49 answers

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.
Blessings

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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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