Did You Send Your 5 Year Old Girl to Kindergarten?

Updated on October 28, 2008
T.R. asks from Akron, OH
46 answers

Hi! Now is the time, it seems, when everyone is trying to make the decision whether or not to send their soon to be 5 year old to kindergarten. I am having the same problem and would like some advice. My daughter has a September birthday but does make the cut off for her school district. I have gone back and forth on whether or not to send her as I see benefits on both sides. She has been in preschool for the past 2 years and totally, 100% fits in with her peers. You would never know that she is on the younger side and in fact, her preschool teacher always tells me that she forgets that she is one of the youngest in the class. I have an added issue that is weighing on my mind when trying to make the decision. My daughter is not quite 4.5 yrs old, but she is very tall for her age and could easily pass for being 6. If I waited to send her to kindergarten until she is almost 6, I'm afraid that she will look totally out of place with the children in her class. Right now if you were to put her in with a group of children that will go to school in 09/10 she just looks so much older and out of place. I'm worried about what this may cause to her if everyone thinks she is so much older just by her looks than she is. I'm worried that she may get teased by the other children and also I know she will notice that she is so much taller than her potential classmates. My question is: has anyone sent their just 5 year old to kindergarten and had them do just fine? Reading the message boards, it seems like the the vast majority are supporters of wait that extra year, but I really worry that this may be detrimental to her. My husband thinks that we should send her when she is just 5 and then if she is having problems to either pull her out and put her into pre-k or to have her repeat kindergarten the following year at a different school. Knowing her, I think that she will be totally fine but I'd like to hear stories from others. She has always been a mature child and it is hard for me to treat her age-appropriately since she looks and acts so much older than her age. Of couse, she definately does have her 4 year old moments and keeps me smiling constantly. Has anyone else been in a situation similar to mine or sent your Aug/sept child to kindergarten when they were just turning 5 and had a good experience? Thanks so much for your comments.

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So What Happened?

So we started her in kindergarten this Fall and she is doing wonderful. We had her first conference last week and the teacher said that we did the right thing by sending her, she fits in perfectly with her classmates and is doing wonderful in the academics. Never had any problems at all in getting her to go, even on the first day she was excited and ran onto the bus when it came to get her. Even now, she gets sad on the weekend when she has a 2 day break from school. Her teacher said she was very skeptical at the beginning before she got to know my daughter, now she is a total believer that we did the right thing in sending her to kindergarten this fall.

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A.W.

answers from Cleveland on

My daughter has an August birthday and we did send her to Kindergarten when she was 5. She had been in preschool for 2 years and was doing well. Based on her development and her temperment, we didn't hesitate to start her because we wanted her to continue to be challenged and excited about school. She is in second grade now and is doing very well. I don't see a huge difference in age between her and the older students.
Good luck with school!

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J.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

I didn't send my daughter, but my parents sent me. I can tell you from my point of view don't do it, wait. I was always behind every one else as the years went by. Last to date, drive and so on. In the long run she will want to hang with older friends.
I also drive a school bus (over 29 years). I can see that the younger students aren't as settled when riding the bus.
I hope you give this more thought and think on terms of later years too.

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L.P.

answers from Louisville on

I say send her. Kindergarten IS for 5 year olds. Next year she'll be 6 and as you say, too tall to fit in easily. She's already had 2 years of preschool, so what's the difference?

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P.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

T.:
I'm a teacher. I have worked w kids, ages 2-20. I have taught pre school and Kindergarten enrichment in an after school program. I tend to agree w your husband here, based on what you've shared. I would give her a chance to try. She can always repeat the year or even do a pre 1st year if your district has such a program. (Mariemont, my district, does.) Anything is better than her wasting a year being bored when she could be soaking up so much more to life. Just don't forget to let her be a kid too. It's not all about academics. She shouldn't feel stressed and under pressure to be too wonderful in school just yet! Silly stuff and kid fun are still part of the picture! Still, I would definitely be inclined to give her the chance as long as she is articulate enough, can print her 1st name, orally say the alphabet, count a little and does well socially. Good luck!
P.

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A.P.

answers from Dayton on

It sounds like you want to send her. I tried using height as an excuse also but my pediatrician blew that one out of the water. Kids are different being tall has never been a negative.
Consider looking beyond elementary school. I chose to consider was middle school-Particularly considering middle school girls. Will my daughter be better able to remain strong in challenging situations if she is one of the youngest or oldest of her classmates?
Also consider the norm of your school system. Ours has an excellent ranking and they push to hold them back because they want to maintain this status. Good luck and remember there is no right or wrong answer. When you make your decision- own it!

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B.D.

answers from Toledo on

Hi,

I went to school as a June 5 year old and graduated valedictorian. It sure didn't hurt me LOL. BUT, the research is definitely on the waiting side (there are always exceptions). The research found that both boys and girls as a whole did decidedly better waiting the extra year. That's the research.

At some point you have to get a peace in your heart about what is right for your own child, regardless of what others may think. I would seriously pray for wisdom for your child. One thing you said makes me think you already have your answer. Your husband said he thinks she should go this fall. And he's willing to pull her out if something happens to suggest that wasn't what is best for her. I think you should trust your husband and relax. I bet you'll get the peace you need :) I do think your situation is not the norm. I have shown many the research and always suggest if in any doubt, wait. But your situation seams to point to this year.

Blessings and keep enjoying your precious children :)

About me: SAHM to 9 children, 2 to 24

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S.Z.

answers from Cleveland on

BOY can I relate!! My dd turned 5 just 10 days before starting Kindergarten and we sent her. She went to preschool while she was 4 and I talked to her preschool teacher a few times during the year for her thoughts. She totally supported us sending her to K and I'm glad we did. Like you, my dd is very tall. At age 5, she was almost 48" (4 ft) tall. Although in K, she was the youngest in the class, she was the tallest. I think she fit in just fine and was able to grasp everything she was learning as quickly if not faster than the others. She was reading short stories before Christmas break in Kindergarten. Now, in 3rd grade, she's reading at a 5th grade level and doing 4th and 5th grade math. I've never once regretted sending her at 5. I'm going through this again now as I have another Aug. baby at home. My thought is this: I would MUCH rather send them at 5 and see how they do. If not so good, hold them back and repeat Kindergarten (we didn't have to do, but knows 2 kids in dd's class that stayed back one more year)...than hold her back initially and have that child be bored out of their mind as a 6yr old in Kindergarten. My dd had 2 kids in her K class that were held back (didn't start K at all till 6) and they were smarty pants (lol) and bored at the work...that's not what I wanted.
I say talk with her preschool teacher, get her thoughts and go from there. Registration where I live starts next month so keep that in mind. Public school is also free..you can go ahead and register and if for some reason, you change your mind, you can. My dd is 8, in 3rd grade and comes almost to my shoulders (I'm 5"11"), so I know all about having a tall child. There are 65-70 3rd graders in her school, she's the youngest and the tallest at the same time.
If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to email me. [email protected]____.com

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M.T.

answers from Dayton on

My son has an August birthday and we decided to send him to kindergarten. He is one of the youngest in his class, but he was ready. We didn't even send him to preschool, we just worked a lot with him at home. We felt he was ready...now he is in first grade and right on track. If your instincts tell you to send her, then send her. You know deep down whether your daughter is ready or not. If you have any doubts, talk to her preschool teacher and get her advice/input. They know what the kids need to know to enter kindergarten and she will be able to tell you if your daughter is ready or not.

Best of luck to you!!!!!

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K.I.

answers from Cincinnati on

T.,

Follow your instincts--you are already inclined to send her and keep her with her peer group. Do it. I started school when I was 4 (turned 5 at then end of November; they had a longer cutoff then), and I was just fine. Youngest person in my class and ranked 3rd in my graduating high school class of 75 people (not bragging; just showing that being young is not an impediment to success). Also, with your daughter being tall, she might face negative things if it is perceived that she is older but at her current level. My friend's 2 year old daughter is very tall, and people constantly assume she is much older and get on her for her behavior which is just fine for a 2 year old, but not for someone who is 4.

Ask your daughter what she wants, and if she says that's what she wants, send your girl to school.

Best wishes,
K.

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M.D.

answers from Columbus on

My daughter has a June birthday and we went back and forth with sending her to kindergarten or put her in preschool again. What we decided to do was put her in a private kindergarten, 3 full days a week, and will put her in public school kindergarten next fall when she is 6. Our district has 2 and 1/2 days of kindergarten per week and so she will be use to the longer days next year. We had a daughter who had an April 29 birthday and put her in kindergarten at 5. In retrospect, I wish we would have waited another year for her. She has had struggles and difficulty since kindergarten and I believe it has affected her self image and self esteem.

As far as your daughter's size, children develop differently and will be changing over the years. I don't think I would let that hinder my decision. The other thing is that kindergarten is very academic and there are expectations that maybe a younger child wouldn't be able to attain, making them feel discouraged about school and themselves. I personally think giving them the advantage and time to mature is the better decision.

As far as being bored in school. They do have programs for the gifted that she would potentially be qualified for if indeed she is bored and above her grade level.

The other thing that I think about is the long term effects of this decision. Trying to decide what to do and taking ACTs and college entrance exams whem 16 would be a bit overwhelming for me. They also would be starting college, possibly at 17, until their birthday.

I hope this helps...

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B.S.

answers from Canton on

i sent my 5 year old to kindergarten when she was five i was a little concerned she had turned five in july but now she is in first grade and doing fine.

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S.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hello! I say go with your instincts, which seem to be leaning towards sending her. It's probably not best to go with the majority opinion because only you know your daughter. First you should ask the advice of your daughter's teacher because they will know (developmentally) if your daughter is ready to move on to Kindergarten. My experience is a little different to yours as my son was born and grew up in England where they send children to school at age 4 (it's called reception, but it is kindergarten) and for the whole 9-3 day. He loved it and grew up so much and fit in socially--even as one of the shorter students!! he had to wear a size 3/4 uniform! No one made fun of him and he got on really well with his classmates. Now that we've moved to Ohio, he is in kindergarten because of his age and only there half a day and is so bored in the mornings. He would love to be at school the whole day, but I didn't force him into the first grade because the teacher did not recommend it socially. I agree. being with students the same age is incredibly beneficial. He is adjusting to school here as well and we just go out a lot in the mornings to keep busy. Anyway, good luck deciding and I'm sure she'll be happy no matter what.

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G.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Yes, definitely go ahead and send her to school. It sounds like she is doing very well and could potentially get bored with preschool, especially if you feel she is mature enough. I was not 100% sure when I sent my son. He turned 5 in Aug. 05 and started school just two weeks later! We spoke with the principal of his school during open house. She assured us that he could try it for a few months and, if he was having difficulty keeping up, we could make the decision then to pull him out and try again the following year. She also assured us that a lot of children start kindergarten "young" and have no problem with it! I had a newborn son at home and was looking forward to spending some alone time with the baby while my older son was in school, but I also didn't want to make my son feel like I was pushing him out of the house! He is in second grade now and doing fine! School has actually made him more independent and mature. He is one of the smallest children in his class and also very shy, but he has not been bullied or picked on. On the contrary, the other students actually look out for him. He is very smart and the only one in his class to make silver honor roll this quarter! I would not be concerned with putting your daughter in school this year. It sounds like she is more than ready! My neighbor's daughter is very tall and stands above all her classmates. She is the same age as my son. In fact, her birthday is one week after my son's; so she started school just one week after her birthday and is doing fine!

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C.D.

answers from Canton on

In my years of education - 22 as a first grade teacher and 13 as the owner of a private school for children from 3's to grade 4, I have found that the most difficult thing for a parent to do is to picture your little one as a junior high student and then being the youngest in the class. She will be the last to get her driver's license, (not that that is totally important - our children didn't drive until they were 17 and one almost 18 since we viewed that as a privilege based on responsibility rather than age) but more importantly will be the social issues. When I talked with parents in your same situation, I would share with them the scenario of having a 12 year old 8th grader being 'hit on' by a 15 year old 9th or 10th grader. It's not a good situation.
In early childhood, I have found that most children don't notice their differences unless we as educators or parents point them out. I would find a school with a strong Transitional Kindergarten program, give her another year to enjoy being a preschooler and then with confidence, put her in Kindergarten and you will never have to say "If only". You will always look forward.
I hope this has helped. I know EXACTLY what you're going through.

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C.T.

answers from Cleveland on

I have two girls. Both with Sept birthday...9-20 and 9-24.

My now ten yr old didn't start school till she was nearly 6. She struggles at times. Which turned out was her ADHD. Now over the last month. I am seeing B's. :) She is in 4th grade. She was homeschooled from age 2-nearly 6. She was able to do Kindergarten work with no trouble. She didn't have problems till really this year. By the time there was parent teacher conferences we suspected she had ADHD. Over Christmas break she got her medication. She is now a very happy 10 yr old.

She is the tallest and oldest kid in her class. She was born Sept 24, 97. She has never gotten teased for her size or her age. Her classmates accepts her. We could had skipped public school kindergarten. I am glad we didn't. She still has great memories of that time of her life. She is so very close to all her teachers. Her kindergarten teacher would pass out what he called warm fuzzies *small craft pom poms*. My daughter still has her's. She loves to go to the other wing of the school and see him.

The only thing sad is my other two are 1, 2 yr too young. My oldest will be in middle school when they start Kindergarten.

Now my 2 yr old daughter. She was born 9-20-05. I am definately sending her to school at 5. I think she will have a wonderful time. She already knows where to find the kindergarten room in her big sister's school. She is small for her age. She has muscle and speech problems. But the school is already aware of that. So she will get the help she needs. She is attending a local special needs school for those issues. She is making vast improvements. She loves to go to school. She grabs her bag and is ready when the driver comes.

I also have a 3 yr old son. 4-16-04. He went through the special needs school and is now in public preschool. He is doing great. He is now speaking more. He will be sick as a dog and ask to go to school. He loves it so much. He makes friends easily. He don't always get the correct words out. but he knows what he wants and lets other people know.

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N.H.

answers from Mansfield on

I see you have a ton of responses already, but I'll go ahead and add my 2 cents anyway. ;)

My daughter was in exactly the same situation as yours--a September birthday, just making the cut (she was born 9/10). I was hesitant somewhat in sending her to kindergarten, because she had never actually attended preschool, just an in-home day care. I wound up sending her for financial reasons--there was before- and after-care at this school that cost far less than her daycare.

It wound up working fantastically. She was slightly behind her peers when she entered, but she caught up very quickly, being a bright girl. I had always figured that the worst-case scenario was that she would need to repeat kindergarten. But that never came close to being reality. She did wonderfully in kindergarten and loved the experience. She was far readier to attend school than I was!

I would say to follow your heart. It sounds like you're ready to send her to kindergarten, so I say go for it. Your daughter sounds like she is definitely ready!

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K.P.

answers from Louisville on

This may be too late and it may have already been addressed. I have a daughter with an August birthday. I put her in kindergarten. She did great in every area except... she wouldn't take up for herself (always last in line, etc). I decided to have her repeat kindergarten to help her self-esteem. It didn't work. She is just that kind of kid. One thing that helped me make the decision also is when I volunteered in her class, many of the kids (those that didn't start kindergarten on time) seemed so much older and 'wiser'. Their sarcastic tones and such were not the stage that my daughter was in. They talked about and knew about things that my Hannah wasn't ready for yet. This got me thinking about body changing in late elementary school (would she be the last to develop, start periods, etc). I wanted her where she was in her age group. We held her back and I don't regret it at all. She is in 6th grade now and doing great. She use to be tall for her age but since 3rd grade, everyone has pretty much evened out. Hope this helps.

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B.G.

answers from Cleveland on

My daughter started kindergarten ON her 5th birthday. She was in preschool for two years prior and always did very well. In kindergarten she was in a very large class for kindergarten - 25 kids. She was one of the top performers in her class (actually, 3 of the 4 kids chosen for a reading program were girls). The bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Noble) have summer bridge workbooks. Maybe get the pre-k to kindergarten bridge book and see how she goes with that. It might give you an idea of how she'll do in school.

The biggest challenge my daughter faced in kindergarten being the youngest was the attention span. She always got to the next discipline level (green (no problems), yellow, blue, red) because she fidgited a lot and talked). It may have been the group of girls she sat with because in first grade this year, she hasn't been off green.

I was one of the youngest in my class all through school and always got good grades, etc. I really think it all depends on the child (and, unfortunately, I think it does depend on gender).

Good luck!

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D.C.

answers from Tampa on

T.,
I know that there is the dilemma, I went through it myself. Kenzie is currently in the special education program here in Clark County, Indiana. I talked with her speech therapist and she told me that if I chose to keep her out of school next fall for the year because I don't think she is ready for it, it would only hurt her because she would no longer be eligible for any assistance when we send her the following year, so I had to opt to send her and if she is far enough behind or I don't think she is making enough progress, I can or the teacher can hold her back which is something I totally support. I would rather her repeat the grade and be successful the first time she goes to first grade than to be farther behind because I held her out. Just something to think about.
D. C.

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A.P.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi, this is my first post to this site, when I read yours, I had to respond. We sent our barely 5 year old( B-Day Aug 28) yo Kindergarten, in the words of his preschool, he was also ready, he would be bored in anouther year of preschool. we learned the hard way that intelligence isnt everything, we pulled him out after the first 9 nine weeks. ( this just happened this past Nov.) Our son was in a private, Christian School, with only 7 others in his class, imagine if he had been in a class with 30 other kids. Though he is very intelligent, and I understand boys mature more slowly than girls, he was so far behind, he could not of caught up. I believe it is his maturity. I have spoken to several retired school teachers, my customers, who have all (3 of them), said we did the best thing ever for him, letting him mature anouther year, or in their opinion, he would have struggled most of his academic career. We also have a 21 year old who did struggle throught, and did not go to college, and a 17 year old who is hell bent on going to college, and I believe it is because I held him back a year. Just because a child is eligble, does not mean that child is ready. If you are more comfortable, let her try it, but REALLY pay attention to the first semester report. I am so impressed with how much our son has grown up in the last few months, I am confident he will do well next year. Also beware, we ran into problems withdrawing our son, the County ( Geauga) gave me some grief, I had to to go through ridiculas channels to withdraw him, even upon the sugesstion of his school and teacher, it was very stressful. Today our son is an amazing little boy, and I agree with my retired school teachers, we did the absolute best thing for him. Granted, there were extenuating circumstances, Daddy had 2 open heart surgeries in 6 months, and that did affect him, so I say let your daughter try it, just please pay attention to the teachers reports. And most of all, listen to your gut, it will lead you. We knew before the teacher told us ( very reluctanly) that our son was not doing well. Every child is different. Follow your instincts. Please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com luck, A.

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B.V.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi - I think it really depends on the child. I do not think there is a hard and fast rule for this issue. A good friend of mine sent her son to K when he was 5 - birthday in Sept. - and he did just fine. He had gone to PRE-K and was "mature" enough to go to K. On the other hand - another friend chose to keep her son until he was 6 (Aug.) birthday. He was a bit immature and she felt would do better if he waited. He is doing fine. So - I would treat her at her level of maturity, growth and development. Bottom line is that a child will probably do just fine if supported, loved and encouraged - sounds like that is what your daughter gets/would get. Good luck!
B., Amherst, OH, WAHM Skin care consultant, 7yr old son, 4 yr old daughter.

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D.M.

answers from Lima on

I found myself in your same situation a few years ago. My daughter, now 7, is the youngest in her second grade class. She is as big, if not bigger, than many of the other students and fits in quite well. You say your daughter makes the cut off for birthdays, well mine did not. In several schools in the area, she did not make the cut off. In the district where we lived, she did not make the cut off, but she got a 28/29 on the Kindergarten assessment test, so everyone knew she was ready, but laws being laws, they made her take an IQ test with the school psychologist, she ended up doing very well but the school still would not let her in because of high enrollment, therefore I checked out a few other schools and ended up having to move to a district that did not have open enrollment so she could go to school. She was in school almost a month before she turned 5 and she is sailing right through. I know for a fact she would have been even more bored had I kept her out another year and she would have turned into the "bad kid". If you feel your child is ready and your child's preschool teacher agrees, send her.

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C.E.

answers from Columbus on

T.,
My daughter has a June birthday and she started Kindergarten when she was 5 years and 3 months. She had been in preschool for 2 years prior to that. My question is, does your daughter express a strong desire to go to school? Mine did, in fact I had no intention to send her to preschool when she was 3, but at the age of 2 she was telling me she wanted to "ride the bus and wear a backpack". She was prepared academically as she knew her letters, numbers, shapes, etc. So I sent her to preschool for the social experience and she absolutely loved it. By the time Kindergarten rolled around, there was no apprehension about sending her at the age of 5, other than my heart was in my throat when she got on the bus the first time! She is in the first grade now and doing great. She is shorter than most of the kids in her class, especially those that waited till they were 6 to start, but we have had no problems with teasing. Some of her best friends are the tallest girls in the class! I don't think those girls have had any problems with teasing either. I think the most important factors are that she is really ready to go, and she has a good Kindergarten teacher. Also, there are several children in my daughter's class who have repeated Kindergarten and in my daughter's eyes, that doesn't make any difference in how she feels about them. I hope this helps, if you want to talk about this more, e-mail me at [email protected]____.com. I think if you trust your gut, you will do just fine.

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A.C.

answers from Bloomington on

My own son is just 18 months old today, so I can't give you any advice from deeply personal experience. However, my sister- and brother-in-law have decided to wait until this coming fall to enroll their son in Kindergarten. He turned 5 last August, so enrollment date wasn't an issue. Part of the concern was how their school does busing for Kindergarten. It didn't sound very feasible with their work schedules. Also, my nephew has always grown up around adults and hadn't had much chance to socialize with other children, besides his two year old sister. They decided to enroll him in a preschool this year, and I think it's really done wonders for him. Intellectually, I think he's above and beyond most Kindergartners (and probably 1st graders, too), but he was lacking in the social area when it came to being around kids his age. I think preschool has helped him learn those social skills that he will need to be successful in Kindergarten. I don't know if this helps you with your decision at all, but I thought I'd share what I've seen. Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I and my sister went to school the early year when we were younger right at the cut off date. I ended up held back to do medical problems in frist grade. My sister went all the way through school being the "youngest" in her class. She struggled all the way through school herself and my mom often wish she held her back another year. Keep in mind this way 21 years ago.
Fast forward. lol. I think if you feel she will do ok then go a head and send her. If you hold her back a year, she may get bored at school and come to not like it at all because she is not fully challenged. If she does struggle you hold her back. Even if she does realize she is staying behind while all her friends move on, by the time she is old enough to realize what it really meant it becomes more of a joke. Like I said, I was in 1st grade when it happened and it isn't something major to me now.
You and your husband knows what is best for her, go with what you truly believe will be best for her and just have faith in yourself that you made the right decision. :)

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L.R.

answers from Cleveland on

From the sound of things she is ready to go on to Kindergarten. My granddaughter started kindergarten at five and a half and was reading so well she was promoted to first grade after a few months and has done very well as near the youngest in her class. Girls mature faster than boys anyway.
I would follow the guidance of the preschool teacher and if she feels she is ready she probably is.

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N.H.

answers from Cleveland on

We're struggling with the same thing with our 4.5 year old boy!!! At this point, our plan is to send him, and know that we may need to "repeat" kindergarten next year.

(His bday is the end of August) I don't have any experience for you, but just wanted to let you know that we're struggling too!

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M.H.

answers from Columbus on

I sent my 5 year old girl to Kindergarten. I struggled with the same concerns. My daughter is tall for her age, she fits in with her classmates but so many people encourage you to hold them back until they are 6. Not only did I send my daughter at 5 but I myself am the product of going to school at 5 also! I now work full time in a large corporation with no issues. You need to trust what you think is best for your child. If you think she's ready and "mature" enough than go for it. Stay involved with the school and teachers and don't be afraid to ask how she's doing throughout the year. My daughter is now in 1st grade and thriving. She reads at an upper 2nd grade level, she can add and subtract better than a lot of kids in her class and I am very glad I made the choice to send her to school early.

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T.M.

answers from Louisville on

My own opinion is that holding them back never hurts but sending them if you have the slightest doubt does. Think long term too...do you want her to be the youngest going to college or a bit older? My whole family is in education and has always suggested holding back. As a matter of fact, my daughter was a scheduled c-section for Sept. 28 and I moved it to Oct. 1 so she would be oldest in class!

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T.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I know that you will go with what you think is right. I am fine with that. However, please also think about later on. I know several people said they excelled at being the youngest; however, my oldest sister also was 4th in her class and was only 17 when she graduated and was one of the tallest ones in her class. However, if you ask her, she should have been held back. Not academically because she never had to open a book, and became an engineer graduating towards the top in engineering as well, but she said socially she never fit in. She states to this day, she wishes someone would have forced her to be held back in preschool. She also acknowledged that I should have been held back, even though academically on tests I did really well, in actual school work I struggled. Even though you may think if you need to hold her back in Kindergarten for a 2 year, she may possibly get bored because she was already through that program. My suggestion is to talk with preschools that have a pre-k program and what their advise may be. Many of them have taught in the public school system and will be able to tell you the pro's and con's of sending your daughter this next year.

If you are worried she may become bored if held back, and as a parent, I am just as worried about that with my son; however, we continue to work on things that stretch him beyond his age, and giving them additional stuff, will help keep the boredom down. Make sure that you have the school work with you to give her extra things to do even if it is not graded.

The other plus of waiting academically, is she may be fine, but how much extra time might she have to spend to continue to get high grades later in school. I can tell you that if later on, she needs to be held back, she will most likely fight it and rather struggle then be held back from her friends.

Many kids at this age are ready for kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and even possibly up to the 5th grade, but socially it could catch up in the preteen,teen years and make things difficult.

good luck in any decision you make,
T.

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P.L.

answers from Louisville on

I am having the exact same problem with my son. Everything I have read says send a girl if she is 5 before school starts and a boy if he is 5 and a half.
I sent my oldest on, and now he is repeating due to being immature. He is 8 and it's traumatic, so I am keeping my youngest for one more year. I'd rather be safe than sorry. What does the school say? It really depends on each child.

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T.S.

answers from Lexington on

T.,
My daughter was actually 4 for when she started kindergarden. She turned 5, five days later. she really wanted to go to school. My son however would have been just fine if I had waited till he was 12! LOL He had no interest in starting school. It sounds like your daughter would do very well.
T.
www.workathomeunited.com/T.
www.livetotalwellness.com/T.

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H.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi, T. --
This is a subject people seem to be very opinionated about, for sure! My daughter is only 3, so I have a little time before making this decision for her, but I can tell you how it was made for me.

My parents sent me to kindergarten when I was 5, but I was alread able to read and got incredibly bored with what we were supposed to be doing in class. I knew both the kindergarteners and the first graders, having spent the summer with them at summer school, so my parents petitioned the principal to let me skip to first grade. He was extremely reluctant, and I remember having to be interviewed by him so he could get a sense of my developmental level.

Anyway, apparently he gave his guarded consent, and I skipped ahead to first grade, where I was still bored due to the lack of challenge in reading, but not quite as bored. By the time I got to third grade, my skills were no longer so advanced, and I settled in to being just as challenged as everybody else for the remainder of my education.

I was always the youngest kid in class, but it never made a single whit of difference. In fact, I don't think my friends ever even knew. It was not until I was in high school that I had a classmate who was younger than I was - having skipped 2 grades. She was as well-accepted as anyone else, and went on to be an optometrist after college.

Anyway, my experience of being put into school at 5 and then skipped ahead to the level of challenge that was appropriate for me was 1000% beneficial. I didn't have any trouble making friends, I loved school, and I continued to be a good learner. I graduated Cum Laude from several honors programs in college, with a 3.9 GPA. In high school, I'd been class president, prom queen, and editor of the school paper... I mention these various things just to say that I didn't suffer any negative consequences from being skipped, and, in fact, I think it was the best decision my parents could have made -- to keep me challenged and happy.

One decision certainly does NOT fit all, but I think you should not fear putting your daughter in school if she is socially and academically at the stage of her peers. Her age is pretty much irrellevant, at least in my opinion. Age is one of those things that becomes more and more arbitrary the older you get. My daughter is already reading, but her friend who is only 4 months younger, is still only barely speaking. For her, going to school early is more feasible. For him, I don't think so. It's all got to be according to your feeling about your daughter's level. I think you could also benefit from talking to some teachers at her potential school, and the principal, too, to get a read. You can also ask the opinion of her current teachers. I would say, though, it sounds like she's doing just great, so go for it!! Above all, whatever your choice, have confidence in her and challenge her. I'm sure she will rise to your expectations, as long as they are made with love and with her best interests in mind.

Good luck!
H.

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T.P.

answers from Canton on

With our son, he missed the cut off by mere days, and we could have had him tested in, but he'd never had any siblings or cousins, and hadn't been in preschool, so he really had no interaction with other children. So we opted to keep him back one more year, and we took that year to utilize putting him in preschool so that he could get a basis for socializing and the things he needed to know for kindergarten. And boy am I glad we did it that route!! He had never been in daycare, or anything, so his entire preschool year was filled with illness after illness, a diagnosis of asthma brought on during bouts of bronchitis. He had bronchitis and pneumonia over Christmas that year. And did I mention I got pregnant with our 2nd son in the midst of all this? LOL It really did help him, going a year later. Not all children need to be held back one more year, but I DO think it is beneficial for some who haven't had much socialization, and to take that time to either enroll them in preschool or get involved with a toddler class of somesort. If you feel it's needed, or like your daughter would benefit, then keep her home and do your own thing. ;-)

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P.H.

answers from Lima on

Hi T.,
I was a kindergarten teacher for five years...until I had my first child in late July 07. I would suggest sending her to kindergarten...if and only if you think she is ready socially, emotionally, and academically. Some ways to find this out is check to see if your school district has a kindergarten screening. Usually schools have one in the spring and fall. (I would sign-up for both...because of the late birthday.) That way you can evaluate before she turns 5 and then right before schools start. Depending on what program your school uses for screening...they can tell you how she scored and her strengths/weaknesses. Then maybe over the summer you can work on different academic areas. Also, females tend to mature faster than males so if she is one of the youngest in class...she will more than likely do fine. I am also a believer in retaining a student...so if that is recommended...you always have that option.
A little about me: SAHM I am from Port Clinton...live in Lima now. I used to teach until my 6 month daughter was born...she is our first.

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J.B.

answers from Dayton on

T. my suggestion is to send your daughter to school. I have a friend who had the same issuer with her son (boys tend to be slower than girls) and she took my advice and thanks me to this day for it. If your daughter seems ready to you (maning she is comparable to the other kids in her pre-k) then I would send her. If it turns out that she doesn't do as well as you thought then just let her repeat kinder. Then you are in no differnet situation except that she will have a head start on the other kids that are in her class. I have another friend who has a daughter that turned 5 right before cutoff (its actually my daughters bff and my daughter is 7 months older than her but they are in the same grade)and she has done great and the girls are now in second grade doing great. The first frien I mentioned did hold her son back to repeat kinder and he is now in first grade this year after 2 years of kinder, but my friend is very happy with my advice and said she would do it all the same if she did it again. ALso I know you are concerned about your daughter being made fun of. I do know kids can be mean, but I will say I have a daughter in 2nd and a son in kinder and they have never been made fun of nor do they ever make fun of anybody. I think it is a few years before kids begin torturing others and by that time all the other kids in her class will have sprouted too and she will look the same as everyone else. I know my son is the smallest(shortest and skinniest) in his class so everyone seems so much bigger to him, but he would never think to make fun of that and they don't make fun of him for being small. I wish you the best of luck and remember whatever you choose to do then stick by your decision and don't second guess yourself. No one knows if the choice was right or wrong, but best for your daughter and your situation.

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B.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi T..
I know this is a really tough decision. My son turned 5 this past September, and we DID go ahead and send him to Kindergarten. We found that all the other parents we talked to said that they would never send a late 5 to kindergarten, and it seemed that everyone was waiting the extra year, which makes it even harder to go against the grain and send your child! However, in our hearts, we knew that he would be ready. He is very bright, and when I thought about the things they were doing in preschool, and imagined him doing those activities in a year, I knew that he would be completely unchallenged. For us, it was definitely the right decision! He is doing great! He is in the top reading group in his class, his attention span is great, he never has behavioral issues.....as long as your daughter has the attention span, and doesnt have behavioral problems, if you feel she is academically ready, I would go ahead and send her. We did speak with my sons preschool teachers, our pediatrician, and the preschool director, and they all were 100% in favor of sending him. We relied heavily on their experience and judgement. Had his teachers said he wasnt ready, we probably would have held him back. As it turns out, in his class (which is full day kindergarten) there are 12 children with July-Aug-Sept birthdays. I know that when you speak with other parents, they tend to favor holding them back, but from my experience, it was the right choice to send him at the age of 5. Good Luck, and as your husband said, you CAN always hold him back after Kindergarten if its really a problem, but from what you have said, I doubt it will be.

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M.R.

answers from Columbus on

Holding kids back may seem like the right thing to do, it may feel good for you right now, but it is almost never a good idea from an educational perspective. Even if you had a reason to hold her back because you suspected a developmental disabilty, it would be foolish to wait another year for intervention and to lower the bar for her peer group norms (done by age and by grade, but both measure different things.) Since you do not mention any worry about her development, trust that educators set the cutoff where they do becasue kids who are within this age range are ready to go to school and that they have accounted for the entire range of ages that they will encounter. BTW, there is no evidence that holding kids back makes them more sucessful, quite the opposite is true, being the oldest in the class or being significantly older than the rest of the class is one of the most predictive characteristics for teenaged opotitional behavior. You might ease your mind today, but you run a bigger risk of paying for it when she is 18. You are always better off to look ahead when thier problems only get bigger and more permanant. All the educational data supports sending her even if she is young.

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A.N.

answers from Cincinnati on

T.,

My son just made the cut off for starting school at age 4. His birthday is 9/21. I started him early. It was a hard decision for me also. If I had it to do over I would have waited until he turned 5. There were a lot of behavior issues his teachers and I had to deal with, that we believe was partially to do with his maturity level. His second grade teacher even suggested to me to hold him back a year even though he had all A's and B's. She said his maturity level was getting in the way of his learning. I was very upset with myself because I felt like it was my fault for starting him early, and if I decided to hold him back, it would really affect him and give him a view of himself being a failure. I decided to let him move forward and his maturity level has caught up with intellegance level. He's doing well now and we even found out last year he is considered a "gifted" child, so I think I made the right decision to not hold him back or he would have been bored. Every child is different and I know girls mature earlier than boys. My sister in law and I were on this subject not too long ago and she had a good point. She said she could've started her son early but she wanted to give him a chance to be a "leader" and not a "follower". Good luck with your decision.
-A.

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R.W.

answers from Lexington on

My daughter started kindergarten when she was 4 as her birthday is in October and the district we were in required the child to be 5 before December. She was definitely ready and mature enough to go to school. She was, however, one of the youngest and smallest children but she was just fine and loved it. If your child is mature enough then I think it is the right thing to do to send her to kindergarten. My nephew was of the right age but he just hated being there and so his parents took him out and waited until the next year and he was fine at that time.
Even children that are 5 yrs. old aren't always ready but they have to start sometime according to local requirements. Start preparing your child and decide if she is ready. She could be very ready to go to school and you will be happy you decided to send her.

J.D.

answers from Columbus on

I did not have to make this decision for my children, but I did used to work as a teachers assistant on a kindergarten classroom. My observation is that it really does depend on the kids and their maturity level. my only concern would be, how old will she be when college starts, and are you going to be willing and able to send a barely (or almost) 17 year old girl to college?

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N.M.

answers from Columbus on

Yes I sent my daughter who is now 7 to school when whe was 5. With my situation... she ended up getting held back. My fault I guess... well it started off like this.....
We signed her up for pre school because at that time she was the youngest and we wanted her to be familiar with other students and get the idea that we drop her off and then pick her up. I recieved a call one morning from the pre school saying that we needed to have a conference. When we got together, they told me that Alyssa was not ready for pre school at all. They said she knew what she needed to know and was pretty smart but her attention spand was not where its suposed to be. I mean even at home she had all of these movies that she had never watched because she couldn't sit to watch them for even 2 minutes..went to the pediatrician and he said that she could take awhile to be more attentive or it could happen in a day..week.. even over night... but when it does that we would know.Came time for kindergarden... she seemed like she was ready.. but she was not.. she progressed but not enough for kindergarden.. we all talked about it and everyone thought it would be best to hold her back.... HUGE mistake!!! That summer she did it!!! She would watch movies and everything!! So when she stared kindergarden again she was sooo bored and passing everything with flying colors. She is now doing the same.. straight A's in first grade! So for you... it sounds like your daughter is ready... and independent... I would send her... but of course i'm not her wonderful mommy.. you are... so hope this helps, good luck and God Bless!
N.

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C.B.

answers from Cleveland on

My oldest DD had a 9/19 birthday and I did not hesitate one bit to send her to Kindergarten. She had two years of preschool and did well both socially and academically. Near the end of her last year of preschool, I remember other parents thinking I was crazy for sending her to Kindergarten. Some of their kids had birthdays as early as May and they were going to hold their kid back. I think it would have been a huge mistake to not send DD to Kindergarten when she was so ready to go.

When she went to Kindergarten and we had a parent/teacher conference, the teacher said my DD was doing so much better than some of the older kids in her class. DD was at least 1 1/2 months younger than the next youngest kid in her class.

DD is now in 5th grade and has not had any problems socially or academically.

My twin sister and I also have 9/19 birthdays and we started Kindergarten when we were 4. We never had any problems socially or academically.

When your DD starts college, she will be almost 18 (not just 17 or barely 17 like a previous poster stated) and she really shouldn't experience any problems if she is socially mature.

You are really the only one that knows what is best for your DD. If you think she is socially and academically mature, and her preschool teachers think she is ready, then send her to Kindergarten.

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L.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

Wow - you sound EXACTLY the way I did 1 year ago. Aug/Sept birthdays are the worst when it comes to the stress of deciding when to start school. It's not really being overly dramatic to say that your decision will affect your daughter for the rest of her life! We decided to send my very tall daughter to school when she was turning 5. It was weird to send a 4 year old off to kindergarten for those 1st couple weeks of school before she actually turned 5, but I am sure we made the right decision.

In trying to decide what to do, we talked a lot with her preschool teachers. They both said that they always forgot she was 1 of the younger kids in class and were concerned that she would be bored in another year of preschool. We are now 1/2 way through kindergarten and her report card last week was stellar. She is fitting in very well in class (although is still the tallest kid!) and at conference time, her teacher said that she is very well-spoken, mature and performing beyond expectations (based on grade, not age). When she has playdates at classmates' houses, their Moms are always surprised to find out that she is on the younger side.

Looking back, while it was nerve-wracking to know that she would be almost 2 years younger than some of her classmates, I feel we made the right decision because we based our decision on the fact that she was intellectually and emotionally ready to begin kindergarten (rather than focusing on the fact that so many other parents hold their kids back a year).

Good luck with your decision. I know it's not an easy one to make. Use her preschool teachers and even her pediatrician as resources, but also don't forget to follow your instincts. Whatever you end up deciding, don't second-guess yourself...you'll only make yourself crazy!

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M.C.

answers from Cleveland on

My 5 year old also had a September b-day, and I was very much for sending him to kindergarten this year. He has been in preschool since infancy, and I have taught Pre-K and Kg for 7 years, so I definitely felt that this was the right move. Alot of people offered their own advice,(some very much discouraged sending him this year), but I know my son, and he was ready. We are so glad we did not wait another year! He is halfway through Kg. now, and is doing so well - being in "school" school has been a great reality check for him. It also helps that he has a great teacher who is very experienced, so if possible, talk to the principal - you may be able to request someone based on your daughter's needs. GOOD LUCK!!

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M.V.

answers from Cleveland on

What a difficult decision! I have a girl who turned 5 in October, and school was the farthest thing from my mind a year ago, as I was always planning on homeschooling her.
Well, last September she asked to go to school, numerous times, so I very quickly decided to follow her lead and enrolled her in a new charter school that opened up in Akron, as she made the age cut-off. I was so worried and upset, thinking she was too young, she had NEVER been in any out-of-home program before, and worrying about all the reasons I didn't like organized schooling for children....but she has adjusted super well and LOVES it.
I would suggest you ask your girly what she wants to do, even at these young ages they have ideals about that kinda stuff and if they feel out of control will act out in many small ways, without even realizing it.

I agree with oyur husband, also. If things aren't working out, it can't hurt to just pull her out and try again next year. My daughter's class has many kids from 4-6 and they all look different, are different heights, and are at different intellectual/emotional levels in each topic/subject. Its not a big deal and adds to the experience for all of them.

Good Luck!

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