Tutoring for Kindergarden

Updated on February 17, 2008
M.L. asks from Camarillo, CA
45 answers

Is it normal to have a kindergardner in tutoring? My daughter is entering kindergarden this fall and we are afraid she might be enrolling her too early. My husband suggested tutoring. But I tend to think that elementary is merely a social and adjustment period before true studying methods are utilized. What are your thoughts and how have you felt about your child being ready to start school?

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So What Happened?

This week are the information meetings for Kindergarten. We plan to go ahead and enroll and register, but reassess her skills in a couple of months. Her preschool is pushing us to enroll her in the Pre-K class. I think I want her in Pre-K, but my husband wants to put her in Kindergarten and either have a tutor or have her repeat if necessary. I will update again once we have gone through the reassessment. All advice is appreciated.

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F.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

here is some info for you...

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Kindergarten
Mathematics Content Standards.


By the end of kindergarten, students understand small numbers, quantities, and simple shapes in their everyday environment. They count, compare, describe and sort objects, and develop a sense of properties and patterns.

Number Sense

1.0 Students understand the relationship between numbers and quantities (i.e., that a set of objects has the same number of objects in different situations regardless of its position or arrangement):
1.1 Compare two or more sets of objects (up to ten objects in each group) and identify which set is equal to, more than, or less than the other.

1.2 Count, recognize, represent, name, and order a number of objects (up to 30).

1.3 Know that the larger numbers describe sets with more objects in them than the smaller numbers have.
2.0 Students understand and describe simple additions and subtractions:
2.1 Use concrete objects to determine the answers to addition and subtraction problems (for two numbers that are each less than 10).
3.0 Students use estimation strategies in computation and problem solving that involve numbers that use the ones and tens places:
3.1 Recognize when an estimate is reasonable.

Algebra and Functions

1.0 Students sort and classify objects:
1.1 Identify, sort, and classify objects by attribute and identify objects that do not belong to a particular group (e.g., all these balls are green, those are red).
Measurement and Geometry

1.0 Students understand the concept of time and units to measure it; they understand that objects have properties, such as length, weight, and capacity, and that comparisons may be made by referring to those properties:
1.1 Compare the length, weight, and capacity of objects by making direct comparisons with reference objects (e.g., note which object is shorter, longer, taller, lighter, heavier, or holds more).

1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of concepts of time (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening, today, yesterday, tomorrow, week, year) and tools that measure time (e.g., clock, calendar).

1.3 Name the days of the week.

1.4 Identify the time (to the nearest hour) of everyday events (e.g., lunch time is 12 o'clock; bedtime is 8 o'clock at night).
2.0 Students identify common objects in their environment and describe the geometric features:
2.1 Identify and describe common geometric objects (e.g., circle, triangle, square, rectangle, cube, sphere, cone).

2.2 Compare familiar plane and solid objects by common attributes (e.g., position, shape, size, roundness, number of corners).
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability

1.0 Students collect information about objects and events in their environment:
1.1 Pose information questions; collect data; and record the results using objects, pictures, and picture graphs.

1.2 Identify, describe, and extend simple patterns (such as circles or triangles) by referring to their shapes, sizes, or colors.
Mathematical Reasoning

1.0 Students make decisions about how to set up a problem:
1.1 Determine the approach, materials, and strategies to be used.

1.2 Use tools and strategies, such as manipulatives or sketches, to model problems.
2.0 Students solve problems in reasonable ways and justify their reasoning:
2.1 Explain the reasoning used with concrete objects and/ or pictorial representations.

2.2 Make precise calculations and check the validity of the results in the context of the problem.

2 moms found this helpful
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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

No need for a tutor in kinder, mainly because the material is nothing a parent can't handle! If you think your child will need extra support or extra practice with the content (forming letters, counting, colors, opposites, what have you) then you give her the extra practice- make it a fun, bonding time for you two.
Also, the checklist Julia posted is great to figure out if she is ready. If you decide to go for it and enroll her this fall, then give her a lot of support and practice at home too and see how things look at the end of the year. If she hasn't "caught up" to the level of her peers, then she can repeat kinder. Nothing wrong with that.
ps. I am an elementary school counselor and a mom of an 8 m/o girl.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there! I actually taught Kindergarten for six years and recently left my district to start a Kindergarten readiness program so that I could be home more with my children. In my experience, I feel that the socialization piece is top priority at the Kindergarten and Pre-K level. However, the kindergarten program is very academic as well. When I taught K, I did occasionally tutor children who were falling short in the grade level standards and it made a huge difference. I taught in a high-performing district where parents had very high expectations of their children. My advice to you is that if your daughter is not socially ready, giving her the benefit of another year is priceless. It certainly will not do her harm in the long run. If socially, though, she is ready, and your concerns are academic, she could very well catch up as her Kindergarten year progresses and tutoring cannot hurt. How old will she be if she enters Kindergarten in the fall? As a very general rule of thumb, if your daughter will not be five until after Sept., I normally recommend parents give their children an extra year. There are exceptions, however, if they are very mature and academically ready. Does her preschool do any sort of K readiness assessment? If she isn't in a pre-k now, my gut tells me you can only do her a favor by waiting one more year. Hope this helps.....lots of luck!! :)

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C.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

It's great that you are sensitive to your daughter's needs. My kids haven't entered school yet, but I think kindergarten should be something that gets children excited about learning and gets them used to the structure of school. Your daughter will have lots of chances in the future to get tutoring if she really needs it, so no need to instill anxiety about her performance or ability, or make her feel different from other kids who don't need tutoring at this point in her life. Also if she needs to repeat a year, pre school or kindergarden seem like good ones to repeat since I'm guessing that she and the other kids won't notice or care, and it will make her more mature later on. I'm a college professor and even in college I tell my students that it's not a race and there's no prize for finishing a year or two sooner.

Good luck!

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B.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you think that she is being held back for "other" reasons then get a second opinion. Or simply put her into another pre-school. As far as i have been told and have seen with my children entering pre-school, They have to be potty trained and they can not have a pacifier. Some places are ok with a nap time buddy.
She is your daughter. You know her better than anyone.
Good luck to you all
B.

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K.Y.

answers from Los Angeles on

Pre-K is a great preparation for school. This is now where the socializing and base skills are developed. Kindergarten is becoming more academic and less socialization, particularly if it is full-day. Pre-K is an excellent way to make sure that your child is well-prepared both academically and socially. Hope this is helpful.

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M.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

there is a guy (larry Garth I think who wrote a paper called Quit Pushing - How early academics are harming our children. I've seen him speak and its really affected how I look at the big K. (look him up) I think this is the only time in your childs life when you can give her more of a fighting chance to excell by letting her have as much time as she needs according to you , the teachers and herself to start Kinder. So what if she gets another year of preschool to gain confidence and learn things like holding scissors and stuff at her own pace. it will set the stage for her feeling succesful (and not constantly behind) for the rest of her life. I obviously dont know any of your deatils so take with a large grain of salt but i think tutoring a 5 year old sends a hurtful message of you are not good enough or not as smart as your peers. Why not just wait a year and also stop her from being the young girl in highschool. call me if you want to discuss more (i dont get on email enough to spend it writing) ###-###-####

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I teach kinder and it is very academic, the california state standards have changed a lot and your daughter will be learning a lot next year. I would suggest that you visit her school for next year and talk to the kinder teachers about anything you can be doing with your daughter (naming colors, letters, letter sounds, writing letters, writing her first and last name, counting, writing numbers, etc.) Also, check to see if they have pre-k screening, my school tests kids in the spring and we give parents materials to work on over the summer and we will let parents know if thir child needs another year. Hope this helps!

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E.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

M. L,

In my experience (18 yr old daughter in college, 2 - 16 yr old juniors in high school in honors and gate classes and a 5 yr old in Kindergarten) The first couple years are adjusting to real school and any need for tutoring will be apparent into 3rd grade and after. At one point we had all children in tutoring for english and math, I think it was about 5th grade. The math really helped them.

I now have another one in Kindergarten and when he entered I felt that his writing and counting skills were not where some of my friends had their kids. But after a few months in Kindergarten he is excelling.

I would look to your daughter's maturity level and ease around other children before trying to put her into Kindergarten early. Pressure on them to young can cause them to burn out and hate school too soon. Let them enjoy to learn and wait for the problems to happen before worrying about a solution.
Children feel these tensions and can actually have a regressing effect.

Hope this helps,

Evelyn

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K.Y.

answers from Los Angeles on

We're at an interesting time. There are many pressures on children at a younger age. Parents are trying to ensure that their children will be "successful". My son is 6 and in the 1st grade. I have him in a private school. Some of the children in his class had tutors last year (not him), and still do. Personally, I feel that around the 3rd grade, it all evens out. Meaning, there are some children who are reading, etc at 5 and some who are not; but around the 3rd grade they start to level off and the gaps aren't as apparent. Like everything else when it comes to your child, the choice is personal.

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J.C.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi M. L,
Just a bit about who I am: I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old both in pre-school. Before life got crazy with my two boys, I taught second grade for six years. After my youngest was old enough to put in an academic preschool, I became a preschool teacher so that I could be with both of my boys (at least near them) all day. It has been a fantastic year for all of us. My youngest LOVES it and it lets him enjoy being with other kids his age. Being a mom is tough, and watching your children grow sometimes makes us wonder if they're "on-track". I'm giving you my opinion based on what I know as a teacher and a mother. Preschool is intended to help them socially understand others and what school is all about. They get introduced to academics and learn to L. school. It should not be filled with intensity because the desire to learn is developed at this early stage. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be for your daughter to learn. When she is home with you, you are the perfect tutor for her. You don't need to pay for someone at this early stage, she just needs you to disguise learning by making it fun. Play games, use quick rewards with simple success. Make flashcards and put a sticker on each one she gets right. When using flashcards help her master five letters, then add two or three (keeping the mastered cards involved), and so on until she gets her whole alphabet. Do the same with her numbers. She will get it! Don't compare her to her classmates, all kids learn at varied speeds. The key is to keep it fun and keep yourself calm. No negative consequences, but immediate rewards work really well. I know that the stronger academically they are to begin kindergarten, the easier school will be as a whole. Once the basics are mastered, it's easier to take on more information. That being said, don't give up even if it seems like a struggle. If one game doesn't interest her, try another. If flashcards don't work, have her decorate them or use magnets. Find things that interest her. I hope all of this helps, gives you confidence, and encourages you. My oldest and I have just turned a huge corner. He and I would struggle (me wanting him to succeed, and he getting frustrated with not), and just when I thought I wasn't getting through, I decided to relax. Inside it's still important to me, but I had to let that stress say inside me... and when I did, he began to want to learn, L. to learn, and success just flowed. Now it's fun for both of us.
Sincerely understanding & supporting you,
J. C.

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son has a lat birthday, and as such, not only is he the youngest in his class, but he is the youngest by more than a year with many kids. When Kindergarten started, he was still 4, and because many parents wait, many kids were already 6!
Because we had just been through a custody eval for divorce, I had to start him (since he is very smart, the recommendation was that he start Kindergarten).

Here is my suggestion:
I don't know where you live, but in Glendale, they have a kindergarten readiness summer school program. It works on teaching them the skills they need for kindergarten, like writing their names, colors, alphabet, and beginning to read.
I would personally suggest finding out about kindergarten standards and what your child is expected to know for kindergarten.

I also volunteer a lot in my son's class. The main difference in kids is in their ability to focus. Boys tend to have a more difficult time with sitting still, but that it supposed to even out in the first grade. For the kids who don't know the kindergarten standards material, and have trouble sitting still, it just seems to be a little more complicated. It's harder to teach them, since they don't pay attention, and then for some, they just get frustrated and are aware that they are behind.
I know that every parent makes their choice based on their own reasons. I would encourage you to consider both your child's academic and emotional readiness. If your child is not ready in both areas, then it might be valuable to wait a year. These days more parents are waiting anyway. There's no shame in it, that's for sure, and the extra time for a child to mature can really set them up for a more secure experience in school.

There are younger kids who do fine, but if there are concerns in both areas, that could be challenging.

The Glendale summer program is open to kids from any area. It costs about $400 and is put on by the Glendale Community College Parent Education Department. It fills up, so I'd recommend signing up as soon as enrollment opens. It is offered at Fremont and Verdugo Woodlands schools in Glendale.

Also, kindergarten has really changed! It's not about singing I'm a Little Teapot all day and taking naps. There are writing, math, and other standards to be met. It is much more academic, and structured and a huge difference from preschool.

Oh, and if you are considering starting her in kindergarten in the fall, registration in Glendale starts in March, so you may want to look into registration dates for your school.

Much light to you in making the best choice for your daughter~

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

What about staying in preschool? My daughter's birthday is Nov. 1st. So rather than put her in kindergarten this year which I could have, she moved in to the next level at her preschool(the kindergarten prep program). I didn't want her to start kindergarten this year because she would have been the youngest and one of the smallest. Her teachers said, academically, no problem, socially she wasn't ready. Most states require that a child be 5 by Sept. 1st, CA is one of the few that is what, Dec 1st? So, I'm guessing your daughter turns 5 in the fall?

Also, if you and your husband think something else is going on at the school, why is she still there? Or at least ask them and find out the truth. What is there motivation to "hold" her back.

I would definetly find a pre-k program. No on the tutoring. But that is just my opinion.
Best of luck!
M.

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D.H.

answers from San Diego on

I would absolulely hold her back. The social and scholastic skills she ill gain will make school a more enjoyable experience. You might question the teachers further to ask about specifics. There is so much pressure on children these days, our job is to help limit that. Look inside to to see what you are attached to, is it competition with other moms/ children, or your view of your child? There are educational therapists that can evaluate a child at any point, but I would definately chill out. blessings

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R.K.

answers from Honolulu on

Hello M. L.
What your going to run into is many different phiosophies of education. Some have the thought that the child should know there numbers and alphabet before they enter or they are not ready for kindergarten. Others believe this is the age of exploration and should wait until older and not push the academics at all. Others teach academics only when the child shows signs of wanting to learn those things.
It is a matter of what you want. I have 4 kids have homeschooled all 4 and find that each one is different and not all ready at the same time. I see that if the kids are pushed to much towards the accademisc to early they are burned out of school by 3rd grade.

I am of the philosophy that to have fun with the kids to teach them early or they wont like it . I think it is best for them to enjoy learning not find it a drudgery.

So go with your child find out what the school belives about education and make a dission from there.

read some education books to get a feel for what children should know at certain ages and enjoy the learning process. The key is to enjoy your kids and make it enjoyable or they wont like school.
R.

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T.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Talk to your daughter's teacher, priciple, and any other instructor she is with. Find out why they would like to hold her back. SOmetimes all a child needs is an extra year, and then they flourish. If she is not ready, she may spend a lifetime trying to catch up. Elementary school is not only social. As a former 3rd grade teacher I can tell you, it is very academic as well. These days most schoold require a child to be able to write their name in cursive, do simple math, and read, all before 1st grade. it's nuts, but if your dd needs a little extra time, I would give it to her. I have seen so many students who were not held back after being reccomended to, and they struggled every year. And I have seen the ones who have been (my cousin included) who did very well after being held back. It means nothing other than their little brains need a little more time to mature and be able to process the information given to them.
Good luck, and I wish you all the best.

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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My question would be why do you have a 4 year old in school anyway? Are you not at home with her? There is a great book called You are Your Child's first Teacher, that suggests that little children that age do best at home with their mothers. Otherwise studies show that if you put toddlers into academics there is a tendency to burn out on school. What is the big rush Toddlers are not developmentally ready for academics and no, it is not normal to have kindergardeners in tutoring. Enjoy your little one, she won't be little for very long. And most important, let her enjoy being with you. Time enjoyed spent with her will reward her for the rest of her life.

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B.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! It can't hurt, I have 5 girls and one started pre K at the age of 3 and has a photogenic memory and can memories a phone book, she was my oldest and then my youngest she started K when she was 5 and had to repeat it again the second time I hired a tooter and it helped, I think that it depends on the child and this day and age with no child left behind it can't hurt to have a good foundation because with out it some children are left behind and then fight peer pressure later on as the grades get harder. You know your child-God bless.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think that if the teacher is suggesting to wait you should. I teach kindergarten and academics is not the only thing to consider. Is she mature enough? Tutoring at this point is not what she may need, she may just need another year to mature. Why put her in if she is not ready? The kinder teacher may suggest retention if she truly isn't ready and is that something you would want to do?

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I'm an elementary school teacher and mom. What are the other reasons you suspect there may be for your child being held back?

She shouldn't need a tutor at this age. If she's simply immature, she may have a hard time sitting still and listening to instructions. That's the most common reason someone might think a child isn't ready. Or perhaps she isn't getting along with others. If the "readiness" issue is about a speech delay or that sort of thing, you should discuss with your pediatrician. Assistance for that would not be about tutoring, it would be about getting a diagnosis and proper intervention for the problem.

Kindergarten is what 1st grade used to be, and far more than a social and adjustment period. Your daughter should be able to cut with scissors and hold crayons, etc. to draw (or scribble) with when she enters K. You should be teaching her the "abc" song and exposing her to letters. By the end of K, she will be reading and writing, just like 1st grade used to be.

As far as holding kids back from entering K? Unless there's a disability, I don't believe it should be done. Far too many parents are doing that these days.

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Just by reading your request, it seems like you already know what to do. You said you're afraid you might be enrolling her too early. I'd go with your gut instinct. We can all give you our opinions about our experiences, but in the end, you need to do what's best for your daughter.

I, too, have a daughter who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. She just turned 5 in January, so she'll be one of the older kids in her class. And, personally, I'm happy with that. We L. the pre-school/daycare that she's been going to since she was 2 1/2 years old. I think they prepped her really well for kindergarten. Academically, I think she'll have no problems. I think she's pretty advance for her age and think kinder would be a nice change for her. However, if she was going to enter kinder as one of the younger students, then I probably would have waited a year before enrolling her only because my daughter is quite shy and I think being shy and one of the younger ones would put her at a disadvantage. I say that because of experience. I entered kinder at 4 and was a shy kid and looking back I think I had a harder time adjusting to things because of that. Even my mom has told me she wished she held me back. I'm fine now and have no issues because of it, but I think I would have had a more positive experience had I started later.

Also, if you think your child is being held back for other reasons, you should enroll her in another pre-school because if you're questioning their motives, then you don't want your child there in the first place. Maybe try looking at other pre-k schools in your area that will be more suited for your daughter's needs.

Good luck!

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P.H.

answers from San Diego on

My son has had a tutor since 1st grade and she has been working with him once a week. I think it was a wise decision we made.She first tested our son to see where he was at in his grade. She will work with him in whatever area she thinks he needs improvement. She also works with him to help him achieve higher a grade level in other subjects. He really enjoys the one on one in her home. She has a point system set up for him, as he works hard she give points. At the end he gets to pick from a prize box....each prize has a point price. It is a great incentive for him. We found this tutor through a friend. We were put on her waiting list and then she called us a few months later. She was a teacher for 30 years and is so wonderful. It has been a great experience for us. She is such a great mentor for our son and he works with her better then with us. If you live in Fallbrook I could give you her name if you'd like. I think tutors are great to have. Good Luck!

P :)

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E.H.

answers from San Diego on

Oh come on folks! Why rush the kid, she will only be a child once, give it a break, let her run around outside, let her play, let her develope on her own good time. Take her to a park, a zoo, the beach, early art classes, long bike rides, physical exercise is the best for children, the natural world is so stimulating to the senses. Why push her into a classroom full of stale air, sick classmates and instructions commin' out the ears, life will be full of that later.
Her life will never manifest your expectations, it's hers! E. H

E.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello,
I am responding to your tutoring question. I have a tutoring center called "College Nannies & Tutors" in Westlake CA. Tutoring for children in Kindregarden and Pk is becomming more an more popular and is not a bad thing if done appropriately. My website is www.collegetutors.com. You can check out the website and call our office if you have any questions. Unlike many services out there we provide one on one customized tutoring based on a child individual needs.
Hope this helps and would be glad to help you if needed.

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Kindergarten is no longer a social and adjustment period. i am a Kinder teacher and there are a lot of academics involved now. When they leave kinder they are expected to know how to read and add, which use to be the curriculum for first grade before. If her pre-school teacher suggest that she is not ready ask her why? Find out what is going on and base your decision on that. See if there is anything you can do to prepare her for kinder at home, tutoring maybe too overwhelming for her but it might work. Hope this helps

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B.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear M.,

Unfortunately, school is different now than it was when we were there! I do feel that kindergarten is very important socially and to acclimate them to the school atmosphere and routine - but there is more to it than that. They are writing letters and numbers, learning patterning, doing simple math . . . I feel that they do need to be ready on a couple different levels. I would sit down with her teacher and ask her what her thoughts are, and if she doesn't think your daughter is ready to start kindergarten, ask her to tell you very specifically why not. Ask if there is anything you can work on at home - or does she simply need to another year? A year can make a huge difference! You don't want her to struggle and be frustrated for the next few years if she doesn't have to. And if she is going to be held back, it is so much better to do it early - less social stigma - or even just start late . . . You want to do what is going to be best for her in the long run.

Good luck!
B.

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S.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

As a teacher, I can tell you that Kindergarten is the foundation to build a successful academic path. Kindergarten in no longer about just social life and learning how to color. Some people push a little too much but as long as the child is ready...a little extra help will not hurt. If you put your child into a class/grade they are not ready for...it creates a low self-esteem and can eventually lead to a distaste for academics.

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L.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, okay this is just MY opinion. But tutoring for a kindergardner? I am horrified. Not at you, at the thought. It scares me that we think this is a need at all. All children develop at different rates, if your child is not ready she is better off waiting till she is. She will have a much better chance of success by not starting kindergarten until she is ready. In school you have all sorts of late starters and early starters, it is not unusual and your child will not feel wierd being one of the older students.

Now days, kindergarden can be more like what we used to think of as first grade. So, to me, if she is not ready don't push. I would read to her at home all of the time, and get her used to all of the elements of language. That is the best tutoring you could give her!

One side note. By fall your daughter may well be a different person. That is a looooong time in a young childs life. I remember the transition in my daughter and I knew she was ready!! Go by your instinct.

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C.L.

answers from Honolulu on

I do not think that tutoring is that crazy. My son because of late birthday and some difficulty in school has done kindergarden two years. He is now in the first grade and is doing great. Kindergarden is not what is used to be. They are doing all the subjects including math and they don't even take naps anymore. You definatly need to get involved in what goes on in the classroom and don't be afraid to ask the teacher alot of questions.

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K.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I teach first grade and elementary is not just social skills but actual academic skills that students need through out their educational journey. Tutoring in kinder is a bit much. I would suggest find an all day kinder program it really gets them ready for first grade.
Teacher K.

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H.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

You will not believe the amount of homework and learning that will go on in Kindergarten!!! Kindergarten today is so much different than it used to be (and I'm only 32). My 3rd child is now in Kindergarten and in a way you are right... it should be somewhat about social skills at this age. That is why I wanted my child to be ready for the work so that he/she could focus MORE on the social aspect and not feel overwhelmed! I wanted Kindergarten to set them up for success. Feeling prepared and ready and KNOWING the answers helps a child feel more confident in my opinion. Now.. i do strongly believe in developmentally appropriate teaching.... not teaching beyond what she is ready for... but I also believe in preparing her and stretching what she can do easily to give a little challenge. here are the things I like to send my Kindergarteners to school already knowing on the first day...

How to spell first and last name (at least MOST of last helps with identifying belongings)
How to cut on a straight line with scissors and how to determine the outside line to be cut! BIG ONE!
How to sit quite, criss cross apple sauce (old "Indian" style) for an extended time and listen to a story
How to ask and answer questions about a story
Parents names, jobs, address, phone number, birthday
How to count to 20 in rote and count to at least 15 using one to one correspondence (one count for each object counting)
How to sort items by different characteristics (color, size, species)
How to make an ABABA and AABAABAAB pattern
How to identify what is missing in a picture or grouping
How to identify what is the same
Simple addition 1+1 etc
Identify almost ALL upper and lower case alphabet and more than half of the sounds the letters make
How to link alphabet sounds together to sound out 2-3 letter words (Pig, big, dig)And common sight words like STOP NO YES
How to properly hold a pencil and crayon
ounce a ball and hop on one foot
speak using complete sentences
identifying rhyming words
dress herself, jackets, zippers, shoes (teachers no longer tie shoes!)
clean up after herself, follow directions
Use the rest room and wash hands without assistance or directions, reminders

there will be at least 2 pages of homework and 15 min of reading each night of Kinder.
Once she reaches 1-6 watch out!
My kids have ALREADY stumped me and my husband (both degreed people) with math work! they are now teaching GEOMETRY in elementary school!!! And SOOOOOOOOO much more. things I didn't learn until High School.

Make sure she is prepared so you set her up to succeed and feel confident.. the social aspect is scary enough!

Hope this helps

H.
29 Palms, CA
Degree in Early Childhood Education and Adult Supervision

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L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have an 11 yr old in 6th grade now. She is a Nov baby and we started her in K when when she was 4. It is only now that I am seeing how being "younger" than her peers affects her socially. We had a pre-school teacher always say "you send your child to school, not the brain." I also have a DD who is now in Kinder and she is an Oct baby. We gave DD #2 the bonus year and boy did that make a difference socially. You have to set your kids up for social success not necessarily academic excellence. Just think about your kids in jr high and high school. Would they fare better being on the younger side or older side. Everyone is giving their kids a bonus year for lots of reasons. I help out in class and you can also totally tell the "younger" kids vs the "older" more mature and school-ready kids...and the kids know it, too. My 2 cents, if you child is confident in her social skills and acceptance/relationships, than it will be more likely that it will lead to academic success.

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T.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had this problem last year with my daughter. She went to a learning through creativity based preschool since she was almost 3 years old. She progressed normally and we did not have any indication that she was not ready for kindergarden. If you feel she may need a tutor already I would reconsider sending her to Kindergarden. The classroom in our area was a ration of 30 to 1 kids to teacher and my daughter recieved no special attention or help because there were children that had never been to school at all and could not even sit still. They have to learn so much before the end of the year and 3hrs per day just isn't enought time for it. I am a stay at home mom and I worked with my daughter everyday and she still had to go to summer school to be able to go to 1st grade. Now she is learning things that I didn't learn about until the 3rd or 4th grade...I see tutors in our future for algerbra in the 7th grade...something I did not even take until I was a senior in high school. If you can send you daughter to a fun for 4's class or a prekindergarden class to give her a better head start.

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K.R.

answers from San Diego on

I would suggest that if you have any reservations about sending your child to preschool you should follow your gut instinct. You know your daughter and the situation at her school better than anyone.

For me and my 5 yr old dd I have become a believer in the european Montessori method of early education. My daughter has flourished in a program that teaches by following a child's interests and allows her to move at her own pace. She just turned five but reads at a proficient 2nd grade level, sews buttons, has learned basic geography and is working on multiplication. She is happy and she loves it. Socially she has progressed a lot since last year (when she started). The multi-level classroom has been a very positive experience. The other thing I L. is the Parents as Teachers program (or PAT) which is a free service in our area and really offers great resources, classes and information. There are so many options out there, just find the one that is the right fit for your family. Good luck!

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S.R.

answers from San Diego on

I second the suggestion for You are your Child's First Teacher. Kids are being burned out on learning because they are pushed at such a young age. Let her be a kid - play, enjoy nature. She has the rest of her life to study and work and not a lot of time to just play.

I have four kids, we homeschool, and play is an important part of learning (there's even a book "Play is a Child's Work"). I don't even think about kindergarten until they turn six. And even then our kindergarten is along the lines of Waldorf: lots of activity outside experiencing nature, making bread/baking together, singing, making music. Every one of my kids is passionate about learning because the fun hasn't been squeezed out of it. Pushing academics too early is just like these kids who do competitive sports too early - little 5 yr olds with the parents out there yelling at them to win. All that leads to is over-stressed kids.

You have the right instincts - kindergarten is more of a social adjustment period and don't let others pressure you out of that good reasoning.

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am the mother of an adult son, a college graduate with honors, who started kinder a year later because of his November birthday. Holding him back was the best thing we did. I'm also an elementary principal. Now....each state has its own cut-off date, so I don't know what you're dealing with. By age 5, girls are about one year ahead of boys in maturity, but you'll have to be the judge of your daughter's school readiness. Elementary school is not what it used to be. It's highly academic from kindergarten on. Our kinders are now writing a multi-sentence paragraph on their own. Sixth graders are solving algebraic equations. So.....what you can do for your daughter now is read books to her every day, get off your cellphone and talk with her a lot, ask questions that get her to think at a higher level (What do you think might have happened if Pappa Bear didn't find Goldilocks?), take her many places such as museums, the library, parks, and limit TV. The more experiences she has on which to build her learning, the more successful she will be. She'll have kinder homework, so make that a fun time between the two of you. Best wishes to you. It sounds like your daughter has caring parents.

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M.R.

answers from San Diego on

Hi M. L

If you can have a child go through school old for age --it is a gift you should not lose. And having a child start early is handicapping him or her for life. Sure some young kids do very well but they would have been even "smarter" with another year of development.

THE SYSTEM IS COMPLETELY UNFAIR. But if you have a chance to give your child this advantage, (or disadvantage) chose wisely.

Once kids start, everyone assumes that they are the same age. But old for age students are SOO much older developmentally -- and this can really make a difference. Both of my kids could have started early--they had all of the skills. But by starting late, they experienced school as fun and easy instead of the opposite. They started at the head of class and remain that way today.

In England and Australia all kids start when they turn 5 years of age. This makes so much more sense as it gives every child the advantage of being a a multiage group and then moving on when he or she is ready to the graded system.

M.

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R.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Just play with her! Color, shapes, sorting, glueing, cutting, simple problem solving (puzzles) can all be enhanced through playing with her yourselves. No stress! Just play and enjoy!I would strongly advise not to start filtering in tutors (unless there is a learning disability or social disability that needs the attention of a professional, though you did not mention that). These are fun areas of learning you and your husband can teach through play (about 20 minutes every day). What month will she turn 5? If it is after the school start date then consider waiting a year. She will be in school for MANY years to come. If she is still really enjoying pre school, one more year isn't a bad idea.

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello,
I am a SAHM who taught 1st and 3rd grade. I have spoken to a MOPS group about this very subject. I have a checklist that may help you decided if your little girl is ready...

The academic standards in Kindergarten are very high now and that puts a lot of pressure on the little ones. I think it is better to have kiddos wait a year than repeat if there is any question about being ready.

I hope this checklist will help you out.

J.

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

Fine Motor Skills
Does your child
1. Put a 10- to 12-piece puzzle together Yes Not Yet
2. Hold scissors correctly Yes Not Yet
3. Hold a pencil or crayon properly Yes Not Yet
4. Try to tie his/her shoes Yes Not Yet

Gross Motor Skills
Does your child
1. Run, jump and skip Yes Not Yet
2. Walk backward Yes Not Yet
3. Walk up and down stairs Yes Not Yet

Social Skills
Does your child
1. Use words instead of being physical when angry Yes Not Yet
2. Speak clearly so an adult can understand him/her Yes Not Yet
3. Play with other children Yes Not Yet
4. Follow simple directions Yes Not Yet
5. Express feelings and needs Yes Not Yet
6. Go to the bathroom by him/herself Yes Not Yet
7. Wait his/her turn and shares Yes Not Yet
8. Talk in sentences Yes Not Yet
9. Ask questions about things around him/her Yes Not Yet
10. Enjoy sharing books read to him/her Yes Not Yet
11. Tell a story about a past event Yes Not Yet
12. Say "please" and "thank you" Yes Not Yet
13. Spend extended periods away from Parents Yes Not Yet
14. Sit for 20 minutes while “working” on a project Yes Not Yet

Math Skills
Does your child
1. Recognize shapes Yes Not Yet
2. Sort items by color, shape and size Yes Not Yet
3. Identify six parts of his/her body Yes Not Yet
4. Understand concept words such as
up, down, in, out, behind, over Yes Not Yet
5. Count from 1 to 10 Yes Not Yet
6. Recognize five colors Yes Not Yet
7. Use words like bigger, smaller, heaviest, lightest Yes Not Yet
8. Correctly count four to ten objects Yes Not Yet
9. Show an understanding of the passing of time Yes Not Yet

Language:
Does your child

1. Talk in sentences Yes Not Yet
2. Follow thorough when you give one or two directions Yes Not Yet
3. Use descriptive language
(“That is a tall building with round windows”) Yes Not Yet
4. Sing and or recite nursery rhymes Yes Not Yet
5. Use sentences that include two or more separate ideas Yes Not Yet
6. Pretend , create and make up songs and stories Yes Not Yet
7. Talk about everyday experiences Yes Not Yet
8. Ask questions about how things work Yes Not Yet
9. Express his/her ideas so that others can understand Yes Not Yet
10. Tell or retell stories Yes Not Yet

Writing
Does your child

1. Try to write scribble or draw Yes Not Yet
2. Have a collection of paper pencils crayons Yes Not Yet
3. Like to receive noted from you and others Yes Not Yet
4. Ask you to write words or notes to people Yes Not Yet
5. Attempt to write letters and or numbers Yes Not Yet
6. Attempt to write his/her name Yes Not Yet
7. Attempt to invent his/her own spelling while writing Yes Not Yet
8. See you writing Yes Not Yet

Reading
Does your child

1. Enjoy getting a book as a present Yes Not Yet
2. Have many books of his/her own in a special place Yes Not Yet
3. Recognize his/her name in print Yes Not Yet
4. Look at books or pictures on his/her own Yes Not Yet
5. Try to read in everyday situation
(street signs, store names cereal boxes...) Yes Not Yet
6. Talk about or retell stories Yes Not Yet
7. Know nursery rhymes by heart Yes Not Yet
8. Pretend to read by reading the pictures Yes Not Yet
9. Recognize his/her written name Yes Not Yet
.

Personal Information
Does your child
1. Know his/her full name Yes Not Yet
2. Know how old he/she is Yes Not Yet
3. Know his/her address and telephone number Yes Not Yet
4. Know his/her mother and father's first names Yes Not Yet

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P.K.

answers from San Diego on

I have a daughter who I now believe, we may have started her too early in school. We were advised to hold her back in 3rd grade but she was getting fairly good grades and therefore we did not. Her birthday is in October so she is the youngest in her class. It is a difficult decision but now I realize it is better for them to be ahead of the gang then behind. There self esteem does suffer. I think it also does depend if you are considering public or private school. I was a child that was held back in kindergarten and I didn't like the experience but now that I'm going through this with my daughter, it's worse when they are older ( she is now 12). Try to think not about the present but of her future. If you have friends or relatives who have children in Middle or High School talk to them on how rigorous the academics are. You might come to the conclusion that you are now preparing her for whats to come. Elementary school is when they will develop there friendships and hopefully keep through out there school years.
It does traumatise them to be held back in future grades.
Best Wishes.

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H.B.

answers from San Diego on

I thought so too when they told me that about my son. But I did give him another year and now he is first in his class and just received the student of the month award. If she is going to need tutoring, she is not ready. It isn't an insult or in any way demeaning. Many alternative education philosophies recommend starting later than traditional American educational system anyways. Some studies have suggested that beginning school to early stifles the creative side of children's brain, which can have lifelong consequences. Let your child grow at her own rate and you will be grateful you did.

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M.P.

answers from San Diego on

I have a five year old born 1/26/03 who could have started kinder when she was 4 1/2, but I kept her out, because I didn't feel she was ready. I am a teacher who taught first grade for five years and now am teachin 3rd grade. I can't tell you how many times I received new first graders who were already behind because their parents started them in kinder too early. Preschool is highly recommended to give them the foundatin the student needs, so that they can be ready for kinder. If your child isn't ready, don't feel bad about giving her more time in preschool. All children develop at different rates. Take care and good luck!

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L.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

It is common, but depending on the type, you want to be careful. A child should be excited about school and reading... not pushed before their reading readiness is appropriate. I am a fully credentialed teacher and taught in Hesperia before I had my son. If you want tutoring, I'd be happy to help. However, I have a feeling if I met your daughter, I might find that she's perfectly on track. Sometimes outside influences make us doubt too much...
[email protected]____.com

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J.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have been been elementary school teacher for many years, always in the primary grades and I think that if your daughter has the opportunity to wait you should take it. I waited for my daughter and I think it was the best gift I could have ever given her- the gift of time. Kindergarten is not what it used to be... At my school kids are expected to write sentences and beginning to build paragraphs by the time they are done. Because of the high standards set for our kids there is no longer the time to play and allow the kids to grow developmentally. Giving my daughter this extra year I think has allowed her the time to get ready for school and get a little more mature. It was not at all an academic issue for me, I feel like I gave my daughter another year to be a child. As far as getting a tutor I would just give your daughter some time and you will most likely find that it is unnecessary. Studies have consistently shown that although it may help your child short term, getting tutors... doesn't make any difference in the long run, and may actually hurt your child. By the end of third grade there is no academic difference between the kids that had an early push and those that didn't (so long as they were in good preschools and home environments). In fact, by the end of third grade the kids that were 'pushed' were burned out and often showed decreases in performance. We are just letting our kids be kids and letting them develop as they are. If there are problems we will deal with them at that time, but I have no concerns that by allowing our kids to just 'be' will help them to be better and happier people in the long run.

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L.A.

answers from San Diego on

If your daughter is 5 or 6, and has no serious behavioral or developmental problems, she will do just fine in kindergarten. If she is 4, she isn't ready. My mom was an elementary school principal for 30 years, and she said it was the kids who were pushed into school too soon, those who were sent to kindergarten under the age of 5, who ended up having problems all the way through school. Save tutoring for junior high or high school. Sounds as if your daughter is in private school, and so is probably being held to an educational standard that might be unrealistic for many kids. Don't see "other reasons" where there are probably none. If the people at her pre-school say she isn't ready, chances are she isn't ready. Do not fall into the "new parent" trap of seeing this as a slight against your daughter. She is an individual, and her well-being is far more important than anything else. Did you know that extremely intelligent people often have a very hard time integrating into a classroom setting? Same with very creative people. Don't hold your daughter to standard guidelines. Don't send her to kindergarten just because you would be embarrassed for her to be held back. It's about her. Being ready is ESSENTIAL to her future success in school. Don't set her up for failure. Good luck!

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