4 Yr Old and 6Yr Old Ready for Kindergarten Next Year.

Updated on May 18, 2011
S.J. asks from Midland, MI
25 answers

What would you do if you held your 5.5 year old fom kindergarten because they wer NOT ready at all (now almost 6.5 yrs) and then have a 4 (almost five year old) that will be ready for kindergaten at the same time. Anyone have this happen. Did you put them in school or hold the younger one to start at a later date. Youngest teacher is willing to push child next year in preschool to keep challenging

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So What Happened?

Ty all, I will give this more thought, my oldest who just turned 6 will be 6.5 when starting school and has been in early childhood classes for a few years now and we decided not to send this year because of not being ready. Our other one is well...more then ready in all areas I feel but then I think well if need be they can always bump him up a grade later on...lots of considerations to be made in the next few months. Thank again everyone

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answers from Seattle on

That is a tough one-I am interested to see the answers! I have twin sons with late May birthdays. One may be ready in Fall 2012 and one may not, for totally different reasons. Since they are twins I would want to keep them together. Kind of the opposite situation from you but still some of the same issues about readiness....

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answers from Detroit on

That is tough! Good for you holding the older one back!!!

My advise is to hold the younger one back as much as is reasonable. Having them in the same grade would be tough for the older child. However if there is a reason the oldest might not progress and STAY ahead its a dis-service to hold the youngest back just to keep them out of the same grade. I don't like kids skipping grades, it happens too frequently and often though they are able to handle the academics, they can't handle the social issues. Kids are pushed into a school environment way too early these days. So bottom line, I'd advise you to keep the younger one in pre school until at least 5 if not 6 like the oldest one. Think how this will play out down the road!

Best wishes!

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answers from Detroit on

I don't think it would be fair to your younger child to hold them back because their older sibling was held back.
If your younger child is ready to attend kindergarten let him/her attend.
You could always ask the school to put them in different classes so that they do not feel like they are competing with each other.

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answers from Washington DC on

i am surprised at how many people are suggesting that the younger be kept out of school simply to bolster the older child's self-esteem. not only is 'self-esteem' reliant on a myriad of factors, not this single one, but both children are individuals whose learning styles and needs should be considered. if the younger is ready for school he should go, regardless of what's happening with the older.
that being said, 4, is awfully young (will he be 5 by autumn?)
you need to consider what's best for each child AS AN INDIVIDUAL and then do that.

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answers from Sacramento on

The best advice my mom ever gave me was never to sell your younger child short because your older child was challenged by a task. You have to treat them as separate people and if your younger one is ready for Kindergarten, then put them both in at the same time. Does the school they'll attend have 2 different Kindergarten classes? If so, see if you can put them in separate classrooms so they can each have their own identity away from each other.

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answers from New York on

So your now almost 6 1/2 year old will be be almost 7 going into K! Has
he gone to preschool? I would think that being almost 7 going in K will
be problematic in itself. I would keep the younger one in preschool for
another year. The older one will have enough issues being in K at that age,
he certainly does not need competition with his younger sibling.

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answers from New York on

My husband's sisters ended up in the same grade (younger one quite smart, older one struggled) and my husband has said it was horrible for the older one. Your younger one would be on the younger side anyway for K so personally I'd hold him/her back.

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answers from Washington DC on

Have you considered calling the school and speaking to the guidance office?

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answers from Dallas on

I'm not sure it would be good for your 6 1/2 year olds self esteem to have younger sibling in the same grade. If your 4 year olds teacher is willing to push and teach more this coming school year then I would go for that personally.

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answers from Honolulu on

If the younger one is more mature and ready... it is not fair for that child to always be... in the older child's shadow.
This is not doing, that younger child a favor.

They do not have to go to Kinder, the same time.
They should be in separate classes, IF they do go at the same time.

Them going at the same time... should NOT be, the deciding factor, for both children. They are both, individuals... with different needs and development. So they should be treated as such. As 2 different individuals.

Is one child a boy and the other a girl?
That is what it seems like.

My Daughter entered Kinder at 4, then turned 5 shortly after.
SHE was ready. SHE wanted to go to Kinder. SHE was emotionally and academically ready. She thrived. She was not the 'youngest' one in Kinder, either.

Your oldest, will be entering Kinder, much older. You said this child is now 6.5 years old???????

Be aware, that in some schools, IF a child is 6 becoming 7, or 7 upon entering school... they will enter that child into FIRST GRADE. Not Kindergarten. Kinder is not 'mandatory' in many schools. BUT a parent can 'request' that their older child, enter Kinder, and they may make an exception.

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answers from Phoenix on

I would find out if you can get the older one into first grade. My husband was started that late and all his school years he felt like an overgrown dummy. He was by FAR the oldest, like yours was. This ate on him so much, he did not graduate. I very strongly suggest you try to get your child caught up with age/grade level and get them into 1st grade. Talk to the school. Explain the situation. It would be better to get tutors to help catch up with "how school works and how to study etc:" than have a 6-7 year old kindergartner! Truly I am appalled.

As for the younger one. If they are ready and make the cutoff for age, it would be quite a punishment to hold them back. If you can get your oldest into 1st grade and start the younger in K, that would work. However if the oldest gets stuck in K, I would consider holding your younger back. It would penalize him but would probably make it easier on the older one.. to not be in the same grade as his sibling 2 years younger.

Sorry I am not more gentle with this but my husband starting at almost 7 ruined him for school... Please try to get the older into 1st grade and do whatever it takes for them to "catch up"

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 5.5 yr old and a 4.5 yr old. We found a school that doesn't do the usual cut off in September and with that it would have allowed our 4.5 yr old to go to school this coming year - but also means that both the kids would be in the same grade.

I am choosing not to send the 4.5 year old tho I think she is ready. It isn't fair to my 5.5 yr old. I remember growing up with my older brother and he always hated the fact that if he failed one time him and I would have been in the same grade and he hated that I was always right there doing the same work as him and socializing with the same kids as him. So, b/c of his strong feelings of it when we were growing up I am doing everything in my power to keep my 2 older kids in seperate years/grades.

Good luck!

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answers from Biloxi on

I get that your oldest was not ready for kindergarten. But is it fair to the youngest to be held back, if s/he is ready for kindergarten?

Talk to the school. See if they can be in separate classes.

My sister was always just ahead of me in school. At one point, in elementary, the school wanted to skip me up a grade - my parent's would not allow it - because my sister "might have been" upset. I was bored to tears in class and resentful that I was held back.

It is tough being in an older sibling's shadow - even tougher if you grow to believe that their shadow actually held you back from achieving. (though I got over it when I got older and matured)

Just MHO

God Bless

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answers from Jacksonville on

Your 4 year old will thrive at home with you if you make any effort to keep him/her stimulated. Will they be 5 by the cutoff date? You didnt really say...
I taught my children to read around that age (my daughter was younger than 4, but my son was almost 4 and we finished the program I used with them just a few months into K4... so he was pushing 4.5.).

I wouldn't want to keep the 4 yr old home just b/c of the older sibling IF they are the right age. If they are NOT the right age at the time, then I would let them start at the appropriate age, and supplement their curiosity at home with workbooks and other fun things. The bottom line is that you can't hold back the younger one JUST because the older one struggles. They are their own person with their own strengths and weaknesses. But, if you pushing the envelope to get the younger one ahead... THAT is something I wouldn't be doing.

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answers from San Francisco on

Don't send the younger child to school until next year.


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answers from Dallas on

I would wait. Almost five is really young anyway, and it won't stunt his/her learning any. He'll just catch up later:-) I would make sure there is a separation due to their age...for the self esteem of the older one. It seems like that could be something that would bother him/her later on and make him feel not so smart...when that's not the case at all! some kids are just ready sooner than others but are equally as smart as each other.

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answers from Kansas City on

i would keep them separate. make things easier on both of them. 4 is awfully young, our schools require the child be 5. you're not "holding back" the younger one, you're just not pushing him ahead of his sibling. no matter if they are almost 3 years apart, being in the same grade with such a huge age difference, the younger will always be looked at as being ahead of the older.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids should be a full 5 years old to start kindergarten. They may be ready but try to find activities that will enrich them and keep them interested in learning. There are so many things that can happen as they age and get closer to 18.

How would you feel if your 18 year old Junior decided they had had enough school and we dropping out. You could not do anything about it, even threatening to kick them out has no weight, they want to be moved out and moving on with life.

Start the child that is old and let the one that is not old enough for Kindergarten wait.



answers from Detroit on

I'd hold the younger one back for his/her own sake, not because of your older child. Maturity can look like one thing at 4 and another a few yrs later. One of my grandkids was put in earlier due to success in preschool and almost couldn't make it thru 3rd grade. Needed tutoring and summer school and lots of parental help. Her sister was held back and has never had a problem. My daughter has held her 5 yr old back even though she's reading. Put her in a pre-K program at the school after 2 yrs preschool. She's now excited about full-day K next year. Sure, she'll be ahead of some of the kids but that's not a bad thing!


answers from Redding on

I see the problem, and it's a tough one. I do wonder if the younger one is really old enough and socially ready for K. Might be best to look at what happens years down the road too. Do you want them both in the same grade in HS and one old enough to date and one not. Or get a license, and the other not? What about curfews and such where sometimes age makes a difference. Paying for both graduations, senior pictures and such. I'd almost lean toward keeping them in different grades just to help them each grow in their own way and not set them up to compete anymore than siblings do anyway.



answers from Phoenix on

What do you mean by "not ready at all"? Socially, academically, and/or other? I'm just curious as to what would make it worth your child being that much older than his classmates?

I don't think it's fair to either kid, really.

Their schoolmates will eventually find out that they are related, but 2 years apart. The older one will be put at a disadvantage with peers & most likely labeled as not being very smart. I also can't imagine what that would do to a kid's confidence.

On the other hand, the youngest one should be held back to spare the older one's feelings. Although, the youngest isn't even 5 yet. It wouldn't be the end of the world to start Kinder next year.

We're not professionals, though, you shouldn't really talk to the school to see what they recommend.


answers from Houston on

The older child will be 7 (or almost 7) when kindergarten starts, I don't even know, will the school allow that or put him/her in first grade?

Is the youngest child scheduled to start, will he/she be 5 on the start date, or were you planning on enrolling early? If so, you could enroll, just be very certain they get different teachers.

My sister is exactly one year ahead of me, it would have been torture had we been in the same grade. I think with the exception of twins, it would just be very challenging.



answers from Detroit on

Just to add to the confusion, I believe that Michigan is going to change the cut off date from Dec 1st to September for kindergarten age cut off so check with your school as that may change who starts when...



answers from Houston on

What an unusual situation! I would keep them in separate grades.



answers from Youngstown on

Well it depends. My son has a friend and he has a brother who is 2days short of being a year older than him and the brother go held back and they are in the same grade this year and it doesn't bother them. Do you really want them in the same grade though if they don't have to be? I agree it may be hard for your older child in a couple years when kids start to get mean and pick on other kids.If it were me I would keep the 4yo in preK and send him/her the next year. I don't know how involved you are or can be but I am going on a field trip with my kindergardener and if I had two in kindergarden whose class would I go with? Just a thought and not really a reason to keep a kid out of school if they are ready but the 4yo is also young and if he is a boy then a year may be better because he won't be the youngest or smallest.

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