4 Yr Old Son with Late Birthday Ready for Kindergarten??!!??

Updated on July 10, 2008
J.S. asks from Collinsville, IL
74 answers

My son will be 5 in mid August and just "graduated" from pre-school. He is really very intelligent and on target cognitively for kindergarten. However, he is young and struggles with some social interractions, especially with adults...not at home or when he is comfortable with a person, just in new or different situations. He is also a bit emotional at times. Had him screened for a private kg and they recommend he wait and do pre-k another year. He knows all the things they tried to test him on, he just wouldn't tell them. However, his pre-k teacher recommends we should definately not hold him back because he has done well in her class, would be bored, needs the challenge and he's also big for his age. Just wondering if anyone out there has been in this predicament and what worked best...I wish parenting came with instructions!!!!

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J.K.

answers from St. Louis on

J.,

Wait!!!!! Boys really need an extra year if you can give it to them. I have been teaching Preschool and Kindergarten for over 10 years. Wait!!! Boys really learn better when they feel comfortable. Big for his age or not wait...

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S.K.

answers from Joplin on

Two of my sons have Aug. birthdays - one early and one late - we start school mid Aug. here and I kept both of them home till they were six. Although they were both "smart" enough I felt that socially they would be better off (especially in middle school) if they were older. The older one just finished 9th grade and the younger second and I have never regretted the choice I made. As a side note, none of mine ever went to pre-school, and the two that have graduated did so with honors and the others are doing as well. Time well spent with you will benefit him more than more school.

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R.I.

answers from Kansas City on

I have never known anyone that regretted holding their child back, but I have known a lot of people that regretted pushing them to go.
The time it will really catch up is the end of second grade and all of third grade. The difference in a 4-5 year old is small but the difference in a 7-8 year old is huge.

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E.M.

answers from Springfield on

If social courtesy is the only thing this little boy is behind in, I would not hold him back. I think the preschool teacher is right; he would get bored easily, which just invites more problems.
And you're going to love this; I have found some parenting instructions. No joke! There's a course called Growing Kids God's Way that gives parents ways to teach their children important things, like social courtesy.
No one else can teach him that like you can. Treat it like another skill he had to learn. Start out with it in situations in which he knows the people. When those adults address him, teach him to respond with "hello" or "hi". That's a minimum. A step up would be "Hello, Mr. & Mrs. (Last Name). Get him responding to people he knows consistently. When he's doing that well, then step up to the people he doesn't know. When they address him, tell him, "Son, Mrs. (Last Name) just said 'hello' to you; can you say 'hello' to her?" If he does it readily, fabulous! If not, explain to the person that you're working on this and it's still in progress. Soon after that situation, rehearse it with your son and see if he can tell you the correct thing to say when someone greets him. If he can, then remind him that he did not do what you asked of him when it was time to respond to someone. Do whatever you use at your house to correct the wrong action.
You might also need to remind him about responding to someone before he meets new people and role play that situation with him before it's time to meet the people.
I pray for success for you in this situation and in finding that class being taught somewhere (look for it at some local churches; there's also a website: www.growingkids.org).

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M.N.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J.,
I see you have already received a multitude of suggestions that I agree with as well.
Remember today's Kindergarten is yesterday's First Grade.
In today's society other people are trying to make our children grow-up too fast. You and your husband know your son the best and if keeping him in pre-school one year longer is going to help him with self-esteem, confidence and socialism, than that is your decision to make, and I cheer you on, do not allow society to place a guilt on your shoulders.
My friend Jen was faced with the same decision last year with her daughter. She ended up letting her late birthday daughter go ahead and enter Kindergarten this last year and considered it "free pre-school" because let's face it, being held back in K does not go against your school record. But, the stress on her daughter was not worth it, almost everyday after lunch her daughter was ready for a nap. At rest time,(which is 30 min) she would fall asleep and her teacher could not wake her up for atleast an hour. My friend's daughter was not ready for that "all-day" environment. The positive is: her daughter grew and matured, the sleeping became better, she can add and subtract. But, she will be in Kindergarten next year because it took her almost the whole year to catch on to what other kids were doing early on in the year. Jen knew this would happen and she was okay with it from the beginning. She was okay with any circumstances, out-comes, situtations, and/or occurances with her daughter. She stayed on top of the teacher and stood beside her daughter every step of the way.
I trust you and your husband know your son best and that is the decision that I suggest you listen to--your heart.
Another year of Pre-K would have been best for my friend's daughter, but finances had a play in their decision as well.
God will guide you every step of the way.
Blessings, M. N.

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R.C.

answers from Columbia on

I am an occupational therapist and work in schools. I have seen many parents struggle with this issue (mostly those of which have kids with special needs). However, in your situation that your son is academically ready, I understand your predicament. I have seen though that in kindergarten, SO MUCH of success is socially related. I have NEVER heard a single parent regret holding their child out and waiting a year, but I have heard many times that parents wished they had waited. Maturity is a significant factor and we all know that boys often mature slower than girls. I personally would recommend waiting, but obviously it is up to you.

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Both of my sons also fell into the "late" birthday dilemma. With my older son, we did not have a choice & he stayed in pre-school. He entered KG at age 5, turning 6 just 1 month later. He excelled in grade school, both socially & academically. He never felt that he was being "held back", simply because it was never discussed. His class placement in preschool guaranteed that he did not have the issue of graduating twice....he was never bumped up to the next class, rather stayed with the age group he should be with (according to the school districts BD cutoff policies). So, as I said, it was never a choice/issue for us.

With my younger son, this was a HUGE issue. His preschool bumped up all of the older kids, meaning that they ended up repeating the KG-prep class twice. (when this happened, we had the choice of staying with this preschool or finding another...we chose to stay & not have to make the transition.) It was very difficult for my son to watch most of his friends graduate & move on to KG. His BD was just 4 days before the cutoff, he passed the KG screening, was socially ready.....but had trouble staying focused.
I also researched the options available, the studies made, & questioned several teachers I knew in the school district. What really jumped out at me....was that every teacher with her own child in this situation chose to "wait"! One of them said this key phrase to me: "I have never, ever known it not to work. Wait one year, & you will never regret it. If you send him, you risk having to address issues which usually pop up from 2nd grade on. Why would you want to choose to put this possible future in your son's life?" WOW...talk about laying it all out for me! I still thank this woman every time I see her!
So, in the end, we requested that our son be placed in the KG Bridges-PreSkills Program which our school district offers. This class is designed to bridge the gap between preschool & KG. It is primarily for children who are age-ready, but lacking in academic skills. The next phase of it is for children like our son...the children who are academically ready, but for one reason or another not quite KG material yet. This extra year made all the difference for our son!! & most importantly, we never had to address any issues from KG on....this extra year allowed us to sail smoothly through grade school. So, as difficult as it was to watch his friends go off to KG that year, that little bit of heartache paid off in huge rewards. & as far as he's concerned, he absolutely loves being the oldest in the class! He'll be the first to drive & he can't wait.
& this also was the case for our older son, he was the first to drive & we were so thankful. That meant that we were able to set the rules & not feel obligated/pressured into following along with what the other parents were doing. I always prefer to be the "leader of the pack"!

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter's b-day is Aug 16, so she will be 6 this year and starting K. I had her in preschool this year as well as last year. She really blossemed this year and has turned into a confident and socially stable girl. She will be going to summer school also. But for me the cut off date for starting K is Aug 1...no exceptions. I am glad they didn't allow her to start last year, socially and emotionally not ready. Although she did know how to spell and write her name, write and say her phone #, ABC's and counting last year. That's what most kids know going into K, but she is reading now and I feel more comfortable with her going this year. Don't push your son into doing something too early and watch him stuggle by going to K this year. School is to be enjoyed as well as a whole learning experience, if the child doesn't enjoy and feel somewhat successful they will probably fall into the disruptive type and never really get out of it what is supposed to be gotten out of it. Please consider all your options and think about your son most of all.

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S.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Our daughter has a mid-August bday as well, and we held her back for a year. She will be 6 a few days before kindergarten starts. I am SO glad we decided to wait... She was also ready academically and socially last year, but her teacher (and I) thought she could use another year at home emotionally. You definitely don't want to start school off on the wrong foot because it could cause problems for the rest of his schooling. My theory when we were trying to make the decision was that I could easily make a mistake sending her early, but sending her late wouldn't be a mistake. Plus, repeating PreK gave her more confidence and she FINALLY got to be the oldest in her class instead of the youngest :-)

Good luck! It's a tough decision to make.

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K.J.

answers from St. Louis on

My best friend was also on the fench about her son last year with the same birthday. she talked to the preschool teacher and her son also was in the same situation many years ago. ANYWAY they both decided to keep them back a year to give them an advantage instead of worrying about them not working out. Hope this helps

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J.R.

answers from Kansas City on

If he is not ready emotionally, you need to hold him back. Look for other ways to stimulate him intellectually if you think he will be bored. Talk with his teachers about this as well. He will be a much more rounded and balanced child if you give him another year to get ready for school. Who cares if he is big! I would definitely wait!

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S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My son's birthday is Aug. 14th so he is also close to the cut off date for school. He did great in his preschool class and the teacher said he would be fine in K or pre K, but she has never heard anyone upset they send their child to pre k instead. My son will be going to pre K next year and I dont see it as holding back. Its taking the next step. I know so many people with their children having summer birthdays and some sent them on and wish they had not. All the ones that went to pre k were so happy with it. Every child is not going to do the same but I feel that the pre k program is a great program for those summer birthdays. Good luck,

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D.A.

answers from St. Louis on

If the results from the screening recomend holding him back, then that is what you should do. You certainly would not be hurting him to give him another year of pre-school. As a child I started school early. I struggled most of my school career. To this day, my mother says that was a huge mistake for me to start! Now, being a teacher, I strongly recomend you hold him one more year. Save him from struggling as I did! Good luck!!

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm kind of in the same situation....my son just turned 5, is very smart as well, but whe it comes to expressing that knowledge to others, like his teacher and other adults.....it's a lost cause. He won't openly talk to others, unless he's comfortable. His speech is a little immature for his age as well, which also concerns me. I feel your anxiety. Good luck to the both of us! It would be great to know what your decision is......where is he going to school? Pending on the services your district provides, that might help with your decision.

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J.C.

answers from Kansas City on

My son is now in high school, but when he was at this point we were in the same position as you are. After having my son tested for readiness, we found that he was lacking in social skills for kindergarten preparedness and we did keep him in a private kindergarten class and then moved him to a public school for another kindergarten class. At first I was a little emotional about this and upset, but now I am reaping the benefits of his being able to study better, get good grades and still make friends in all the activites he does (music, soccer, basketball and honor society). I truly see how much more capable he is now and I believe this is a direct result of giving him the extra year to mature and gain better listening and verbal skills. Good luck with your decision--by the way, his little sister was in the same situation, but she was verbally and socially ready so she did attend kindergarten just three years after my son and she is also doing well in junior high now. Blessings to you and yours as you face these challenges--allow your children to be the blessing to you that God intended them to be and your rewards will always outshine any clouds!

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J.S.

answers from Memphis on

As a former Kindergarten teacher and a person who does kindergarten screenings-please wait until he's socially ready. I don't put a lot of interest into the actual screening (it's just a snapshot of what he was able to do on one day), but what you're saying is much more important. He may be academically ready (many children are), but you really have to look at the social skills. Kindergarten teachers expect a lot socially-can he start and complete an activity independently, can he sit in a circle time atmosphere for 10-15 minutes, wait his turn, raise his hand to ask/answer a question. Can he play with other children and solve conflicts without needing an adult. Can he open all the parts of his lunch/snack and eat it independently within an alloted time. Is he totally independent in the bathroom. Can he ask another adult if he needs help, needs to potty, feels sick, etc.
I would never recommend pushing a child to start early. I've NEVER heard a parent regret waiting a year with a young child, but I've heard many, many parents regret sending them early. While the issues may not be huge in elementary school, you can really get into social/maturity issues in middle school/high school.
Kindergarten is so much more than just academics. If every parent would realize that, the Kindergarten teachers would have such an easier time. Also, if you have a good Pre-k and/or Kindergarten teacher, no child should be bored in that class. A good teacher is able to challenge children at whatever level they come into school. Kids are only little once. So many parents get into a hurry to push them along (or feel pressure from other parents to hurry things up). As a mom of 3, I get caught up into it, also. But, when you sit back and just think about it--once they go to Kindergarten, you never have that time back. They're gone all day/every day for the rest of their lives. Enjoy them while they're little--they have so many years of school, don't rush it.
Good luck with your decision.

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L.B.

answers from St. Louis on

My nephews were the same way. One started Kindegarten reading at a second grade level. Their school just puts him in other classes during the day for Math and Reading.

But I do know two kids that started early and then were asked to hold the child back for behavior. Just not ready emotionally. Your preschool teacher has probably known your child for awhile. So he's comfortable around her. I would talk to the school ahead of time and see what they recommend and what they will be able to do for him to accomodate his learning next year. Because if he knows how to read and their learning the color "R E D" it will be boring. My kids were the right age for school and knew most of the things they taught the first six months.

LOL Except for scissor use. I never let them play with scissors. So they were behind on that. :)

L. B

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K.P.

answers from Wichita on

You know, kindergarten is kindergarten. I know the expectations are higher than they used to be, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if your son did kindergarten twice, or even started kindergarten, it didn't work out for him, and you pulled him out and put him back in preschool. If I were you, I'd at least visit the school with him. Take him to the classroom and meet the teacher. Let him explore the surroundings a bit. You can measure his comfort level by watching him. It's true that young boys are generally better off to wait to start school for another year, but you have to be the judge. Both of my kids have Dec. birthdays. My daughter was ready for kindergarten at 4; my son wasn't ready till 5, but they both had to wait because of KS state law. My kids had quite a few school changes. Their comfort level had everything to do with my level of anxiety. I always put a positive spin on everything and found that they reflected my attitude.

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M.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J., well i was in the same situation with my son his birthday is August 18th and he missed the cutoff date here in missouri by 17 days to start kindergarten. but he had already went to a preschool program. and did well he still needed help with a few things so my husband and i decided to let him go ahead and start kindergarten. so we sent him to my mothers in arkansas for a few weeks then transfered him back to missouri alot of our friends thought we were hurting him rather than helping him. turns out he made straight A's in kindergarten. and straight A's this year in first grade. he adapteed very well plus my husband and i helped him in the evenings on writing reading and flash cards. i would let him go. good luck!!

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K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

We went through this last year as our son who has a summer birthday, was ready intellectually but not socially. I talked to several different people. Several people said what others have commented on here that no parent ever regretted holding their child back but did regret sending them too early. We chose to hold him back and send him to a 4 day Pre-K program at our church. It was a much smaller class size and by the end of the year, his social skills have dramatically changed and I couldn't be happier. I feel confident knowing that his confidence level is higher & that he is ready to enter Kindergarten. Our school doesn't offer full-day so I do worry about him getting bored but I guess he has his whole life to go to school. I also wanted to say after we made our decision, a few people have questioned why we didn't send him. So again, look at your child, and do what you feel is right for him (not what everybody else says to do.). There is no right or wrong answer.

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K.L.

answers from St. Louis on

Although there is not a perfect right or wrong answer to this question, I feel your instincts for your child are to be considered. The most important thing for you to be able to do as a mother is to distinguish the difference between the nostalgic melencholy we moms experience each time our children move past a milestone (the mommy blues) and the instincts we have about our children's needs. I will tell you that after 22 years of parenting, we never benefitted when I honored a teacher's advice over my own instincts and understandings. The best ideas came when we considered the teachers' advice in the light of our instincts. This is how we found creative solutions.

I will also tell you that I saw my nephew, an exceptionally inteligent child, start kg a year earlier than most of his class. He was not even shy, so no one thought there was any reason to hold him back. However, this meant he was a year younger in middle school and high school, as well as when starting college. He was too sensitive for the social pressures and ended up very hurt because he was not able to handle the decisions he was faced with. Although he is a wonderful adult with a beautiful family today, he suffered for many years and still carries some burdens. I feel that most high schools today are socially and morally out of control and it is a hard enough jungle for a teen to make their way through. I would not want to send my child there less mature than his class mates.

But, all that said, this is just one of the considerations. If the only real reason for sending him on to kg is the warning that he might get bored in pre-k, maybe there are other solutions. It is difficult for me to believe that a group of teachers and a couple of parents cannot come up with a way to keep a 5 y/o challenged with learning oportunities. You may need to do some homework to learn about extra activities you can send to school with him and discuss them with the teacher before making any purchases.

If I were the pre-k teacher and was given a child who had graduated and was shy with adults, I would introduce him to the class as the class assistant because of his experience and give him opportunities to help younger ones. This would not only help him develop mentoring and companioning skills it would help him relate to the role of the teacher so that he might learn to trust them more easily. The teacher might actually benefit from the assistance and the kids might appreciate him as a special friend. If handled well, it could be a real win/win/win situation. But this sort of approach requires creative thinking and a certain level of understanding about education that not all pre-k teachers have. So, you have to take all that into consideration as well.

I remember how tough these decisions were. How blessed your family is to be loved so dearly!

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P.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Although most people have focused theier answers on the early learning years, I would also encourage you to think about the middle/junior high years. particularly for boys, the social maturity issue can become an even larger problem at this age.

My k is in a class with a wide range of kiddos...and I don't know all of their ages. THe teacher works really well with all the levels. (We have one child reading CHAPTER books and others who can barely read the dcodable books)So I wouldn't worry about his being too far a head if he waits to start.

I would also like to mention that Growing KIds God's Way is another part of the 'BABY WISE' series/philosophy and I know there is a lot of controversy around the appropriateness of that. I don't mean to start a debate b/c I honestly haven't looked at it that closely ---but I would suggest if you are interested that you google it and Ezzo before taking any actions. (To be sure it is in line with your own belief system/philosophy of child rearing)

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S.G.

answers from Springfield on

I understand your problem. Our son knew everything in Pre-K that he needed to know in K. But, the difference was socially he was with his peers! He is finishing up Kindergarten this week, and will be in 1st Grade in August. (August 14th, way too early for me...family vacation messed up again! :( ) Anyway, earlier this year he went through a battery of IQ tests and was accepted in the gifted program. You may find that your little guy in the same situation. My advice is too pay close attention to his behavior in class(is he bored?etc....)and if he is advanced for the class, talk to his teacher(what are her/his observations?) and take it one day at a time!
The cut-off date for turning 5 yrs. old in our district is July 15th(it may be for the state of MO) Our son's d-day is in November. So, he'll be an older student, for now! Anyway, Good Luck!

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K.P.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J.. When my son who is 22 yrs old now was the age of your little boy, he also tested high for kg. He had gone to preschool also. So of course they left it up to me to make the decision of sending him on or keeping him back. Well I went ahead and let him start kg. I kept thinking he would mature as the school year went on. Well I was wrong. He did great in school as far as the grades went, but his social development was imature. As he got older, all he wanted to do was socialize with his friends and the school work went to the way side. He did graduate high school and was a great athelete. But when I look back on it now, I wish I had kept him home one more year. He actually graduated a year late. I would think the preschool that your son is attending now would do some different things with him that are a bit more of a challenge for him. Plus he will still have the socialization at the sametime. Good Luck with whatever you decide.

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J.S.

answers from Kansas City on

My b-day is Aug. 11th and back when I went to Kind. I started when I was 5, so I was the "baby" of the class, [email protected]____.com son's b-day is Aug. 15th, and when he started Kind. (he started school in MO), they wouldn't let him start school until he was 6. I think either way is fine. He was in pre-school for 2 yrs. before Kind. and didn't really seem to mind. He will be the oldest kid in his class, graduating only 3 months before turning 19. I think it really just depends on the child, there really is not a right or a wrong solution. Hope this helps you.

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H.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I have a son that his birthday is August 9th and he was very tiny for his age (wore a 2T when he started Kindergarten). He did very well starting Kindergarten and is now a 10th grader and still doing well with top grades in honor classes and already taking AP college level classes. He has always been a high achiever and is also very compassionate but gets along with everyone well.

My daughter also is young in her class with a June birthday and has done well and started Kindergarten and didn't have all her Kindergarten skills learned when she started but she caught on very quickly and is now a 7th grader and will turn 13 in June and does fine.

I would go with the teachers response rather than the testing. Some kids just don't do well with those Kindergarten screenings as they are usually conducted with strangers they don't know so the kids are intimidated by all those questions but doesn't mean they won't do well in school. From what I have seen there isn't a whole lot of difference in Pre-K and Kindergarten, they will learn a little more with reading skills and other learning but still have quite a bit of playtime with center time and recess, so there will be plenty of social time during the day. I would start Kindergarten and see how well he does, if you feel he is still immature at the end of Kindergarten then possibly hold him back then but he will probably do fine especially if his learning skills are quick.
Some kids don't grow out of that immature social stage until 3rd grade anyway and you sure wouldn't hold him back that long. If he is big for his age I definately wouldn't hold him back as adults tend to expect more out of kids that look older than they are.

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J.R.

answers from St. Louis on

J.,

I taught school for many years and worked as a volunteer in my children's preschool. I have never heard a parent say they regretted waiting to send their child to Kdg., but I have heard many who put their child in when they were on the fence say they regretted it. Once you've started it is much more difficult on the child if they have to repeat and social skills (at this age) should be as big a determining factor as intellectual skills. Boys typically are a little slower to develop emotionally and so yours is not an uncommon problem. I would look for a preschool in your area that offers a pre-K or even a Kdg. class. and have him try that. Good Luck!

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M.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I have two children with summer birthdays. My daughter's is in August so I had no choice in the matter as in MO you have to be 5 by July 31st to start KG. She turned 6 a week before kg started this year, but would have done fine if we were able to send her the year before. My son will by 5 at the end of June, and we will be sending him on to kg this fall. He's had a full year of Pre-K (5 days a week), plus two years previous of picking up everything his sister learned in her two years of Pre-K. He does well socially, both with kids and adults, but still has his moments emotionally. However, it's not enough to make us feel he needs to be held back. My great-nephew, on the other hand, NEEDED the extra year in Pre-K. Again, they didn't have a choice (his BD is early September), but had they been able to send him last year he would not have handled it well. He'll be one of the older kids in KG this year and my son will be one of the youngest. I have requested that they be in separate classes though! Sometimes they tend to buddy up too much. They already spend a lot of time together and I'd prefer they interact with more kids than just themselves.

All this is to say, follow your instincts. You know what's going to end up being best for your son.

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S.B.

answers from St. Louis on

As a special education teacher, I deal with a lot of children (boys especially) who have entered kg. too early and then struggle. I think sometimes putting them into a situation that they are not prepared for can do them way more harm than good. As a teacher I would beg you not to push it.

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M.R.

answers from St. Joseph on

J.:

Please, Please, Please do yourself and your son a HUGE favor and keep him home for one more year. He may be ready educationally but he may still be imature in the social department and that could really hurt him in school.

I did that with my son who's 6 and just finished kindergarten and during the school year I saw how much more mature he was compared to his classmates who were younger than him. My husband was concerned about his age when we enrolled him but I just look at it like this... He'll still be 18 when he graduates high school but he'll be more mature. My son's birthday is in July so he'll be 7 here pretty soon and I don't regret holding him back in Preschool for a minuet. I believe that holding him back was the smartest thing (next to having children) that I've ever done.

Good Luck to you and your decision. It'll all work itself out in the long run.

M.

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A.P.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi J.,

I began kindergarten at age 4 and was moved up to first grade after a few weeks. I turned 5 a month later. Later I went to a grade school for gifted students.

I would agree with others who have posted saying that socially he will fall behind and be uncomfortable. That happened to me, though not until about fifth grade. Up until that time, I fit in just fine with the other students.

However, I must also agree with the teacher that he will be monumentally bored if he is that advanced. I don't know what the answer is. Mentally he is ready to take on bigger challenges, but emotionally he will have a difficult time.

Personally, I'm glad I started school early. I feel like I had a little buffer of time between college and "adulthood" to play with. I never suffered academically, and did well even in high school. By my junior year I blossomed socially.

I guess you need to decide which is more important -- for him to be fulfilled academically or socially. If you do wait to send him to school, I would recommend some additional schoolwork outside school once he begins. Maybe a tutor or some kind of after-school program for gifted students would help keep him occupied while allowing him to socialize with children his own age.

Good luck. It is a hard decision. But you are lucky to have such a dilemma!

A. P.

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E.B.

answers from Springfield on

Hi! My oldest turned 5 in July before she started kindergarten. She too was big for her age and very very shy! She never talked to anyone she didn't know REALLY well. But, I decided to send her and she has done awesome! She has just finished 1st grade last week and I haven't ever had a problem with her going on. She has always made good grades too. And socially has really come out of her shell! I know every child is different. But, I'm giving you my story. Good luck to you both:)!

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C.P.

answers from Kansas City on

Wow!! This is a POPULAR subject. I am responding with a different view. You don't say whether you are a SAHM, or not, but if you are, here is another possibility. You could work with your son yourself (i.e. "homeschool") and then put him in 1st grade next year...if he is in Blue Valley school district here in Kansas, he would be eligible for Enrichment class in 1st Grade. My personal experience is varied. I have 3 sons, 2 were homeschooled almost all of their school years. One son was evaluated when he was almost 8 (b-day in Sept.) and put in 3rd grade because of his reading skills after being homeschooled up to that point. This was fine until he got older. As a junior he re-entered public school and he, like another mom said, ended up excelling socially and ignoring the academic even though he tested as a "genius" on IQ tests. My youngest son has a July birthday and entered Kindergarten when he was 5. He has never been adequately challenged academically and those first 4 years in public school only taught him to be lazy. (He is currently homeschooled and I deal with that laziness on a daily basis!) We also have a daughter who was/is big for her age (she was at least 5 inches taller than all the other students in 1st grade!); she also has a Sept. birthday. We homeschooled her for Kindergarten and she entered 1st grade a few weeks before her 7th birthday. She had no problems here in the Blue Valley District and attended Enrichment classes by 2nd grade. Bottom line is this: it is documented that boys are at least a year behind girls, and benefit most of the time from being held back ESPECIALLY if they have a late birthday. Personality plays an important role in how any child responds to school. Social skills and academic ability are BOTH important to the well-roundedness of a child's make-up. YOU as the parent have the final say either way. If he goes to school, do not hesitate to advocate for him to receive more challenge academically if you feel he needs it. The good news is children are very resilient. Our son who blew off academics makes $70,000 a year now.

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J.E.

answers from St. Louis on

We have a son who is a summer b-day and struggled w/ the same thing. We held him back and NEVER regretted it for a moment. It helped with maturity, sports, everything. He's now 12 and an excellent student and right along maturity wise with his class. If he were a grade above this one I dont think he would have thrived physically and emotionally like he has. The inteligence will always be there if you continue to encourage him to do his best. But being an August b-day and being a boy, I definitly recommend to hold him another year. You never hear of parents later regretting that they held their child back, but you do hear of the ones that wish they did. Good luck. jen

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T.A.

answers from Wichita on

Both of my kids have August birthdays and we dealt with this decision. We started our daughter in half-day kindergarten just after she turned 5. She also attended a pre-k class. She was ahead academically, small for her age, and behind a little socially. She did fine with adults (she's not only our oldest, but the oldest grandchild so she was used to being around adults) but struggled with children her age and with the structured classroom setting. She did fine, and I'm so glad we sent her. My daughter is now 7 and finishing 2nd grade and is way ahead of most of the children in her class.

Our son will turn 4 in August 3 days before he starts his pre-k class. He's about average academically, a little ahead in some areas and a little behind in others. He has great language and communication skills, and gets along great with kids his age, but he is shy and it almost brings him to tears to talk to an adult he doesn't know well. He wants to go to school badly and asks almost daily if he can go with his sister to school. He's also big for his age. We are sending him to pre-k so that we can do what we can to get him ready for kindergarten. We've decided to make each decision as we go. We plan to send him to half-day kindergarten next year, but if he's not ready, we'll put him in pre-k again. If he's not ready for 1st grade, we'll put him in the full day kindergarten the next year. We understand that boys tend to be behind girls socially, so he may not be ready like his sister was.

For your son, you might try to find a half-day kindergarten. I know they are becoming few and far between, but he doesn't need the extra learning time academically and the shorter day may make it easier for him to deal with the social aspects more slowly. Then, if he needs the extra time, you can put him in a full day kindergarten the next year. Bottom line, if he doesn't do well in kindergarten, you can pull him out and put him in pre-k again or have him repeat kindergarten. You'll never know for sure what he needs until you give him the opportunity. And remember, you can enroll him in kindergarten now, but you have until August to make the decision of whether or not to send him. Kids can do a lot of growing & maturing in 3 months time. Though he may not be ready now, he may be by August. Especially if you expose him to additional opportunities for social interaction.

Don't worry, whatever you do, it will work out. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk further!

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A.T.

answers from Kansas City on

My son had an assesment done before kindergarten similar to yours, it sounds like. They adivsed me not to send him. I did and now he is in first grade making basically all A's and great comments from teacher on social skills.
One thing I would say think about the future grades when deciding if you will send him. Maybe even as high as middle school. What is the cut off date for your school? I know in my district he would have to wait according to their date.
Lastly, you are the mother and you know deep down the right answer. Good Luck!

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V.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Socialization in school is a very important component of a child's growth, but being challenged in school is also important. Is there a Mom's day out kind of thing at a local church or some day care you could enroll him in for the summer months? The extra socialization for the summer months may be all he needs to give him that extra boost!

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K.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Send him!! The same thing happened with my daughter. And we chose to send her and it was the best decision ever. She learned that she had to adjust to this new experience. We did have to give her a few ques for social interaction but it was no big deal. And by the end of the year, she was testing best in her class.
Holding him back is helping no one but the kindergarten teacher who does not want to have to work.

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D.L.

answers from Topeka on

I can't believe the teacher said not to hold him back. Believe it or not, all three of my children have extremely late birthdays, right at the deadline. We listened to the teacher with my oldest because I didn't know better. My daughter, who is now 18, is still upset with me about sending her on. She was the last to do everything, the last to date, the last to get her driver's license and let's talk about the humiliation of starting college at 17 and mom having to sign everything because she wasn't of legal age yet. My daughter did great academically but suffered in so many other ways. We learned our lesson so we held our next daughter back. She is extremely bright but is the leader in sports and class. The oldest was a follower due to her age. Please think on this very hard, especially with a boy, about the future not just now. Talk with the future kindergarten teacher and see what they suggest.

Good luck,
D.

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I have had two boys go through this. My oldest was always at the top of his class academically so we never questioned sending him. When our baby was about to start kindergarten, we asked our first son for his opinion and he told us to wait. He said that he was picked on in junior high. He said that it was really hard being younger than all the girls. He went through puberty later than the other boys (hair, acne, growing). He got his driver's license a year after his classmates.
For girls, the opposite is true. I was one of the older girls in my class and hated being older than the boys and going through menstruation early was no picnic either. I think you need to consider when he is older more than than age five. He will do fine academically but he may suffer in other ways that you won't know about until he is growing up and it is too late. You will never regret waiting a year... you will regret if you don't.

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning, His PK Teacher knows him best ( not counting you J.) allow him to go on to Kindergarten. They said the same of our 7 yr gr son. He was shy and wouldn't show them on the Pre K tests what he knew and could do. But they watched him enteract with me and knew he was ok. He will be in 3rd gr. this year. Doing pretty well. Once he gets to know his teacher etc he will do great. Our Gr son was also sensitive. It happens and the teachers if they know before hand will be able to help him through it.

You could take him to a book store like Border's or Barnes & Noble and let him walk around with you and browse books, speak to people you see and talk about books. Show him it's ok to speak as long as there is a trusting adult there. You or his teacher etc.

I turned one of our Gr son's into a social butterfly. He will speak to anyone as long as his parents or I am with him. His momma was so shy she would almost hide ( so to speak) instead of speaking to someone she didn't know. SHe got over it quickly with me around. It can be embarrassing though. He once told a elderly lady he had to poop. :))
Then he said one time Look Momma a Pirate. Gentleman had long ponytail, beard and earring. It made the mans day he thought it was a hoot.

But let him go to Kindergarten. He will do wonderfully well and break out of his little shell.

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M.R.

answers from Kansas City on

I highly recommend keeping him home that extra year. I had 2 with early birthdays. My oldest son I put in anyway & they told me in K that they hadn't taught him anything! My son was tested in 2nd grade & his reading comprehension was college level, but his actual reading level he was falling behind in. We decided to hold him back & let him catch up early. Best decision in the world! He graduated with straight A's & never had to crack a book. He taught high school for 3 yrs & is now back in school again getting his MBA & doing wonderful, still at the top of his class in college. My youngest daughter also had an early birthday, so wiser this round, I held her back even though she was 3 wks off from the cutoff. Smartest thing I ever did. In 1st grade she was tested for the Bright Ideas program & stayed in that advanced program thru her senior year. It helped her so much to have that extra year at home. She graduated also with straight A's. I HIGHLY recommend keeping them home that extra year. What do you have to lose? The worst case scenario is you get an extra year with them, not having to let go so soon, the great influences of being at home....not so bad of scenario! Truly, enjoy this next year with your son. You can't ever get this time back. Don't rush the time you get with them. Savor each moment, each day. Those little boys will grow up SO fast & be off on their own. You'll miss this time that you had with them forever. It's a great time to determine & teach, that you aren't trying to keep up with everyone else around, but that you (& he) are leaders. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. You won't regret it!

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S.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I had the same issue with my oldest, she is just finising Kindergarten. Her birthday is Aug 21 and she is very bright and her pre-k teachers said she was ready for Kindergarten as soon as she turned 5. But our schools cut off for attending Kindergartenis just before her birthday. We were worried about her being board, but like your son she was a little behind socially. I would suggest letting him wait a year. My daughter was board sometimes (she's at the top of her class for reading and everything else). But we had a great teacher that would find her things to keep her busy and help her advance. As the school counclers told us when we whent through this - you can always move them up a year or find them more to do to keep busy and chalenged. But if they are struggling in any way - with work or socially then it will be really hard on them and if they have to be held back that is so hard on their self esteem. My sister, who is also an August Baby was put into Kindergarten as soon as she was 5 and had all kinds of problems. She was held back in the 3rd grade. It did help her but at first she was really hurt by it. She thought it was because she was "stupid". She's not, she's very smart, it's just socially she was so far behind the other kids. After all some of them were 6 months to a year older than her.

It's hard decision, but I really think letting him catch up socially will only help him in the long run.

Good luck! S.

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J.E.

answers from Wichita on

I would start kindergarten this fall. I would have his pre K teacher talk to or write a letter to the new school and tell them her thoughts.Another year of pre K won't teach him anything new. If he does struggle( he probably will not) he can repeat kindergarten. Once my kids started "real" school they really really got into it and did just fine. It is hard to know just what to do but you know what your son can do. Those screenings are not always accurate. If a kid is having a bad day or is just nervous around all the new and different people it isn't fair to him to hold him back because of a first meeting. Once he settles in he will do just great! Good luck! J.

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E.L.

answers from Kansas City on

I have a little girl with her birthday on the cutoff. Everyone I have talked to, (nieces in high school, teachers, friends, family) have told me to hold her back. They said it is better to be ahead instead of feeling behind, they even said especially with boys. Most will tell me its best to be the oldest one and not the youngest.
If the screening recommended pre-k another year, I think you should. Hope that helps.

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M.M.

answers from Wichita on

hE MAY BE INTELLIGENT BUT WILL HE BE EMOTIONALLY READY FOR COLLEGE AT 17.

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S.D.

answers from Springfield on

My son was born in September so we wouldn't have been able to start him in school the year that he was five. We are homeschooling him so we went ahead and started him a year early but my birthday is in July and where I was a very smart child I was not ready for the social part of school which led me to being a follower more than a leader. I stuggled throughout school in this area. I personally would wait. I have a couple friends one that started her daughter the year she turned 5 (they ended up having to hold her back in kindergarten)and another family that waited and their child is doing extremely well.
Parenting is the hardest job that I have ever had!! Making so many decisions that effect them for the rest of their lives! Yikes that's scary. Good Luck.

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S.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I have to agree with the majority of responses. I strongly suggest you hold your son back. I have two boys (now 17 and 20) with summer birthdays. I had a pre-school teacher tell me "how smart" they were and they were ready for kindergarten. When the pre-school director heard this, she was quick to disagree. My boys were "smart" for their age, but not mature enough for school. I held them back and both were 6 the summer before starting kindergarten. By the time most kids are in the 2nd grade, their educational skills start to even out. By giving them an extra year of pre-school they just gain that much more confidence. Each of my boys thanked me about the time they were 13 or so for holding them back. It was especially helpful when they got to high school and were one of the first to turn 16. I was much happier that they were the first to drive, because I knew how much to trust them in a car and they were much more responsible when the time came for them to get in the car with others turning 16. For the boys with the late birthdays who went to school early, they seem incredibly immature during high school and college years. I have never heard of a mom who regretted waiting to send a child to school, but have many who wished later on that they did wait instead of sending a 4/5 year old to kindergarten.

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C.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I haven't dealt with this yet with my bright summer birthday kid, but I know that when I was a kid, I was reading in pre-k and thought everything in pre-k through 2nd grade was stupid easy. I got used to things coming easy and getting perfect grades, which set me up for some struggles once things started getting more challenging. If you keep him behind, make sure he's challenged academically. I was painfully shy as a kid, and one year did not make a difference in that...it continued for years. I remember doing my test for kindergarten, and I wouldn't stack the blocks etc with the tester in the room, even though it was so easy.
My SIL is a 4th grade teacher and kept her summer birthday son behind because she could see such a difference in her kids in depending on their birthdays. He's doing well in school...reading etc, but socially has struggled a bit.

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S.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Jaqueline--In my opinion I think it would be much better to wait a year.I wish I would have waited with my son. Seems no matter how smart/intelligent kids are-especially boys, the emotional maturity is so much more important. And I think we all know some men could be held back a few years in the maturity dept!

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L.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I had the same issue. I even e-mailed the superintendent, and they do not promote in public schools based on the birthday cut-off date. They will just put your child in advanced levels, or the challenge program. Have you considered private schools?
Also, the cut-off date is not based on intelligence, but social and maturity levels.

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C.L.

answers from Kansas City on

My son's half brother has a late July birthday, and his father was thinking of holding him back because he can be a bit of an antisocial/Mom's boy. After all the testing etc.. The school suggested he go ahead and try it, and see how it works out. He's about to finish 1st grade this year, and does very well at school according to his Dad. I would talk to the school and see what their opnion is, maybe there is a teacher there more apt to dealing with kids like your son. I know in my son's Kindergarten class there was a couple of kids like that, but after a couple months of the school routine, they settled down. Every kid is different though, and my son's teacher was new, and said at least once a day there was somebody that got emotional over something, wether it be not being able to do something, or somebody saying the wrong thing. It's always worth a try to send him and see how it goes! You never know what could happen ; )

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A.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Send him to kindergarten! He doesn't have a late birthday, his birthday is within the admission range. In ANY class of kids, there is going to be a wide range of strengths and weaknesess. The younger they are, the wider the range of behaviors and knowledge.

If you decide to do anything, work with him between now and fall about being more comfortable with other adults. Have him take some kind of lessons from an adult, like swimming, music, crafts. If this is his only "weakness" he's fine!

You know him best, and his preschool teacher must know him pretty well, I wouldn't base my decision because of something someone who spent a little time with him has to say. Don't EVER let a teacher, health provider, coach, instructor ever intimidate you, you know your kid better than ANYONE.

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J., First of all, I love your name.
Your son may not be socially ready for school. I held my son back 25 years ago. It did a world of good for him. He is a great young man now, and it didn't hurt him at all. Relax, do what your heart is telling you to do. Holding a child back from Kindergarten a year is much easier on the child than the feelings of failure when the flunk a grade. I have a birthday in August and I was sent to school at 5. Although I never flunked a grade, I wasn't mature enough to be in school yet. It followed me all through school, and caused me much grief. As far as being big for his age is concerned, my 12 year old girl is 5'6" and weighs 124 pounds. She has a wonderful self esteem. It doesn't bother her at all to be one of the tallest in her class. In fact she makes straight A's and is in the gifted class.
J. W.

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M.W.

answers from Kansas City on

I have a friend with the same issues right now. She has decided to wait another year to send her son to kindergarten. She decided that he needed another year to mature socially. She was scared he would struggle (not academically) and that would set the tone for his whole school career.

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D.J.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi,
I am getting caught up on the past week's issues of Mama Source so am just now reading your recent question. I have been a teacher for the past 23 years. I have taught kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 5th grade. I strongly urge you to wait and send your son to kindergarten next year. It is so much easier to be one the older more mature students in the class instead of one of the younger ones. Often, no problems show up until the child is a little older in 2nd through 4th grade ( and as they start getting closer to puberty). The child feels ill at ease though they can't explain why. The gap tends to get wider as the child gets older. Then, you might have to consider retaining the child so that they can catch up emotionally and socially. Parents sometimes confuse the issue as one of intelligence. This does not mean that the child is not smart...it just means that the child would be more successful if they were one of the older students in a grade instead of one of the younger.
I have never seen a parent regret waiting to send a child to school, but I have seen several who wished they would have waited. I mean no disrespect to your child's pre-k teacher, but I am encouraging you to consider the long term effects of your decision (it really can be a precursor of determining whether or not your son is a top student, a middle of the road student, or even one that is struggling because of emotional/physical unreadiness)
I also speak because of personal experience. I sent my daughter to kindergarten as one of the younger kids in the class. She is very smart and exhibited few problems until third grade. She struggled from that point on with such things as overall maturity and turning in assignments on time. This affected her self esteem and set the tone for future years. She never realized her potential as a student. She is of course grown now. She says that she would have been upset at the time but realizes it would have been to her benefit to repeat a grade so that she could catch up emotionally and socially. By the time my daughter started exhibiting problems, I had also allowed my son to start kindergarten. He ending up repeating seventh grade because he was changing schools at the time. He was happy to do so because it meant he could have another year to grow physically which would benefit him in athletics. If you think your son might be on some of the athletic teams, you might also consider this benefit of allowing your son to wait to start kindergarten. I am rather passionate about sharing my feelings about this subject because I certainly wish someone would have shared these precautions with me when my children were entering school. Thanks for allowing me to share my opinion. Good luck to you as you make this important decision for your child!

D.

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M.B.

answers from Topeka on

Hi J., I have a son who's five and will turn 6 on Aug. 3 and will start all day kindergarten in the fall, he is also big for his age, everybody thinks he is in first grade. He is my youngest out of 6 and I HIGHLY recommend that you wait another year for your child to mature. I have 5 out of 6 kids who have summer birthdays and the ones that were held back an additional year did much better all the way around than the ones that went when they just turned five. My only excetption is one of my stepsons, who is 15, has his B-day in Feb. so he was 5 1/2 when he started school and he is the perfect age. Also, kindergarten is not really kindergarten any more, it's first grade with naptime. My oldest is almost 20 and alot has changed in the school systems in the last few years and there's a ton more pressure on kids nowdays. Myself and my husband even have trouble understanding the way things are taught and have to rely on the kids themselves to explain the assignments to us sometimes. How frustrating for all of us!! Good luck with your decision, I wish parenting TEENS came with instructions too.
M. B.

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M.S.

answers from Lawrence on

I know this is a tough decision, but I would suggest waiting a year. My birthday was 4 days before the cut off and I hated being the last one to do everything. Many of my friends were nearly a full year older than me- which meant they drove early, became teenagers first and many other things. As adults those things don't sound that bad, but as the last 12 year old in the class-it stunk!!! Both of my boys 2 and 8 mo have late birthdays and will be waiting that extra year. Before staying home I was a second grade teacher and there is a huge confidence difference in many of the children that were held a year when compared with the youngest kids. I am not saying that every child should be held back but I would really think hard about it because I saw many of the older children becoming the leaders of the class and many of the younger ones often being followers. There is also the benefit of being a year more mature when you are sending them off to college!! I know that seems a long way away but it will come sooner than we want!.
M.

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R.N.

answers from Kansas City on

I had same concerns with my son his b-day aug.9 I held him out and am very glad I did. He to was very smart but very shy. He just finished kindergarten today and is doing very well. He was never bored at all even though he knew most everything. He was however very slow to make friends but know he does't want school to end.Hope things work out has well for you as it did myself. Good luck

A.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J.,

In my experience, I would suggest you that you hold your little girl out yet. My first kid was 5 when he went to K. At that time, he knew everything he should know for that stage, even he was so happy and thrilled to meet new kids and learn more, but he was not socially or emotionally ready or in other words, mature enough to be with other kids. He is very, very smart and he was very smart as well, however that is not just what you have to consider to send your little girl to school. I have another toddler who is 2 years old, and my husband and I made the decision that we will wait until we see our kid is ready to go to school, and think beyond the academic part.
You are the only one who knows and feels what your little girl needs and is happy with. Follow your feelings and intuition.
Good Luck!
Alejandra

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D.D.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J.!
A difficult decision. I always believe in going ahead and moving forward with a child who is academically ready to take on the next challenge, but I understand the emotional growth issues as well. However, sometimes the emotional issues don't improve easily and then you have a "too big, too smart" boy for his peers and that creates other issues for him. To me I would say you have two options: 1. Homeschool him and let him continue to excel academically while working on the emotional issues, or 2. Go ahead and send him to Kindergarten and continue to focus on his emotional growth at home.

I have a junior in high school who is very smart, but still struggles with some of the same emotional/social issues he struggled with as a young child. I believe it is just part of his personality that he will always struggle with, unfortunately. :-(

God Bless!
D. D. - mom of two boys 17 and 14, one girl 9

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B.M.

answers from Kansas City on

you should absolutely wait another year. Boys are far more immature than girls and he could use another year. I also work in a school and can tell you,it would be best to wait.

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T.T.

answers from Lawrence on

i have a five year old who is going to be 6 in september. i decided to hold him back because he was not ready and tesyed low on there entering exam. i would suggest holding him back because boys develop a lot slower than girls and if is not ready you could set him up for failer. /i am homeschooling my son next year because of this and i stay at home and he has adhd also and the school does not deal with this very well. I decided that he can be homeschooled and attend local social groups four times a week. in the long rub you want him to succed in life and not fail so the choose is your but i can tell you i know several moms that have held there boys back and had them go another year or preschool or homeschool for a while and they do great after that.

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C.A.

answers from Kansas City on

My son's birthday is early June and I actually tried Kindergarten last year since he was 5. Like you, I asked several teachers including my sister who is a Kindergarten teacher to help me. All responded about the same, "I've never heard a parent say that I wish that I didn't hold him back." Instead they always hear, "I wish that I would have held him back."

I know how fast they move in school because my daughter who is 17 months older than him has a lot of expectations on them.

I put him in Kindergarten with the expectation of keeping a conversation with the teacher to chart his progress. When I asked her after a month she said that he's fine, but she has to redirect him often since "he's the youngest in the class." She indicated that she would work with him. He also complained to me about being so tired every day. (Even though he wasn't taking naps any longer.)

After hearing that and NOT wanting to hear that for the following 11 years, we decided to pull him out and we enrolled him in Goddards Schools. (Side Note: he was in fulltime preschool since he was 3 years old.)

I'm happy to say that I'm now one of those parents who are happy that we held him back. He's eager for school and bragged to me that he was helping others in his class learn their ABC's. My question to you, wouldn't you want your child to excel through his entire school life? Once they get behind they lose their "spark" for school and lose their confidence as well.

Even though we had to pay one more year of childcare, it was an investment for his future.

Bottom line, with a boy who's birthday is in July and August to me, there isn't a decision to be made. Most parents theses days hold their boys back so it's not like he would be the oldest in the class if you wait.

Good luck.
C. A

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N.W.

answers from Kansas City on

WOW so many different responses. My son, now 8, was a peer model for special ed preschool. I had that decision to make too. (Aug. 14th b-day)His preschool teacher gave me many studies on the topic. The findings were... A child who goes to preschool will act, learn, like a preschooler... A child who goes to Kindergarten will act, learn, like a Kindergartener. Some K teachers have a hard time with the WIDE range of ages, those ages don't reflect intellect. I went into Kindergarten with the notion that if his teacher did not feel who should continue on I would hold him back, no questions. I would rather hold him back in K than later in his school life.

so... how did he do? He did great in k, 1st grade he struggled, 2nd he did fine, and 3rd(which what EVERY teacher told me is that all kids become very intellectually equal in this grade regardless of age) did fantastic!!!

Oh as to the emotional issues... My son still to this day has a hard time "keeping" his tears in. I have asked other moms with a lot of sons to see if this is normal, and they say it doesn't stop until about 5th grade or a little later. My nephew who is 7th grade still cries too. Maybe we just raise sensitive boys... what's wrong with that?

and to comment on the drivers license thing... I will be very content not letting my son have a drivers license until he is a Junior in highschool (especially the way things are now)

gosh I hope this helps.

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Dear J.,

I am a director of a pre-school and of all my years with pre-schoolers I never have had a parent regret waiting another year to send their child to kindergarten. I have experienced many sending them on to kindergarten when it was recommended to hold them back have many regrets. Social and emotional development is just as important as cognitive development.
Think ahead about junior high you want him to be well equiped in all areas of development and to have a head start.
Good Luck and whatever your decision you have to make it work for the both of you. AC

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K.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Keep him home another year. There's a reason for the cutoff dates (in our district it's August 1, so for my August baby it's not an option.) I have a friend who sent her daughter because she was ready academically, and she has been sorry ever since. Her daughter was more emotional in some cases, less mature, and had a bit of trouble making or keeping friends. It's even more the case with boys they say.
I know how you feel. My son is very bright and he's HUGE, but I still am very comfortable keeping him out of Kindergarten until he's 6. Plus, he's my baby, and this way I get to enjoy him that much longer.

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V.T.

answers from Kansas City on

Last fall my husband and I decided to wait until this year to start our son in kindergarten. He will turn 6 one week after school starts this year. The extra year of preschool did wonders for him. He was smart enough to start, but like others have responded, he needed more time to mature. He has grown so much socially in one year that kindergarten will be much easier for him. We let him go to summer school for this month so he has a little time to adjust to a full day of school (preschool was only half day). He loves it! Also, if your preschool gives any resistance to your son spending another year in preschool, I would consider another school. Another point that will be helpful is that if you wait another year to start him in kindergarten, you aren't holding him back, but helping him move forward at a more comfortable pace. When I was in the same situation last fall I was advised that boys who start kindergarten at late 5 / early 6 instead of starting early usually do better at sports. Best wishes in your decision making!

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B.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm struggling with the exact same issue. all of the teachers at the new school are hesitant about my son going early. but all of his friends are "graduating" preschool and he really wants to move on with them. My husband and I are really torn over the issue. I would listen to the preschool teacher's advice first as she has really gotten to know your son more than the other people at the school you are sending you son to. Also, you know you son better than anyone else. Trust your mommy instincts and don't second guess your decision. It's easy to blame a kids social struggles at school on starting too early. I believe every child is different. Think about what is best for your child then work at supporting him emotionally whichever way you decide to go.

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K.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi, J.. If you are intent on sending your son to private kindergarten and they don't feel he is ready, then I would also recommend keeping him back. Private schools seem to be a tad bit more academic and expect a little more than public schools. I have worked with children for over 20 years- mostly in preschool and kindergarten age and think it is best to keep most children back when their birthday is so close to school starting. It will benefit him emotionally to have that extra year to grow. I think if you send a child too early, they may do fine in Kindergarten, but later on in other grades it may be more difficult keeping up. Returning to pre-K for another year will not hurt him, but you may want to do a different preK program so it is not the same as last year. Good Luck with your decision and God bless.

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L.W.

answers from St. Louis on

It really depends on the school I know that were I am at they will NOT let a child whos birthday is later than July 1st attend Kindergarten. I have a friend whos daughter turns 5 in October. She knows more than my daughter who turns 5 on Friday. Even though she is enrolled in Parent's as Teachers and they know how smart she is they will not let her test in. We also start school around the 12 of August.

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L.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Boy, did you get a lot of responses! I started kindergarten when I was 4 and didn't turn 5 until November. My mom said she did that because I was tall for my age (I'm now 5'10"). That was the worst thing she ever did for me. I feel like I would have done so much better in school had I been held back a year. Don't get me wrong, I was very intelligent. When I was 6 I taught my 3-year-old sister how to read. I just think the extra year would have been nothing but beneficial to my education and socialization and maturity (even though I was extremely mature for my age). I was at a disadvantage, for sure, because of my age, even though I was just a few months younger than some of the kids.

My stepson, who is now 21 and a sophomore in pre-med at USC, had a June birthday and started kindergarten at 6. So he could have gone at 5, but his parents held him back. He has been a straight A student since day one, and I think the extra year helped him as far as being mature enough to handle school and socializing, etc. I definitely think boys should be held back if at all possible.

You have a tough decision to make what with all the different advice you've gotten here! Don't do what my mom did though. I seriously think SHE was just ready for me to be in kindergarten!!

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E.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I know you've already had a lot of responses here, so I hope you're still reading. So far, the vote seems to come down pretty solidly on the side of waiting. I absolutely disagree! My kid brother turned 5 in Dec. while he was in k'garten, and starting school early was absolutely the best for him. He was ready, he was smart, and he was bored with everything pre-K was doing for him. It's true that some kids are not emotionally ready, but it's also true that many, many kids are ready well before the schools say they're old enough. Maturity and intelligence are often only lightly linked to actual age--how many immature adults do you know? :-) If you can find a school that will start your son, and you believe he's ready, then by all means, let him try. After all, it's not a revocable decision--you can always pull him out and try again next year! Good luck.

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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Don
t push him-let him enjoy another year without formal schooling. You can move him to a different pre-k for more new people to meet and interact with. You can leave him where he is and talk to the teachers about advancing his "studies". Now you can also set up some special times for play-dates with other children his age (in or out of school is ok) My daughter missed her entrance by 20 days when the state changed the entry time and she is better off for the whole thing. Not only has she been one of the highest graders in her class she also was very calm and mature all thru school. And finished college in four years without complaining-she wanted to do it. This is your time to enjoy him before you go to the school stuff-that really changes all you do with your whole family-so go for it and it will be here before you know what time went by...

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