Ready for Kindergarten

Updated on March 26, 2008
N.S. asks from High Point, NC
107 answers

My daughter is 4 years old and has a September birthday. She has been going to a preschool for two years now and is in the fours class. I recently had a review with her teacher and she recommended pre-k. She agreed that my child is very smart, but she is also shy. She felt that my child was not ready for Kindergarten because of that and that she is not a leader, her confidence level is low and is not into the other things the other girls are into like Hanna Montana and High School Musical. Personally I don't think that has anything to do with her readiness for Kindergarten. I myself am a shy person and have never been a leader. I'm not sure whether to send her to Kindergarten or keep her back a year. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thank You all for your advice. My husband and I have decided to wait one more year before enrolling her in Kindergarten. Thank You again for the great advice.

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S.L.

answers from Charlotte on

I dont think that has anything to do with rather you kid is ready for k. I would thing if she has went to preschool she would be ready for kindergarden. Here in NC there is no requirment for going to kindergarden other than the age factor. I would defintley send her. I hope this was any help.

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L.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

N., I would go ahead and send her to kindergarten. I was always shy, even through high school, so you don't want just hold her back for that reason.If you feel that she is academically ready for school then I think she will be fine. Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

I think that is a horrible thing to say to you. I don't believe that those seem to be valid reasons for a child not to start Kindergarden. All she gave you is a recommendation. I say that you go against that and send her to Kindergarden. Otherwise you may get the same response next year if you choose to keep her back.

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K.W.

answers from Louisville on

I am not a mom but a teacher. :) A friend had me sign up because of the 18 kids I have 5 days a week makes me half a mom according to her. Anyway to your post...shy has nothing to do with kindergarten. (which I teach) Just let the K teacher know she is very shy and she will find her spot they always do. I have had a few that hardly talked the first few weeks of school. She will get there I promise. :) I started the year with several 4 year olds. And they are all doing well.

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C.D.

answers from Chattanooga on

I think you need to make this decision on your own. Your daughter may be shy now, but who is to say that she's not going to be shy for the next few years? She could always be shy. Also, not everyone is a leader. If we were all leaders then there'd be a lot of conflict.

Also, I think it's very strange that because your 4 year old isn't interested in Hannah Montana and High School Musical her teacher thinks she's not ready for kindergarten! A four year old SHOULD NOT be interested in those things yet. It's not as if they are pornographic; they are fairly wholesome, but they're geared toward an older audience. I taught sixth grade, and my 12 and 13 year old students were into those things. After that comment, I would question the professionalism and education of this teacher. What are her qualifications?? When I was in college, I worked in several preschools, and you would be surprised at the low level of education many preschool teachers have.

Anyway, I hope that you don't let this teacher deter you from starting your daughter in kindergarten. Most girls are ready, even with a late birthday. I was only behind your daughter by a couple of months, with a birthday in late July, and I was shy...I did fine. I've also had many, many students whose birthdays came after the beginning of the year...they also did fine.

Good luck making your decision...go with your gut!

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L.M.

answers from Charlotte on

That's not a positive thing to NOT be into Hannah Montana and High School Musical :-) I would give her a big thumbs up for that one! I think you need to go with your instincts- shyness is not an academic characteristic...if she's as capable as her classmates now- why not? I don't think there's anything wrong with encouraging your child to progress. I think you know in your heart-of-hearts what you should do- follow that.

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J.K.

answers from Raleigh on

I agree with you. If she has the knowledge needed for kindergarten then there is no need to hold her back. I don't think Hannah Montana or High school musical has anything to do with starting kindergarten. I would start her in kindergarten if I were you. Not everyone is a leader and she doesn't need to be held back just because she is shy. I was shy all the way through to high school and got very good grades.

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C.R.

answers from Charlotte on

Keep her home! I was a teacher for 10 years and reading specialist for 7, in which I taught kindergarten, multi age 1st and 2nd, then 7th and 8th grade reading, in which I have a Masters in Teaching and Curriculum. I can tell you with my experience that a parent who has a choice such as you should always keep them home, unless maybe the child is the youngest of a series of children within the household. All I taught were children who had these summer birthdays, early fall, and oldest in the family . It was so frustrating, because you would test them and they would be only 2-4 months behind chronologically but a year and 4 months behind in grade level. Then after third grade, with struggle, the children begin to hate school, hate reading and math because it is a constant challenge for them to keep up. It makes it so hard for them, and they get lost in the system. It could have all been avoided if they just started a year later. Once that child hates school you struggle with such an uphill battle, insecurity prevails, and they begin to do bad things and stray in a bad direction. Oh, and God forbid if they will be a late bloomer in puberty on top of being a year younger then everyone. Growing up is hard enough as it is, don't make it harder than what it has to be! Let her be a child for a year longer! If you push her through on top of all that I warned you with, then just remember she becomes an adult a year faster, around peer pressures at an earlier age, sex, drugs, fight for her independence all becomes fast forward even earlier than typical. You must consider the long run and not the convenience and pride of sending her early in the elementary years. You keep her back, her confidence will become even stronger, and she will do better in school. Her gross motor, and fine motor skills will be more developed and overall, she will have a great start in life. Why wouldn't you want to keep your child a child a year longer and help her stand out in a good sense, rather then her blending in as average, or worse?

Just something to think about from someone who taught nothing but children from this scenerio, you don't want to go there!

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S.H.

answers from Nashville on

I know what you are going though! We just went through a very similar situation and I hope our experience can help you make an informed decision.

Our daughter's birthday is in June and she is very small for her age. Last year when she was 4 her Preschool teachers said she seems to always play with the kids a year younger than her because she thinks they are her peers (they are closer to her size). She was very quiet in class and though she wasn't shy - she still wasn't interacting in group times or answering questions even when she knew the answers. They were concerned that her size, and her quiet nature could cause problems in Kindergarten (especially since many of the children would be turning 6 and would be almost a whole year older). They were concerned that she would become more reserved and shy and lack confidence. They told me she was very smart but still needed time to find her own voice. They felt that if she had another year of preschool she would be a leader and not just a follower.

I was conflicted because I don't think everyone is meant to be a leader - I wasn't looking for her to be president of her senior class, I just wanted to know that she would have confidence in herself and feel comfortable with who God made her to be. I didn't want to hold her back and make her feel like she wasn't smart enough for Kindergarten. But my husband saw it as an advantage for her. He had a late birthday and was sent to Kindergarten early. He had always wished his parents had waited and felt more comfortable with the kids in the class below him. He never did get over being shy through school. From his view, waiting for Kindergarten was giving our daughter the gift of another year to just be a kid. So we decided to wait.

We moved to TN from WI last May, so I didn't even know which preschool to choose. But we found a great program and I can't believe the difference from last year to this year. My daughter, the "quiet" one is now one of the class leaders. She is "small but mighty" as her teacher says, and I'm no longer worried about her self confidence. She loves school, and loves being able to help the younger kids in her class. I know some folks believe that sending a younger kid to Kindergarten is a good challenge for them. I'm all for challenging kids and setting the bar high so they can achieve and succeed. But I also know my child. My child needed more time, and I'm so glad we gave that to her.

Ask yourself what you think your daughter needs. Which option will give her the best foundation and the best start? Ask people who know your family and know your daughter that you trust. One thing I found, is that people feel very strongly about this issue, and may tell you what worked for them with out accounting for the fact that your child may have different needs.

Hope this helps as you make your decision.

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L.B.

answers from Knoxville on

My daughter is also 4 with a September birthday. I feel strongly that waiting to go to Kindergarten is best. I think giving them another year to mature is very beneficial because they walk through the K door with more confidence. Also, they will go to college one year older and hopefully more sure of themselves. I was a 2nd grade teacher before I became a mom. I found the older students just enjoyed school more because they were not as stressed. You're the mama though. No one knows your kids like you !

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A.C.

answers from Charlotte on

I went to school when I was 4 (I have a September birthday too). My mom had no choice but to send me as she was a single mother and needed to put me in school rather than worry about childcare for another year. I did well, I could read before going into Kindergarten, never had a problem learning anything. I excelled in school to be so young. I was also the smallest. However, I hated it once I got in high school. I hated being the youngest, being the last to do everything (take driver's ed, get my license, etc.). Think of it this way - As a freshman, I was 13 years old. Albeit that it was only for a month - it was a long month. My son was born in October and he could've technically started school at 4 years old but we held him another year. I had one more year for him to be "my baby", one more year for him to mature, and one more year for him to grow (he was a tiny little thing). Was it that I didn't think he could do the classwork, no because he's pretty smart himself. I just wanted what I felt was best for him and I don't regret it in the least. I think it is different with boys than with girls though. While I hated being young in school, I think it actually can be more traumatizing, socially, for a boy to be young in school since boys are more into competing for any and everything. It's all in what you think your daughter will be able to handle. We did go and talk to a few Kindergarten teachers in the school my son would be attending and got their advice. Most schools should allow you to do that. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

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J.O.

answers from Raleigh on

I have a 4yr. girl who I am holding back this year. Per her teacher she is academically ready for kindergarden, however, socially she is not there yet. Her birthday is mid-September. She does not talk to her classmates, but does speak to her teachers. At home she is perfectly normal in her speech and you would never know that she is so quiet at school. Our thoughts were that she may be so quiet that in kindergarden, she would be lost and get pushed to the side. This I feel would really hurt her self-esteem. Also, better now, then later when she has made friends and cannot move ahead with them. I have heard nothing but good things about holding my child back and that is what we are doing. I am also a stay-home mom and hope to enroll her in more outside activities to help her socially.

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R.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi N.,

I feel qualified to answer this dilemma as my daughter has a late October birthday and missed the kindergarten cut off last year by 10 days. We really felt like she was ready for kindergarten; she's out-going, a leader, high-energy, and very creative. We couldn't imagine her in preschool one more year. Also, many of her friends were going into kindergarten - so even her peer group matched our feeling that she would do well on all levels in kindergarten.

At the same time we did not approve of the intense academic test we would have to have her take in order for her to be accepted into public school. Fortunately, we found a 1/2 day kindergarten at the Duke Memorial Weekday School in Durham. She's the youngest, but has done beautifully in the small classroom with lots of nurturing from two amazing teachers.

Interestingly, we have decided that she would benefit from attending kindergarten next year - she'll be attending Woods Charter School. When we consulted with her teachers they felt that her leadership qualities would mature and her reading skills would be stronger for first grade with one more year under her belt.

I highly recommend this school for your daughter. It's perfect for children on the cusp. Especially since she is a bit more shy than her peers, perhaps. I too agree that a decision has anything to do with what the kids are "into." I am so fortunate that High School Musical, Hannah Montana ARE NOT a topic of discussion with my daughter's kindergarten peers.

Attending Duke Memorial you have the option for her to go onto 1st grade or for her to attend kindergarten again in the "big school" the following year. There are a small handful of children in her class who are going to public school kindergarten next year. The program really is ideal for our fall babies!

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if I can help in any other way with this decision. I went crazy last year about it and I would have loved for another mom to help me have clarity around it.

Best of luck,
R. P.

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A.D.

answers from Charleston on

This is just my opinion-you can toss it if you like. I would hold her back regardless. I have taught in classrooms and never seen a case where a parent has chosen to wait having an ill effect on a child. I have however seen kids start too early and have to be held back, not be socially ready, etc. What is the harm in waiting? My daughter was turning 6 in October when she started kindergarten and has always excelled socially and in academics.I think it just gives them an edge really. She was very smart too, and could have started but we opted not to and I don't regret it. Planning on doing the same with my other two who have July birthdays.It may give her a chance to outgrow the shyness before starting and if not thats okay too, but I think just give her another year with mommy at home,I don't think you'll regret it. Also if baby is due in September and school starts in September, that's a lot of changes all at once.

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K.M.

answers from Raleigh on

First, you should know that lots of kids with late birthdays complete an extra year of preschool/pre-kindergarten to better prepare them for kindergarten. So doing so really says nothing negative about a child.

Presumably you trust your child's teacher. She sees her in the school setting every day, and has professional, unbiased experience regarding whether or not children are prepared for kindergarten. A child who is "shy" might lack confidence and be less inclined to participate in class discussion and group activities. She might head into Kindergarten with an upper hand if she's given the opportunity to mature a bit more socially.

For example, my daughter is in a reputable, church-based pre-K, and I can tell you that a lot of social issues have come up this year that I never would have expected at such a young age. There are clicks, children who have used derogatory language, and name calling. Believe it or not, I am glad my daughter has witnessed these behaviors, because we've had a chance to talk about them, learn from them, and begin to prepare her for what I am sure lies ahead over the next 13 years.

Ask yourself this, if your child were 6 weeks younger and the teacher said "okay, well sure, she's ready for pre-K," would you be pushing to have her go to Kindergarten because you were so absolutely positive that was the best way to keep her engaged and stimulated?

By the way, my daughter is a December birthday and this is her third year of preschool (pre-K). She too is very bright and at times is soft spoken. Regardless, her teachers have always told me she is "very socially mature". Her Pre-K teacher just suggested that she Chould perhaps skip Kindergarten, because she worries that she might not be challenged enough. I'm very confident in the school I am sending her to next year, and if once she is there they think she needs to move up I would at least consider it, but I have no intention of having her "skip" a grade just for the sake of doing so. Every year is important for some reason...don't be in a hurry to have her grow up.

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L.G.

answers from Hickory on

I am in the same dilema. I have a four year old born in September and a 15 month old. A good friend of ours is a kindergarten teacher. Her advice was to sign up for orientation because it does NOT require you to begin school. She said it is a good way to see how they relate to the other kids starting and a decide from that. She also said no one has ever said to her i wish i had starting my child sooner, but she does hear parents say "i wish we had waited one more year." - Good luck

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M.H.

answers from Charlotte on

How does your feel about going to kindergarten? I would listen to my "gut" feeling about this, and certainly let your daughter have a say about her next class. Maybe another pre-school would not see the same contrasts in your child. I would not let the fact that she is not into the trendy TV shows influence my decision either. You know your little one best. Let love be your guide.

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K.C.

answers from Nashville on

N.,

Although social interaction is a big part of adjusting to life in general, I personally don't believe it should be grounds for keeping her back a year. there are introverted people in this world and as long as you believe that she is well adjusted emotionally and can handle any ridicule or joking that she may encounter in kindergarten, then I say go for it. social development is bound to happen in kindergarten as it will in pre-k. I also believe that stigma can result from holding her back. if she is a bright child, then normal progression through school should occur. when I was growing up, you were held back because you couldn't cut it academically, not because you were shy.

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B.P.

answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter, now 13, also has a late September birthday. We went ahead and sent her to kindergarten at age 5, and now I wish we had held her back a year. Back then she would not have known she was being held back, and now, of course, it is simply too late. She does fairly well in school, but she is still the youngest (and the smallest) in her 8th grade class. Once she reached middle school, the maturity of her older classmates became more obvious. Most of the girls have reached puberty (my daughter has not) and have fully developed figures and are very interested in boys. Next year, this "child" will be in high school (scary thought). Remember too that your daughter will only be 17 when she graduates and 17 when she goes off to college! My husband and I have already decided that our daughter will start off at a community college because we can't imagine sending her away to a four-year institution when she is only 17. I would seriously consider holding her back now. Many parents do this and I know that most of my daughter's 8th grade classmates are 14 and will turn 15 before the school year ends.

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B.B.

answers from Fayetteville on

I have a daughter who turned 5 in October, and we put her in Kindergarten. After only two weeks, we quickly decided we had made a very bad decision. She is smart, but like your daughter, she is shy and has low sel-esteem. I think letting her go to K-4 was the best decision for her. I hope this helps.

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C.

answers from Charlotte on

Hey N.,

I do not have kids this age, but I can tell you about my sister. She was the same way, her birthday being right on the line. It was my parents decision whether to hold her back or go ahead with Kindergarten. They made the decision to hold her back one more year. And, I think they made the right choice. I don't think its really a decision as to if she's ready now because of the concerns of the pre-school teacher, but when YOU think she will be the MOST ready.

My sister is now 21 years old and is attending UNC-Chapel Hill on scholarship. She always did incredible in school, making straight A's most of her life. Sure, she is smart regardless, but I really think the maturity level of starting school a little later contributed greatly to this.

I have heard many other parents say that holding the child until the next year was the right thing to do looking back.

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D.M.

answers from Johnson City on

My son had a September birthday, and I held him back from starting Kindergarten. This was one of the best decisions I have made. Especially since kindergarten today is like first grade when I was in school. A lot more is expected out of Kindergarteners and it can be stressful. I was a teacher (5th grade) before I had kids, and the kids with September birthdays were always at a different level socially even at 5th grade. I have a late summer birthday as well, and I wish my mother had held me back. My confidence level with other girls in the same grade as me was always low. I was also very shy and was put in speech class because I wouldn't talk not because I couldn't talk.

Some grandparents, don't understand either. My mother thought I was terrible for holding my son back. She took all that back when my nephew had to repeat 1st grade at teacher request because they had sent him too early. He had an August birthday. It's a hard decision, and you obviously know your child better than anyone else. So, I am sure you will make the right decision. and to reassure you as an educator, intelligence and academics have nothing to do with it at all. So try not to worry about that.

A couple things you can do is send your child to Kindergarten, then hold her back to repeat Kindergarten. You can also take her into meet with some kindergarten teachers at the school she may be attending to have her evaluated. It is a very informal process and shouldn't be scary at all. Good luck.

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A.P.

answers from Goldsboro on

I agree, I do not think that what your child likes, or the fact she has a shy temperment determines her readiness to go to kindergarten. If anything else, maybe it will help her. The elementary will have activities and programs that her preschool does not. If you feel she is ready, and she seems mentally ready, then by all means enroll her. My son will also be starting kindergarten in the fall!

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J.B.

answers from Knoxville on

After 2 years in preschool, if she's not ready to go to Kindergarten she will never be. I suspect that preschool is holding her back more than either of you realize. If she doesn't have a learning disability, is doing well academically I'd send her on. After all that gives you a chance to see if she does "better" with the new teachers, and if not then you could consider letting her spend another year in kindergarten. But if shyness is the problem holding her back and putting her with a new complete group of strangers probably won't help, especially since they will be younger than her.

Just want to add not being into the same things as the other girls shouldn't mean much to you. You didn't say what she was into. But maybe you have an avid reader or hands on outside/active, but less TV and more activity in other areas can't be bad for her.

As long as you don't see any emotional or physical problems with her learning abilities I'd say let her go on.

Good Luck,
J.

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T.L.

answers from Greenville on

There are many things kids learn in Kindergarten which includes coming "out of their shell". Pre-K is typically designated for those that need a little additional educational guidance before proceeding. I would move forward with your Kindergarten plans.

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K.O.

answers from Louisville on

N., I personally think if your daughter is academically ready for kindergarten to send her. If she is not challenged academically (which pre-K may seem boring to her after just completely 4's), I would think this would be more detrimental not to send her. I also agree with you about being shy. I actually had a Sept. birthday and my Kindergarten teacher wanted me to repeat kindergarten (I was 4 at the beginning of the school year), yet I knew everything I needed to learn to go forward into first grade. My mom went on her instinct and let me go into first grade and never regretted it nor have I regretted her decision. I was very shy so that is why the teacher wanted to hold me back. But to be honest, I was shy throughout school and not until later into high school did I "come out of my shell". Being shy is more a personality trait that I feel shouldn't dictate grade level. So, I guess my feeling is if you think she is ready academically send her! I hope that helps. Best wishes with this!

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K.J.

answers from Raleigh on

Hello N.,

I am a working mother of a 4-year old girl (she will be 5 in April) and a 12-year old boy (he will turn 13 in May)

My 4-year old is also in pre-school in the 4-5 year old class. My daughter is not into Hannah Montana or High School Musical and can be shy at times. However, she will definetely be going to Kindergarten this year! Kindergarten is the time when kids learn leadership skills and gain confidence. If your daughter is mature and academically ready, then why hold her back? Let the kinder teacher assess her readiness and if she needs help, she will be in the right place. Additionally, there are still several months before kinder begins and kids at this age develop so much in such a short period of time. You will be suprised at how things can change quickly.

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J.P.

answers from Lexington on

Just going to give you a couple of examples, maybe something for you to think about.

My granddaughter also has a September birthday, and we questioned whether or not to send her on to Kindergarten last year, but because she was so excited to go, she did. They told us right up front that because she was basically the youngest in the class because of her birthday falling only a week before the cut-off, that chances are she would have to repeat. We let her go, and that is in fact what happened, she was held back for a second go-round. She did 'okay' her first try, and probably could have gone on to the first grade, but would probably struggle. Anyway, having her repeat Kindergarten really was for the best, because she is so much more mature now than she was last year, and she is doing fabulous work!!

Another example is my own son, his birthday was actually on the cut-off date, making him the youngest one in the entire school when he started Kindergarten. He struggled, but passed, and when he was in first grade, he still had a hard time, but again, passed on up to second grade. They ended up having him repeat the 2nd grade, and of course, he did a lot better, but I personally think that they had repeated him earlier on, it would have been so much better on all of us, cause he really did have a hard time.

Of course, in both these cases, it wasn't a matter of being smart for their age, both bright kids . . both just really needed a little more time to mature. It worked out great for my son in the long run, and seems to be working out (now) for my granddaughter, she is doing a lot better.

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J.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

I also have a daughter with a Sept. birthday and had the same dilemma. I was told by her pre-k teacher that she thought she was ready for K-5 but was sort of hesitant about it. I went ahead and sent her to K5 and she did great. However, starting in 1st grade(now in 4th)and every year since, i've regretted it. She isn't as mature emotionally as the other kids and not as responsible, etc. I feel like being younger has made it harder for her, even though she is very smart. Academically she is ready, but it just seems harder for her. Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference if i had held her back, but I would have known for sure that my sending her when I could've held her was NOT the problem. Now, I worry every year that I might have made it harder on her by sending her and I will never know for sure. I wish I had held her back so it would've been one less unknown to consider. I have a friend who had a Sept. bday as a child and told me she felt it made it harder for her. Her mom ended up holding her back in 2nd grade even though she was doing fine. My friend said it made a big difference for her. She felt like instead of struggling to grasp each new concept, she was ready and it was easy because she was older and more mature. She had a lot more confidence. it is really too late for me to hold my daughter back now without causing harm. She makes Bs and has always had good grades, so I didn't even thnk of ever keeping her back after we started. I'm sure whatever you decide for your child will work out and I hope this was helpful.

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J.W.

answers from Lexington on

Seems so strange that schools seem so gung-ho about holding kids back but not about advancing them. I've heard about them wanting to "wait" because kids are "small" or whatever. If I'd done that, my daughters might have had many years to "wait" because they just stayed small until their teens.

I've seen kids end up dropping out of high school because they were simply too "old" to still be in that kind of environment. If they are smart enough and motivated enough, they'll just graduate early, but some don't.

As for not being "into" the same things as the other girls... mine weren't either. That's because of less TV and more outdoor play and pretend play. Sure - it means they weren't the most popular kids or "social butterflies". But that was their nature. The older one became more social as a teen.

Ask yourself this -- is your daughter as "mature" and "responsible" as any other child her age? I would not judge her based on interests and values that the "other girls" have which your daughter may never have.

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S.H.

answers from Nashville on

I have a son who has a September birthday and I held him back this year. He went to a Moms-day-out program since he was a baby. Now he goes to a Kindergarten Readiness class at our local school. He is with 14 other kids that all have summer birthdays. I highly recommmend it. I have heard too many people say they wished they would have held their kid back but I 've never heard one who has regreted it. I am a substitute at that school also so I see the affects of it. I talk to the teachers daily and I know I made the right decision. I also have 2 girls at that school.

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A.R.

answers from Chattanooga on

I was younger than all the others, too. I was always small, shy, and quiet. I was not picked on in kinder garden or elementary school at all. I think the biggest thing to consider is what she wants. If she is in the group with the four year olds now at preschool, then her classmates will be going to kinder garden, too, yes? Do you really want to hold her back from the kids she has been with for two years so that when she does start pre-k next year she'll be with all strangers? I would think more along the lines of things like that. Her self esteem and shyness aren't a concern for whether or not to start her, I don't think, so much as what to do about helping her deal with starting. One year is not going to magically change all her issues if she has been in preschool for two years. Your daughter is your daughter. You know her personality and things better than anyone. Is she actually as bad as the teacher says or is she merely a bit reserved, like you? I would definitely recommend calling the school and finding out what they do to help the shy and quiet children. Meet with the teachers and see if you can pick who she goes to. Honestly, if YOU just work with her and talk with her and if the teacher does, then she will come into her own no matter where she is. And the difference between pre-k and kinder garden regarding her self esteem is what? She'd pretty much be in the exact same situation... just with different curriculum. So how does that matter? Can she do the work? Then send her on.

You could start taking her to playgroups and such on the weekend. See for yourself how she interacts with other kids. I honestly believe you should make the decision based off of what you feel, not what the teacher says.

Good luck!

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R.B.

answers from Raleigh on

you are right that not all kids are leader - Kindergarten will help her self esteem,especially for a smart girl, and if she has already been in preschool,pre-K won't make that big a difference - as far as being"into" Hannah & HSM- thats a little to advanced for a 4/5 year old who doesn't have an older sibling. My second child who is 4 w/ a birthday Oct 3,will also be starting K in Aug., He is in speech & readiness classes, his teachers assure me that there will be kids from point A-Z in ages and"readiness" and that he will be fine. Also - girls tend to adapt better and faster than boys - I say let her go to K,and at the end of the year decide if she needs another year of Kindergarten

i'm a stay at home mom of 3- ages 2,4&6 - i was a middle school teacher before i married & had kids

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T.M.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi N., We went through a decision like this last year with my daughter. When I looked at the requirements to enter K on our school website, my daughter was ready at the age of 4 and we could of had her tested to enter K if we really wanted to however, we held her back. She was not mature enough to enter K.

Stand back and take a look @ your daughter. Do YOU feel she is emotionally ready to start K? If you feel that your daughter is emotionally ready to start, then I would schedule a conference with the teacher and ask her specifically, unrelated to shyness and Hannah Montana (very weird statement), etc. if your daughter is ready intellectually ready. If you get a yes answer, then I would recommend you signing her up for K.

Good luck!!

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K.D.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi N.,

My oldest daughter is in Kindergarten and just turned six in December. I also have a 22 month old girl, so I guess we have about the same situation. I had this same thing with my oldest. Although she has a December birthday and is after the cutoff, she was one of the most advanced and outgoing in her class, and we felt that she was more than ready for Kindergarten. Knox County will assess a child for early entrance, which ours would have been. She ended up being in the 95-97% in all areas, but they still denied her saying,"The more time to mature, the better." All the while, many of my friends with children born in the fall strongly suggested holding her back and letting her be the oldest. We struggled with our own thoughts on it until the final decision was "no" from Knox County, but now I am glad we DID have to wait. My daughter is still very independent, outgoing, smart, and creative, but I have seen a lot of maturation take place between five and six years of age. She is really blooming as an older Kindergartener. Our only concern was that she be challenged academically, a problem we solved by applying to Beaumont Elementary, one of Knox County's Schools of Choice. Their honors curriculum is astounding... the whole family is involved! I'm sorry I've been long winded, but this really was a huge question for us.. in the end, YOU know your daughter best. If she is confident, even if quiet, then why can't she go ahead and start? Deciding to wait is fine, too. And, just to complicate your options, I have also had friends choose to have their children repeat their Kindergarten year (with a different teacher in the same school), and they have also had success. I think the most important thing is that your daughter feels that you are behind her 100%. And, by the way, what in the world does Hannah Montana have to do with it???!

Good Luck,
Karen Duren

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M.T.

answers from Louisville on

Hi! So hard to make these decisions because you never REALLY know. My daughter has a september b-day too making her a year younger than everyone in her class and I was really hesitant about sending her to Kindergarten at 4 (turning 5 thereafter). But also being around children all of the time (I work as a preschool teacher) - I think your daughters teacher is taking into account all of the aspects of what "real" school takes. The smarts are only half of what you need, you need a good backbone (being able to take being ridiculed), being able to take initative and direction willingly and with no problems, etc. Fortunately, my daughter is aggressive - wanting to be 15 instead of 5 and she loves hannah and all of that jazz which gives her an association with her friends at school. Your daughter being shy may be a setback for her. She may look at herself differently because she's not into all of that stuff. And kids are cruel = even at that age. Is she going to be able to take it without taking it personally? Those are just some things to think about. I had meeting after meeting with my daughters 4's teacher who said my daughter was definitely ready for kindergarten - if she hadn't been so persistant - I would have held her back - but I am glad that I trusted her teacher enough (who watched her in her own social setting) to take her advice. My daughter loves school and is thriving but if she had a different personality - I would have kept her back. Just something to think about. Good luck in any decision that you make. No regrets - just move forward :-)

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

.

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L.M.

answers from Nashville on

sounds like she's ready, but if you send her and find that she really wasn't as ready as you thought she can go through kindergarden again. It's what you feel is best and what she's comfortable with. The whole Hannah Montana & HSM comparison should not be a deciding or preparing factor. My daughter is 4 1/2 and she doesn't know anything about either of those. I try to keep her away from them, though Hannah Montana is creeping in, but I think she just likes the name, she has never seen or listened to anything Hannah Montana has done.

good luck

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A.M.

answers from Huntington on

I am the mother of two beautiful girls, ages 28 and 27. My youngest daughter was born on August 26th. She also was very smart and entered kindergarten on her 5th birthday. If I had to do it all over again I would have held her back. She was always the youngest one in her class and had to work really hard to maintain good grades. She also wasn't mature as the other children in her class and it caught up to her in high school. Hold your little girl back. Let her enjoy being a little girl and not grow up so fast. They're only little once, let her enjoy being with other children who are at the same level as she is.

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L.H.

answers from Chattanooga on

HI I was young when my parents put me in school i was no where ready.I picked up a book as was looking at it and because my sister was smart they thought i would be the teacher told my parents to wait i wasn't ready i had a real hard time in school the rest of my life because i couldn't keep up. If your child is ready for a move up don't hold her back because she is shy ,if she was having a hard time i would

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K.P.

answers from Raleigh on

It depends on what county you live in. My daughter 2 yrs ago turned 5 in the middle of December. I looked in to the process because her childcare and doctors asked about putting her in school early. When I checked into it, it is a lot to go through to not be guarenteed a spot. The steps for Wake County are Pediatrician to recommend child to a child psychologist, see psych. set up test, psych. read test., psych get with you on test, give results to doctor, get further recommendation from dr., get all the info to the county and pray. I fugured the out-of-pocket cost was around 2500 without insurance. My daughters Dr suggested just to wait and let her start when "they" would let her. He said that they offer in 2nd grade a "test" if she is above others. My daughter does things above others in her class. We do extra work at home and she is only in Kindergarten. They on both of her reportcards and progress reports she has gotten all top marks. She tells me she is bored in class on somethings but I have had a talk with the teachers and they are letting her do extra or more advanced things. She is doing great. I think that she is above others in her class but I can wait for someone within the school system to see what I see at home alone.

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S.C.

answers from Parkersburg on

I am 38, a stay at home mom, and I have 3 children. My middle son who is 7 now was the same way as your daughter. His birthday is in Aug. I debated on whether sending him due to his shyness. I held him back and I am so thankful for it. Does your school have any services for helping with interaction with other children? My sons pre-K class worked with him specifically on this area. Once a week a woman would come in to his class and work with him and a couple other children for maybe and hour or so.
When he went to Kindergarten he was ready academically and most important, socially.
I myself was not held back and I now wish I had been. They say girls mature faster, but that isn't always the case in all areas. I hope this helps! Trust your heart. You know your daughter the best.

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K.

answers from Charlotte on

Charlotte Mecklenberg and For Mill school districts have Kindergarten readiness publications...I would check with them

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L.P.

answers from Louisville on

Why are 4 year olds into Hannah Montana and HSM, anyway? Jeez. We don't have cable and my daughter (who will be 4 in a few weeks) is into Elmo and Dora (on video). That shouldn't matter. In fact, I think that's just plain weird. Those shows are geared towards 11 and 12 year olds, aren't they? However, if the teacher is telling you that your daughter is shy and not a leader, you should listen and decide if you want your daughter to be left out or be a follower or get bullied. Odds are it's worse than the teacher is even telling you, because she can't say anything that might upset or offend you in a conference. I would say let your daughter go to pre-k. It won't hurt her, and when she's another year older perhaps she will be a bit bolder and get more out of kindergarten.

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M.H.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi~

I'm not sure where you live, but in Charlotte the cut-off date has been October 16th since I was in school. I have a late Sept birthday & started K when I was 4 & did just fine. However, be aware that they are changing the cut-off date to August 31st in 2009. Many preschools are changing their cut-off dates this year to go ahead get kids in the right age-group ahead of time. (Side note: We lived in the midwest for a number of years & this is more similar to how it was up there with cut off dates closer to the start of the school year, which I feel makes more sense.) You know your child best, but I would consider the teacher's advice since they do have experience in this area. It could really boost your daughter's confidence to wait a year & have the opportunity to be a class leader & a positive example to the younger kids. Also, having one that just started K this year myself, he's doing great, but I do miss having him home more & his siblings really miss him, as well. Having an extra year at home/preschool is not a bad thing. Best wishes!

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K.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

When my oldest son started kindergarten, he had turned 5 at the beginning of August and school started in September (we were in CA). He had a hard time for the first 3 years of school. He is in high school now and is an honor student, but he didn't start feeling comfortable in school until the middle of 3rd grade. When my youngest son turned 5, we were in FL and their cut off date for school is Sept 1. My son didn't turn 5 until Sept 9th. If we had been here in NC, he would have started a year earlier because their cut off date is in Oct. He went to a Pre K program for 2 years (as a 4 year old then 5 year old). He has succeeded in school since Kindergarten. He loves school and gets along well with everyone. Some of the other kids in his class that are a year younger do not get along so well. Don't rush your daughter in to school. She is only going to get to be a child once and once she starts school, she will be there for awhile.

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L.B.

answers from Jackson on

First..She is only 4 ..do not buy into the idea she must go to pre-school, and some shyness is normal for this age.
Consider sending her to another pre-school. One that takes more time nurturing and encouraging your daughter.
I am sure you could find a good christian based pre-school that teaches them everything they would learn in pre-school, many are advanced and get them ready for Kindergarten.I say christian based, becaused usually the number of children are fewer and the children are familiar with their caretakers (many have been coming since they were infants).
My daughter was also very bright and extremly shy...TOO SHY.
I instead chose to home schooling. With a few extra years she began to blossom and shyness was no longer an issue. LB

D.B.

answers from Memphis on

Well your teacher is a little whack for thinking that a 4YO that isn't into Hannah Montana is somehow immature. However, aside from that, teachers are generally good gages of whether a child is ready for kindergarten. I have seen many instances of parents that put their young child into a class they're not ready for. The intelligence may be there, but the maturity is not, and that does factor into the success of her kindergarten experience.

Those September babies are a bit tricky for sure. I have a daughter that is 15 with a late August birthday. In 1997 she turned 5 and although I felt she was ready for the whole kindergarten thing, I did not do kindergarten curriculum with her (I was homeschooling then) because I could see what would be expected of her & knew she was not ready. We were also a part of a educational coop and I knew she wasn't ready for that either. I have never regretted that decision. It gave her time to mature more, learn more and be better prepared when she did enter into kindergarten. And now she is in her freshmen year in high school and in the International Baccalaureate program there, so we know we made the right choice for her.

You know your daughter more than anyone, your teacher knows her as a student. Together I'm sure you can come up with something that can benefit your daughter. Working with other children in our education coop gave me the ability to know that just because a child is mentally prepared for something, doesn't mean they are emotionally or physically ready for it. Good luck to you!

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I.N.

answers from Raleigh on

Sounds like she's ready. I wouldn't worry too much about the shyness. My daughter was shy when she started preK. but WOW! did that change. Mine goes to a public Montessori preK/K classroom, so there are kids ages 4-6 in it. I don't think any of the girls are into Hannah Montana, so I wouldn't worry about that at all. My daughter still loves Little Bear and Dora (I think because those shows are quieter). Check with your local school district for readiness reviews through them.

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M.D.

answers from Fayetteville on

If your little girl already has a tendency to be shy I don't think you'd be doing her any favors by making her also be the youngest in the class. It's no diss to her intelligence and abilities to suggest to keep her with you for one more year. I have a four year old too (boy though - so different) and he turns 5 at the end of July. I don't plan to put him in Kindergarten this year. Socially, Academically and Athletically, I want to give him the best start that I can and I think that will be by being one of the oldest in his class instead of one of the youngest. My best friend is a first grade teacher with her Master's in Early Education in Iowa where their education system is recognized to be superior to ours. She kept her boys (now 8 and she has 5 kids!) who had mid-July birthdays back a year and has never regretted it. To be honest, my decision is based mostly because she has a lot of education and training and she made that decision so I'm following suit.

The social aspect of school is so important for kids. If she isn't really confident and won't relate on shared interests with the other little girls I wouldn't want her to have trouble making friends. Being older than the other little girls by next year as well as being smart may give her that confidence boost that is so important with little girls socially in making friends and making school a pleasant experience for her.

I do need to add that I was personally put into school when I was 4 & my parents had me skip 3rd grade. I was very outgoing but it was difficult for me, especially come high school being the youngest -- but I was waaaay young. Your daughter would be the normal age! But it's because of my expereineces that I've read a lot about age and girls social interaction.

Good luck with your decision!

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J.I.

answers from Nashville on

We put my stepdaughter in K at 4 with a September b'day and we really regret it now. She seemed ready, she knew what she needed to know, but now we really see that one extra year would have matured her. We are debating on whether to hold her back in 1st. I would have much rather sent her to pre-k one more year than have to hold her back now. I am also a special education teacher and I would definetly hold one back with a late birthday.

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A.H.

answers from Pine Bluff on

Kids are expected to know and learn so much more now in KG than ever before. I don't think it's so much the "is my little one interested in Hannah Montana" as "can my child do the work!" My older daughter had a May birthday and I held her back. My younger daughter, though, has a September birthday and I'm already seeing that there is no way I can hold her back academically because she's so hungry to learn! There is another option for you, and I know several parents who take advantage of this. Talk to KG teachers and get a sample curriculum for KG. Then, work with your precious daughter at home for the KG year while putting her in a Mother's Day Out or other two to three day a week program that specializes in preschool training. That way she has at least a couple of days a week in which she is getting the socialization and the classroom education, so to speak, but she's not thrust into the KG program quite yet. KG is a really easy and fun year to teach at home, and as long as she maintains at least a couple of days a week of social interaction outside the home, she will easily continue to develop social maturity. That way she should be both academically prepared for first grade the next year AND should have that extra year under her belt to be a little more prepared socially to enter school.

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V.E.

answers from Greensboro on

I think I would let her start kindergarten because I know from having a shy little girl that they can florish quickly if given the opportunity. Follow your heart.

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L.D.

answers from Asheville on

I have a July birthday...my mom started me early and I ended up repeating second grade...not because I failed...because I was not developmental ready for all the work. I will never forget cry my eyes out as my father helped me with hours of homework. Not saying that this will happen to your daughter...I just think that if there is any question...it is best to wait a year. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

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J.H.

answers from Raleigh on

Hey N.,

We are going through the same thing. Our son is 4 and also has a Sept. birthday and has always been a mommys boy. This was actually his first year of preschool because we just didn't think he could handle it until this year ( he has grown by leaps and bounds this past year). After talking to a lot of teacher friends, talking with his teacher, and a lot of soul searching, we decided to keep him in preschool for another year. He is very smart, but not as outgoing as the other kids, he is also very sensitive to others. His preschool offers a 4 yr old enhanced class, that covers much more than your typical 4 yr old class. He was screened and was accepted into the class for next year. We are going to then start him on an early track when he does go into kindergarten...that way he will not be turning 6 going into kindergarten and will be more on track with the kids age wise. Everyone that I have talked to seems to agree that it is better to be the older kid in the class rather than the younger. As with everything in parenting you know your kid best, and what they will be comfortable with. Maybe finding a more advanced class or even a 5 yr old class may suit her better, and give her that extra year of growth.

J. H.

stay at home mother of 2

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M.T.

answers from Raleigh on

I don't think being shy is equal to being unready for kindergarten, but I also don't see the need to push kids into heading off to school. I don't think it would hurt your daughter at all to wait a year. She may indeed find it easier to cope with kindergarten on a social level with one more year of preschool under her belt, and that could just make for a better experience for all of you. Don't forget that school at this age is just as much about learning basic social skills as it is about learning basic academic skills. And even though your daughter doesn't necessarily need to be "broken" of her shyness, she does need to learn skills to deal effectively in the larger world, and she just may need more time to do that.

Most importantly, follow your gut. Don't worry about what labels your daughter's current teacher may be placing on your child, and don't worry about what the other kids in the class or your friends' kids are doing next year. Think only of your daughter and who she is and what you know deep down she needs. Make a decision in your head and sit with it for a while (whithout discussing it with anyone), and if it feels right to you, then it is. If not, make the other decision and see if that feels better. (Then obviously discuss what conclusions you've come to with your husband!)

Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

I am a homeschool mom so i get to choose if my daughter goes into kindergarten this year or not, because her birthday is not until Dec 27 way past the cut off date. I feel that my daughter is ready because she knows her letters, number and knows how to write them on her own and is very interested in reading. The fact she has no interest in the things the other girls do has nothing to do with if she is ready for kindergarten or not. About her being shy also has nothing to do with her being ready for kindergarten, she would be shy regardless if she was in pre-k or kindergarten.
S.

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L.L.

answers from Wilmington on

Leadership is not a prerequisite for kindergarten. At four years old, your teacher should not expect her to be interested in Hannah Montana and High School Musical. Both are geared towards 8yr. old and older. Her intelligence will be enough. Even if she is shy which is very common, having been in preschool two years is enough to prepare her socially. She'll do great in school.
L.

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K.H.

answers from Nashville on

N.,
From experience... My son always excelled and tested well so he was sent to Kindergarten at age 5. He did great and it wasn't a problem BUT as he got to High School a year makes a big difference when they reach teenagers, all his friends were a year older. Also he had just turned 18 3 weeks before he went away to college. If I had it to do over again I would have held him back just because of his age. Hope this helps - I know it's hard to think 12 years down the road but it goes by in a flash!

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A.R.

answers from Nashville on

Put her in kindergarten. Help her with her confidence if there are issues. We aren't all born to be leaders. Leaders are made if you choose this path.

If there is other evidence that she's not ready then reconsider but these don't seem like solid reasons. If you keep her back now for being shy, you will be condeming her for the way you raised her.

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B.C.

answers from Knoxville on

does your school system do a prescreening like the brigance method? call the school she will attend and ask
the prescreening should help you make a decision
if she is chronologically age eligible, she could always spend a year in kindergarten and then a year in a jr primary setting
it takes all kinds..........does she play with others? we serve lots of four year olds and many do not know who hannah montana is...........but they know dora the explorer

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J.B.

answers from Memphis on

N.,
I had to make that same decision 5 years ago. My older daughter did not turn 5 until Sept. We lived in Illinois at the time and the cut off for starting Kindergarten was Sept. 1. I sent her for another year to pre-school. I have not regretted it at all. She has done very well in elementary school. She is not shy, but not out-going either. Still I feel she is respected by her peers as a leader because she has that edge of maturity that some of them do not.
MY second daughter is 5 now. She has a July birthday. I did start her in kindergarten 1: her pre-school teacher highly recommended it. 2: having an older sister she seemed more ready, even though she seemed very young, I'm still watching her closely. She has no problems academically or with classroom structure: but kindergarten does not have the play time like when I was in school. It is a long hard day. Her main complaint is the length of the day. She did no extra activities at the start of school, we are just now picking up girl scouts every other week. She does not love school like my older daughter does, but maybe she wouldn't have anyway. I don't know.
In short I would say if possible to keep her close to you for one more year. A half day pre-school 3 or 4 days / week.

J.

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C.S.

answers from Owensboro on

Hello N. My name is C.. My daughter (Lydia) is now 16 years old but when she was in preschool she was a very shy girl. She was so shy I went to school with her for her 3 year old pre school and her 4 year old pre school some. I then went to kindergarten with her for reading time. I helped her learn to make friend and come out of some of her shyness without missing the opertunity to move on. I think it is harder on kids when they get older if they are not in class with kids their owna age. I dont know how shy your child is but I do see the results with some of the kids in high school that were held back for any reason and I am not impressed with the results.
Good Luck with the decision you have to make.

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R.B.

answers from Knoxville on

We have a son who was ready for kindergarten. I attended a "Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten" class at the local university to get a feel for what he could do to be sure we were making the most informed decision.
Although he was both socially and academically "ready" the best advice, which we made our decision on, was: "Why would you want to shorten your childs childhood by one year? They will have a lifetime to be a grownup."

We have not regretted this decision even once. I would definately wait regardless of Hannah or HS Musical...let her be a child as long as possible. I can't think of a better gift to give her.

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A.M.

answers from Charlotte on

I am a mom of 3 boys, ages, 6, 7, and 10. I sent all of them to Transitional Kindgergarten at 5, and Kindergarten at 6. My oldest, and my youngest I felt like needed the extra year to mature. My middle son was ready to go to kindergarten at 5, but I had such a great experience with TK with my oldest, that I sent him to TK anyway. It proved to be the best choice for all 3 of my children, who have always excelled. I think TK is an awesome thing, and have not found anyone who has sent their children and regretted it. As for what the teacher said about your child not being "into" Hanna Montana and High School Musical, I applaud you and your child for that! To say that all children entering kindergarten need to have similar interests is just the most uneducated thing I have ever heard!

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P.S.

answers from Raleigh on

This is very difficult advise. The self esteem of the child is very delicate and impressionable at this time. Although your child progresses with the academic requirements, there are still social situations which will affect the child throughout their academic life. Have you spoken with your child about finding her personal interests which develop her sense of belonging, and help overcome the shyness.

Everyone is a leader; you are being a leader now by acknowledging your need for responses. It may be great to engage your daughter in group activities where she has a sense of belonging and will overcome her shyness. The strength that she develops in her personal life will be reflected in the classroom and she will begin to excel. A negative outcome could result if you place in her a higher level of academics for which she is not personally ready to accept.

Pray on it

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C.L.

answers from Nashville on

N. ~ I had the same problem. My daughter has a September 30th birthday. The last day to turn 5 for entering Kindergarten. I put her in Kindergarten at a private school at the age of 4 and she turned 5 a month and a half later. The following week her class mates started turning 6. She has had no problems keeping up academically, socially, there have been a few issues in K. She is now a 1st grader and doing so remarkably well. She is reading on a 3rd grade level and is having no problems with the social aspect. There was a huge change in her maturity level between kindergarten and 1st grade. If it is possible for you to put her in a private school, this will be beneficial. Much smaller classrooms and more one on one attention with the teachers have been a blessing to us.
As mom you will make the right decision for your child.

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J.M.

answers from Charlotte on

N.-
You will not be disappointed. My 2 oldest had to start school as an older 5 because of Texas rules. My 2 youngest could start school at 4 here in NC but we decided to have them start school at 5 not 4. One thing I know is that the 3 who are in school and are older are doing great-no problems with schoolwork and no problems being the "youngest" or "smallest" they fit right in. My last is 4 and will turn 5 in June so I am having him do a transitional kindergarten class at a local church. I feel good knowing that all of the kids will be 18 when they graduate from high school and go on to the next phase of life. Remember, being the older one in the grade has benefits!

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A.C.

answers from Greensboro on

I was shy and went to school early and it was fine . . . Even though I was shy, I had to stand up for best friend and little brother from various bullies (for some reason they never bugged me) . . . I was glad to graduate high school what seemed like a year early. I'm 31 now . . .
By the way, my daughter is 7 and still not into the Hannah Montana thing . . .
It's really up to you, based on what you think her needs are

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T.E.

answers from Nashville on

Hello N.,

I had the same problem with my daughter. She turned 5 on 9/11 and started kindergarten in July. I started her against the schools recommendation because academically she was ready. Because of the difficulty she had in kindergarten, I had her go to transitional 1st. In some ways, she was better and in some ways she wasn't. She did have some difficulty compared to the other children, most of whom were almost 6. You won't know if starting her would be beneficial - it could go either way. A lot of it will have to do with the teacher she has. You should do what you think is best for her. One recommendation I can make - if you start her, be sure your school has a transitional 1st program. My daughter has flourished in that class!

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M.M.

answers from Raleigh on

I was told another year is a gift and I did agree. It is a safe way of looking at it. I thought she was ready but was worried that other children would be a year older. However, my final decision was based on MY daughter not everyone else child. I believe in challenging her, since thats what works with me.

My daughter's birthday is September 6 and she went to kindergarten after three years of preschool. She is doing great. I would not call her a leader, but she is gaining confidence and doing wonderful in all subjects. She has made many new friends. She is not into the other things the other girls are into like Hanna Montana and High School Musical because I have not introduced her to those shows and that what she tells the other kids. That seemed more of an issue in 4 yr old preschool when there were only five girls in her class. I noticed it in the girls with older siblings. She was the second child to lose a tooth (the second month of school) and that made her feel older. Confidence will come in different degrees and at a different times, not some magic month or age. Good luck, hope sharing my experience helps.

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M.D.

answers from Nashville on

I have a Sept birthday and my parents ran into this issue with me. The teacher thought I was not ready for school either, but they started me anyway at age 4. Once school was started, the teacher saw I was very capable of learning. She told my mom that I was "more than ready for school". So my mom was right in following her gut instinct to get me going. So as her mama, do what you feel is best and where your heart is leading you. Have you considered homeschooling since you are a stay-at-home mom? Most children develop and thrive tremendously by being homeschooled. And if she is a bit shy, homeschooling may be perfect for her to develop the confidence she needs by being with mama. Just a thought.

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J.K.

answers from Nashville on

I agree-- I don't think not being into hannah montana or the high school musical has anything to do with whether your child is ready for kindergarten... My daughter is 5 years old and we do not let her get involved with those things simply bkz we think she is too young--there are plenty of other things for her to be involved in... If she can follow directions, write her letters and numbers as well as recognize it, handles arts and crafts items well (glue, scissors, etc.) she is probably just fine.

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S.T.

answers from Johnson City on

I have two girls that both have early fall birthdays and I am absolutely keeping them back a year. My mother-in-law is a kindergarten teacher and has seen many 4 year olds in her classroom and they generally don't do as well as the older children. Plus on the other end, my girls will be almost 19 when heading off to college and not just turning 18. It's rare to hear a mom say that she regrets waiting a year, but I often hear they wish they had.

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S.T.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi N.: I was right where you are last year. My daughter was born on Sept 27th. Her preschool teachers said she was ready for school and I stuggled all sping and summer with what to do. In the end I sent her on. It was hard but it has been great. She LOVES school and learning and her grades are way above average. We would have stiffled her intelligence had we kept her back. I would not worry about her being into HM or HSM! Those are not for 4 & 5 year olds! My daughter is still happy with watching Noggin or Sprout. She doesn't ask to watch those other shows even though she has friends who do and I am thankful. I think that it is very important to protect their innocence as long as possible, there will be pleny of oppotunities for them to get into that stuff. That has nothing to do with being ready for Kindergarten. Good luck with your decision. S. T

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E.H.

answers from Greensboro on

N.,
If your daughter is acedemically ready for K, why hold her back? Unless her shyness affects her ability to learn, there is no reason for her to be held back. Eventually, she will open up and make at least one friend. Her social skills really have nothing to do with acedemics; honestly, it's a GOOD thing. Her lack of socializing will give her more focus in the classroom. Your instincts to not listen to her teacher on this matter are correct; you should follow your own instincts and go ahead and enroll her for K this August. No one knows your own daughter better than you, she will most likely blossom in school at her own pace. Good luck and God bless!

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H.A.

answers from Huntington on

Hi. If you feel your daughter is ready to go to kindergarten then let her go. Being shy doesn't have anything to do with them learning. Every child is different !
Wish you the best of luck.
H.

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J.L.

answers from Louisville on

I also have a four-year-old daughter, although she will be five this spring, so she WILL be starting Kindergarten next year. Several of the families in her preschool class are struggling with the same dilemma as you are, and I have had conversations with them. Many of the parents were surprised -- even shocked -- when their child's preschool teacher recommended holding back for social/emotional reasons. So many of these children are incredibly bright, articulate children, and are quite obviously ready to be challenged academically. But as we all know, school is so much more than just academic, especially at this young age. Obviously, playing High School Muscial/Hannah Montana is not a benchmark of readiness for Kindergarten; however, interacting with peers certainly is.

From the way your message is worded, it sounds like your inclination was to send her. I’m sure that you’ll get dozens of replies along the “follow your instincts” advice, so let me be a possibly dissenting voice. Have some earnest conversations with other adults that know your child: parents of her friends, Sunday School teachers, your family and friends. Let them know that you want their HONEST feedback and opinion on your daughter’s readiness for elementary school.

Let me give this one observation: I know six parents who have opted to delay Kindergarten on the advice of the preschool teacher, and three parents who decided to send an “on the age cusp” to Kindergarten on the advice of the preschool teacher. All parents have been satisfied with their decision, so those preschool teachers seem to be batting 1000 in my opinion!

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L.Z.

answers from Nashville on

I would agree with the teacher, although you are right, heaven help us if 4 year olds like Hannah Montana and High School Musical. You do need to stop thinking about kindergarten and instead think ahead to being a young shy middle and high schooler. I started kindergarten at 4, and never developed any confidence in school. I was very shy and sensitive, and was miserable in high school. The younger kids also tend to be smaller, and the reality is, shy, young small kids are easy targets for bully's. Let her have another year to mature and grow, you won't regret it. I delayed my oldest from starting kindergarten for 1 year, and am so glad that I did. He's in 3rd grade now, is the most mature kid in his class, by far, and is doing very well academically and is in the gifted program. He too was ready to start at 4 intelligence wise (he was reading), but school is a lot of pressure for kids, and 4 is just so young.

Good luck!

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T.

answers from Chattanooga on

My son has a late September birthday. He is smart too. However, we decided to wait until he was almost 6 for him to start Kindergarten. He just started this fall. I will tell you what I have heard and what I considered.

1. Girls mature faster than boys. Sometimes girls do ok starting early but it is usually best to hold boys back.

2. Do you want her starting college at only 17? I didn't.

3. Do you want her to be the last one in her class to drive? Again, this is a bigger deal for boys but worth considering.

4.Do you want her to be the last one in her class to start dating? I understand if you do but be prepared for the turmoil.

5. Is she going to be overwhelmed by all the other kids since she is shy? Will she be able to speak up for herself when she needs to? Will she just go along with the crowd because she is afraid to speak up? Believe me, there is peer pressure even in kindergarten!

6. Is she ready academically? Does she know all her letters, numbers, and colors? Can she sit still and pay attention for more than a couple of minutes? Does she follow complex directions well?

7. Before you decide, you might want to go on a school tour (without her). Talk to the teachers, the other parents, the principal. Ask if you can observe a classroom. You will probably be surprised at what kindergarten is like now. They are doing stuff in kindergarten that I did not do until first or second grade.

8. Schedule a tour when you can bring her too. Let her see what it is like.

9. How is she socially? I know she is shy but does she make friends well? Is she shy with adults but ok with kids? Does she share and take turns well? Will she throw a fit whenever she does not get her way?

Also, my daughter is 4. She will be 5 in October. She does not have the option of starting this fall but if she did I would wait. I think the extra year of maturity can really help a lot. I know it did for my son.

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L.G.

answers from Raleigh on

I have been raising four children - one died - but my oldest son was a July birthday and really shy but really smart so I worried about this same decision - did alot of research and finally put him into kindergarten. Because the trend if for kids to start late now - he was almost a year yourger than the other boys and a head smaller - even though he was tall for his age - socially - it has been hard for him and now he is in 9th grade - his grades are struggling becasue it is all interconnected. So the biggest difference shows up in middle school - Hannah Montana aside - if I could do it differently I would have kept him for a year - even though he was reading at 4.
[email protected]____.com
L.
swim teacher and mom

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R.P.

answers from Memphis on

My oldest is in 1st grade now. She started kindergarten in August of 06 and turned 6 that October. I am actually glad that her birthday was 12 days past the cut off. She was not emotionally ready for school. I really think it has benefited her. But, that being said, you know your child better than anyone. But, at the same time, teachers deal with this sort of thing daily with many many different kids. And you have a few months yet before you have to make a decision. Maybe you should meet with your daughter's teacher again in a few months.

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R.B.

answers from Raleigh on

My older daughter was very shy in pre-school. We had to send her to pre-school for an extra year because her birthday (Oct) was the day after the cut-off date. I was very upset about this, but in retrospect it was the best thing for her.

She is now in 1st grade, she is more outgoing, she is in the highest reading & math groups. She is more sure of herself.

You have to decide for yourself the best thing for your daughter, you know her better than anyone else. But this gives you some extra time with you (if she is in half day pre-school) when she wants to be with you. You can never get that back.

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E.R.

answers from Raleigh on

I was a shy kid. When they decided to have me skip the first grade, what made the biggest difference socially was having my best friend in my second grade class.
Really, if you think your daughter would be fine in kindergarten, she probably will. I really don't think Hannah Montana should have any bearing at all in the decision :)

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T.S.

answers from Fayetteville on

Personally I think not being into Hanna Montana and High School Musical is a rediculous reason for holding someone back. I think the only person who knows if your child is ready or not is you. If you think your daughter is ready then go for it. If not then wait another year. Just know that you are her mother and you know her best, most likely whatever choice you make will be in your daughter's best interest.

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M.K.

answers from Charlotte on

You know your child better than the teacher and shyness certainly is no reason to hold a child back. If it were, my 6th grader and 5th grader would've been in Kindergarten until about 2 years ago, because that is when they finally started breaking out of their shell. I would tell this teacher that you respect her opinion, but you were also shy and know that given the opportunity (and it does take time), she will blossom.

Good luck!

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K.H.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi Natale

I couldn't help but respond b/c we also struggled w/the decision to send our June birthday son last year. Of course girls and boys are very different. We did send him and for us it was the right decision - he is doing great. He went to a fantastic children's academy prior to Kindergarten BUT Kindergarten is defintely a whole new world. I'm assuming that your school system does some sort of standardizing testing prior to registration. I would do that and then discuss it w/the kindergarten teacher(s) at her prospective school. You certainly want her to be emotionally ready and they can help you w/that decision. Good Luck!

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T.G.

answers from Clarksville on

I'd say ask her. Ask if she wants to go to the "big" class. I myself was shy all through school and didnt get into all the "girl" things, but that didnt stop me from learning. Friends come and go, but knowlege is forever. If you feel she's ready, and she seems comfortable with it, go ahead and send her.

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K.B.

answers from Memphis on

Hi N.,
I am with you on thinking that your daughter should go on to K. So what if she is shy... Just try to have lots of social play dates after school. If you are putting her in a 1/2 day kindergarten you will have time to do that (after a nap at home if you do that). I have a shy 10-year old and mine never liked to play with the girls, but just run with the boys. She is doing fine now. She has lots of girls who are her friends, and we still do lots of social dates to increase her social interaction. (This helps build confidence levels.) She still has shy/quiet issues, but some people are introverts and some are just extroverts-neither is better than the other just different. I am just curious as to whether this preschool just needs the money.
A little about me:
By the way, I taught full-time school for 10 years, and have a Master's in Curriculum Design, am TN certified in K-8, in the regular classroom, and PK-12 in the Physical Education classroom. Have substituted in MCS, SCS,so I have seen alot. Also sub'd in 4 year old classrooms a few years. I just go where my daughter attends and sub there. I include all that to let you know I know something about kindergarten readiness.
There are good resources available about what your child should know before entering Kindergarten. Google it or get a book @ a bookstore or library.
S
P.S. Glad you are @ home with those girls, because they grow up really fast. I bet you will never look back and think, "Wow, I wish I'd spent less time with the girls and made more money!"
K. B.

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S.J.

answers from Asheville on

I don't know where you live, but here in NC they are changing the birth date for starting school, hopefully by next year. Now you can go to kindergarten if you are 5 on or before an October date, but soon they are changing that to an earlier date, sorry I don't know specifics. My point is she would not be able to start kindergarten when they do change that date.

If she goes now, she will be one of the youngest in her class and if she waits, she be one of the oldest. I think many more parents hold their kids back a year now if they have a birthday near the deadline. I don't think being shy has anything to do with it, that does not change between 4 and 5 that I know of.

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D.A.

answers from Raleigh on

N. S.

Confidence level is very important. Not everyone is a leader , not everyone is outgoing,everyone doesn't like the same tv stars, but we all want out children to have great self confidence and begin their education with a exciting and happy experience. I would think a lot about what the teacher says and maybe talk to others that your child may see on a regular basis in a similar situation. Good Luck ! D.

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L.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

I am a 54 year old grandma that raised 3 boys and have a 6 year old granddaughter. My advice is to take her to church every Sunday and let her go to Sunday School and Children's church for a while and talk to her teachers there and get another opinion. It sounds like her teacher thinks she is immature when she is just right for her age. The other children may have older brothers and sisters who watch Hana Montana and such but that is more or 10 year olds and up. If you work with her with her letters and numbers, counting, colors, and writing and you think she is ready send her to kindergarden. If her teacher there thinks she is not ready you can always put her is a pre-K class later or just home school her till she is ready. It sounds like she just needs a lot of love and encouragement.

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C.B.

answers from Wilmington on

I would definately send her on! I couldn't think of anything that would make my confidence any lower than being held back. I have a 3 year old girl and a five year old boy, neither of which have a clue what High School Musical or Hannah Montannah are. They are still Dora, Elmo, Little Einsteins, and Mickey Mouse oriented. There is nothing wrong with just being average,or where you are. Everyone is not meant to be a leader. Have faith and watch your little one blossom!

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R.P.

answers from Johnson City on

Send her on to kindergarten. That will help her confidence more than being held back. She will adjust to the class and learn well. I do not believe that being shy is cause to be held back. Gammychick

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P.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Personally, I would hold her back. As a former 8th grade teacher (and mother of three September babies), older is almost always better as the kids age. Many parents can't think past the first few years of school, but I can't help but remember about my wonderful 8th grade students (ages 13 and 14). They were already faced with decisions on sex, alcohol, smoking and drugs. I am a huge advocate in giving the younger kids one more year of maturity to make those tough decisions. Plus, the younger kids were more likely to have more social difficulties (more so with boys than girls, but still quite true with girls).

Good luck with your decision. It is a tough one!

P.
Clayton

PS As a note of all NC moms, you do not have to enroll your child in school until they are seven years old. If your child makes the cut-off to attend in that year, you, AS THE PARENT, have the right to hold them back. So, even if your child was born before Oct 16th, you DO NOT HAVE TO SEND THEM TO KINDERGARTEN. Also, starting in 2009, the cut off date will be moved to August 31st.

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R.M.

answers from Lexington on

My youngest daughter also has a September birthday. We opted to send her to Kindergarten when she was 4. She is in the first grade this year. This was the best decision for us. My advice would be to go ahead and put her in Kindergarten. If she is smart and just shy you might be hindering her by NOT sending her to Kindergarten. I would follow your feelings on this, if you fee that she is academically ready for Kindergarten then I would go ahead and send her!

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A.M.

answers from Nashville on

N.-- My b-day is in Sept. and when I was about to sart kindergarten my mom was asked to wait a year. She refused, and so I went. I was also very shy and quite but still managed to make friends and had a very positive experience. Not being into Hannah Montanna does not mean she isn't ready, in fact that could make her a leader in her own right and not just a follower.........Not only that but I'm not sure if the shows mentioned are actually age appropriate for a 4/5 year old, honestly should they be worried about boys, how they look or other high-school issues at such a young age?
I guess what I am saying is if she makes the cutoff for going and you think she is ready then send her!
This is going to be a great adventure for both of you! ENJOY IT!!!!

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J.M.

answers from Louisville on

I am a kindergarten teacher with two young daughters of my own--my advice is to definitely not send her to kindergarten yet. I agree that being a Hannah Montana fan has nothing to do with being ready for K...and if your child has a shy personality, she will probably always be shy. However--I've rarely seen a 4-year-old come to kindergarten and be completely successful in all areas. Usually, the boys struggle academically and the girls struggle emotionally and socially. I highly recommend--in the long run--that it's better to wait a year to send your child to kindergarten.

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D.M.

answers from Memphis on

I to have a child with a September birthday. I did send him to preschool and did keep him back until he was almost 6 to put him in Kindergarten. I did this because of the cut off in the school system. I am glad that I did, although he is bigger than most of the children in his class he is also making straight A's in the second grade now.

I also have a neighbor that had two boys with late August birthdays as well and she sent hers to kindergarten when 4 and turning 5 and she later had to hold them back a year due to maturity levels and learning disabilities.

I don't really know that there is a right or wrong answer to your question.

In the end you have to do what you feel is best for your child, and pray that it is.

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R.R.

answers from New York on

I have a little different experience than some others. My birthday was in October and my mom made sure I was 5 before I entered Kindergarten probably because I was painfully shy. I sailed through Kindergarten and into 1st grade where I was bored because there wasn't enough of a challenge. The teacher had to make separate assignments so I'd have something to do. I ended up skipping the 1st grade a couple of months in into the 2nd grade. Socially I was probably a little behind, but it wasn't a huge difference. I never felt like I didn't have friends, but I was finally working on schoolwork that I didn't know.
This isn't the norm by any means, but if you think your child is going to be bored academically later on, you could put her in now. Or wait and see if she does get bored and see if she can't skip a grade. You can tell when they finish their work before every one else, and have great reading skills before Kindergarten if they're not being challenged at that age.

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L.R.

answers from Clarksville on

N., you know your daughter better than anyone else. if you think she is ready, give it a try. if she seems to be having problems in the first month you can always pull her out and try again the next year. i am in the same boat with you with my boys having an august bday. i think they will be ready though. good luck!

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H.M.

answers from Asheville on

Hey, N.. I don't think it makes any difference for your daughter to go to school early. It's not intellectual development that warrents holding her back one more year. It is an emotional readiness. I personally think that I would wait for my child and let him catch up to his peers emotionally, but I also believe that moms know best. So if you feel your daughter is ready, go with your gut!

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A.H.

answers from Clarksville on

Good morning!! People gave much good advice. As a former preschool teacher I would wait until she is 5. It is ok that she is not into the "in crowd" things because that has absolutley nothing to do with her ability to learn. As I see it she is developing a mind of her own. In that way I believe she is a quiet leader who will be very forceful given time and opportunity.Good luck with your decision. You said like a good mom and will make the right decision for your child! Have a good day, A.

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M.F.

answers from Raleigh on

I would recommend contacting the school she would be attending as a kindergartener and find out from them what they think is needed for kindergarten success. It sounds like from an intellectual standpoint she is on target. Another year in pre-K might bore her and create an unfavorable attitude toward school. Social issues can be addressed and worked through with her teacher next year. You are entitled to disagree with her preschool teacher, especially about her confidence level. A shy child can be cautious, but that doesn't mean she lacks confidence! You are her mom - what do you think? Perhaps in a kindergarten environment where there is a more academic focus she will blossom in her own time and on her own terms. Trust your instincts on her preparedness. And I absolutely agree with you that being wrapped up in the current trendy things (HM and HSM) doesn't seem to be a good indicator of kindergarten preparedness! :) Good luck in your decision.

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J.H.

answers from Nashville on

My son has a September b-day and we started him at 4 because he was smart and could so all the work. He is now in 3rd grade and he can do the work, but he struggles socially and with friends. Everyone that I know that starts their children early has regretted it. It is not that the children cant keep up with the work as more offten than not they are right on track acidemicaly, what the problem is is age. I know that 3 or 4 months don't sound like much, but in elementary children it is a lot and they just aren't as mautre as their peers. I would urge you not to send your child eary as you probably will regret it. And it is not a mistake that you can fix, as you cant pull them out and start them later once you start them, and you run the risk of hurting their self-esteem if you hold them back they alot of times think they are not smart enough. Remember when you make your decision that kids are mean and merciless when they pick on other children.

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H.A.

answers from Raleigh on

N. - they are only little ONCE.

My birthday was October 12th - I was always the youngest in the class - always the most shy - always the smallest. Kids are cruel. (remember dodge ball, remember being picked last for every game) I don't look back on grade school with fond memories.

When I put together a resume I don't list not being a leader and being shy - employability wise those are not desirable attributes. She may not be as lucky as you to find a wonderful husband that preferentially or financially allows his wife to stay at home.

Listen to your daughter's teacher - she is right! And pre-k is a wonderful way to increase her chances for a lot of things. It allows her to be a star verses being one of the pack or struggling to keep up. And if you really love staying at home - for the purpose of raising your children - who better to spend the time with your child than you.

Good luck with your decision - H.

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C.

answers from Johnson City on

This is my take on it. My son went to PS also. In today's kindergarten, PS didn't teach him anything that would prepare him for what he has faced. My son is in kindergarten RIGHT NOW and this is what is on their 6 wks test that will be THIS WEEK! now, if your PS is teaching these things, yeah, she's ready, if not and you and your husband agree, I would keep her out and go for the pre k. this is what's on their 6 wks test.
write and recognize first and last name
recite address
telephone #
counting to 100 by one's and ten's
recognition and writing to 20
upper case and lower case letters - recognition of each letter
know thesehigh frequency words: I, am, the, little, to, a have, is, we, my, like, he for, me, with, she, and, in, it, at, by, name, see, look, they, you, of, are that, & do.
number words: one, two, three, four & five
be able to recognize right from left
be able to recite the days of the week

now, granted, I know that they are there to learn, but when I went to kindergarten, all I remember doing is playing. This is amazing what they expect out of these children now. His math test last week was rectangular prisms, spheres, rhombus, and trapazoids.....

My son's b-day is at the end of June. Even my husband recently commented that he wished we'd held him out one more year... of course it was too late by then... If you have any doubts, I'd seriously think about keeping her out another year, I really don't think you would regret it.

PS - I don't want to knock preschool either, but my son already knew the basics before he went there.... colors, basic shapes, counting, addres, phone # etc. It was more of a social experience for him.

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