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How to help my young kindergarten child be successful?

My middle child is in Kindergarten this year. He is one of the youngest or may be the youngest in his class. I have to say that my son is a smart, intelligent young boy but his teacher has expressed concerns about his ability to stay on task. At our last parent teacher conference, she indicated that his inability to stay on task is impacting his performance in the classroom. Knowing that he is comparably younger than his classmates and worried about her concerns, I emailed his teacher to let her know that I do not want this to create a ripple effect on my sons education causing him to fall behind and questioned him repeating kindergarten. My initial thoughts were that this would allow him to be with students closer to his age and development but now may regret suggesting this idea.

Today his teacher called to request a special IAT meeting. NOW SHE HAS ME CONCERNED. This meeting will be with other teachers and school specialists. No parent likes to think that their child may be struggling or labeled with a issue, disability or disorder, etc.

My question is what can I do as a parent to ensure I do what is best for my child? We have been changed activities at home and have focussed on activities to help my son. Like I said he is a bright young boy and I do not want to him to be labeled at such a young age. Any suggestions or advise???

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Asked by mrs_dybdahl at 12:42 AM on Mar. 18, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 4 (40 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Do not allow ur childs teacher be in charge of this situation, u take control! At this age not many kids can stay on task for to long of time!
    Look into the teachers technique, or the individual attention she has to give to your child could it be that ur son does not understand the task and needs a little more explanation? Try changing classrooms, try sitting in the classroom a couple time to observe. Do not allow anyone to make the decision to keep ur son back a year. My daughter was the youngest in her k class, age wasn't an issue. We found she had a lil trouble because she is left handed, when writing and reading it is taught for right handed people (my experience) Are there other students involved w/ his lack of attention? There are many questions to be answered before u worry urself to much. Do not allow anyone the power to label ur wonderful son!

    Answer by SiliMomi at 1:46 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Thank you for your response. I am going to do my research and write down my questions before this next meeting. You are right. I need to be my son's #1 advocate!

    Comment by mrs_dybdahl (original poster) at 1:54 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • out here in Nevada is really bad about it
    and one time I asked to leave my child where she was for at least a week more so she can
    prove herself to them and herself that she can be ahead without problems, so they had the ex sign her out
    of the higher lvl class because they knew he didnt want her their

    Answer by ginhull at 2:27 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I have recently read that holding back really doesn't benefit the child. Can you volunteer in his classroom to see what is going on? Have you asked your son about it? When I was in K they wanted me on Ritalin because they said I was hyperactive. My mom took me off after a month because I wasn't even sleeping t 2 hours a night.

    Throughout grade school and Jr high I was constantly put in resource classes because THEY said I couldn't do the work. Finally at the end od 7th grade a teacher (not one of mine) suggested testing me. The result I scored high 12th grade level in every subject except math, where I was stuck at the 4th or 5th grade level. The problem wasn't that I couldn't do it it was I was bored and wouldn't do it.

    Maybe your DS needs more of a challange. At home try some things that are just a tad harder and see how he responds.

    Answer by Jerichos_Mommy at 2:39 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • We regret not having our youngest repeat first grade. He too was one of the youngest in the class. DH would not agree to let him repeat. His teacher and I wanted him to. It was a mistake. He had problems all through school especially grades 7-9. He is very bright and finally made it, but he should have repeated that grade. Listen to all opinions and then make an educated decision. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 7:58 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • go with your gut instincts after all you are his parent but if you feel he may need a little help then don't be afraid to ask for it

    Answer by Christmaslver68 at 9:11 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • i agree with go with your gut first. i would also stop them dead on if they request that he be evaluated for add or adhd. schools get more federal dollars for children with a diagnosis, so intentions on the schools part can be partial. after much thought, we put our son in a young 5 program before kindergarten...i know it is too late for you to do that, but it was a great decision for us.
    you said he is smart. is he at or above where he should be academically? you should know that from the conference. academics would be my first point of interest.
    as far as staying on task, go ahead and ask the "professionals" what they have found to be successful for other children. I also recommend that you take your husband in with you, so that you don't feel outnumbered or intimidated.
    children of this age respond very well to rewards for "proper" behavior. you can reward him for a good day. 5 good days in a row = a bigger reward.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 9:58 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I think what many teachers now days are forgetting, is that at age 5 most kids dont sit still very long, especially boys.THey arnt meant to sit at a desk all day at that age! Boys are active, wiggly things. I would say if he can do the work, then let him go on. If its just that he cant sit still long enough to do it, let him go on as well, that will take time to settle. If he cant DO the work, thats when you should be concerned. I know in my kids school they all do a little dance to music, or do a little run before school starts, it burns off some energy, gets the blood going and kids are more able to focus at learning. The teachers have said the classes that dont do this take longer to settle in for the day. Not sure how this would help you, maybe if its possible can you walk to school, get to school early to play at the playground a bit? It might realy help :)

    Answer by minimo77 at 12:00 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Your original thinking was perfect! He may not have an attention problem but it more could be from maturity. Since he's the youngest, their behavior often stands out in a classroom. It would be such a shame for a bright intelligent little boy to begin to feel badly about himself. When children are corrected in the classroom, or last to be finished with their work, it is noticed by their peers. If he ever does have to repeat a grade K is the perfect one to repeat. When their older they can feel badly about being left back, especially when their friends that they've had for years are moving on. Seems like the school is on top of it with having a meeting. Be glad that you email got attention. Mom's gut instinct is usually right on spot! Attend the meeting and feel grateful that they are listening to your request. I know you want to second guess yourself but go with your original instinct. You'll be glad you did!

    Answer by AlisonAstair at 2:50 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Thank you for all of the comments. It is reassuring hearing your comments that I am not the only parent that has faced these obstacles. I knew that but hearing you comments and advise provides me with a sense of ease. Last night my husband and daughter, who is a very mature 15 year old, discussed my son and this situation.

    After fleshing it out, we realized that there are several factors we need to bring to the schools attention. I remembered in Kindergarten my older daughter's teacher had similar concerns. Then we moved to and our daughter was fortunate to be with the same teacher for 1st-3rd grade. This teacher being a seasoned teacher and having enough time with my daughter observed that my daughter actually learned better and listened better when she was doing something else such as writing when the teacher spoke.

    Comment by mrs_dybdahl (original poster) at 2:57 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

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