5 year old "milestones" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-10-2015, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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5 year old "milestones"

so my 5 year old ds's preschool teacher has told me my ds is not as advanced as some of his peers in some of his milestones.

particularly he is not that good at jumping hopping, balls, that kind of thing.

He rides a bike just fine ( with training wheels).

I feel that this lack of great skills in this is because I am not very athletically inclined and I am overly protective of ds is some ways.

He is very active- runs around rides his bike things like that.

We started him recently in a gymnastics class once a week.

We tried to sign him up for soccer last year but he was not into it. We will try next year. We missed the baseball sign ups for this year.

His teacher is saying this is one example of why he may recommend my ds repeat an additional year of preschool rather than going into kindergarten with his same aged peers.

My ds is not developmentally off in any way- he is just not very exposed to sports an that knd of thing. We have a playeset in the yard and lots of bikes and some balls. we try to play ball with him and he is into it a little while but would rather ride bikes or play in the sandbox or paly with trucks.

Also I have been very low energy these past year and a 1/2 so was not able to do as much active stuff with ds.

His teacher also says his art level is not akin to his peers.
He is a couple of months into being5. He writes all his letters-- and writes words but needs people to spell them out.

He does cutting and pasting and taping and drawing projects all the time- usually makin functional items like cel phones cmputers, beepers- toy phones- which are just a rectangle he cute out of construction paper. but his imagination is so keen that he plays with them like they are real for a while. ( he also has tons of toys).

We are getting a piano very soon and starting him on piano lessons.

Also, socially he is not quite as keen as some others. This too comes from him being an only child with two parents who are not super social. But we do go out every day and he talks to people very comfortable. And he loves his preschool and friends and teachers there.

the preschool is in the same school as the kindergarden. We had a meeting a few months ago where his teachers said he was behind in those areas and might do better, for his own good, repeating another year of preschool so he can have more time to develop skills in those areas.

DH and I said no, we want him to go to Kinder with his same aged peers.

As his parents we see him developing well. He is always gaining new skills, is mostly happy and excited and creative and busy and active.

It makes me feel weird to be pointed out to all of his lacking areas. I know they love my ds and he has had a great time at preschool.

Which is why at first I felt really hurt because I do respect his teachers and they know 4 and 5 year olds very well and they are very good with them. My ds has thrived in this preschool, in my opinion. He loves it.
But I want him to go to kindergarten next year.

The teacher wants to set up a follow up meeting. He suggested I look at ds's artwork before our meeting. I know he will say he is not at the milestones of other kids with art. Yeah- his art is very basic--- I just taught him recently how to draw a stick figure. Again, art is not my forte. We are getting a piano soon and I am pretty good at that-- so I think ds ( who is also very musical) will do well with that.

But other than his teachers pointing these things out, dh and I have felt happy with ds's progress. We don't assess him in the same way they do, and we don't compare him to others since he is our one and only kid. He has some issues to work on but so does everyone. He is a picky eater and I am not the greatest at meals-so we both need to improve his feeding ( we do eat ok- organic whole foods etc, ds is just picky).

But I don't think his issues should result in being a whole year older than his classmates for his whole schooling.

It makes me feel bdly when I see the areas I should be doing better at- sports, art- all sorts of pushing him forward things that some parents do.

I am just not that much of a pusher in that area. I like to just watch him grow, and try to do the best I can. I was ill for a long time the last year so some times it came down to just doing the best we can.

I still feel kind ofweird about his teachers still possibly suggesting he repeat preschool. He didn't say that per se in this follow up email but I got the message he may still think that. He had told us this a couple of months ago and we said we would see.

I feel weird that we have to be better at ball and sports and - we don't practice jumping over a string with him or skipping or hopping. ugh. so many things to do as a parent and we are first time parents- so I feel kind of like- well, sorry teacher- we are doing the best we can. I guess we could be doing better. But we are doing well in so many areas and no one is perfect!

Some kids don't even go to preschool and mine went to two years. So isn't that enough readiness for kindergarten?
I just don't feel at this age that he should HAVE to be doing these things. He is just doing what he is doing-- can't that be enough??
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#2 of 11 Old 06-10-2015, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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okay-- so I got a follow up email form the teacher just now after I emailed some thoughts to him.

He said he thinks it will be fine for my ds to go to kinder, but they do have some areas of concern they want to discuss with us, in order to guide us to booster some of his skills over the summer.

that is fine . I know this is part of the deal with parenting-- other people get to give me lots of opinions!!

Before having ds I was a very private person. I don't like criticism at all--- and I find I prefer to limit who I hang out with to those who are more supportive. I was able as an adult to stay away from a lot of that.

Now, with a kid, we are dropping him off with these teachers five days a week, and they are taking very good care of him, and spending a lot of time with him. So I do think they can have an opinion about him.

So my issue is more--- I know they will tell me to practice jumping and ball games with him. And there is this kind of annoyed part of me that feels like- well, sorry! I hadn't realized I was supposed to teach my kid to jump.

At his school-- the athletics are not totally awesome-- so I guess I am supposed to be doing more at home. I don't think my own parents taught me that stuff- I think it was in school.

Or like-- I am overprotective. My sister;s kids have siblings- and she lets them be way more adventurous than I let my ds be, So yeah he doen't get everything I wish I could give him.

But still-- I try. And dh tries. and we give him a lot! So there is a part of me that feels llike I am messing up-- and failing those aspects of my kid. and that is frustratin as a parent when you give all you have to your kid.

and there is the part of me that is having to open up to criticism form others and I am not that good at it.

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#3 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 06:59 AM
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It is important to be able to take criticism, but it is equally important to be able to disregard absurdity. He's not with his peers when it comes to art? I would have a very hard time not laughing in response to that one. As far as motor skills, well, if they are talking about a real physical issue that is one thing, but it certainly doesn't sound like it at all. It sounds like he's thriving at school.

Schools are now on this hyper-achievement bandwagon, treating kids like resumes to be built. It's absurd.
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#4 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 07:58 AM
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We had a very similar situation with our daugter at this time last year. I completetly get where you are coming from, and my feelings about the situation were very similar to yours. While all children are different, and this may or may not be helpful to your situation, we ended up having our daugter evaluated and followed by an occupational therapist for her entire kindergarten year. It has been amazing. While she is still not 100% caught up with her pears, she has made tremendous progress. Of course, keep in mind that she has aged and might have reached these milestones withouth the help of the OT, but what we've found is that the successes she had in OT boosted her confidence in tremendous ways. For us, it really was the best thing to do.
I`m aware that my daughter will probably not be at the top of her class, but that's not what it's about, really, it's about helping her and getting her the tools she needs to be the best she can be.
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#5 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Yeah the thing is, his school is really gentle kind and progressive- not a pushy kind of school. And his preschool teacher has 20+ years experience and is an awesome loving gentle nurturing teacher whom my ds just adores. so on that level I do take it personally. It is not just some mean ppl being wrong. At the same time, I know they love my ds and just want to do what is best for him. So we have to meet next week and hear their concerns and deal with that. oh well! I will let you all know how it goes. thanks for the support.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 10:34 AM
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I see both sides of this. I have a daughter with special needs, which lead me to becoming really interested in special education and I now work in a school with special needs students. I've done the meetings from both sides of the table.

On one hand, preschool teachers are trained to be looking for areas where kids are a little behind and then to help them catch up. It's one the reasons that kids who attend preschool usually have an easier start in K than kids who don't. At the same time, the system has gone a little nuts, and kids with natural human variation are sometimes seen as being Behind.

What is interesting to me in your post is that the really big areas -- speech and language and cognitive development -- sound like they are doing fine. He sounds happy and well adjusted. It sounds like he is fine playing with others and fine playing by on his own. Well done for getting him to this point in life so well! As far as feeling like you are messing up, please take a big deep breath and remember that the most important things we can teach our kids is to value themselves and be kind to others, which you are clearly doing.

What does the school see as his strengths? Since they experienced concerns, they should have also expressed his strengths.

Are their concerns about art concerns about fine motor skills? Or exactly what? Last year I observed the transition planning for preschoolers who were identified as having special needs and will be starting K this year. Not once did any one mention their art. Also, if they hold up other students art to show you his in comparison, ask they only compare him to other little boys, who typically lag behind girls at this age in fine motor skills.

On the hopping and so on, these are gross motor skills. I think this is a combination of genetics and environment, and not surprisingly, kids get a double whammy. Less athletic parents provide a less athletic environment. I think gymnastics sounds great, and you might check into swim lessons this summer. Neither of my kids ever got good at catching balls (in spite of us throwing them at them a lot) but they are both GREAT swimmers. While it is good to address weaknesses, I do wonder why we think children are supposed to be good at everything.

Another thing to consider is how your son does when things are explicitly taught to him. So you taught him to draw a stick person. Did he catch on? Remember it later? Create his own add-ons or variations? To me, the fact that you taught him this isn't nearly as informative as what he did with the information.

As far as the meeting, take deep breaths. Try to be polite and listen with an open mind. Let them know what you are doing to him develop. On one hand, I become a better parent by listening to input from others. At the same time, you and your DH are the experts on your kid. You are the ones who love him. While the preschool staff care about him and really do want what his best for him, 10 years from now when you, your DH, and your son are talking about the decisions you've made as parents, the preschool teachers aren't going to be there.
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#7 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 10:48 AM
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Your son sounds a lot like my DSS! Mine doesn't like to run or jump much, either. And he thinks "art time" is torture. Some kids' abilities and interests may not be the "norm", but it doesn't mean they don't have their own skills. My kid could perfectly pronounce "archaeopteryx" when he was two because he's obsessed with dinosaurs, and will correct you when you point out the "bulldozer" by saying "no, that's a backhoe" or whatever. Mine is also physically pretty inept when it comes to organized sports because he's just not into it yet.

Gymnastics sounds like a great way for him to develop more physical strength and coordination. And he'll catch up to the other kids in his own time. You're doing great, mama.

I didn't know I was supposed to "teach my kid how to jump", either, so thanks for the heads up! :-)
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#8 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much guys! This is exactly the kind of support I need!
My ds is not special needs at all- not in the slightest. He is very bright and ha great language skills, is writing all his letters and starting to write words.

Yeah- as for the art thing--- in the past the said he is creative and expresses himself well. The teacher just metioned in the recent email to look at the art he brought home as part of the discussion.
But ds does really creative art in my opinion-- he likes to make fake ipads and fake cell phones and things like that!
I mean- he cuts our rectangles ad draws buttons on them and tapes them to another piece of paper so they look like an ipad and things. I think it is cute! And when I taught him to do a stick figure he got it right away,

And I do think the motor skills are, like you guys say, due to me and dh not being very athletic and stuff like that.

Yes he goes to our local pool in the summer. We tried swim lessons last year but he did not want to do it-- but he was happy to swin with dh every day, and we are trying lessons again this year.
I am very cautious about safety issues--- just my nature- I tend to be overprotective. But if his teachers didn't mention it we wouldn't have noticed anything behind about ds. Mostly in the last two yrs in preschool he has gotten great reports- even mid term this year. It has just been this spring that we got the "concerns". Oh well- I guess this is just the nature of parenting! there is always something and I am grateful this is a small thing. I just got a little riled up last night when I wrote the post and was looking for some support. Thanks everyone!

and socially- I personally think he is doing great. He has some friends in preschool who he loves and who love him. But of course the teachers are seeing him every day all day with the other kids, so his social skills present differently there. they have told us he needs to work on his empathy- that often times he doesn't seem to care how his actions affect others. But this seems pretty age appropriate to me. I just don't like going into a meeting and hearing all the things we need to work on---. but I can try to take it easy and see it as just part of the process of raising a kid.

If I wanted to homeschool him- which I don't -- then I could avoid all criticism and critique! But I am lucky to have him in a good school and I guess part of it is they want him to have a certain level of age appropriate "Success". I will say, my ds comes home happy and excited form school every day and they treat the kids very well- lots of respect and warmth and love at that school. So, I gotta just go with it.

Still, it has been surprising. As a parent you want to hear- good job, what a great kid you have- and that kind of thing. We all put so much time and effort and energy into being the best parents we can! And often times parents don't get enough praise for how good they are doing.
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Last edited by Evelynflower; 06-11-2015 at 12:29 PM.
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#9 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 02:09 PM
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another source you may try is your pediatrician. Teachers aren't the only source of evaluation for our children. Pediatricians are trained in the appropriate milestones & developmental stages for children. Each child excels in different areas & of course they are going to lend themselves to their parents likes. Maybe he will exceed at piano & how many 5 or 6 yr olds will be able to claim that? Gymnastics are an excellent coordination & strength building exercise. Usually a very safe environment with all the padding & cushions to jump around so Moms don't worry as much about them getting hurt when falling. My nephew was started in karate at a very young age to improve his coordination & it worked out well for him. Praying for your peace of mind.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-11-2015, 08:26 PM
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I wouldn't have held up my child in pre-k either. They are so young and their development in different areas has to vary. Really preschool and K are not even counted in our district. Pre-k doesn't even exist in several other districts nearby. They all have different interests. When I had dd I imagined she would be exactly like I was when I was a kid. I don't know why. I guess I was a real dumb new mother. She is so different from me and that itself tells me how different kids are bound to be different and if playing ball is not your ds's thing then so be it. My dd still has trouble catching ball at 8 yo because it wasn't her thing either.

Change comes from constructive thought and action; not just by complaining that someone else should do something else ~ Unknown
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#11 of 11 Old 06-20-2015, 08:28 AM
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I would feel the same way that you feel. So, no judgement here! It sounds to me like your son is doing just fine.

I am also a low energy parent with some health issues and a 5 year old so I thought I might be able to suggest some things to do!

1. Hop-scotch. Since your son will need to work on art AND jumping... what a perfect combination! Plus, all you have to do is sit on the sidelines and observe.

2. Hula Hoops. This was actually suggested to me by a teacher when my SD (then 3) was having balance and coordination issues. Again no energy required from you!

As far as art projects are concerned... is it a fine motor skills issue? Some kids are just awful at art. Im still awful at art. But if it's about motor skills, have your son help you with things like painting your nails, clipping coupons, or wrapping a present.
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