Son with August Birthday....hold Him Back?

Updated on January 26, 2009
K.B. asks from Riverside, IL
53 answers

Our son has an August birthday and we are trying to decide if we should do a third year of preschool or send him to kindergarten. He is a very bright boy and I'm afraid if we hold him back he's going to be bored in school. On the other hand, physically and (potentially) emotionally he probably fits slightly better with the younger class. On the other hand, his best friend is older and would be in his class...

I'd like to hear feedback from other parents who have had to make a similar decision, partically from those who have sons who are academically ahead for their age. How did you make the final decision? Whose input did you seek?

We're so torn...this feels like a HUGE decision.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to all the moms who chimed in with great advice. We made an appointment with our son's preschool teachers and received the great input about how our son functions in the classroom both academically and socially.

At this point, we decided to register our son for a third year of preschool at a Spanish immersion school *AND* register him for kindergarten. You know how Chicagoland is...you need to get your spot now or you won't have options! We'll pull him from one of the programs, and lose our deposit, but we think that's a small price to pay for having 8 more months to see how our son develops.

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J.M.

answers from Chicago on

K.,

I have 4 boys ages 9, 8, 6 and 3. Two of my sons were late July and mid August birthdays and I chose to send both of them to school and not hold them back. This has been the best decision for us considering both of them are now in advanced classes.
Before I made the decision I spoke to their preschool teachers and they advised me that my children would be bored and not challenged if I kept them in a pre K program. They said that most parents hold their children back thinking that they will be behind but most kids equal out by third grade and that has held to be true. I have friends who have held their kids back so they would be at the top of their class but they are ranked somewhere in the middle. I hope this helps.

Julie M

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E.F.

answers from Chicago on

I have many people who have told me that they didn't hold back their summer birthday kids (even June) and they were sorry they did. Those who did hold them back where always happy they did. I think because he is the oldest it would benefit him as well. The oldest child is at a disadvantage because they don't get the older siblings showing them the ropes. If he isn't emotionally or physically ready it won't matter how bright he is. These two will overpower the whole academic aspect of him.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

All decisions can be remade. I would send him to Kindergarten and see how it goes. If he does well great and if not he can repeat the year or repeat a year later.

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R.U.

answers from Chicago on

I have a grand-daughter who was in the same situation and she is 11 yrs old now and she always says she feels bad because she is the oldest one in her class she is tiny so size has nothing to to with it. She is very smart and has always been top of her class even in Kindergarden they even ask why we didnt let her start school R. Uziel [email protected] sbc global.net

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J.

answers from Chicago on

I think you will have a hard time knowing until the end of this school year. Talk to his preschool teacher and do some research about things like the size of the kindergarten and first grade classes in the school.

I think it all depends on the child, but there are advantages to being older. I have a summer child who is very bright but struggled with emotional immaturity and because he wasn't as fast to learn to read as his older classmates. He's now in 3rd grade and finally is recognized as a smart kid, in the G&T program, but he thought he was dumb for a long time. It's hard to know what was the best choice for him, but I don't think it would have hurt to wait - it definitely would have been easier on his self-esteem.

My next son will be one of the oldest in his class (Nov. birthday.) We thought about trying to start him early, but our district won't test kids who have birthdays past October. But now (he just turned 5) I'm really glad we were forced to wait. I didn't really know until spring this year, though. I think if you wait and see, by March or April you'll have a pretty good idea with help from his preschool teacher.

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S.T.

answers from Chicago on

I have a daughter who started kindergarten this year with an August 16th birthday. She is very bright for her age, and very tall. We started her this year becasue she was in a private kindergarten with a class size of 14. So far it has worked out really well. She has had trouble this year with separation issues, but we are working through them. She is also in extended care, so that makes for a longer day than many kindergartners. She is also a child who relied on naps up until the beginning of school. I would have to say, if she were in public kindergarten-less personable, and higher teacher student ratios-we probably wouldn't have started her. However, this fits our situation well, and she should do fine next year.

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S.W.

answers from Rockford on

I know you have had a ton of responses.. but I just wanted to give you some additional feedback. My son is 5 years old with a July 2nd birthday. He is much like you describe your son. Very intelligent with some immature impulses and he is a little hyper(some would call him all boy!). Anyhow, we faced this decision last year as well. With the advice of many parents, his preschool teacher and daycare provider, we all decided it would be best to hold him back one year. While he caught on very quickly he was a little impulsive and would do a lot of following rather than leading. We wanted him to be more mature and be a leader rather than a follower. I was one of the youngest girls in my class and while academically I could keep up, while I was very social, I always felt a little more immature and behind than the other girls. I didn't want my son to feel the same. In peer pressure situations, I wanted him to be the leader! Anyhow, my husband and I just had a conference with my son's teacher. She mentioned that he has improved so much over the last year and she is seeing him do so much more helping with the other children. His learning is progressing and he will have a headstart when he gets to kindergarten. We have seen a huge change in him at home this year too. WIth that being said, we are very happy with our decision.

I would take the time to talk with his preschool teacher and see how she feels. I know of other boys who were the same age as my son and they went on to kindergarten last year and are doing fine. However, many parents have said they kept their boys back and were very happy with the decision as we have been.

Good luck to you!

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S.K.

answers from Chicago on

My first instinct is to keep him back. I am student teaching in first grade right now, and there is a child who missed the cut-off date by 1 day. He is a bright and sweet child, however he is not physically/emotionally/mentally ready for first grade. He would be doing wonderfully if he were in kindergarten right now.

My brother went through the same thing when he was young. He is now 33 years old but will still tell you that he was in the wrong class, that he should have been a year behind.

Also keep in mind that boys mature slowly. Thus while a six month age difference might not make a difference when he's older, right now it could make a world of difference.

If you do decide to put him in kindergarten, be aware that you can always change your mind later. Just talk to his teacher; I am sure that all of you could together make the best decision for him.

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

I would move him on. Both of my older children are August birthdays. My oldest son is August 10th, and he is now in 1st grade. He is definitely more mature than the Kindergartners, and I would have felt very bad for him this year if I had held him back.
My 4 year old is August 30th, so he just barely makes the cut-off! He is in his second year of preschool, and he is definitely ready academically to move on next year. Socially, he is still shy, but he is just like his Mommy in that area. =)
It is deinitely your decision, but don't hold him back just because of his birthday. If you feel he is ready to move on, then go for it!! Good Luck!

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S.A.

answers from Chicago on

My birthday is August 23rd and my brother's is August 31st. My neighbors have children in August as well. I've never known a single child that has ever done poorly in kindergarten because they just turned five.

It has only been in the last year of so that I've even heard of people worrying that their child that turns five in August won't be ready for kindergarten. Why the deadline if they won't be ready?

Personally I think it is a manufactured worry. If he isn't ready, then you hold him back another year in kindergarten...you don't keep him out of kindergarten in the first place. It will be a growing experience better than what he would get in pre-school.

My daughter's birthday is in January and she couldn't start until she had been five for quite awhile. She's upset that she will turn six in January and be older than her peers.

I don't see how it could be a detriment to a child unless they are socially shy and very attached to their mother. Since your child is in pre-school anyway that is not the case and kindergarten can only prove to be a positive learning experience even if it turns out they aren't ready for first grade when it is over.

I think the idea that some children aren't ready when they are just barely five is a new fad that like many of the fads I've seen over the years only serves to hurt our children because it wasn't thought through before everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

I'm in the same position! My son's bday is in August as well, and I am agonizing over the same decision you are. My older son's bday is in November and I was very grateful for that because academically he was ready, but his maturity level wasn't quite there yet. He definetely needed that extra year to "grow". My second son is a little different. He is very intelligent and very mature for his age. My drawback is that he is small for his age so he would probably be the smallest and youngest in his class. I just don't want to push him into something that he might not be ready for. Thanks for asking this question, I'm interested in seeing the responses.

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

No matter how smart your son is, if he's not emotionally ready they will just demote him. His friend doesn't need to be with him. He'll be in the same school. When he is mature enough, the school can promote him then. He'll probably be tested and the school will meet with you about the situation and what's best.

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M.Z.

answers from Chicago on

You have gotten a lot of great advice! As a kindergarten teacher, I would say go with you gut instinct. You know your child and how they are academically and social/emotionally. If you are really on the fence and it is possible you could send him to a private kindergarten. At the end of that program you and the teacher can decide if it would be better to place him in public school kindergarten or first grade the following year. This gives you a year to see how he develops and matures academically and social/emotionally in a more kindergarten program verses a preschool program. When I tught first grade there were quite a few children who attended a private kindergarten then adjusted well into the first grade classroom!

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K., I can chime in about my daughter. I can relate to the difficult decision you face. My daughter has a late birthday and was facing a full day Kindergarten. I was considering trying to find a half day program because I was concerned that she was on the young end of her class. She was showing signs of being academically advanced by reading early and such but I knew that some parents were keeping their kids back in preschool another year. I just honestly sat her down and talked with her and then went with my gut. She really wanted to go to full day Kindergarten. As much as I was nervous-I went ahead and sent her to the full day program and it was the greatest thing! She was immediately tested and placed in a gifted program that she is doing so well in! She has academically just blossomed and I am so glad she is in a program that can keep her mind active and challenged. It has given her a happiness and confidence that is such a comfort. I am really happy with my decision. I hope you can find an answer for your son that you are happy with. Good luck, S.

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E.S.

answers from Chicago on

If it was a daughter I would say go for it, but a boy hold on and wait! My mom did that with my brother and she has no regrets! If my son was not born as early in the year as he was, I would hold him back as well. For what ever reason, boys sometimes are not ready, both academically and emotionally. As a former teacher and mother I say wait, but you do know what is best for your child! Good Luck.
BTW I have a daughter who is in K this year (5 in Jan.) and I have noticed, being a room mom, that the "younger" ones are "delayed" so to speak compared to her and some of the other older ones. But again, it is your call as his mom.

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C.D.

answers from Chicago on

My grown son was one of the younger kids in his class and I believe he would have benefited from being held back. While he is gifted and his grades were always good, he was physically and socially behind. Hind sight is 20/20!!

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C.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,
You have gotten so many responses and lots of conflicting advice. I completely understand what you are going through. I am a kindergarten teacher and I have a daughter whose birthday is August 28th. From the moment I found out my due date I was agonizing about whether or not I would send her to kindergarten on time or keep her back a year. As a kindergarten teacher, I can always tell which children have the late birthdays. Not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well. It is my job to help them succeed even though they are younger then their classmates. I do feel most of the time they are able to catch up but they have to work a little harder, and I do wonder what issues are ahead when they hit puberty. I chose to keep my own daughter back and have never regretted it. Her preschool teachers thought she was ready but I just couldn't do it. I have never felt that she was bored and she stands out both academically, and even more important in my opinion, socially. My advice is to go with your gut, and either way it is the teacher's job to help him succeed. Good luck, the fact that he has a mom that considers his schooling so important is half the battle.

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, K.!
I've usually heard the problem the other way around-the children with Sept birthdays like my nephew who had to be held back a year because of the Sept 1 cut-off. My sons are long past those years as they are 25 and 22, but I do teach some parenting courses, and this topic is addressed to some extent. I'd contact the school where you plan to send your son and let them help you make the decision. My guess is they would say go for kindergarten. Good luck
S.

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S.F.

answers from Chicago on

I did not read all the posts so if this is a repeat, I am sorry.

My son was a July baby. We were also considering holding him back. We just so happened to mention it to his preschool teacher and she disagreed with us saying that he is right where he should be. I would suggest talking to his preschool teacher for her honest opinoin. Let her know your concerns and ask her what she sees during the day with him.
We also had a family member that is a retired teacher. Also in conversation with her we mentioned that we were going to hold him back. She also disagreed saying the same as the preschool teacher did. We enroled him and he is now in 5th grade and doing well.
Good luck!

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A.T.

answers from Rockford on

K.,

Before becoming a SAHM, I was a preschool teacher and a middle school English teacher. I've talked to a lot of parents who've faced your situation. In retrospect, almost all of the parents who decided to start kindergarten early regretted it. Their children felt overwhelmed socially and had a very hard time fitting in. On the other hand, almost all of the parents who decided to wait a year thought it was a wonderful decision because their children became leaders. I hope this insight helps.

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I.K.

answers from Chicago on

Our older son was born on August 3rd. It never occured to us to hold him back. (Although in talking with other parents later, found out that they had considered this an option when they asked us about this.) Our son went to daycare/preschool from 2.5 to 4. Early on,he showed that he was very bright and extremely verbal. He caught on to various things quickly. He is now in first grade. He is doing well and keeping up with everything. There are no signs that he is "younger" than other kids. (just as there are no signs from the kids that miss the deadline and are "older" than some other kids) He has at least 2 classmates that have birthdays on August 9th. They are not having any issues either. However, one mom I know whose son is in the other first grade class is having issues with her son. He has had more trouble making progress, and did in kindergarten as well. He has a late July birthday, she thinks it may be a maturity/developmental issue with him. My advice to you, as many of the other moms mentioned, is to assess your son and decide what you think he can handle. Good luck with this difficult decision!

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C.S.

answers from Chicago on

My oldest son (now 24) was born in August. He was always the oldest kid in his class. He graduated very high in his class. He never had social problems or academic for that matter. The main reason we decided to keep him back was that he and my daughter (now 25) would have been in the same grade. We thought it would be too hard for them to be constantly compared to each other. (Believe me that happened more than I would have liked even though we held him back!)

My youngest son (now 17 and a junior in high school) is also the oldest in his class. He loves it. He sometimes will say ..you know, I should be a senior. and we laugh. He is socially very well adjusted and has no academic issues either.

My advise is...keep him back. If he were a girl, I might say send him to Kindergarten, but as we all know boys need a little extra time to mature socially. He will be fine and will adjust to his new classmates. The younger kids will look up to him and it will give him good self asteem.

Good luck. and dont worry. everything works itself out.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

as a second grade teacher and a former kindergarten teacher, I say hold him back. I can always spot the "young" ones within the first weeks of school. If he is extremely smart, i agree with some of the PP. he will not be bored in another year of preschool because it will be new students. Also, you and your husband can challenge him. All you hear about is people who regret sending them to school, never waiting another year. Good luck with your decision.

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K.H.

answers from Springfield on

My daughter was born July 28th and I was concerned about her being one of the youngest in her class. Her preschool teacher told us to send her to school as she was "more than ready". She did fine all the way through. The only complaints we ever got from her was when all her friends already had their drivers license and she still had to wait 3 months for hers.(An eternity!!), also when we wouldn't allow her to date at 15. I am happy to tell you that she survived and is now a freshman in college.

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K.D.

answers from Chicago on

You aren't holding him back. You are giving him the opportunity of being a leader in his class. In todays classroom, many children attend preschool and are very bright. You might be surprised just how bright some of the other students are. The schools

I had an early September birthday. Intellectually I was capable of keeping up and surpassing many students. Emotionally, I was somewhat not quite ready for some of the behaviors of the older students. A year can make quite a difference as you get into fourth, fifth, and middle school.

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B.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, I have a 6 year old with a July 23 birthday. I never thought about holding him back, but a friend of mine held her son back who has a similiar birthday as my son. I wonder now if it was a mistake. All of his friends are in first grade and he's in only in kindergarten. He doesn't understand why.It's especially hard for her to answer that question knowing that my son has a similiar birthdate. She thought that physically he's be one of the bigger kids growing up vs one of the smaller.

I don't think you should hold him back if he's a smart boy. You're right, he'll be bored! Mine is one of the smarter is in his class and the same size as the other kids as well.
I'm so glad the thought never occured to me.

B.

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D.L.

answers from Chicago on

If his best friend is moving forward & he is up to speed academically, I would send him to kindergarten. I know of a couple of parents who waited & were sorry they did because their kids were ahead of the other kids at school. Have the school evaluate him & then make your decision.

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S.W.

answers from Chicago on

My son to has an August birthday- the 28th and I was ready to send him that year. However, the school highly recommended we wait. I was torn by this and I then asked his preschool teacher who said absolutlely wait. I am so glad we did. Joey is now one of the most brightest and happiest in the class. It is great to have a child who loves school- to start it on a positive note. His older brother did not start off positively and will probably hate school his whole life- he is in the second grade and hates it.

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D.H.

answers from Chicago on

We were in the same dilemma. My son has a July 30th birthday....but I did not hold him back. My son would have been bored out of his mind. He is emotionally and physically younger than the majority of his classmates...but he is more than able to handle the school work. He is in 3rd grade right now and is getting A's and B's. I believe I did the right thing for him. In the end...you have to look at your son's abilities and his happiness and make the decision for him. Good Luck

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,

I know you already have so many responses, but I just have to share my experience with this issue. My older son's birthday is in early September, so he is one of the oldest in his class. My second son's birthday is August 31st - talk about cut-off date! He is very intelligent, and I was very torn as to whether or not to send him to school or wait the extra year. We decided to wait, based mostly on social skills - my son tends to be quiet, and we thought the extra year would help him gain more confidence before he started public school. Also, we watched who he was playing with - his best friend was going to school the following year, and overall he tended to get along better with younger kids, and so we thought it was a good decision to wait the extra year so he could be in class with his friends.

Instead of sending him to another year of preschool (which he had academically outgrown), we sent him to a daycare with a kindergarten program - he loved it and really thrived there! He wasn't bored at all. And when he started public school, he did extremely well until about three quarters the way through the school-year. And then he was BORED. It was very tough getting through the last quarter of the year because every day he complained that he didn't want to go to school because he was bored and wasn't learning anything. I think he still had fun when he actually got to school - but it was tough getting him there!

Now he is in 1st grade, and all is well again. He is more challenged, he is getting along fine academically and socially, and he has no complaints about school - he loves it! Overall, I am glad we waited to send him, but it definitely was a roller-coaster ride for awhile!

Go with your instincts - you know what is best for your little one!

Good luck!
J.

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
My son's birthday is at the end of August. We felt the same way you do about your son. He was great academically, but lagging in other areas. We decided to hold him back. We don't regret it in the least. In fact the Pre-K teacher said we did the right thing (yet last year they said he was ready for Kindergarten). He's thriving and is doing well. Our attitude was we could always push him academically through advanced classes, but we couldn't push him socially. He's more of a leader than a follower and we appreciate that. Plus, I get him for an extra year! Best of luck in your decision making.

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A.C.

answers from Chicago on

don't hold him back... my son is august 27th -- he spend his 5th birthday in his first day of all day kindergarten. I was against all day programs but the school changed their program that same year, and I was stuck -- I already had one in 1st grade so it would have been too much for me to have them in separate schools. I am so glad I sent him -- he has excelled in so many ways. Mind you he was not the most mature child -- but even there has he improved. He is now in 1st grade and continuing to do extremely well -- each child is different and we can't assume that our child is not ready. They surprise us all the time
good luck

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K.W.

answers from Chicago on

My son was academically our son was/is very bright. Thus we decided to start him in the age appropriate school year. he is now a Soph in HS and we regret not holding him back. Academically he continues to be on par, but because his physical stature is that of a 8th grader or Freshman he struggles emotionally. He articulates very well how being a male and being very small physically is a huge mountain to climb. He has also noted that it can be charecter building. From where I sit, If I could make teh decesion over, I'd hold him back.

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K.U.

answers from Chicago on

Your son is ready for kindergarten, especially after 2 years of pre-school, the teachers will love him. If you hold him back you may find that he is bored in kindergarten the next year and may get into trouble because he is bored.

K. U

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L.W.

answers from Chicago on

As a teacher, I absolutely agree with the previous poster, Megan Z. A private kindergarten (like the programs at Kindercare or Sandbox Preschool Centers) would be a great compromise at this point. If you don't feel your son is physically or emotionally ready for public kindergarten then this would be a way to get the education he is ready for without the pressure.

I have taught kindergarten at Kindercare in the past. I taught all the lessons that a public school teacher would use (through a lessons manual) but the enviornment was more laid back. The children did work in class but I rarely sent home homework because I also had children in my AM class that would go to PM kindergarten in the public school.

As Megan Z said, the private Kindergarten teacher could discuss with you at the end of the year, where the best fit would be for your son the following school year.

Good luck with your decision!

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

I have four sons. Two born after September and two before. My son born in August went to school right after he turned 5. He has done GREAT! His older brothers are disappointed that they had to wait to start school and wish that I had found a way to put them in school earlier. I think you have to try it and see. I don't think a third year of preschool would benefit your advanced child. In fact, My 6 year old son was so bored with 1st grade that we are now homeschooling him and plan to do the same when our youngest son turns 5 in June.

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P.P.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
okay.. here is an example of someone holding their child back who academically and emotionally really didn't require it. And I'm SO glad we did.
Our son is a senior now in high school and tops in his class!

My son was the youngest in his preschool class and I made the decision to give him another year of preschool before kindergarten. He was and still is a bright kid. He was reading beginner readers as a 4 year old too so he was doing very well. He was also very mature and probably would have done just fine had I sent him.

I kept him back for a few reasons..mostly because the kindergarten he would be going to was a full day program and I just thought he would get pretty tired by afternoon. He always enjoyed taking naps in the afternoon and too this was the first year of full day kindergarten for this school and the teacher was fresh out of college.. plus the class size was 35 children.. which is really crazy. I knew this was the school we would be sending him to so I thought, why not give him every possible advantage? If the school was crazy enough to put 35 kids in there then I was going to give him the edge. I knew he was going to be on his own pretty much with that many students in the classroom.. a teacher can only help that many kids so much.

so as teacher myself.. I thought why not have him reading before he got in there and then he could just excel. He was never bored. He was put into the highest reading group and continued on in the gifted group throughout elementary and jr high. He is a senior now and 6th in his class. Plus the extra year of growth height wise did him well with his basketball playing in high school. I teach preschool and have never had any one say they regretted giving their child another year before kindergarten.. only SO many parents who said they wished they would have held them back..

. Kindergarten is like 1st grade now. They do a lot of phonics and math worksheets and the expectations are really high. They don't get a chance to play anymore. Its work work work!!If your child's attention span is lacking and also maturity level.. give him another year of preschool.. no doubt! He needs to be able to handle pressure and take care of all of his belongings and get along and share.. there are SO many skills a child needs to have under control to excel in school. If you have ANY doubt.. hold him back.

I assure you, your child will not be bored when he hits kindergarten. There is plenty to challenge a child.
Just make sure his preschool will offer some challenges..if you do give him another year. I'm a teacher so I knew plenty of things to do with my son.. read to your child.. read tons of books!!

maybe like a 5 day program at his preschool if you repeat do something different.. change schools.. do a 5 day.. something different from this year.. he can work on writing his letters and knowing the sounds and even teach him to read simple books. He will be ready to excel when he hits kindergarten.
you are right.. it IS a huge decision. Its going to set the tone for the rest of your child's education.
good luck!! trust your gut.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

What is his teacher's recommendation?

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K.G.

answers from Chicago on

It doesn't matter how smart your child is. Think about him in the middle school years. Do you want him to be the last to do everything or the first. It may be hard for one year but it is better than the rest of his days in school. It is much better for boys to have a year more of maturity. I used to be a 4th grade teacher and could definitely tell who the younger ones were. My son also has an August birthday. I knew the moment I had him that we would hold him back. Think about how mean kids can be. It is much better being the oldest. He will less likely get picked on. Think of future years and not just the next year. You will never regret holding him back but you could regret sending him early.

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C.R.

answers from Duluth on

Hi there,
Wow you have gotten a lot of responses so far!
I have a son who's birthday is August 23rd. He will be 5 on his birthday. I have not had him in preschool because it just isn't in our budget, anyways he is smart too and my husband and I have decided to send him to kindergarden! I do work with him at home and he can read and knows his numbers and such! I just think that Kindergarden will benefit him socially as well as acedemically. Your son has been in preschool for 2 years so I think that he will do great in kindergarden! He is a small child and even if we held him back he would still be small.
So good luck with your decision and like many have said, what ever you decide will be the right decision.

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

K. - Let me share my experience. My first child is a late July birthday - a boy and small in stature, reading at age four, adding and subtracting at age four. We elected not to hold him back. He is a freshman in high school now. He is struggling a little with handling the level of responsibility...but my friends who have sons that are months older seem to be experiencing similar things. I will say that the small stature bit has been hard for him starting mostly in middle school. It would have been easier for him to be with the younger kids. Having said all that, he is two years ahead of himself in math, so had we held in back he would have been with kids three years older than him for math classes. Sometimes I wish we had held him back....it never made a difference until middle school and those kids started hitting puberty.

I also have a 5 year old with a July birthday.....again the same issue!!! And knowing what I know, I still sent him to school. Same whole deal - small kid but reading at 2 1/2 (I'm not kidding). So I think you will consider all the factors, make your decision and then make the best of it. Whatever you decide, problems will arise and the course will never be entirely smooth.

Overall, we went with starting their education sooner rather than later. And my oldest certainly has done well academically.

Good luck.

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K.S.

answers from Chicago on

Let him go to kindergarten. My granddaughter has an August 30 birthday, so obviously she's probably the youngest in her class...she's a petite little thing and she's one of the top ones in her class. Go for it! He'll be bored silly if he's bright, to be kept in pre-school another year.

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A.L.

answers from Rockford on

This has been mentioned I noticed in other comments, but I want to say it as well. Social interaction is a big one. How is your son socially? Having been a first grade teacher for some time parents often forget social. I did have a first grader who skipped kindergarten. Yes, he was fine academically, but socially not. Just something to think about. Good luck w/ your situation. I know you will make the best one for your son!

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B.M.

answers from Bloomington on

Here are my thoughts (I worked in the schools for 14 years as an SLP and worked closely with K teachers, and have a 5 year old in K now (June birthday).

First, I'd wait until the spring to make your decision (if you need to hold a place in preschool I'd do that in case you decide to hold him back).

I wouldn't even be worried about what his best friend is doing, they make friends easily and can still play together even if not in the same class.

Do you have a good preschool teacher who you can discuss with? What about approaching the K teachers in his elementary school?

Look at whether the program is full day and if he'll be exhusted by the full day program. I know in my DD class there is a wide range of ages, some younger than her and quite a few who have already turned 6.

I don't think you need to worry too much about boredom once he gets to school, there is so much to do and if he's really ahead he'll still have lots to do and you can make sure the teacher provides him with lots of stimulation.

If he's small and maybe not emotionally/socially ready, often an extra year can make a world of difference, I have about 10 friends with boys with July and Aug birthdays who all held their sons back for the exact reasons you stated and none have regretted it.

Go with you instincts and talk to his teachers to get the input! Good luck with the decision.

B.

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

He will be fine. my baby is in july, the youngest in her class. Some kids are older by almost a year! Teacher says she is very bright and she gets along with everyone. You know your son best. Also, as an ex teacher, your son will be bored. Challange him!

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

My son is an August birthday, too. I thought about this for years before the kindergarten enrollement. I talked to teaches, district personnel and other parents who had been through this. I decided to wait to send him. This was the best decision!!!!! He is confidant in school. He benefitted from growing physically and emotionally for an extra year.

There are really a lot of people who choose to do this, so don't feel alone. Two of my neighbors were in the same boat as me. One of them sent to kindergarden, and one waited (like me.) The only one regretting it now (2nd and 3rd grade) is the one who sent her son.

Another good friend of mine has a son in college. He was also a August birthday. Even in high school they feel that they made the right decision by waiting to start for another year.

I know how the "friend" thing goes. Even though that aspect is painful, he will make new friends.

I have never looked at this like "holding him back." They are just starting later. I tell my son that when you have a summer birthday, you get to choose when you start school. This is special for summer kids! I choose to keep him home (and preschool) for another year.

Another thought...Does your district have full day kindergarten? This might influence your decision, too.

Best of luck!

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S.W.

answers from Chicago on

Kristen, as a preschool director myself with a son close to cut off date, I felt the social emotional peice was important. There is soo much that can be offerend in preschool and depending on the school he is in, they can also individualize for him if needed. My son is in 1st grade now and was tested at an academic level of 3rd grade. HIs social emotional component was just age level. We kept him in first grade with enrichment which has been better for him. His teacher just shared by conferences she felt we did the right thing because when a child gets to elementary school, the focus isn't social emotional, it becomes acedemic so if the don't have a strong foundation, it can often give the child different challenges later

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L.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi Kristen,

I too had this dilemma my daughter is an August birthday. I decided to send her on her way to Kindergarten and do not regret my decision. I felt she was ready and has done great! If you are on the fence though and he is smaller you may consider a 4 or 5 day pre k program. These are a little more structured than your usual preschool classes and gets more of a kindergarten feel as they go consecutive days as opposed to every other. Hopes this helps, I would recommend one but I do not know where you are from they are all over.

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E.B.

answers from Chicago on

If you are going public school, most won't let him start til he's 5. If private, money is what matters most to the school so of course they will suggest you put him in.

It's best to hold him back and let him be the oldest. He'll be a leader instead of a follower.

Good luck...

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

This is a tough decision! I am a Kindergarten teacher, and have discussed this with parents for many years.

My one and only suggestion to you is to go and observe the Kindergarten classroom, or possible classrooms, he would be in. Observe them at a few points in the school year. What you should look and listen for are (1) the academic content that is happening. Will your child be able to keep up with what the current children are being expected to do? (2) Notice the social interactions of the current students during their in-class free play. Would your child fit in with the discussions they are having?

Although the age difference with an August birthday seems to be much, the gap is temporary in their school experience. By third grade, you won't even remember the issue to begin with!

Only you can make the right choice for your child. Visiting and getting a better feel for what is to come would be best. No self-respecting teacher or administrator would deny you that observation experience.

Finally, I will say that although we can pick out our "summer birthday" kids in the beginning of the year, as the classroom community develops, they are no longer evident.

Good luck!

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K.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.-

I was faced with the same decision with my son who just turned 5 on July 28th of this year. My main concern was social maturity. He is a bright little guy as well and I knew from an academic standpoint he would be fine. After talking to his pre-school teacher she assured me he was more than ready for kindergarten. She felt he would be so bored with another year at that school. I also called a kindergarten teacher at school and she just basically told me to go with my gut feeling. Well, my gut feeling was to send him and I'm glad I did! Although he is one of the youngest in his class, he's excelling academically and his teacher says he's a social butterfly. She said she would have never guessed he was a young one. The only problem (which is slight) is that he is noticably one of the smaller kids in class. This is a huge decision but I have to say go with your gut feeling and you'll make the right decision!!

K.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I would be concerned that if you hold him back that he will act out in class because he is bored.

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