Should my son repeat Kindergarten or go to First grade?
My son is almost finished with Kindergarten and is doing very well. We moved here from out of state though and the two states have different cut off dates. This means that if we would have originally been here he would not be in kindergarten until next year and will most definately be the youngest child in his class. He is now in a class where he is the youngest since we have moved and he is doing very well. His teacher here as well as at his old school have said he is ready to move on. However, the new school district he will be starting in is recomending he stay back. Based on his age and size (he is small even for his age) they think he will do better socially if he is held back. I get concerns on both sides. I don't want him to always have to struggle with being the youngest and smallest, but I also don't want him to get bored and fall behind academically for that reason. I also wonder if instead of being bored he would be given a chance to be above average if he were with children his own age. There is a 4 month difference in the cut off between the two states and he only missed the one in our current state by 9 days.
lacibug34 - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
This is such a tricky issue. As you said, there will be advantages and disadvantages either way. And whatever you choose, you sound like the kind of mom who's going to support her son and do whatever it takes to help him be successful. So I'd try not to stress about it too much (easier said than done!) because he sounds like a great kid who's going to be just fine not matter what.
That said, I think repeating kindergarten can be tough on kids who are staying in the same school because they watch all their friends move on and they feel some shame about being "left behind". Your son won't have to experience any of that because he'll be in a new school and will be making all new friends and no one will know that he's been in kindergarten already. Because he'll be dealing with the stress of your move and getting adjusted to a new place, it might be kind of nice for him get to have a "leadership" position in his kindergarten class. And of course it will be nice for him in the years to come to be a little closer in size and age to his classmates - a pretty big deal for boys as they start to get more and more into sports.
Hopefully, you can work with the school to make sure he's challenged and doesn't get bored. But really, so many kids are starting kindergarten late and going to academic "late fives" programs, that lots of kids are coming to kindergarten at a first grade level anyway. So he may fit right in with those kids if there are some in his class.
Again, I think he'll be great either way but I guess I'd lean toward letting him do Kindergarten again. And if you go that way, just make sure to spend lots of time talking to him about why you're doing that so he doesn't think he did anything wrong.
Thank you both for your help! I really think at this point I am leaning toward doing Kindergarten again. There are several unique factors to him that I think add to my decision. He will be moving from private to public school which will mean going from a 12 to 1 ratio that he has always had to closer to 30 to 1. That will be a struggle in itself. Not to mention, like you said the stress from the move as well as a divorce this year.
I am trying to set up an appointment with the teacher just to discuss a few things and make sure she watches for signs that he is struggling with boredom. He can read very well, knows about punctuation and how to alter his voice based on question marks and exclamation points, he can write full sentences, add and subtract, do math word problems, and so on.... that is all that makes me nervous about putting him back in the BEGINNING of kindergarten.
Agh! Why did I start this again? Everytime I think I have my answer I start second guessing.