Preschool versus Kindergarten?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2007
Preschool versus Kindergarten?
26
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 2:48pm

Has anyone had their child spend an extra year in preschool even if they are eligible (age-wise) to go to Kindergarten?


My son will be five next September and will have been in preschool for a year.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 11:28pm

I say go with your gut instincts.

Two of my kids have a high functioning form of autism. They are advanced academically but behind emotionally/socially. They were 4yo when they started kindergarten since our cutoff for starting kindergarten was 5yo by Dec 31. I just knew that with their personalities, that they'd be MORE bored not being in kindergarten. They've done okay emotionally and socially (they're now 9 & 13yo). Admittedly they haven't always had a long list of friends, but they've had sufficient, and the teachers have had no complaints with them. Even if I'd waited a year to put them in kindergarten, their social/emotional deficits would not have improved enough to make a difference, so there was no reason to wait school for them.

On the other hand, I have an 11yo ds whom I wasn't sure was ready for kindergarten academically when he first started school (socially he was okay). I signed him up for kindergarten hesitantly since I really wasn't sure he was ready. I ended up having him repeat kindergarten. My ds personality was such that he was happy to repeat, and he's now doing great academically and socially.

Finally, I have a 4yo who is academically and socially ready to be in kindergarten right now but is in preschool because of her birthday. I thought she'd be bored stiff doing essentially the same thing she did last year, but she's content to "learn" her ABCs even though she can read and write already. It doesn't bother her to repeat, she just likes being in the "school" environment, regardless of what she's doing.

I think it is very individual to the child and their abilities and personality. Registration for kindergarten isn't generally until the spring, so you have time to make this decision. You might want to call the local school and see whether you could sit in on a kindergarten class to get an idea of whether it's stuff your child could handle (class size, curriculum, routine, etc). We have friends in the adjoining county who held their ds back a year because that school's curriculum was so advanced that they felt it was too much for their child to handle (their kindergarten curriculum was basically our county's first grade curriculum).

Oh, another thing that makes a difference is whether school is full day or half day. With my older three kids, they all had half-day school. I don't think they would have done well emotionally with full-day kindergarten. By they time they came home after half-day, they were beat! My youngest will do fine with full day kindergarten.

I really think that you should go with your gut instinct. If your ds social and emotional deficits are severe enough to interfere with his ability to happily survive the schooling experience, then I'd wait a year. Otherwise, I'd probably lean towards starting kindergarten. (Can your ds preschool teachers be more specific with you about what social/emotional deficits they see in your ds? Are they things you can work on improving or that only time will change? Are they things that won't likely be changed even with a year's wait?)

In the end, you'll probably continue to second guess yourself anyway no matter what you decide! I know I did, but it's all working out well!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2007
Tue, 12-11-2007 - 9:54am

Thanks so much for your response!


It's true that each child is different and there's no one right answer.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2007
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 8:27am
boys definately mature a little slower then girls.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2005
Sun, 12-23-2007 - 7:10pm
As a primary aged school teacher and a mom of a girl who is 4 and will turn 5,

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Fri, 12-28-2007 - 10:09am

I held my son back for one more year.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Fri, 12-28-2007 - 10:55am

I held my son back this year in Pre-K (his b'day is Aug.6). I moved him to a more academically motivated preschool so it wouldn't be like he was doing the same year over again. Kindergarten is full time here and I just didn't think he was ready for that. He goes to pre-k five half days now.

My 1st grader had to repeat kindergarten last year (he also has a late summer birthday). Seeing him with his classmates now, I realize I made the right decision for him (he seemed so much younger than the other kids in his first year). I also found out that two kids in his class this year did two years of Kindergarten, one at a Catholic school and one at the public school they are in now. That might be an option too; it would give your son a chance to mature, but he wouldn't be bored academically.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2007
Fri, 12-28-2007 - 5:22pm

My oldest son of four children is now 33. When he was young, preschool age, he didn't want to leave me. He

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-09-2005
Fri, 12-28-2007 - 5:33pm

I don't regularly post to this board, but when I read your question I had to post a reply.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2006
Fri, 12-28-2007 - 6:38pm
Both of my boys had an extra year in preschool (one with Aug birthday and the other Oct) and I have no regrets.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2007
Fri, 12-28-2007 - 6:43pm

Hello there.

Deanna

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