Having your child's teacher recommend that they should be held back for another year can be quite upsetting. Kids repeating kindergarten is actually more common than you may think. Setting aside the mixed feelings, you should make the best effort to understand the reasons behind this recommendation before making the final decision.
Among the common reasons why a kindergarten teacher may want your child to go at it another round include the following.
1. Age and Physical Appearance
Kids of smaller stature may feel intimidated by the bigger kids and will not be as comfortable around them. The teacher will notice this in kindergarten and may recommend waiting until your child grows more physically before joining grade one. Indeed, this intimidation can greatly impact your child's academic performance and confidence.
2. Assessed Academic Progress
Your child may be brilliant, but just not ready for the academics in first grade. The kindergarten curriculum has evolved from being mainly play-based to incorporating academics in preparation for the next grade.
The teacher will assess your child's academic strengths, weaknesses, and overall progress throughout the year. Holding your child back in kindergarten for another year will ensure they don't struggle too much and end up frustrated as they try to keep up with the rest of the class.
Another year of exposure to the kindergarten curriculum, where the teachers intervene and provide support for building your child's strengths and working through any weaknesses, will be incredibly beneficial.
3. Behind in Social Skills
Teachers may recommend retention if your child's social development isn't great. For kids in kindergarten, social-emotional development, such as being able to make friends, express themselves, and manage their emotions, is desirable. Delays and gaps in social development may put your child at a disadvantage as they may develop social insecurity among the other kids in grade one.
While the kindergarten teacher may recommend retaining your child for another year, the ultimate decision lies with you. Keep in mind this recommendation will be informed by an overall assessment of your child and not just the various areas in isolation. In some cases, the kindergarten may have a grade retention policy, in which case, the decision may not be entirely yours.
You can choose to keep your child in the same kindergarten or change to a different one to repeat the year. Either way, ensure you discuss with the school how best to help your child so that they will finally be ready to transition from kindergarten to grade one.