45 answers

Kindergarten for an October Baby. Age 4 or 5? - North Hollywood,CA

My daughters birthday is on Oct 20th. I am so torn on when to start her in kindergarten! She is currently in a playschool class 9-12 twice a week. The school she would be going into is a m-f 9-12 schedule. If I start her in fall 2012 she will go in at the age of 4. Her playschool teacher would love to start her in a pre-k class this spring and feels she could be ready to go kindergarten. Do you have any advice? Thank you!

For our district she must me 5 before dec 1st.

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So What Happened?™

Wow! You guys have been awesome at responding! Thank you. This has been so helpful! Until last week I was completely onboard with getting herall set for kindergarten in the fall. She likes going to school, she is social, she is learning her letters, trying to pronounce words while reading together... she seems ready in all those ways. But last week we were at a park and there were two 5 year old girls playing together. My daughter introduced herself and they said we are 5. She said well im 4! And they said well we don't want to play with you. She had no idea how to respond. I got her interested in something else. A little while later she was looking down. I asked whats up. She said the girls were calling her poopy names. She wasn't even trying to play with them! I made my conversation loud on purpose so the moms could hear what was going on. (I could go on about those two, but ill stick to the subject) Apparently the girls were cousins that hadn't seen each other in a long time "and they probably just want to play with each other." Long story short... emotionally she isn't ready. She may be in 10 months but I like what a few of you had said-think about jr high and high school. I want her to have the advantage. I had the disadvantage of being on the younger side and jr high was really hard. I am leaning toward waiting another year. I spoke to her pediatrician about it too. He said if there is any reason at all, no matter how small, its better to wait, unless there is a financial reason (as in a daycare situation). As far as the Burbank transitional kindergarten goes she is not going to be eligible. Also with the school system changing gradually to a sept 1 cut of date-it seems like I should wait. I love that I can be a stay at home mom to her and her brother. I will be lucky to do it another year with her! Thank you so much everyone!

Featured Answers

Wait until she is 5. She needs that extra year of pre-school/pre-k. She will do so much better if she starts at age 5. GL


7 moms found this helpful

As a teacher, I have found that waiting is the best for a child. As I have personally seen it is a benefit to have the child older because the child will be more able to concentrate, sit still and listen better. Younger child is not as ready to sit for long times and that is important. Good luck with whatever choice you make.

2 moms found this helpful

If the cutoff is December and the evaluation team as well as you think she is ready then go for it! There will be a few kids even younger than her.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Wait until she is 5. She needs that extra year of pre-school/pre-k. She will do so much better if she starts at age 5. GL


7 moms found this helpful

It's a bummer to always be the youngest in class. It's not such a big deal when you're 5, but when you're in middle school and going through puberty it is. And when you're that last kid in the class to get your driver's license it is. Why the rush to get her in school? I was so happy my second child was a November birthday, because I got to keep her home another year with me.

4 moms found this helpful

My son turned 5 last July and could have started Kindergarten. In Illinois, the child must be 5 by Sept. 1. We chose to wait a year. He is in a PreK type Kindergarten class that our district funds. Best thing we could have done for him! Academically he was probably ready, but he was a young 5 and clearly not as mature as the older 5's.

Keep in mind that she needs to be both academically ready and emotionally and socially ready. Kindergarten is much more academically intense than it was when we were growing up. The state and federal standards are high, and school funding depends on good test scores. Many kindergarten classes do not have near the downtime that kids need, so you might want to ask yourself if giving her an extra year of a less academically intense environment with more play time might be good for her.

Remember, this isn't a race. Let her begin when she is truly ready.

4 moms found this helpful

FIVE!! Please don't jump the gun....& double check with your school district. Our district has "zero" exceptions for the age 5 rule. :)

4 moms found this helpful

If her preschool teacher thinks she is ready then she probably is or will be.
Most schools do K screenings. This gives them an idea as to whether the
child is ready. Now it you had a son, I would say wait. Boys tend to be
immature and need the extra years. Girls no so much.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm an October 20th baby, and my husband is Oct 13. We both grew up in areas that have the birthday cutoff at the end of the year; we were both four when starting kindergarten. We both had no problems with it.

Here's a great article that rethinks holding kids back due to parental fears:


I think it's pretty compelling, the idea that the older peers can help a child 'grow' into the age group as a whole, than holding kids back if they really don't have a proven need. I see some children who have older siblings who seem more 'mature' than kids with no sibs, only because they have older peer models. I don't know your child, but agree with talking to the preschool teacher about where her social skills and self-help skills are, because those are two areas that kindergarten teachers love children to have some proficiency in beforehand. Can she follow her preschool group through the morning, play well with her classmates, follow the teacher's instructions and take care of her simpler self-care needs like wiping her own nose/washing hands/zippers and buttons/putting on shoes, socks, jackets and clothing independently? Those are areas I look at as a preschool teacher. From what you describe, if she has those skills and is doing the shorter day of kinder, my guess is that aside from the newness of teachers and kids at kindergarten, she'll probably be okay. The article is very reassuring... worth reading!

3 moms found this helpful

Both my kids, are born late.
I have a boy and a girl.
They both started Kindergarten at 4 then turned 5 after starting Kinder.
They, were ready.
They both had had Preschool.
Their Teachers said they were fine as well, to go to Kinder.
We as parents, felt the same way.
It has been fine.
And my kids are doing well.

Myself, I am late born. I started Kinder at that age too.
I was fine.

It really depends on the child and their readiness and maturity. And emotional development.

Both my kids, also, WANTED to go to Kindergarten.
They had no trouble with going at that age.
And adjusted fine.
My kids' school, Kindergarten is everyday, all day.

Now, NOTE, that some schools, some of them have a Kindergarten age entry of 5 years old. If a child starts later, when 6... you need to make sure this is okay.
Some schools will enter a 6 year old, into 1st grade.
Unless the parent specifies/requests that their child enter Kindergarten.

Kindergarten in many States, is not mandatory.
What is the age cut-off's in your State?

The other aspect of this: is that the parent also feels "ready" to enter their child into Kindergarten. At whatever age you choose.
But if your child is ready.... you also need to recognize this.

3 moms found this helpful

i can only tell you what we did, and why. my son's birthday is at the end of Sept. We did not start him the year he turned 5, he will be a month away from turning 6 when he goes. here are the reasons:
1. i would rather make things easier on him rather than harder.
2. i would rather he be one of the first in his class to get to do things rather than the last.
3. he is ALL VERY WIGGLY BOY - so another year of preschool to get some of those wiggles out is not a bad thing imo. that was my biggest reason. he is plenty "book" smart, knows all his numbers and letters and shapes and colors. he's very intelligent and gets along well with his classmates. but i see what a hard time he has sitting still and listening to directions - like borderline ADD, hard - and i think it will not hurt him a bit to wait another year.

these were our reasons. every kiddo is different. one other minor issue for me was that there was a SMALL part of me that was very happy to put off sending my baby off to kindergarten :) we also were not living where we wanted him to go to school, and weren't in a position to move there just then (hadn't even really decided where we wanted that to be yet) i don't count those as legitimate reasons, i mean if he was ready and chomping at the bit, bored to tears with preschool and ready to move on, i'd have done it. but in our situation, it wasn't time yet.

he will be very ready this fall i think :) and we are going to be moving to a smaller district, etc etc. it is all coming together for us. so i am really glad we waited :)

3 moms found this helpful

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