16 answers

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!

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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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

F. Decker

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.)

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!

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