Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Kindergarten to repeat next year or not.... ****update***2

Posted by   + Show Post

Hi I'm new to the group.

My son is turning six next month and is currently in kindergarten. The last conference they were suggesting that he just was not where some of the other class is with reading and writing. And that repeating next year would probably be best. He is a very easy, good mannered kid. Never in trouble, plays and listens well. But I think some things just are not clicking with him, we are looking at getting him a tutor for the remainder of the school year as well as the summer if it will help him catch up. I'm just not sure if the teacher is giving up, I asked a friend that is a Kindergarten teacher in a different district and she couldn't believe the conversation came up at this time of year. 

I think it would be upsetting for him to repeat kindergarten, he is excited to be a first grader next year. But I don't want him to not be ready either. Anyone have experience with this? I need some help! 


***update****

Can't believe all of your replies still working through reading them, truly appreciate all of your advice what a great group! 

Side note, he is very good at math and unbelievable at problem solving, he also had two previous years of preschool. We thought we were doing everything we could to get him ready for this year. I think that is part of why this is so hard to grasp. Coming into school he was ahead of most kids as far as what they would like them to know. 

***update 2***

My son is currently in full day kindergarten. I will be setting him up with a tutor for the remainder of the year and over the summer. We still work with him at home but I think professional help is the best for him. He does get assistance at school during the day to work on the reading etc. and we are going to look into the possibility of dyslexia or other possible learning difficulties. This is my little man and I'm going to do everything I can for him and try to make the best decision for his next year of school. 

by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 9:47 PM
Replies (21-30):
goldilocksbecky
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 7:44 AM
5 moms liked this

First grade teacher here.  A couple of quick thoughts.  Regarding your friends comment that she can't believe that conversation is coming up now, general best practice is that it should be talked about now, when there is still time to do something about it and so that its not a shock/surprise to the parents at the end of the year.  It's actually law in my state that if there is any chance that I child will be retained we must have an extra conference with them in January and hav them sign a notice of possible retention.  At that point we usually have strategies in place and use that meeting to discuss additional interventions and things that we can work on or put into place (both parents and teacher/ school).  The focus of the meeting (actually any good parent teacher meeting when the child is struggling) shouldn't just be "these are the problems, this is what he's struggling with".  It should include a whole lot of "this is what we're going to do about it, this is what we're going to try next".

As for the retention itself, my personal opinion (and research based best practice) . . . Is that it should be avoided as often as possible.  Retention should be a last resort.  Interventions and support should definitely come into play first.  Do everything you can to get him up to speed.  There is a tremendous amount of research on the negative impact of retention over the child's school career and overall lifetime.  

If retention does become necessary, kindergarten generally  isn't the year to do it. Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as developmental delays or significant language issues, behavioral/emotional issues, etc . . Then you will have a higher payoff by doing the retention in first grade instead (or possibly second).  When you retain in kindergarten you spend a year of the child's life to get less than a years growth in return.  Retention costs a child a year of their life (and has tremendous costs emotionally and socially as well).  In general, you don't want to look at retention in the early years unless the child is almost a full year behind.  It's difficult to imagine a kindergartener being "almost a full year behind".  The first month or so of school is spent learning the routines and learning how to "do school".  They have to learn where places are in the school, learn the routines for circle time, bathroom trips and lunchtime, etc.  He knows all that and doesn't need to spend a month rehashing it.  The next few months are spent on basic alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  He probably knows most of that as well.  For most kids, the breakdown occurs as the move from basic letter identification and sounds into the "put it together to make words".  But that happens several months into the year.  If you child is behind, he doesn't need to spend several months rehashing the things he already knows (he needs to spend his time working intensely to fill in the gaps of what he's missing.  That's the only way to actually close the gap).  So with a kindergarten retention, those first few months would be a total waste of his time.  He's burning a whole year to gain a repeat of the last few months of the year.  That's not a good investment.   You better option would be to send him on to first grade. Yes, he may be below level.  Yes, they may have to modify his instruction a bit.  But that's their job.  You may discover that some combination of a little age, a different teacher and some good interventions has him where he needs to be by he end of first grade. I can't tell you how many times I've seen it happen.  And if he's not where he needs to be and you do decide to retain him, then he will spend that entire year actually working to fill in the gaps in his reading and math skills (not weeks and months rehashing the basic routines and foundation skills like he would with a kindergarten retention).  

Also, keep in mind that he is still young enough that many of the school expectations fall under the "all kids are different and will get it in their own time" category.  Many early cognitive skills are just like walking ,talking and teeth in that respect.  And just like walking, talking and teeth it drives parents crazy if their child is a late-bloomer and is behind all the other kids.  And, just like walking, talking and teeth, once that late-bloomer finally reaches that milestone, you can't tell any difference between them and the early-bloomers.  By 3 or 4 they all walk, they all talk and they all have teeth . . . And you can't tell who was early and who was late.  Sometimes kids who appear to be behind in kindergarten are just late bloomers and with a little time it just clicks and they do just fine.

***** Please excuse the typos.  I'm on mobile and I finally just gave up trying to fight the autocorrect.

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Mar. 23, 2013 at 7:53 AM


I don't know where you teach, but I can tell you that this is NOT the norm in most kindergartens that I am familiar with.  What you described is preschool, NOT kindergarten.  I would agree if those were the expectations that holding back in kindergarten would not be necessary, BUT considering the expectations for most kindergartens in the United States are fully reading, writing complete sentences, and addition and subtraction, then I think that your incorrect.

Quoting goldilocksbecky:

First grade teacher here.  A couple of quick thoughts.  Regarding your friends comment that she can't believe that conversation is coming up now, general best practice is that it should be talked about now, when there is still time to do something about it and so that its not a shock/surprise to the parents at the end of the year.  It's actually law in my state that if there is any chance that I child will be retained we must have an extra conference with them in January and hav them sign a notice of possible retention.  At that point we usually have strategies in place and use that meeting to discuss additional interventions and things that we can work on or put into place (both parents and teacher/ school).  The focus of the meeting (actually any good parent teacher meeting when the child is struggling) shouldn't just be "these are the problems, this is what he's struggling with".  It should include a whole lot of "this is what we're going to do about it, this is what we're going to try next".

As for the retention itself, my personal opinion (and research based best practice) . . . Is that it should be avoided if at all possible.  Focus on interventions and extra support.  Do everything you can to get him up to speed.  There is a tremendous amount of research on the negative impact of retention over the child's school career and overall lifetime.  

If retention does become necessary, kindergarten generally  isn't the year to do it. Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as developmental delays or significant language issues, behavioral/emotional issues, etc . . Then you will have a higher payoff by doing the retention in first grade instead (or possibly second).  When you retain in kindergarten you spend a year of the child's life to get less than a years growth in return.  Retention costs a child a year of their life (and has tremendous costs emotionally and socially as well).  In general, you don't want to look at retention in the early years unless the child is almost a full year behind.  It's difficult to imagine a kindergartener being "almost a full year behind".  The first month or so of school is spent learning the routines and learning how to "do school".  They have to learn where places are in the school, learn the routines for circle time, bathroom trips and lunchtime, etc.  He knows all that and doesn't need to spend a month rehashing it.  The next few months are spent on basic alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  He probably knows most of that as well.  For most kids, the breakdown occurs as the move from basic letter identification and sounds into the "put it together to make words".  But that happens several months into the year.  If you child is behind, he doesn't need to spend several months rehashing the things he already knows.  That's a total waste of his time.  He's burning a whole year to gain a repeat of the last few months of the year.  That's not a good investment.  You better option would be to send him on to first grade. Yes, he may be below level.  Yes, they may have to modify his instruction a bit.  But that's their job.  You may discover that some combination of a little age, a different teacher and some good interventions has him where he needs to be by he end of first grade. I can't tell you how many times I've seen it happen.  And if he's not where he needs to be and you do decide to retain him, then he will spend that entire year actually working to fill in the gaps in his reading and math skills (not weeks and months rehashing the basic routines and foundation skills like he would with a kindergarten retention).  

Also, keep in mind that he is still young enough that many of the school expectations fall under the "all kids are different and will get it in their own time" category.  Many early cognitive skills are just like walking ,talking and teeth in that respect.  And just like walking, talking and teeth it drives parents crazy if their child is a late-bloomer and is behind all the other kids.  And, just like walking, talking and teeth, once that late-bloomer finally reaches that milestone, you can't tell any difference between them and the early-bloomers.  By 3 or 4 they all walk, they all talk and they all have teeth . . . And you can't tell who was early and who was late.  Sometimes kids who appear to be behind in kindergarten are just late bloomers and with a little time it just clicks and they do just fine.

***** Please excuse the typos.  I'm on mobile and I finally just gave up trying to fight the autocorrect.



amazzonia
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Omg, how destructive for a kids self esteem!! I didn't know they could do that! In Europe they never flunk a kid before middle school! And even that it's very very rare

MamaDee83
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't personally have any experience with this, but my best friend growing up was "kept back" in Kindergarten (they called it "transitional" back in those days!), so she ended up a grade behind me. We still hung out all the time, and even more important to this story is that she really benefited from it - she did very well in school after that and rarely had any issues. Sometimes kids just need a little extra time to learn some things, and then they just go with it! Even now, I went back to school, and sometimes I take more time than some of my classmates/they take more time than me to learn or grasp certain concepts. A lot of time it's just a question of LEARNING (which can mean that the teacher isn't right for them, the method of teaching isn't right for them, etc) and not INTELLIGENCE (or lack there of).

2kids19yrsapart
by Member on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

My son was held back in Kindergarten. He just wasn't ready for 1st grade.  He was very smart, but he just wasn't where he needed to be to go in to 1st grade.  I do not regret it at all.  And he did so much better in 1st grade the next year.


goldilocksbecky
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Yes, they are doing those things . . . By the end of the year!  That's my point.  

Common core standards (and common sense) tell you that the first few months of kindergarten are spent on learning routines and on foundation skills.  Her son does not need to repeat the first couple of months of kindergarten. (If he genuinely needs to repeat those things then there are bigger problems going on and she needs to looking at a complete evaluation.) If he's behind, having him spend a couple of months basically idle isn't going to close that gap.  If he does end up needing a retention the better option is to do that during the year where the entire year is spent on the skills that he is missing.

Quoting mjande4:


I don't know where you teach, but I can tell you that this is NOT the norm in most kindergartens that I am familiar with.  What you described is preschool, NOT kindergarten.  I would agree if those were the expectations that holding back in kindergarten would not be necessary, BUT considering the expectations for most kindergartens in the United States are fully reading, writing complete sentences, and addition and subtraction, then I think that your incorrect.

Quoting goldilocksbecky:

First grade teacher here.  A couple of quick thoughts.  Regarding your friends comment that she can't believe that conversation is coming up now, general best practice is that it should be talked about now, when there is still time to do something about it and so that its not a shock/surprise to the parents at the end of the year.  It's actually law in my state that if there is any chance that I child will be retained we must have an extra conference with them in January and hav them sign a notice of possible retention.  At that point we usually have strategies in place and use that meeting to discuss additional interventions and things that we can work on or put into place (both parents and teacher/ school).  The focus of the meeting (actually any good parent teacher meeting when the child is struggling) shouldn't just be "these are the problems, this is what he's struggling with".  It should include a whole lot of "this is what we're going to do about it, this is what we're going to try next".

As for the retention itself, my personal opinion (and research based best practice) . . . Is that it should be avoided if at all possible.  Focus on interventions and extra support.  Do everything you can to get him up to speed.  There is a tremendous amount of research on the negative impact of retention over the child's school career and overall lifetime.  

If retention does become necessary, kindergarten generally  isn't the year to do it. Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as developmental delays or significant language issues, behavioral/emotional issues, etc . . Then you will have a higher payoff by doing the retention in first grade instead (or possibly second).  When you retain in kindergarten you spend a year of the child's life to get less than a years growth in return.  Retention costs a child a year of their life (and has tremendous costs emotionally and socially as well).  In general, you don't want to look at retention in the early years unless the child is almost a full year behind.  It's difficult to imagine a kindergartener being "almost a full year behind".  The first month or so of school is spent learning the routines and learning how to "do school".  They have to learn where places are in the school, learn the routines for circle time, bathroom trips and lunchtime, etc.  He knows all that and doesn't need to spend a month rehashing it.  The next few months are spent on basic alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  He probably knows most of that as well.  For most kids, the breakdown occurs as the move from basic letter identification and sounds into the "put it together to make words".  But that happens several months into the year.  If you child is behind, he doesn't need to spend several months rehashing the things he already knows.  That's a total waste of his time.  He's burning a whole year to gain a repeat of the last few months of the year.  That's not a good investment.  You better option would be to send him on to first grade. Yes, he may be below level.  Yes, they may have to modify his instruction a bit.  But that's their job.  You may discover that some combination of a little age, a different teacher and some good interventions has him where he needs to be by he end of first grade. I can't tell you how many times I've seen it happen.  And if he's not where he needs to be and you do decide to retain him, then he will spend that entire year actually working to fill in the gaps in his reading and math skills (not weeks and months rehashing the basic routines and foundation skills like he would with a kindergarten retention).  

Also, keep in mind that he is still young enough that many of the school expectations fall under the "all kids are different and will get it in their own time" category.  Many early cognitive skills are just like walking ,talking and teeth in that respect.  And just like walking, talking and teeth it drives parents crazy if their child is a late-bloomer and is behind all the other kids.  And, just like walking, talking and teeth, once that late-bloomer finally reaches that milestone, you can't tell any difference between them and the early-bloomers.  By 3 or 4 they all walk, they all talk and they all have teeth . . . And you can't tell who was early and who was late.  Sometimes kids who appear to be behind in kindergarten are just late bloomers and with a little time it just clicks and they do just fine.

***** Please excuse the typos.  I'm on mobile and I finally just gave up trying to fight the autocorrect.





mjande4
by Platinum Member on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Your follow up makes a lot more sense.  I will say that I disagree wholeheartedly with "everyone evens out in 3rd grade".  The majority of our strugglers in high school and the ones behind on credits are young for their age and I can't tell you how many mothers over the years have said to me "I wish that I would have held him/her back in elementary."  The rest of the students keep moving forward and obtaining more information.  No one waits for those behind to catch up.


Quoting goldilocksbecky:

Yes, they are doing those things . . . By the end of the year!  That's my point.  

Common core standards (and common sense) tell you that the first few months of kindergarten are spent on learning routines and on foundation skills.  Her son does not need to repeat the first couple of months of kindergarten. (If he genuinely needs to repeat those things then there are bigger problems going on and she needs to looking at a complete evaluation.) If he's behind having him spend a couple of months basically idle isn't going to close that gap.  If he does end up needing a retention the better option is to do that during the year where the entire year is spent on the skills that he is missing.

Quoting mjande4:


I don't know where you teach, but I can tell you that this is NOT the norm in most kindergartens that I am familiar with.  What you described is preschool, NOT kindergarten.  I would agree if those were the expectations that holding back in kindergarten would not be necessary, BUT considering the expectations for most kindergartens in the United States are fully reading, writing complete sentences, and addition and subtraction, then I think that your incorrect.

Quoting goldilocksbecky:

First grade teacher here.  A couple of quick thoughts.  Regarding your friends comment that she can't believe that conversation is coming up now, general best practice is that it should be talked about now, when there is still time to do something about it and so that its not a shock/surprise to the parents at the end of the year.  It's actually law in my state that if there is any chance that I child will be retained we must have an extra conference with them in January and hav them sign a notice of possible retention.  At that point we usually have strategies in place and use that meeting to discuss additional interventions and things that we can work on or put into place (both parents and teacher/ school).  The focus of the meeting (actually any good parent teacher meeting when the child is struggling) shouldn't just be "these are the problems, this is what he's struggling with".  It should include a whole lot of "this is what we're going to do about it, this is what we're going to try next".

As for the retention itself, my personal opinion (and research based best practice) . . . Is that it should be avoided if at all possible.  Focus on interventions and extra support.  Do everything you can to get him up to speed.  There is a tremendous amount of research on the negative impact of retention over the child's school career and overall lifetime.  

If retention does become necessary, kindergarten generally  isn't the year to do it. Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as developmental delays or significant language issues, behavioral/emotional issues, etc . . Then you will have a higher payoff by doing the retention in first grade instead (or possibly second).  When you retain in kindergarten you spend a year of the child's life to get less than a years growth in return.  Retention costs a child a year of their life (and has tremendous costs emotionally and socially as well).  In general, you don't want to look at retention in the early years unless the child is almost a full year behind.  It's difficult to imagine a kindergartener being "almost a full year behind".  The first month or so of school is spent learning the routines and learning how to "do school".  They have to learn where places are in the school, learn the routines for circle time, bathroom trips and lunchtime, etc.  He knows all that and doesn't need to spend a month rehashing it.  The next few months are spent on basic alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  He probably knows most of that as well.  For most kids, the breakdown occurs as the move from basic letter identification and sounds into the "put it together to make words".  But that happens several months into the year.  If you child is behind, he doesn't need to spend several months rehashing the things he already knows.  That's a total waste of his time.  He's burning a whole year to gain a repeat of the last few months of the year.  That's not a good investment.  You better option would be to send him on to first grade. Yes, he may be below level.  Yes, they may have to modify his instruction a bit.  But that's their job.  You may discover that some combination of a little age, a different teacher and some good interventions has him where he needs to be by he end of first grade. I can't tell you how many times I've seen it happen.  And if he's not where he needs to be and you do decide to retain him, then he will spend that entire year actually working to fill in the gaps in his reading and math skills (not weeks and months rehashing the basic routines and foundation skills like he would with a kindergarten retention).  

Also, keep in mind that he is still young enough that many of the school expectations fall under the "all kids are different and will get it in their own time" category.  Many early cognitive skills are just like walking ,talking and teeth in that respect.  And just like walking, talking and teeth it drives parents crazy if their child is a late-bloomer and is behind all the other kids.  And, just like walking, talking and teeth, once that late-bloomer finally reaches that milestone, you can't tell any difference between them and the early-bloomers.  By 3 or 4 they all walk, they all talk and they all have teeth . . . And you can't tell who was early and who was late.  Sometimes kids who appear to be behind in kindergarten are just late bloomers and with a little time it just clicks and they do just fine.

***** Please excuse the typos.  I'm on mobile and I finally just gave up trying to fight the autocorrect.







ForeverInLove
by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM
Have you asked them why? How are his eyes? Is he having a problem focusing? Are you sure he is not dyslexic? The fact that it is just reading and writing seems to tell me that he is struggling with words somewhere... I would work with him at home, and see if you can't get someone at the school to help him too. My five year old actually starting developmental kindergarten this year, instead of kindergarten. Next year, he will be six and go to kindergarten. Our reasoning were for speech delays and some serious behavioral difficulties with him. He was just diagnosed ADHD with inattentive tendencies, although they were treating him like that anyways.
mamavalor
by Bronze Member on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:17 AM

I would say wait until the end of the summer to decide if you want him retained.  Everything might click by then.  If not, then you know what to do.  Having a tutor is fine but are you willing to have a tutor follow your child throughout his schooling?  That is a very expensive investment and there is no guarantee. 

kjbugsmom1517
by Bronze Member on Mar. 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Honestly id be upset if i wasnt informed sooner that my child was struggling so much, sooner. Theres what 7 weeks of school left (here) and if i didnt know sooner how can the problem be addressed in a timely fashion? I was held bacj in kindergarten, and almost held back in first grade. I struggled with reading and writing allllll thru school. Always had special helps etc. By the time i got into hs i was so frustrated i quit in 11th grade. I could not pass an english class to graduate! I got my GED a few years later and finally got enough courage to start college. I just passed my first composition class with a B! If i knew my child was struggling i would hold them back in an earlier grade like K. I wouldnt push them to catch up later, it causes so much frustration and self esteem issues it isnt worth it. Ive seen kids who repeat k and do fabulous in first grade. At our school they actually work at the kids level till they r up to their peers and move them to the next grade if they r up to the classes level. Then they go on with them to the next. Ive seen amazing transformations with this practice. Dont doubt the teacher they r trying to help our child succeed. K is very intense now, first grade wont be any eqsier if u ignore it and move them on.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)