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Old 05-02-2008, 12:44 AM   #1
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young kindergarten - holding back?

Alright. I am a school psychologist so I know a lot of the research regarding retention bla bla bla.

Well, my four year old makes the kindergarten cutt off by THREE WEEKS. I am in tears. He has been looking forward to kindergarten for a year. His IQ is almost superior (like his father). Academically he is above average and his reasoning skills are almost superior. His social skills are that of a three year old. He is small as well. His favorite kids to play with our three year old girls. He is in daycare full two days a week and preschool a few hours, two days a week. He doesn't hardly play with the kids his age at the daycare (there are three boys his age). He would rather play with the two girls who are three years old. When I see how he interacts with them, he fits in. When I see the other boys interact with him, it is painful. He really is a lot smarter than them in intelligence but socially, they just don't want to play with him. I am at a lost in some ways because I don't know if it's because he is literally more intelligent then them and they are not interested in the things he is interested in. Then again, other really smart kids can socialize well with their peers so that may not be a big issue.

My original thought was to have him go to kindergarten and repeat it. The research does indicate that this can have a negative impact on kids even in the young of a grade. Professionally, I haven't seen it at all. I have seen that extra year the kids blossom. The research is so convincing.

I did find this information:

he 1993 and 1995 surveys found notable differences between the later school performance of students who were held out of kindergarten and students who repeated kindergarten.

* The performance of first- and second-graders who were held out of kindergarten was better than that of first- and second-graders who entered kindergarten at the prescribed age.
* On the other hand, children who had to repeat kindergarten were doing worse than other first- and second-graders

* First- and second-grade students in 1993 who had been kept out of kindergarten until they were older were less likely than other students to draw negative feedback from teachers about their academic performance or conduct in class.
* In 1995 the delayed entry students were less like likely than students who started kindergarten on time to have repeated first or second grade.
* First- and second-graders who were retained in kindergarten had more school performance problems than children who didn't repeat.
* First- and second-graders in 1993 who had repeated kindergarten were more likely than children who had not repeated to receive negative feedback from their teachers.

In contrast
Students who started school later had more behavioral problems than students of average age, especially when they hit adolescence, the study showed. According to this research, at 17, 16 percent of students who started kindergarten later demonstrated extremely inappropriate conduct, while 7 percent of the average-age students exhibited similar inappropriate behavior.

I don't think that would apply to my child, nathan, because he only makes the cut off by 2 weeks.

I have also read that if I decide to do a Montessori Kindergarten this next year or a private kindergarten with the intention of placing him in a different kindergarten setting like public school the following year, it is not considered the same. That is considered by many experts - fine. I know what I need to do.

My son is academically ready but he plays with 3 and 4 year olds. He is not socially ready for kindergarten. Already his peers shun him but those who are a little younger (6 months to one year) love him.

I am so SAD!!! I will go to the school on Monday to talk with them. Perhaps I can send Nathan to a private school next year and they will keep his spot at the school, the following year.He was chosen to go to the best public school in the area: School for the arts and Leadership! It's the best school and he has a spot.

My son WANTS to go to kindergarten really bad. He learned the alphabet and all the letter sounds in a three day period to show me that he really wanted to go. His motivation is beyond anything I have ever seen just so he can go to kindergarten. Yet, he really gets upset when he finds out he is the youngest out of all of his friends. He tells me he wants to be the oldest and is tired of being the youngest. I have never been so so sad.

Guess what? My other boy was born in July, so I get to go through this again.

My colleagues all tell me to not send him to kindergarten but agree that a Montessori maybe appropriate for this year. Does Montessori help with social skills?? Also, in my meetings I have NEVER once heard a parent saying they regretted holding their child back.

SO SO SAD. If that is what we chose, my son will never forgive us. I fear his motivation would be gone. Right now, his motivation is so strong to learn because he really wants to prove to us he can do it. His preschool teacher told me that he is one of her highest students academically and lowest socially!! Sorry, I am rambling.

Deep in my heart, I feel that not having his start would be the best thing because I see how he interacts with others who would go into kindergarten. The kids the grade below him are where he is at.

This summer, his preschool has summer camp. The 3 and 4 year olds will be together and the 5 -7 year olds will be together. He will be with the older group just because the 5 year olds will be in kindergarten (his b-day is in August). This may be a big indicator as to what we should do.

I do believe regardless, another year of preschool would cause him to have behavior problems. He has known all of the preschool stuff for two years now. There are a few private kindergarten classes in the area and then I


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Old 05-02-2008, 01:27 AM   #2
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

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Old 05-02-2008, 06:23 AM   #3
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

I would skip kindergarten for a year and enroll him in a nursery school. By the sounds of it he wants to be in a structured learning setting but he doesn't quite have the maturity to really thrive to his full potential in kindergarten just yet. His first exposure to school should be as positive as possible. They don't get the one on one attention and guidance in kindergarten. If he suffers socially and there isn't anyone there to guide him it could really taint his perception of school.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:28 AM   #4
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

Hey Mama! I say wait the year! My oldest son has an October b-day and he definitely was not mature enough at 4. Academically he was beyond his peers in pre-k, but that is not the only thing to look at. I do not regret waiting one bit, I truly believe it was the best thing for him. He is in 3rd grade now, one of the top students in his class, and even in enrichment for Math 2nd son has a Sept. b-day and we did not wait the year..and I kind of regret it. Academically he is right where he should be...but we have some issues with him sitting still. He has somewhat been diagnosed as ADHD...but in y heart(I am not in denial) I truly believe it also has something to do with immaturity. He is one of the youngest in his class and I believe that he could have benefited from the extra year home. He is in 1st grade now and right on grade level...had we waited maybe he also could be beyond grade level. He has no problems socially or anything..but the structure and rigor of the school day definitely is harder for him.

Also, being one of the older kids in the grade benefits them when they are older in athletics Their bodies are more mature! All of my brother in laws were held back a year and all made it to all county and or all state in football..where as my dh was not held back and although he was a great athlete, he did not make it that far. Just something to think about.

Just do whatever feels right for your family!! I wish you the best of luck and please feel free to pm me with any questions!!!
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:18 AM   #5
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

My son is one of the oldest in his class in kindergarten, but because of some health issues is also the smallest, and he does get teased about it. Thankfully he doesn't get upset about it and does have friends but he's also mature for his age. I'd really suggest waiting a year for kindergarten and putting him in some other program this year.
As for the putting him in two years of kindergarten, if he does end up getting teased a lot it may make him hate school and not want to go back next year, even though he'll be the oldest at that point.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:32 AM   #6
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

I would absolutely wait the year. The effects of being the youngest in kindergarten aren't just going to be there now. They'll carry over right into college.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

You know your child best!! so I would trust in your feelings.

That said I have an Oct. birthday and was sent to K at 4. While being the youngest did bug me at times throughout school, I adapted. I still have friends from those kindergarten days. If your son is ready for K then he will adapt to it. It is my believe that day in and day out of the same kids will create relationships.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:57 AM   #8
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

My little brother was a late June baby. The cut off then was July 1st. Mom was paying for daycare in the mornings because she worked nights, so she sent him. He did fine in kindergarten for the short period of the day he was there.

But her big issue was that they would not let him repeat when he clearly needed to. The school insisted he go to first grade. She reluctantly let him go on and still regrets it. It was a disaster. He was too immature, had ADD, and academically was a mess all through elementary, dispite her very open communication with teachers and doing EVERYTHING she could at home. He couldn't sit still and they spent a fortune on tutors and social skills therapy for him to help him. Would he still have had problems? Maybe. But being a year older would definitely have helped.

So, before you go ahead, I would talk frankly with the school about how open they are to repeating if you think he needs it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

so sorry if i'm repeating, i haven't read through all the responses. i say wait a year. get him excited about a new program, just not kindergarden. chose for him a montessori (yes, i believe this will help socially) or a more structured preschool, etc. i think the important thing is put him in something new to respond to his desires, and his needs, just not kindergarden yet. kwim?
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #10
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Re: young kindergarten - holding back?

Well, I taught elementary school before becoming a sahm and my usual recommendation, especially with boys, is to wait. I think the oldest child in the class is almost always better off than the youngest and boys tend to mature more slowly when it comes to skills like sitting still that kindergarten demands from children.
The research you posted was interesting but I am wondering about why the repeaters did worse is that possibly because only the worst kids repeat and everyone else is pushed along whether they are ready or not? I have seen kids blossom when held back in the early years but it seems to happen very rarely.
I'd find another program and try and hold your slot for the next year.
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