Repeat Pre-K or go to K?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by want2t, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. want2t

    want2t Rookie

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    Mar 5, 2011

    Hello! I currently have a dilemma and need some advice. My daughter is in Pre-K right now. Her birthday is August 29 and the K cut-off date is September 1. I have spoke to her teacher about my concerns but I was wanting to get your opinions.

    I am worried about her being the youngest in class because I do not want her to struggle. Her teacher said she is right on target for Kindergarten but mentioned that I should not only think about how she will do in Kindergarten, but the rest of her school years as well. My daughter is also smaller than most of her classmates and she mentioned that this could cause her some confidence issues later on. She is currently in speech therapy but it is not a big concern.

    We are a military family and will be moving in the middle of next year. If she starts Kindergarten in August, then we will move around January to a different state. I'm worried about this too.

    I do not want to keep her back for selfish reasons. I want to do what is best for HER! I struggled in school so much and do not want her to either.

    As a Kindergarten teacher, what would you recommend?

    Thank you so much!
     
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  3. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I teach a junior kindergarten that was designed just for this kind of situation.
    I can say, with 100% certainty, that giving a child the extra year is always a good idea. There is no down-side.

    You are right about the confidence issue.

    Best of luck with your decision. I would definitely give her the gift of another year of pre-k.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Mar 5, 2011

    Children are not made from cookie cutters. There is no such thing as 100% certain when it comes to kids. No matter what rule one instates, there will always be a group of children for whom it is the wrong thing.

    With that in mind, I would suggest to the OP that she google "red shirting kindergarteners". There is a wealth of of information, both for and against the practice of holding kids back. I think, after reading the articles and research that is out there, the OP will be able to make the best decision for her individual child, since she's the one who knows her child best. :)
     
  5. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I teach T-1...we give kids a year between kinder and 1st...I personally don't think that it hurts a child IF it is approached postively by the family. Think about when she is 15...do you want her in a class of 17 year old boys? I also thought about college...I placed my son (June child) in T-1...daughter (Aug. 21) repeated kindergarten. I am so glad I did both. I have two leaders that think for themselves, for the most part make good decisions, and both are honor students. Our son has even talked to parents about this...he believes it is the best thing we did for him.
     
  6. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2011

    mmswm, the poster asked for advice from a teacher who has real experience. Internet articles and "research" on this topic can be pretty mis-leading. And even the legitimate ones will lament the trend of redshirting, but conclude that giving the extra year is a good thing for an individual child's confidence.

    I've only seen negative results from pushing a child into K, never from waiting.
     
  7. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I always recommend to parents to wait a year, especially if they already have doubts.

    This year I have a really "old" kindergarten class. Our cut off is September 1st. I happen to have 6 kids that have September birthdays (missing last year's cut off and having to wait a year) and 4 more with October birthdays. Therefore, 10 of my 18 kids were 6 by Halloween time. What a difference in maturity! I can't say they are doing any better academically than my younger kiddos, but they are definitely more mature and can deal better with the high demands of kindergarten.

    I have taught K for 15 years and I have never had a parent regret holding out their child for a year, but I have had a few that didn't and wished they would have waited a year.

    Of course I have had many kids with summer birthdays do exceptionally well, but on the whole I have seen more benefits of waiting.
     
  8. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Mar 6, 2011

    You know your daughter better than anyone and it SOUNDS like you are leaning towards waiting the extra year... go with your gut. As others have said, it is almost NEVER a bad idea to wait an extra year - if she's ready now and you find she's a little bored next year, just make sure to keep her occupied and challenged, which it sounds like you would do anyway. :)
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I always say the best gift you can give your child is the gift of time. Why rush her growing up.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I'm going to be the voice of dissent. :whistle:

    I agree that you know your child best and should do what's best for her. There is one negative I can think of however, in holding her back if she's ready and that's boredom. If she mastered the Pre-K objectives, why hold her back academically? I've always had students who were smaller or more immature than the rest of the kids-they learn to deal with it. I think it would be different if her teachers said she wasn't ready academically to move on.
     
  11. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I HATE the word bored...a truly gifted child is NEVER bored...they are the ones that ask the extra questions, find ways to look at things, and enjoy exploring other options. Most of you know that I have a gifted and talented background...I hate when parents come in and say "Johnny isn't doing well because he is bored" or "Johnny causes trouble because he is bored." That is an excuse that doesn't wash in most classrooms I know. There are so many things that a child can do that will keep them occupied.


    Want2t, does your school offer another option? How about the school you are moving to? Our school has a T-1 program. Schools around us have similar programs and some even have a T-2 program. These programs help offer another option to retaining. My program is small. There is a waiting list. I can only have 14/15 students. I reteach Kind. objectives. I also teach some first grade objectives. I also allow for more free choice centers than 1st. I work on writing skills and we master a lot of basic math skills before first grade. My students go into 1st as leaders. Check with the schools.
     
  12. want2t

    want2t Rookie

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    Mar 6, 2011

    Thank you all for responding! I still have a few more months to decide. I have done a lot of reading about this but obviously there is no right answer anybody can give me. Yes, I am leaning towards keeping her home another year because I feel like that the extra year will help her and I dislike her being the youngest in class (along with being one of the smallest kids), but I want to see how she does the rest of this year.

    Since we are military, my daughter goes to a DOD school and will again when we move again. They do not offer any T-1 programs.

    Thank you again!
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Wow! Well, I have to respectfully disagree with that. I have a GT background too, although I don't think the OP ever said that her daughter was GT. I see kids especially in Kinder who can already read sitting through being taught the letter A and they do get bored. Maybe they have the capabilities of entertaining themselves, but most teachers don't let them do anything that would support that. My friend's daughter came home literally frustrated because she had to color a letter A for homework and couldn't figure out why she had to do this if she could already read. And I have seen it create behavior issues-sometimes they stem from these kids trying to "explore" on their own. But that's just my :2cents:.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Actually some might. There is one that I know of where a friend taught. It wasn't called T-1, but it was the same concept.
     
  15. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    I guess if the teacher isn't doing her job, a child can get bored. We are all teaching 3 classes at any given time - too easy, too hard, just right - and have to make sure each group is excited about what they're learning.

    Coloring the letter A would bore most kids, even if they can't read. It's a boring activity.

    But I'd rather have a bored student than one who is defeated and insecure. At least the bored one feels capable.
     
  16. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2011

    I agree that giving a child extra time is always a good thing if there's a question. I've never heard a parent say they'd wished they'd pushed their child ahead.

    She'll be fine and she'll be more comfortable overall because you'll be more comfortable with the decision.

    Good luck.
     
  17. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Mar 8, 2011

    A kindergarten teacher that taught for 30+ years gave me this advice: "Sometimes giving them a year to grow is the best thing you can do for them" With a class of January, February, and March/April birthdays, I wish some of my parents had followed this advice...
     
  18. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Mar 8, 2011

    I have been exactly where you are!!!! My daughter also born August 29. She was also the smallest in her class. Her pre-k class was a joke but when it came to kindergarten she had one of the best. Here is what we experienced. She came into kinder knowing very little. Like i said she had a terrible pre-k teacher. I had taught kinder for one year in the district where she attended so I knew they had VERY high expectations. I spoke with the teacher at the beginning of the year told her my concerns. At one point I was even considering having her tested for ADHD because she just couldn't sit still. Then I had to take a step back and realize she was the youngest in her class. She struggled until spring break and then it was like the light bulb went on in her head. She made a huge jump in growth. I was happy. We moved to a new town the next year for first grade and she did quite well. She is now in 2nd grade reading on a 6th grade level and smart as a whip. Really think hard about keeping her back. Sometimes they don't hit the milestones when we think but they do eventually and works out.
     
  19. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Mar 8, 2011

    I'm a Spetember baby... September 22, to be exact. When I was in TN, our cutoff was September 30th, so I was always one of the youngest in the class. I had taught myself how to read by then, so holding me back just because of my birthday wasn't even a consideration. I remember teaching myself to read upside down because my teacher would ask me to read stories to the rest of the class while she pulled small groups to work on See Dick Run. I was in GT programs all the way through 6th grade and then in honors and AP classes through college.

    I was always one of the smallest in my class, but we just accepted that as the way it was and no one really cared. I'm not athletic, that wouldn't have changed if I'd started a year later.

    We moved to IL when I was going into my sophomore year... here the cutoff is September1, so I was more than a year younger than many of my classmates. Although a lot of my friends took driver's ed as sophomores, I couldn't take it til junior year. Quite a few of my friends were a grade or two below me (although many of them were a year above me, because that's where I was intellectually...), and I don't think I was as mature as many of my classmates... I started college at 17, and couldn't drink until my senior year. That didn't bother me beacuse I wasn't much of a partier anyway.

    For me, holding back wouldn't have made much of a difference... but for some kids, it's definitely the right thing to do.
     
  20. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    What is all comes down to, I think, is knowing your child. I was a December baby and not held back...youngest in my class and I did very well, both academically and socially. I was athletic and excelled in sports as well. My daughter, a November baby, also was not held back. She is in the gifted class and is excelling both socially and academically. I could not see a reason to hold her back because she was mature and bright. I definitely could not see her repeating pre-k. I now teach Kindergarten and have a wide spectrum of ages and development. One child, who is a whole year older than my other kiddos is sent up to 1st grade for reading and math. What was the point??? I don't think you should hold her back just because of her birthday. If she is ready both academically and socially, send her to K. If you have strong doubts, then don't. You know her best. Good luck to you, I'm sure you will make the right decision for your family.
     
  21. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 9, 2011

    It really depends on the kid, and you have to go with your gut. It sounds like you may want her wait another year.

    I have seen it from both sides...I have seen children who should have waited another year to go to K (immature, behind academically). I have seen children who did wait a year, who should have gone to K earlier (VERY advanced, way more mature-to the point where the other kids just annoyed them). And I have seen late August birthdays who went to kindergarten and did very well. The youngest child in my current class has a late-August birthday, and he is the highest reader.

    Like I said, go with your gut! If you think she may struggle, then wait. If you don't think being small and the youngest will bother her, maybe send her. (Although, I can tell you that the kids really look up to the taller/older kids.)
     
  22. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    Mar 10, 2011

    Have you talked to her about it? If she is fine academically then maybe she really enjoys her classmates or is excited about kindergarten next year. I have no experience in this type of thing, but it may help to know what she is thinking.
     
  23. want2t

    want2t Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2011

    My daughter does not really understand much about Kindergarten yet, so it is hard to talk to her about it. I still have a couple months to decide and I will talk to her teacher again at the end of the year.
     

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