Our son is five years old, and he’s in kindergarten. But what most don’t know is he just happens to be the youngest student in his entire elementary school. In Connecticut, where we are living for another couple weeks, you can register a four year old for school if they turn five by the last day of December. Seeing as Camden has a mid-December birthday, it made him eligible to register.
We thought about it a lot before we registered him though. We talked to his preschool teacher at length about whether or not he was ready, and mature enough to thrive in kindergarten. And altogether we concluded would be a great idea.
The first few months Camden thrived. We got positive reports, good report cards, never had any e-mails or notes from his teacher, no concerns. We thought our young five year old was going to continue thriving across the board. That was until after winter break when he came home with a note requesting parental permission for extra help in reading. Like any parent would do, I signed the form and returned it to school the next morning with him, and put in a e-mail to his teacher.
She told me there was no long term concern, just a little extra help was needed. Completely normal.
Then I went to parent teacher conferences last week and his teacher recommended that Camden repeat kindergarten. Not just because he is a little behind on some stuff, but because he is just not ready to learn. Not because he doesn’t want to, or we are not working with him enough, but because of his age and maturity level.
It hurts because I feel as though I am failing as a mother. Don’t we all wish for our children would be these geniuses who are ahead of the curve at every turn? But sometimes, you just can’t force it. No matter how hard you try, or how much you wishes for the end result to be exactly what you want… it doesn’t happen that way.
I have decided to look at the silver lining. Not only will repeating kindergarten be easier on Camden because we will be in a new place, new school, with new friends. But he will also have the opportunity to go from half day kindergarten, to full day kindergarten before heading into the first grade. He will also be ahead of many of the children that he will share the kindergarten class with next year.
No matter how much I want him to go onto first grade in the fall, it would be nothing short of a disadvantage to him. I have to suck up my own mother pride, and do what is best for our boy. Even if it means he repeats a grade.
Have you dealt with a child repeating a grade?