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Go to Kindergarten or Wait a Year?

Hi Moms!

This question goes to all you moms who are tackling this issue now or have experienced this in the past. My son's 5th birthday will be August 25th. He is a week ahead of the Sept 1st cut-off for school. My husband feels strongly that we should wait a year and put him in a 4 day a week preschool this Sept. I know each child is different and the final call is up to the parents. He is a good child and I try to work him 20 to 30 minutes a day on school stuff (letters, words, sounds, numbers, etc) He is a little immature only b/c he sometimes has an issue with focusing on who's speaking or doesn't always want to listen. I wish he could go on to Kindergarten, but know that he would be ahead of the game if started the following year. Please let me know of your experience as I am trying to make since of this issue. Would love to hear how it worked out for your kid/s. Thank you.

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My son has an August birthday. I think it is an intensely personal decision and one which I struggled with through most of last year. My son was completely ready academically but I was concerned about socially/emotionally. In the end I felt that he would be bored in Pre-K and decided to send him. The bottom line for me is that someone has to be the youngest and the cutoff dates are put there for a reason. I personally feel that the holding back in the area that I live has gotten out of hand. All of that being said....my son has done GREAT! Any of the issues he had I think he would have had whether he started this year or next. He is ahead of most of his class in reading and was actually put into an accelerated reading group. I don't see a difference between him and the other boys in his class.

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I am the single parent of a daughter born in May to avoid that question. However, I taught grades 7- 12 for 38 years. I noticed that boys that started young had trouble socially and with discipline. I never knew a parent who regretted holding back a son, but I knew many who regretted NOT holding one back. We as teachers could also see what parents could not, that even though the boys were academically qualifed, the personal problems were often overwhelming.

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My son is 8 and his birthday is 8-5. We held him out a year and it was absolutely the best thing we could have done for him. He is at the top of class and doing very well. We got a lot of flack from some people, but it was by far the best thing we could have done for him!! Most boys have a little bit of a listening issue, as does my son. All the other mom's say the same thing, it's just a boy thing!!

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My son has an August birthday. I think it is an intensely personal decision and one which I struggled with through most of last year. My son was completely ready academically but I was concerned about socially/emotionally. In the end I felt that he would be bored in Pre-K and decided to send him. The bottom line for me is that someone has to be the youngest and the cutoff dates are put there for a reason. I personally feel that the holding back in the area that I live has gotten out of hand. All of that being said....my son has done GREAT! Any of the issues he had I think he would have had whether he started this year or next. He is ahead of most of his class in reading and was actually put into an accelerated reading group. I don't see a difference between him and the other boys in his class.

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I have 2 children that are born in August. One is grown and the other isn't yet. By holding them back (in my case they did miss the cut off), my 3rd daughter turned 18 just before her Senior year. I believe that she was more mature when she ended highschool. She still had her share of troubles. But she's now in her first year old college and doing very well. I like the fact that she had another year to mature before taking on life's struggles on her own. In fact, I think in many ways it's helped her to realize she doesn't have to be on her own. She's accepting more help from us now than she did when she was 17.

This is a judgement call and there is no right answer.

My brother was one of the younger kids in class. He graduated early and went straight into the military. He did well. My 2nd daughter was one of the youngest in the class and she got a real big head on her shoulders the moment she turned 18 (one month before graduation). She got a DUI the day she graduated after her graduation party.

You have no crystal ball. So do whatever you think is best for him now. Don't worry about later.

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I am an elementary school principal, wait a year! You hit it on the head when you said he is a little immature. Kindergarten is all day long and it is a day of academics. Send him to a pre-school 4 year old half day program. Then he will be just right for going to kindergarten.

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Good question! I have 2 very good friends who have had this before. I have lunch with them from time to time, and we have known each other's kids for 8+ years.

My friend, R, did not keep her son out of K that extra year. Elementary school went fairly smooth, though. Middle school was a little rough, as the work and demands and responsibilities increased a lot. Her son did not make the transition to middle school work as easily as many other kids.
Freshman year was really tough. He was 13-14 while all the other boys were 14-15. That makes a big difference in maturity, stature, development, social issues.... He was the small boy with the high, squeaky voice while the other boys were entering puberty. He started acting out in class to try to get attention and got into quite a bit of trouble. They all had a really rough freshman year--- dads understand that competitiveness/ top dog thing more than moms.

My other good friend, C, decided to hold back. They have a "Gift of Time" pre-K class here that she enrolled her son. It was filled with kids in the exact same situation. He did so well, b/c it was tougher than pre-school and required a little less focus and concentration that K does. When he enterd K, he was really ready mentally! And as he matures in middle school and high school, C's son is academically and physically more like the other boys.

Best of luck in your decision.

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My son has a summer birthday, and we chose to send him to kindergarden at 5. He is turning 7 next month and finishing first grade with straight A's and good conduct marks. Although most people in this area would opt to hold a boy back an extra year to gain "confidence," I feel that maturity and confidence develop when there is a sense of mastery. Appropriate parental support and guidance and teacher contact are very important as well. My son has an 8 year old in his first grade class, and I have heard children tease her on the playground for not being "smart enough" to be in second grade. In assessing readiness, you might want to consider the preschool experience. Is he academically prepared for kindergarten? Is he a reader?
Most, if not all, 5 year old boys are a little immature! Boys mature later than girls. Good luck in making that decision!

You may want to check out this U.S. Dept. of Education study on the practice of academic redshirting in younger children. You can see the long term effects of this practice and make an informed decision.
http://www.kidsource.com/education/red.shirting.html#Effects

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I went to kinder when I was four back in the good old days when they left it up to the parents and while I was a bit immature, it was the right decision and I caught up, and surpassed most of the class by the end of the year. My son went to kinder at five...he also had a hard time paying attention, but the teachers know how to deal with five-year-olds and quickly had him working at least as well as most of the class.

Keep in mind that kids change quickly at this age. A kid that's immature for his age in May may be amazingly mature by August!

What I did with my son may work for you. I sent him to a private school that had preschool, pre-k, and kinder classes. Most of the parents started their kids in kinder at five (even a few at four since the school wasn't bound by the state cut-off age). Several of the younger children ended up being moved back to a pre-k class when it became clear they weren't ready for kinder...and at least two in my son's class were repeating kinder. In addition, a couple of them repeated kinder in the regular school system the next year.

Another thing to keep in mind...if you don't have your son in pre-k now, then your assessment of him is likely biased by your own experiences with him. I was convinced that my son was immature for his age and had a hard time "focusing on who's speaking or doesn't always want to listen." ...but now that he's nine, I can tell you for sure that most kids pay attention to "outsiders" FAR better than they do to parents! My son loved kinder...and I was always amazed when they told me how attentitive he was in class..."are you sure you're talking about MY son...the one who doesn't listen to anybody"??? LAUGH

Another thought...can you find a summer "pre-k-type" program for him...to test the waters so to speak? Perhaps something like Sylvan or Kumon or maybe a "camp" affiliated with a private school? My son went to preschool at two (I'm a working mom blessed with a flexible job so I could do preschool instead of daycare) so I had a LOT of input from professionals related to his readiness and aptitude before making this decision. I know I always thought my son was a bit "behind" his peers until I had the opportunity to see him with large groups of children his own age...then, observation and the input from people who have worked with hundreds (or thousands) of young children allowed me to see that he's a "normal kid"...advanced in some ways, a bit behind in others...like ALL of them!

A final thought...if you're working with your child every day, I can virtually guarantee you that he's ahead of at least half the students in his potential kinder class (especially if you're talking about a public school)! Even in my son's "academic-oriented" preschool/kinder, he started the year as one of the few that could write his name and knew the entire alphabet. Sadly, many parents don't work with their kids on academics before they start kinder!

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I have a friend with two boys born just before the cut off. She sent them to a local pre-school that offered a pre-kindergarten class. The next year they went to the local school for kindergarten. This worked very well for both of them. They are smart little guys, but a were a little too wiggly for kindergarten that year. :) Check your local pre-schools for pre-k classes. It may be just the ticket!

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I agree it is up to a parent. My oldest turns 5 in a week and is headed to Kindergarten in the fall. He is one of the youngest in his pre-k class. I noticed drastic differences developmentally when he was in the 3-year class and even some as he started pre-k with the other kids. Now I see almost no difference. He also plays frequently with a friend who is younger with an August birthday who seems to be able to do everything my son and his older friends do.

So, my advice is that if he is in a preschool program, talk to the teacher about his abilities and how they compare to the other kids. Our teachers even sent home an "assessment test" with how high he could count, letter recognition, etc... If he is progressing on par with other kids who are going, let him go to kindergarten.

If he is not in preschool or is lagging behind according to the teacher in a class he is in now you could enroll him in a Kinder Ready program for the summer If he's not prepared by the end of summer, then hold off. If he hasn't been in any preschool at all, then he may not be ready socially or academically but you'll be better able to decide after you have seen him in a program. If he does well, you'll know he is ready for the next step.

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If there are no learning issues, then the more maturity (the older), the better.
If there are learning issues, then the sooner he starts, the sooner he can get help to over come the issues.

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I would definitely wait a year. I have worked in schools for 19 years, and I think being older works better for the vast majority of kids, especially boys. Maturity is a huge factor in the learning process (sitting still, listening, focusing, etc. are vital). A lot is expected in kinder now. It's not like it used to be. In my daughter's kinder class, the older kids did better academically, behaviorally, and socially. My summer baby held her own but I think she would have been better off with extra time to mature.

Once when I was in charge of a group of high school seniors, I checked the top students' birthdates just for the heck of it and, you guessed it, most of them were the older kids in the class.

I think your husband is absolutely right on this one.

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I can tell you that a lot of people hold their kids back in Texas. In the Northeast, if you make the cut off, you go. I was the youngest in my class with a late August birthday and was fine. Everyone says it's different for boys, but is it really? Have him evaluated. My son was evaluated for pre-k and to my surprise my 4 year old son was testing @ a 5 or 5 1/2 year old level! Your son may be more ready than you think.

I will also tell you that my next door is a speech therapist for the Austin ISD. She says that she and many other teachers agree that holding kids back tells them right from the beginning that they are not smart enough, mature enough, or good enough to be with their peers. She says they have self esteem problems and are often bored in class.

Would you rather have him play just a little catch up or have him be bored and possibly a little over mature?

Something to think about....

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I am going through the same thing because my son turns 5 August 24th. I went to the counselor of the school he would be going to and she recommended, as did 2 kindergarten teachers she introduced me to, all suggested that we wait. They all agreed that it is a maturity issue and if it is not noticeable in the younger years it is often noticed in later grades. They also said that their school strives not to hold any Kinders back so as a parent we decided our boys should be held back after their 1st year that it would be very hard to make a case as to why. Most everyone I have spoken to said you will never regret holding your child back but you might regret putting him in, as he will be almost 1 to 2 years (because so many parents hold back)younger than his classmates. I have now decided to hold my son back. Hope this helps, good luck!

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I realize I am late in the game, but here is my personal experience.... listen to your gut. It is telling you to keep him back. My boys are all summer babies and we held our first 2 back but not our last. THe first two needed it badly! The last not at all. He was so ready.

It is not about academics, but about maturity. You have said yourself he doesn't want to listen. It is also about social maturity and fine motor skills. Does he have the fine motor skills to handle writing? Todays kindergarten is not at all like ours! It is more like a first grade.

Good Luck with whatever you decide!

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As a high school teacher, I urge you to keep him back. Having one more year of maturity will really help him in those difficult teen years. It also helps if he plays sports.

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Hi J.,

Oh my gosh! Can I feel your pain! I have 2 boys with July birthdays and I decided to give them both a year to mature and put them both in Kindergarten at 6 years old. I was consumed and traumatized with this decision, although the 2nd time around it was much easier. I'd ask anyone and everyone that I knew for their advice, even people standing in line at the grocery store! Ha. Basically all the teachers and educators encouraged me to give boys that extra year to mature. I had opposing advice from fewer people but they were pretty important to me, like my mom. But my desire to give my boys the very best start (and end) academically won over my decision to wait. One educator had a very good point, she was sending her son off to college as an 18 year old versus a 17 year old, and she felt that year made the world of difference. Personally, I'd rather my boys be the oldest over the youngest. How's it going? Wonderful! Both boys are leaders in the class, their classmates are convinced they are geniuses, they don't get into much trouble because they have self control, and they can withstand relational conflicts and teasing much better. I can't help but think, hope and pray that this has given them the best opportunity for educational, relational, and emotional success. My 2 cents, wait. You'll be glad you did.

Edited to add: This may not be appreciated by some, but you husband has the unique experience of going through school as a dude. It truly must be different than what we experience as being female. If he thinks it's wise to wait a year, I think it may be wise to give extra thought and consideration to his words.

Best wishes, K.

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You are right each kid is so different and some kids are ready and some are not. Personally, I learn towards the wait another year side. My son has a Sept 21st b-day and just missed it and I could have done priviate kinder and then onto 1st grade. I am so glad we waited!!! He is a very smart child but needed that extra year to mature socially! Getting along, listening and knowing how act is a big part of kinder. I didn't want my son to be last to drive, last to date etc...so we waited. Ultimatly it is up to you and if you think your son is really ready.

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Good morning J.. The benefits of children going to kindergarten is for socializing and also for the teachers to have the opportunity to identify any children with learning problems. You might be delaying any testing that is very important. The sooner a problem may be identified the better. I had a child that was tested in Junior Kindergarten and I was very grateful for early identification. I live in Canada and our children start school at 4 years of age providing their birthday is before Dec. 31st. I would strongly consider sending him if for no other reason that to socialize. A very important part of his life. Good luck with your decision.

L.

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Although certainly every child is different the research suggests that it's often better to hold young boys back a year because of the social issues you're talking about. I think you'll ultimately have fewer headaches if you go this route.

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I did keep my son in a Jr-K program this year and he will enter Kindergarten at 6 years old. He did have some minor issues with small motor skills and a confidence issue (not major). The extra time did him wonders, this year was great and he is going into Kindergarten ready. I was more worried about later in school on how he would do and the possibility of having to hold him back later. It is always easier to move them forward if needed, but can be devestating to hold them back. I was happy with our decision.

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I would put him in myself. Kids start at all different levels in Kindergarten, but by the end they are usually all on the same page. I wish they would let mine start this year (sept 19th b-day).

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My daughter's bday is 8/26. She was born 2 weeks early. I sent her to kinder last year when she turned 5. Although she did very well academically, her teacher said that other children shied away from her because of her immature behavior and she also had trouble finishing "seat work", got distracted easily by other children moving around the classroom. I was on the fence about sending her to kinder, because she wanted to learn to read, but I didn't feel she was ready. Her pre-K teacher said she was ready, so I sent her. I had her observed by the school principal, and another kinder teacher. All 3 of them said she would probably benefit from another year of kinder to allow her to mature. Every one of them said that allowing her to be the oldest vs. the youngest was going to be a benefit to her later on. I have also talked to many friends who are teachers who have told me they see this type child struggle about 4th grade, when it is more detrimental to "hold them back". However, I do not regret starting her in kinder, because now she is reading really well, loves to read every day and amazes me how much she learned. We are going to send her to kindergarten again this year, and I have since spoken to at least 7 other mothers who made this decision with their August babies and say there is no regrets. If I had to do it over, I would have put her in a "Kindergarten transition program". There are several in the area at private preschools. It is specifically for children with summer birthdays who are not quite ready for kinder. They do alot of the same work, but it gives them the "gift of time" for maturity. I also have several friends who just put their August child in a good Pre-K program. I think some of the posts here who said it will have a negative effect, must be for children who are held back later in elementary school when kids notice those things and it becomes a stigma. Good luck making that decision.

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As a middle school teacher and mom I would choose to hold him back. I have noticed that many younger students show more immaturity in middle school. The middle school years are tough and you want your child to be able to face the issues as maturely as possible. There is no exact answer to this question, all kids are different and the best decisions are based on the individual kid! The best suggestion is for you & your husband to come together & pray for God's guidance to make the right choice for your son! Good luck with your decision!

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We held our son back in Kinder. His birthday is 9/13. We lived in Kentucky at the time and their stop date is 10/1. At that time, kinder was only 1/2 days. When we held him back the next year the school district decided to go to all day kinder. I believe if he had been in all day kinder he would have been just fine. I think we made the right decision but sometimes I wonder. He is a smart kid but I don't think he has been challenged enough. Now, he is a junior in hs and his grades aren't the best. Try sending him to a private kindergarten. If you need to hold him back then send him to your local elem. school. I would at least try. I'm glad we did.

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I would wait, my husbands bday is aug 26 and he was the youngest in his class. He says he struggled through school and thinks he would have applied himself more had he been older like his classmates.

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As a Kindergarten teacher and listening solely to your description of your child to include immaturity, which is the #1 reason I have ever kept a student back, I would err on the side of caution and ask myself a couple of questions. Is going to Kindergarten just a wish of yours because he is old enough or is he really ready? Is he ready to be in class with students almost one year his Senior or is he going to be the "baby" in the group? Are you prepared to consider that he may not develop socially and intellectually as well as the other students?

I started Kindergarten at 4 even though I had a Sept. 27th birthday. I could read and write fluently, but had no social graces. This made it difficult to make and keep friends which I feel hindered me for a number of years. I particularly remember an event when I started my first year of college and Algebra, a subject I struggled with my Senior year, finally made sense. A light bulb had finally gone on for me and I realized how necessary it was for me to have had an extra year. I say that to say, intellect alone or what my parents and teachers thought of as intellect, made me no more prepared to enter Kindergarten.

Give him time this summer to develop if at that time he continues the same behaviors I would suggest that your husbands idea would be an appopriate approach to your sons life-long education plan!:)

I hope that helped a little...

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I have 2 girls with August birthdays... the oldest we sent on schedule (she was quiet, and very intelligent). She did fairly well, but had problems staying focused on her own work. She wasn't disruptive, just "floated off"... Later, her 2nd grade teacher recommended holding her back, which we did not do.

4th grade it all fell apart (in many ways). Ultimately, when we moved at the end of the year to a different state (job transfer), we had her repeat 4th grade at her new school. That made a world of difference...she is now at Johns Hopkins working on her doctorate!

The other child was different from the beginning... her birthday was just 2 days later (August 21), had difficulty in preschool staying focused and such, so we had her take a second year of preschool at a different program. It really did help her, and we didn't regret it. We still had problems with her down the road with focus, etc, but it wasn't compounded by her immaturity.

My question is.... and not a criticism.... if you are already seeing these problems, why not give him another year to mature? You will be WORLDS ahead by doing this. Boys tend to be slower to mature, anyway, and this extra year will give him that better chance in the future.

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My son will be turning 5 next month. I asked my pediatrician whether I should hold him back a year (as my SIL suggests who is a teacher) or let him go to Kindergarten. My pediatrician who has four children of her own, said that she attended a medical seminar regarding this issue earlier in the year, and recent studies are showing that kids who are held back a year (now this is exactly what my doc told me), are labeled by their peers as being the slightly less intelligent kids as they progress through their school careers. My doc advised that it is better to send a child who would be considered as one of the youngest in their class and have that child learn to mature and keep up with the children who are older in the class. Also, my son has attended preschool for the past 3 years and he is doing great, so I will not be holding back at all.

M.

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I am the single parent of a daughter born in May to avoid that question. However, I taught grades 7- 12 for 38 years. I noticed that boys that started young had trouble socially and with discipline. I never knew a parent who regretted holding back a son, but I knew many who regretted NOT holding one back. We as teachers could also see what parents could not, that even though the boys were academically qualifed, the personal problems were often overwhelming.

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My child was also immature, I waited and am thrilled that I did. He has bloomed. I think we as a culture push our kids too much socially. Waiting allowed him to socially be more on par with his peers. Good luck!

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Hold him back. My son has matured so much in the last year from almost 5 to almost 6. I think Kinder would have been a disaster if he had gone. In fact in his preschool class are 2 boys whose parents had to pull them of kinder due to immaturity and put them into preschool. Preschool this next year will be awesome for him. Good luck.

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We have 2 boys with 2 stories - oldest bday June 22. He was one of the youngest in his class. He was very bright - all A's with the occassional B. He was ver immature, so for social reasons and maturity we held him back in 1st. I wish we has not started him until he was 6 as he still reminds me that he "should" be in 4th (although he fits in better, he still regrets). Youngest was 2 weeks late born Sept 9. Thought about private kinder b\c he is more mature. We did not and it is nice that he is one of the oldest. We focus on the positives - they will be the 1st to drive instead of last, they will be 18 in college instead of 17, etc. In my experience, childhood is tough, you want them to have every advantage possible. Kids easily recognize immaturity and target it. Give your child their best shot.

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My son is 8 and his birthday is 8-5. We held him out a year and it was absolutely the best thing we could have done for him. He is at the top of class and doing very well. We got a lot of flack from some people, but it was by far the best thing we could have done for him!! Most boys have a little bit of a listening issue, as does my son. All the other mom's say the same thing, it's just a boy thing!!

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My mother waited to send my sister, and both she and my sister to this day say it was the right decision. My sister had the academic skills to attend kindergarten sooner, but she had no patience, no attention span, and no interest in sitting still to listen. She never felt bad or left behind or like there was something wrong with her.

My husband and I are now planning to hold out another year with OUR daughter. She could start kindergarten in the fall. She knows her letters, her numbers, and loves to sit and "read" books. However, kindergartens are becoming more and more academic. In our school district, kindergarteners are expected to be reading before Christmas and to know at least 100 words by the end of the year. Our daughter would be one of the youngest in her class and is extremely small for her age (still in 3T clothing). We want her to have every chance to thrive and be successful! She will have another year of preschool and start kindergarten as one of the oldest the following year!

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I have six children and waiting is the right decision for sure... no doubt... you may not see a difference in early years but it will pay off later... good luck

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My son's birthday is August 24. I sent him to Kindergarten when he was 4 (for a few more days). I have no regrets. Most kids that age have a little trouble focusing on who's speaking or doesn't want to listen. Your child will not gain maturity by being with children that are YOUNGER than he is! It sounds like you have already been preparing him for school. If you hold him back, you probably will not notice the effects of your decision for a few more years. My sister chose to hold her child back. Now he is 8 and going into the 2nd grade. He is bigger than his peers and has more mature thoughts than his peers. I know that she regrets her decision, but is really unable to do anything about it. When my son started school, the other children were told he was the youngest and my need help learning what to do. The girls just took over and helped him learn what to do. I have no regrets sending him on to school.
My birthday is in May and my husband's is in August. Both of us went on to school the correct year and turned out just fine. Children often rise to the bar that we set for them. If we set the bar too low, then they really miss out on achieving their potential. I would send him to Kindergarten this year!

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When my son was in kindergarten, I spoke with his teachers a lot. One of the big things for them was the difference in those children who had attended Pre-K, and those who didn't. Emotionally, kinder was very rough for those who didn't. To go from constant Mommy attention, to being away all day, was a difficult transition. Academically wasn't any easier. Those kids struggled with attention span, and were behind. In Pre-K, you have the structure needed to teach these skills.

Kudos to you for working with your son on school stuff. Unfortunately, it's just not enough anymore. They are a year ahead of where we were at that age. What we all learned in kindergarten, they learn in Pre-K. What we learned in 1st, they learn in kindergarten. And so on...

It's a personal choice that only you & your husband can make. Listen to your husband, though. He's on the right track. Talk to other parents in the area to find a GREAT pre-k program.

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My dghtrs bday is also Aug 25th which so happens to be the same day school starts. So far we are not sending her. I hate the idea of her being by far the youngest one in class, she is immature, she is a follower, she's a drama queen and more.

For every statistic that says you shouldn't hold a child back because it can lead to drugs, a higher drop out rate, etc, you will find a statistic that shows the opposite. So I don't trust the statistics completely. I rather look at my child as an individual. I will be extremely involved in my children's education so I have confidence that my children will be able to read & write & not be in the juvenile system. As long as you play an active role in their lives these things are less likely to happen.

Another reason I want to wait is kindergarten thru 2nd is easy. It's 3rd thru high school that worries me the most. Most kids tend to struggle in these grades & that's when peer pressure really hits them. The struggles kids go thru these days are intense & when they are younger in their class peer pressure affects them tremendously. So if my dghtr is a little older in her class I would HOPE the impact wouldn't be so intense, again hope!

I also don't feel "redshirting" really pertains to you or I because our child's bdays are so late compared to other kids who are held back when their bdays are march, april, may, june. Also I wouldn't have this dilemma if my daughter was born on time. Best luck with your decision.

Does he attend preschool now? If not, it may be a good idea to attend the preschool first. My daughter started preschool at three and it was a first time for an organized setting (I'm a SAHM). Everyone else except for one girl had started preschool at one or two. My daughter and this other girl had to learn the things they already knew....not academically, but standing in line, not talking during storytime, listening to the teacher etc.

A friend of mine from College Station had her son (August b day) in a school at Grace Bible. They offered a program that was like a pre K 4/ kindergarten program. Basically, he was in it because she wanted to hold him back a year, feeling that he wasn't ready. However, if he did really well and they felt he was ready for first grade the next year then it counted as Kindergarten. I think it's a great concept. Maybe they have something like that where you live?

My daughter will also be 5 on August 25th. We are sending her. She has an older brother (18 months apart) that she copies. She has always wanted to do everything that he does, and sometimes she is better. My husband and I have talked a lot about sending vs. waiting.

But, you know your own kid and if he isn't ready, don't send him.

I know you are getting all sorts of information but here's our story. My daughter has a summer birthday and we sent her to kindergarten when she just turned 5. She has struggled all year because she doesn't have the maturity that some of the kids a year older than her have. She is going on to 1st grade because she now knows that these are the kids that she will be going through school with, but we are going to have to work very hard with her through the summer. Her teacher thinks she is just now getting to the maturity level that some of the kids started with. We wish we would have held her back before kindergarten but didn't even think that was an option.

I dislike almost every single past you've received! 5 year old = go to Kindergarten. It's been that way for an eternity. Send him! What good will it do to wait until he's turning 6 and all the other children are a year younger than he is? Will he gain in maturity with a class full of kids that are younger than him?

My oldest son has an August 30th birthday, so we had the same delimma. I chose to wait a year by having him repeat Pre-K with another teacher. He went from being the child who stood just watching other children play, to being the child telling the other children how to play. One more year of maturity made a very positive difference. He maintained honor roll throughout his school career (including college) and is now a happy, successful engineer (expecting a child of his own next month).
I've another son with a May birthday who was in a preschool that would not allow him to repeat Pre-K. He has struggled to maintain good grades and his immaturity affects his ability to make and keep friends. I can clearly tell you from experience that waiting a year is best.

My brother and I both have late Aug birthdays and started kindergarten right when we turned five. We both never had any issues. I personally thought it was cool I wasn't as old as my peers because I felt smarter for being at the same point, but not as old.

My best friend in middle school was held back in kindergarten and always felt dumber than her peers and was always embarrassed that she was older than the rest of her class. She was never a good student for whatever reason. I'm not sure that holding her back had anything to do with that, but it may have affected her self-esteem and thus affected her effort to do well. Who knows?

I think parents maybe coddling their kids too much these days or maybe they just want to give them an advantage when they can. My oldest has a late birthday in January so when she started kindergarten she was older than most of her class and thus was way ahead of them emotionally and intellectually. She was consistently at the top of her class in all subjects. So it could be advantageous to keep him back the extra year.

My daughters birthday is the same day. She is now a sophmore going to be a junior next year. She is an A/B student, she has never had a problem fitting in. She has never once asked me why I let her start so young. I think he will do great, he will ajust very easily, she did much better listening to a teacher than she did with me.

I was in agreement with most of these posts until this year. I have always said if there's a question, hold them back, including my granddaughter, who is just finishing kindergarten after being at home and in preschool an extra year. Now we are faced with extra classes and expenses because she has a language disorder that we didn't recognise, and is now a year behind in getting help with. We thought it was a maturity thing with her, too. Please get a more professional evaluation of your son. " Martha from Columbus" on this site is an expert on the subject, I only wish we had listened to her last year when we had the same question.

J.,

I urge you to do a little more research because your gut is giving you the wrong information here, and what seems like it will be helpful for the first few weeks of Kindergarten may have terrible life long concequences for your son.

Go to www.wrightslaw.com and scroll down on the left side of the page and read a little about retention. You will be surprised, because you probably think that the best thing you could do for a child who might have a learning issue is to hold them back, but that is the absolute, hands down, wrong move. You don't know that your son will have an issue, and you will be rolling the dice that he will not have a need for reading assistance, if he does, you cut off the best years for tartgeted instruction and keep him from recieving interventiion durring the most effective years. The window of opportunity to learn to read without great difficulty closes between age 8 and 9, but schools will not offere reading assisntance by age, only grade, so if your son is older, even if you figure out he has a problem, you have to wait until the kids who are a year younger than he is would be behind. You simpley have no way to know if this applys to him or not.

The data about what happens to kids who are the oldest in their class is equally bad once they get to high school. They are much more likely to used drugs, drop out, and have contact with the juvinile justice system.

This time in his life will be brief, but you have many years to come that will be impacted by your feeling, one that is off target if you look into the future. Send him, and don't look back. The way you look back later is painful and permenant and has real statistical data to back it up, data you won't like at all.

I see the effects of holding kids back in my line of work all the time. I would not risk it for any child, ever. What I see is incredibly sad, children who can't read or write and whose parents are desperate to help thier 14 to 16 year old learn to read and write. You don't want to do that.

M.

I have learned that is not how smart they are, it is if they are socially/emotionally ready.

Best bet, have him testes for Kindergarten readiness. Test is $75 from http://www.chancyandbruce.com/ in Los Angeles CA, but there should be places were you are. You can contract any private school and ask them who they use. Not sure, but I think most private schools test for readiness for Kindergarten/1st grade.

Also with the test you will know your childs strengths and weaknesses and know where to help him.

Check out the site anyway, they have a lot of information on readiness

My son's bday is October 1st. Since he missed his private school's cut off, even though not California cutoff, I had to delay, but am very happy with the decision. Boy's do better delayed and I feel that I have given him an advantage that will stay with him throughout his school years..

Most of the advice you'll get on here is to wait and send him next year. That being said, my daughter's birthday is Sept 11th and she started preschool last fall and is about done with it. In my state the cut off date is Dec 1. After talking to her teachers this year, they told me socially she might again have problems to start (she is very shy) but academically they do not feel she will have any problems. At this point I am going to go ahead because they don't hold back in preschool at this school. At this point I can't really say whether this will hurt her or not but I can see why some would choose to have there child be the oldest. My daughter is one of the youngest in her class.

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