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What Is Best Age to Start Kindergarten

My son will turn 5, March 2009, which means he will be old enough to start kindergarten in the fall of 09. I have heard many mixed opinions on what is the best age to start, especially for boys. He learns things very well, my concerns are more for dealing with kids that are mean , bullies, peer pressure, etc.( even at that young age!) I find myself shocked at some of the things I hear from other moms with kids in school. I know these are things we have to deal with, I'm just wondering if waiting until he is 6 would be better overall. Any thoughts from those that have "been there done that" or wish they would have held their little back to start school a little older? I know there is plenty of time to deal with this, I just thougt a little extra advice would be nice and much appreciated. Thanks

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Hi I have 4 children ages 14, 8, 7, and 4. My eldest two started late because of the b-days. My 3rd child started at 5 and she's had a hard time. If I had it to do again I would of waited a year for her. But every child different, I'm now thinking about holding her back in first grade. She 7 years old but acts more like she 6 years old and she needs another year to grow.

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My son isn't old enough to start school yet, but my parents decided to hold my brother back a year before he started kindergarden. Technically he made the cut off date, but was still very attached to my mother. My brother really enjoyed being one of the oldest and tallest in the school. It gave him an advantage with schoolwork, since he had worked on it at home. It gave hm an advantage with sports and maturity as well. He is now going to med school next month and has never once said that it was hard on him being one of the oldest in school because he started a year late.


Your concerns are understandable. I have two boys, 12 and 9. Our 12 year old has a May birthday and he started Kindergarten at age 5. He has done fine both socially and academically. In fact, he is in AP classes. Our 9 year old has an August birthday and we waited a year with him. It wasn't as much of a birthday issue, as it was a "is he socially and mentally ready to go to school?"

When making your decision, you need to focus on the needs of your son. Keep in mind he is right in the middle of the pack age wise and that is a good thing. If you decide to wait, he will be turning 7 while in kindergarten while many of the students will still be 5 turning 6.

Make an appointment to talk to your school's principal or a kindergarten teacher at the school. They can help you make a more informed decision.

Hi I have 4 children ages 14, 8, 7, and 4. My eldest two started late because of the b-days. My 3rd child started at 5 and she's had a hard time. If I had it to do again I would of waited a year for her. But every child different, I'm now thinking about holding her back in first grade. She 7 years old but acts more like she 6 years old and she needs another year to grow.

If you are worry about kinder than why don't you ask the school to put him in Pre-K first and if he is too advance within the first month or so have them move him up.
My son is in 3rd grade but his school years started when he was only 3 1/2 b/c he was speech delayed. I was thinking about it the other day He has been in school for 6 years.
My DD is 4 and will be going to Pre-K this Fall. Her b-day is in Oct.
Good Luck.

Hi S.-

It really just depends on the individual child. My son is an April birthday and went to kindergarten when he was 5 (he is just finishing up kindergarten). In his case he had been in preschool for 2 years and academically was actually ahead of the norm for his age. Even though he was diagnosed with Asperger's (a form of autism that causes him to struggle socially) we went ahead and started him on time. My son is tall for his age, so to hold him back would have made him look like a giant compared to his classmates when he would go to school. Also, he needed to "get in there" and socialize. We didn't think keeping him at home was going to help him improve in that area.

If your son attends preschool, I would use that as a guide. Does he seem to be getting along and fitting it or does he seem to be a little behind the other kids?

Good Luck,

Funny you mention that. I am going thru that dilemma right now, I am new to the group as we just moved here from Mi. My son started Kindergarten last Sept. (His B-day is Aug. 1st and the cut off in Mich is Dec. 5th, so he just turned 5 when he started) Now that we are in Texas they are telling me he is not ready for "K" here and they want him to repeat "K" next year. I am Ok with the decision, I don't want him struggeling for the nest 12 yrs. because I felt bad about keeping him back, I have to look out for his future. M. E.

Hi S.~

I held my daughter back one year and she will start Kinder. this coming August. She turns 6 on July 26th. Like you, I got many mixed opinions on when to start her. The bottom line is you know your child and if you think he's ready then go for it. If you are having ANY doubts then I'd keep him for one more year. This was the best decision I have ever made. My daughter was just not ready. She was not interested in "working". All she wanted to do was play and socialize and be with me. She would have done fine socially and emotionally, but academically I think she would have suffered. I put her in the Transition class at Windwood Presb. (Windwood Christian Academy) this year and she has absolutely blossomed! She is starting to read! At the beginning of the school year she was barely recognizing all her letters. We thought she had some kind of Learning Disability but one day it all clicked. I just think she was finally ready to want to do it. Anyway, go with your gut and if you do start him and things don't go well then you can always repeat Kinder. It's a personal decision and only one you can make. My two neighbors started their girls (August B.days) this school year and they are both doing fine. One little girl though, gets lots of notes home regarding talking.
Good luck!!!

Hello S. I am a mother of three I have twing girls that are 7 and a son that is 5. My girls did not start school until they were six just be cause of the way there birthady fell on. My son will be in kinder next year and he should have started this year. I think sometimes it is better for some boys to wait until the next year but if they are very well at learing and picking things up fast then I would do it. But there are some boys that turn five right before school starts and they are not ready sometimes. And with the bullie thing and all that I would not worry about it so much the two years my girls have been in school ther has not been a problem at all . I would go with how you feel and send him if you think you should and if you don't think he is ready then I would just wait. I hope this helps if you have any more questions please feel free to email me back.

____@____.com our you can reach me on here .


Hi S.,
I'm a kindergarten teacher, and honestly each child is so different that you would need to look at what you think is best for your son. With his birthday being in March age-wise I would say he's ready for kinder. Usually it's the birthdays right around July and August that may struggle a little more. As far as the social aspect, we spend a lot of time learning how to interact with each other. In my class meanness and bullying are absolutely not allowed. My students are very respectful to each other - and of course that is something that we have spent time talking about - how we treat each other. It is very important for the students to learn how to interact appropriately with each other! Whatever you decide I wish your son good luck when he does start kinder. It's such a special time!!

M. H.

I agree I would start him in kindergarten because if you wait he will be older than all the other kids and may feel out of place. It really doesn't matter when you start your child in school. You just can't control what other parents allow their kids to do or say. You can only teach your child to do the right thing and help them make the right decisions.

We've all been there and we survived, your baby will too!!

Although I know kindergarten is really hard, but I think it's worse for the parents than it is for the children. Try not to stress about it too much because kids can pick up on your anxeity. You just have to cross each bridge as you come to it!

Don't worry, I am sure everything will work out!

I would go ahead and start him in kindergarten. If he were turning 5 say in August, I'd hold him back a year , but march puts him 1/2 way between 5 and 6 when school starts.

I understand where you are coming from! Before teaching 4th grade, I taught kinder for 5 years! I think your som will be perfectly fine in kindergarten next fall! Normally the children who are held back an extra year, and start kinder when they are 6, are those that are socially not ready, summer babies, or too immature! Those kids need the extra year to mature. If you hold off on your son when he is developmentally ready for kinder, he will become "bored" in the classroom. More times than not, the child who is the "bully" is those whose needs are not being met in the classroom. A teacher teaches to the needs of the majority of the students in the class but a GOOD teacher can meet the needs of those below and above the class average. As a teacher myself, I appreciate your concern! You would be suprised at how many parents have no clue what happens in the classroom or are even aware of their child's behavior! I am sure your son will be fin!

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