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Young 5's or Kindergarden?

My son should be entering Kindergarden in the fall (2009), however, he's not interested in writing his name, or any bit of the alphabet. Which we all know he has to do to enter kindergarden. My son really won't be a young 5, as he turned 5 this month (March), and he's already the biggest in his class by several inches, and many pounds. My fear if we hold him back is that it will be not so good on his already sensitive emotional state if he were to get made fun of. He is in preschool, however it isn't a preschool that teaches kindergarden readiness. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:00 PM on Mar. 26, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (11)
  • Fall is a little ways away and a lot can change from then till now. I would have a conversation with him that he will be going to school in the Fall and that he needs to learn certain things to go. You need to expose him and teach him to write his name and such. You have to put it on him, he may not take to it on his own. I would not hold him back. JMO. GL!

    Answer by kboney29 at 8:04 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • When my daughter was in preschool they had a chart with their kindergarten goals on it and everyday they went over their phone # address abc's counting colors, shapes, etc. and when they mastered it they got a star on the chart. I thought all preschools taught those things.


    Answer by DROCKSGIRL517 at 8:06 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Switch him to a preschool that does teach what he needs to know. Pick one that will continue through the summer.
    Also, make-up fun games to do at home - alphabet hopscotch, writing letters in a shallow pan of cornmeal, counting how many times he gets a ball into a basket. Try the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD. When it's coloring time, YOU sit with him and draw letters and turn them into things that start with that letter. Show him your silly drawings. Let him play at sites like

    August is still 5 months away. Plenty of time to capture his interest and get him started.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 8:07 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • I would try to talk to the counselor at the elementary school he is supposed to go to. He/She should be able to advise you on what to do. Readiness is different with each kid. I am not an expert on the subject, but do have a little knowledge. I have worked with kids of all ages for quite a few years.
    Boys tend to be ready later than girls, and if you say that he is already in a sensitive state, emotionally (you don't say why?) then it would be an even bigger let down for him to go to school and not being able to keep up with the other kids. It will be better for him to have "victories" next year, than "failures" this year. Kids that age don't care hold old their friends are, they might even think it's cool that he is older than them.
    But I would start with contacting your school in the area, and talk to the counselor there.
    Good luck!

    Answer by LilyandEmmasMom at 8:12 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • The school district in my city just started testing for Kindergarten. Until now the kids didn't have to know anything to go to Kindergarten, they really don't need to now the district uses the testing to see how to structure classes. It so there are an even amount of all levels in each Kindergarten class. You still have until Sept to work with him. Get him into a preschool program that does Kindergarten readiness, a lot of programs go through the summer. Work with him at home, there are a lot of workbooks for preschool skills. Try some of those, make it fun, sing songs, point things out.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:12 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Thanks for all the answers. To expand on the sensitiveness...he's just always been sensitive. He'll cry at the drop of a hat because someone won't play with him, or because he can't write his name good, or because he thinks his 2 yr old brother colors better than he does. I'm looking into trying to get him into a summer camp program, and his aunt (who's a 1st grade teacher) is going to work with him 3 days a week this summer away from our house. I completely understand that if he starts behind he'll stay behind, and that isn't anything I want for him either. Some part of me thinks he just isn't challenged enough, but he knows my buttons good enough and won't learn with me or my husband. He loves the Star Fall website, and will play on it for hours, but he still can't/won't repeat letters he knows to anyone, which he knew all of those when he was 2 (can someone just forget?). Anyway...thanks again for all the help!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:40 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • He needs to start. Most kids arent interested in doing stuff like that. Maybe he is not a pencil paper kind of kid. Teach him the alphabet with picture cards and just post his name. But holding him out of Kindergarten isnt going to make it better. He is going to have to face it sooner or later.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 9:23 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Call your elementry school and talk to someone. See if you can go visit the Kindergarten rooms (before or after school if that is most convenient for the teacher) so that he can see where he will be going. It does not have the be the teacher he will have, but sometimes just seeing the new builidng and things he will get to do can give him interest in learning.

    Also, I think it is just better to send him. The teachers are there to teach, if he is a little behind academically they will give him extra help. My son attended Head Start 2 years but has a speech delay and he is now in full-day Kindergarten to help him with reading. My son was not interested in school at all until he got to Kindergarten. He loves being there now. He loves his teacher and his friends. He is proficient in everything he needs to know, except he has trouble reading clearly because of his speech delay.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:16 AM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • My son was born in Oct. and I didn't enroll him in kinder until the next year. He turned 6 in his kinder year and now that he is in 4th grade I kind of regret it. I "felt" like he wasn't ready, he was and then some. As soon as he got into the atmosphere of learning, he loved it! Oh and another thing, Kindergarten is not required by law. If he will be 6 yrs. old within this year and you feel he is ready, then he can pass kindergarten and go to 1st grade. Give him a little push and see if he doesn't like it. He will.

    Answer by Gigi1969 at 3:18 AM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • I know K isn't required in all states, but, for HIM, make sure he knows everything that a first grader needs to know before doing the skipping of K. When and if he does go to K, he might suprise you. He will have a structured learning day, and will be extrememly busy.Maybe this is something he will enjoy. Just work with him a certain time each day, and see how it goes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:52 AM on Mar. 28, 2009

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