go back to Kindergarten HELP

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by mommyof3, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. mommyof3

    mommyof3 Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2005

    I really need some advice. My son, who will be 7 in March, just started 1st grade last week. I had a meeting with his teacher today and she recommends that he go back to kindergarten for another year. Academically he is doing great, for now. She says that he is to immature. I wouldn't think much of it but his kindergarten teacher said the same thing last year, she wanted him to stay in kindergarten for another year. He is so upset, he likes his new teacher and says that he don't want to go back to kindergarten. I personally don't think that he is immature. He is a shy and tenderhearted little boy. I don't know what to do please help.
     
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  3. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 25, 2005

    I don't blame him for not wanting to go back to kindergarten. Especially at this point when he has already started first grade. I'm sure he has been very excited about being a first grader all summer. Did the teachers give you any specific examples of why they thought he was too immature for first grade? Having a late birthday is going to make him less mature than other kids, naturally, but there is always a wide range of maturity levels in class. I'm afraid that even if there are good reasons to have him stay out of first grade another year, it may be detrimental to send him back to K at this point... I'm interested in hearing more about what they said.
     
  4. mommyof3

    mommyof3 Rookie

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    Thank you so much for replying. She said that everyday after lunch he has cried saying he is ready to go home. He always wants to know if it is recess yet, and he whines and says that he can't do things that she knows that he can do. He sometimes don't finish his work because he dilly dallies around. She suggested giving him a different kindergarten teacher that way he doesn't feel like he is going back. And she also asked me to discuss it with him. I asked him if he wanted to go to Ms. Endi or to Ms. Bonnies class and he said "No mommy, school doesnt' work that way" Say I told him that Ms. Janice really missed him this year and he said that he would go to Ms. Janices class. My son also lacks confidence, his teacher said that if he goes back he might get more confidence in his self because he would need less help.
     
  5. jkkroll

    jkkroll Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2005

    If he is already 7 I would recommend that you keep him in Kindergarten. What is the cut off date. Most kids are 5 and turn 6 during the kinder year. In my state kids can start when they are four. So, depending on what your state's cut off is he could be several years older than his classmates. If the school has concerns then they should have him evaluated and provide in-class help.
     
  6. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 25, 2005

    Hmmm... This is a tough situation! I don't know what I would do if I were in your place. Does he understand that his crying and whining is part of the problem? Is that something he can work on? If he did go back to K, it might be a good opportunity to increase his confidence, but on the other hand, if it breaks his confidence by going back it would be counterproductive! I don't think that being with a different kindergarten teacher is going to fool him - He'll know he's going back to K. You have to be honest with him about the situation... Tell him that the crying, whining and not doing his work is causing a problem... Challenge him to show everyone how grown up he is. I have dealt with immature kids who don't want to try, aren't very independent, etc. and I challenge them to show me what they know and they usually do better. Does he know the teacher thinks he needs to go back to K? Is that going to hurt his feelings because he's already trying his hardest? Or will he realize that he needs to step it up and try harder?

    Hopefully someone else will step in and provide some good advice... Sending kids back to K was not a common practice at our school... It was something decided at the end of K and even that was rare.
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 25, 2005

    jkkroll, did you mean to say "keep him in first" - based on your whole post, I think that's what you meant, but you said kindergarten so I wanted to clarify. :)
     
  8. jkkroll

    jkkroll Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2005

    Yes, that is what I meant. It has been a rough week and I'm a little tired. Keep him in first is definitly what I meant to say.
     
  9. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I too think it is very unusual to send him back once you've started. I don't think that is the solution. Was he in an all day program last year or half? The reason I'm asking is because if this is his first "all day" experience, and he's only been there a week, well, I would expect some kiddos to be whiney and tired, just like some of us have said we are in other threads;) . I would think saying something like that after only one week isn't a real fair evaluation of the situation. I am uneasy with sending him back to K at this point. How was he last year for K? Was this mentioned at conferences then?
     
  10. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Aug 25, 2005

    As far as the dilly dallying, some behavior management techniques should be tried as well with your son. Has the teacher tried any?
     
  11. Tami

    Tami Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2005

    Let me begin by saying that in my 13 years of teaching - I have retained 3 students. This past year I had a 2nd grader (remember - I teach 1st) moved into my classroom at Christmas - half way through the year!!!! I thought it was a horrible decision made by our administration, but it really turned out to be to his benefit.
    I currently have a little girl in my class that I feel should have been held back for a variety of reasons. I had a conference with her mother, and my feelings were expressed. The mother asked me to let her stay in 1st grade. It has been decided (mainly because of the mother's unwillingness to support the decision) that she will not be moved back.
    My feelings:
    1. I have never moved a child back - so I was quite apprehensive in doing so anyway.
    2. I will not be surprised if she has to be held back in 1st.
    3. It would have been much easier if the K teacher would have recognized her needs, and held her back.
    4. I am afraid that in the long run, her self-esteem is not going to be saved by not moving her back.
    5. If she was moved back into K - she would be more in her "comfort zone".
    6. At her stage in development - she would make an excellent K whereas in 1st grade - she is struggling and functioning on the frustrational level.

    These are my thoughts. I don't know if they will help "Mommy of 3", but it helped me to "talk" about it.
     
  12. mommyof3

    mommyof3 Rookie

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    About 3/4 through his K year, his teacher did state her concern about his maturity and going to the 1st grade. He is my oldest child so the school thing is new to me. I thought that it was funny to hold a child back for maturity because you can't determine when and how fast a child matures. My husband and I decided to let him go on to first grade, we hoped he would mature a little over the summer. We gave him more responsibilities, got him a pet, made him clean his own room, walk to the mailbox those sort of things but I guess it didn't work. As for his feelings for going back, he says that he is O.K. about going back to Ms. Janices class because Ms. Fulkersons class is to hard and he is wored out (haha).

    A part of me wants to wait a few weeks to let him get back in the school mode and see how he is. But then I am afraid that they will still want to move him and then it would be harder on him to move then instead of now.
     
  13. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Aug 25, 2005

    was he in an all day or half day program last year? You know him best, follow your gut instincts on this....it's gotta be so hard. sounds like he is a little trooper:)
     
  14. mommyof3

    mommyof3 Rookie

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    Kindergarten was all day. I just think he isn't back into the swing of things, thats why he wants to come home. He is a trooper, he is handling this better than I am. I just can't seem to make up my mind. If I don't hold him back and he struggles and then gets held back later in middle school it will be worse for him. If I do put him back in K and he excels and becomes bored then what. I want him to do good in school, obviously what parent don't, but I don't want him to be so ahead of the other students in his class that he stands out. I'm also concerned about the stigma that hangs over kids head when they are held back. He is such a smart and sweet hearted little boy I don't want him to get hurt. He gets his feelings hurt so easily. And I can tell that he tries to act like a "big boy" but he can't help it.

    The teachers that he has had so far are great, I have complete confidence with them. Even his preschool teacher mentioned that he wasn't ready for K about half way through the year. But by the end of the year she said that he had grown so much he would be fine in K.

    Thank you all for your help. It is sincerely appreciated.
     
  15. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Good luck with your decision. Please let us know what you do decide and keep us updated on his progress. :love:
     
  16. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    If his teachers have had reservations about him moving on since PreK, maybe you should strongly consider putting him in K. My first thought was to leave him in first, but when you mentioned that HE said first grade was hard and he wouldn't mind being back in Ms. Janice's class, it may work out better for him. You also mention that he is trying hard to act grown up... If he's already doing his best and he's frustrated, I worry because first grade does get a lot harder. Kindergarten has a great range of abilities, and I think he would fit in, and in the least, he would might have opportunities to help or lead other kids in K... Something it sounds like he would never get to do in 1st. I would not worry about him being too far ahead in K and standing out... Depending on the cut-off, his age may be only 6 months older than some kids. Our cut off was July 31, so I had kids starting K at age 6. Those with birthdays after February generally were at a disadvantage. I also taught first and I had a little boy who was not ready for first at all, but the decision to put him in first was made the year prior... His sister was coming into K and they didn't want them to be together. The poor guy struggled all year. The other kids were reading chapter books and he wanted to read them so bad... he pretended. If your son has to be held back at the end of this year or next, I think it would be worse... and it will be after a year of frustration. Holding him back early on is going to be less significant.

    But like someone else said... trust your instincts, and since you trust his teachers and he's had 3 saying basically the same thing, take all that into account too... None of us here know him personally and can only speak to our own experiences...
     
  17. mommyof3

    mommyof3 Rookie

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    Well I did it. He will start back in K on Monday. His teacher and Principle both said that we had made the right decision. I hope they are right. He says that he is O.K. about going back to Ms. Js class, I guess we will see Monday. Thank you all for your advice they are greatly appreciated. I'll let you know how he does.
     
  18. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I get very frustrated when I hear of stories like this. I'm sorry to sound so brash, but the teacher really needs to buck up and except the fact that not every student is going to be as mature as the next. Maturity is something that just comes in time for each child and sometimes it's just a personality trait. So are there going to be personality trait standards too now? If he is not "mature" enough after this following year yet, I would be seriously upset.

    Think of the kids that go off into 1st that are bullies. Is bullying mature? No! But those kids get to go to 1st and your son, who is a little sensitive, has to stay back? It just isn't right. It's the start of the school year and they should have given him more time to adjust. That's my opinion and 5 cents worth.

    PS: it's not that I disagree with any of you. Being that this isn't an acedemic issue and meerly a maturity issue, that's what gets me fired up. Some people just don't want to deal with immature students and it's a shame they want to take the easy way out of it instead of being patient with them.
     
  19. mommyof3

    mommyof3 Rookie

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    Thanks for your advice. In some ways I do completely agree with you. But I have watched interact with the same kids in kindergarten and he really don't fit it. I want him to be comfortable with himself and not think that something is wrong with him. Now his kindergarten teacher wanted to keep him in another year last year. He went to Preschool for 2 years and a few of the kids that he went to PS with are going to be in his new class. I think that will help him to. I just wanted to do what I felt was best for my son, and unfortunatly I think for him it would be best to go back to K.
     
  20. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Be at peace with your decision...........as I said, follow your heart on this one. Sounds like despite all of the reasons not to do it, sending him back out weighs those. It's great he will know some of those kids already,too. Parenthood never is easy, it is full of difficult decisions, but as long as you are always keeping your child's best interest in mind, it usually turns out just fine! :)
     
  21. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    As a mom myself, I believe that a mom always knows what is best for their child. If that is what you think is best then I am sure everything will turn out fine for him and that it's the best decision you made. I just hear about how children are getting held back for maturity reasons all the time and it really upsets me. In some regards like your situation, I can understand. There are situations where it is totally more beneficial. But some people don't take every child into their own consideration and some think that just because a child hasn't developed their maturity to the fullest that they should wait til the second coming to go into "school". Of course that is exaggerted, but you get what I'm saying. Some people just don't want to "deal" with an immature student and I think no matter what, you can't get away from it no matter what you do. It's reality and personalities.

    I am glad you are at peace with what you have decided and I am also glad your son is dealing with it rather well. That tells you something right there. It's nice to see that all parties are in equal understanding. That's not always the case.
     
  22. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 26, 2005

    I hope things work out well for you son on Monday... Keep us posted!

    As far as the immaturity issue, I don't think it sounds like this is just the teacher not wanting to deal with it. In this case, 3 teachers had the same concerns. Myself and the teachers I've worked with always hesitated to recommend retention... It's not something I've ever seen teachers excited about doing! It's definitely not the easy way out because it is a hard decision to make. It may be that the reasoning is not communicated fully, but immaturity is an important factor considered in regard to retention. At both schools where I taught, the counselor had a "Light's Retention Scale" that we could fill out to help determine if it would be appropriate in that particular child's case. I can't remember all of the questions on the form, but it takes into account developmental factors, family history, academic ability, etc. to determine if retention will be helpful or harmful. Normally kids are held back in order to let them catch up developmentally. If a child is struggling academically and has no maturity issues, it may be due to a learning disability or something not related to their development and holding them back is NOT going to help them catch up. The maturity factor is usually the deciding one because the extra year allows them to catch up developmentally. I think that's why parents hear maturity/immaturity floating around in those retention conferences. It may be that teachers take for granted that parents understand why maturity is a factor and don't explain that end of it very well. This is not saying there are not academic factors - I don't think retention is considered if the child is not falling behind academically. It's just that immaturity may be emphasized as the reason since it is usually the deciding factor.
     

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