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Repeating kindergarten - Page 2

post #21 of 38

I don't think any of us who are at the age to have children can take our experiences in school and match them up to what our children will experience.  Yes, there are similarities, but the schools have changed, with standardization and the level of requirements to be met being pushed down a grade -aka kindergarten is the first grade of our experience (at least in traditional schools).

 

There is a stigma of being either the oldest or the youngest at to that point it is the individual child that points the parents to what they should do.   And for that matter children can be tough in their honest assessment of others, and this is part of the task as parents we need to help them understand that everyone is coming from individual circumstances.  As for thinking older children are stupid just because they older, it is something I will have to teach my son to address when he enters public school.  As far as I can tell, being six at the start of kindergarten is a norm in our school district, and the practice of repeating kindergarten for close to cutoff age (esp boys) is common.

 

I have yet to come across a teacher or administrator who has suggested boys at the elementary level will thrive if they are close to school cutoff.  As they get into the higher grades advanced placement classes can be used to keep them interested.  I personally would rather the option of advancing if need be then holding back once they are part of an established grade level and have their cohorts. 

To the original post, it would seem her son is currently struggling, and the change of school system cutoffs caused by the move has created the struggle.  In this case it would seem best to me to let him catch up before moving him forward.

 

post #22 of 38

This is always a contentious issue and I think the the onus is on us parents not to allow our children (or ourselves) to look down upon other children for whom a different decision has been made.  My dd10's 5th grade class includes kids from dd who turned 10 about six - seven weeks after the school year started to 12 y/os.  From what I've seen, the older children are more likely to be viewed as smarter and be in the GT pull-outs.  On the other hand, there are younger kids like dd who are also in the GT classes so being the oldest or the youngest isn't a guarantee of academic success or failure.  We've not seen the older kids to be socially stigmatized, at least at her school.  Many of them are quite popular.

 

I did want to say, though, that being the oldest shouldn't be assumed to be a no harm intervention for all.  The mention of AP classes, etc. as a means of keeping a child engaged does not always work and may be too little too late for some kids.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, my oldest started as one of the youngest in her grade with a late summer/early fall bd and still ran into a lot of trouble with the pace and level of instruction.  She was a very unhappy kid in 1st grade to the point that we homeschooled for a while b/c she was too young emotionally to cope well with her school setting at that time.  She is still coasting in some areas even post skipping a grade and she is now up to 2.5 years younger than the oldest kids in her grade.  For her, holding her out to be one of the older kids would have been a poor choice.

 

The OP's child, however, is in a different spot.  He may be a very bright kid, but he is also very, very young for kindergarten and, for whatever reason, it isn't working well in his mom's opinion.  I look at it from the perspective of, 'what does my child need right now?"  If right now, her son is feeling like an academic failure, that isn't good for his self image.  We can't know sure how her son will feel about himself in five or 10 years if he is one of the older kids in middle school or high school, but we can have a reasonable idea of how he's feeling right now about himself.  If having him do another year of K isn't the choice, something else should be in order to support his self image such that he doesn't develop a negative attitude toward school simply b/c he is younger and not yet developmentally ready to sit still for much of the day  and learn to read, etc.

post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloe View Post

 

 

 What we do see is that the kids disrupting class are the ones who are a year older or the ones who are repeated. If this is because of boredom, or some underlying cause is holding them back, who knows. My experience tells me it didn't help in any case only intensifys the problem.

 

 


I haven't seen this.  What I've seen are kids who are struggling with classroom expectations, or with the curriculum, or generally not really being ready for the demands of the academic day, being "disruptive".  They're frustrated, and sometimes not interested.  For the most part, these are not the older children.

 

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post





But wait until she gets to HS and can get her license, etc. before all of her friends. They won't be teasing her about being old then! My b-day was the end of April and all my friends in HS were telling me I was "too young", etc.

 



That will be a very nice time.  She only told me about this a few weeks ago and it really shocked me and it kind of still does because I had no clue the kids were like this now.  She has so many kids in her class who missed the cutoff and who were held back a year that I never imagined she would think that there was anything odd about it.  When she told me I set her straight but this has really been bothering her for a long time and I am so surprised by how much she sees as normal and not worth telling me even though to me it is disturbing and I want to make sure she understands situations correctly.  I really hope there is a silver lining someday.  I am also cursing our district for having such a strict cutoff.

post #25 of 38


I think it's important to note that the long-range studies show that grade retention is actually more detrimental than positive. Certainly, there will be some kids that do well with it but on the whole, most kids only do better the first or second year after. The cases that are successful are those where a specific issue was identified and then repaired or treated during the repeated year. Being held back just because they seemed immature or were behind doesn't seem to pan out well long-term for the majority of kids.

 

Who knows if this will be the case for the child in question. Certainly none of us here can say for sure. I just thought it was important to point out that research does not support the idea that being older due to retention is beneficial.

 

The driving thing really isn't as powerful these days at it was when we were kids. Honestly, in our area, the trend is to wait until 18 or later. It's really expensive not only to take the driver training but the gas, the insurance, the vehicles. Plus, there are so many restrictions on underage drivers than it can be not so worth it to kids. Of my 4 nieces and nephews, none were driving in high school.

 

I have to agree with another poster that we've seen lots of problems with kids "too old" for grade but I would say that the issues aren't so much with "retained" kids (as it's rarely done here) and more to do with large quantities of developmentally on target kids being held out of kindergarten an extra year. There were two kids in DS's class that turned SEVEN during kindergarten. Yes, certainly there have been some real problems. It's not just school either. Activities are trying to adapt too. For example, the kids theatre program ends at age 18 but with so many kids being 19 and still in highschool, they have to re-evaluate. Sports as well. They go strictly by age in our area to avoid these kids 1 to 2 years older competing with kids in their "grade." It's just problematic because it's no longer a couple kids being held back because they aren't ready. It's mass quantities of kids who are absolutely ready but being held back to "give them an edge."

post #26 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post





That will be a very nice time.  She only told me about this a few weeks ago and it really shocked me and it kind of still does because I had no clue the kids were like this now.  She has so many kids in her class who missed the cutoff and who were held back a year that I never imagined she would think that there was anything odd about it.  When she told me I set her straight but this has really been bothering her for a long time and I am so surprised by how much she sees as normal and not worth telling me even though to me it is disturbing and I want to make sure she understands situations correctly.  I really hope there is a silver lining someday.  I am also cursing our district for having such a strict cutoff.



That seems so strange that kids are teasing her. If she missed the cut off by 2 months, I can't believe she is the only 8 yo in her class with all the holding back to start kindergarten that goes on now. Hopefully kids will quit bugging her as she gets older.

 

 


Edited by lindberg99 - 5/6/11 at 2:45pm
post #27 of 38


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloe View Post

 

 

Quote:
My son can see some kids are up to 1.5yrs older and wonders why. When he asks, we tell the truth, that some kids are held back (ususally because their parents think they need an extra year). He understands that he is in the correct year for his age. What we do see is that the kids disrupting class are the ones who are a year older or the ones who are repeated. If this is because of boredom, or some underlying cause is holding them back, who knows. My experience tells me it didn't help in any case only intensifys the problem.

Many parents who hold back children do so because the child is showing they are not ready.  The "disruption" may have a lot more to do with the root cause of not being ready.  Also keep in mind the extreme lateness of this cut-off.  I'm living in NS, Canada where we moved from a September 30th cut off to December 31 cut off and the teachers noticed a tremendous difference in school readiness.  Feb. 28 cut-off as the poster describes is the latest cut-off I've heard of.  Starting primary at 5.5 years is average in much of North America.  I would tell my child that I planned on two years of kindergarten so he could enjoy playing and being a kid  longer the way his Mom and Dad did.  (Let's face it, even in Canada, the majority of our generation didn't have to grow up this fast)

 

Quote:
 

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Quote: Please don't underestimate the stigma with the parents with what the child will go through.

 

I think the stigma sometimes has more to do with how the important adults in the child's life approach the topic.  I'm not judging how it was for you, but the children I know who were held back didn't get much notice from the kids at all about it.  The teachers, if many of them don't approve of the new cut-off date, certainly won't judge the child poorly based on that.  They will probably just think that his parents are doing what they feel is best. 

 

Also, there are some really scary stats about lower school success but more importantly much higher depression and suicide rates in young for grade children.  My psychiatric nurse neighbor was relaying the research to me and it was truly frightening.  I'm sure it's different for kids who are young but obviously ready, but many young boys simply aren't ready at that point, especially socially. 

 



 

post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post

Also, there are some really scary stats about lower school success but more importantly much higher depression and suicide rates in young for grade children.  My psychiatric nurse neighbor was relaying the research to me and it was truly frightening.
 

 


Although I am generally understanding of why the OP is considering repeating K in this instance and agree with you that a late Feb cut-off is unusually late, I did want to address this quote.  I've never seen any studies that indicate that young for grade children have higher depression or suicide rates, although I haven't looked for studies recently so would be open to seeing what new is out there.  However, a review of the studies on grade retention and holding out age eligible children so they'd be older (published in 2003) did find that old for grade children were more likely to suffer from depression, be involved in bullying, have other behavior problems, and not graduate high school.  All of the social issues showed up much later in the schooling experience (age 12 and later).

 

I wouldn't view the OP's child as old for grade should he repeat K given the very late cut-off and that he didn't make the cut-off in the other province.  There are also, of course, always exceptions to the rules.  I have a family member who was retained a grade and for whom it was not a bad thing.

post #29 of 38

I don't know which stats my neighbor was given for the mental health clinic, but here are some I found.  Some studies are directly related to suicide, while others are related to school performance, self esteem and employment rates, which of course inter-relate with suicide.  All but the last study report positive findings for older relative age for grade, the last article reports the opposite.  Interestingly, it is the one US study I found and I am wondering what cultural differences between countries might be affecting this.  The Japanese study was especially interesting in that most variables were able to be accounted for due to much more homogeneity in age for grade, as retention is uncommon there, as is parents waiting to enter children.  The variables they couldn't control were very clearly stated.  I also noticed that in most of the studies, there were more negative effects for males than females if they were relatively young for grade.  I'm definitely not implying that there is a cut and dry "right age", and I certainly think that parents have to go by the individual readiness of their children.  I also think that in North America, where parents have a little more say about what age they enter their children, these results could get skewed because parents (who, like myself with my oldest DS) notice their child does not seem ready for school, might have a child with underlying learning/neurological differences.  I can't speak for everywhere, but around here in Nova Scotia, many parents who waited a year on the old Sept. 30th cut-off, had the children who were diagnosed with ADHD, in the autism spectrum, etc, later.  I'm not sure with the new cut-off date, because these kids are too young to notice that.  This could throw off the results of the last study reported, and I'd have to research the citations to know what variables were accounted for. Anyway, here are some links to studies so you can see what I was talking about (the OP's situation has such a late cut-off compared to other places that of course mothering instinct can and should take more precedent than any study, anyhow).

http://www.socialproblemindex.ualberta.ca/SuicideRelage.pdf
http://www.socialproblemindex.ualberta.ca/Relage.htm#Academic
http://www.socialproblemindex.ualberta.ca/Relage.htm#Esteem
http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~edhuey/dhuey_lipscomb_relativeage.pdf
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/5/102
http://www.econ.hit-u.ac.jp/~kawaguch/papers/birthmonth.pdf
http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/1609

post #30 of 38

Just wanted to say that I read the link to the study provided by ChristiaN's post and I thought it was excellent.  I certainly agree that having skills readiness and appropriate skills scaffolding from adults matters more than chronological age, and children certainly acquire varying skills at different rates.  I was struck how if screening  for school readiness was the norm rather than age, we could be much more sure of our childrens' readiness. This was also a good study in relating which variables couldn't be accounted for.

post #31 of 38

I think it's important to recognize that studies talking about kids being "older for grade" are almost always talking about kids who are "naturally" on the older side for grade. NOT kids who are retained a grade or red-shirted to be unnaturally old for grade. BIG difference.

post #32 of 38

I was slightly young-for-grade and my school-related depression (in high school)  came from not having the study skills to cope when I actually had to work in school. The shock of not being able to do all my homework in 30 minutes was bad enough, I had been a year old and got hit with not being able to do all my homework in 15 minutes, it would've been worse.

 

And, as it turned out, I ended up in the last class to be able to take Latin, of course I missed out on the Farsi classes by about 2 years, so there's always something.

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post

 However, a review of the studies on grade retention and holding out age eligible children so they'd be older (published in 2003) did find that old for grade

children were more likely to suffer from depression, be involved in bullying, have other behavior problems, and not graduate high school.  All of the social issues showed up much later in the schooling experience (age 12 and later).


My take on that, as the parent of kid with mild special needs who is now older (14) is that it is possible that a lot of kids who parents feel they aren't ready and therefore hold them back, or who are later retained by, have underlying issues that may or may not be appropriately diagnosed and addressed. Although it may seem quite simple to parents of neuro typical kids that sn kids need to have neat labels and IEPs and all that, the reality is fuzzier. For kids with just *mild* sn, kids who are barely on the spectrum, kids who are just kinda ADD, it's difficult to figure it out and address.

 

It is also known that kids with these kinds of issues are more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression during adolesence, regardless of their age for grade or what kind of school they attend. It's a tough age for most kids, but when you add in something like high functioning autism, it's a disaster.

 

Also, some kids with quirks are more likely to have social problems they older they get because the social norms change very fast and they can't keep up, and children are more likely to over look quirks than teens. People get picker about their friends they older they get, and demand more from those relationships. Demands that quirker kids can't meet.

 

And a lot of these kids are perfect targets for bullies. They don't know how to handle the situations, and they are odd kids.

 

Add that to the self-realization that they are different, different to the core, and different in ways that their peers do not accept.

 

It's no wonder that depression is common for SN kids in this age range, no matter if they have neat labels or not, and no matter if they are old for grade or not.

 

_________________

 

So all of that it is say that while I can easily see why kids who are held back or retained would be more likely to be depressed, be bullied, or have social problems, I disagree on the cause and the effect. Holding them doesn't make these things happen, but what ever the reason was for holding them back is the root cause. Holding them back was just a guess -- may be if we give them more time, it will fix the problem. But it didn't fix the problem.

 

___________________

 

Back to the OP, I think the cut off is nuts, and that your child doesn't need to be so young for the demands made on him. He's just a little kid. In his case, I think more time might be the answer.

post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

So all of that it is say that while I can easily see why kids who are held back or retained would be more likely to be depressed, be bullied, or have social problems, I disagree on the cause and the effect. Holding them doesn't make these things happen, but what ever the reason was for holding them back is the root cause. Holding them back was just a guess -- may be if we give them more time, it will fix the problem. But it didn't fix the problem.

 

 

That's what I was wondering too. In many cases, something is going on with the child that is making parents want to hold him/her back. That something doesn't always go away within a year. There is a boy in my son's first grade who turned 8 in March (so he would have started kinder at 6.5 yo). He is often in trouble for aggressive behavior and I have no doubt that he would be in as much trouble if he was in 2nd grade. He probably was aggressive in preschool and his parents were advised to hold him back and let him grow out of it.
 

OP - Are you still around? It's close to the end of the school year, what did you end up doing?

post #35 of 38
Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move

 

Although it may seem quite simple to parents of neuro typical kids that sn kids need to have neat labels and IEPs and all that, the reality is fuzzier.

 

Interesting take on things and I do think that I got a little of that same thought from the author of the article -- that the reason some of these kids appeared to be needing time to mature actually had to do with mild SN that wouldn't magically go away by waiting a year.  I do think that you are right, though, that the labels and IEP won't make things perfect at school.  My oldest is very bright and has some sensory issues but not enough so that I'd place her as something other than NT.  My youngest, on the other hand, is twice exceptional (HG with ADD and anxiety).  There have been no magic solutions for her.  She is, by far, the youngest in her grade but having her be the oldest would not have been a solution either.  She'd still have ADD and still need advanced material that she'd have difficulty attending to.  Or she can coast and get very good grades in regular classes with no accommodations for her ADD but that isn't what she needs either.  She needs something that schools pretty much can't or won't provide.

 

I'm only commenting in response to Linda's thoughts, though, not in anyway implying that the OP's kiddo is SN!

post #36 of 38


Very well said!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




My take on that, as the parent of kid with mild special needs who is now older (14) is that it is possible that a lot of kids who parents feel they aren't ready and therefore hold them back, or who are later retained by, have underlying issues that may or may not be appropriately diagnosed and addressed. Although it may seem quite simple to parents of neuro typical kids that sn kids need to have neat labels and IEPs and all that, the reality is fuzzier. For kids with just *mild* sn, kids who are barely on the spectrum, kids who are just kinda ADD, it's difficult to figure it out and address.

 

It is also known that kids with these kinds of issues are more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression during adolesence, regardless of their age for grade or what kind of school they attend. It's a tough age for most kids, but when you add in something like high functioning autism, it's a disaster.

 

Also, some kids with quirks are more likely to have social problems they older they get because the social norms change very fast and they can't keep up, and children are more likely to over look quirks than teens. People get picker about their friends they older they get, and demand more from those relationships. Demands that quirker kids can't meet.

 

And a lot of these kids are perfect targets for bullies. They don't know how to handle the situations, and they are odd kids.

 

Add that to the self-realization that they are different, different to the core, and different in ways that their peers do not accept.

 

It's no wonder that depression is common for SN kids in this age range, no matter if they have neat labels or not, and no matter if they are old for grade or not.

 

_________________

 

So all of that it is say that while I can easily see why kids who are held back or retained would be more likely to be depressed, be bullied, or have social problems, I disagree on the cause and the effect. Holding them doesn't make these things happen, but what ever the reason was for holding them back is the root cause. Holding them back was just a guess -- may be if we give them more time, it will fix the problem. But it didn't fix the problem.

 

___________________

 

Back to the OP, I think the cut off is nuts, and that your child doesn't need to be so young for the demands made on him. He's just a little kid. In his case, I think more time might be the answer.



 

post #37 of 38
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post

 

 I do think that you are right, though, that the labels and IEP won't make things perfect at school.  My oldest is very bright and has some sensory issues but not enough so that I'd place her as something other than NT. 

...

I'm only commenting in response to Linda's thoughts, though, not in anyway implying that the OP's kiddo is SN!


 

Getting the right label for child *can* be harder than most people realize, and figuring out what accommodations should go along with that is a whole different issue. Not because parents and schools don't want to do what works for the child, but because often, it isn't the least bit clear to anyone what that might be.

 

Every special needs child different. It's not like they have a standard protocol for kids with aspergers that they can just follow and it will work.

 

Sensory issues fall into an odd category -- they do not get any accommodations at school, no matter how serious. Sensory issues, on their own don't count. For my DD who is on the spectrum, her sensory issues were some of her biggest problems with school, and she could have accommodations for them because she's on the spectrum. But for a child with just sensory issues, the school's hands are tied.

 

I also agree that the OPer's child doesn't sound like he has any sn, just is a very young child in a situation he isn't ready for.

post #38 of 38

Not to further derail the thread ;) , but we did actually get a 504 for dd12's sensory issues when she was younger.  She was actually a pretty easy one to accommodate b/c things like seating away from noisy objects, ability to take tests in separate quieter rooms, and allowing for extra time given that her processing speed index on the WISC was low average while everything else was high 90s worked quite well for her.  She was a 'simple fix' which is why I wouldn't really deem her to have SN. 

 

With dd10, on the other hand, like you say, it has been difficult to ascertain what she needs let alone try to find a way to meet those needs.  We've found, especially with a 2e kid, it is all too easy for the schools to just assume that she needs nothing b/c she is never below grade level and to also provide no GT services b/c she isn't consistently a high achiever, which is what our GT program seems to serve.

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