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MS.328
MS.328 asks:
Q:

SHOULD I RETAIN MY SON IN KINDER FOR ONE MORE YEAR?

My son is in kinder, and he is 5 years old his bday is in july he will be turning 6, the teacher and principle along with the school psych want him to repeat kinder another year, he never attended any pre-k, so this was his first year being exposed to school. At all three of my parent conferences the teacher has recommended retention and after being evaluated by the school psych, she has concluded that he is not ADD or anything like that, but that he is a visual learner and that he has a auditory processing disorder, and also somewhat immature due to his age, he also is one of the youngest in his class, majority of he kids in his class now, have already turned 6. I dont know what to do, i dont want his feelings to get hurt,  although the principle says he wont be affected by it and that now is the time to do it not at a higher grade. Im also afraid that holding him bak another year will be a waste of time and he might get bored?  WHAT SHOULD I DO? HELP? FYI- my sons school is a private catholic school.
Member Added on May 23, 2011
Thanks for the advice. As far as talking to my son about his feelings towards going on to first grade, i have mentioned it to him, and he actually did not seem to know the difference or even seem sad about staying in kinder again, he said he like his kinder teacher. Also the kinder teacher did say that there will be some of his classmates that will be retained as well. I guess that shows his immaturity at this point. He does not have any social skill difficulties, he has no problem sitting still in class or socializing, its all academic issues. I just dont want him to be struggling all through out school and lose confidence in himself.
In Topics: School and Academics
> 60 days ago

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pigtoria
pigtoria writes:
Hi MS.328....

Redshirting - grade retention - particularly in boys have been a concern for many parents in recent years due to the push down effect curriculum (kindergarteners today are expected to learn what used to be first grade curriculum).

I have a second grader and faced the same dilemma two years ago about whether or not I should retain my son in kindergarten.  My situation was exactly the opposite from yours.  All the school staff - principal, speech therapist, teacher - wanted and felt that my son was ready to advance to first grade.  However, because I have a strong background in child development, I knew that my son could benefit from another year in kindergarten.

To determine whether a child should be retained or promoted, there are many factors to look at.  You must consider his four big areas of development: cognitive, social, emotional, and physical.  My son at the time only has cognitive development on par.  He was doing really well academically - he was sort of the top of his class.  However, his social skills were weak and his emotional development was very much delayed.   His physical development was also delayed - his limbs were weak and he couldn't do the monkey bars.  Gross motor and fine motor development is very important as  it lays the foundation for a child to be able to write and have the ability to control their bodies and sit still.

Your school principal is right in saying that if you want to retain a child it's better to do it early on than later.  Kindergarten and first grade is the best years to do if you need to retain a child.

So, did I retain my son?  No I didn't.  He was promoted to first grade and doing so well in second grade now.  In the end, the thing that made the decision for me was my son.  Toward the end of the school year, he kept talking about going to first grade.  I didn't have the heart to hold him back when all his friends were going to first grade.
The decision was not easy.  I worried throughout first grade and wondered whether I made the right decision.  Now in second grade I know I made the right decision.

I know that the decision will be difficult for you.  I suggest that you have a heart to heart talk first with yourself and then with your son and come to a decision together.

Best of luck!

Hope this helps!

Vicki
> 60 days ago

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Danielle
Danielle , Parent writes:
I think it's important to take what the teacher says seriously before making a decision. Success in school has to do with many factors and first grade readiness isn't just about where kids are with reading and math, but also softer skills like being able to sit for a longer period of time, being able to focus, making the connections between sounds that paves the way for reading, etc. I do agree with the principal that if a child is going to repeat a grade, kindergarten in by far the easiest. You might want to check out these two articles on research about retention, but also on what kids do in first grade.

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