Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Holding them Back


Holding them Back can be perceived as positive or negative, depending upon the situation.  Sometimes it can be an unknown.  We're going through the latter.

Yesterday was parent/teacher conference day for the youngest.  He's in Kindergarten, and he's a young kindergartner. He turned five and a couple of days later school started.

My son has made a lot of friends, and the teachers and principal really like him. He can say and write his alphabet, spell 100+ words, recognizes all of his letters and 90% their sounds, and can count to 110 (as far as they go).  One area he does need work on is writing a sentence.  I predict he'll be doing that very well by the time the school year ends (we will practice a lot).  The other area is writing numbers, sometimes he gets them backwards, and if he does, he'll start counting again on the paper (19, 20, 12, 13, 14, 15).


Where he has a challenge, according to the teacher, is confidence.  She said when she gives an assignment he immediately turns to look at his neighbor's paper to see how to do the work (every time).  When asked to do it on his own, he does not know what to do.  The teacher (whom we like very much) said she has tried to encourage him, telling him things like, "You know this, it's in your head, you can do it on your own," but when he tries he gets the assignment wrong and has no clue of what it was he was supposed to be doing. Right now he needs that extra one-on-one explanation, and I guess in the classroom that's not supposed to happen. Furthermore, because of that lack of understanding directions, she said he's rapidly losing interest with in-class assignments, happy to do the minimum it takes to just be done.

So, she recommended possibly (though you could tell she was just feeling me out) holding him back.  All of me wants what is best for my son, of course.  If that extra year will make the developmental difference he needs, then I'm all for it.  What has me in the land of the undecided is not really knowing what is the best thing to do. There are so many pros and cons that I can conjure up in my mind for either side of the situation.

Right now, we're just taking things as they come, keeping our routine the same and encouraging him to listen.  I have to tell the truth though, his dad and I have both run the gamut of emotions on this one.  Last night his dad said, "I just want to wake him up and give him a hug," and I felt the same way.  The other three children have all easily made their way through elementary school, breezing through kindergarten like it was nothing.  And now one of our own may need a little extra help.

I'm glad the teacher brought it to my attention.  I'm glad she noticed.  I'm glad she cared enough to break everything down for me.  And ultimately, because he is academically on track, the decision will rest with us (my husband and I).  We're taking it slow and hoping to make the one that's right.  I have an inkling it's not going to be easy.

96 comments:

  1. This is a hard decision to make. It could make a difference in his entire school life. As parents, I'm sure you will make the best decision for your child.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, Rosey! You will absolutely not regret this decision. I wish more parents would do this because there is a lot more to school than just mastering skills.

    I teach and monitor progress of intellectually gifted kids and am constantly running up against bright boys who are young and not ready socially or emotionally for Kindergarten, but their parents won't listen to reason and push them ahead none-the-less. As they age, they develop horrible work habits and social problems. The third grader who is absolutely brilliant but making all Bs--it will get worse come middle school; the middle schooler who won't do his work and fights tears when one talks to him; the little girl who wants to dig in the dirt while her friends are interested in boys; the high schooler who dropped his IB program even though he was figuring out tax when asked a simple addition problem in second grade; the high schooler called "Baby B" who the girls don't want to date, and the college kid who stays back in the dorm because he's too young to go with his friends to the bars. I monitor these kids over multiple grades and have seen it all.

    On the other side, J, S, B, and J became stars when their parents repeated them. Older kids are better athletes and get more respect. They are the leaders of the class. J & S did great all the way through college while B & J are still in elementary school but are the popular kids.

    Drop your worries and listen to your son's teacher. I guarantee you are doing the right thing!

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy you stopped over and commented, Joyce. I know you're a teacher, and I value your input. Your examples are great (I've worked in a classroom w/the middle schoolers tearing up that you mentioned), and the issue of work habits is really a big one for me. I want him to be able to take pride in his work, not be frustrated doing it, and barely understanding. That's very important to me because I know it's going to someday be very important to him too.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such an insightful reply.

      Delete
  3. I personall think that if he's already young for his grade then holding hmi back for a year might be a very good thing and he'll still in the same age as his new classmates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right that he'd be more age-aligned, and I think that's a good thing too. Thank you for your comment.

      Delete
  4. Whatever decision you make, I am sure it will turn out. If you keep him on the track he is on, you will just have to work with him more. If you hold him back, he will be okay too. I am sure you are going to work through this....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Terry. I appreciate you always coming over this a'way and reading my stuff. :)

      Delete
  5. My friend and I were talking about this yesterday. Our kids are a few days shy of the cut of date and I told her I'm holding my 4.5 year old back and he will be doing another year of junior kindergarten. She's putting hers in kindergarten next year.

    We both have our reasons. I know mine is ready he's smart enough and sits well but I worry about things like this that he may lack confidence because he will be the youngest kid in the class. Let me know what you decide!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that you're very assured that you're doing the right thing. That's what I'm looking for, that inner feeling where you just know what you're doing is the right thing.

      Delete
  6. Both of my boys are August babies, so they both turned 5 right before school started. My oldest did great, but my little guy, who is in kindergarten right now, too, is a bit different. He's not as mature socially as his big brother was and I am wondering what his teacher will say when we have his conference next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck the conference. :)

      Delete
    2. My almost 25 year-old son has an April birthday, stayed in the assigned class, and never seemed to have problems in school; however, as an adult he has repeatedly said that he wishes we would have held him back so that he could be one of the older ones in school. He also has sighted several disadvantages to being one of the younger ones in class, such as sports teams, driving age, or going to bars in college.

      http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

      Delete
  7. Tough decision indeed, but yeah will come down to what you think is the best for him. At least you are taking the time to look at both sides, so many just getted pushed through that shouldn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, and I'm always the first one to wonder why that happens. Now I have a twinge of insight. :)

      Delete
  8. It is a tough decision but you will make the right one for your son. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a tough decision to make, and nobody knows your son better than you. My older boy's Birthday is just a few days after the cut out date, so we were forced to hold him back (he's the oldest in his class right now), and I'm glad we did. Our preschool teacher insisted on taking a test and skipping kindergarten altogether but we decided against it. And I'm with this decision because even though he could easily do it academically, I don't think he was ready socially. Good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad things worked out right for you, Lena. Thank you for sharing your story. :)

      Delete
  10. Warning this will be a long comment.

    When Mica was in preschool he wouldn't try and write, color or cut. In fact his preschool thought something was wrong with the muscles in his hand. He held his writing utensil like his hand was a wet noodle. I really didn't know if something was wrong with him. He was born with a cyst under his tongue, had uneven eyes when he was a baby, and a funky crawl, which gave him a funky walk. The school district came out to our home and said he was fine. His cousin was in preschool with him for 2 years. The difference was that Evan his cousin has a birthday in May, Mica's is in August. Evan went on to Kindergarten after he turned 5. We decided to wait with Mica until he turned 6. It was hard! That last year of preschool he was expecting his cousin to be there. His cousin graduated along with all the rest of the students, when Mica didn't. I didn't know if I was a lame mom for not going to the graduation ceremony for my nephew, or if I was smart. They made a HUGE deal out of the graduation. Mica would be the only one not walking down. I asked if he could walk and just not graduate? A 4 year old doesn't understand! I didn't want to hurt his little ego! The director of the preschool wouldn't budge, so I didn't go. My sister told me if she was in my position, she wouldn't either. It would be one thing if it was a simple party of cookies and juice. Nope it was music, robes, calling of names and walking down the isle. Silly if you ask me.

    During the summer between him turning 4 to 5 Mica changed a lot! All the sudden he could write, color and cut. He was good at it to. It's like something clicked all the sudden. I began to doubt the decision I had made about waiting to send him to Kindergarten.

    That last year of preschool went better than I expected. He actually did the crafts without help.

    Now he's at the top of his class. I worry more about him getting board with school.

    My husband was held back in 3rd grade, and it was really hard on him. I was almost held back in 2nd grade. My mom sat in the car and cried. I remember her sorrow. They worked and worked with me. I just couldn't get things! They decided not to hold me back. They kept me in special classes to help me catch up. I did alright later on in 4th grade on up.

    I think if you are going to hold him back now is the time. If you wait it gets so tough. BUT he may just get things in the summer. Something may just click. You don't know when that little light bulb will go on; in that one particular developmental stage.

    My questions for the teacher would be, do they have summer school? If not can the teacher give you a copy of the worksheets for the year? You could do them with him over the summer. One on one with you may prepare him for 1st grade. You don't want him to be board with repeating Kindergarten. That in its self could be another problem.

    September and August birthdays are not easy on the parent! Mica has an August birthday as well as my husband.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of these things you've said are so true, and I've considered each side (the pros and cons), and that things too, like you said, might or might not click over the summer. We did discuss summer school, and they have a program where you pay and they send you worksheets that you send back, but I could do that on my own. I think you're right too that if he's going to be held back, this is the right time to do it. It really could make all the difference he needs.

      Thank you for taking the time out to share, I really appreciate it, Alissa.

      Delete
    2. I just don't want you to think that your decision either way is bad. There are pros and cons with both.

      Delete
    3. The truly gifted kids find ways to challenge themselves. They always have a book to read or think outside the box when topics are brought up in class. Gifted teachers, like myself, find opportunities to keep kids challenged if boredom truly is an issue.

      Plus, once they get into about fifth grade the curriculum offers strong challenges. Mind you, the kids I monitor are ALL state certified gifted. You can push and push through working with him over the summer, but this pushing does not help kids in the long run. They will either grow to resent their parents, get frustrated, or decide the hard work isn't worth it and become under achievers. I've seen it all over the past 25+ years. Lower grades are easier. If he's having trouble now, problems will only get worse.

      Delete
  11. This is definitely a big decision but you know what? You and your husband can trust yourselves. Look at the great job you've done with your other children and how wonderfully they've turned out.

    Thing is, it's not a failure of any kind if you decide to keep him back, you would be acting in his best interest and there are a number of ways to explain it to him that won't make him feel as though he has failed. In your position I Would be asking the teacher how she intends to keep his interest in, and excitement about, school going in the face of so much repetition if you agree to hold him back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jacqueline. I think you've nailed my biggest fear. I don't want him to feel like he's failed at anything (everyone in the class knows they're going to first grade soon and talks about it), and I hate to admit it because I know it's not even close to the truth, but there's that nagging feeling too that I've failed him somehow (nasty 'ol nuisance of a feeling has a mind of its own, even though I told it to scram).

      I did not think to ask her what she could/would to keep him enthused/interested next year, I was thinking he'd end up with the other teacher if held back, but you're right, he could have her again so I'd better inquire. We have brief bi-weekly meetings until May, and I will be bringing it up.

      Thank you for your words.

      Delete
  12. It is a very hard decision.
    But I just read something the other day. And it said: When you are worried about something, a thought, a decision, anything. Distract yourself and when you come back to it, you will know what to do because the chances are, you've already decided what to do because your brain did not forget the problem.

    And always pray.

    You know your child best.
    You'll make the right decisions.

    And even if you change, you don't have to stop school, you can just change to preschool for awhile.

    Good luck honey. *HUGS*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Colette. I've just issued that same advice about coming back to something and now my own words are coming back at me through you. How fun! And funny too. :)

      Thank you for thoughtful advice. I always appreciate your thoughts.

      Delete
  13. I have two June babies and held both back! You will not regret it if you do. Especially boys -- the emotions, the physical development, the social skills. Look ahead to the teen years. Do you want him to play catch up all the time or lead the pack? My Ben will graduate high school on his 19th birthday. He's a freshman right now. He is thanking me for encouraging him to wait a year to start (he repeated eighth grade and made the decision himself). We chose to hold Ellie back at kindergarten.

    Praying for your decision!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I most certainly do not want him always behind, and it's one of the factors first and foremost in my mind.

      Thank you for your prayers, those are always appreciated. :)

      Delete
  14. That is a tough one. I know you don't want to hold him back if he is excelling in all other areas, especially if he is already feeling bored or easily distracted by things now, imagine when he already knows 90% of what they are teaching next year. Then again you don't want to move him ahead if he isn't quite getting it because that might make it more difficult for him.

    A thought that came to me is...what if he is just 'use' to getting extra instruction from his older siblings on how to do things because he is the baby...so he has learned to get started that way. This may be no more than relearning how to start something on his own with the same instructions as originally given. I know my youngest always tended to get extra instruction from her older sister who babied her so much. Just a thought.

    Hugs to you both, I hope the right decision comes to you.

    Holly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's is a thought, Holly. It could be a dynamic in the house I haven't even noticed (because I live it and you sometimes tend to overlook the obvious if it's in your life. :) ).

      I want to say he doesn't get overly babied, but maybe he does. There is quite a bit of age difference between him and the next oldest.

      Delete
  15. Just a thought,has he been assessed for a learning disability?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, he hasn't. At this point we're just thinking it's an age thing because he's good at the material, just not at doing things on his own in a group setting. He needs that extra reassurance for some reason, that he's doing things right before he gets to going on it.

      Thank you though for bringing that up. I appreciate your comment.

      Delete
  16. As a teacher I have seen all kinds of scenarios. I also have three boys, and my youngest didn't advance as quickly as my oldest two. My youngest struggled in Kindergarten, his attentions span wasn't the best, and he just didn't advance like his peers. Knowing that 1st grade would begin with review we advanced him to the next grade. We were not sorry. He matured over the summer and clicked with his new teacher. Did that mean that his Kindergartner teacher was bad? No, it just means that different teachers click better with different students. Every teacher has a way of relaying the material.

    And as a teacher....I took holding a child back very seriously. It is something I did as a last resort. A child that is a follower, by looking at his peers papers, is very common. In California he would be just fine. But I have never taught in another state to compare.

    I hope this tidbit gives you another perspective.

    Take care,
    Frances
    @ Notions from Nonny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does Frances, and more food for thought. It's nice to know that it's not uncommon for him to be looking at another's paper. She said he was the only one to do that, and it did concern me a bit. I'm going to see if they do review here in 1st grade. I'm thinking they may not because the teacher said first grade was intense and they go right into sentences, but I better check w/the first grade teacher to know either way. Thank you!

      Delete
  17. That is a tough decision for you and your husband for sure. My son James had a late birthday, so he missed that cutoff which is like being held back in a way. This has worked out perfectly for him. My son Ryan was born in July and so he was a young Kindergartener. He struggles now and is getting Sprecial Ed./extra help. I think we made a mistake NOT holding him back. I really wish this was brought to our attention back then. I think you will find more regrets from those who did not leave their boys back, than those that pushed them onward and upward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just from the comments here alone that does seem to be the way it leans. Thank you for sharing your story too, Kristi. I appreciate it and have added it to the thoughts swimming around my brain. I'm glad I have a little time to assess the situation before it's decision time.

      Delete
  18. That's a tough decision to make, I'm sure. I have no doubt that whatever you decide will be best for your little man. I think most people that do that find it worked out well in the long run though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Definitely a tough choice, but I know you'll make the right decision. My mom is facing this with her grandson right now. He is in first grade and the teachers are encouraging my mom to hold him back. He's already taking summer school, and honestly, I think it's probably for the best if she does.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ugh - such a tough choice and I hope that you get some clarity on the manner.
    The greatest thing is that you had a teacher who cared enough to bring it to your attention.

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. This has to be such a hard decision. And as someone who is not a parent, I can't offer you any advice. But my husband is a teacher, and just the other day we were talking about holding students back. He said it is a really great idea, and so many kids do need to be held back in kindergarten and it's more common than you'd think. He stressed the fact that they need to get a good solid foundation for the other grades because if they don't, they will constantly be playing catch up and will have problems. Best of luck :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I bet the kids in his class love hearing about the fun things you guys do and the chickens!

      Delete
  22. This sounds like a tough decision, but trust yourselves and everything will be ok. =)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Rosey, my Jack is the youngest in his year level. Acedemically he is more than fine but now with puberty upon them that extra year in Kindergarten like I had planned and was talked out of because he was doing so well, would have helped

    If I could go back I would have kept him back. I know it's a tough decision and very one has their views. Just pray about it and ollow your instincts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post reiterates that our instincts are so often spot on. Thanks, Mel. :)

      Delete
  24. Yes, it's a tough choice. I'm actually a teacher (I was full time until this year until I started doing all my photography and art, now I'm part-time) and have had this discussion so many times. There are pros and cons all around. He will likely gain more confidence if he's held back and begin to help others with their work, which will help him. He'll become a master at the foundational stuff. But then, sometimes it feels taboo to do this because you want him to learn and love it and not be bored with the repetition of another year. My brother was held back in third grade and the man went on to run a million-dollar business. My cousin was held back in kindergarten and...I don't know for sure if it helped him. I can say that it's best to listen to your instincts. See if you can observe him without his knowing (so that he doesn't act differently around you) while in school and see how he interacts. Check out a first grade classroom and see if you can see your little one in there. You could even enlist his participation and ask him how he feels - either way. Sometimes it's so empowering to kids to know that their perspective - even if it's from a five year-old - was taken into account. Sometimes they reveal things that neither the parents or the teachers know: like how they might be intimidated by someone or how this or that is easy or difficult...it just depends. Best of luck to you and I know you'll make the right choice, whatever it turns out to be. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cyndi. Your'e right about the five-year-old insight. We did have a little discussion about it and I asked him why he doesn't want to do his work w/o looking at his neighbor's paper. He said, "I tried mom, and it was all wrong and I had to throw it away and start over, I don't know what she's saying." He was clearly frustrated, and I was happy he shared it with me.

      Delete
  25. my oldest son turned 5 five days before school started.. his preschool teacher advised we send him to school because he was ready socially academically and emotionally. I wish we would have kept him home another year....when high school came and sports were important the boys he was competing with were 2 years older than him in the same grade...no way was he as strong as they were that was the biggest disadvantage of being the youngest...right now he is happy and healthy and loving life..just made deans list in college....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you will hear from him again when his friends go to the bars without him because he is too young. :( Been there with my own.

      Delete
    2. Congrats to him on making the dean's list, I know that's a good feeling. Thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  26. Rosey, I held my son back in kindergarten 25 years ago. It was the best thing for him and I have never regretted it. I felt then the same way you do now and it so difficult. I even went throught the whole, "Why did you hold me back?" thing later when he was a teenager, but the difference in that 1 repeated year was so dramatic. I knew by the end of that second kindergarten year that I had made the right choice and I think he had a better school experience even as an older child because of the confidence he developed during that year. You are so lucky to have such a caring and observant teacher in your son's life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Danni. It's nice when you KNOW you did the right thing, for sure!! I'm glad yours had that happy ending. That's what we all want in the long-run is the happy ending for our kiddos. :)

      Delete
  27. You and your hubby have to do what is best for your family... I do know that some teachers will say that kids are just not always ready for it... you will know what is best for your situation... pray about it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I currently know of two kindergarten teachers dealing with bright kids in their classes who have mastered the skills but are not emotionally ready for first grade. They would love to say something to the parents but feel that they have to be cautious in what they say because the skills have been mastered and their particular administrator may not support them if they speak up. Absolutely not! Teachers do not tell parents to hold kids back unless they feel very strongly about it and have solid data to support decisions.

      Delete
    2. Noelle,
      You're right, I think we'll know what to do when the time rolls around. Thank you for your comment, I'm always happy to see you visit. :)

      Joyce,
      I could feel the teacher dancing around things a little, feeling me out to see how I would respond. His teacher's been w/Kindergarten for 13-yrs (and she's great w/the kids) so I really do trust her judgment. It sure throws the parents for a loop momentarily though. The last thing you ever expect to hear is your child might need to be held back, especially when they really are bright. Better to know in Kindergarten though, when there's a better chance at turning things right around, than later when it might be a lot more difficult to fix.

      Delete
  28. He has the rest of his life for school ~ let him go at his own pace ~ Decision is really up to you and what is best for him ~ ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  29. A teacher can make all the difference in the world to a child...kuddos to her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gave her silent kudos too (I'll thank her too at some point). I was happy she let me know know how things are looking. It gives me time to process everything and for both of us to watch him and see.

      Delete
  30. hey there. I'm Laney and a Newbie here. Hope you can come and follow me back! http://owltellyoulikeitislikeitornot.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm following you back. Thanks for the visit.

      Delete
  31. Tough decision to make and I can only pray that God will give you the wisdom to make the right one, Rosey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and of course that's very much appreciated always.

      Delete
  32. Hi Rosey,
    I pray that God will help you and your husband to make the best decision for your son. He is such an adorable little boy. Take care and my best wishes to you all.
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment and the prayer up, totally appreciated, Judy. :)

      Delete
  33. Thanks for visiting my blog, Fairhope Supply Co. Funny how these things work, I popped over to see you, and your topic for today was kindergarten. I used to be a kindergarten teacher! I can tell you that holding a child - especially a boy with a late birthday back a year, is usually a good idea. You have to weigh all the options, and years later, you will never think about it. Emotional and social growth are every bit as important, if not more, than academics.
    They are so sweet at that age, and I will pray you do what is best for him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment. They really are very sweet at his age and I am happy to see your advice.

      Delete
  34. Hi Rosey,
    As tough a predicament as this seems, it's also a teachable moment for all of you. From this experience you will all grow and hopefully closer. Your son is blessed to have both a teacher who pays attention to him {especially in a room full of kids} and active parents who are all willing to come together to do what's best for him. Kuddos to all of you. As for your actual decision, my prayers go out to you. My husband was taken out of school for a year and his grandmother, a retired teacher, home schooled him. It turns out he has ADHD and she helped him learn how to learn.
    Have you asked your son about it? Maybe his answers will help guide your decision. How is he at home in following direction? What are your observations? I pray that God is with you as you make your decision.

    Karina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to add to the story about my husband's situation: He said that it was best thing that happened to him because he was able to learn his way. He still uses some of the techniques that his grandmother taught him. All the best to you.

      Karina

      Delete
    2. Thank you Karina for all of the nice things you said, and for sharing your husband's experience. How lucky for him that he had a grandma who knew what was going on!

      It seems the majority of people who did get held back early do think of it in a positive light. I'm so happy you added your thoughts here.

      Delete
  35. Wow, that's a big one. Having been a former teacher I kept all my borderline aged kids out of school until the following year. I think that helps a lot with confidence in a kid that struggles. Rather than playing catch up they can lead...which naturally builds confidence. Do they offer a pre 1st program rather than repeating? I would go that route in a heartbeat. Good luck with your decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do not offer a pre-1st, but if they did I would go that route too. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  36. I was a teacher and it's just so hard to know what's going on with a child so young. It makes your decision that much harder. Also, kindergarten is now WAY more academic than it ever was in the past. Personally, I don't think the academic focus is a good thing at all. Good luck with your decision. I agree with you that it's not a cut and dry one and that it's good to keep an eye on him...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachel. It's nice that we have this time to process the info. The initial news gets your head swimming. ;)

      Delete
  37. I know you and your husband will make the right decision, especially now that you know that you need to be watching to see if you can figure out WHY your son does the things he does.

    In our school district, the cutoff is actually August 1st for birthdays, so your son wouldn't even be in kindergarten yet here. But our administrators also tell parents of summer children to wait another year to go to kindergarten if they have any doubts at all. My son's in first grade, and the youngest child in his class will be seven in May. All the kids born in the summer of 2006 had parents that decided to delay kindergarten until this year. The kindergarten teachers both say that it was a GREAT decision. And Elliott's teacher this year even says it's amazing how much easier it is for her and the kids this year, with the youngest being just a month or two older than the norm. And the kids in his class that were born in the summer of 2005 are well adjusted and happy and everything, even though they are nearly a year older than the the kids born in April and May.

    On the flip side, your son might grow and change a lot over the summer. In kindergarten my son was a little behind socially and emotionally. He would cry every time he did something wrong (even if he still did better than anyone else in the class) during the whole first half, and he just had a terrible time not being right 100% of the time. He looked at his neighbor's papers, too. Even though he wouldn't necessarily copy, because sometimes he knew the neighbor was wrong.

    But it was seriously like a lightbulb went off on his sixth birthday. It was like he suddenly realized that it was ok to be wrong sometimes. That was in February. By the end of the year he was pretty much right on socially and emotionally. And now in first grade he absolutely excels at everything. It just took him a little longer to get there in kindergarten, but according to his teacher, that's actually pretty common in little boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful post, and for sharing about your son too. Our little one's not copying either when he's looking over, he's just trying to figure out how to do it like they're asking. He's so good w/instructions at home... I'm thinking it really is just an age thing. I wish our cutoff was Aug. 1. :)

      Delete
  38. Hi Rosey thanks for checking my blog out I'm now following you..I haven't finished watching the movie so hopefully tonight I'm able to

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once upon a time my youngest was a little scared of that mean train, now he just loves the whole show. :)

      Delete
  39. Is that the only feasible option- to hold him back? Isn't there some kind of an "enrichment program" which he can do over the summer or on weekends? Just so he won't have to be held back. But I don't know, maybe the extra year isn't so bad. Teachers- and you- know better :). Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's his confidence level with being able to do work on his own (work he can do, he just doesn't feel good doing it unless he's got direct, one-on-one instructions).

      There's not an enrichment program (that's a great idea though, Pepper)...just a worksheet option for summer (that gets sent through the mail). Worksheets wouldn't help, just because that's not his challenge.

      I like the Enrichment idea, I think our district is probably too small to justify the expense. Thanks for stopping by. Always happy to see you. :)

      Delete
  40. you and your family will be in my prayers as you make decisions. your son is lucky to have you...he's in wonderful hands. :) sending love, prayers and hugs!
    xoxo
    maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maria. It seemed like such a huge decision, but now I'm not really stressed about it. I know it's going to work out okay, regardless of the outcome.

      And you're still posting!!! That means no baby yet, I'm coming over to see if there's anything new. :) I know you are so excited!! I'm excited for you!

      Delete
  41. I think it is a very personal decision that each family should be allowed to make with no judgment. I wish the school system in my area had more flexibility in terms of letting kids move ahead. My daughter is in preK this year and going to start Kindergarten next year. She's bored out of her mind because she can already read Level 1 and Level 2 books on her own since despite being working parents, we spend evening time and weekend time on home school activities and especially stress reading. I fear next year she'll continue to be bored. She has the opposite problem of your son - she was born about a month after the cutoff so she's on the older side! Good luck with your progress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with yours too, I imagine it will get easier as your daughter gets to the grades that allow advanced work, but until then, being bored could cause just as many challenges I'm sure!

      Delete
  42. That is a tough one. You know that intuition has already answered you on what to do. It's the little voice that I always ask, "But are you sure?"

    ReplyDelete
  43. your decsion will be the right decsion, Thank you for sharing your lovely blog at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for hosting it, as always. :)

      Delete
  44. Wow! You got a lot of feedback! I hope it has helped you guys with making the right decision. It's different in South Africa and the school year is Jan. - Dec. I'm frustrated that Amanda is supposed to only start Grade 1 when she's 6 turning 7. That means that just after school begins, less than two months into the school year she'll be 7.

    Anyway, thanks for linking on my Picture Perfect Party Linky! I hope you link again at
    http://abooksandmore.blogspot.com/2013/03/picture-perfect-party-linky-32.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input here. I'm sorry you're frustrated w/your school a bit. :(

      Delete
  45. Oh, Rosey! This is such a hard situation. We "gave Logan an extra year". But, we did it after his second year of preschool. We would rather have held him back and done pre-K, than held him back after Kindergarten. He really blossomed in Pre-K and became the teacher's star student. Logan really needed that extra year. But, even with the extra year he was just average in Kindergarten and still needs help even now in the second grade. I'm really glad we gave him extra time. But, every now and then he asks why he's a grade behind his friends that he grew up with (before anyone was in school). We just tell him that he needed more time. As I said, I'm glad I did it, because I don't even want to know how frustrated he would have been if he didn't have that extra year and if we would have just kept falling behind.

    Pray and meditate on it. . . I'm sure your heart will tell you what to do. Good Luck. It will all work out one way or another.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everything you've said here helps and I was nodding my head while reading. I'm always happy to have another person's positive story/example who was in the in same situation. Thanks for your words.

      Delete

Your comment is awaiting moderation. Thank you for your visit!