Delaying Kindergarten: Halfway Through The School Year

As some of you might remember we were faced with a difficult decision after our daughter started Kindergarten in 2013. She had just turned five a couple weeks before school started and was beyond excited to be a "big girl". We didn't really even question sending her, with the exception of asking how she could possibly be old enough already. I did wonder about her age being an issue. She seemed so young to me. Tall but young.

Less than a month into the school year I was called into the classroom for a meeting. Eek. This didn't seem normal so early in the year. But, what did I know? I was a newbie to the world of school past my own experience many years ago.

I sat down with the two Kindergarten teachers and they began telling me how sweet my girl was. They were concerned, however, about her maturity level. That she was behaving a bit younger than the other students. That her attention span was not as good. That her writing skills were not where they should be for her to do well in Kindergarten. The teachers were very kind about it all. They gave me time to think about it but they recommended we pull her from Kindergarten for the year and put her in Pre-K, which she hadn't been in before. 

My first reaction was to cry. Because obviously it was all my fault as a Mom. I had failed my daughter. I kid you not, these thoughts ran through my head. Complete baloney, mind you. I quickly moved on to frustration with the school system. She was a Kindergartner for goodness sake! They learn how to be a good student and how to begin writing in Kindergarten. Wrong! That was when I was in school. Kindergarten is the new first grade. It is. They move much more quickly now.

After working through anger and me blaming myself and let's not forget - much prayer, we decided to listen to the teachers. It wasn't easy as I've said. We questioned it frequently. And, how do you tell your child that they are no longer going to be in the grade they were so excited about? I worried about it over and over again. She was fine with it! Kids are way more resilient than you think they are. She went to Pre-K and fell head over heels in love with it. 

So, when school started this year, she started Kindergarten again. More first day of K photos. (What do I do with those adorable ones from last year?!) More nervousness about whether our decision was the right one. Bottom line: It absolutely was. I could immediately tell the difference. 

Now, halfway through the year, she is able to listen and pay attention when needed. She can work independently and write with much more ease. She actually plays with other kids instead of simply playing next to them. She is sounding out words and reading. In other words, she is flourishing.

It makes my Momma heart smile to know we made the right decision. Would I recommend this to everyone? No! Every child is different. I'm fairly sure she would have learned the things she needed to learn as the year progressed but this year, she is not struggling. She heads toward First Grade well prepared. And, I would never change that.

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1 comment

*Christa* said...

I am so glad she is thriving so well! Give yourself a pat on the back. It's always such a hard decision when it comes to the lives on others right?