33 answers

Starting Kindergarten - September Birthday

My daughter's birthday is in September and she missed the cutoff for kindergarten in the fall by 2 weeks. I believe she'd do better as one of the youngest in her class rather than one of the oldest in her class. Has anybody had success getting an exception to the b-day policy to start a child early in the public school system? I'd love some ideas!!

Thanks,
A.

3 moms found this helpful

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I have made a call to the district to have her tested, and see if she is in line with the requirements for Kindergarten. I have a 7 year old, that was transfered from 2nd grade to 3rd grade this year, and I don't want to go through that again with the youngest one. I agree with you totally. let me know if you have any luck and I will keep you posted on what the district office, has to say about testing my daughter.

The only thing I can think of is either homeschool her or put her in private school. That's what I discoverd with my son's simular birthday dilema.

I have a friend in the exact situation that you are in, and she has had to home-school her daughter. Her daughter is very bright and she knew she would be bored in regular school. I have never heard of anyone getting an exception to the rule.

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My daughter's birthday is also in September and she missed the cutoff date as well. She is now 13. In our opinion, she was ready for school, so the year before (when she was technically just 4 at the start of the school year) we sent her to a state approved private Kindergarten (at a church). We had all intentions of then petitioning the school board to have her be allowed to go on to 1st grade rather than repeat kindergarten in the public school. The majority of her kindergarten class did this. There were about 6 of them with birthdays in September. We decided against it though because we felt that would draw undo attention to her and put unnecessary pressure on her. What if she couldn't stay caught up and hold her own like we thought? What if she wasn't the "genius" we thought she was? We live in a small rural area where had we petitioned the school board everyone would have known and it would almost have been as if they were waiting for her to fall behind or mess up. Or so we thought.
Now, she is one of the oldest in her class and has been blessed with the opportunity to have tons of friends in her grade and the grade above her. All but one of the 5 yr olds that went on to first grade have now over the years been held back either by the school or by their parents to where they are all now in the same grade (with the exception of 1). By being one of the oldest and more mature kids in her class, it has given her the opportunity to excel without as much effort. She is very active in Band (regular and Concert), Color Guard, Jr. Beta and 4 H. Every family is different, but not pushing her into the next grade level worked best for us. Hope this helps and shows you another side of possibilities.

I have made a call to the district to have her tested, and see if she is in line with the requirements for Kindergarten. I have a 7 year old, that was transfered from 2nd grade to 3rd grade this year, and I don't want to go through that again with the youngest one. I agree with you totally. let me know if you have any luck and I will keep you posted on what the district office, has to say about testing my daughter.

As a kindergarten teacher of 20+ years and the mother 4 children, I think I can respond.

Here is the teacher response...The cuts offs are there for a reason. You are never sorry for having the oldest student, the smartest student, or the most confident student in the class. However, every year (and I mean every single year) I have parents who express regret for having pushed their young child into school rather than holding them out an extra year. (By this I mean children who make the cut off by a month of two and parents could have easily held them, but sent them.) There is no "do-over." Beginnings happen once. My advice as a kindergarten teacher is let your child be the most confident one in the class and she/he will discover who she/he is a learner and a person during this important first year.

As a mother....my oldest daughter is 16. She is an October baby and I sent her to kindergarten on time...as a 4 year old. She was one of the youngest in the class and she continues to be. However, I have never been sorry for sending her. She was ready... academically, socially, and emotionally. She is quiet and shy but has always been an "A" student. My number two daughter is a September birthday. I held her out of of kindergarten and sent her in as a 5 year old who turned 6 in the first few weeks of school. She talked late and was extremely tiny for her age. Those things helped me in making my decision. I have never been sorry for holding her. She is still small (now 14) and is the smallest in her class, but on the inside, she is BIG! She is smart, cleaver, and quick. She is an A++ student and always at the top of everything. I have never been sorry for holding her. Number 3 boy was a summer baby - no decision there. But, my last child (now 7) was a December baby. He missed the cut off by days. I faced a difficult decision. Follow the cut off and keep him out or follow the district procedures and "challenge" the cut off date for my child. I chose to follow the cut off restrictions and allow my child to be the oldest in his class. I have never, ever been sorry. He was reading when I sent him to kindergarten. Now going into 2nd grade, he is doing multiplication and division. He is the star of his travel baseball team and the "mayor" of our town. He is a leader. Would he have been that way if we had pushed the district's policy and sent him to kindergarten as a 4 year old, signing him up for a lifetime of always being just a little behind? I don't know. Luckily, I don't have to question it. I know I did the right thing for each of my children.
The teacher in me tells you to know your child. You know him/her best. Do what you truly believe is in the best interest of your little one and not a boost to your own ego as a mother and you will make the right choice.

Hope that helps.

I was an exception way back in the early 80's. Instead of waiting one more year my family enrolled me when I was four. I have to say that I did have a hard time fitting in... not academically but socially. One of the things that still stands out to me was that I was unable to drive with my classmates and had to take the drivers-ed class a whole year after everyone I knew did. And I did feel left out in a lot because of my age. Being a full year younger meant that I graduated at the age of 17. Then I went off to college and had a very hard time fitting in there... I was still the baby, and they knew it! It's a challenge! Best wishes in what every you decide!

Hi, I think it largely depends on the District you are in, but most I've spoken with many people in various Districts after going through this and they have had the same experience. We had the same situation this past year! My oldest daughter turned 5 Sept 19th and she was held back only b/c she missed the cut-off by 18 days. I petitioned well in advance to have her tested and moved ahead because she was performing, according to her preschool teachers, way ahead of their program. However, our school District - Newberry County - would NOT hear of letting her attend 5-yr-old kindergarten. There supposedly are many benefits to them being the oldest in their class so i'm just going with it and trying to make the best of it. I wish you much success if you do try to move your daughter forward and I definitely understand where you're coming from!!

There's definitely no exception to the start date for public school, but I think in the long run you'll be glad she's the older one rather than the youngest. My oldest missed the cut-off by two weeks and was more than ready but now I am so happy that he is the oldest in the class. He is excelling academicaly and maturity wise, he is right where he needs to be. All of my boys have fall birthdays so I am happy that all will be the "older" ones. In fact my youngest will only miss the cut-off by 1 day!
I can also say that as a teacher, I can almost always tell which kids have those summer birthdays, largely due to their maturity level.

My daughter's birthday is Sept. 21st., so she missed the cutoff by 21 days. I did have her tested and accepted into Kindergarten early only to find that a majority of her classmates were almost a year older than her. We have always thought she was very mature for her age and she did have a difficult time.
For the first 3 weeks she cried off and on at school, even after 3 whole years of preschool with no issues. Here it is the end of the year now and her teachers say she has done excellent.
I regret my decision to send her early and feel really bad that I made her miss out on a whole year of fun and goofing around.
We decided to hold her back from 1st grade and have her re-do Kindergarten since we now live in PA where there are no exceptions to the cutoff date. She told me she hates being the youngest and I have caught her lying about her age already since all of her peers are now 6 except her.
Stick with the cutoff's people is my advice. Let them be little longer. After all, they do have advanced reading groups and math groups. Most likely always filled with the older children.

Hi A.,
My daughter missed the cut-off by 3 days! I was wanting to push her thru early too, but was thankfully talked out of it by some teacher friends. She is one of the oldest in her class, but that has given her confidence and leadership that I don't believe she would have had if she felt she was always trying to play "catch-up" with the older girls. Plus she gets to help the teacher with the ones who are struggling a bit. I've seen girls in her class whose birthdays are in July and August and the difference between them and my daughter is huge. They seem more timid and have more trouble with keeping up physically and mentally.

Besides, think about when she's a teenager and the older kids are getting their driver's licenses, dating, etc. The pressure will be on your daughter even earlier to want those things.

I say - what's the rush? Just my opinion.
Good luck with whatever you choose!
M.

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