Son with an April Birthday- Do I Hold Him Back from Kindergarten?
January 24, 2012
My son will be 5 in April, he is in preK 3 days a week. He does pretty well, some days he still cries at drop off. It seems like for the most part he participates. He is really smart, sweet kid, he is definitely a little stubborn, and the attention span isn't quite there yet to know all his letters & numbers etc, though he knows most. I am concerned with his maturity. He just started soccer and participates in about1/2 of the practice and refused to play the first game, even though at home he loves soccer and was so excited to go. My husband and I are leaning towards holding him back, I feel like it can't hurt & I would rather not "try and see" and have to hold him back after starting kindergarten. I feel like holding him back may make the difference between him just getting by in school and thriving. However, my only fear is that being the oldest might be too old? He'll be almost 6 1/2 starting kindergarten rather than almost 5 1/2.
I am also a little biased- I have a September Bday and turned 5 after kinder started, I was always the youngest and always did fine, I think it's a little easier for girls to be younger, but in retrospect I think I would have benefitted from another year of maturity.
I would love any input!
My daughter has a May birthday and I held her back. Best thing I ever did. It was a hard decision because academically, she was ready, At her preschool graduation,(she was 5) I watched all her classmates singing on stage and receiving their diplomas and my daughter was sitting in my lap crying. So, at that point, I decided to give her another year of preschool. She is one of the oldest (she's a whole year older than some but only about 4 months older than all the fall b-day kids in her class) but she is doing awesome. She loves school and is not struggling like some of the younger kids. (she's in 3rd grade now and it is quite a bit of work) A lot of people told me to send her, a lot said it would be fine to wait an extra year but I had to do what I felt was right and I do not regret the decision at all. Don't let people sway you one way or another. Do what you feel is right. It will work out either way.
I don't think you would ever regret holding him back, but, you may someday regret sending him early. I am planning on holding my son who has a summer birthday back. They grow up too fast as it is, and I want that extra year with him. :)
Why would you hold him back? You haven't cited anything that stands as a concern to me. Have you talked to his preschool teachers to see where he compares to his peers? I'm all for holding children back if they're not ready... but holding a boy out when his birthday is in April? That's a bit excessive to me unless he's seriously immature or has learning problems.
Just send him. If it doesn't work well you can let him repeat kindergarten. Mostly children grow up in kindergarten.
One of my grandsons went to a kindergarten that was all day and they taught reading. He has turned into a great reader.
Huh. It's amazing how many people have said "oh yes! Hold him back!". They don't even know your son. Based on the info you gave there's nothing alarming about your situation. I agree with a lot of posters here....he'll be almost 5 and a half, not JUST turning 5. A lot of growth/maturity can take place in that time. Discuss it with the K staff, they should provide you with a good, educated opinion. Not just people telling what you should do based on what they did for their child. This question and the results of it are too important to take unknown peoples advice when they don't know your son at all.
A lot depends on teachers, too, though. Our preK teacher told me my child tested her patience everyday (and she had over 20yrs exp) and to get get eval'd for ADHD. We were in that process when she started K and 3 wks into K her teacher met with me and said "No No No!!! Don't go down that road! Your child is bright, energetic, friendly and curious...let's raise her to be that way!!". It's been a year and a half since then and all has turned out well. I guess what I'm saying is....even teachers don't know all the time what's best for a child either. It's a big decision you're faced with, get several professional opinions.
I'm with Jo W. Our son has a mid-July birthday and I was dumbfounded when everyone under the sun started asking me if we planned to hold him back for Kindergarten---for no reason besides his summer birthday. I'd never even heard of such a thing. ?!
He is usually the youngest (or close to it) in his classes, but he does fine. A year later wouldn't have made a bit of difference (I don't think) in how he has done and does do in school (and he does just fine and I have always been told by every teacher that he is "typical" for whatever grade he has been in. Personally, I see it as just what the name implies: "holding him back". Why hold your child back? I want him to get out there and learn all that he is capable of. He is well balanced and always has been. All boys operate on a slightly different level than girls in the early years (more physical less verbal, as opposed to girls who are more verbal and less physical--typically), but all the OTHER boys that start on time are in the same boat.
Have you considered that your child, one day, may feel some stigma or maybe anger at being held back if you go that route? He may end up having to explain to people several times over the course of his school career, that "no, I didn't fail a grade".... My son's kindergarten and first grade classes had MOSTLY Jan-May birthdays in it (all age appropriate). My son was the next to the youngest and the youngest (one grade there was a boy with a later July birthday than my son's). My daughter has a late June birthday (19 days difference), and no one ever asked me if I planned to "hold her back". Not even once.... Hmmm
My son, who is now 23, has an April birthday, the 25th to be exact. We never even considered holding him back and he was fine. Yeah he is a bit immature but he is 23 and still a bit immature so I don't think a year would have made a difference, ya know?
My younger two were both May babies and I didn't hold them back either. So far, so good. Now my March child I considered sending a year early. She knew everything she was going to learn in kindergarten before she went. Turns out not a big deal, while everyone was learning boring stuff she was working on social skills helping them. It all comes out in the wash.
Kindergarten is not mandatory in most States.
IF.... you enter your child into Kindergarten at 6 or more years old... they may put him into 1st Grade.
SO, you NEED to make sure, you KNOW what the rules are at the school your son will be attending.
I think, he is just tired when he is at soccer.
And thus, can't play the whole game.
He is young.
He probably needs to nap.
When is your state's cut-off date? I mean, if it's September 1st, he will already be 5.5 if he starts this year - otherwise, like you said, he will be 6.5 when he starts, and turning 7 before the school year ends. He could be a good 18 months older than the youngest kids in the class. To me, that seems like really stretching it. If his birthday was August, or right before or after school starts, I could better see it. In some areas, you may not get a choice - if he didn't do K this Sept, he would have to go into 1st grade the following year because of his age.
Have you discussed this with his preschool teacher? It's their job to get them ready for kindergarten and he/she may have some insight into how she think he will do. Does your school district offer a "junior kindergarten" class for him to be in if he does not do K this year? Something like that might help bridge the gap between the preschool he is in now, and kindergarten if the feeling is that he just is not ready yet.
The worst that could happen is he could do a year of kindergarten and then have to repeat it. That's what happened to my nephew and he's doing fine now.
What is the opinion of his Pre K teacher? She is the one that sees how he is in a classroom, she can compare him with his peers. She can tell you if he will sit through a story and a discussion of the story when in a group of friends. Kindergarten where i live is very academic and very hard fro immature boys. You are right to put a lot of thought into this decision.
My son's birthday is in April and when he was 5 he also used to not participate in the soccer or t-ball programs we signed him up for. He also was excited about it at first and at home. We started him in Kindergarten at age 5 and a half and it all went just fine. Kids change a LOT in a half year or a year....and school itself is what I believe helped our son mature and become more independent. School was sooo good for him and holding him back would have meant having him hold on to some poor or immature behaviors for a bit longer. Your son will be almost 5 and a half...there will be plenty of kids in his class younger than he is. Kindergarten really is all about learning a lot of proper social behaviors anyway. My advise to you is definitely do not hold him back! PS - After the sports "fiascos" when our son was 5, we kept our son out of sports for a bit until he finally asked to do basketball in 1st grade and now soccer in 2nd grade. He is so much more mature and now he really enjoys it.
In north Texas you have to be 5 when the school year starts. My son turned 5 in the middle of September so he didn't start and was almost 6 when it started. If I could if sent him, I would have. My daughter turns 5 in march and she will start kindergarten this year at 5 and a half. She has never been to day care and the first few days may be rough but she will be fine! I agree with the other moms in that it matures them and all the new friends and activities will be fun! He already goes to a pre-k why wouldnt you send him this year?
What does the preschool teacher say? She sees him in the classroom setting and knows what students are and are not ready for kindergarten. Even with that, an April birthday is pushing it a bit for holding him back. You may just find he rises to the occasion. Or maybe there's something the school could offer him if he does have difficulty. Does your school district offer kindergarten screenings? I would call and see if I could get him in to see what they think, too. You should be able to visit a kindergarten classroom with him so he knows what to expect. Make it sound exciting.
Why would you? He'll be the right age. There is a world of growth between ages 5 and 7. Once he catches up socially he'll be worlds ahead of all his classmates and they'll be too young for him and he won't have any friends.
I would not expect him to fail kindergarten. I would expect him to do fine. I would never hold someone back at that age, there is just too much development going on during this time. Each and every day it's like waking up with a different child.
He will be right in the middle of the pack. Do not hold him back.
He will be fine. He will be 5.5 when he starts school in the fall and turn 6 with all of the other kids. He will be with the kids he should be with.
There is a HUGE difference between turning 5 after school starts and being 5.5 when school starts.
Let him go.
If he can't handle it, the teachers will tell you.
That said, my daughter is an April baby as well. She and all of her friends -- mostly April and May birthdays -- have done just fine. They all started kinder when they were about 5.5
I have two may and one june birthday for my kids. I sent them the fall after they turned 5. I think your son will probably be fine by september, but you have until then to decide and see how his maturity level does.
I'd say not to worry about it too much for now, a LOT can change in a child in 9 months.
wow i have to commend you for such a well thought out, interesting question.
normally these questions have to do with late birthdays, and you're looking at "almost 5" vs "almost 6" so it's not quite the same as what you're talking about.
there would be virtually NO other kids as old as him (or probably near as old as him) in school. this would be tantamount to holding him back a year. i think that we all know those kids from school who were older because they were held back. and i think in this situation you're going to get that. the kids will 'know'. might not be an issue, but they will still 'know'.
i really think that in 8 months things could be very different for him. that's a long time to a 5 year old, you know? that's a lot of time to work on maturity and getting the wiggles out...and you do have some time to make this decision. i would almost just plan to send him, and hope for the best. maybe that little push would be good for him. i am of the opinion that even if it is a bit of an adjustment, he WOULD adjust, and probably be okay after a couple months. but being 1 1/2 years older than his class would last all 18 years.
April is not a late birthday and he won't be one of the youngest or oldest, he will actually fall somewhwere in the middle (exactly where depends on when your district's cut off is). Here our cut off is Aug 30 so the kids w/ Sept - Dec birthdays end up being the oldest while those w/ Summer birthdays are the youngest.
Being ready for kindergarten is not the same as being ready to play organized sports. Talk to his pre-k teachers and ask about his academic and social readiness and see what they say. Take him in for the district's testing and see what they say. Then make an informed decision. I personally think the only ones with a diagnosis that should be held back are those that barely make the cut-off or just miss it (some that miss it should be allowed to start rather than wait).
Also, a lot of maturity can happen in just a few months so don't make a final decision just yet.
I am a kindergarten teacher and my first thought is, don't wait. With the little information I know about him, he sounds like a typical child his age and most likely will do just fine. I have had several students in the past who cried a lot during prek, etc. and they end up being fine. You may have days of crying, possibly even weeks, but it will get better. As hard as it is, the best thing to do is walk away and allow his teacher to handle it. I know this is difficult, being a mom myself. The only time I think holding a child back another year is when their birthday is in November...maybe October...the cut off in NY is 11/31. With all of this being said, you are his mom and you need to do what you feel is best for him and what makes you feel most comfortable. Good luck!!! I love kindergartners! :)
My son's birthday is in April and we made the decision to red shirt him this year for a number of reasons. The biggest was that he really wasn't mature enough, yet. He would weave from reality into fantasy and back again several times in a single statement when he was having a conversation with us. He would have a hard time sitting down and staying on task. He was still cranky without a nap and it's all day kindergarten. He was still having a hard time coping with stopping what he wanted to do in order to do what I wanted him to do. Structure was hard for him and, as you know, school is a completely structured environment. The growth in the last 8 months has been incredible and I am so glad we went ahead and kept him home an extra year. It would have felt like setting him up for failure.
I know what you mean about girls, though. Our daughter turned 4 the month after our son turned 5 and she would have been fine starting a year early. I think in the end it comes down to the fact that each kid is different. How they develop and how quickly is different and you have to do whats best for THAT child, not what's best for someone or even everyone else's.
If you're heart or you mommy gut is holding you back, pay attention to that. It's there for a reason.
There was recently a medical study done, either in Canada or maybe UK, that found a relationship between boys who are held back to start kindergarten and obesity! I'm sure you can do a web search and find it. It was very interesting and something that I had never thought of before.
My son's bday is 4/11 and we did not hold him back. He started this year and is doing beautifully! I also have a September birthday and turned 5 after kinder started. I don't think another year would have done anything for me - my sister was born that year and I would have probably been bored being stuck at home with a newborn!
Talk to his preK teacher - and the director of the preschool for their input. It is hard to judge how he is when you are not at school without those valuable opinions. I would tend to weigh your own info plus these critical partners' advice more than the advice of strangers on this website.
I have one boy with a june b-day, he started at 5. My second boy has a September b-day, and the cutoff in MN is Sept 1st, so he had to wait a year due to the cutoff. He's 6 and in K this year and he's bored stiff. The kids are learning letter sounds and he's reading chapter books. I wish I had been able to send him last year.
My older son is now 9 and in 4th grade and he's doing great. He's participated in gifted ed, socially he's fine, he really enjoys school and is thriving.
My daughter has an April b-day, and we are undecided on whether she will go to K next year (she will turn 5 this April). The ONLY REASON we are considering is because she is adopted from Ukraine, has Cerebral Palsy adn has only been home a year. She's still playing catch up. We haven't decided. She is thriving in preschool and loves it, but given her circumstances we haven't decided yet.
For your son, for goodness sakes, send him. I wouldnt consider NOT sending a typical child as long as they met the cutoff for age. Boy or girl, doesn't matter. Red shirting is kind of silly most of the time, and red shirting a boy with an April birthday is even moreso.
Obviously, I don't know your son and your personal situation. But my opinion is that, with an April birthday, he is awfully old to be held back. I realize there is a growing trend to wait, and kids with earlier and earlier birthdays are waiting, but I think at some point you have to just bite the bullet and go to school.
What do his preschool teachers say? If I were you, I'd spend the time between now and September working with him in a fun way to get him ready for kindergarten. Find some fun educational toys and games that focus on letters and numbers. Read him an extra book or two every day, pointing out simple words so he starts to pay attention to the letters a little bit more.
I don't know about your area, but here there have been a few cases of kids who choose to wait for kindergarten, but then when they go to enroll the next year, the school insists on putting them into first grade because they are so old.
A friend of mine also had a son with an April birthday who wasn't totally mature and didn't know all of his letters and numbers. She worked with him a lot the summer before kinder and by midway through the year, he was in the top half of his class. He's now a very successful first grader.
If you need some great toy and game suggestions, contact me directly and check out my Discovery Toys page at http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/karenchao My 4.5 son has learned a lot from these toys and is definitely ready for kindergarten this fall. good luck.
okay, flat out honest: in this case, YES, please wait.
the warning signs are there: he is not socially ready. He does not have the maturity to fully cooperate within the classroom....he has proven this thru his stubbornness & lack of attention span. You are seeing evidence of this both academically, thru sports, & socially.
I have answered this question many times. Both of my sons began school at age 6. Both excelled. In my older son's case, his bd was past the cutoff....so a non-issue. In my younger son's case, his bd was days before the cutoff. At the KG screening, he scored at the 97%ile. BUT it took him twice as long to complete the testing. The teacher testing him knew he could ace the test. She waited it out with him, because she wanted to see how far he could go academically.
In the end, based on the length of his testing, I requested the early childhood KG Bridges program & it worked wonders. One girl, the rest boys....all academically-ready & all lacking in the attention span to stay focused. Best decision we ever made!
As part of our decision-making process, I spoke with many friends in the field of education. A very wise older teacher clinched the deal for us: she said that in all of her years of teaching, she had never known "waiting" not to work to the child's benefit. Never, ever was it detrimental to the child. When faced with words like that.....the decision became a "no-brainer" choice for us!
My sons are 15 & 24. They both LOVED being the oldest in the class. They loved hitting milestones before their friends....but not always were the 1st! It turns out more & more kids are going at age 6...thereby leveling the playing field. I just like the thought of providing a positive edge for my sons.
Today, I met an old friend. She holds a degree in Early Childhood. She was the director for our Parents as 1st Teachers program. She's taught at several different facilities, both in/out of the school district program. She is currently the director of a state-funded preschool. She rocks as a teacher!
We were discussing the children in my daycare, specifically the 4yo I am prepping for KG. Her words shocked me! She said that her youngest went to school at age 5 +2 months. She ended up repeating her KG year due to falling academically & socially behind by December of that KG year. As a proactive parent/teacher, my friend was shocked at the changes within the system. She had followed the KG prep guidelines & found out the hard way....that those parameters are changed. Within our school district, the KG prep list does not prepare enough for the curriculum presented in KG. What a kick in the butt to me....time for me to change my KG prep policies & get moving....this little girl in my care has a lot more to learn before August! & honestly, I'm not sure she will be ready for KG...the positive would be the 2 older brothers at home to help her on her way. :)
My daughter is a summer baby. Those are the late bday that the teachers worry about. She started just after turning 5. She ended up catching up by Jan. She may take a little longer to do things but she can do it all :) She is in 2nd grade now. Give your son a chance. They really work with them in kindergarten. He will love it :)
I work for a school district and work in kindergarten inclusion everyday. My suggestion would be to hold him back one more year. You are right. Many times, girls are more mature than boys, and seem to handle it a little better. I would say that if you are questioning it all, keep him home. Better to keep him home, and be ahead the next year, than having him struggle in the classroom. I was 6 1/4 when I started kindergarten, and being older was never an issue. Good luck.
I would talk with his preschool teacher but also talk with the kindergarten teachers at his school (if you know where he will be going). Get their opinion.....I am sure they will have one!
My son started K this year (Feb. B-day... So started at 5 and 1/2). He's doing great but there are several kids in his class that are going on 7 and they do seem to have an advantage in some ways..... They are more confident and seem more comfortable in the school environment.
Like another poster said, I would go with his maturity level before looking at age alone. Kindergarten expectations are high (in our school, anyway)....students have homework and are learning to read and write. Better to have your son mature and ready than to start too early and feel frustrated or overwhelmed.
I wouldn't worry so much about a number, age, as the child's maturity, etc. I think most boys are a bit less ready than girls the same age. I don't mean intelligence but just being mature and ready. Girls talk more usually and are better at language and verbal skills so sometimes the boys are behind them even if the same age. I would say wait and let him be a bit older. However here it is they must be 5 before September the 1st. He'd be almost 6 then by the time school is out in May if he's 6 in April.
I teach Kindergarten and I would recommend that if there is any doubt in your mind I would give him the extra year to mature. He will not be the only 6 year old in his class, and it is NOT okay to start out with the idea that we will just hold him back next fall if it doesn't go well this year!! A child gets one start to his educational career...yes attitudes can change...but if it starts off badly it is an uphill battle for the next 16/17 years.
Don't forget to think about what your child will be like in junior high and high school...will it be better for him to be on the more mature side then??? Yes!
I have had many families in my time teaching say that they wish they had waited another year...I have never had a family say that they are sorry they had their child wait. Academics can wait, or be taught at home...but maturity only comes with time, and if your child is not mature enough for the demands of kindergarten everyone will be unhappy.
See if you can meet with the kindergarten teacher(s) at the school he will attend. Be honest and open with them about your concerns and ask them what the expectations are for their classroom(s). Kindergarten is different around the country, expectations vary, but in my area it would be hard for your little one to be successful if he struggles with attention, focus, and interest in learning. Students with these issues often come to feel that they are not smart, aren't like the other kids that can sit still and listen, and often dislike school.
Please think hard about giving your child the gift of time!
April is a little late to hold a kid back a year, but you need to do what you feel is necessary. There is a lot of maturing that will go on over the summer.
We held 2 of our boys back (late summer birthdays) and we did not hold our last one back (also late summer), but he had the benefit of 2 older brothers at home to help him learn the social skills he needed to go forward at age 5 instead of age 6. I questioned the decision in late elementary, but now that my oldest in in 8th grade- so glad I held him back! He is one of the oldest in the class and one of the least mature. He has matured a ton this year, though.
Boys are slow at maturing. If you feel you need to give him time, give him time. He may be bored, though, if he takes an extra year at pre-k. He can take Kinder next year and go into pre-first the following year if his teachers feel he needs the extra year.
I have a son whose bday is at the end of April and held him back. I think it was a great choice for him. It wasn't just the "right now" I was thinking of, but long term. My mid - Sept bday had me start K at 4 and college at 17. I want my kids to have a year more maturity to deal with bullies, HS stuff, and definitely any things going on in college. I've talked to lots of teachers in middle school and hs who say they can still tell the kids that have an early bday. Around here, holding kids back is becoming more of the norm, so I don't even think he'll be the oldest by that much.
Personally, if my daughter (who turns 5 in June...my youngest has an April birthday) did not know all of her letters and numbers up to at least 10, and seemed to lack emotional maturity, I wouldn't enroll her in kindergarten. Her age wouldn't be a factor in my decision because if she isn't ready, she isn't ready regardless of when her birthday is. They test children around here for readiness prior to entering kindergarten. Do they have something like that where you live to help you decide what is best? Also, consider speaking to his preschool teacher...she should be able to give you an opinion on what would be best academically. Best of luck.
I haven't read any other post so if I repeat this I'm sorry.
1. April is not a late birthday...heck if that is then my daughter should be in KG now and not 1st grade.
2. I would wait for KG round up, does your district test them at round up. If they feel like he's not ready they will let you know. But it sounds like he's right on track for KG...
3. You can also call the school district and see if they have a "parents as teachers" program...they will come and test him too.
I coached KG and 1st graders in soccer and basketball...he's very typical of their behavior. I had a little boy who practiced his heart out and then refused to play in the games...then I had another girl who didn't want to practice but would thrive in the game.
I'm fortunate in that my boy started kinder at 5 and turned 6 shortly after school started. I thought he'd be the oldest in his class but there were others even older in his kinder class. The oldest was an April bday, like your son. I think he is such a neat kid! So confident and bright! His mother told me he wasn't always that way; and this is why she held him back. There are many out there who think holding back is ridiculous. My take on those who are so opinionated is that they don't know your child and what is best. My son is very immature and could probably have used another year, if you can believe that! I would say if you are on the fence, hold him back. If he is just so far ahead that he's bored, they will push him through to first grade. If you start him and he does poorly, this also effects his self esteem when he struggles all year long and then watches his peers move on to 1st while he is held back. What would you prefer. I think the extra year will really help them with confidence. I know some might argue, at what point do you say no....January birthdays? However, all children mature at different rates and the parent knows best.
Oy! I read all the answers and whatever you do, you'll be going against reasonable advice. My younger son has an early June birthday and I know how you feel -- and even after reading all the answers, I still don't know what the right decision is. But my gut is April is too early in the year to red shirt him. I didn't red shirt my March 25th son and he seems to be thriving.
You might consider doing prek for 5 days a week so he is there more than not, and he will probably stop crying. Good luck!
I think April is pushing it for holding back. That being said, in my son's class there is one girl that is repeating kindergarten and all of the other boys with June-August birthdays were held back. My son's birthday is July and he is the only boy with a summer birthday to start at age 5. It is kind of annoying because he is the youngest and is being compared to kids that should be in first grade. We thought about holding him back because he is a very active kid, but our speech teacher and pre K teacher urged us to send him. He didn't know the majority of his letters when he started, but neither did half the class. all of the boys are rowdy, whether they are 5 or 6. Like your son, his participation in soccer was the same. But I can't judge kindergarten readiness based on soccer participation. I started to look at it like this: the deadline used to be 12/31, and back then you wouldn't even think of holding back a summer birthday. they changed it to 9/1 and all of a sudden no one wants to be the youngest. I have heard the arguments of do you want your son to be 17 when he starts college. Well, I was 17 and I did just fine. It is a hard decision, but we took the try and see approach. So far he loves it and is doing fine, just has to work a little harder than those that were held back.
My son has an August B-day and started Kinder as scheduled. He ended up being held back due to maturity. I think you should let him start kinder and see how he does. His teacher will know what to look for if he does need to be held back. Then make that decision. I would not worry about age my son had a class mate turn 9 in the 2nd grade and no one cared. Good Luck, He will turn out fine. M. E
I would much rather my children be some of the oldest in their particular grade than the youngest. My first child has a July birthday and we sent her the year she turned 5. It was the biggest mistake I ever made.
Unfortunately, this is a question that none of us can answer for you. EVERY child is different and what works for one won't work for others. Talk to his preschool teachers and ask what they think. Call the school and ask if you can talk to a Kinder teacher, ask for an explanation of their kindergarten program or even observe a kindergarten class (without your child so you are not a distraction). This will give you a good idea of how your child fits in and will do. Most importantly, do not worry about what everyone else is doing- just consider your child's strengths and weaknesses and the program he will be attending.
That being said, here is my personal experience- My son turned 5 in Jun and we decided to send him based upon his pre-k teacher's recommendation and my experience as a classroom teacher. He is doing well and his teachers didn't even realize he was one of the youngest until I brought it up one day. The reason I brought it up is because I started worrying when I talked to other parents and realized many of his classmates were OVER a year older than him.
My oldest has a late July birthday. He is 6 and in 1st grade. He started Kinder on time. I debated only because he is young and small. I decided (with the blessing of his preK teacher) to send him to Kinder. He did GREAT. My plan was to let him do two years of K, if necessary. He is in 1st now and thriving. Just be flexible! I would recommend sending him to K and then let him do two years if necessary.
I would not hold him back for an April birthday. Send him and if need be
he can repeat K. Sept. is still a long way off. Things and kids change.
I used to coach 5 yo soccer. OMG it was a hoot. Half the kids did not
play, who was fixing there hair etc. So I would not let his soccer experience
influence your decision. It seems IMO that everyone wants to hold back
there kids and prevent them from starting K. If this keeps up they will be
15 starting K LOL.!!!! I think he has more to gain from 2 years of K if he
needs to repeat, than an extra preschool year. I kept my son back (Nov.)
in 1st grade. Glad I did not do it in K because 2 years in 1st was so much
more beneficial. So summary, I would send him and then evaluate in the
Spring of 13. You would be surprised how they bloom when starting K.
Sorry this is so wordy.
What is the cutoff date where you live? If he'd be 6 1/2 when starting kindy and would have classmates a year and a half younger than him, I would not do it! Here where I live in NY, the cutoff date is December 1st so no one would likely hold back an April bday. Both of my kids were born in June so it was never an issue. I work in an elementary school, and in your position, I would have him start kindy in the fall - he will be almost 5 1/2. If he needs to repeat, it's really not the end of the world. I don't feel that being the oldest is a benefit.
My son was a June baby. I didn't think twice about sending him to school that year. A lot of people had told me that it's best to hold young ones back, but I disagreed.
He is now in the 2nd grade and has done extremely well both academically and behavior wise. Sure he might be the youngest, but you would never be able to tell!
Either way, you will make the best decision for you and your family!
As a middle and high school teacher, I think too many of the responses focus on whether he will be ready NOW for kindergarten and don't think about 8-10 years from now. Every year I could go through my class list and pick out the youngest boys - they struggled the most academically (usually) and were far more immature. It may not be as obvious in elementary school, but by middle school there is a definite difference. Our son is an August birthday and we are waiting the extra year to send him. Our debate now is whether to have him do a pre-K or private kindergarten next year. Academically he is more than ready now, maybe even socially, but we are trying to make decisions in his best interest for years from now.
Like others have said, I've never known anyone who wished they didn't wait the extra year. I've had other teachers tell me that in hindsight they wish they had waited the extra year to send their sons.
Give him a few more months and decide - kids seem to grow in leaps and bounds!
My son has a July birthday, and though he was academically and socially ready to start, had no problem sitting still, and was ahead in terms of reading, sounding out words etc, his issue was motor skills. Holding a pencil, writing letters and numbers, and drawing and coloring were a challenge because the process of holding and using a pencil actually made his hand cramp and hurt. Now that he is in first grade (where he is not the oldest) and is being given timed math tests in which he is expected to solve and write 40 math problems in one minute ( I so do not remember doing anything like this when I was in first grade), I'm glad I waited. His handwriting is greatly improved, he is able to fully complete written answers on his timed math tests, and he loves art class. He just needed a bit of extra time for his fine motor skills to catch up. At the beginning of the year in particular he complained of being bored and I was concerned, but at mid year they began dividing up the class and he has been put in advanced reading and math groups, so it all worked out. Every child is different, but overall for us it was the right choice. Good luck, and don't worry too much :-) .
Here in MN people hold their kids back regularly. I know at least 3 boys with April-May birthdays that did not go to K when the year they turned 5.
I'd ask around and see what other parents are doing.
My oldest has a March birthday, I sent him at 5. He was the ONLY BOY in his class who wasn't 6. Most of the boys had summer birthdays, and had turned 6 the year they started K.
The girls, I don't know... but every birthday party he was invited to that year was for a boy turning 7 and they were all late spring/summer birthdays.
I too have a Sept. birthday (21st) and my parents sent me. I was fine... I graduated when I was 17... started college turning 18... I turned out just fine.. but times were different then. My son is in 1st grade this year, and is learning curriculum that I remember learning in 3rd and 4th grade.
Call the school, see if they can give you a sense of what your local population is doing, but here in MN, you'd be fine holding him back.
A lot of parents around here are facing the same question. Many of them are enrolling their son/daughter for Kdg. at a school out of district (private, catholic, christian, etc.) They will then see how this year goes. If they are ready for 1st grade they will enroll them in the district school in 1st for the following year. If not, they will enroll them in the district school to repeat Kdg. There will simply tell the kids, "you are going to a different school next year." No stigma of the kid who had to repeat a grade, etc. for the child to deal with later.
It use to be if you were old enough they went to school. I would wait till closer to the beginning of school. He still has several months of learning and growing in maturity. I say it is better to send early and repeat Kindergarten than to have a child bored to death and end up hating school.
Things have sure changed since my kids went to school but I believe in many cases it is for the worse. We are now sending kids older and older to Kindergarten and making them bullies. It use to be everyone was on an even playing field. Not only that kids who are so much older can get bored. A lot of kids in alternative schools are bored kids or kids who are not audible or visual learners.
My youngest has a November birthday and started school in California where the cut off date is December 1. My kids all had the same kindergarten teacher. She to start him and if he could not handle it she would tell us. In May she told us if we would have held him back it would have did more harm than good. We then moved to Texas and the cut of date is September 1. They wanted him to repeat Kindergarten but would put him in the gifted program. I informed them no way. I really wanted them to tell me what they would do with him the 4 other days that he was not in the gifted program. Later down the road we had him tested and he IQ came out to 178. Just imagine if we would have held him back. As it was by 6th grade he was bored to death. We decided to homeschool him and his sisters. Today they are the only grandchildren of our parents that have graduated from College. They are happy, productive, members of society.
I vote no. My son has an April birthday. Most of his friends have March - May birthdays. He fits right in. I can understand if he had an August or Sept. birthday, but if you hold him back now, then you will forever be having to explain why he is a year 1/2 old then his classmates.
For those that say they never knew anyone that wished they hadn't waited -- now you do. I wish with all my heart that my parents had let me skip 1st grade like the school wanted. It would have changed a lot of things. While you can try to look forward 8-10 years, all you are doing is guessing at what it will be because every kid is different. April is not a really "late" birthday, its not as early as Jan, Dec, or Sept, but it isn't a late birthday. July and August are "late" birthdays. My son's b-day is in July -- so are 4 of his classmates. 2 of those 4 are just like my son -- academically advanced and doing great in school. Because their parents did not hold their kids back my son will have peers in all his grades that are the same age he is and about the same level of emotional maturity. Only one of those kids should have been held back to repeat kindergarten (and, I know that was the recommendation from the kindergarten teacher, but that child's parents insisted on moving the child forward).
Send your child to kindergarten. If he's not ready to advance to 1st grade, then have him repeat kindergarten again. It gives him a chance to learn, to know education is important, and to work on his social skills.
All kids are different. If you know your child isn't ready to advance to 1st grade and the teacher agrees after a year of kindergarten, then keep him back a year.
Yes, considering all you have said, I would do it. In fact, my son has an April birthday, and I held him back. And he wasn't crying at drop-off at all. By the time he was 5, he was not refusing to play sports. And I had done an awful lot of early intervention, he had finally learned his letters and numbers, but had maturity issues and some other readiness issues. You son definitely sounds like another year in preschool would help. But I would put him in 5 days a week. If there is a pre-kindergarten program, that would help him.
I would send him to a private kinder or MOntessorri school and then regular the next year. If that is possible, but yes he needs to be held back. Kinder is so advanced and stressful now because of No Child Left Behind. If they do not know everything immediately they are labeded "at risk of failure". Give him another year to grow.
This is a much discussed topic! My son has an August birthday, and we didn't start him. Boys are way more immature than girls, and really struggle with peer issues later in school when they are younger. Your son doesn't sound quite mature enough to start school. I used to work in a private school and we almost always suggested holding off on starting. It seems to be the trend in Texas anyway. I'll bet he won't be the very oldest. But an older boy tends to be a leader in their crowd and excel in more areas, while a younger one needs to find their nitch. I've never once met a parent that regretted holding their child, but I've met plenty that regretted sending them!