kindergarten again? - FamilyEducation
kindergarten again?
03/10/2010 at 23:27 PM

My son turned 5 in October so missed the public school kindergarten cut-off which is September 1. His school is for preschool to 1st grade, and this year he was scheduled for pre-k which was 3 days a week. I work and it would be easier to have him in school 5 days; the director suggested as he was fairly close to the deadline to put him in the kindergarten class. My assumption initially was that he would go to private school kindergarten and then move to public school with his brother for kindergarten the next year.

He has been in kindergarten all year and has excelled. He is reading well, doing very well in math and writing, and enjoys school. He seems at least as mature as the other children and more advanced academically than most others, although it is admittedly a very small class that I am comparing him with.

So here is the problem--what to do next year? A few educator friends have said to put him in kindergarten again--the idea was would I rather he have an edge or just be average and very young in 1st grade. Others say of course he should move up as he is doing so well. I don't want him to be bored if he goes to kindergarten again but am told that teachers will differentiate to make it challenging for him in kindergarten. Another issue is cost--private school is not cheap and I am not wealthy! Public school will not budge as to his grade level--where I live there is no testing to determine that he could go to 1st grade as his age determines he will be in kindergarten (they hold firm to the age requirement until 2nd grade).

So, any thoughts? Maybe someone has gone through this? Thanks for any insight!!

I have two who are youngest in their grade. My DD started kindie at 5 but she was very advanced (2 to 5 grade levels all around) and accelerated to 1st grade after Christmas break. She's now in 8th grade, still top of her class, still advanced, still a leader, very successful socially. The one negative is atheletically. She's still making the school teams (currently captain of the girl's basketball team) but admittadly, she's more of a 3rd place than the 1st place she'd be had she stayed with her own grade. But hey, not everyone can be first place and considering how well everything else has gone, we all accept the physical disadvantage of being the youngest. Now, DS has an October birthday too but the cut-off in our district is Dec. 1st, though it's common in our district to "red-shirt" boys and have them start at 6. We knew DS was ready so he started Kindie on schedule at 4. There were boys turning 7 the same school year he was turning 5. He's the youngest in his class but doing great (he's in 4th grade.) Seriously, no one can imagine him in 3rd grade right now. Successful differentiation in class really depends on what levels you are talking. A year is do-able. We've personally found that once you get past that, more extreme measures have to be taken. Personality plays it's part. My oldest is driven to learn and so she's need substantial accomodation even with the grade skip. My youngest is just as smart but very laid-back about learning and extremely social. He's in a specialty school (foriegn language immersion) and gets in-class differentiation. For him, it works great. So, from my perspective, if he's happy, doing not only well but advanced, I'd keep him where he is. If you are truely on the fence, look into the possibility of trying public kindergarten out. If it doesn't work, see if you can move back into the 1st grade private school class. I will tell you one truth I've learned over the years.... you CAN try things. Kids will always bounce back from a failure if they have the love and support of a parent who is willing to change course whenever neccessary. Better to take the risk and know if you don't know it in your gut now.

Thank you so much, I appreciate your experience in this! I am leaning for him to be in 1st.