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Failing Kindergarten

My daughter is failing Kindergarten. She is 5 and will be 6 in May. Everyone tells me that she is a young Kindergartener, but I see so many who are the same age or younger doing better. She knows a lot, just not when it comes time to tell the teacher. For example 2 months ago she brought home a paper that she had written 1-20 perfectly, and today she forgot to put in 13, 15 and 16. Tomorrow I am sure she will know it all (or leave out 8 and 9 or something like that). It isn't just number, it is the many words she is supposed to read too. She was in an after school tutoring program, but it was cut with budget cuts.

I am heartbroken and just want to cry! Everyone tells me that this is the best time to keep her back, but yet I still feel like a horrible mother. Anyone else been through this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:58 PM on Mar. 10, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (17)
  • Awww mom. I am a teacher and I have a 5 year old kindergartener. I can tell you they all develop at different rates. And maturity plays a HUGE part in how they learn. So how is her maturity, how is her level of shyness? She may be a late bloomer or maybe there is an issue with the teacher.

    I would surely hold her back. She would benifit GREATLY from having another year and it gives her a better foundation to start first grade with. There is really no point in starting first grade if she is going to start off frusterated and struggling.

    It is not your fault mom. You just have to gather your strength and make the right decsions for your dd. Maybe try finding her a private tutor. A great place to start would be your local college. The education department is full of students who are learning the latest techniques and could use extra cash. Message me if you want.

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 5:03 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • My sd does the same things. I know she can count to 20, I've heard her but her report card shows she can't do it. Same with letters and writing and reading. I would love to know why she acts like she doesn't know things when she does. She is also in Kindergarten and will be held back. You shouldn't feel like a horrible mother. The school curriculum has also changed thanks to "no child left behind" which isn't working in my eyes. Anyway, she is very young, one year will be ok. On my end I just worry about what happens next year when my sd continues to act like she doesn't know things.

    Answer by lalli_lalli at 5:05 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • Maybe she just wasn't ready for Kindergarten yet. Did you have her in pre-K or pre school last year? That helps alot. Just sit down with her and help her work on the things she has trouble with. If that doesn't help, talk to her doctor. She could have a learning disability or ADD. It doesn't make you a horrible mother if your child is not doing well in school.

    Answer by nowhinning at 5:06 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • Most states do not require a child to start school until they are seven, if I would have known this I would have held my daughter back. She is a senior now, but has struggled in school, though she did better when she was homeschooled. Her birthday is in July and she went to school for K and first grade. All kids are different maybe she just isn't ready for the school structure, and since when did they start teaching reading in K? Gee can you say "Hurry up and grow up?" Most of all don't take it personally.

    Peace, <>

    Answer by JoyceTN at 5:10 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • Are you checking her homework and assignments? My mom used to do this when I was done and then without giving me the answer she would have me check certain things until I got it right. Also can you tutor her yourself?

    Answer by MamaChamp at 5:12 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • I held my son back in Kindergarten and it was a great choice for both of us! At the young age the teasing is kept to a minimum, most of the kids next year won't know her and the 1st graders who went on without her won't see her much. My son is thriving in first grade this year and I know in my heart that he would have struggled. First grade is not what it used to be. My son comes home with homework every night and has to do some pretty complicated things. When I was making the choice to send him on or hold him back I met with a first grade teacher and had her show me some of the skills he would need to know and learn as well and that certainly influenced my decision. In the end I also looked at his age as a factor as the years go on. I figured if he was having a hard time with Kindergarten then 7th grade math and biology might also give him some trouble. If you ever want to talk some more fell free to message me.

    Answer by kitten_shuga at 6:20 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • Have you tried working with her at home? It wouldn't take a long amount of time. Ask the teacher for some practice work and see if she starts to catch up.

    Answer by teamquinn at 6:55 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • My son will be 6 in May too...we homeschool. It sounds like she might be easily distracted or even nervous when tested. I would let her move ahead but work hard with her over the summer with the things she needs to know for 1st grade. Otherwise, just homeschool. It's not as hard as it sounds and you know exactly where your child is in learning. You can focus more on their weaknesses if needed.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 6:56 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • My son really struggled in kindergarten and I didnt hold him back till after 1st grade. It is so much easier to hold them back as kindergarten. Don't be so hard on yourself. Kids mature at their own rate. He could be a very smart boy but doesn't have the maturity yet to focus on what he is doing. If you are going to do now is the time. It is harder as they get older.

    Answer by beach4memom at 7:30 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • It is a VERY good idea for a child not to go to First Grade until they are about 7. Since your daughter started Kg very young, then a 2nd year of Kg is called for. In the Waldorf schools, they have it set up so that the 2nd year Kindergarteners are the ones who help the younger ones feel at home, and help the teachers. Keep in mind, there is a tremendous benefit for a child when they can feel like they know what to expect, like they are in a familiar situation, and like they know what to do. This establishes confidence and the ability to learn more fully. When they are disoriented and confused by a new situation it is a LOT harder to sort out what is being taught.

    Why sentence a child to years being in the position of scrambling to catch up, when a simple year could grant the needed maturity? Is it necessary to graduate high school at 17 & start college at 18? Hardly! A child entering college at 19 is MUCH better off !!

    Answer by waldorfmom at 7:47 PM on Mar. 10, 2009

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