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My Son Misses Kindergarten by 12 Days, Should I Find a Way Around the Deadline?

My son is going to turn 5 on Sept. 12. He is currently attending a private school Pre-K program. Their deadline is October 1. He is set to continue to kindergarten at that school. The plan, as of NOW, is to have him test into 1st in public school after he finishes kindergarten. In all reality he might not be allowed into 1st grade after that test. I don't know who he'll be a year from now. Should I just plan to put him into kindergarten in public school after he finishes kindergarten at the private school? I just want some perspectives from outside my family. My parents put all of us September kids in school a year early. I graduated a year before all the kids my age. It didn't bother me, but I guess there is probably another way of looking at things. My boy is bright and very verbal. He has alway been a good talker. He enjoys learning. He seems to interact with other children well. He has a laid back personality. He will probably adapt to whatever situation I put him in, but I would like to hear how such things have worked out long term for other families. I am an elementary teacher, but I don't always find a true pattern in my young students vs. my older students. It usually depends on the individual child as to how well he/she progresses in school.

OKAY...After reading 47 responses, lightbulbs are coming on for me! I've never even thought about maturity in middle school and size in high school. It didn't dawn on this mom of a 4 year old. What has escaped me is that he won't be this little boy forever. I'm not saying that I'm not going to pursue my current plan, because I feel that it provides him with a solid foundation, but I will definitely consider all of your recommendations at the point where he tests for 1st grade. Kinder in public school may be the best option then. Any more insight is still greatly appreciated. You guys are awesome!

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My youngest daughter just missed the deadline and so she was almost 6 when she started kindergarten. I have NEVER regreted it. She is now 21 and in college. She was in pre-school and always did well but I think it was good for her to start later. My other daughter will be 33 in 2 weeks and when she started school she was 5 1/2, back then the thing was to try to get the kids in early or have them skip a grade. I've seen a lot of kids who just do better all through school when they start later. Hope this helps. L.

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almost everyone I know with a boy said holding them back was a very good thing, that boys develope a bit slower, so they did much better in school & sports, which isn't what I personally would be concerned about, but I had a daughter, second one, and she just missed the dead line & I was feeling bad, as the difference in age of her and her sister would put her farther back in school, but found out that although she was smart enough to of went on, emotionally it was good to of held her back, as she would of been the baby in the class, and just wasn't as emotionally grown up as the rest when first starting kindergarten.

Hey J.,
I went through the same thing with my son and we decided to have him do Kindergarten again. I look at it this way: I know MANY moms who wish they had held their child back in the early years, but I have NEVER heard of a mom that regrets doing so. Good luck! ~T.

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My youngest daughter just missed the deadline and so she was almost 6 when she started kindergarten. I have NEVER regreted it. She is now 21 and in college. She was in pre-school and always did well but I think it was good for her to start later. My other daughter will be 33 in 2 weeks and when she started school she was 5 1/2, back then the thing was to try to get the kids in early or have them skip a grade. I've seen a lot of kids who just do better all through school when they start later. Hope this helps. L.

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My sister did this with my niece who has a September birthday. She did kindergarten and first grade in private school and then moved to public school in second grade as they do not need to test into second grade like you do moving into first. She is now in 8th grade and my sister is regretting it. She's much smaller than the other kids and has had some social issues as she's more immature than some of the other kids. I really worry about her going to high school next year.

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It is always better to be the oldest in your class, rather than the youngest. You might have to wait till high-school to understand this, but I'd wait.

He doesn't have any younger siblings...yet... so you don't have to worry about the younger ones being in the same class. I had 3 in a row, and I kind of wish I'd held my son back, because he has learning issues, not his age, but his sister was just a year behind him and ready to go, and I didn't want him to be embarrassed later on.

Good luck.

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I was the youngest person in my class all the way through school. My parents put me in private school for Kindergarten and first grade, then I switched to public school in 2nd. I started Kindergarten at 4 years old. I was mature enough to handle it and made good grades all the way, but it became a real issue in high school. It sounds really shallow compared to the other answers you've gotten, but it affected me greatly. When my friends were 16 and allowed to date....I had to wait another year! When my friends were 16 and started to drive...I had to wait another year! When my friends turned 21 and got to go "clubbing"...you guessed it. I was also friends with many of the people in the class ahead of me...that meant we were all 2 years apart! Anyway, just another way of looking at it. I hope you find the right answer for your family. Good luck!

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Our middle son's birthday is in August, usually the first week of school. We decided to "hold him back a year"; he started kindergarten when he was 6 years old. My husband felt very strongly about this because he graduated from high school at 17. Athletics are very important to boys and having that extra maturity certainly has helped. I think that it has helped socially as well. Our son also had some academic struggle early on (slow to learn to read) and I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been for all of us if we had not made the decision to start him late.

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Although I am not a point with my own children to speak to that, I can tell you from MY OWN personal experience that I wish my parents had not started me early. At age 5, your absolutely right, he will more than likely be academically and socially jsut fine. I was always very academically advanced. I was the youngest in my class, I graduated with honors from highschool and college, I always tested VERY well, I was VERY social, but I lacked the emotional maturity when I got older and did not have the coping strategies to deal with a lot of the adolescent issues. A year at 5, 6 or even 7 is not a big deal - at 13 it is. Puberty is hellish enough on kids so why exacerbate the problems. For a boy especially I think it is difficult in the sense that boys typically mature a little slower than girls and physically a year can make a HUGE difference for boys. Let me just say that when I was 13 (a freshman in highschool) by just a few days, I was getting asked out by boys that were ALREADY 18 - YIKES! Talk about a HUGE difference emotionally. Again, every child is probably different, but I guess my feeling is that there is a cut off for a reason. And in my experience I WISH my parents had waited. Let your child just enjoy being 5...

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You have the opportunity to give your son the gift of time. I taught Kinder for several years. ( As a general rules, boys are less mature than boys. It has to do with development in the womb.) It is very easy to pick out the youngest in the class. I had a class where 7 parents chose to keep their child home and extra year. All had July or August birthdays. They started Kindergarten having just turned 6. These 7 were the leaders from day one. They excelled academically and socially. When they were in high school, they were the stars in their chosen sports. 5 of the 7 were teachers kids and the other 2 were children of professional parents.
I retained my 3 sons in kindergarten. they had spring or summer birthdays and it was the best thing I could have done.

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My oldest son was in private preschool and their deadline was Dec 1st at the time. He was born in November. He was a grade ahead and it went well for awhile. Then it caught up with him. He was learning the material but his maturity level was still a year behind all of the other kids and that effected his grades. He is now in his correct grade.

I would advise to wait another year. The schools set the age requirement for a reason. The transition from private to public school setting can be difficult. Being the youngest in the class takes its toll on the child.

If I had it to do over, I would wait.

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There are two ways to handle this.
1. You request that as an under-age student, your child be allowed to enter school.
2. The child will be required to pass a state test for the district to receive funding for this student to be enrolled
3 He passes the test and is qualified to enroll in a state funded(public) school

1.Before he turns 6 you request early admission to grade 1
2. Requirments a. 5 before Sept 1st; completed Kindergarten successfully in an accredited school(most private schools are accedited through the state with an alternate type accredidation); and recommendatio for promotion to 1st grade is given by the headmaster, director, or principal of the school
3. You will need the birth certificate and report card as well
4. If all these conditions are met, he may enroll in 1st
KST, laughing all the way

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As a teacher with a son who is ahead of where he should be at his age (but has an Early Dec b-day), I can understand. We've wondered what to do when the time comes (he's just 2 now), and honestly boys mature more slowly, and it actually benefits them better to be a year behind. Even the most intelligent of boys still mature later than girls, and that can cause a huge strain on them once they hit the middle school years. I wouldn't push it. I would continue him in preschool, which stinks because his friends will go on (believe me I'm right there with you on not wanting that). More than likely many of those friends will be held back after kindergarden or 1st, so he'll see them again. Many many boys get held back early on when parents and teachers see that they aren't as mature as they should be to go on.

I know this isn't what you were looking for, but I hope it does help.

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I try to hold my kiddos back for lots of reasons but number one would be because the older they are when they have to deal with peer pressure the better they handle it.

I've seen the proof first hand.

I would always advise holding them back until they are 6 to start kindergarten!


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My youngest son's birthday was just barely before the deadline for school. I wish we had let him wait for the year. It was an option. He didn't have problems at first but was not as mature as most in his classes. When he graduated. we had to go along on the senior trip as he wasn't 18 yet. His birthday is the middle of August. It was strange for him. He was the youngest in his class. Boys do mature slower and the extra time will benefit your son. Once they get in school, time seems to go so fast. My son was always a loner. He made friends easily but only a few at a time.I would just stay with the deadline as it is. You will be able to find a way for him to stay in touch with his friends.Enjoy it while you can.
SAHM to 3 grown and 7 foster children now.Glutton for punishment and addicted to the love) Married 35 years

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Having had 2 kids that made school by just a few days i know the pro's and con'c of letting them be older. I put both of my kids in kindergarten when they were just 4 (both have birthdays on 8/27). They are completley diffrent kids. I chose to hold them back for entirely diffrent reasons. One for a fine motor skill and the other just a social imaturity. Looking back on my oldest (now 16) I can see a diffrence between him and the kids who are now a year ahead. Logan is a all A honor role student. He does well and honestly looks the same age as the other 10th graders. The JRs look older then him. My daughter who is now in 1st grade is so much more mature then the other kids. There are 4 kids in her class with the 8/27 birthday. She is the older one. You can see a huge diffrence in her self esteem, the way she does her work, the writing and the she handles things. If I were to give you advice it would be to do the private kindergarten and then public school kinder. Normally I don't respond to these mamma source things. However having been through the decsion you need to make twice I thought I might could help.

Feel free to give me a call if you want to talk some more. ###-###-####.
B. Stalcup

almost everyone I know with a boy said holding them back was a very good thing, that boys develope a bit slower, so they did much better in school & sports, which isn't what I personally would be concerned about, but I had a daughter, second one, and she just missed the dead line & I was feeling bad, as the difference in age of her and her sister would put her farther back in school, but found out that although she was smart enough to of went on, emotionally it was good to of held her back, as she would of been the baby in the class, and just wasn't as emotionally grown up as the rest when first starting kindergarten.

Our son has a September birthday as well - though he is not yet 2. At this point - we will not try to get him in early. If he is advanced and he is not challenged in his grade level - we will look to have him skip a grade later - but we are not going to rush it at the outset.

Good luck.

My daughter turned 5 years three days after the deadline as well. I tried to get her in but with no luck. She started school the following year almost being 6. I must say that has been the best thing for her ever. She had an extra year to learn. She is now 17 and is in AP classes in high school. Her GPA is 4.12 and she ranks 31 out of 785 students in her 11th grade class. I think making them wait allows them to go in a little more mature and with a little more knowledge. She has always been in the top 5% of her class. She was also accepted into National Honor Society this year.

Even though we would like them to start at 5 years old it will benefit the child to wait a year and be ahead of the class the next year. They have more confidence in themselves and want to be leaders of the class.

Wish you the best as it is a tough decision I know.

I know things have changed a lot since I was in school (I'm 33), but my birthday is September 2. I missed the date by one day! I had to wait 'till the next year. At the time I was heart broken. Somehow my parents didn't realize that was a possiblity and had me all hyped up about school. We had gone school clothes shopping and supply shopping, etc. I was sooo disappointed. I remember being turned away when we went to register and I cried. However, having said that...that is all I remember about it. When I did start I was never bothered that I was older than the other kids. In fact, in high school it was great because I could drive first. How frustrating to have friends that can drive and you can't! Anyway, my point is. Don't worry aout it. Do what feels right to you. Especially if he nows it is a possibility he has to wait. I don't think I would have cared if I hand't been geared up to go.

No, don't find a way around it. Boys mature slower than girls and the extra year will make it easier for him to be a success in school. A.

J., I agree with Karen T. But if all else fails...my two oldest sons, now 14 & 10, started school late because they are Oct babies. However; they are doing great. They are both smart kids, and don't seem to have a problem in school. My 14 yo is in most all of the sports programs, and loves track. My 10 yo is very book smart. He loves to read and loves school.

Either way, I think your son will do great. However; that being said, I think that since he's gonna be in a kinder class in the private school, if it's accredited like Karen said, then he should be allowed to test in to 1st grade. Because you wouldn't want him to repeat the things he has already learned, and be bored with it.

Good luck & Blessings,

This is from personal experience. With a boy physical size
is also important. A year or even 6 months makes an huge difference if they ever intend to play sports. I had "the conversation" with school,They spent some time with him and decided he was ready for kindergarten partly because he was tall for his age. He did well and was always a straight A student. Until he was senior in high school he was always one of the smaller boys on the teams. He is now a Doctor. You know your child best. Be realistic in your evaluation and go with what you believe to be the right thing.
P.S. My husband and I have late July (28th and 30th) birthdays. It was never an issue for me to be youngest in my class but it was for him.

I too graduated a year early and have a November birthday, but I am now 5'10" tall and female. It is very different with boys... being the youngest and SMALLEST in school is quite difficult for a boy. Your last statement says it all.... it depends on the individual child, but I would suggest you wait. It would be wonderful for him to wait and be the smartest and slightly older than the others in the class. At four, he is still willing, in fact, counting on you to make his decisions. If you put him in too early and he lags behind, he may have to repeat a grade later when he is not FOUR and will remember that you made the decision that caused him to have to repeat... SPEAKING from EXPERIENCE... unfortunately.
Good luck with your decision.

Wow, what a great bunch of replies!! I agree that I would not push him into kindergarten early. My son, who is 14 now, is a summer baby (July 8) and in high school. He is one of the very youngest in the class. He's much smaller and really a little behind everyone else. He's a very bright child, but I wish I had had the foresight to wait one more year to send him to school. Although he was officially old enough to start kindergarten, he wasn't quite mature enough. I have a late August bday and was always the youngest in my class, not a lot of fun. My niece missed the cut off by one day and my sister in law never hesitated to make her wait till the next year. She's pretty much the oldest in her class, but it was a great decision.

Hang on to that baby one more year! He'll be graduating high school before you know it!

I missed the dealine by two days--Mine is Sept. 3. I was always the oldest in my class and I am glad my mom didn't try to push me up. There is a reason for these deadlines and boys do mature slower than girls. It will be worse if he ends up having trouble later being younger. :)

My teenager was a young kinder too..his birthday is 9/23. I WISH I had not started him early and when we moved to TX we had the opportunity to have him repeat 5th grade-so he could have a better opportunity for sports, grades and maturity. In addition, go through his elementary graduation and get a better foundation.

If I could do it over, I would have waited....he was always distressed at being the youngest, shortest and having a late birthday.

If you have any doubts listen....they are there for a reason. It would be much better to do this now than have a teacher tell you down the road that they want to hold your child back.

My son missed the deadline by 6 days... I was bummed at the time and I was thinking about the same things you are... I however did let him start into the public school kindergarten the following year as he was supposed to... I have never regretted it!! He was ready and school has always been "easy" for him... I know part of that is that he is mature and able to handle what comes his way in each grade... he is now 13 yrs old and I still say... Best thing I did was to wait and let him start when he was supposed to...

When I was teaching, I was on the At Risk committee in my school where we discussed kids who were falling behind and what steps we needed to take to help them i.e. testing, retaining, etc. When teachers brought kids names up for discussion, one of the first things we asked was when is his/her birthday. It makes a big difference esp. with boys in the younger grades. As they get older, they catch up with the girls. I would go to a kindergarten and a first grade class at the school he will eventually attend THIS fall and observe the kids and their maturity/abilities. Take some notes so you won't forget when it is time to decide kinder or 1st. Have him tested and see where he is when it is time to decide. If the school won't put him in 1st and he is REALLY far ahead in a certain subject like math, ask if he can go to a 1st grade class for their math block. He would have to be VERY far ahead in order for the principal to consider it but we had a few do that when I was teaching.

no way. not with so many people holding kids back, especially boys, for the sports area for high school and scholarships. this is the perfect oppurtunity to give him a leg up with a great pre-school and/or at home educational attention. this is a great plus for you. take it and run. b/c once they are in school your magic days of come and go are gone.

no, not at all. maturity in little boys is a very big thing. i know you feel like he is missing out on a year, but he will be well ahead of his game if you hold him back to go according to the state and september 1 deadline. being a K teacher for 17 years - i can tell you that the gift of maturity is the best one you can give him.

My 4 yr old will not be 5 unti the end of Sept. this means she will be 6 yrs old before the public schools allow her to start school. I didscovered we are not alone. When I put my daughter into MDO they had to create another class just for the 15 3 yr olds that would soon be 4 but not before the cut off date.

Right now my 4 yr old counts to 30 in English and 10 in Spanish. She speaks very clearyl, loves to put together puzzles(50 piece puzzles from a box), reads three and four letter words(sounding them out),has the concept of the silent "e" and most blending letters. She also knows all of her colors, some household objects and fruits, and some other basic words in Spanish. By the way we are an English speaking family, so this is not a native language for her. On top of all this she is also very social and gets along very well with other kids AND adults. Oh yes, and she uses a pencil to write her name AND can use scissors to cut a straight and zig-zag line. We are still working on the squiggly line.

My point is that they system is a "cookie cutter" system. The place children in round holes and if a square peg comes along they cut off the corners until it fits into the round hole. Our system NEEDS to be changed. I feel that if a child is 5 or will be 5 withing the month of Sept. and they know their Alphabet and can write their name, they should be allowed to start Kindergarden. As the system is now, we will have alot of 19 yr old seniors that may or may not continue on to graduation.

One more point: My oldest had a late b-day. At 18 she was a Junior, but just got tired of dealing with the imaturity of her peers so she dropped out and got a GED so that she could move on. She is now working full-time and plans to start College in the fall. So as you can see there are down sides later in school to having them start late.


A little about me: WAHM mom of three: 18,17,and 4. Married for the past 11 yrs to a wonderful man. I work at home as an independent sales rep for Valpak of Southwest Dallas and as a distributor for Maxgxl the Glutathione Accelerator http://www.maxgxl.com/D.

My kids both missed the school deadline by about a month causing them to start school a year late. I LOVE the fact that they are more mature, more responsilbe, and learn things faster and easier than the younger kids. My advice is to send him to both kindergartens. He will enjoy the social time even after he learns all of his ABC's 123's and the rest of his school years will come easier to him. Also, when he's old enough to play sports he will be the bigger, stronger kid on the team which is a huge advantage.

my son is the youngest in his class. he missed the deadline by 5 days and we pushed him through. To be honest.... I wish we would have waited. He is in 2nd grade and is less mature than the other kids academically. I think if we would have waited he might have a little more focus than he does now. He is a great kid with good behavior but it is obvious that he is younger than his classmates.

I have a son who's birthday is Sept. 7. He is now 8 years old and in the 2nd grade. I also thought about putting him in a private kindegarten early. We didn't and I am so glad. With boys especially - it seems to be so much better to have them be the oldest in the class versus the youngest. I looked at it long term as far as getting a drivers license, etc. I wanted him to be one of the first in his class to be able to do that kind of stuff and not one of the last. My advice is to wait. But it is also your family's choice on what to do and you know your son the best. Good luck in what ever you choose to do !

Wait till the end of the year and ask his teacher if he is ready. My daughter is the youngest in her class (late July birthday) and her teachers still comment how mature she is. My son is one of the oldest in his class (October birthday)but was NOT ready for school early. Each child is different and his teacher will be the best judge of where he should be.

My middle son was in this same situation. His birthday is Aug. 17 and he was legally old enough and was a bright and normal little boy, so I put him in school. He had a first year teacher that was very inexperienced and when he left first grade he could not read a word! The rest of her class was the same way. Then they diagnosed him in second grade as ADD/ADHD. We were blessed in the second grade to get a teacher that had taught learning disabled kids and gifted and talented kids. She was now in a regular class room setting so she did wonders with my son. However, because he was behind the other kids and older, he lost all his confidence and struggled all the way through school. He graduated at 17 and now at 20 he is really just figuring out his place. Now I have a daughter (5) who's birthday fell the same way, I was not hesitant at all in not forcing her to start early. She is only in Pre-K but she is doing so well. She can already almost read. I would much rather have an older, confident child. They grow up so fast these days. Boys also mature slower than girls so keep that in mind as well. Good Luck!
B. B.

I was younger then the rest of the children in my grade and had a hard time. Not until was dealing with a son did I realize I am dylexic my mom and a brother. I have over come it. On the other end, I was told my son needed to stay home another year. He was a problem all the way and what happened in the end was he was 17 in his Junior yr and quit the law said he was an adult in NO and we could not make him finish. I would rather they were younger and you had that control until they graduate. Like you said every child is different. My son did not apply himself. His daughter is very detailed and determined to go to College at age 10. So I think putting him in another kindergarten would be fine. It allows maturing. But if it is boring then he would benefit from being in 1st grade. Good Luck. G. W

I am also a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist. My oldest son was born in July and from the day he was born friends and colleagues were asking me if I was going to hold him back (start kindergarten at age 6 instead of 5). To be honest, I was on the fence about this for many years--I felt he was smart. As the dreaded 5th birthday got closer and closer, the signs to not start kindergarten were becoming more obvious. The children in his preschool class enjoyed spending their time in the writing center or playing alphabet and math games. My son spent most of the year playing with blocks. When class books were sent home the other children could write their names legibly and were able to follow the expectations. My son wrote an N for his name and once drew about one thousand dots for the "My Family" book which he was supposed to draw a picture of his family. Believe it or not, I was still on the fence until I had a conversation with another mom from the class who had already planned to hold back her son with a June birthday. This mom coached and taught junior high PE. She told me that in junior high the differences between the younger grade level students were so obvious not only physically, but also emotionally that those children were typically bullied. That conversation sealed the deal for me. I made the decision that he would repeat the preschool class he was in and start kindergarten at age 6. I believe that in the 13 years of my marriage this was the absolute best decision my husband and I have ever made for our family. My son is now in the second grade and he is a class leader. Teachers have always commented on how mature he is and how he handles himself when faced with conflict. He has had absolutely no academic problems so that after school we don't have to deal with any homework problems. I feel that the extra year helped him to find himself and be comfortable with himself as a person. It was a difficult decision--it cost us an extra year of preschool, but I feel that this money was well spent as an investment in him! I gave birth to another son last June and you can bet that he won't start kindergarten until after he turns 6. By the way, my husband has an August birthday and started school after turning 5, so he was a bit against the idea, but I sold it to him by telling him that our son would have an extra year to mature physically for sports. If I were you, I would rejoice in the fact that your son's birthday is September 12th.

My child turns 6 on September 12th this year. I started asking this question more than a year ago as well so here is what we have heard and know so far. The overall consensus is no matter how academically advanced a boy is, it's better he is older in the class rather than younger. My brother is now an anesthesiologist and he was put ahead so he was the youngest. Obviously he didn't suffer academically, but he said he TOTALLY suffered socially!

My kiddo is at Primrose in "Private Kindergarten" this year. When I went to his public school and heard the curriculum for Kindergarten next year, I noticed that my child had already learned most of it. However, most of the schools, including his, deal with this all the time so they assess each child and try to match him with a similar age and academic level. By the end, I was confident it was still the right choice to have him go to Kindergarten, even if it seemed like a repeat.

After talking to my "advisors" again (girlfriends, family etc!) they still all agreed not to move him forward. Hey, he's only a kid once! Hope this helps and I'll be looking for the responses myself! J.

I understand where you are coming from. With my son's brithday is in Aug. I let him start public school at age 5. He never had an hard times 1-4 grade ... none that I was made aware of anyway. By the time 5th grade rolled around he was really struggling. He would have barely passed. So as the parent, I chose to have him repeat the 5th grade. He was upset about it and felt ashamed or "stupid" but he did understand why. Having to repeat did help but at the same time I wish that I would have just waited one more year before starting him in school. He is 14 now and still struggles in certain classes but not nearly as much as he could be had I not held him back. So I guess what I am trying to say is, you can't really go off what any one person says is wrong or right. With you being a school teacher, you know how to "read kids". So "read" your son, do you feel he is ready to move on or should you wait another year. Keep this in mind too ... as he gets into the upper grades, they do have "AP" classes for those students who are acedemically advanced. So lets say he'sin the 6th grade and able to do 9th grade math, the can be put in a math class where he can do that kind of work AND get High School credit for it.

Good Luck!

My son turned 5 the day school started and I was so excited that he was able to go ahead. He was very social and passed all the readiness tests for kindergarten. He had been in daycare and was used to being 'in class' all day. He wasn't, however, ready for the structure of regular school. I now wish that we had waited another year for kindergarten.
I don't know that I would try to find a way around the public school age requirements. I would probably keep him where he is now and then at the end of the kindergarten year in the private school, see how his progress is and then make the decision on whether to try and have him tested into first grade.
Good luck!

My son missed the deadline by 14 days... we went ahead and waited to put him in private Kindegarten til he was "legal."
He went into Kindegarten reading, and when we put him in public school the next year, thought that academically (as well as age wise) he should skip the first grade.
His scores (academically) were great (5th grade in everything but punctuation & social studies, 2nd & 3rd for those subjects.) Socially, he was well adjusted, too.
However, a very observant counselor noted that his eyes didn't "track" well when he read, which caused him to tire quickly.
We went ahead and had him just go into the 1st grade... and it was the right decision. Particularly as he grew older, and was able to be a leader because of his emotional maturity.
Frankly, during his sophomore year in high school, he made some mistakes that made us GLAD they happened then rather than what might have been his junior year.
NOT forcing the issue, despite excellent academics and social skills, was the right decision for us.
So my view is, no need to to push... there are few benefits!

I taught and worked with children for years. I found boys were better students, better in sports, better in math if they were the older student in the grade rather than the younger. It might not seem such a big deal right now at Pre-K, and even in kindergarten, but later it may be a huge difference. I held my daughter out because she seemed insecure about new things. She was wonderful a year later, was always a very good student, and graduated with honors. We never regretted holding her out the extra year. I certainly would think long and hard about pushing a child up any faster.

I too have a 4 year old boy who is turning 5 in June. A little earlier than your son, but I am holding him back. He goes to Pantego Christian for Pre-K. There are kids in his class that turned 5 at the beginning of the year. The difference in maturity is evident if you sit back and listen to them talk. My son gets excited about new shoes and believes they make him run faster. He is still very childlike. The older kids are a little quicker to dismiss some of this silliness. They are still only 5, so sillieness is relevant, but you can see a difference. I do not want my son to always be the baby in the class and I don't want his spirit to be crushed if others dismiss things that excite him just because he is younger. My son is very tall and very bright, even for being one of the youngest in his class. It makes it easy to want to push him on through, but it was in listening to him interact that made me decide to hold him back. The other big thing with boys is sports. My ex-husband and I both played sports and will encourage our boys to do so as well. I think it will be harder for them to shine and to have confidence if they are always the baby.
Pantego Christian is not just a pre-school, they go all the way through high school. There are several of us with summer babies (boys) and we talked to the school about when to hold the boys back. They are all in a 3-day pre-K now. The school offers a 5-day pre-K as well. They are going to make the 5-day pre-k a bridge class for our returning pre-k kiddos. It will be doing a little more advanced work than what they had this year so it won't just be a do over, but it won't quite be kindergarten level. Maybe your school will do the same. Or if you are in Arlington or Mansfield check our Pantego Christian. The main campus is in Arlington, but they opened a Mansfield campus last year. Good luck!

You are his mom and know best, but I can tell you that my 18 year old son has been so much better off in school because he started just prior to his 6 year birthday. He is an October 13 baby. The maturity difference between him and his friends that are 6 to 9 months younger than him are tremendous. Also the life choices that are being made now as a senior are more on par with heading out on his own, as opposed to some of his younger friends. Most of his good friends from elementary and junior high that are younger, are struggling to even graduate now, because they have been playing catch-up emotionally. Each child is different, so it's important to stay plugged in to your child, his teachers and anyone else that he spends time with, so you can make changes if necessary along the way. My brother was a May baby and started when he was 5 and had trouble throughout school. My parents decided to hold him back to repeat the third grade because he just was struggling too much. And, by then it's hard for your child because their friends move on ahead and you (especially boys) get made fun of for staying behind. My advice is to wait the year, you will be very glad you did when you see the difference down the road between your son and his younger friends. Take care, I know it's a difficult decision.

I guess that I'm a little surprised that you are asking since you are an elementary teacher. Seems like you'd be the expert! :-) I understand needing outside perspectives, though.
My daughter's birthday is in March, but she did attend a private school and was in their kindergarten program when she was pre-school aged. Then, I wanted her to test for 1st grade instead of repeating kindergarten in public school. It didn't happen, and I'm so glad it didn't. She needed the extra time for maturity more than I realized. She has a very good friend who was in that same program and the friend DID skip forward and is now in second grade, where my daughter is in first. The friend is a September baby like your son.
All this said, I will finish by saying that girls do seem to mature faster than boys. My initial gut feeling is to advise that you wait and let your boy stay with his own class instead of having him tested for the skip. The extra kindergarten will probably give him an advantage just like it did for my daughter who is at the top of her class academically.
I know that you will make the right choice for your son whatever you choose. Blessings!

Hey J.,
I went through the same thing with my son and we decided to have him do Kindergarten again. I look at it this way: I know MANY moms who wish they had held their child back in the early years, but I have NEVER heard of a mom that regrets doing so. Good luck! ~T.

I have two girls who were in the same situation. My husband and I considered trying to work around the deadline. But the deadlines are there for a reason. We decided to stick to the program. Now my girls are 15 and 13. They are some of the oldest ones in their class, more mature, and proud that their birthdays are before everybody else's! I think teachers have enough to deal with and probably would rather have that year's grace and a child that can handle the situations/schoolwork/etc that comes their way every school year.
Good luck! C. G

WOW! Look at all this advice. I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said. Our son will be 5 on 8/27 and we've always known we would hold him back - even though he's very verbal and pretty smart (could just be a mother talking!). I've had lots of older moms tell me that they held their child back and never had any regrets, so I find that very affirming. I also knew I didn't want to send a 17 year old away to college! Best wishes on making your decision as I know they are big decisions.

I think your last sentence sums it up nicely. It depends on the child as to how well they are ready to go on. I have one son I'd try to find a way around for, and one that I might wait and start at 6. Luckily, I don't have to - my advanced is a July, my late bloomer is a January. They'll start when they're ready.

Keep sports in mind too - as teachers, we sometimes dismiss it - but sports are a big part of high school for many, if not most, boys - and being too small isn't a good thing.


My oldest was 6 years old when he started school and my youngest was 5 1/2 when he started. I actually wish I could have kept my younger one until he was 6. Boys mature slower so my younger one is very immature, has a harder time focusing at school (not ADD), and is not as good a student as my older one. My oldest looks forward to driving before all of his classmates and I think his maturity helps him cope with things better than some of his other friends.

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