I am having some concerns about my decision to have my son in Kindergarten this year. Now first of all let me say, I know it’s very early in the year. We’ve only been in school for a little over 3 weeks. I know anything can happen and things could click with him at any moment and he could excel. However, the notes that are coming home from his teacher really has me wondering if he is actually mature enough to be in Kindergarten right now.
Why He’s In Kindergarten
My son’s birthday is in November. So he started Kindergarten as a 4 year old. Most likely one of the youngest in his class and honestly this is pretty new territory for me, at least as a mother. My two oldest both have April birthdays so they have always been one of the oldest in their class.
It’s not new to me as a student though. You see my birthday is the day after my sons so I too started school when I was just 4 years old. My brother also started school at the tender age of 4, only his birthday isn’t until the end of December. Gotta love CT and their Kindergarten as long as you’re five by January 1st rule. I think that is changing, but not until my youngest starts school.
So for me starting school at 4 was fine. I managed just fine. It’s possible that keeping me back a year could have changed things for me, but I didn’t struggle a lot in school. I was an average student. My brother on the other hand he needed to repeat Kindergarten.
Since the moment I got pregnant with my son and I knew I was going to have a November birthday I actually began thinking about this. Being one of the last to be able to do things when I became older was hard. Starting college when I was only 17 was kind of hard. Especially since at that time in FL (where I went to college) there were clubs that allowed 18 year old’s in. They just had to get their hand stamped because they couldn’t drink obviously. So for the first two months of college I wasn’t able to join my new college mates at these things because I wasn’t old enough. Although, the day I turned 18 my friends made sure to celebrate that day just right with me and we went clubbing.
Now of course this wasn’t my concern with my son in starting school. My concern has always been will he be mature enough? And then he had many delays and struggles so when he turned 3 I wanted to have him in a school environment just to have those extra eyes on his development. And our city offers a free program for 3 year old’s through the board of education. So I got him into that and then he moved up to the 4 year old program through the board of education. And while he didn’t recognize all of his letters he had made some good progress last year and he was in a place that I felt was similar to where my middle daughter was when she was starting Kindergarten.
I however, did not take into account that he did not have the same attention span as his sister did or does. I also didn’t have much of a choice. There is no repeating the preschool program. So it was either he take a year off from school, which he loves, or we move onto Kindergarten. I chose Kindergarten and we have just been working extra hard on these Kindergarten skills.
Unfortunately, the one thing I did not work on was really independent work. And with 20 other children and no aide in his class this year my son is pretty much learning that he has to focus on actual work and so far it’s not going so well. Preschool was more learn through play stuff. There were only 15 students and there was a 2nd teacher in the classroom. So there are lots of changes for him this year. And it’s all proving to be a little too much for him at this point.
There Have Been Notes
Just three weeks into school and a few notes have come home. Some about his inability to do things which he actually does here with me and some about his behavior. Things like breaking crayons and sticking things inside his glue stick and throwing out the cap.
And now he’s not completing his work at school and it’s being sent home for him to do at home. This is really beginning to concern me. I have been talking to him about it. Trying to find out what might be distracting him or why he’s not finishing his work. He doesn’t really have an answer for me.
I have told him we can’t do anything else until he completes his work. Hopefully a few times of having to do this will help him to focus on his work and he’ll complete it at school. But even here at home it was hard to get him on task.
Maybe I’m Asking Too Much
I have always thought in the back of my mind that we could end up dealing with retaining my son. And I’m not against that in this case. Even though my middle daughter had struggled greatly in Kindergarten I knew that keeping her back was not the answer.
Neither one of my daughters I have had notes come home about that they weren’t doing their work or had a hard time focusing. This could have to do with their age and maturity level. It could have to do with the differences between boys and girls. Maybe it’s a combination of his age and gender. But if things continue, then I know that keeping him back might be the best option for him.
But For Now
We will continue to work on his areas of difficulty. I will continue to talk to his teacher about how he’s doing in class and try to figure out what he needs to focus. We will keep working on his writing and letter recognition. And I will hope that he will get into the groove of Kindergarten and realize that he needs to pay attention and get his work done. I will hope that this will all suddenly click with him and he’ll get to move forward with his classmates. But if he can’t that’s fine too. Whatever happens will happen. And I will do whatever I can to make sure he’s successful.
Did you have a child who had to stay back? When did you know that was going to be a possibility?