K.B. asks from Riverside, IL on December 06, 2008
Son with August Birthday....hold Him Back?
Our son has an August birthday and we are trying to decide if we should do a third year of preschool or send him to kindergarten. He is a very bright boy and I'm afraid if we hold him back he's going to be bored in school. On the other hand, physically and (potentially) emotionally he probably fits slightly better with the younger class. On the other hand, his best friend is older and would be in his class...
I'd like to hear feedback from other parents who have had to make a similar decision, partically from those who have sons who are academically ahead for their age. How did you make the final decision? Whose input did you seek?
We're so torn...this feels like a HUGE decision.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks to all the moms who chimed in with great advice. We made an appointment with our son's preschool teachers and received the great input about how our son functions in the classroom both academically and socially.
At this point, we decided to register our son for a third year of preschool at a Spanish immersion school *AND* register him for kindergarten. You know how Chicagoland is...you need to get your spot now or you won't have options! We'll pull him from one of the programs, and lose our deposit, but we think that's a small price to pay for having 8 more months to see how our son develops.
J.M. answers from Chicago on December 08, 2008
I have 4 boys ages 9, 8, 6 and 3. Two of my sons were late July and mid August birthdays and I chose to send both of them to school and not hold them back. This has been the best decision for us considering both of them are now in advanced classes.
Before I made the decision I spoke to their preschool teachers and they advised me that my children would be bored and not challenged if I kept them in a pre K program. They said that most parents hold their children back thinking that they will be behind but most kids equal out by third grade and that has held to be true. I have friends who have held their kids back so they would be at the top of their class but they are ranked somewhere in the middle. I hope this helps.
E.F. answers from Chicago on December 07, 2008
I have many people who have told me that they didn't hold back their summer birthday kids (even June) and they were sorry they did. Those who did hold them back where always happy they did. I think because he is the oldest it would benefit him as well. The oldest child is at a disadvantage because they don't get the older siblings showing them the ropes. If he isn't emotionally or physically ready it won't matter how bright he is. These two will overpower the whole academic aspect of him.
A.M. answers from Chicago on December 07, 2008
All decisions can be remade. I would send him to Kindergarten and see how it goes. If he does well great and if not he can repeat the year or repeat a year later.
J.P. answers from Chicago on December 06, 2008
I would be concerned that if you hold him back that he will act out in class because he is bored.
K. answers from Chicago on December 06, 2008
I was faced with the same decision with my son who just turned 5 on July 28th of this year. My main concern was social maturity. He is a bright little guy as well and I knew from an academic standpoint he would be fine. After talking to his pre-school teacher she assured me he was more than ready for kindergarten. She felt he would be so bored with another year at that school. I also called a kindergarten teacher at school and she just basically told me to go with my gut feeling. Well, my gut feeling was to send him and I'm glad I did! Although he is one of the youngest in his class, he's excelling academically and his teacher says he's a social butterfly. She said she would have never guessed he was a young one. The only problem (which is slight) is that he is noticably one of the smaller kids in class. This is a huge decision but I have to say go with your gut feeling and you'll make the right decision!!
S.E. answers from Chicago on December 12, 2008
This is a tough decision! I am a Kindergarten teacher, and have discussed this with parents for many years.
My one and only suggestion to you is to go and observe the Kindergarten classroom, or possible classrooms, he would be in. Observe them at a few points in the school year. What you should look and listen for are (1) the academic content that is happening. Will your child be able to keep up with what the current children are being expected to do? (2) Notice the social interactions of the current students during their in-class free play. Would your child fit in with the discussions they are having?
Although the age difference with an August birthday seems to be much, the gap is temporary in their school experience. By third grade, you won't even remember the issue to begin with!
Only you can make the right choice for your child. Visiting and getting a better feel for what is to come would be best. No self-respecting teacher or administrator would deny you that observation experience.
Finally, I will say that although we can pick out our "summer birthday" kids in the beginning of the year, as the classroom community develops, they are no longer evident.
E.B. answers from Chicago on December 07, 2008
L.D. answers from Chicago on January 26, 2009
I too had this dilemma my daughter is an August birthday. I decided to send her on her way to Kindergarten and do not regret my decision. I felt she was ready and has done great! If you are on the fence though and he is smaller you may consider a 4 or 5 day pre k program. These are a little more structured than your usual preschool classes and gets more of a kindergarten feel as they go consecutive days as opposed to every other. Hopes this helps, I would recommend one but I do not know where you are from they are all over.
S.W. answers from Chicago on December 06, 2008
Kristen, as a preschool director myself with a son close to cut off date, I felt the social emotional peice was important. There is soo much that can be offerend in preschool and depending on the school he is in, they can also individualize for him if needed. My son is in 1st grade now and was tested at an academic level of 3rd grade. HIs social emotional component was just age level. We kept him in first grade with enrichment which has been better for him. His teacher just shared by conferences she felt we did the right thing because when a child gets to elementary school, the focus isn't social emotional, it becomes acedemic so if the don't have a strong foundation, it can often give the child different challenges later
S.S. answers from Chicago on December 07, 2008
My son is an August birthday, too. I thought about this for years before the kindergarten enrollement. I talked to teaches, district personnel and other parents who had been through this. I decided to wait to send him. This was the best decision!!!!! He is confidant in school. He benefitted from growing physically and emotionally for an extra year.
There are really a lot of people who choose to do this, so don't feel alone. Two of my neighbors were in the same boat as me. One of them sent to kindergarden, and one waited (like me.) The only one regretting it now (2nd and 3rd grade) is the one who sent her son.
Another good friend of mine has a son in college. He was also a August birthday. Even in high school they feel that they made the right decision by waiting to start for another year.
I know how the "friend" thing goes. Even though that aspect is painful, he will make new friends.
I have never looked at this like "holding him back." They are just starting later. I tell my son that when you have a summer birthday, you get to choose when you start school. This is special for summer kids! I choose to keep him home (and preschool) for another year.
Another thought...Does your district have full day kindergarten? This might influence your decision, too.
Best of luck!
L.S. answers from Chicago on December 06, 2008
He will be fine. my baby is in july, the youngest in her class. Some kids are older by almost a year! Teacher says she is very bright and she gets along with everyone. You know your son best. Also, as an ex teacher, your son will be bored. Challange him!