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AJHuff
AJHuff , Parent asks:
Q:

Teacher wants to hold back my kindergarten son.

My son some how can do all his work at home with us. But when he is at school he cant get alot of things done or done right. He knows all his high frequency words he can read well. He can do simple math but he is not really good at it. He started school early because when his birthday was, his teacher keeps saying he is IMMATURE. Well to me all 5 year olds are immature. She compares his alot to the other children with what they are doing and what he isn't doing like them... I know for fact not all children are at the same level. He also has a hard time following several step directions at times. I think the teacher may be a big factor in his problems.. What should do??? I don't want to hold him back and I don't have to let them but should I?
In Topics: School and Academics, Kindergarten readiness
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BMelton
May 3, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Retaining a child is a tough decision. The teacher has made a recommendation based on his "immaturity", but children develop at different rates and are more than likely to have a growth spurt in the next year.

I would be more concerned about his academic achievement. He may need some enrichment during the summer to help him continue to make progress in math. This may be a better solution to retaining him in kindergarten. With extra attention in math, he will be better prepared to move to first grade. His reading seems to be at grade level (or above).

I recommend consulting with the school counselor about your concerns.

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Additional Answers (9)

eliad
eliad , Parent writes:
Be open minded about it. there are many benefits for kids to come more mature to the classroom. and IMO there in "no rush" to complete school.

There is a some research that suggest it's actually good to hold them back, especially for boys.

When my son was in Kindergrarten we wanted to hold him back, but the teacher insisted that he'll be board and we gave in. in a way I wish we didn't listen to her advise and kept him back.

I know you want to do the best thing for your son, Good Luck with the decision.

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DrTacha
DrTacha writes:
Great question. I'm in a similar dilemma. All our of my children started school on time, but are the youngest in their class. Hence the social-emotional dilemma. Academically they are all on point, however socially they may need additional prodding throughout the day. I have opted to pull my oldest out and work with her in the K12 online program, as their school system has an online public charter school. Hopefully this will help with her social-emotional issues, as well as allow her to continue to flourish academically.

With my boys - I do agree that they probably should be held back, but something stops me from doing. Personally, I should have Ben held back, because my birthday is late, but I kinda feel I turned out okay - and maybe they will too. It's a gamble. You know your child well enough to know what will work with his personality.

I also think their are some children born in te months of January through September who are not as socially/emotionally/educationally on point as my kids and they get a pass just because of their birthday.

Again in the end - you know your son better than anyone. Hope this helps.
> 60 days ago

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poodiebeer
poodiebeer writes:
You should really think about the long term consequences.  I can speak from experience that these teachers who want you to give your children " the gift of time" didn't think about your child turning 18 in 11th or 12th grade.  I worked in a pre-k classroom and personally don't think children should be held back for being "immature", if your child is reading well maybe you can work with him on his math skills over the summer. When it comes down to it, you should follow your own intuition.  Good Luck!
> 60 days ago

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Heathermjnj
Heathermjnj writes:
I had a similar situation. My son, who is now five and has a late December birthday was "bumped" up in Preschool for being a bit more mature than some of the other binky sucking, blanket carriers. I kept him with the older group of kids advancing him a school year based on his birthday and public school cut off date. He is now in Kindergarten and is only supposed to be in Pre-K and although he seems to understand most of what is taught to him, he takes a little longer to fully grasp the full concept of a lesson in the classroom and sometimes needs some one on one help. Much like yourself I have no problem with him catching on to a math problem or reading a book from cover to cover at home. His teacher told me that she could recommend him for first grade based on his academics but socially he may not be ready and could struggle if he does not get enough one on one. After weighing the pros and cons I decided that if I even have to ask myself if hes ready...he's probably not. So another year of Kindergarten it is for my son. We would much rather a thriving happy Kindergartener than a struggling and miserable 1st grader. Good luck with your decision. It is not an easy one!
> 60 days ago

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Joski
Joski writes:
What his teacher means is that he is lacking the social skills needed to proceed to the next grade.  At this age, a child's social skills are very important.  He should:
1.  Understand the difference between right and wrong and recognize and respect authority figures.
2.  Be able to communicate his needs and feelings verbally in a socially appropriate manner, and understand and recognize that other people have feelings.
3.  He should be able to play independantly or in a small group without having to be supervised.
4.  He should know how to take turns, share, converse and play with other children without being reminded and use polite language.
5.  He should like to make decisions for himself, explore new things, and take (safe) risks.

Personally, I would let them keep him back, to help with his social skills.  A know several children who were kept back because of this, and within 3 - 6 months after being back in kindergarten, their social skills improved, and they were placed in first with their peers.  You should still have a meeting with his teacher, principal, and school board about your concerns, and if they feel that the teacher is right, ask them if your child shows improvement within a certain time, will he be able to enter his right grade. If he has to be held back, that would just mean that he is academically ahead of his class, but you want him to succeed academically and socially.  It's good to have book sense, but to me, it's even more important to have common sense.
> 60 days ago

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staystrong
staystrong writes:
You , as a mother , should go up to that so called " teacher " and tell her that she has no right to say that , all 5 years old are immature .. theres nothing to do about it and that shes sick! She needs to get  a new job .. how can she say that? Or you clear things up to her and tell her shes his teacher not her mom , she needs to get things straight.. tell the principal but dont let that ''teacher'' hold up your son back! Go tell her off
> 60 days ago

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LauraAsh
LauraAsh writes:
They tried to tell me the same thing about my daughter, first in preschool and again in kindergarten. In preschool, it was that she was able to follow multiple instructions although the teacher ran the class very informally, and it was more like social hour. In kindergarten, it's that she didn't do well on her first spelling test, and needed more extra help than the other children with math. She knows all her letters and sounds and does very well socially. I declined to keep her back or send her to readiness, because it may benefit her academically, it could negatively impact her socially. I didn't send my children to kindergarten already fully prepared with letters and numbers and reading. I was under the impression that they learned that there. I guess with No Child Left Behind that has changed. They have also been trying to pressure me into having my son in first grade participate in title 1, not because he doesn't know his material, he does, but because he is too slow doing worksheets in class and doesn't finish before other children have moved on. This is ridiculous in my opinion. Are they going to make him faster? He will learn at his rate and not a forced one just because the school may get more funding from the government on their mandated programs. When I went to school, I learned to read in and do basic math in first grade, not algebra. The whole system is crazy, and I don't want to force my kids into an extra year of school that they may regret when they're older and ready to start their lives.
> 60 days ago

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Antoniamm86
Antoniamm86 writes:
I literally had the same thing said about my son 3 weeks ago. I couldn't believe she called him immature. I have to admit i took that comment personally. ( i thought how is the kid who sucks his thumb and pees his pants more "mature" then my son.) but after discussing it with family and friends I set up a meeting with the teacher and asked her to explain how she determined his immaturity. She wanted to hold my son back for some stuff that was kind of silly. My son started kinder at 4, and is academically ready for first. I think that you should find out what the issue is yourself... Volunteer and see whats really going on. If he really is having a hard time academically then holding him back would only benefit him in the long run. Maybe the teacher is the issue. But remember to be level headed when you confront his teacher. Don't "go off on her..." It won't help resolve anything
> 60 days ago

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april.triano
april.triano writes:
It's kindergarten...I can't imagine staying for a while longer would be such a big deal in the long run.  I doubt his life will be ruined.  There is probably more to it than your teacher just mentioning that he's "immature";  talk to the teach and find out if this will improve his elementary school progress...it just might save him unnecessary struggles in grades 1 & 2.
> 60 days ago

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