My son is in kindergarten now & the teacher is concerned about the way he shuts down when asked to write words to the pictures of what he drew. She wants him to try & sound it out & write down whatever he thinks it is. He won't do it. He will draw pictures but writing it down is a struggle. In the past 2 months, he has been able to recognize his letters, which is a success. He is trying to associate sounds w/ letters but that's a struggle. He can copy letters w/o a problem. She is suggesting that he be held back, redo kindergarten. I'm on the fence about it. My husband is totally against holding him back. He is our 3rd out of 4 children & he is born in March, so he is an "older" kindergartner already. He was delayed in speech & we got him evaluated at 2.5. They said he was delayed but not enough to receive intervention. He was delayed in using the toilet, at 4.5 he was fully potty trained. I truly don't know what to do regarding this. Our district has 1/2 day kindergarten. What are the pros & cons of holding a child back in kindergarten?
From: Vicki, Northport
(NY? AL? Fla? Vickie didn't say....)
I've written before in this space that holding children back in kindergarten has become fashionable for all the wrong reasons. I'm not sure that's the case for your son.
It sounds like his teacher has legitimate concerns and I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss them. Each year (unfortunately), academics are getting pushed down to lower grades; kindergarten looks like first grade, first grade looks like second. The teacher is in a good position to know whether your son will be able to meet the challenges of first grade or whether he's more likely to be frustrated by them, and therefore potentially turned off to learning. From my experiences, teachers don't make the hold-back suggestion lightly, and holding back could just be the best gift you ever give him.
I realize the deadline must be fast-approaching, but there are two things would try to do before making this decision. (1) Ask for the school system to evaluate your son again. It's been two years or so since the last one. Things change. (2) Observe one of the classrooms your son could be assigned to for next fall. Stay for a few hours, not just 10 minutes. I know it's hard to project ahead to what your boy will be like in six or eight months, but try. Can you see him fitting in -- not just academically, but also socially?
The author is solely responsible for the content.