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Help!! I'm still conflicted if I should retain my son in Kindergarten?

I really don't know what to do! I am torn up about this desicion I have to make. Any advice or words of wisdom I would appreciate so much!!

My son turned 6 the end of April. It is the end of his Kindergarten school year and the teacher thinks he should repeat kindergarten. I see the pros and cons to both, but I really don't want to retain him on one hand and on the other maybe it is best.

He has delayed speech and articulation problems but has been working with the school speech pathologist and has made great progress. With the delayed speech he is a bit behind on reading but like I said he is making great progress. He is fine in math etc..

My son is shy and quiet. I think because of his lack of confidence with his speech he does not talk much because people could not understand him and he would get frustrated and feel bad about himself. He does get very upset some mornings and does not want to go to school. Luckily I have an older son in the same school and he walks him to class and calms him down.

Do I retain him because of speech or because he is shy? To me that does not seem right. I know first grade will be harder but I also think if he repeats he might be bored in some areas. The teacher said since he went thru it already he will have more confidence in himself and will do better.

Luckily I have a awesome principal and she said there is no pressure, that whatever I decide they will support my son 100%. There is no wrong desicion.

I've been researching this and reading a lot of posts, it seems pretty split to me. If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

This is just my opinion but when the heck did kindergarten become so hard? The things they expect these little kids to learn is crazy. I agree education is important but goodness the kids have no recess or "play" time it is work work work!! He even had to do a book review!! Really? Next school year they are implementing a new curriculm and the teacher said it is going to be even more demanding!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and offering any advice!

Answer Question

Asked by emeraldeyes98 at 9:59 AM on Jun. 12, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 4 (32 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • opposite of school i have my kindergartner in
    they do not want to hold them back
    mine younger, way behind peers in all subjects, and has autism
    but mine not shy

    one thing i remembered when thinking about holding her back
    it is a one time thing, you would never hold back twice
    so if you hold back now, you do not get this option later on down the road

    kindergarten is mostly foundation of basics, and mostly about learning to be social, following directions, and a love of learning
    try not to think about the ABCs or Math etc
    think about his ability to be social with peers, follow direction without too much trouble, and his confidence

    nice you have the option, many school districts not so open
    what does you gut say?

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:06 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • If in doubt then let him do kindergarten again! He is probably one of the youngest in his class anyway. I started my Son a year late for kindergarten. He did two years of preschool. It wasn't for lack of academic ability, it was merely because if his maturity level. He turned 6 a month after he started Kindergarten & he did great this year. If I had made him go earlier it would have been a struggle for him. Many Mom's tell me that they wish they had waited. One of my Son's friends is the youngest in the class & this year has been so hard for her that she is always discouraged & upset. I feel so bad for her. I met her Mom the other day & she said she wished she sent her a year later too.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 10:07 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • @ILovemyPaulie I never thought of starting him late. I wanted him to go school for not only the learning but to socialize. I have seen that it looks as if some parents did sent their kids a year later because a couple have turned 7. My son is looking foward to going to first...he mentioned the other day that in first grade he will be able to have recess and luch. I'm worried if I hold him back that that might crush his self esteem also.

    Comment by emeraldeyes98 (original poster) at 10:16 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • I'll throw this out there because it's something in a perfect world you wouldn't have to consider, but it's reality. The other kids will remember. I don't doubt that's part of the reason a lot of schools quit allowing it - the complaints about the abuse that can go with it. If the reasons are primarily social and not academic, will teasing about it set him back even more socially, or will he be able to handle it?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:21 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • Well, it will be a whole new bunch of kids, a new Teacher, a new class room. If it was my little guy, I'd say this is what a lot of kids do & lunch & recess isn't all it's cracked up to be. They adjust quickly. Once he gets into the new swing of things, he'll be OK. He'll be a cool pro & can show all the new kids what to do. I think it will boost his confidence by already knowing the routine. I'd have a little talk with his New Teacher when you find out who she is & maybe she can make him feel like her class assistant since he already knows the ropes :)


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 10:23 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • Would you be able to let him go to first grade and if that ends up being too much of a struggle then hold him back next year and re-do first grade? I think that is what I would do. Then he would be able to have recess/lunch and you would be able to see if works out. I don't really see there being a big difference of when you hold them back if they need it. My son was going thru the same thing and we were told that kids don't start making their "lasting" friends until third grade, so if you are going to hold them back you just want to do it before the third grade and it won't effect them socially in the long run.

    Answer by searay310 at 10:36 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • If this is an experienced teacher, I would go with her recommendation. Holding a kid back in kindergarten for an extra year has much less stigma attached to it than holding a child back in a higher grade, and you want him to have a good solid base of knowledge for him to build on. Reading is fundamental to learning any subject, I would give mine an extra year to get caught up and maybe even ahead before starting first grade.

    Answer by missanc at 11:19 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • There is SO much less stigma around repeating kindergarten than older grades. If he's not ready for 1st grade, he's not ready. I had a neighborhood friend who had a July birthday. We started kindergarten together. At the end of the year, her parents (both teachers) decided that she just was not quite ready for 1st grade, so they had her repeat kindergarten the following year. It was the best thing they could have done. I remember being curious and confused that I was going on to 1st grade and my best friend wasn't, but I never made fun of her for it. We were going to different schools anyway.


    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:29 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • The parents of my daughter's best friend are facing this too. The child still doesn't know all her letters or sounds they make, she copies off her neighbors for EVERYTHING, and really is NOT putting much effort into learning. This child has already figured out that if she plays dumb for long enough other people will do everything for her. She would really benefit from a second year in kindergarten, but I think the parents are going to move her on to 1st anyway, even though they've been advised not to.

    To answer your question: If the teacher has suggested holding him back for next year, I'd go with their suggestion. It won't hurt him, and it could really help him too. Talk to the school and see if there would be an option to place him in a 1st grade class if it turns out that repeating kindergarten was the wrong choice. It sounds like the school is willing to work with you and help as best they can.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:31 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

  • @Rosehawk Thanks for your response. For my son I really think the speech is the main problem. He knows all his letters, sight words, math problems. I understand what you are saying though:) I think I might talk to the school about what my other options could be.

    Comment by emeraldeyes98 (original poster) at 11:40 AM on Jun. 12, 2013

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