delaying kindergarten?

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cathyw
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby cathyw » Tue Apr 20, 638286 6:28 pm

Hi! For an excellent article re: delaying kindergarten, go to www.nytimes.com. Under the search feature, put in the words "kindergarten readiness". You will find a FABULOUS article, "When should children start kindergarten?" or something like that ;-). I could not send the link but you should have no problem finding the article. Enjoy!

Cathy 40

John, age 5 (born 32 wks, 3 days due to Severe Pre-e)
Katrina, 3 1/2 (born at 36 wks, 6 days due to Mild Pre-e)


canuckmom
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby canuckmom » Sat Dec 29, 638283 3:19 am

Hi Alex,

As you pointed out kindergarten is 8 months away and your girls will change a lot in those months. Is there any way you can keep your options open and decide closer to the date?

With my son, he is able to start junior kindergarten (what it's called here in Canada) in the fall (our cut-off for the school year is December 31). I'm having the same sort of concerns as you are having plus the doubts as to whether I'm being too over-protective. I am planning on enrolling him with the school board as well as keeping him a spot in the pre-school so that I can make the decision closer to the time school is supposed to start. That way I can have the input from the pre-school by the end of June and continue to monitor his progress.

I work in the school board as a speech-language pathologist, and here services are much harder to get (the wait list is long for all services and even then it's just assessments and no therapy/treatment) so unless you can pay for services you get very little done in the board even if you have an IEP. I have spent many hours in kindergarten classes observing students and in kindergarten learning the rules (sitting for circle, following directions, interacting with the other children, etc...) are just as important or even more important than the academics. Class size also plays a role is how well the teacher is able to focus on the children. Teachers cannot be as nurturing with children in the same way that the teachers can in a preschool setting normally just due to the ratio. Or at least that's how it is here.

Such a tough decision and I wish there was an answer that won't have you wondering if you are doing the right thing. I love mother's guilt and I think it's magnified for us with what we've been through.

jenn
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby jenn » Sat Dec 29, 638283 12:58 am

P.s.- There is also the added benefit (if you DO send them) areas of weakness can be addressed in an IEP and they can get therapies at school.
Just a thought.

amanda
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby amanda » Sat Dec 29, 638283 12:35 am

My 8 year old repeated kindergarten and I can say that it was the best thing we've ever done for two reasons. Number 1: The difference between pre-school expections on things like, behavior, is different and this gave her another year to 'get in the groove' of what she would be experiencing in 'real school' and 2: We got her started on her IEP earlier (e.g. where we live the IEP doesn't kick in until kindergarten). She grumbles about it now and then but, overall she doesn't really care (school is still purely a social activity!). She's the oldest and tallest in her class but she seems to like that - LOL - she's *special* (important to be when you are there for only social activities!).

Mother to the future Julie from the Love Boat -
(this will show how many of us are 'over the hill' so to speak!)
-Amanda

jenn
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby jenn » Sat Dec 29, 638283 12:27 am

Alex! Long time no "see"!! How-v-ya-been?
We'll, good to see ya'!

Okay so here's my 2-cents. (watch out [;)])

My current situation is Jai in first grade and not swinging it all that well.
If I could have done it all again... here's what I WOULD have done:
And it kinda' mimics what Catherine is saying.

Off to kindergarten.
See what happenes (in our case we basically "started" kindergarten by the end of the year)
I SHOULD have repeated kindergarten for her.

Because now I'm in a pot stewing about keeping her in first grade again - or - getting some serious tutoring and hoping.


I say get in the routine of it all and see how it goes.
In the end another year of kindergarten will only make a kid a little whip.

I send you my best!
Jenn

cindyh27
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby cindyh27 » Sat Dec 29, 638283 12:17 am

Alex,

I’m thrilled to hear how well your girls are doing! Great job mommy :)

Just wanted to chime in and share our experience with this even though it’s not preemie related…

Our 9 yr old daughter was a term baby born in July and had two years of pre-k. We struggled with the decision whether or not to hold her back one more year before starting kindergarten because she was right at the cut off to start. We went ahead and put her into kindergarten that fall… and although she was right on track with everyone else when it came to learning (even ahead in some areas) she was WAY behind with her socialization skills. She was the youngest in her classroom and didn’t know how to interact well with the other kids. Her kindergarten teacher even called us in to have a conference because she was concerned… I had to remind her that most of the children in her classroom were turning 6 years of age and our daughter was barely 5 years old…

Looking back I REALLY wish we would have waited the extra year. She is doing fine now… but it was a struggle for two years in her classrooms with her maturity level… and look way far into the future she’ll only be 17 years old when she graduates high school... (it goes by fast!)

Best wishes to you and your girls!! They are beautiful :)

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catherine
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby catherine » Fri Dec 28, 638283 10:30 pm

Alex, I'd be tempted to think about sending them to KG. Worst case, they might end up repeating KG if during the year it's clear that they are finding the format a struggle. Lucy is currently KG, right at the top end agewise because she's an October baby. She is really loving it, even though we're forced to a half day KG situation right now! Chloe who is just a couple of weeks older than your girls is just desperate to get to school.. she cried for a day straight when she found out that registration was just that...! So I guess that by the end of next year I'll know what it's like having an "old" KG kid and a "young" one. My impression is that KG is an excellent place to refine good social skills and to optimize attention and organized work habits. Curriculumwise, it is very reading focused and that element is the biggest difference between pre-K and KG. If your girls have already done a year of Pre-K, then they are already comfortable with the structure and format, circle-time, cubbies etc. Repeating this, might not be as beneficial as seeing if they are ready to move on.

That said, I have a friend whose daughter turned 6 at the very end of August. So, although she and Lucy have been friends since their first day of daycare, she's been a year ahead schoolwise. She is repeating KG this year because her mom just wasn't comfortable with the degree of progress she'd made. Lucy's buddy is reportedly doing well, and not at all upset that she stayed back. The one thing you really want to avoid is hitting 1st grade under-prepared, the whole structure of the class routine etc. puts so much onto the kid that they really need to be ready.

annes
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby annes » Fri Dec 28, 638283 10:07 pm

Alex, I never realized Parker is the same age as your girls! We have decided to delay Kindergarten. He is sort of small for his age, and was not ready for Pre-K last fall so we made the decision then. He has been doing really well this year in his pre-school, but maturity-wise I think he is closer to a just turned four year-old than a four and a half year old. Also, we are still potty training, I know, I know, terrible, he rarely has accidents, almost never at school, but that is just one more factor for us. Since most kids turn 6 in kindergarten, and he will be six when he starts, and won't have a birthday until after the school year ends, we are hoping the difference won't be too noticeable. Good luck.

aundapenner
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby aundapenner » Fri Dec 28, 638283 4:42 pm

You know, my brother just went through something similar with his oldest. He took him in for kindergarten testing and we were all surprised that the school accepted my nephew in kindergarten. I guess the public schools where he is has a class for kids who are at risk, slightly delayed (including speech - which is what my nephew needs). My nephew has done beautifully!!!

My advice would be to contact your local school district and get the girls tested. Maybe they won't test into it, maybe they will. But then you're more educated. And maybe your school has something like what my brother's local school has.

fiona
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby fiona » Tue Dec 18, 638283 12:11 pm

Alex, that's a tough one. If you do repeat pre-k and they sail through, can they skip to Grade 1 the following year - all will they stay in their group regardless?

I think it's easier on preemies to be the eldest in their year, rather than the youngest. Maybe you could take them in and spend a morning in the k class to see how it works.

I don't know - Jay has struggled so much that in hindsight, I wish we had done things differently. But you know your girls best. (Interestingly, at Jay's school now, there is one identical twin in his LD program and the other one is sailing through.)



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