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Legal? skip kindergarten?

Is kindergarten sort of OPTIONAL? As long as they're enrolled in something by age 6.... ? My next door neighbor is a licensed teacher who has been out of work for the entire school year dealing with her sons brain illness. My son has been going to a private Christian school and they've decided to fail him and require him to repeat kindergarten. She advised me to enroll him next Sept. in the local public 1st grade. I have a call into the school, no reply yet. (He will be 6 1/2 in a few days and turn 7 in October)

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Asked by hibbingmom at 3:02 PM on Apr. 26, 2011 in

Level 35 (71,876 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • Yes, it's legal. But I don't know if it's smart.

    Answer by Candi1024 at 3:03 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • It depends on the state you live in. In California it's optional. If your son has failed and needs to repeat, it's a good idea. I held my son back after his first year in kindergarten and he's doing much better this year.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 3:05 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • In the state of Maryland (where I live)...Kindergarten is required.
    Kentucky, required (born, raised, attended school)
    Ohio, required (my BFF lives there and her daughter was required to go too)

    However, your story is different. Normally, if they hold back a child, it's for a good reason. Check to see what the problem is...

    Answer by Chloesmom1126 at 3:06 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Teacher here: I know in our state you are not required to have them in school until age 7. But like Candi said, probably not smart. Why would you want to keep him out? Reason?

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 3:06 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Consider why they want him to repeat kinder. Do they think he is really not ready vs just looking for an extra year of tuition. If you think they holding him back for the wrong reasons, then have him tested. Then make your decision based on the testing results.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 3:06 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I would first try to address the reason he is being held back. It might be necessary or something that could be solved with extra help.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 3:07 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I don't know about the logistics but I would consider at least listening to their concerns as to why they feel he should repeat. See if there is any chance you can tutor him over the summer and have the evaluate him closer to the new school year.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 4:45 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • public school: kindergarten is 2 days a week with a 3rd optional day (for socialization only, mostly arts/crafts no true learning)

    private school: 5 full days a week. my son is quite literally the only one in class who isn't reading books. it's a very advanced curriculum. and in THEIR 1st grade they start the year taking turns reading from dr suess books and writing paragraphs, etc etc. son just now in April has phonics and sight words mastered. He's reading very simple sentences but struggling badly to keep up.

    If I send him to PUBLIC 1st grade next year (assuming they'll allow me to!) it'll be nearly identical to the KINDERGARTEN curriculum he's been doing this year in private school. .... it's really an awkward situation. :(

    Comment by hibbingmom (original poster) at 5:42 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • "public school: kindergarten is 2 days a week with a 3rd optional day (for socialization only, mostly arts/crafts no true learning)"

    Children learn best at that age through play and hands-on activities, so while it may not SEEM like "real" learning to you, they really ARE learning. All children don't fit the same educational "mold" I think it's best not to push him into doing things he's just not ready for yet. It's great to allow children to work at an advanced pace when they're ready for it...but if they're not ready, it can frustrate them badly.

    Answer by Renee3K at 7:46 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I don't know about the legal issue, but I was a teachers' aide for a kindergarten class. Where i am near Pittsburgh, kindergarten is all day 5 days a week. The class I was with was very advanced I thought. I was told the reason is most children have already gone to preschool and learned the basics. I would rather keep my child back a year in kindergarten than have him/her have problems when they get older. Anymore age and what grade you are in don't matter.

    Answer by 3mom627 at 9:55 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

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