Need your advice - How do I know if DS will be ready for Kindergarten? - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Need your advice - How do I know if DS will be ready for Kindergarten?
watermamma's Avatar watermamma 07:28 PM 01-28-2005
My son will turn five in mid-August of this year. He has been in a pre-school/pre-k program 2-3 days/week for 2 hours for the past 1 1/2 years. He does wonderful in class, follows direction, does great at circle time, etc. He has had 2 crying spells this school year (he was hit by another child and had his feelings hurt). Other than that, he does not ask for me, or cling, or cry. He is a social butterfly and very sweet.

He will just barely be 5 next year when Kindergarten starts up. As he is on the cusp of the age requirements, how do I know he is ready? I will be asking his pre-k teacher, but due to multiple, long reasons, will not be basing my decisions on her recomendations.

Are there certain signs to look for? Can I have him "evaluated"?

Please help, I feel totally lost on this and am also stressed trying to figure out which kindergarten to send him to and I may not get to choose which school he goes to (lotto system and our neighborhood school does not have a very good reputation).

TiredX2's Avatar TiredX2 12:47 AM 01-29-2005
This is JMO but...

There are cut-offs for a reason. You should have very specific concerns to go outside of them (and there are lots of valid concerns).

Can you look up your schools exit criteria for Kinder and see how your DS would do on it (our school districts is very simple but they push a lot more).
carolsly's Avatar carolsly 12:50 AM 01-29-2005
I was an Oct. baby and went to K two times. No biggie. I feel that it helped me a lot. My older dd is a Sept. baby and we homeschooled her for kindergarten the year before she went to public school kindergarten. It worked well for us.

I would put my child in Kindergarten and if at the end of the year the teacher thought they weren't ready for 1st grade, big deal...put them in kindergarten again.
lauren's Avatar lauren 10:11 AM 01-29-2005
Based on what you said above, I think your son is ready for k-garten. These behavioral things (following directions, sitting through circle time, being a "social butterfly") are the most important factors, I think, in what teachers look for in school readiness. Other things like whether he recognizes or can write his name, count to 10, etc. you can get from the school. Sounds to me like he's ready!
Kari_mom's Avatar Kari_mom 09:44 PM 01-30-2005
I was going to say the same thing as Lauren, if he can sit quietly, follow directions, and wants to go to school, I think he is ready.

When is the cut-off for your school? I don't know that I would try to send him if his b-day is after the cut-off, but if he meets the guidelines then I would. Your state might have a website for their department of education that might be informative for you.

Does your district test for kindergarten as well? That will give you more information. What they test for seems to vary greatly from district to district. They may recommend holding him back. I would be sure they don't make that recommendation based just on his birthday though.

It is a hard decision. My son turned 5 last year, has a Aug.13th birthday and went to kindergarten a week later. I was prepared to hold him back in K and again in 1st grade. When I brought it up at conferences this year, his teacher just started laughing at me. So I guess he was ready!
watermamma's Avatar watermamma 02:26 AM 01-31-2005
Thanks for the replies... he will be five in August, and the cut-off is in September, so he will be the "right" age, just a little on the young side. If he was born 2 months later, he may have been waiting another year.
momtokay's Avatar momtokay 03:27 AM 01-31-2005
my dd's birthday is about 6 weeks before our cut-off date too and we are having the same debate around here. good luck deciding!!
CarrieMF's Avatar CarrieMF 05:20 PM 01-31-2005
I agree with the other posters that your son sounds ready. Cutoff here is Dec 31, my dd's birthday is Nov 7. She was 4 when she entered K and is doing great in Grade 1 now.
mumm's Avatar mumm 07:26 PM 01-31-2005
I have a child who make the cut off by several weeks, and we are holding him back. From everything I have read, and everyone I have talked to, the main factor in deciding is social skills. The academic stuff usually falls into place. My kid is shy and scared of his own shadow. Sounds like the opposite of your child. Good luck, whatever you decide.
Itlbokay's Avatar Itlbokay 10:07 AM 02-01-2005
I have a son with a late July bday. We held him back, boy was it a hard decision. He was ready in every way, very intelligent, but he was not ready socially. Reserved is a good way to describe him. He is doing great, even though all his really good friends are a grade above him! I am the one that constantly obsesses, "Is he okay, is he bored, is he being challenged". I have a son with a September bday and really it's no better when their birthday falls in the guidelines. You worry about them no matter what. For me the only hard part of the decision was that I knew he would be going to the same public school as his brother, and my experience up to that point had been deflating a little in so much as it's not challenging for the higher achieving children.

Each case is unique. I gotta go, kids waking up...would love to share more later.