August 11, 2009,
M.R. asks from Dallas, TX on August 10, 2009
August Birthdays...will Your Child Be the Oldest or Youngest in School?
I am writing to hear what others have to say about their kids with August birthdays and what they are going to do regarding the September 1st cutoff and Kindergarten. We will attend public school, but so many people are keeping their kids in preschool an extra year so their kids will be the "oldest", especially those with August birthdays, that I'm not sure what to do. We have time to decide as my child just turned 4, but I am seeking advice/thoughts of others in the same situation. Thanks!
R.F. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
My birthday is August 4th and I was always the youngest and smallest in my class. It wasn't such a big deal until I got into sports and had to play with the younger kids because I was a year smaller than all the kids my age. It was not fun having to wait till summer to do everything that everyone else in my grade was already done with by summer. It was also not fun graduating at 17 when everyone else was already 18 and could go out for graduation but I had to stay behind. Just some thoughts on my experiences. Its not such a big deal now that I am an adult but of course as a teenager it didn't feel so good being left out because of my age and/or size.
M.B. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
Our daughters birthday is 8.31 - a very hard decision. We did hold her back a year. I was the youngest in my class was 17 in college my bday is 9.15 . I did not want this for our daughter.. It was very hard, she is the oldest, and it doesn't make a difference to the kids at all.
M.D. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
I know you wanted to hear from parents of august babies, I just wanted to make one comment. I have a son born in September, I was upset when I found out in Texas he'll have to wait a whole year before starting Kindergarten because of the cut-off. Well, he'll be 3 this September, and I know he won't be ready for Kindergarten in two years, that he'll be one of the oldest in his class. I think you need to look at your child and see how ready your child is...
C.M. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
I have two August babies ... my daughter is 8-21 and my son is 8-4. I sent my daughter to public kinder right after she turned 5. She is very advanced academically & socially even as the youngest. For her is was the right decision at this time (I'm sure it might come back to haunt me when she is in junior high and hormones kick in). My son just turned 4, but we are definately holding him back a year. In my opinion, most boys need that extra year. He is very smart, but there is no way he'll be ready for kinder in a year. He is also very small & has a sensitive personality. He also has a speech delay that helped cement our decision even though without it we would have held him back anyway. Ultimately, you have to do whatever you are comfortable with and that you won't second guess. I've heard that no one ever regrets giving them another year, but a lot of people regret sending them too soon. Best of luck.
V.T. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
I think it is more for social reasons then academic reasons. My nephew's birthday is 8/27 and he was the youngest in the class, but he was a very outgoing kid and had no problems making friends and fitting in. My friend's son (8/30 birthday) was more shy and reserved and she decided to hold him back a year so he would be the oldest. That was the best decision for her and she thinks that her son adjusted better being one of the oldest. I would check with the school and see if they have a evaluation program and maybe they can give you insight into whether they think your child is ready.
F.M. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
My daughter's Birthday is today, and she is 6. She is always the youngest. Talk to his teachers to see if he is ready. We were worried too, but our daughter has done quite well. We also have to not compare her with her older brother.
C.H. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2009
I made a mistake back when my daughter was that age so I'd like to share it with you. She was making A's in preschool and she was very slightly taller than the other kids. Also, it was like free daycare which would help the financial burden.
So, I thought I'd put her in early. Her b-day was 9/5 and I had the choice back then because she'd been in private preschool and kindergarten. The school begged me not to put her in early as it tends to be harder on kids in general. I thought "my child" was the exception.
In third grade, she cried a lot in school over little things and had trouble with reading comprehension (which is when, I'm told, when any learning differences start showing up). Over the years, I finally got a diagnosis of A.D.D. with an associated learning difference and chemical depression and a sleeping disorder! Oh, and she didn't grow to be tall. She never got past 5/3".
What we went through over those years to learn and overcome was horrible. Good part was that with all the help from me and counselors, she graduated college. She is very talented, smart in many ways, and the A.D.D. meds helped her easily understand what she read and remember it better.
I now can't think of one good reason to push a kid in early. I now realize that allowing them more time to mature, learn more about the world and socializing with kids and adults, following rules, etc. would have been better. Provide them another year with increasingly more and more responsibilities, expectations, and various children.
Having to sit in a school chair for much of the day with far less activities and fun learning experiences can be a challenge in itself for little ones. And homework nowdays is far heavier than it used to be. You may find yourself frustrated with the time you have to spend helping them stay focused on it and get through it all. (I do wish they'd modernize our old style teaching methods to be more like the Montessori type.)
L.T. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
I would wait a year. We waited a year with my daughter and she enjoys being the oldest in her class. She was ready academically, but needed more social maturity. Good luck!
G.W. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
my daughter turned 5 on 8/11 and then went to kinder five days later....it worked out well for her, she was ready but now that she's going into 6th grade, I wonder if she would have a better chance of not falling into all the drama if she were the oldest...too late for that now.
on the other hand, my twin boys turned four 6/16 so I think my husband and I have already decided we are going to give them that extra year. As a former teacher, I've seen boys that just weren't ready and how it can affect an entire classroom environment. Plus, now I realize (because of my daughter) that there's no hurry, I should be glad for the extra time with them (although they will be going to preschool two days a week).
T.T. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2009
Have you already registered her for public school? If you have, check w/the school if you change your mind about sending her. If I'm not mistaken, once you register them into the public schools they are considered truant unless you send them to some sort of school. If you hold her back a year I would think this would mean a private pre-k or kindergarten. I don't think that many people are aware of this!!
P.S. Most people I know with boys are holding their kids back. If you have a boy I would definitely hold him back, if you have a girl, they seem more ready, but other moms had good points about the whole boy/girl thing later on!!
R.E. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
I didn't read all the responses, but my niece has a September birthday. My sister cheated the system and did private kindergarten and first grade so my niece could start a year earlier than she should have. In the young grades, she had no problems at all. She's now going into 10th grade, and she won't be 15 until the end of September. She still has no issues at all academically, but now, it's starting to show a difference. She's much smaller and less developped and more immature than most of her classmates. So, she has had some issues with friends, and her own self esteem. My sister, now, regrets having rushed her into starting school so early. None of the issues really showed up until about the 8th grade when her youth really showed up. I can't imagine had she been a boy. I thin it'd be even worse being the smallest kid as a boy than if you were a girl.
S.H. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2009
Hi M., I am a Sept 6th birthday so was always the oldest in class. I very easily aced my way through school and college. Although, I will never know if it would have been different had I started a year earlier, it certainly did not hurt me. I had friends growing up who were Aug kids and so were almost a year younger than me-they had no issues either. I agree with the others-it depends on your child.
S.M. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2009
My son turned 5 on June 1 and we were unsure as to whether we wanted to keep him pre-k another year or let him go. We decided to let him go and he excelled like you would not believe. My opinion is he/she can always go to kinder twice if need be.
He is now in the 7th grade and is one of the smartest kids I know.
R.C. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
My son was born in Decmeber, but I was born August 29. My parents went ahead and sent me to Kindergarten when I was 4 and I started college when I was 17. I would have hated if they held me back. I never had any problems, but I was in advanced programs throughout school. I also have a sister who is only 16 months older so I always wanted to keep up with her. I have heard that you should hold boys back, but if your child is a girl and seems to be somewhat advanced I would send her.
L.D. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2009
I'm a mom of 9 kids, who are mostly grown up. When our 2nd daughter was getting ready to start Kindergarten, she was too young to go, because her birthday was September 5th. She had been in a private preschool program from 9-2 every day and was already reading. I called the elementary school and asked about her going to school a year early. They made an appointment to have her evaluated. We took her in, and the principal said she had no qualms about putting her in Kindergarten a year early. My daughter was always an A student, clear through high school. She was accepted at her #1 choice of universities. She has a BA in Accounting, her CPA license (passed all 4 parts on the first try), a Master in Accounting, a law degree from SMU, and passed her bar exam on the first try. She is my example of success. I would definitely recommend to send your daughter early, but not if your child is a boy.
Here is my story of when my oldest son was ready to go to First Grade. He attended a private Kindergarten and was reading when he was 5 years old, so I repeated the process, and he was accepted for early First Grade. (His birthday is September 14) After 3 weeks of school, the teacher asked for a conference. She told me that he was extremely bright and understood the directions, but could not stay on task. (He would daydream, get out of his desk and play on the floor, draw pictures instead of writing, etc.) She said that she thought he should be evaluated for ADHD. So we had him evaluated, and the doctor recommended drugs. We were totally against them, so the doctor said to put him back in kindergarten and see how he did. So we put him back in kindergarten, and he did beautifully, without the symptoms of ADHD. He was at the top of his class throughout school, skipped his senior year of high school, because he got early admittance at the university of his choice, has 2 BA's in Accounting and Computer Science, and is a Team Leader for his team at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. I think both of these are success stories, even though the initial starts were different. So I tell people- send them early if they are girls, keep them back if they are boys.
L.M. answers from Dallas on August 10, 2009
I really struggled with this and talked to many parents and educators for 2 years before I had to make the decision. I've held both my daughters back. Not because they aren't smart but because I wanted them to be confident and the top of the class. So many people hold their kids back that my daughters would have been 9-12 months younger. I'm very happy I did! My oldest daughter is entering kindergarten as a 6 year old and knows how to read and knows the kindergarten schedule, etc. I couldn't help but think about my daughter being 15 and all the boys being 16 and dealing with older boy issues...yikes!! All the educators told me that your child won't see the effects of being younger until they are in middle school. My advice...hold back.