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In older times kindergarten was more of a laid-back concept where the main focus was usually on play-based learning. However, in the more recent times, the concept of kindergarten education has shifted from play-based learning to academic-based learning, so that your kid may be better prepared for formal education in grade one. Therefore, these days repeating kindergarten may not be a rare occurrence and may sometimes be suggested by your child’s teacher. There is no denying that the sheer thought of repeating a class may be jarring to the parents, as most parents may think it challenges the intelligence or capabilities of their child. However, sometimes your ward may benefit greatly from repeating kindergarten. If you are in a fix, we suggest that you read the following article before making this decision for your child.
When is it a Good Idea to Repeat Kindergarten?
Your kid’s teacher may suggest repeating the class. No matter how upsetting it may sound to you but your child may benefit from it. Your kid’s teacher may not be judging your child by his academic performance only, but she may also be considering the physical and social aspects of your child too. Following are some situations when it may be a good idea to repeat kindergarten:
- If your child may not be able to cope up with the academic skills, his teacher may suggest holding him back in the same class. This may not challenge your kid’s intelligence, but it is just the matter of your kid’s readiness to learn.
- Another reason for holding back your kid could be your kid’s physical appearance and age. This means if your kid is physically small and young, he may face difficulty in coping up in the class. It is observed that smaller built children may feel intimidated by bigger children and thus it may be a good idea to wait until your kid grows up a bit more and feels comfortable around his peers.
- Your kid’s social skills may be one of the important parameters in determining whether or not he may be required to repeat a particular class or not. If your kid may find it difficult to be friendly with his classmates or cannot make friends, this may indicate that he may be required to work more on his social skills and thus the teacher may suggest repeating the class.
In most cases, it may not be just one reason for making your kid to repeat kindergarten, but it may be more than one of the above reasons.
Pros and Cons of Holding a Child Back in Kindergarten
The decision of making a child repeat a class may not be easy for the child, parents and even for the teacher. It may be taken after much deliberation; however, there may be pros and cons that may be associated with this decision. Let us discuss the pros and cons of holding a child back in kindergarten:
There is no denying that the decision is taken for the betterment of the child and there are many benefits of repeating kindergarten. Repeating a class may help your kid to be better prepared for his next class. He may grow physically and may feel comfortable amongst his peers. It is also seen that being older in the class may help your kid in gaining more confidence and help him to learn and grasp concepts more easily.
No doubt there are more pros than cons, but one cannot undermine the associated cons. It is seen that it may make your kid more conscious and embarrassed to be in the same class when his friends and peers may be in a higher class. Also, there is a stigma attached to the kids who are made to repeat a class and people may look down upon of your child, thinking that he may be of low IQ. At the same time, the pressure to do well and cope up in the class may further affect your kid’s performance, and his performance may further go down.
How to Talk to Your Child about Repeating Kindergarten?
Your child may usually be assessed all throughout the year by his teacher, and if he may be facing difficulties in coping up in the class, your child’s teacher may be the first one to know. This is the reason that you should not miss any of the parent-teacher interactions and also, if you may feel the need, you may meet your child’s teacher in between too. You may ask for ways and means to help your child improve his performance in the class. You may try changing his section too as sometimes it may be due to the peers or the teacher that your child may be facing difficulties. However, if all the corrective measures may fail and you may have to take a call regarding making your kid repeat kindergarten, it is very important that you talk to your kid.
Following are some ways that may help you to talk to your child:
- It is very important that you make your child understand that it is not his fault because of which he may be required to repeat a class.
- Tell your child that he is going to benefit immensely from repeating his class and he may be able to cope up better in the class.
- Explain to your child that how holding him back is going to benefit him in his grade one.
- You may talk to your child’s teacher and ask her to help your kid adjust well in the class.
- You may also help your kid to work on various skills that may help him in performance in the class.
Signs That Your Child is Ready for the First Grade
There is no doubt that holding back your child in kindergarten may not be that easy for you and you may be looking for some parameters that may help you in making this decision. Well, look no further as here we shall be discussing few signs that may answer your question, ‘should my child repeat kindergarten or not’.
Your kid’s academic performance may help you in determining whether or not you need to repeat kindergarten. You should opt for repeating, if your child may not be able to do the following:
- May not be able to count to 10.
- May not be able to write his name.
- May not be able to say letter sounds.
- May not be able to say the alphabets.
- May not be able to concentrate or listen to the teacher’s instructions.
- May not be able to know the difference between same and different objects.
Your kid’s language skills may help in determining whether he may be all set go to grade one or not. If your kid may not be able to do the following, he may not be ready:
- May not be able to ask questions or give answers.
- May not be able to listen and speak in his turn.
- May not be able to respond to other people’s feelings or emotions.
- May be unable to have a conversation that adults may be able to understand.
Following are some social parameters that may tell you that your child may not be ready for his first grade:
- May not be able to function in a group or with his peers.
- May not be able to go to the bathroom on his own, tie his shoelaces, unbutton his shirt etc.
The decision of repeating a class involves much deliberation on the parents’ and teacher’s part. Therefore, agonise over it and then do what may be best for your kid.
Also Read: Tips to Deal with A Slow Learner Child