'm wondering what other parent's experiances are in telling their children they get a bonus year. Any adivice on how to tell him so it's a realitivly easy thing for him to "digest"?

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answers from Sacramento on

Hi G.,

I can't give you advice from a parents point of view but I can from a sibling's p-o-v. My brother repeated kindergarten and we also went to the same school. It was never really a big deal because the Kindergardeners were so removed from the other kids that we never even noticed. Skipping a grade in other "numbered" grades seems to be more of an issue. Kindergarden is looked at as more of a daycare from the p-o-v of the older grades so if he isn't ready to go on to 1st grade, it is more like he isn't ready to be potty trained. Just another baby step.


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answers from Stockton on


My mum held me back in kidnergarten because I was so shy. I spent K under the table. The teacher was ready to let me move forward because I was academically ready, but my mother said no because I was not socially ready.

Tell your son that they liked him SO much, that they want him to come back :-) That's what my mum told me and it made sense to me. Repeating was no big deal to me and that second year was great.



answers from San Francisco on

Greetings G.: As long as your child knows that this is for his best interests and that you don't make a big deal out of it most children that I have worked with are just Fine. Strss the fact that this is to help the child to be the bet they can be and to do what ever is needed to reach the final goals of life. Example: to be a policeman later you must now just get a better start on shapes and recognition. Have they more than 2 teachers? you may want to take a close look at how each teaches so that you get the best choice for your needs.
If there is a concern for any type of learning disability then determine after talking to the teachers themselves which is the best for your needs. MAKE SURE they pay attention to the IEP on the first day as is legal requirement, some teachers actually wait a few weeks.
When our son repeated kindergarden we found nothing but positive experiances because we did all the ground work in advance. This will actually help as the child gets to jr high. Good Luck with all of this. I am so glad that you are enjoying the adventure of parenthood. It truely is the greatest thing you will ever do in life! Nana G



answers from San Francisco on

I agree with the other posters that it is likely to be no big deal from the kid's perspective. The important questions to ask of the teacher(s) is what are we going to do this year that is going to be different. Are there areas that he struggles in that they will be able to give him extra attention on? Is this just a maturity issue? ARe there behavioral problems that need to be specifically addressed. Just putting a kid in the same situation for another doesn't guarantee success. The grown ups involved should have a plan to make it a productive year.



answers from Greensboro on

Mine had to repeat kidergarten too. It was very hard for me to tell him, but I just told him that he was gonna have to go to kindergarten again before because he just wasn't ready for 1st grade yet and he needed to study just a little bit more. I make sure to tell him that he was going to make new friends!



answers from San Francisco on

I think if you put it in a positive light, "lucky you, you get to go to Kindergarten again!" he probably won't think much of it. My take would be to not make a big deal of it.

I started my daughter in Kinder. early, as she has a Nov. birthday, with the stipulation that she might repeat it. At that age I don't think it will bother him too much to repeat, unless maybe some close friends are moving to 1st grade. However, they often have to be in a different classroom than their friends anyway.

I would just make sure he gets a different teacher this year.



answers from Sacramento on

Just tell him thats hes gonna be a big help to the teacher and have her tell him that too...I kept my son back 3 years ago .he has done so much better for it just make sure he doesnt get the same teacher he had the 1st time around that might be a little hard...Good Luck..



answers from San Francisco on

Page is right on the money, don't make a big deal about it. My son repeated, as did a few children of our friends. We made it seem like a great thing, but we also made it seem like something that happens all the time (it does). So we never "had a talk", it just was mentioned in everyday conversation. Like talking about a trip to the store, we talked about Ryan doing "K2". (We made this up so he felt like he would be doing something different, as he was going to have a new teacher.) We waited until the first time there was a natural conversation about his sister going into 2nd grade, and told him right away. This way there was never any confusion with him, and he never had the time to think he was going to 1st grade. When he would express concern (which I think only happened once or twice), we told him he could show the new kindergarteners how to do it. He loved it!
My son will be done with 1st grade on Thursday and looking back on the last two years I am sooooooo glad we did K2! You sound really well adjusted about this and that is what will be your best asset in your conversation(s) with your son. I found that the parents that are not sure they are doing the right thing are usually the ones who make a big deal and then the kids freak out. I think how the parent feels about it and how they approach it is key. You sound like your guy is going to be just fine!



answers from Los Angeles on

Chances are good that your son likes kindergarten and will be happy staying there. There also seems to be less social stigmatization from kindergarten retention.
I don't know what the kindergarten program entails where you live, but where I am, the kids are expected to be reading @50 words, writing phonetically, counting objects to 30, adding and subtracting to 10.
Try to engage him this summer with fun learning activities. Go on field trips around town and talk about everything he sees. Help him 'write' (and draw) about his adventures, and encourage him to pick out books he'll enjoy at the library or bookstore.
Have a great summer!



answers from Sacramento on

In Waldorf school kids do 2 years of Kindergarten, which I find very sweet. They believe that you shouldn't start academics until 7 years old and that they should be in that sweet play space as long as possible to nurture those aspects of their development. There is a checklist that Waldorf schools follow to show readiness for 1st grade (ex. are they have lost their first teeth; when they draw a house with window and person they are in proportion (i.e. the window is the right size and the person and house are actually touching the ground.) There's a lot more that are pretty interesting if you can find that check off list. My son was bummed when his 2nd year friends moved on and he didn't, but he needed that extra year to be the "elder" in the classroom and be ready for the academics the next year. The Waldorf school does a ceremony inviting the 1st year kids back to the mother birds nest to grow their wings stronger another year before "flying" away to 1st grade. And then the 2nd year kids are given a feather and told their wings are ready to fly on to their awaiting 1st grade teacher. It was pretty cute. Once school started my son was no longer worried about repeating; he just got into the rhythm of it. Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Our oldest son is now 24. His birthday is in November and he was the youngest in his class in kindergarten. He did well and the school and the teacher advised sending him on to 1st grade. But being a stay-at-home mom I had the opportunity to help out in the classroom on a regular basis. I observed that many of the other students were way ahead of our son. He was also one of the smaller kids. My husband and I did not want him to always feel like he was behind everyone else and needing to struggle to keep up. We decided to have him repeat kindergarten so that he would now be at the head of the class.

We sat down with him and explained that this was our choice for him. He had really loved kindergarten and we asked if he would like to do it again with the same teacher. He just loved her and was excited to get to spend another year in her classroom. He trusted us to make this decision for him and he never cmplained about it. Today he is attending college and pursuing his dream.

We have never regretted our decision. It was the best thing we could have done for our son.

I hope this helps! Good luck,
L. C

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