Do I Send Him to Kindergarten or Pre-K?

Updated on March 09, 2009
J.S. asks from North Richland Hills, TX
86 answers

My son will be turning 5 in mid-August. He has been in a preschool program for a while and does well, but he is very "young" for his age. He is also a little small compared to other kids in his class. My husband and I are trying to decide if we are going to send him to Kindergarten in August or to Pre-K. I am interested in hearing other parents experiences with this. I am leaning towards holding him back, but my husband thinks he will do fine. Help!

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So What Happened?

Wow! This is the first time I've posted and I am overwhelmed with all the responses! Thank you! My husband and I are going to go to the Private K open house to look at our options. They are the same school that has the Pre-K program we are considering as well. I think IF we are going to send him to Kindergarten, it will be at the Private school first so he has fewer kids in his class. In addition, if we still think he's not ready for 1st, we can send him to public K after his year in private K(we have an "exemplary" rated school with an excellent program), and I am not sure he'll know this is unusual. If we go to the open house and find he is not ready, we will then sign him up for Pre-K and enjoy the extra year! After reading all the responses, the overwhelming consensus is to hold off one more year. This will most likely be our decision.
I have an August bday as well and HATED being the youngest---last to drive, earliest curfew, and I had to study harder than most, even though my grades were excellent. I know this was because I was much younger than so many others in my class.

Thanks again for ALL your advice!!!!! You moms are fabulous!

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B.J.

answers from Dallas on

Brittany F. took the words right out of my mouth. You can't change his birthday so he will either be the youngest or the oldest. I can't think of a single scenario where being the oldest wouldn't be an advantage.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son started school when he was 5. He was a young 5 too, his birthday in mid-June. He did very well, infact he exceeded in Kindergarten. I was concerned about starting him young or holding him back a year. He was small for his age and still is one of the smallest in his class. He is now in 1st grade and is in part of a Gifted and Talented class. I am glad he started when he did, and don't worry about it at all now. It's a hard decision to make.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

As a teacher, I recommend pre-K. My arguement is this. If you say he is "young" for his age, it will give him time to develop. Even if you would not have said this, I would probably still have recommended pre-k. It is always better for a kids self-esteem to be successful so it would be better for him to be at the top of his pre-k and other classes than to struggle in kindergarten.

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E.R.

answers from Dallas on

This trend of holding kids back is really getting out of hand. Maturity is not going to happen in 1 year and he's probably not going to grow 5 inches in 1 year either. He's of age...send him. Its Kindergarten not Harvard!! He's ready if he doesn't throw tantrums, he can follow 1 step directions and shows an interest in words and/or reading. He's been in a preschool program so he will fit right in! Can you believe the craziness?? Not wanting a son to be the last one with a drivers license? Bigger for Sports? People are "holding" back for all the wrong reason...hardly any of them have to do with "education!"...So sad!! I was a Summer bday and didn't have any problems what so ever with grades, status, college...etc....This trend is really causing a big problem for parents of girls. When these girls are in Middle School at 11 - they are intermingling with boys as old as 15 due to the boys being held back. Who's at a disadvantage now? Let's hope this boys are mature!!

1 mom found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Wait, wait, wait. You'll never regret it; but you might seriously regret starting him early. You're blessing with a year of growth and maturity by allowing him to wait. Wish I'd had someone to tell my husband the same about 12 years ago!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

This is very common for boys. WAIT!!!!!!! If he is not matured enough it will only benefit him to keep him in preschool one more year.
LC

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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

I say definitely hold him back, especially since he's a boy. My daughter has a mid-August birthday, and started right after she turned five. She's always the youngest, but she's doing fine. My second, a son, just started Kindergarten this year, and it's been a very hard adjustment for him. His birthday is in March, so he's kind of in the middle, but there's already seven year olds in his class. There's a BIG difference between a five year old boy and a seven year old boy. My third, who's also a boy, will be five in July, and we've decided to hold him back a year. We want to protect his innocence as long as we can and give him that little extra time to mature. In the end, it's a choice only you and your husband can decide for your son. However, I will say that I've only heard people say that wish they would have held their son back, never that they hadn't. Good luck!

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L.W.

answers from Lubbock on

I have a stepson and a nephew who turned 5 and instead of holding them back my husband and his ex and my brother and his wife put them in kindergarten and if they had it to do all over again, they would have kept them back another year before putting them in kindergarten. They are both younger than any of their friends (like my stepson, all his friends are working on getting their drivers' license). Even Skyler, my stepson, says he wishes he had been kept back a year. Levi, my nephew, is that way to. My two kids don't have that problem, they are the older ones in their class. But I would highly recommend waiting another year to start kindergarten, it will be so much easier on the child. It will give him more maturity and he will do a lot better. This is just my opinion, having seen it and being their for the boys. Good luck!
L.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

My opinion is to hold him back since his birthday is so close to Sept. deadline for K kids and considering his maturity level. I have lots of friends that have done that in the past and never regretted it. THIS is the time to do it instead of later on when they understand more and then wonder why they don't get to go to the next class with their friends. You have to think how he will be in Jr. High and HS compared to his classmates too. Keep him in PreK and I'm sure he'll be ready next year. Good luck.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I was in the same exact boat as you last year. My son's birthday is Aug 16. He looks about a year younger than he is...and sometimes acts it. We struggled with the decision and second guessed ourselves about wiating a year when the daycare worker acted like she had never heard of arbitrarily holding a child back. However, we do think it was for the best and we're not one bit sorry we waited. He stayed in Pre-K last year and is in Kindergarten this year. He is the oldest in his class, but he fits right in. He fits right in with the other kids and is still one of the shortest in his class. Like someone else stated, when I asked friends and coworkers their opinions, I only heard of people who were sorry they didn't hold their children back, especially boys. Nobody regretted starting late - nobody. Plus, I'd much rather have him start late (he doesn't realize he was "held back") vs. possibly failing in a few years because we should've waited and having to repeat a school year when all his friends go to the next grade.

While it doesn't hurt to take into consideration what your preschool teacher thinks, you really need to think about your feelings about him being young for his age.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I held back my August son. He was ready intellectually (knew all his letters, numbers, etc and actually excelled in this area) but he was not ready emotionally or socially - he never stood up for himself, let every kid get in front of him in line, cried easily, separation problems, etc. He was average in size. I lean towards all August boys staying back but think you need to consider how he is intellectually AND emotionally and socially. If he is missing one of the pieces, then hold him. I have a friend with an end of July boy and she sent him to K, but then he was ready in all the areas. To me, K is a lot of getting ready for school in all the areas which means making friends just as much as knowing your letters.

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G.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello,
I have two boys, both with summer b-days. I held my oldest back, he is kindergarten now and has a May b-day, so he was 6 when he started. Best decision we made. He is confident in his abilities and just needed that extra time to develop socially. I can tell a HUGE difference in the younger boys vs the older ones in his class. Socially and academically. It is really not the same with the girls though. I am holding my 4 year old back as well, he turns 5 this July. I just think it only benefits them, but I know every child is different. Good luck and go with your gut!

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

Most of the other posts talk about how the children perform in elementary school. Fo many "early starters" you don't see the difference in their maturity until high school. Think about your son being the last in his grade to get his drivers license. Many kids who are younger, tend to become followers in high school, rather than leaders. He will also be graduating at 17, and starting college just a few days after turning 18. That seems like a long way off, but it is something to think about. On a less serious note, if he plays sports, starting school later will give his body one more year to grow and be stronger. When he gets to high school sports, that will only help him.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

I have two sons (8 and 5) both with summer birthdays. My oldest is an early July and my youngest is a late August. I fully understand your delimma and would advise you to not make your decision based on general rules of thumb. I got really stressed out dealing with this situation with my older son listening to others general stories about boys with late birthdays. The reality is that each child is different. My oldest is now in 3rd grade (with kids a full year older than him) performing very well. I did not assume that the same would be true for my younger son though. I contemplated holding him back in Pre-K4, but after talking to his teacher last year and knowing my child, we sent him on to Kinder, and he has actually exceeded my expectations. My kids are competitive and seem to flourish when they have other students around them doing well. This has helped pull them along despite their age. Talk with his teacher about where your child is in relation to the other kids (academically, mentally, etc.) and then make an informed decision based on your individual situation. If you do decide to hold him back, I would advise changing schools.

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

Our son has a late birthday also and we held him for a year. It has been the best decision ever!! He is thriving in first grade and really likes being one of the oldest in his class. We decided that they can always go forward a grade, but they thought of holding him a grade AFTER he made friends seemed like a bad plan. Good luck, I know it's a hard choice and you want your kids to be happy

B.F.

answers from Dallas on

I guess I'm kind of late responding...but thought I'd go ahead and give my two cents.... Ha. Anyway, I have a son with the same situation. He turned 5 last August 22, so technically, he could have started Kindergarten this past fall. We held him out until next year, but it wasn't an easy decision, much like what you're going through. What I finally decided was this: He is either going to be the very, very youngest in his class, or the very, very oldest. And with a boy, I figured that I would rather him always be the oldest for several reasons. One thing I thought about is that I didn't want him to be the very last one to get his driver's license when it came time. (I was an August baby, too, but my mom started me when I was five, so I graduated from high school at 17, and thus went off to college at age 17, too....not a good idea!) Also, when you think about the dating scenarios when they get into high school, I just wanted him to be older. Another thing was I figured being the oldest would only give him advantages in the area of sports should he decide that he wants to play sports. I could only think of advantages, no disadvantages. Plus, he's my baby, so that meant one more year at home with me!!! Which was a huge bonus for me.
I've talked to many, many teachers and adminstrators from the school (my oldest is already in school) and they all agreed with the decision that we made and think that it will only be the best for him.
Hope this helps a little bit! :-)
~B.

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T.W.

answers from Dallas on

I know you've had a lot of responses, and I'm sorry I didn't take the time to make sure someone hadn't already mentioned this, but we have a son with a May birthday and had similar questions. We ended up sending hime to GEM Express in Lucas (just outside of Allen off Main). They are one of the only Kindergarten programs in the area that is transitional, but they cover all the major topics of AISD curriculum so if you find they are ready for first, they can go on without any problem. Our son ended up going on to first grade and he has done well. Any issues he has stems from some lingering immaturity, but his teacher is very patient and he has grown tremendously over this year. But GEM was exactly the answer we were looking for (also the hours worked for our son...9-2, M-TR; the price was also good at $290/mth).

Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

I know I'm late, but thought I'd add my two cents. :) My son is a June bday and started private kinder this year. His teacher says he is very bright and he is reading very well and otherwise doing well academically, but he is immature. My husband and I were so sure he was academically ready we probably let that cloud our judgment about whether he was socially ready. Our school has a grade between kinder and first called primer for those not quite ready to move on. That is what we'll be doing next year, barring rapid social development, and I'm glad it's an option for us. You may want to see if any schools you are considering offer this. Good luck!!

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

I remember struggling with the same decision when my daughter was turning five. Her birthday is August 30. She also did well in preschool and would have done just fine in Kindergarten, but I finally decided to hold her back because she was a little small for her age and a little on the shy side. It was the best decision I ever made. She is more confident, more social and one of the best students in her grade (2nd grade, now.) In fact, she was selected to be in the gifted learning program at her school. I feel certain it's because she is one of the oldest students in her grade versus being one of the youngest. If you decide to hold back and go to pre-k I don't think you'll have any regrets.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

I would hold him back.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

Wow, you have gotten lots of responses! My youngest son turned 5 just after the cut off date. He was definately capable of the curriculum side so my husband wanted to put him in private school for the first year. I wanted to wait. Our older boys were in middle school at the time so I talked to their counselor who advised us to wait. Her comment was "You will condem him to always be a follower if you send him early". That was all it took. We have never regretted it. What I really wish is that I had kept my middle son, whose birthday is in Feb, back a year. He always ran about 6 months behind. It was a huge struggle for him. I think he would have done so much better if we had. Good luck with your decision!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

My first son was born 8/14, just two weeks before the 9/1 cutoff at that time. He was very smart but very shy and quiet. I polled everyone who would listen on this topic and the vast majority recommended holding him back. Better to start Kindergarten late where no one will be the wiser than to have to repeat 3rd grade when school starts to get a little tough. Then everyone knows, both in 4th grade and 3rd grade the next year. That would be tough socially. And, especially for a boy's self-esteem, it's better to be the oldest, smartest kid in the class than the youngest, smallest, possibly struggling academically or socially kid.

So what we did was send him to Private Kindergarten at Children's Courtyard in Grapevine when he was 5, then to Public Kindergarten when he was 6. He was a rock star in his public school classes! When it was time for his brother, born 7/31, to turn 5 we did the same thing without all the agonizing over it because we had such great results with his brother.

Plus, think about age 15/16...would you rather have him be the passenger for the first year that all his friends learn to drive or be the driver, where you and he have more control? Plus, who would be the more likely chick magnet...the kid with the car or the kid who still has a year to go before getting his license? :-) If you put it to your husband that way, I'm sure he will see your point!

Good luck,

M.
"Our doctor misses us. So does the pharmacist"
View my Mamasource profile to find out why

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H.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son was small for his age (still is) and is the youngest kid in his class....he's in 7th grade now. I wonder many times if I should have held him back. He does fine academically but he's behind socially somewhat and physically he's super small. For a boy this is not the best thing in my opinion - especially if you think he will want to play sports. My son isn't very intersted in sports but if he was he would be limited due to his size and maturity. Think of all of these things before you make your choice. I only considered the fact that my son was very smart and I thought he might be bored if I held him back...but now I think he probably would have been ok. Wishing I could turn back time....he's fine but still I wonder if I really made the best choice for him. Good Luck - it's a hard decision. :)

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B.J.

answers from Abilene on

I am a retired PreK teacher of 10 yrs. I hope you know boys develop later than girls so it might not hurt to leave him in PreK for a year. It has to be your opinion and your decision. My son was just like yours as far as size, age, etc. and I wish I had the experience of knowing it would have been better to have left him in PreK instead of letting him go on to Kindergarten. He was immature throughout the years in school. Good luck and check your teacher our that he will have. Make sure she/he will spend lots of fun, learning activities to do with your son. I still stay in touch with my PreK students & other class students that I taught for 15 years.
B. J.

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

My now 9 year old's birthday is Sept 7. We looked at putting him into a private kindegarten so he could start a year ahead and because he was so ahead for his age. We decided not to because of several reasons. Some of the best advice I got was to look at the future. For boys especially it is better to be the oldest in the class instead of the youngest. If you hold your son back a year he will be the oldest in the class - first to drive type of thing. Also - if he is not mature enough yet he will have a much harder time. We have NEVER regretted not sending our son early. And he is always one of the brightest in the class and one of the more mature ones. Don't just look at the immediate situation - look a little ahead. Just my thoughts and hope this helps !

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have b/g twins who have a mid-august birthday. Last year I was faced with this question and I really thought about it and decided to hold them back until this year.

I have seen my two mature and become so much more self confident in that year. I have seen them gain in academic skills, and become more of leaders now instead of followers who never took the lead in anything.

My advice is to hold him back if you have any questions about it. This is something that will not only affect him now, but as the youngest when it comes time to getting a drivers license and dating, he will feel more out of place being the youngest.

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B.H.

answers from Dallas on

If you enroll him in Kindergarten, I think you will find that there are others in his class who are just like him. And kids seem to do better when they are around kids who are just like them! I think the same way about my little one (4 now, 5 in June and enter the bid K!). To me she small and fragile but I think it's just me not wanting her to grow up so quickly She's the baby in the family! :)

B.
www.belleserelle.com

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M.C.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I am an Elementary School teacher. Definitely send him to pre-k. It is an advantage to be an "older" student....that maturity is so important. Especially for boys. Best of luck.

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F.C.

answers from Tyler on

My son turned 5 the day school started and I sent him to kindergarten. He passed all the readiness tests that the daycare had given so I thought it would be a breeze - and yeah! NO more fulltime daycare costs! Boy, almost 20 years later, I still wish I had held him back a year. He was so not ready and instead of first grade, he went to 1/2, but he was still on track with his years, so the next year he went to 2nd grade. He really needed another year for the maturity level - IF I were to ever have to make that decision again, I would wait a year for kindergarten.
Good Luck!
Frances

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

IMO I thinks its better to be the older bigger one in the class than the smaller younger one... consider friends, sports and maturity... he would probably do better to be ahead of everyone and not behind but its really based on the maturity of the child and size like you said. so I think hes a good canidate for holding back... we have a 2.5 year old whos b day is aug 23rd so we are going to wait and see how he is when he turns 5...

just a side note, kindergarten is optional in Texas and kids can start school in 1st grade as long as they are 6 prior to sept 1st (i think the date is sept 1) so if you want to keep him in preschool for another year and see if you think he should go to Kindergarten then or see if you think he is ready for 1st grade...

but either way, weather you hold him back or not kindergarten is really important for getting kids the right start to school. I dont suggest skipping kindergarten and starting school when they are 6 and in first grade. That should only be done if you have had then in a good program prior to 1st grade to prepare them for school.

Good luck
A. J

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S.P.

answers from Abilene on

Hi! My husband and I had a little boy born in late July and we sent him to kindergaarten @ a young age of 5. He was pretty big physically so we were afraid he would be too big physically to wait. He was somewhat immature socially and emotionally, so struggled a bit...but caught up after the 2nd grade. He was very bright, and very big, but was behind socially with his age level. I wish we had waited to give him a little more advantage when he did start school! He is wonderfully fine now...6'4", handsome, college educated, gainfully employed, and just got married to a beautiful young woman. I vote for PreK...Give him some time!!!
Blessings, S. Preston

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N.C.

answers from Dallas on

when i taught pre k i had four yr olds that were turning five. if your son is going to be five and he does well with his school work then i think you should send him to kindergarden. if he's not strong in the acedemic aspect then hold him back. besides, if he doesn't do well you can have him repeat his kindergarden yr. at least its early in his schooling and not in jr high etc.

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H.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,

My son will turn 5 on Aug 27, and we've decided not to send him to kindergarten. I've talked to too many moms whose kids ended up being held back later when they started them so young. So, you can look at it this way....it's much easier to hold him back now than to have him repeat 3rd grade, know what I mean? Also, why start him out at a disadvantage?

On a side note, when my daughter started kindergarten, there were two boys in her class that shared the same birthday (Aug 14), only one was a year older & the son of a teacher. The younger one was constantly in trouble b/c he just wasn't mature enough to handle the classroom structure all day (and it is a very long day for them!). The older one had no problems at all.

You have plenty of time to decide, so seek out as many teachers/school employees as possible, and ask their opinion....they are the ones that know best.

Good Luck!

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
As a child who was held back because of my size ( I was always the littlest in my class, I was often subjected to being smarter than everyone else because I was a year older. So not only was I tormented for being little but smart. If your son is ready for kindergarten then send him to kindergarten. It is easier to make friends with children of similar intelligence and age than with kids who are younger and do not have the social and intellectual skills you have. Also when your kid gets to high school there are many advantages for you as a parent. Younger children get their driver's license when they are juniors instead of sophomores saving you a year of worry and giving your kid a year to really appreciate having the privilege. Also if you want to graduate early there are several options for younger students to get full-scholarships into college because of their younger age. All around I wish my parents had put as much thought as you are into it.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

You have many responses--both ways. A lot of them are based on the fact that they have elementary children and are glad they started kindergarten rather them hold them back. I am a mother of a 18 year old. His birthday is the end of June. When he was your child's age, we debated the same thing. He was very smart academically and was a little immature socially. My husband said he would be fine. But some how I didn't agree--my gut was telling me something different. So, we put him in kindergarten. My husband now wishes we held him back. You can never go back once you make the decision. I'm sure your child will be fine but the biggest difference is when they get to high school and college. I know that's a long ways off but it sooner than you realize. Everyone was driving and my son was always the passenger. Everyone when to college at almost 19 and my son was just turning 18. There is a difference. I would suggest holding him back. If your gut is telling you to do so, then do it. You, as a mom, knows your son better than anyone.

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L.V.

answers from Amarillo on

My son is in first grade this year (again). I chose to hold him back because he was having a hard time with school. Everyday was a hassle doing school work, having him try to read, in fact just getting him up in the morning and getting him ready when he knew he was going there was a major battle. I was told when he was younger that he was "young" for his age. His birthday is in May, but I figured that he wasn't that far off, so he'd be fine. I was wrong. I never should of started him in kindergarten when I did. I should of waited. Now this year, he is right where he needs to be. He doesn't complain about getting up and going to school, he doesn't try to "pretend" he's sick so he can stay home, and he's made the all A's honor roll both first and second nine weeks. I'm so proud of him. I wish I wouldn't of put him through all that torture of trying to learn things when he wasn't capable of doing that "mentally". He would cry and tell me it was too hard, but I thought he just didn't want to do the work. I hated the fact of holding him back, but it was a great decision. My advice is to wait and start him in preschool. My son is alot happier this year than he was last year and his kindergarten year. Hope this helps.

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R.A.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is in a similar situation, so am posting in an effort to view the responses! Good luck with whatever you decide, I know it's a hard decision.

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L.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.! My daughter was born on July 30th and so we were very hesitant on sending her to Kindergarten, but then decided to go ahead and do it and if she wasn't doing well, we would just pull her out and put her in Pre-K...I am so glad we sent her. The 1st 6 months were an adjustment for her, but after that she is doing great. We actually just learned she has an IQ of 127 in 1st grade, which my husband and I never would have guessed. We were actually concerned with her being behind on knowledge. Guess she knows more than we do:) I know it can be different with boys, but I would talk to his preschool teachers and see what they think. If they think he is ready, then what can it hurt to try?

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S.P.

answers from Dallas on

We held my son back who was right on the cut off day line. I had always heard from other moms that especially with boys it was better to wait. My son I felt was not mature enough to handle K so I left him in preschool for another year. It ended up being the best decision in the long run. He was so much more mature the next year and for him being one of the oldest in his class and playing sports has also helped. I think with your son who you said was on the smaller side that it might be better to wait. It would give him a another whole year to catch up and I think with boys that would be important once you started school.
Good luck in whatever your decision is.

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J.P.

answers from Dallas on

My son was the same, he turned 5 at the end of July before Kindergarten started. Honestly I didn't even realize there was any age difference between him and the rest of his class until we started going to birthday parties and everyone was turning 7 and he was only going to be 6 on his next birthday. He will be just fine, my son is in first grade this year and doing great. If your son is going well in the pre-school program that he is in continue with that and I am sure he will be fine this fall for kindergarten.

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son's birthday is August 23rd. He was 4 when he started kindergarten, he is now in the 4th grade, was commended on his reading and math TAKS last year in 3rd grade. He is small for his age, but HE was ready to go to big school, so we let him and he makes A's. I say look at your son and see if he is ready to go to big school, if he is let him go, see how it goes and if it doesn't go well hold him back, but I think he will do well.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

Personally, I would hold him back. I was the youngest in my class, but the valedictorian. I was a little awkward socially because I was not mentally as mature as the others. It was hard! Though I survived and I was/am successful, I could see where having more maturity would have made my life easier at that time.

GL with your decision!

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J.P.

answers from Dallas on

My son is 11 now and in 6th grade. His birthday is July and we did not hold him back. If I had to do it over I would hold him back. It was not so much academic problems but maturity that was the problem. Also, it was not really an issue until 4th grade when the expectations of what they had to be responsible for themselves kicked up a notch! We ended up moving him to a Charter school with smaller classes and teachers that work more closely with him. Even now his best friends are typicall in 5th grade. Like most posters I think you have to judge for yourself but it is hard when they are only 4!

Judi

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

I am a little late replying, but as a 1st grade teacher, I would not enroll him in Kindergarten next year. I have boy/girl twins born in June and I plan on holding them out an additional year. Many times, their immaturity will cause them to have a difficult time in a classroom setting.

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T.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hold him back!!!! My mom taught Kind. for 30 plus years and she said never, never, never, send a young boy when in doubt. Our boys had July and Aug. birthdays and we debated with both. We had our July son tested and his tests put him at the end of Kind, but we still did not send him. He started thanking us in 5th grade for making that choice. Our Aug. son, was equally thankful.
My mom said even though they made seem on grade level, they will always struggle to keep up. If you give them another year to mature, then they will be at the top of their class and will not constantly be struggling. Then there is the size issue, the drivers license issue, the hormone issue, as well as the competitive sport issue. If you have the choice, as you do, let him be a kid one more year. Then when he really enters Kind., he'll be ready and proud of what he can do. Good Luck!

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A.W.

answers from Tyler on

You obviously have a reason for saying he is "young" for his age and putting him with kids that are not somewhat even on the maturity scale is a recipe for disaster. He will start to get in trouble just because he has not yet developed the more mature way of expressing his feelings. Your husband takes it as an insult at the thought of holding his son back becuase that's how males think, everything is a competition. It is going to be A LOT easier to start him in Pre-K now and keep him with kids on the same level then it will be to have to hold him back at some point in the future. That is when it will really be a bad blow to the pride for your husband and son. The school system is required to put so much pressure on these kids to perform at a certain level at each grade and it is really easy for kids to get "labeled" at a very young age. You're mom and you truly know what's best for your son to help him succeed and you may have to fight a few battles but in the end his success is going to be worth it. Hope everything works out well.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

What does your son's teacher think? He or she is your best resource for whether your son is ready for kindergarten. Or, contact you local school district and see if they can evaluate him to see if he's ready.

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same happen to me. I have twins born early August. I sent them to pre-k and they did fine, they started Kindergarten the next year and just had lots of problems so I held them back. They were also small for their age and were just not up to speed with the other kids. I held them back and it was the best thing I could have done for them. They are both making good grades and I am glad I held them back in the early stage of school. Good Luck. And if you are not sure you can always talk to the school Counseler.

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D.I.

answers from Dallas on

I just want to say I think it's great for you to weigh out all options. We held our daughter back (late July bday), even though many people said she'll be fine... girls are more mature, she sits quietly, behaves etc. But, I think as a mom, you have to go with your gut instinct. She is now in 5th grade and we are so happy we made the choice to wait a year for her to start K. She is very mature in relationships and "life", but she also has an "innocence" that makes us thankful she has one more year before middle school! We were on the fence for some time and went through the same struggles in deciding as you are. I didn't read through other posts, so maybe someone mentioned already that the other time being young comes into play is when they are young freshmen in college. That was a strong factor in helping us make our decision. I thought one extra year before the independence of going off to school definitely can't hurt. It is a lot to think about. Our daughter didn't realize she was "held back" until the last couple years, but it doesn't bother her a bit. There are several others in her class that are older, like her... I wish you well, as you consider your options! When the time comes, you will know what to do.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I started K at 4, skipped second grade, and graduated high school at 16. I never struggled academically, but social life was sometimes kind of confusing for me.

My five year old is a July baby - he was so clearly ready for kindergarten this year - despite being one of the youngest, he is the tallest - and academically, he too was ready.

My three year old is a January baby - he is small, and he acts younger than most of his age mates - I am glad that the youngest he could start is five and a half, but depending on the progress we make in the next 2 years he may well be 6 and a half when he starts kindergarten - after close evaluation and conference between me, his dad (who goes with whatever I say) and his pre - k teacher.

For me it would be more an issue of the acting younger than the looking smaller - never know when they're going to hit a growth spurt. I'd go with a good K-4 program and do kindergarten next year.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son is an Aug. 11 6 month old. As a former public HS teacher I'd say HOLD HIM BACK UNTIL HE IS 6. My hubby was put back into first grade in middle of 2nd grade year because he wasn't ready. He then had a very positive experience the rest of the time. Boys that were in my classes that were not successful had had YEARS of failure behind them that could have been turned around if their parents were willing to allow them to fail and stay back just one year in the elementary time. The worst time thing to do is to wait too long to correct anything you see early on. A good start beats an early start.

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1. WHAT IS THE TAKE ALONG TETHER?
2. What school in Carrollton are you interviewing? I'd love to check them out myself!
L., carrollton, TX
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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

Okay... I have 2 daughters-- a preemie June bday and a September bday, so one is "the oldest" in her class, the other is one of the "youngest". It has all been a MUCH easier transition for the one that is "the oldest"-- in many different ways. Yes, the other one does fine-- she really does-- she makes great grades, is a star reader, etc... but esp. with socializing and such, it was much easier for her sis being "the big girl on campus", so to speak. If you send him to K and feel you've made a mistake, you can always have him repeat that year. But, you should follow your instinct-- either way! Good Luck!

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

My suggestion is to hold him back. I have 2 boys in school, one has a March b-day and the other has a June b-day. We held both of them back and let them start kindergarten when they were 6. Both have done extremely well. It also helps to gain that extra year of maturity. I know a lot of people who have held their sons back and do not regret it. I know a lot of people who haven't held their sons back and wish they had. You can't go wrong by giving them an extra year before sending them to kindergarten. You don't want to start him and then have him struggle to keep up. Just my .02

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K.G.

answers from Dallas on

try a 5s program that has the same curriculum as a Kinder but will give him the gift of time (not holding him back-- ---just starting him later) my son will be 5 in aug. and that is what we are doing too---
He'd either be the very youngest or the very oldest-- I'd rather him be the oldest... good luck...
you can always enrich and do EXTRA things to enhance his learning but it IS VERY difficult to play cath up all the time-- a struggle and tears down self esteem/ motivation/ and overal character....

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

I would ask his preschool teachers what they think as well. They can tell you if they think he's ready to sit and learn and listen to instruction or if they think he'd do better with a Pre-K class.

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M.L.

answers from Dallas on

I myself am a teacher would watch how the child behaves and if you think he is immature with his peer group that might be a sign of holding him back. You have a couple of months to decide. Knowing that he is "young" for his age think about how he might handle school as he gets older. Sometimes children aren't able to handle school work. Some are held back when they are older and the stigma is awful. If you hold him back now the stigma will never enter the equation.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

one possiblity,

If you can find a way to afford it, they are soemtimes hard to find, but there are afordable good private preschool thru kinder schools out there...
You could put him in a private kindergarten this comming school year, and if he does fine
start him in public first grade the next year. If not then have him repeat Kindergarten in public school for extra re-enforcement of the skills. That way if he does need to repeat, he will not feel like he is repeating, because it will be a new school and all new kids.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

I often hear I wish I would have held my child back, but I have never heard I wish I hadn't held my child back. (I worked in the school system for 23 years) Trust your instinct if you think it is in his best interest to start school the follwing year, it is.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would ask what his preschool teachers recommend- how they think he would do in a K classroom.
My son's preK teachers were all telling me that a full day of instruction would do my son a world of difference - that he would benefit so much from that. Many preK programs are part-time, not same schedule as K. And my son thrives on people constantly challenging him.
anyway... another option for you is to go ahead and try K.... pull him out if he suffers during, which he probably won't if he's had PreK.... they work with each kid on their level. There's reading and math tutoring that they offer for free. And then if by the end of the K year, you can choose to have him repeat Kindergarten instead of going on to 1st grade.
Many summer bday kids do this, too. That way they get the full day of instruction from certified teachers when they're 5 and they can just repeat (with a different teacher) for a 2nd yr of K. It's at no harm to his record since Kindergarten is not mandatory in Texas.
We are considering this for our son who is an August bday -- in his first yr of K right now. He loves school - loves going. Does his work but I think it takes him longer to do the work. He's reading, but I suspect not reading at the level as others in his class. His behavior is good in class -- but we think he needs another year to catch up on all the skills and work ethic. It would only do him good and it doesn't hurt. And at this age, they really don't care if they are "held back" -- there's no stigma attached to it yet.
I think most of the kids are not summer bdays in his class and some are 6, about to turn 7.
We don't regret starting him in K this year, on the contrary ... he's learned way more from certified teachers in PISD than he would in a part-time program ... he's reading and doing math now. I looked into some of those private programs.... they were more babysitting daycare type programs than instruction-based. In K -- they are exposed to more things, too -- science, music, art, PE -- instruction on world events/current events. And they are encouraged/not required to do a science project. So cool!

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J.N.

answers from Lubbock on

J.,

I agree with the other posts about talking to the teachers. I planned to hold my youngest back before Kindergarten, but our school recommended that I send him because he would get more experiences there than at preschool. For students that needed more time to mature, the school had a Kindergarten 2 class. Our school said that when parents keep their child at home, they are often still not any more ready the next year. I sent him with plans for him to attend K2. After going to school for a year, they said that there was no way that he was going into K2 - he was at the top of his class.

My youngest is in 8th grade now. He is the littlest and struggles with sports and socially. He has a 4.6 average. I told him that I probably should have held him back so that he could compete athletically, but he insists that I made the right decision. He gets bored academically - he thinks I should let him skip a grade!

There are no easy answers - each child is unique. At least if there is a K2 program available, you can postpone your decision for a year and go ahead and send your child to Kindergarten this year.

jen

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

If you are asking, I thin you have doubts that he is ready for K.
He will probably be just fine in Elementary school. I taught middle school for 6 years, and that is where many of the youngest have problems- they get overwhelmed with changing classes, changing for PE, and the hallways.
I think putting him in pre-K is an excellent idea.
My daughter will be 2 in late July. I am already leaning towards keeping her back a year.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Send him to kindergarten. He is of age. When my oldest went to kindergarten, he had minimal preschool experience and I am not a "teacher", I let him play and he did fine. Give him the chance.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Unless your son is very mature for his age, I would definitly NOT put him in public Kindergarten next year. I am a teacher and boys tend to mature more slowly than girls. This puts them behind most classmates when they are among the youngest in the class as your son would be. It would never hurt for him to be among the oldest in a class however.

Honestly, most public school classrooms are not set up as the optimal place for boys to learn. They need to move much more than is allowed many times. So you can see why some maturity-being able to focus for longer, sit still longer, etc.- are going to be beneficial.

My son turned 5 last June and we held him out this year. He will be starting kindergarten next fall though. I'm very glad we did this with our son. My son is just your average boy and just the 6 months from last June to Dec. made a huge difference in his maturity level. We have even seen a huge improvement in his desire to learn to read, etc. I have 2 friends, both teachers, that went ahead and put their summer birthday boys in kinder the first year and have come to regret the decision since both boys struggle. Neither struggles because of his intelligence level, it is due to being the among the youngest in the class.

A good compromise might be private kindergarten. That way he wil get a head start on what he needs to know without the pressure of public school. I'm not sure where you are located, but I have heard a lot of good things about the kindergarten at Fielder Road BAptist Church in Arlington.

I always think moms should go with her gut. It sounds like yours is telling you to wait.

Also, to let you know, kinder is not required. Kids aren't required to attend until 6. In Texas that still leaves a lot of options, private, homeschool, charter and the traditional public school setting.
Good luck in your decision. A.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

What does his pre-school teacher say? They can usually tell which kids are ready and which are not. If the pre-school teacher thinks he's ready, I'd go ahead and send him. I know a few moms that held their boys back and by mid year they were kicking themselves b/c the kids were just not satisfied/stimulated enough with pre-K and home activities.

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T.

answers from Dallas on

J.,

I have two sons with May and June birthdays. If I had it to do over again i would have definitely waited a year to send them to kindergarten.

Both did very well in preschool, and I was told that they were ready for Kindergarten. My oldest son (the May birthday) did great in Kindergarten so wasn't recommended for the now non-existent D-1 class which allowed late bloomers a chance to catch up with his classmates. His issues didn't really start appearing until 2nd grade. He is very bright, just seems to have problems keeping up academically and with attention issues. He gets B's and C's in the 5th grade, but I really believe that if I had waited a year he would be excelling. Most of his close friend are 9 months to a year older than him, which isn't a big issue now, but as he enters middle school and high school I can see that becoming a problem.

My youngest son (late June birthday) excels academically, but is immature. He does seem to be growing out of that, but again the issue of friends that are 9 months to a year older.

I would recommend that if you have any doubts about your sons readiness for Kindergarten that you wait. It's cliche to say this, but it's so true - They grow up so fast anyway. Best of luck to you.

T.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

What about a private kindergarten or a GOOD pre-k 5 day program? That way it gives you a year to see how he does and then you can either put him in public kindergarten or 1st grade, whichever fits for his maturity and academic level.

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

This is such a tough decision! I was a Kindergarten teacher for 10 years and just stopped teaching this past year to stay home with my son & get ready for the new arrival. Over the years, I had MANY kids come to me with August birthdays {just turned 5 as the school year was starting}. In all honesty, those kids were typically less mature than the kids with earlier birthdays and in turn, most often they were a little bit more busy and active in the classroom and less engaged in learning, thus making them a little bit more of a behavior problem. Oftentimes, kids at that age just aren't developmentally ready for the curriculum. Of course, EVERY child is different and I am no way insinuating that your child would be the same...I'm just letting you in on my experience as a teacher!!! Ultimately, you're his mom and you know best :) Good luck with your decision!!

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M.W.

answers from Kansas City on

My boys birthdays are March and July and we are holding them both back. Academically they are a little ahead, but we don't see any harm in giving them extra time to grow.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

As a former teacher, I would say if he is young for his age, wait a year. It is much easier to do it now than later. Talk to his preschool teachers to see what they say, too, but I would recommend waiting a year.

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D.L.

answers from Dallas on

I have a daughter whose birthday fell before the cut-off date and a son 2 years younger than her whose birthday fell right after the cut-off. I "held her back" because I didn't want my kids 3 years apart in school but only 2 years apart in age. We also, wanted to make her the oldest in the class and not the youngest. While many kids do just fine, and academically we felt she could definitely handle it, we felt her maturity leave wasn't there. It's up to you as parents. You know your child better than anyone else. If you feel he will do well then send him. If you feel he will struggle with anything then keep him home one more year. You can't look into the future and determine whether he will do well or not. I will never regret starting her late. She will be 18 all of her senior year, but I still feel her maturity level is not there in order for her to start college. She will be able to fall back on mom and dad for one more year as an adult instead of running off and making a bunch of huge mistakes as a young adult.

Like I said earlier, I will never regret starting her late. I have spoke with many other parents over the years with the same question we have to determine if I made the right decision. While some haven't regreted starting them early no one has regreted starting their child late.

I also, hate the term "held back" for a child just beginning school. You are not holding him back like a child who did not finish a grade. This is directed more to the lady who's husband felt their child would be looked at like he failed. You are simply postponing their enrollment.

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

He should go. I thought the same thing about my 5 year old and he's made incredible strides this year. The state requires the 5 year olds in Kindergarten, you could always go private and they have a primmer year between K and 1st if you think he's not doing well.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

If he is five he won't be able to be in public school pre-K. They will put him in kinder at public school. You could however place him in a private PK or private K and then place him in kinder the following year at public school. This is what many people do. I've dealt with many parents at my school that do this and my sis-in-law and brother did this for their son whose b-day is is in August.

My son wasn't 5 until Dec. so we had to do anyway because of the law ( we placed him in a private k however because we had already done the PK program). I can tell you this has been the best thing ever for our son and it was for my nephew as well. My nephew (Whom was the Aug. baby)graduated top % of his class and my son is doing very well. Maturity wise it was the best thing our family did both my immediate family and my brother's family.

I will tell you if you place your child in private K and then expect to put him in first grade that might be a little difficult. I currently have a student at my school that went to a private K/daycare and he is in first this year. He is having a very difficult time.

Now after saying all that...Your son will probably be fine in public k as a 5 year old. If he seems to struggle due to maturity etc. you can always give him an extra year in K at the school. Many parents do that. It is better to keep children back at an early age than to have it cause problems for them at a later age and have to be retained. Hope this makes sense.

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H.O.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter will also be 5 in mid-August and she is extremly small for her age (she is on the 5% line for everything on the growth chart). We have talked with some of the teachers at the school, talked with my kids DR, & spoke w/ family members who are teachers. ALL of them said if socially they are ready & educational wise they are ready, then they are ready and they will eventually catch up growth wise with their peers. This should not be a struggle, if kids are ready they should go, no matter when their birthday is. Trust me when I say, I have met other children whose birthday is WAY before the cut off that are NOT ready. It all depends on the child. If anything talk with your child and ask them. We explained things to my 4 yr old girl and she said that she wanted to go to school!

Do not forget, if you hold him back, he might actually get bored if he already knows the stuff as well.

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

Definitely wait for regular K. I like the idea of a pre-K for 5s, or a private K if you can afford it (I know Primrose does a private K, and a lot of the kids in the one at our Primrose are Aug-Oct birthdays).

My friends who are elementary teachers have said many times how they appreciate when parents wait with their kiddos who have late summer/early fall birthdays. So much better for the kiddos.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Well, this is a hard decision. My ex-husband and I disagreed on this very thing when our daughter was starting school (she is 15 yrs old now). Her birthday is Aug. 10th and I thought we should hold her back but he didn't want her to be considered "flunking" a grade even though it's not considered failing a grade if you just start school a year later. I will tell you that she ended up having to go to Sylvan during her late elementary years thru middle school for reading and math. She still had a tutor up until this year in math and she is now a sophomore in high school. She has definitely struggled and if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have listened to him and just started her a year later. It has been hard but she has done well (carries mainly an A-B average with the occasional C) but she really has to apply herself and work hard. I don't know if this helped but just remember it is about what is best for your child NOT how it will look to other people. Years later he won't care about it but he WILL care if he struggles throughout his elementary and middle school years and it can and will be hard on you and your husband. Goodluck on your decision.

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

If you are having hesitation, I would without a doubt hold him back a year. Boys are often not as mature as girls, we have all heard that statement. I would rather my child be ready for school to excel in all areas, academically and socially, than for them to struggle.

I have had a quite a few friends who held their boys a year and did not regret it one bit. I will also say that as a child I was the youngest in my class, as in Maryland at the time you could start kinder at 4. I hated being the youngest, I would have much rather been a year older. That has nothing to do with readiness, but it was something that irked me ALL through my later school years.

GL!

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

hold him back, hes a boy! plus you will have him for an extra year. In my daughter's grade, every boy that has a summer birthday was held back.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

I can only let you know what I have seen over and again. I have been in the School's for 14 years now and still have a few years to go. Boys are usually immature at a young age and most not all struggle. It is easier to have him go into another prek program or a private K program and then go into a elementary school. It is harder to hold the kids back once they are in school. School is tough enough. It is one thing if he just gets by and does ok it is another if he is ahead of others his age. Good luck.

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T.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

We had to make that decision with both our son and then with our daughter. It was a hard decision for us to make for our son, who is now in 8th grade. I asked a lot of people too. We decided to wait the extra year to send him and have not regretted it at all! Our daughter has also done extremley well with waiting the extra year. My thought was I did not want to send my kid to college at 17. Plus our kids will always be one of the older ones in their class. Good Luck!!

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T.G.

answers from Dallas on

We went ahead and sent my son to Kindergarten and it was a disaster. We ended up pulling him out to go to a Jr. K class and he is thriving there. He just wasn't ready. It depends on the child but my son was ready academically but not emotionally.

Hope that helps!
T.

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

I so would put him in Pre-K! Our daughter is right at that cut off, too, and I am SO glad we put her in Pre-K this year. She is flurishing in reading, writing, numbers, story telling, computers, etc. and will be so prepared to go to Kindergarten this coming fall. I have heard over and over again that kids in this case also end up being the leaders in the class and do better in sports (if your husband is into sports, tell him that!), etc. because they had that little extra time to develop...especially if you say he is on the small side and "young". Remember, this will be the only time you will be able to give him that extra time and there is no reason to rush him if you have this opportunity...there is nothing wrong with keeping him Pre-K...I think only good can come from it.

(Plus, it gives you one more year to save for college!!!! (:-))

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I have an August birthday and started Kindergarten then. I did extremely well academically in school, but socially, I was very shy and lacked self confidence. I believe if I had been held back a year, I would have excelled academically and had more confidence. I would have been more of a leader than a follower. I think for boys that is even more important since they are typically slower to mature than girls. Plus, if he is interested in sports, he will be much more coordinated one year later. If I were in your shoes, I would choose pre-K know and set him up to win and lead. Think of how others will perceive him. Unfortunatley, perception truly is reality. Good luck! And, what is a Take-Along Tether?

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

J., I am in the same situation this year and after touring private and public I can tell you the only difference is ratio. It's a big difference. One more thing that no one is mentioning to you that while Kindergarten is optional inthe state of Texas many ISD's are now testing children that don't start K when they are 5 & will move them forward to 1st against the parents wishes. Check your ISD.

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

My mother had a similar problem with me. The advice she was given by the schools educators was this: You should put the child in the age group that most matches their social maturity even if that means waiting an extra year. It will be easier for them to form friendships. School work can always be made more challenging.

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

The gift of time is the best gift you can give your son. It definitely won't hurt him to be held back, although he won't even know that he is being held back if he goes to PreK one year and does K the next.
He might do fine but he might always struggle with maturity (and typically that is the case). My son has a midMay birthday and we started him 'on time' for K. We ended up holding him back and repeating a grade this year adn it has been the best thing for him ever!!! His confidence level has increased ten fold!
I also have 17 years experience in a K classroom and have seen it time and again where those that are given the gift of time blossom.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Kindergarten v. pre-K really has less to do with your son's age & size than with his emotional & academic readiness. His preschool teachers should be able to give their opinion. There are also assessments that can be done.

As an example, I was a mid-August birthday kid, turned 5 yrs 2 days before I started kindergarten (and 18 yrs 2 weeks before I started college out of state). I never had any issues because I was ready. My sister had a late September birthday, so that she was one of the oldest in her class. She struggled throughout school because she just wasn't ready emotionally for kindergarten.

Holding a kid back who is ready for kindergarten can be as frustrating to the child as pushing forward the child who isn't. You'll have a good feeling about if he's ready or not.

Blessings & good luck!

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