My Son Was Born 2 Days After the CMS Cut off Date

Updated on January 14, 2010
L.M. asks from Charlotte, NC
12 answers

I know this is a bit premature but, yes, I'm already thinking about it.

I am wondering if anyone has gone through the procedures of trying to get their child into kindergarten before they're "allowed". I've heard a couple of things like hiring psychologists to test his maturity and cognitive development, but I've also heard there's even ways around that. Such as, daycares that have kindergartens that he can go to so he can then go right into 1st grade?

I understand that many people believe boys are more immature and I'm sure many people will tell me that their son needed the extra year, but I'd rather discuss that with his teacher(s), when the time comes, before generalizing every boy.

Has anyone actually got their 4-year-old child, whose birthday was after cut off date, into school?

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answers from Jacksonville on

You will know when the time comes whether he is ready or not. I have one daugher who we put in at the "right" time and she ended up skipping 2nd. By 6th grade she was completely bored and could have skipped 7th. She is now a sophomore taking senior level clsses.
She started feeling the age difference last year as she was 13 in classes where the bulk of the students were 18.
I have another child who went ot Kindergarten reading and adding but I have kept this one at the grade appropriate for her. I also held her back a year from kindergarten even though she made the cutoff by two weeks.

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answers from Raleigh on

I think you need to wait and see how your son's maturity and learning processes are before thinking about this anymore. You may want him to go early, but he may not be ready emotionally or socially or academically to go. Why send him early just to send him early? At the opposite end, if he seems to be ready, and teachers, psychologists, whatever, also think he is ready, then send him. My son was born mid-August and will make the cut-off date for kindergarten, but we will send him when he is 6. A friend who teaches pre-school in the school system has told me that he would be more than ready to send at 5, but I would much rather have him be the oldest than the youngest. Boys tend to tease other boys who are smaller and not as developmentally "there". I want my son to have the advantage in the classroom and on the athletic field (if he chooses to go that route) versus the disadvantage because of his age/size compared to the others his age. Just my two cents...good luck!



answers from Nashville on

I'm not sure how the school system works in your area, but in my county (in TN) if the child's birthday is within a week or so of the cut-off day, then they can still be considered for Kindergarten. The schools do the evaluation (done by the K teachers) and determine if they child is ready to start Kindergarten that year or if they need to be a part of the DK program (developmental Kindergarten). It's basically like an advanced PreK program, then they would go to Kindergarten the next year. I would look into that in your district when your son is 3 turning 4. Good luck!



answers from Nashville on

First off, this holding children back thing drives me up a wall. But since it exists, you have to follow what people have said here and really keep an eye on your own child. My daughter was born one day before the cut off. She was social from the week she was born. She went to kindergarten 'on time'. But she was in preschool one day a week at 18 months and two days a week at 3 & 4. You HAVE to do preschool and really listen to their opinions. Also, look at the schools around you and see what ages are in school. First grade was hard because there are bigger differences by month at that age and ALL of the girls were a full year older w/ August birthdays. She is now in 8th grade and could not imagine being a year behind. But they have turned kindergarten even more into 1st grade since she went & I am not sure I would make the same decision today. That is the biggest problem now, is that kindergarten is not for five year olds in many developmental ways. I would say, for now, have an open mind about the issue, watch YOUR child, remember that most of the boys will be older now anyway, and that we have longer lifespans. But if he would be really bored being held back, stick to your guns if you have a good public school around--private probably will not budge.



answers from Memphis on

First of all, I do think it's crazy to even begin thinking about this so early. You won't know until the time comes if your son is ready. My oldest son was born in April and he goes to a private school whose cutoff date is June 1. We put him in kindergarten last year when he was 5 and he did well. His teacher said academically he was on par with the other kids, but he would benefit with another year of kindergarten because of his work habits. He was not as focused as the other kids plus the other boys were all a year older than he was...he was actually the youngest kid in his class. He is in his second year of kindergarten now and we have noticed a huge difference and are glad we held him back. Also, my sister in law is a kindergarten teacher in a public school and most years has ages 4-6 at the start of the year. She dreads the younger ones because they have such a harder time adapting and following along. However, she agrees that every child is different and just because most boys benefit from starting a year late doesn't mean there are some that would be perfectly fine to start early. To answer your question, I have heard of people getting their children in early in public schools when their birthdate is that close to the cutoff. But, you will have a more difficult time if you want to use a private school. They are pretty strict about it. If you really want him to start early, I would try to get him in a preschool when he's 3 and 4. My youngest son is in a 3 year old preschool at our private school and has learned way more than I would have ever imagined possible this year. They actually begin teaching kids to read in the 4 year old junior kindergarten classes. Anyway, at least you do have a while to figure it out. Congrats on your new baby boy!



answers from Fayetteville on

My experience with BOTH of my older 2 sons who are in school...just wait the year. My boys (9 and 7) both made the cut off for NC the years they began school - Oct 9th and Sept 23rd hindsight, I wish I had held them out for one more year. Academically they were ready then, but as we have moved around with the Army, we are seeing that in most cases they are younger by their classmates by more than a year in some cases b/c more often than not these days states require kids to be 5 on or before the first day of school.

That coupled with all the research that boys mature slower than girls, etc. I think my boys would be doing so much better had I held them an extra year and made sure they were 5 before they went to school.

Good Luck



answers from Memphis on

I have a son who was born on September 27 the cut off is Sept 30 he is in kindergarden .. started when he was 4 he is the youngest and he is doing just fine... is already reading and spelling just fine.. so do what you think is best... you don't know til you try...i put my kids in a nationaly credit daycare/preschool to help them get ready... ummm if you are in the memphis area..bright ideas was the one... i put them in
and reading some of these answers the only thing some people could say was that he would be the smartest in his class or the first to get his dl or the biggest in sports... i don't think thats your main concern.... ck out the preschools...see what they can do or like a headstart...



answers from Charlotte on

if you eally want him in k try private school there cutoff dates are diffrent



answers from Nashville on

Check with the school system and see if they allow exceptions before running around trying to get around the system. You could save yourself a lot of time. I know you want to discuss with teachers, but keep in mind that the trend these days is to hold back instead of go early. So your son would likely be in Kindergarten with 5 and 6 year olds. A 2 year difference is HUGE at this age. Best of luck whatever happens. A good PreK school is a great idea - and they may even have a session for those older PreK kids in the same situation as yourself.



answers from Nashville on

Be paitent. It is ok for him to wait one more year. They have to set a date and stick to it to keep organization and rules. It is a rule. There are MANY children with birthdays withing a week of cut-off, but that is cut-off. You are not teaching your child life lessons if you buck the system. It is ok. Good luck and God Bless.



answers from Louisville on

Why would you want to do that to your child? Give him the extra year its worth it, working in schools i have seen so many kids born at the cut off date have to be held back not b/c they arnt smart but they are just so young! dont do it.



answers from Nashville on

I would encourage you to wait until your son is the right age. My husband graduated from high school at 17 and started college football camp at 17 with players that were 18-22 years old. To this day he still feels like his parents should have waited a year to start him in school.

My oldest son missed the kindergarten cut off date by 9 days. I wanted to start him in school early and my husband insisted that we wait. We waited a year to start him in school and it was worth it. He was bigger for his grade so he did better in sports. He was more mature so he exceled in academics. He was the valedictorian of the 8th grade and graduated from high school with a 3.8 GPA. He was the first in his class to do everything that had an age requirement such as getting a learners permit, driver's license, etc.

My friend is a kindergarten teacher. She says she can tell if a child's birthday is at the beginning of the year or the end of the year by their behavior in class. That extra year of maturity really helps them in school. Just relax and wait a year. I think it will be worth it.

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