Kindergarten or first grade?

My daughter has a May birthday and this past year we sent her to Kindergarten but ended up pulling her because it seemed to be too much for her (socially/emotionally) at the time. I homeschooled her this year instead. While she’s been very interested in science, social studies, reading (I should say, being read TO), she still struggles with writing and reading on her own. Now I’m faced with the dilemma of whether to send her into first grade where the other kids are reading independently, are supposed to know 90 sight words (she knows roughly 40), and can write a full paragraph. (All of that is per several 1st grade teachers I’ve talked to about what they need to know coming in.) Any advice? What would you do? Send her into kindergarten or first grade?

  • Nicole
    Jul 01

    Did she turn 5 this May or is she now 6?

  • Emily
    Jul 01

    Yes, I should have clarified. She just turned 6.

  • Ivy
    Jul 01

    Honestly, writing a full paragraph is very good for that age. My niece just finished kinder but cannot write independently. She can only read words she knows or memorized but struggles with independent reading. I would say your daughter sounds ready enough, but if you’re uncertain, schools general have a test children can take to see where they place.

  • Rachel
    Jul 01

    From a teachers stand point I would send her to kindergarten. You do not want her to start first grade behind and be overwhelmed. It’s much easier on a child to do kindergarten again rather than her struggle through first grade and then have to repeat. Kindergarten is the foundation to all and if the foundation isn’t all there to start first grade it will be tough.

  • Aya
    Jul 01

    I wouldn't worry too much about the academic part, but focus more on emotional/social readiness. My son just finished K and will be in 1st grade in Sept - seems like he has his "buddies" and certain friendships are already in place (although I'm sure it will keep changing/evolving). Academically, most kids don't know how 90 sight words and definitely will not write paragraphs.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 01

    Any way to have her evaluated by the school? Or have a conference with the first grade teacher before school starts to get some in sight on where she is in comparison to others in her class? Part of me thinks since she struggled in K to just have her go back- no harm. But I do know for a fact no kindergarteners are writing paragraphs or reading. I think first grade is complicated bc some children went to part time k at a church.... others went to full day at the school. I feel they all really do start at different places

  • Momof1
    Jul 03

    I would hold her back. Given that she struggled last time in K.

  • Mysticnocturne
    Jul 04

    I was a 1st Grade Interventionist and the kids that were the biggest behavior problems in 1st Grade were the ones that didn’t attend Kindergarten or struggled in Kindergarten. This is because their skill levels were so far below their peers, that they were embarrassed and would act up. They also acted up when lessons were too hard for them and they tried to get out of doing them. I do recommend having your child tested by the school to see where she falls academically, but only you know where she falls social-emotionally. Trust your mom gut. If you feel deep down she should do Kinder again, then have that happen. If you feel she might do ok in 1st Grade and she has some friends in 1st Grade, have her tested and she where she falls. Good luck Momma.

  • Flutegal64
    Jul 04

    Common core includes a lot more than you listed. If possible get the school to evaluate her to see where she’s at. Unless you were doing common core curriculum it might be tough.

  • Rena
    Jul 04

    As a teacher, we are more worried about social and emotional readiness. Academics will come- its harder if student is not at the same social and emotional level as the other students. I don’t have a clear picture of how she is doing in those categories- just that she struggled last year. But I would ask: how does she do interacting with other kiddos, how does she handle her emotions, is she able to verbalize her needs and feelings when upset? I would be more inclined to put her in Kindergarten (but that’s only based on the little info you’ve given- I don’t know the whole story).

  • Rachel
    Jul 05

    I would put her in Kindergarten, but not because she doesn't know her sight words or any other academic concerns. But rather because Kindergarten is when things like learning basic classroom behaviors happen: sitting in a circle, raising your hand, taking turns, standing in line, etc. If you put her in 1st grade and she struggles, you will worry you made the wrong decision, but I think it's never a mistake to give them an extra year of childhood.

  • Jennifer
    Aug 15

    I totally agree with Rachel. I would suggest putting your kid in kindergarten so she can get use the school environment and know how to adjust social behaviors.