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Should a December Birthday Girl Wait an Extra Year for Kindergarten?

My daughter's birthday is early December, so she does not make the 5yr old cut off by Sept 1st rule...I had really wanted to start her in pre-k this fall and enter her into kindergarten next fall... but, I can't seem to get around that sept 1 cut-off. She knows her alphabet, numbers, shapes etc..she can write all of her letters both upper case and lower so academically she is more than ready to start K next year with a little more fine tuning from a pre-K this year. I'm petrified of "pushing" her into K at the wrong time, whether it's early or late. I'm not comfortable with this cut-off because it will make her the oldest in the class. My daugther is also very tall for her age (98th percentile) so not only age-wise will she stick out but also height. She's my first and I don't want to do the wrong thing. I'm also a December birthday and my mother managed to get me into K early so that I went to school being the youngest in class...I loved it, i especially liked graduating at 17 instead of 18 or 19. What have you done or are going to do? Please advise....

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I want to thank all of you for your postings. Your honesty and real life experiences are greatly appreciated. I have decided to place my daughter in a private preschool where they will chart her progress and see how she compares with others her age. My goal is to have her start kindergarten next fall (a year early according to Illinois standards) and then transfer to another private school in 1st grade in order to keep her "ahead". Of course it all depends on my daughter's academic/emotional readiness, according to the schools professionals. As of now they see that she does sit still for a "long" period of time and follows directions easily (which seems to be a marker for emotional readiness for classrooms). It just amazes me how some find it acceptable to "hold their child back." It even sounds wrong. Schools should test children not go by birthday as a requirement. If life was based on our birthdays and not maturity/intellectual level, we would all be married to someone our exact age. It's crazy. Thank you again.

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I would NEVER start a child earlier - my 5th grade daughter has a girl in her class that is a year to 15 mos younger then some kids (my daughter is June 99, started school Aug 04, this girl is Dec. 29, 99 and also started school Aug 04). Once I learned that a LOT made sense. She is so far behind socially and she is having troubles in every subject area. Yes, at 4 she was advanced enough to pass the test to enter, but I would rather have the smartest kid in the class that never struggles compared to the youngest who struggles all the time and can't make friends because she really is emotionally and socially like the kids in the grade younger.

Conversely I would never have held back my younger daughter who is Aug 23, 2002. If I had to hold her back a year she would have cried and gone into a shell saying she was too dumb. But if her birthday was in Sept I would have and she would have lived with it cause she would have known that from the start. She is doing just fine in school despite being the youngest kid in her grade level. But I couldn't imagine her being in school a year earlier.

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She won't be the oldest in her class. My daughter has an October birthday. I could understand if she were a Sept. birthday, but December is over 3 months younger than the cut off. When we went to school the cut off date was Dec. 1st- big difference. My daughter is also very advanced and in the 100th percentile for height. I am not worried or concerned. Relax. She will be in school the rest of her life. Don't rush it!

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Here in Utah what you can do is get her into a private kindergarten class (like through a daycare) and then transfer her in to public school (or just keep her in the private if it's a good one). That's the only way my sister is able to get my incredibly smart 5 year old nephew in. They refuse to let anyone get in early. Even if he then will be bored and potentially become a troublemaker because he has nothing better to do. It's dumb. Good Luck!

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Hi J.. Like you, I have a late Dec birthday and went to school early, youngest in my class, off to college at 17 -- doing extremely well for myself. But times are REALLY different now! There is a current trend of Moms *intentionally* holding their children back a year with August, July, and even June birthdays. Can you imagine your 4 year old competing in the same classroom against a child who turned 6 in June? These Moms believe that the older kids will have the most advantage in the classroom -- academically, emotionally and, definitely, physically. (I'll bet these older boys will dominate in sports and end up with all the college scholarships!) I understand that you are disappointed. But I think things will work out great for your daughter. She will not be the oldest. Best wishes.

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Here in Utah what you can do is get her into a private kindergarten class (like through a daycare) and then transfer her in to public school (or just keep her in the private if it's a good one). That's the only way my sister is able to get my incredibly smart 5 year old nephew in. They refuse to let anyone get in early. Even if he then will be bored and potentially become a troublemaker because he has nothing better to do. It's dumb. Good Luck!

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I put my son in kindergarten Sept. 1st exactly and he did not like it, I have regretted it. He was very large so I thought that I didn't want him any larger than the next group. That did not matter. Socially he was not ready, even if he was size and intelligence wise. It is tough really tough because I had an early birthday, I was small and I loved the idea of being one of the youngest. I think you have to feel her out and ask her yourself. I do not think I really sat down with that sort of discussion. He is now older and feels that he was always the youngest. Some of it might be in our heads, but kids grow up so fast that unless you have to work and need her in school, my thoughts are to wait.

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My daughter (now 13) has an Oct 1 bday. She was reading when she started kindergarten and has always been at the top of her class academically and maturity wise. I would never have it any other way....

One thing to think about (and I did back before she started kindergarten) was the effect pushing her ahead would have later in life. She was definitely ready for kindergarten a year before she went, but I am very thankful she is among the oldest of her class and not a full year younger.

Now that she is 13, and in junior high, I love that she is a leader and not a follower. Had I pushed her sooner, she would be the youngest of her peers and exposed to things at an earlier age. With peer pressure to drink, smoke, and have sex looming ahead of us, I am glad she is 1 year older than many of her friends. Some of her friends have late August bdays. They will turn 13 just ahead of her turning 14.

There is so much pressure to "grow up" faster now and kids are exposed to so much at an earlier age.... I am so glad that she has that extra year of maturity and I would not have changed anything!

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She won't be the oldest in her class. My daughter has an October birthday. I could understand if she were a Sept. birthday, but December is over 3 months younger than the cut off. When we went to school the cut off date was Dec. 1st- big difference. My daughter is also very advanced and in the 100th percentile for height. I am not worried or concerned. Relax. She will be in school the rest of her life. Don't rush it!

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My child made the cut -off by 1 day and I started him just when he turned 5. In my opinion, it's better not to start them too young. My son knew everything too, but kids didn't respect him because he was the youngest in his class. It's better to be older, because the younger ones seem to look up to the older ones. I held my son back so he's better in sports than the others. 17 is too young to graduate high school, because in college, guys will take advantage of the younger girls

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She should be emotionally ready for school too. My son's birthday is in October. It was very hard because I had the same feelings as you did but I didn't have any alternatives so we had to wait another year. I'm not sure he wasn't emotionally ready. He was an early reader, and could add early. He attended pre-K. Everything seems to be too easy for him from kindergarten until now. He is now in second grade and was tested for the gifted program last week. My step-sister is also in the same boat too. Her birthday is in December too. It is really easy for her too. It is a tough one but I assume that everything will work out either way. At least you'll know her report card will be a good one.

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I don't think there is much of a decision for you to make. She should start kindergarten in the fall after she turns five. She certainly will not be the oldest child having a December birthday. There are lots of kids born in the fall. We have a September 1st cut off as well. I have a daughter with a late September birthday, so she started kindergarten this past fall when she was just under 6 and she is not even the very oldest in her class.

I certainly would not try to send her early at the age of 4, even if you could. Do you want her to be 4 when some of the other kids are already 6? I think that would be a big disadvantage to her. You need to look at how she will do socially as well as academically. I personally think being one of the older kids in class is better than being one of the youngest.

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I would NEVER start a child earlier - my 5th grade daughter has a girl in her class that is a year to 15 mos younger then some kids (my daughter is June 99, started school Aug 04, this girl is Dec. 29, 99 and also started school Aug 04). Once I learned that a LOT made sense. She is so far behind socially and she is having troubles in every subject area. Yes, at 4 she was advanced enough to pass the test to enter, but I would rather have the smartest kid in the class that never struggles compared to the youngest who struggles all the time and can't make friends because she really is emotionally and socially like the kids in the grade younger.

Conversely I would never have held back my younger daughter who is Aug 23, 2002. If I had to hold her back a year she would have cried and gone into a shell saying she was too dumb. But if her birthday was in Sept I would have and she would have lived with it cause she would have known that from the start. She is doing just fine in school despite being the youngest kid in her grade level. But I couldn't imagine her being in school a year earlier.

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My daughter has an October birthday and is now 6 years old and in Kindergarten. She tests in the 97th percentile. Let me tell you, the schools do not care. She goes to a private school, and they are very resistant to letting her move ahead a grade, even though it would clearly be beneficial to her. True, the law states that schools can make exceptions to the September 1st rule, but they just don't.

If you are interested, there was a bill that passed the House last year (House Bill 16 - look on www.ilga.gov) that would allow children born up to Dec.31st to attend Kindergarten provided they have attended a state-certified pre-K. It got stuck in the senate, and as far as I can tell has made no progress this year. But, it doesn't hurt to write your State Senator and ask what is going on (you can find your Senator on the website also). Tell them you support this legislation and would like to see it passed this year.

I'm with you - I think kids born Sept-Dec ought to be given the benefit of the doubt. And if they are not ready, that should be left up to the parent and teacher/principal to decide. But don't punish everyone just because some kids are not ready!

Anyhow, not to discourage you, but December is not old anymore. It used to be, back when I was in school (I have a Dec b-day and was the oldest). Given the schools reluctance to make exceptions, I think you will be hard-pressed to find a school that will accommodate or even hear you out. Possibly you would have a case with a Sept-Oct baby, but December is not even in the oldest 25% of kids.

Whenever I start to stress about my daughter and her October b-day, I try to remind myself that it could be worse. Think of how someone with a Sept. 2nd baby feels!

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My daughters b-day is sept 9th. I struggled with the same problems only she is only 9 days from the cut-off. I waited and started her when she was almost (days away from) 6. I decided to waite because of the testing and I didn't think she could handle all day everyday K. She had two years of pre school and was more than ready for school but she was and still is cranky when she doesn't get enough rest. Now she might be one of the more mature, leader, or roll modles in her class (I hope). My older daughter is a January b-day and she went to K at 5 1/2 and it was perfect. My opinion is to wait because she is a december birthday not an oct or sept birthday. She would be very young for class. my school district doesn't even consider kids born after mid October and there is strict testing in order to be considered.

I have a Sept 11 baby. We did end up putting her in Kindergarten this year at a private school. It is way too much stress on the kids and parents to get around the cut off date in the public school system. As my daughter's teacher says, 'You can have the brightest child in the world, but when they start school they need to be in a class with their peers' or it isn't worth it. Only you know if your child is ready emotionally to start school early. The academics is second. My daughter is very aware of all her friends turning 6 and she still has six months to go. It doesn't seem to bother her at all, except that many of her classmates have lost their first tooth and she wants to lose her tooth, too (I told her most often it was after you turn 6!) I was an August baby so youngest in my class and did great academically and socially. But, I had many friends almost a year older than me throughout my school years. The time I remember it bugging me most was when all my friends started driving, and I had to wait a year to catch up to them. You know your child best and will know what is best for her. When she is in Pre-K her teachers can also share their opinion with you on whether they feel she should continue on to Kindergarten at a young age.

I think I'm getting sensitive about this "emotionally ready" and "being a leader" stuff. I started K when I was 4, then skipped a grade later on AND was in the gifted program, went on to take Honors and AP courses and NEVER at any point in time did I have any problems making friends.

As a matter of fact, people looked up to ME because I was so advanced; they thought I was some sort of genius!

To the original poster, the only thing you can really do (and I find myself in this same position with my 2 girls who are both late b'days - October and December) is try to find a private school that has a late cutoff. More and more of them are following public schools now, though, UNFORTUNATELY.

You will likely have to keep your child there until they complete 1st grade because schools make the dumb rule of having to be 6 by Sept. 1 to enter 1st just like the dumb rule about Sept. 1 for K.

I wish schools would do more *readiness assessments*. Birthdate is such an arbitrary thing. There is nothing that says a child who's 5 before then is ready and someone who turns 5 after Sept. 1 isn't. Ridiculous.

The research and studies don't even support this argument that older children have an advantage. By 3rd grade, if there was any advantage at all, everything evens out.

This is coming from a teacher and a mom of a june bday so she is one of the youngest in the classroom. Being the oldest in the class is a HUGE advantage. developmentally she will be at an advantage to the younger kids in the class. she will have an advantage academically and in sports. this will help her to be successful and therefore have a lot of self confidence. follow the school guidlines they are to your advantage.

The school board sets regulations for a reason. It doesn't matter what you want or don't want. Your child won't be 5 by the time school starts. Unless you can get a special allowance from your local school board then you have no choice but to wait until 2011 for Pre-K or until 2012 for Kindergarten. personally our 3 year old is starting a 3 yr. program this fall and then Pre-k in Fall 2011, then Kindergarten in Fall 2012.

If you think about it, lots of people get pregnant around Christmas, New Years, and Valentines Day...The statistics on births are showing a LOT of children are born in September and October, it tapers off during November to a more regular rate of births. My 6 yr. old has an Oct.15th birthday and is almost the youngest in her Kindergarten class, over half is older. They have to be 5 by the first day of school, which was Aug 17th this past Fall. Nearly all the kids in her class have late August, September, and early October birthdays, she had a birthday party nearly every weekend and sometimes even 2 or 3 on the same day. It was really fun going to McDonalds for Lunch, the park for afternoon and then skating in the early evening. We really got tired of Birthday cake, let me tell you....

how is she going to be the oldest? there are going to be kids with sept, oct, nov, and dec bdays that are older than her... my son has a december bday, and he's right around the middle age range. the laws are usually pretty strict regarding K entrance, and you are off by several months, not a couple of days, so i don't see any way around it, other than homeschooling her or something like that. i also was a young one, my bday is in late november, but back then, our K cutoff was 12/31, so i entered K at 4 years old, and graduated in the top of my class with a full paid academic scholarship at 17 years old - went on to finish my degree with honors in 4 years. all that said, i think you're out of luck, but don't stress about it - she's NOT going to be the oldest in the class.

If your town is anything like ours, your daughter will not be the oldest in her class. A number of people hold their summer kids back until the following year. I chose to have my July son start right at 5, and he is one of the youngest in his grade, since some kids are a full year older, and the fall kids are almost a year older. In any case, they make it very difficult to get around the Sept. 1 cut-off these days, so it would probably take a lot to get them to overlook a 3-month difference. You might not have much choice. Don't worry that she'll be the oldest. All of the fall kids will be slightly older than her. Good luck.

Dear J.,
I'm a December baby and back in the day, parents didn't have a choice. I was made to wait. My parents took me to "nursery school" and also worked with me at home. I was reading by the time I started kindergarten.
Surprisingly enough, my kindergarten teacher wanted to hold me back another year. I was well behaved but showed no interest in circle time, no interest in learning my shapes, no interest in learning my colors or the alphabet. She didn't think I was ready for the first grade.
My parents threw a fit.
I was able to move on to the first grade and ultimately was tested and ended up at a school for gifted children.
I was 18-1/2 when I graduated, but I don't think it hurt me in any way. As a matter of fact, I was mature enough to move out on my own after graduation and take care of myself.
My daughter graduated at 17 and she was nowhere near ready to even consider being on her own.
If your daughter is academically and socially ready for kindergarten and you have the option of starting her early, do it. If it's not an option, be prepared for her to be bored out of her mind in kindergarten.

I hope you find what works best for her.

Your daughter definitely won't be he oldest in her class. There are September, October and November kids that will be in there too. My birthday is in September and my mother convinced the school to allow me in. That worked OK or me, but having 2 girls who recently went through preschool and kindergarten, I've seen that kindergarten and first few grade levels, the older kids gets adoration and respect from the younger kids. My older daughter had a friend who has a November birthday, and having an April birthday she always deeply admired and felt in the shadow of her older friend. If your daughter stays academically advanced, she can skip a grade later and enjoy being the youngest like you did, but give her the benefit of being the one who all the little ones look up to when she's still forming her ego. Academically as a youngster I did great, but I was a very shy child and I'm sure being the youngest in the class had something to do with it.

It's not a question of whether the child is tall or short in the class but must be able to cope up with lessons taught.

Updated

It's not a question of whether the child is tall or short in the class but must be able to cope up with lessons taught.

I don't think it is a good idea to push the kids into the school system too early. In December she isn't particularly close to the cut off date anyway so why try to fight a battle that just might not be worth the hassle. Let her have another year of freedom and childhood play without the pressure of academics.
Another thing to consider is the fact that she will be only 17 when she graduates from highschool, which means she will be very young when she goes on to college. She will also be so young when she will have to start thinking about what college to attend, what career path to take. I wish I would have been older and wiser before making those very important life decisions.
I also agree with the moms who pointed out that older kids often take on a leadership role in school which I'm sure will help them being a leader later on in life.
I don't really see any advantages in sending kids to school early.

I would wait... even if she is academically ready, she may not be socially ready. A small classroom environment might be a better place for her to flourish academically than in a 20 child class with a teacher and an assistant. She will probably be one of the older but certainly not the oldest, as many of us moms of boys have waited an additional year before putting them in K.
S.

My son was born in November and I went through similar issues. I really wanted him to go to K just before he turned 5. As an only child, he wasn't going to do much maturing around at home, and in pre-K I didn't want him to get bored with the learning activities, just wanted the socialization (I had him go 2 days, 1/2 days each in pre-K). I determined my ideal would be for him to be in his age group, but in a setting where he could advance academically as needed. Luckily, I found that. There are only a handful of kids older than him, but it hasn't really seemed to matter - and he gets the differentiation without the headache of pull-outs or jumping grades.

I don't know if you are limited to your local public school, but if not, check around. I found that the french school has a Dec 31 cut off date (that's not where he goes though).

Also remember there is no "right" answer here - just do the best you can with the information you have.

I wish I had the answer for you and my granddaughter her Bday is Sept 21 and like your daughter, she to can do all of those things, knows and can spell the basic colors. reconizes and writes her abc's and she does them in sign language . personally I think they should be tested and put through. she has been in school since she was 2 and she still has to go to kindergarten in sept.

You need to read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Its a book on statistics but written for the average person. The first part of the book is about successful athletes, businessmen etc. He shows that being the oldest in your class gives you all kinds of advantages. If I was leaning towards holding back my child back a year, this book would have pushed me over the edge. It makes me wonder how much better my son born in June would be doing in school.

My daughter is also a december b-day. Both are actually. I knew with my oldest daughter that I could not wait until she was already 5 to send her to kindergarten- she was reading 2 months after she turned 4, understood math concepts far more advanced then where she should be etc. I tried everything I could to get her into public school "a year early" but they would not allow it. Her IQ is 129 and she was/is very advanced. Finally I checked the policy on completion of kindergarten- our policy is successful completion of kindergarten means on to 1st grade. So I found a private school that would take her. She excelled in kindergarten and is excelling in 1st grade now- she reads at a 3rd grade 5th month level and is great in math and other subjects as well.
However if she was not advanced the was she is- I would not have pushed her. She would have started kindergarten this past fall (3 months before turning 6). I don't think you should push to get her in you to get her in- even the private school would not have taken her if she did not prove to them she was academically, socially, mentally, pyschologically advanced for her age.
My youngest daughter is also quite advanced but her personality is different so she will go through the same intense screening and testing to see if she is ready to start early or just needs a more individualized pre-K program then the one she is currently in. You also most consider all the effects of having a kid start school early. The pyschologist and I talked about this alot before we decided what to do with my older child and I am sure we will with the younger one as well.
Another option for you would be to homeschool her. You would want to check to see what the policy is about going into public school after homeschooling (she may "repeat" a grade if you start her early) or she may have to "test in" should you decide to put her in public school later on.
Hope this helps :)

I know of no way around the rule AND she is not going to be the oldest, morethenlikely there will be a Sept, Oct, Nov or early Dec kids OR even someone with a birthday in August that was held back.

All the things you mentioned: knows alphabet, numbers, shapes, writing... my 3 1/2 year old daughter can also do... she is starting to read, do simple math, tell time (on both kinds of clocks). My daughter is also in the 98th% in height, average weight (lucky little bean pole). Now my daughter's birthday is on August 16th so she makes the cut off BUT she will be one of the youngest in her class and I have been thinking about not starting her till she is 6 years old in Kindergarten more because of maturity not acahemically. At 3 I put her in PreK-3 because she is an only child, wanted her to get use to not being the center of the world, at age 4 she will be going to PreK-4 in the fall, we will see how that goes, if the teacher says she is not ready maturity wise I will consider very hard and long about holding her back (which really would make her the oldest in her class).

Schools follow the age limit pretty strictly due to maturity not what they know academically, all you can do is call the school and ask. Only a few years ago the age limit was set to early mid Dec which would make it easier for your mom to get you in the class now with the age limit set at Sept 1 it makes it more difficult. Maybe with a note from the preschool teacher that she is ready is all it takes but even with that if the class is already pretty full they could very easily say no and fall back on the age limit set.

It's not like she's going to be the only kid in her class in this boat. My son is an October baby. And several of his classmates are "older" kids. It's not a big deal if you don't make it a big deal. You could look into private schools (which can offer more freedom for kids who could move along in class) or a Montessori program that would allow her to work at her own pace. But the reality is Kindergarten is a big adjustment in the academic demands. Unfortunately, if your district has a 9/1 cut-off there isn't much you can do about it. We have a niece that was born 9/2 and not a thing they can do to get her in. She will start pre-k and turn 5 this coming school year.

Your not going to be able to get around the September 1st cut off but what you can do is put her into a daycare kindergarten class. something like goddard school has a wonderful program.

Well, she definitely won't be the oldest child in Kindergarten...Sept, Oct, Nov birthday's are plentiful :) My daughter's birthday is Oct 4th (my second child) and we were worried at the start of this past school year that she was ready for preschool but the school our son was in followed the same cut-off rules as the school district. So, we found a preschool that would allow her into their 3yr old program and she loves it! Just recently we had to make a decision whether to put her into the 4yr old program for next year or the Kindergarten readiness program they offer and then have her tested for early entry into Kindergarten. We chose the 4yr old program and then next year the Kindergarten readiness class. While we feel she would have been prepared to enter Kindergarten as one of the youngest and do fine we want her to thrive and love school from the beginning. We want her to be completely ready academically, socially and emotionally and if she is way to ahead of the curve when she gets there I am confident that our school will take notice and advance her to the appropriate grade level...but I think that she'll be happy at the top and enjoy being able to grasp the academic material provided and not struggle with many things throughout her school years. Every child is different and you know your child best! Good luck with your decision...

First things first: I would call the school/school district and see if there is even away around the Sept. 1st cut off rule? There might not be, and you might be stressing for nothing? I am guilty of this and would defiantly be making those phone calls.

Something to keep in mind...lots of kids don't make the cut-off rule (including my own boys) so she might not be the oldest kid in her class, so there's always hope! *Taking into consideration the sheer number of 6yr old b-day parties my Kindergartner has went to thus far...I say this is not a big deal, and she will not be the oldest one!

~All 4 of my boys have birthdays in October and 1 nephew is a December guy and the other one is a January dude...they all missed the cut-off and none have had any problems with being "singled out" as being older. Ages 18,15,14,10,6,4!

As far as the being taller part is concerned, that is always just gonna kinda suck...especially for a girl...I was always the tallest in my classes and it was embarrassing, but mostly only 5-8th grade not K or the early years of school...I don't think lots of kids pay attention to that stuff that early on? But rest assured,I got over it and so will your sweet baby girl! Don't stress too much on the stuff that we can not control...it is what it is.

So, to recap: If you can get her in early and this is what you want to do then go for it.....BUT....if it doesn't work out, no biggie! I know we are moms and can and do handle all but somethings are just not in our control!

You are living proof that starting school 1 year early with the proper stimulation can work out well. I think your daughter can bennefit from that experience. You have stated she seems prepared with all that she knows, alphabet, numbers, shapes etc..That is really what they look for in Kinder- garten anyway. I think if she goes a year later because she already knows what the others are just learning it may make her loose interest in school. It happened with my daughter and one of my nephews. Their Birthdays didn't make the cut off either and they became "bored" at school. They are now 9 and are the oldest kids in class. My daughter has not stopped loving school, but those 1st years of school 5-7 were difficult. If you are not 100% convinced that she's ready, have your daughter tested. Most schools can offer that to see if she's ready to start kindergarten.. that should ease your mind!

when i was younger the cutoff was dec. 1st so it was much easier to get in with a dec. bday. I dont see how a public school is going to let you go in that early unless she is testing incredibly high, and doubt it even then. I was the youngest and though i could read socially i wasnt ready. My daughter is in the same boat as yours. Though she is ready socially and educationally I am waiting the extra year ( also a lot of people wait the year so their kids have an advantage in sports! insane!) Again doubt the public school is going to do it, you may have luck with a private onw

I agree with Jennifer, she is not going to be the oldest in the class, there are plenty of kinds that will have birthdays before hers. My birthday is the end of November, and I never looked at myself as old for the class. She will be fine.

I am a December bday also (7) and am from the east coast where Dec 31st is still the cutoff. I have a 16 year old that had a Sept 12 bday and went through all kinds of appeals with the school board to no avail. He still gets penalized for not being the right age for his grade. For example drivers ed is only offered to sophmores when there 15. Well he was a 15 year freshman and they wouldnt let him take it. He just took it this year and has to wait through the permit time. He'll be almost 17 before he'll have his license. My daughter will be 5 this year on Sept 2. I've been in battle w/the superintendent and school board since last year. She has been tested and deemed above where she needs to be for kindergarden entry and they still refuse her. The only option I was given then and now is private school for kindergarden. Then the public school will have to take her for 1st grade next year. If I had known, they said I could have done an accredited pre-K and then they would have had to take her for kindergarden this year. Good luck.

I definitely don't think that your daughter will be anywhere near the youngest in her class. My daughter's birthday is Sept. 7, so she misses the cut off by 6 days. However, my birthday is in November and even though back then I could have started kindergarten at 4, my mom had me wait until I was 5. I graduated 9th in my class of 350, I did not drink, smoke or have sex in high school as many others did, I was more mature throughout my schooling and I feel I was better able to make decisions and not bow to peer pressure, especially in junior high, but even up through college. My brother was the opposite.

My daughter is doing well also, she is reading a few words, starting to understand addition, can write her letters when she wants to, etc. However, I don't think that I am goign to try and get her into pre-K early. Instead I am hoping to get her into some of the gifted programs once she is school aged in order to keep her challenged, but to keep her with the same age group so that she is comfortable socially and emotionally as well.

Good Luck,
D.

Hi, both my kids are November birthdays (so mine are even older than yours), and I will tell you, IMO, it is the BEST that they have that rule. (I mean, they have to have a cut-off somewhere. So, if it was January 1st, and someone had a January 5th bday, then they would miss it. Someone is going to miss it no matter what if you think about it. Now we have a friend that is an August 30th bday - he is THE youngest in the class. so she is 10 months older than him. You really can tell the difference. It is NOT just academically, it is also socially, and they cannot get that except for when they are actually older and have more experiences, etc. My daughter is also tall, and so is my son, but it all evens out, believe me. My daughter is exceling so much academically. Enjoy that you have an extra year with her - that is what I did. Also, when kids are behind the 8-ball (so to speak), it is soooo hard to catch up. Think about all the positives. Being December is not being the oldest, by far - there is all the October, and November bdays.

Funny, cuz' our friend's bday is October 1st, and she feels her daughter is so bright, etc., etc. And she really is. (But again, when she was telling me she was trying to fight the system), I was like, "oh my gosh, she is so immature for her age". It was the best thing for her also to have that year social experience. She was one of the brightest in her class. A few years later, she was having some troubles, and the Mom said "thank goodness" she didn't push it. (Now our friend did, but to no avail, because the rules are the rules)!!!!

The best of luck to you and your family - it will all work out. Obviously everyone has different opinions, but as I said, I would enjoy the extra year you have with her!!!

Take care.

I think how mature she is is more important than what she can do academically so far. Can she sit still for class, get along with other kids, not be hyper? As a girl, possibly so... My son's bday is september and although he was very bright, he was in no way emotionally ready for kindergarten. Also, I'm sure kindergarten is the only grade that has an age qualification; she can always be moved forward in the future. Good luck!

No, I wouldn't push to put her in school that early. My oldest turned 5 in June nad went to K that year, he's in 2nd grade now and doing great. My youngest misses the cutoff by 2wks, and I'm not going to bother pushing him into school, he can wait a year. My oldest has kids in his classroom that will be or have already turned 9 because they were held back by theri parents or had a late birthday. My son will only be 8 this summer, so he's almost 2 full years younger than some of his classmates.

Anyway, my point is I wouldn't push her into school that early.

Start her in private school. Transfer her in first grade to public if you must.

The thing about a September 1 cutoff date is that it's just that - a date. Every child is different. If yours is ready, start her in Kindergarten. If it doesn't work out, she can repeat the year. No big deal.

My daughter is turning 5 in June, however she has been in Kindergarten this year because she was academically ready (taught herself to sound out words, picked up big sister's 1st grade math book and figured out addition and subtraction on her own). She would have been bored to tears with a year in PreK. I was worried about the social aspect of Kinder for a younger-than-average child, but she has done fine. I went into it thinking that I'd just have her repeat Kinder, but she is reading her big sister's 2nd grade books and has moved on to the concept of multiplication completely on her own, and has a number of friends in her class, so I think we're just going to move on to 1st grade next year. You have to do what's right for your child, and you know her better than anybody else.

3 of my 4 kids have late birthdays. We don't have a choice about starting our kids late. My 6 year old is in Kindergarten, he's 56in (4'8"), tall as most 2nd graders. He's at the top of his class (reading and math at 1st grade level). He's a smart boy, but I do think being a little older than his classmates has helped a lot.

My 4 year old twins will face the same delimma. They are also very tall (taller than most of my 6 year olds classmates) and smart. It some ways I wish they could start school this fall, but I guess I rather them start late and be ahead than start "early" and be with everyone else or behind.

Like I said, I don't think we have a choice here in NC, but if I could have started them when they were 4, I probably would have.

My daughter is in 1st grade and she's 7. Her birthday is in December too. I would stick with what the school is telling you. There will be other kids in her class with December birthdays too. I think it all equals out in the end. I wouldn't stress out too much over it. Take a deep breath...It'll be ok.

You can request that they test her to see if she is ready for kindergarten. If you press enough and she is smart enough they will place her in kindergarten. But DO NOT push if she is not ready. My daughter was also tall for her age and not that she is in 8th grade things have evened out. One years she was taller than her teacher. Make sure you tell her how beauifl and special she is and she will be fine.

no, you might think she is ready now, but at some point she is "competing" against children who will be always older than her. give her a fair start to compete against children in school, sports and life. my son is a dec. bday and many of his friends are born before him. when your daughter gets older and wants to do sports like teeball and other youth sports she will always have to go by bday and then she won't be with any of her classmates but with the class under her. it might sound good now but later it won't!! listen to all the mamas.

I have 5 kids, 2 of them have b-days of 9/3 and 9/2 respectively. My 9/3 son went to K when he had 2 days to go before turning 5 and so did my 9/2 daughter. They both have turned out as leaders in their class, my 9/2 child is in 5th grade and her classmates are already telling her how she'd be perfect for Student Council president in 8th grade; she's currently her class' student council rep. My 9/3 son was commanded on his leadership role many times, especially when his 8th grade class had a retreat in which he ordered his peers in his group to not give up on a task they were assigned to do. Those are the highs, the low so far? Well, he's a freshman now and his friends have already turned 15 and are taking driver's ed, but he has a good attitude, he knows it's coming. You know your kids best, good luck in your decision.

My 2nd daughter has her bday on dec 25. The only way I could get her in school early was to put her in private school for kindergarten and first grade and then transfer her over. The idiot principal at the public elementary school acted like I was a terrible parent for wanting this. For the most part, it has been a great thing. The teachers don't even notice that she is younger, and academically and socially she is doing fine. She is in 4th grade now. I also have a teenager , and i'm worried that when my 2nd daughter gets older, she may have to deal with social situations that she mat not be ready for, but we'll deal with that when the time comes! Good luck!!

I, too, am a December baby and graduated hs at 17 + started kindergarten before 5. But that was then and this is now. Even kids born mid-Sept don't seem to be able to adjust school entry even if they are ready. I'm not even sure a private school would accept that. Good luck. Your daughter may end up being the oldest and the tallest for a long time, and there may be nothing you can do about it. I have been blind all my life and it was not fun being the only blind child in a school which I was for several years, but there was no choice and there may be no choice here either.

My youngest has a late birthday (Oct 30th) and started Kindergarten a year later than other kids born in her same year. It's been wonderful. She's in first grade now and one of the top kids in her class. I get nothing but compliments, not only on her academics, but also her behavior.

I originally thought that extra year in pre-school would be detrimental, but it really was a blessing. She hasn't been bored (maybe Kindergarten was a bit boring, but 1st Grade is more challenging). As she progresses, she'll have an advantage academically, an advantage in sports and will be able to drive earlier than her peers. Except for the driving, it's all good. :D

Good luck in whatever you decide!

im a december baby and was started at 4 and graduated at 18. I personally had no problems in school till I started algebra. the only 2 classes I had problems in was algebra and science of the human body what ever you call it. but to me that class was gross and I had no desire to pass it with high grades I passed with a d.

I agree with Jennifer and Julie; she'll be an average age for her class. December is in the middle of the school year. There will be plenty of birthdays before and after her's.

Sorry- I haven't read the other replies...

My daughter's birthday is at the end of September. She will be a lot older than the kids in her class by the time she enters kindergarten. And per all of my teacher friends, it is best to be the oldest in the class. They know more, they tend to take on leadership role (not a follower). I am not concerned in the least that she will be the oldest in class. Personally, I don't think graduating early, at age 17, is necessarily a good thing. Younger to go away to college, possibly too soon. I think your daughter will do fantastic and her birthday is in December which isn't too early at all. There will be plenty of other kids that have birthdays throughout the entire year. Good luck! :)

I don't really think that the schools make that type of exception, especially since her birthday is in december. maybe if her birthday was sept 5! You are really best to wait. I have two sons, one has a birthday at the end of november, one at the end of december and it has worked fine.

J.,

I believe that there is no need to rush finishing school and your daughter deserves this extra year of playing time without the school work. Then she will be more mature to make to right choices at school and life. The schools are not the same ones as years ago. Now there is a lot of drugs and sex on earlier years of High School.

I was one of the oldest in my class, November bday, my sisters kids went to pre k for 2 years, there is nothing wrong with it at all it will help more with social skills when she gets into kendergarten.

If she knows her alphabet, numbers, and shapes she is definitely on track for a 3 yr old. My niece just turned 3 and she counts to one hundred and knows the alphabet and continents -- in Spanish as well, since she was 2. Kids are so much smarter these days so I can only imagine the schools are doing what they need to do to keep up with them. In my older son's school district, children are reading well before kindergarten. December is not so early anymore and other parents have made some pretty valid points. My baby was born October 29 last year and I don' think I'll be starting him early even if he is anything his father (a mathematical genius). Good luck.

Please, as a teacher, I beg you not to put her in K at 4! The differences (developmentally) between a four-year-old and a five-year-old are immense; we, as teachers, can have the most difficulty teaching the "Ber" (September, October, November and especially December) kids because they are just so young! For some kids it doesn't matter because they're ready to sit down and follow the routines; for some, it makes a huge difference because really they're still babies and they just need to be four (moving, calling out, etc.). Even if they're smart lil' cookies, four-year-olds still tend to have much more trouble getting by in K because they're just so young. This can either lead to them being held back in K an extra year or having issues in the following grades.

If you do start her early and she does need to be left back, I beg you to have them do it in K, because studies show that retention in any grade 1+ can be detrimental to a child's self-esteem and that the child still tends not to do better academically. In fact, many times the child just seems to regress.

Right now there's a child in my third grade classroom who just turned eight in late December while everyone else either is about to or already has turned nine. He has the most trouble with things like self-monitoring and self-control, social skills, sitting properly, walking in the hallways, managing his emotions, transition times...all things that, for the most part, his nine-year-old classmates can manage easily. All of us (his teachers) agree that if his parents had just waited a year to put him into school he'd have been much better off. As much as we hate to do it, because he really needs the extra year to catch up developmentally to his peers, we're moving him on to fourth grade because we feel that if he has to stay back now it would shatter him. It's very sad to see this little boy, this little eight-year-old boy, not thriving in school :(

If you're worried about your daughter being too smart for a pre-K classroom I suggest you find one that focuses more on play instead. Pre-K doesn't need to be academic much at all, really; just spending as much time as you can talking to and interacting with preschoolers will be putting them on the right track toward the three r's later in their school career. Your DD will get plenty of time to write her name and read real books during K (which really has the first grade curriculum that you and I had as kids); trust me, you'll want her to have the extra year to just be a kid.

If she were my daughter I wouldn't send her early. I was born at July 30, and my mom sent me just shortly after turning five. I graduated at 17 and I really hated it. I was really smart for my age, and graduated 4th in my class with high honors, full ride scholarship and everything. Even though I was smart, I couldn't do a lot of things that the other kids in my class did because I was essentially a year younger than everyone else. I finally hit my athletic abitlity my junior year at 16, I couldn't drive my own vehicle until almost the start of my junior year and everyone else had already been driving for a year. Then when I got to college, I couldn't really "be on my own" because you have to be 18-19 to sign anything legally. If I needed to go to the Dr. my parents had to call for authorization. It was a pain. I have always been mature for my age and was more than ready to go to kindergarten, but I think I would have exceled even more had my parents waited a year to send me. If you send your daughter after she turns 5, so she would turn 6 during kindergarten, then she will be right in the middle of her class. Ultimately it is your decision if she is ready or not, but they have the age cut-offs for a reason.

Updated

If she were my daughter I wouldn't send her early. I was born at July 30, and my mom sent me just shortly after turning five. I graduated at 17 and I really hated it. I was really smart for my age, and graduated 4th in my class with high honors, full ride scholarship and everything. Even though I was smart, I couldn't do a lot of things that the other kids in my class did because I was essentially a year younger than everyone else. I finally hit my athletic abitlity my junior year at 16, I couldn't drive my own vehicle until almost the start of my junior year and everyone else had already been driving for a year. Then when I got to college, I couldn't really "be on my own" because you have to be 18-19 to sign anything legally. If I needed to go to the Dr. my parents had to call for authorization. It was a pain. I have always been mature for my age and was more than ready to go to kindergarten, but I think I would have exceled even more had my parents waited a year to send me. If you send your daughter after she turns 5, so she would turn 6 during kindergarten, then she will be right in the middle of her class. Ultimately it is your decision if she is ready or not, but they have the age cut-offs for a reason.

It sucks having to be a year behind everyone else. I was born in December and hated the fact that I was so much older . It gave me motivation to take extra classes from a college during 11th grade to graduate a year early.

My daughter has an October birthday and our cutoff is also September 1st. Like you, I worried & stressed about doing the right thing. I did lots of research online about whether or not I should have her tested to enter Kindergarten at 4 y/o. Instead, I opted to sign her up for pre-k this fall, so she starts Kindergarten next fall. Like your daughter, my daughter has always been taller than other kids her age as well, but I don't want to push her in the wrong direction. Honestly, I would be more worried if she was the smallest in her classroom, versus the tallest. I have a February birthday, so I was held back and turned out okay :-) Our daughters will be fine.

Yes Hi J. B,
I too have a daughter that was born on Dec 2nd 1997,I started her early if you will or by the cut off date,she is now in the 7th grade and she loves being the youngest or pretty much the same age as her friends. Alot of her friends' birthdays are close to hers like in oct. or nov.so their all pretty much the same age minus a few months or so.She told me just the other day that really only 1-2 of her classmates that are older and they do stand out like a sore thumb she says,because they are doing things my 12 year ols isn't,because they are almost 14 years old.So in my opinion I think its better to start they early because most of the kids are about the same age but not many are older.Hope this helps you.

Hi J.,
My story sounds like yours. My daughter is a November baby so I worried about her starting Kindergarten so late. Like your daughter she is tall and knows everything thing academically that a lot of Kindergartners don't know. I too started school early. I was born in October and was 17 when i graduated. The cut off when I went to school was October 1st and I was born several days later.

I plan to not push my daughter into going to school early because she will not be the olderst. There will be kids in her class born in Sept, Oct and November. She was born the end of Nov. I work with a lady whose son was born Sept 3rd so he had to wait a year and she said shes glad she didn't push him. He is in 6th grade now and has been on the honor roll since 1st grade.

One thing about kids going to school later is the parents worry about it more than the kids do. This is why I decided to let my daughter go to Kindergarten when she is supposed too. If she goes later she will be more mature and may do much better in school than making her go early. Good luck on whatever you decide.

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