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Retention in kindergarten


KKEEFER October 8, 2012

last year My daughter started kindergarten 4.8 years old in public school. she struggled but i was told that she was not a retention child. i decided to retain her and place in private montessori kindergarten again. The school told me that the kids were between 5-6 years old. not so they are 4 to 5 years old. Aunee is a whole year older and bigger than the rest. She does not fit in The education she learned is now being lost because these are not at here level. Should i place her in public school in the middle of October in 1st grade or leave her there

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momdeant October 9, 2012

If she is not being challenged, maybe you should consider a change.


TeacherParent October 9, 2012

You're fortunate to have a choice. Is your daughter unhappy in her Kindergarten class? Does she go to school willingly each day or does she ask to stay home?
You could go into your public school and observe in a 1st grade classroom and see what you think. See if you think she would fit in better there.


HButkus October 10, 2012

I would ask both a first grade public school teacher and a private school teacher to evaluate her and see what they tell you. The demands of each grade level will also vary from school district to school district, and even from school to school. So you will probably get different answers from different teachers.
Last year, when I was asked to evaluate a child on whether or not she was ready to pass on to first grade from K midyear, I asked the first grade teacher for a packet of work from her class for the day for an average child. Then I asked the child to do it independently, (as much as she could, after I got her started.) She was really not ready for many of the concepts, and though she could read the passages aloud, did not comprehend them well enough. So I recommended that she remain in K for the rest of the year.
That is one approach that you can try.
Also, the Montesorri approach is known to be VERY developmentally appropriate, which in a lot of people's minds means "not a lot of worksheets" and that sort of thing. Being a year older, she may be ready for this. You might want to consider switching her to a different private Kindergarten!
Heidi Butkus
Heidi Butkus


pigtoria October 17, 2012


Often when people think or talk about retention or skipping a grade - they only think about academics. I want to offer a different perspective or rather to throw other factors into the formula.

When my son was in kindergarten, I thought about retaining him as well. The reason? Not academics - he was doing fine. In fact, he was ready for first grade work probably mid-year of kindergarten. He knew all his sight words, count up 100, adds up to 10, etc. But at the time, I felt strongly about retaining my son in kindergarten because he has very weak social skills. He's 9 years old now and his social skills are still weak. My son's social and emotional development is a few years behind his peer. It was really hard for him to interact and play with his peers because their game is always more "mature" than what my son could handle. In kindergarten, they already played a really complicated game of freeze tag - rules that my son could not understand. So he just stuck to his slide and monkey bars. It was heartbreaking for me to see my son not being a part of the "group" activities.

My son was promoted and he's doing fine now. Although he's still not strong in his social skills, he found friends who are "socially" behind that he can now play with.

There are four big area of child development: social, emotional, physical, and cognitive. When thinking about retention, promotion, or skipping a grade, please consider all factors of your child's development and not only the cognitive aspect of it.

Good luck!

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