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Kindergarten and Prematurity

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Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by klutsyone01 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 06:42 am

this is my experience as the child. i was born at 30 weeks due to my mom having an incompeten cervix. i was extremely petite for my age. my mom enrolled me in kidegarted at the normal time. i was so much smaller than the other children that i was carried around by them and called their dolly. that first year i didnt gain out of kindegarten what i should have, either social or educational goals. my wonderful kindegarten teacher and my mom made the choice to hold me back. whereas i didnt bloom the following year i at least held my own with my peers. i still needed speach therepy and extra help learning to read, i eventauly came out the top of my class. im not sure that this would have happend had i remaind with my first class. its not a huge blow to your childs feelings to be held back at that age. it would be better if she could remain with the same teacher both years though. if it becomes in issue with my little man than i will try and see on the first year of kindegartn and if he struggles or doesnt adjust then i will hold him back then.

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by missgamecock » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:58 am

Kirsten was a late premature baby at 36 weeks but was small at that age. Do what you feel is right for you. When she was in preschool and prek, she did not participate and was extremely shy. What we found when they tested her in K was that she had actually picked up everything. She just didn't express it! She started K already having it completed. This was a girl that the preschool teacher told me would have special needs. Yes you read that right. We have excellent schools here. When they tested her, they tested her in a way that fit her needs and she aced it. When she started kindegarden, they taught her in the way that she needed to be taught. They developed a program for her and two other kids to follow that fit THEIR needs. I think she really blossomed and caught up with other kids as far as gross motor skills, etc around 3rd grade. Now she fits in perfectly. She is 11 1/2. She carries a 98 grade point average. She won the presidental gold award this year and it is for students that carry a 95 or above grade point average during 4th and 5th grade. She is in the ACE program (similar to gifted and talented), is a leader among her classmates, dances 4 classes a week (really helps with those gross motor skills), will be student teaching dance in the fall, plays the violin beautifully.

You need to evaluate her for her. You need to follow your gut instinct. For me, I thought that preschool teacher and director were CRAZY. Yes she had gross motor issues. Yes she was small. Yes she did not participate. I knew she would be fine in kindegarden. She has been excelling ever since. Sometimes our kids surprise us.

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by mnmom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 09:05 am

Hi Kelly, First off, you are NOT being selfish. Whatever decision you make regarding nursery school or Jr Kindergarten, you are making with her best interests at heart, and will be the right answer. Second, I can't believe that she is almost school aged!!! Where did the time go?

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by kelly1972 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 03:19 am

I 'm in the same situation as you but, my daughter is a little bit younger. I don't know what to do either and I'm searching out advice as well.I have been thinking of this topic for the last 6 mths and I'm totally confused on what to do with my soon to be 4 yr old. her birthday is Sept 9th. My daughter Nicole could go to what we call Junior Kindergarten here in Canada its not mandantory though. She's a former micro preemie born at 27/4wks who spent 10 wks in hospital. She is tiny and has no real medical problems and was released from both early intervention and a preemie clinic with no problems over a 1 1/2 yrs ago. She's an only child and has no real interaction with children at all. She's around adults mostly. I have talked with her pedi and he wants her in some kind of program. I'm thinking of nursery school which would consist of 2-3yr olds for 3 days a week. JK is everyday 1/2 day 5 days a week. I don't know she can handle that yet. Am I being selfish by holding her back and starting her in Kindergarten in 2011? Good luck with your decision for your daughter and I hope everything works out for you all.

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by sarab » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:06 am

Cindy, how wonderful that things have just fallen into place! What a great opportunity for Grace.

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by lauchlan » Tue Jun 08, 2010 03:33 am

Just a quick update... on Grace's last day of Kindergarten, a note got sent home from one of the 1st grade teachers. She's offering tutoring over the summer!!! We're so excited! We're going to have her go once a week. It's going to be great because the teacher obviously knows what she's going to need to know in 1st grade and can keep her moving forward as far as her letters, phonics, sight words, etc. goes. I'm so relieved!!!!

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by blznbec » Sun May 30, 2010 10:22 am

My son was born at 32 weeks and had a 30 day NICU stay. We have been very lucky. He has never been behind developmentally, although always small for his age. He should have been born 12/26, but came on 10/30, so if he would have been born anywhere near his due date he would have missed the K cut off date. He is currently 5 1/2, 43 inches and about 40lbs. We made the decision to keep him at his preschool and enroll him in the Kinder program last year. He just 'graduated' last week and after watching his the past nine months, we know we made the right decision for him to 'give him the gift of another year'.

He is currently reading at 1st grade level, knows shapes beyond the usual circle, square, diamond, etc., uses a ruler, understands simple multiplication problems...the list could go on and on. Academically he could go right into 1st grade. He grew tremendously socially, is more mature, and very considerate. I can't imagine him being in 1st grade this year, attending with kids that are 8-10 months older than him.

My husband is a teacher and was also born in October but was not held back. We have a lot of insight when it comes to teaching and how kids learn, but deciding what to do was still a hard decision. At this time, we do not regret our decision one bit. We live in CA and it would have been difficult to hold him back for a second year in K, but if we decided that we wanted him to go to 1st grade in the fall it would have not been a problem. We couldn't hold him back later in his life (say in 6th grade) and did not want to regret not giving him that extra year. The only obstacle was having to decide to pay for it, and as of right now we have no regrets about spending the money. We know that we gave him an extra year of growth in many areas, not just academically.

We know our local elementary K program very well and know it would not challenge him, so because of his success he is going to a 100% Spanish Immersion school in the fall. He would have been with kids who haven't been to preschool; who can't recognize colors, letters or numbers, spell their name, etc., and would have probably got lost (ignored to some extent) in the classroom because he is 'advanced' for entering Kinder. He has had some Spanish at his previous preschool, so we know he enjoys learning this language and figure if he doesn't like it or isn't successful we can move him back to our local school for 1st grade. To ensure he doesn't lose his reading abilities, we are continuing his current reading program over the summer and into the new school year where he will only be taught and spoken to in Spanish.

I can also tell you that in our experience, boys are a given to hold back and it is a toss up for girls depending on the child. As the other posters have said, every kid is different and you never know how they will succeed in whatever they do. I can tell you that we have had several friends in this situation and there has only been one who has regretted not holding their child back (all the others did...girls and boys). We get all kinds of comments (opinions) on what we should have done, the 'real' reasons why we are holding him back, and some comments that are just rude. So beware that not everyone will be on board with your decision, no matter what you decide, but know that it is your decision to do what is best for your child.

Sorry this was so long. We have been in this process for almost two years, so there has been a lot of discussion!

Good luck.

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by jenmatt1 » Wed May 26, 2010 01:15 am

Even kids without preemie issues, sometimes just need more time to mature before entering kindergarten. My sister kept my nephew back in kindergarten because she did not think he was ready. Not academically, but maturity level was not there. He was the same way as your daughter- he had a little trouble focusing. Today he is a 13 year old with Straight As, plays 4 sports and is doing great. I think at this stage, it hurts the parents more than the kids to keep them back. Whereas if you try to push them too far ahead, it might be to their disadvantage. I think you know your kid better than anyone else and you need to go with your gut.

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by anonpreemiemom » Wed May 26, 2010 12:35 am

I have thought about this a TON the past year. I have a 28 weeker who was born in June but due mid-September. In Calif the cutoff is Dec 2nd.

-- FIRST, you don't have to choose between repeating pre-K or going straight to kindergarten. At least here there are many programs called Junior Kindergarten which act as a bridge between the 4 yr old pre-K program and Kindy. We REALLY really did not want our son to repeat pre-K and knew that would not be stimulating enough. Yet we feel starting early and repeating kindy would be awful for his self-confidence. We found a Junior K that incorporates half of the California Kindergarten curriculm and really is a nice transition.

-- For us the big thing was class size and our city has moved up from a ratio of 1:20 to 1:30!!! That means instead of 20 kids to one teacher it is now 30 kids to one teacher in kindergarten. NO teacher assistants (parent volunteers but not the same as a qualified teacher) Considering all the extra help kids need learning to read and write we think this is atrocious! We'd probably do kindy this year if it was still 1:20.

-- In or son's case he is very ready academically, knows everything he needs to know for kindy, but has weak fine motor skills. Common for early preemies. Unlike in my day there is so much emphasis now on writing full sentences pretty early on that the fine motor is enough for us to consider doing Jr K. It's tough since he's really ready in other ways.

-- I had a good chat with the head of Developmental Pediatrics at my HMO last year and I remember him telling me that most early preemies do not get diagnosed with a learning disorder until 2nd grade. I hate to sound negative, but the point is that our children (esp the early ones ie micropreemies to 32 wks) do face a larger risk for some learning issues as the curriculm gets more complicated. Fortunately our son tested out of all Early Start and other services by the time he was 3, but I recognize we may have some challenges ahead of us and want to make sure he is fully prepared and not struggling at the bottom end of class.

Good luck! Tiffany

Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Post by lauchlan » Wed May 26, 2010 10:49 am

Our daughter has a March birthday so when she started K this past fall, she was already 5 1/2 and the oldest in her class. She has had some difficulties as far as reading goes, but she's catching up. I think her issue started with the horrible Montessori program we had her in vs. a majority of other children that were in the school's Pre-K program.

That said, her teacher isn't concerned with moving her to 1st grade next year. We will, however, be finding a supplemental program during the summer to keep the letters, sounds, and sight words (at the very least) fresh in her mind. Her daycare will offer a phonics program, and we're looking at Kumon or Sylvan for another supplemental source.

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