57 answers

Son with an April Birthday- Do I Hold Him Back from Kindergarten?

My son will be 5 in April, he is in preK 3 days a week. He does pretty well, some days he still cries at drop off. It seems like for the most part he participates. He is really smart, sweet kid, he is definitely a little stubborn, and the attention span isn't quite there yet to know all his letters & numbers etc, though he knows most. I am concerned with his maturity. He just started soccer and participates in about1/2 of the practice and refused to play the first game, even though at home he loves soccer and was so excited to go. My husband and I are leaning towards holding him back, I feel like it can't hurt & I would rather not "try and see" and have to hold him back after starting kindergarten. I feel like holding him back may make the difference between him just getting by in school and thriving. However, my only fear is that being the oldest might be too old? He'll be almost 6 1/2 starting kindergarten rather than almost 5 1/2.
I am also a little biased- I have a September Bday and turned 5 after kinder started, I was always the youngest and always did fine, I think it's a little easier for girls to be younger, but in retrospect I think I would have benefitted from another year of maturity.
I would love any input!

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My daughter has a May birthday and I held her back. Best thing I ever did. It was a hard decision because academically, she was ready, At her preschool graduation,(she was 5) I watched all her classmates singing on stage and receiving their diplomas and my daughter was sitting in my lap crying. So, at that point, I decided to give her another year of preschool. She is one of the oldest (she's a whole year older than some but only about 4 months older than all the fall b-day kids in her class) but she is doing awesome. She loves school and is not struggling like some of the younger kids. (she's in 3rd grade now and it is quite a bit of work) A lot of people told me to send her, a lot said it would be fine to wait an extra year but I had to do what I felt was right and I do not regret the decision at all. Don't let people sway you one way or another. Do what you feel is right. It will work out either way.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think you would ever regret holding him back, but, you may someday regret sending him early. I am planning on holding my son who has a summer birthday back. They grow up too fast as it is, and I want that extra year with him. :)

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The way I see it he will be almost 7 if he starts at 6 1/2 . As apposed to being almost 6. I would start him earlier.

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Why would you hold him back? You haven't cited anything that stands as a concern to me. Have you talked to his preschool teachers to see where he compares to his peers? I'm all for holding children back if they're not ready... but holding a boy out when his birthday is in April? That's a bit excessive to me unless he's seriously immature or has learning problems.

7 moms found this helpful

Just send him. If it doesn't work well you can let him repeat kindergarten. Mostly children grow up in kindergarten.
One of my grandsons went to a kindergarten that was all day and they taught reading. He has turned into a great reader.

4 moms found this helpful

He sounds fairly normal for his age. I wouldn't hold him back -he should be fine for kindergarten.

4 moms found this helpful

Kindergarten is not mandatory in most States.
IF.... you enter your child into Kindergarten at 6 or more years old... they may put him into 1st Grade.
SO, you NEED to make sure, you KNOW what the rules are at the school your son will be attending.

I think, he is just tired when he is at soccer.
And thus, can't play the whole game.
He is young.
He probably needs to nap.

3 moms found this helpful

Huh. It's amazing how many people have said "oh yes! Hold him back!". They don't even know your son. Based on the info you gave there's nothing alarming about your situation. I agree with a lot of posters here....he'll be almost 5 and a half, not JUST turning 5. A lot of growth/maturity can take place in that time. Discuss it with the K staff, they should provide you with a good, educated opinion. Not just people telling what you should do based on what they did for their child. This question and the results of it are too important to take unknown peoples advice when they don't know your son at all.

A lot depends on teachers, too, though. Our preK teacher told me my child tested her patience everyday (and she had over 20yrs exp) and to get get eval'd for ADHD. We were in that process when she started K and 3 wks into K her teacher met with me and said "No No No!!! Don't go down that road! Your child is bright, energetic, friendly and curious...let's raise her to be that way!!". It's been a year and a half since then and all has turned out well. I guess what I'm saying is....even teachers don't know all the time what's best for a child either. It's a big decision you're faced with, get several professional opinions.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm with Jo W. Our son has a mid-July birthday and I was dumbfounded when everyone under the sun started asking me if we planned to hold him back for Kindergarten---for no reason besides his summer birthday. I'd never even heard of such a thing. ?!

He is usually the youngest (or close to it) in his classes, but he does fine. A year later wouldn't have made a bit of difference (I don't think) in how he has done and does do in school (and he does just fine and I have always been told by every teacher that he is "typical" for whatever grade he has been in. Personally, I see it as just what the name implies: "holding him back". Why hold your child back? I want him to get out there and learn all that he is capable of. He is well balanced and always has been. All boys operate on a slightly different level than girls in the early years (more physical less verbal, as opposed to girls who are more verbal and less physical--typically), but all the OTHER boys that start on time are in the same boat.
Have you considered that your child, one day, may feel some stigma or maybe anger at being held back if you go that route? He may end up having to explain to people several times over the course of his school career, that "no, I didn't fail a grade".... My son's kindergarten and first grade classes had MOSTLY Jan-May birthdays in it (all age appropriate). My son was the next to the youngest and the youngest (one grade there was a boy with a later July birthday than my son's). My daughter has a late June birthday (19 days difference), and no one ever asked me if I planned to "hold her back". Not even once.... Hmmm

3 moms found this helpful

My son, who is now 23, has an April birthday, the 25th to be exact. We never even considered holding him back and he was fine. Yeah he is a bit immature but he is 23 and still a bit immature so I don't think a year would have made a difference, ya know?

My younger two were both May babies and I didn't hold them back either. So far, so good. Now my March child I considered sending a year early. She knew everything she was going to learn in kindergarten before she went. Turns out not a big deal, while everyone was learning boring stuff she was working on social skills helping them. It all comes out in the wash.

3 moms found this helpful

When is your state's cut-off date? I mean, if it's September 1st, he will already be 5.5 if he starts this year - otherwise, like you said, he will be 6.5 when he starts, and turning 7 before the school year ends. He could be a good 18 months older than the youngest kids in the class. To me, that seems like really stretching it. If his birthday was August, or right before or after school starts, I could better see it. In some areas, you may not get a choice - if he didn't do K this Sept, he would have to go into 1st grade the following year because of his age.

Have you discussed this with his preschool teacher? It's their job to get them ready for kindergarten and he/she may have some insight into how she think he will do. Does your school district offer a "junior kindergarten" class for him to be in if he does not do K this year? Something like that might help bridge the gap between the preschool he is in now, and kindergarten if the feeling is that he just is not ready yet.

The worst that could happen is he could do a year of kindergarten and then have to repeat it. That's what happened to my nephew and he's doing fine now.

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