The Right Age to Start Kindergarten

Updated on September 24, 2008
K.R. asks from Oswego, IL
125 answers

My son has a 8/28 (3 days before the cut off to start Kindergarten) birthday and will be turning 5 this summer. Based on advice from friends (who are not his pre-school teacher) everyone says to wait a year and send him to school next year. That way he will be the oldest kid in school rather than the youngest. He is a smart kid that does well socially, so I am torn. At this point I think he would be OK starting kindergarten, but I worry that a few years down the road being the youngest could be hard (reading, dating, going to college).

Are there any moms that have sent a young kid, or waited to send their child, out there that could tell me about their experience? Any hindsight that you may have on this situation would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance : )

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So What Happened?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the great advice! Everyone gave me a lot to think about : )

We originally had our son enrolled for another year of preschool at the school he currently attends. Over the past few weeks, I listened to a lot of advice, my son and my gut. After all this thinking, I came to the conclusion that he is ready to start kindergarten now. His teacher whole heartedly agrees that we should send him. He can read well, do simple math, is great socially and is tall for his age. I really think that waiting another year would be holding him back and he would not be happy. Every kid is different and I just think mine is ready. There will certainly be points in his school career that will be hard, but that is true no matter what. I will just do my best to support him and make him feel confident as he starts this new phase in life.

Thanks again and good luck to all who are struggling with the same decision.

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T.M.

answers from Chicago on

Me...personally I would wait till the following year.I started my son who was 5yrs and 1mth old and ended up holding him back in first grade........He was a smart 5 yr old but was behind the other 5 yr olds as far as cutting, and coloring and they let me know it....So that is just my opinion..T.

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K.B.

answers from Champaign on

Hi K. my son has 8/18 birthday he did great he is a senoir this year. the only problem we had was he was a jr. before he could drive.

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E.F.

answers from Rockford on

I sent my son to school and things went well. my grandson went through the same thing,but he is fine.he went last yr. where you live do they have a sign up for early education and when they get a spot the child can go. personally i would not wait.

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K.C.

answers from Chicago on

I am not at this point with my kids yet so I could be eating my words later and my have no clue what I"m talking about but here goes.

I have to say I think it's crazy to hold your kids back because you want them to be the oldest/tallest/strongest kid in the class. Now if your holding your son back because he's not socially mature enough or hasn't developed good potty habit etc that's another story. In my opinion if you and your preschool teacher think he's ready for kindegarten you should send him. This practice of holding kids back simply because we want them to have a better advantage in size and sports etc is insane to me. If your child is physically and emotionally ready for school why would you delay him?

Just my opinion.

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A.C.

answers from Chicago on

My son's birthday is 8/31 and I was just faced with this same dilema. I did send him to kindergarten this year. He is a very shy guy and not very social. He is doing great. His teacher is amazed at his progress. I had most people tell me not to send him but I went with what my gut told me. I was asked the question will your son benefit from another year of preschool? That question was the clincher in deciding to send him. You son sounds like he is ready. Good luck with the decision.

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

My brother, husband and myself were all the youngest in our classes. My brother struggled the most academically but he still got decent grades.

Why not schedule a conference with the Kindergarten teachers and principal in your district? They could give you the best indication of what is expected from your child in Kindergarten.

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L.H.

answers from Chicago on

I am an early childhood administrator, former teacher and a child that was "double promoted" which meant I was always the youngest. I am here to tell you your motherly instincts are right. If he is socially mature enough, he will be fine. Someone always is going to be the oldest and the youngest! In some states the cut off is December so don't worry!! Send him to Kindergarten.

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P.M.

answers from Chicago on

hi,
My son has an 8/20 birthday. I sent him to kindergarten last year right after his 5th birthday. I think he is very smart but was worried about the social aspects, he is an only child. I figured he would be ok and learn to make friends. I also felt that if I waited another year to start him and thinking ahead bcause he is smart, that he would be ahead of the others in class and might even be bored in school. I have to say he is doing very well in school. I am amazed at how much they learn, he is already reading! Socially he is about in the middle, he is normally a little shy. I think you know your child the best, do what you think is right. He will be tested before hand and you can see the results. I am sure you will make the right decision.

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J.W.

answers from Chicago on

As an educator and a mom, I'd say that the decision needs to be based on a case-by-case basis. Your child may be fine in kindergarten or, waiting may be beneficial. I don't know your child, so I can't make that determination based on the information I have. However, if you have your child attend the kindergarten screening, listen to the information they give you. More often it is better to wait, but it is also not fair to a child who is truly "ready" to be held back. It is often a question of emotional maturity. So, don't just listen to the intellectual and physical ability information they give you. Listen to it all. Consider his size in relation to the other children. After having all of that information, then you can make a decision. Either way, you are probably going to be one of those conscientious parents who values your son's education, so your child will be fine. You're not going to ruin his life based on this decision. Good luck!

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T.G.

answers from Chicago on

Oh my do I understand. I have an 8/31 daughter and it was hard. My pediatrician told me to push her forward if she was advanced in reading. She wasn't, but she was advanced in everything else. My mother in law strongly criticized me for not sending her early, but we waited, she's the oldest and we couldn't be happier. She is one of the smarter 1st graders right now, but I don't consider that an issue. She likes sports,and many people told us it was better for her to be older rather than younger in terms of sports, and we asked A LOT of people what they did, why, and what would they do if they did it over, and no one could give me a reason to push forward. Everyone who did push forward regretted it (to varying degrees), and no one regretted holding them back. The best advice I got was to do what works for your family and not to worry to much. If they were a few hours older, it wouldn't matter anyway. Good luck!

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P.P.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
I know a million people already responded to your post, but since I have a strong opinion, here I go...
I'm a high school guidance counselor and the vast majority of the time I can tell the "younger" freshmen boys from the "older" boys in the same grade. You think a few months or a year wouldn't make that much of a difference but it does! I'm certain that your son could hold his own in kindergarten now, but being the youngest in the class would probably catch up with him somewhere down the road. Looking ahead to high school, you want your son to be at the top of his class. College admissions are getting more fierce every year and I've seen good solid students not accepted to colleges when they were in the top 25% of their class. Your son will have an academic edge if you wait a year and it will help him so much down the line. Also, if he's one of the oldest in the class he'll be the first of his friends to get his drivers license and you can't beat that ego boost!
Good luck!

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L.H.

answers from Chicago on

My youngest daughter has a birthdate of 8/23 - she is now 8 years old and in the third grade. For me I did not hesitate in starting her in kindergarten right away. I felt as you do that she was a smart child and was socially outgoing. I can tell you that I do not for a minute regret starting her when I did. She is a little low in her reading comprehension yet she is pulling straight A's this year. I think you should speak with his pre-school teacher and see how they feel he would adapt and find out how he easily or hard it has been for him to learn his basic skills (colors, shapes, holding and using scissors and a pencil) and if they feel he is where a child should be and seems to catch on rather quick then you should go for it. I work for a church and a pre-school and I would definately say to take his teachers advice over and friends and family as they are the ones who have been working with him on academic and social skills that he will be using throughout his school years. I hope this helps you in your decision. Best of luck!

L. H.
Gurnee, IL

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K.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K. - Mind you, my son is now 23. His birthday is 8/27 and I held him back - I to was having the same questions! I do NOT regret a day that I held him back - in fact if you ask him he will tell you it was fun being the oldest! He got his drivers liscense first and was one of the tallest in his class. Once they get in high school he'll have friends of all ages. He was more mature and I think grasped things a lot better than he would have going the year before. I hope that helps! GOOD LUCK! K.

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M.B.

answers from Bloomington on

i have 3 sons, 1 with an April bday and 2 with Oct. bdays. my advice---wait a year !! I am an older (40) married mom who works full time. Boys need more time to play in an unstructured way. Kindergarten is more like the 1st grade we would remember. my 5 1/2 year old is in K now and he has homework every night. I am glad my youngest has an Oct. bday so he has to wait to be in K.

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H.D.

answers from San Francisco on

It really does depend on the child. Believe me, I know your dilema because my daughter was on the opposite side of that, she turned 5 Nov, 7th and missed the cutoff. She was definitely ready for kindergarten and DIDN'T get to go...anyhooooo....
Every child is different. If your son does very well in social settings, can write his name, count to ten, recognize his ABCs, knows how to use scissors and a pencil,ect. (the school should have a list of things to *work* with him on this summer) then he is ready for school.
Is he in pre-school? Ask his teacher what they think. Put him in a gym or some other social class this summer and ask the instructor how he does against kids his age.
Kindergarten teachers are used to having kids of all abilities come into their class, they will help him adjust. =)

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, K.. I'm not a teacher, but my sister was and she has 3 sons that she has held back. Their birthdays are June, July and August. She taught 3rd grade and saw what happened when the social and intellectual immaturity caught up with the younger students in the class. Her oldest two boys are now physically bigger in their classes and both are in honors classes. They are doing great! My daughter has a birthday in July and I sent her to K. She is only struggling with social issues, such as wanting to do things at 11 that I think she is too young for, but everyone else is doing. They turned twelve at the beginning of the school year. Lastly, I have a friend with twins that sent her kids to school early and they are now being held back in 6th grade. I say if you have any concerns, hold him back now. Find a challenging pre-K class that will prepare him for Next year. You won't regret holding him back, but you may regret sending him through and him possibly having trouble.

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B.F.

answers from Chicago on

Remember that you can always have him repeat it if you don't feel he is at the correct leve. I have the opposite - a daughter who just misses the cut-off and wants to go SOOO bad. (And being a girl is very much ready) I would let him go, but consider holding him back later if need be.

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B.D.

answers from Chicago on

First of all, I think you should do what you feel comfortable doing. THere is no right or wrong decision, I think.

But i also have a 4 1/2 year old who's birthday is July 29 (and our cut-off date is Aug. 1st).

He is very social and smart as well, but I think I am still going to wait. I think into the future as well, when he's a teenage boy wanting to drive even, he'll appreciate being one of the first to get to do things. And guys generally take a little longer to mature, so I think waiting another year wouldn't hurt at all!

that's just my opinion. good luck in your decision.

B.

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D.K.

answers from Chicago on

I had the same issue with my oldest daughter, but her bday is 9/2/99. I was concerned she would be bored with another year of preschool so I tried to get her in Kindergarten and the public school would not even consider it. I found a private school that would take her if she tested ready for it. Needless to say, she passed and is doing very well as one of the youngest 3rd graders.

I am very happy with our decision, but it was all based on her readyness for school. She is very bright and learns things easily. I realize that later we might have issues, like driving and sports, but she is really enjoying and excelling in school.

It is a very hard decision, good luck with it.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

My son has a June birthday and I stuggled with holding him back a year, partly because it makes he and his brother only a year apart in school even though they are almost two years apart in age. I did not hold him back because he was on track academically and I did not want him to feel any stigma. Now he is in first grade and we are having alot of problems with maturity, mostly sitting still, staying focused, gettting work done on time, talking, etc. Things I did not have a problem with my older son, who was has an October birthday and was therefore one of the oldest in his class. I think you really have to go on instinct. Right at this moment, with the issues we've been having, I would say I wish I had held him a year but who knows if he won't mature greatly over the summer and be right on track in 2nd grade? It's a tough call!

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S.W.

answers from Chicago on

my son has the same birthdate. We were all set to start my son in kindergarten last year but the school did some test and recommended we wait another year. At first I was very upset- Joey is so smart and I thought they were comparing him to his brother who had some difficulty but after talking to his preschool teacher we decided to wait another year and enrolled him in junior 5. It was the best decision we ever made. I know kindergarten will be a postitive experience for him. My other son had some learning difficulties and struggles and hates school. I dont want my son to go through that. At first it was hard for me- not him to see our friends go to kindergarten but Joey loves his junior 5 preschool program. My recommendation- waiting never hurts. Good luck!

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B.C.

answers from Chicago on

I used to teach kindergarten and first grade (before becoming a stay at home mommy) and I'd say that if his teachers say he's ready, and you feel that he's socially and academically ready, I'd go for it. Cut-off dates have changed a lot throughout the years and gotten earlier and earlier (mostly so boys would be bigger for sports!!! Historically it's had very little do do with any other kind of development)... Those same dates used to be as late in the year as 5 by DECEMBER FIRST!! So really trust your intuition and the educational professionals in his life. If he's doing well academically now, there's no reason to think that he'll fall behind later because of his age.

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E.E.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter has a September 1st birthday, so we went through the same dilemma. Ultimately we sent her to Kind. as she was turning five. Here are our reasons:
1. her preschool teachers and pediatrician all said she was definately ready, and would be bored if she stayed another year in preschool
2. she had 2 1/2 years of preschool behind her, and was ready to move on- socially and maturity- wise
3. she met (actually, exceeded by far) all the state recommended skills for entering Kind. http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/html/kindergarten_corner.htm
4. she is tall for her age, so physically she fits right in w/kids a year older (as some are, in her class)- I know for boys esp. this is a concern- that they'll be shorter/smaller/less athletic, etc. than their older classmates
5. she wanted to go

She does sometimes notice she's younger than some of her friends (usually around B-day parties, but only b/c she wants to have one, I think!) Since the cut-off for doing most activities corresponds w/ her birthday, she still can participate in everything. We'll deal w/ things like driving and dating when we get there. I think no matter what, those things will be issues for a child- whether they're older or younger than their friends!
HTH!
-E.

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K.G.

answers from Chicago on

K.
I am an August person and started when I was 5. I had no problem and am now 31. I have a friend who was held back with my same b-day, and she always felt left out being older than the other kids. We are now adults, but that was how it happened for us!

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K.C.

answers from Toledo on

My advise to you is wait. The cut off date for Indiana schools as of last year was July 1. ( now I think it is Aug. 1) So when it is time for college all the Indiana kids have a whole year on some kids. The school system is tougher then when we went to school and giving your child a better head start is my choice.

Why have your child struggle. He will be going to school with kids who are a whole year a head of him because their birthday is Sept. 1.

Good Luck!

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J.R.

answers from Chicago on

I believe there are just no advantages to be the youngest in the class! Being one of the oldest with a slight headstart in maturity, academics and other areas will make for a very happy, confident child. Not only in kindergarten, but through all the grades!!

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L.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.. My son has an 8/29 birthday and while we are a few years away from your decision, I do have some insight. The best was from a kindergarten teacher who said to me "The best gift you can give your son is another year of childhood". Makes sense, huh? If you think about it, kids today have to grow up so fast that it truly is a gift to be able to give him more time with Mom before he starts on his journey through "real life". I can say that, as a September 8th baby myself, as much as I was advanced intellectually and socially at the time of entering school (despite missing the cut off, my parents put me in private school so I could enter prior to turning 5), it was more difficult as I went further along. I still excelled but I can look back and say that I used being the youngest as an excuse quite a bit... I was smart and a leader but I still can see areas in which I was emotionally stinted. I won't give this same disadvantage to my son. One of my best case examples of a true success is my sister's oldest who is a September 13th baby. He is 9, in the 3rd grade, a true leader, smart as a whip, and, believe it or not, far from the oldest. Lots of parents of kids born as early as May are choosing to wait until the following school year. It all comes back to the first thing I said and that is the gift you are truly giving your child by waiting to enroll him.

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M.B.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter has a birthday of 8/16. She is one of the youngest in her class. At this time, age is not even an issue for her or her friends. She is active in gymnastics and most classes she is the youngest one so being around older children just comes natural to her.

She was ready for school! She is a social butterfly and she has always been eager to learn, like most children.

It is a personal decision if you want to send him to school now or wait. Do not rely on your friends. Only you will know if he is ready. Most likely, he probably is ready.

I was one of the youngest in my class. I graduated when I was 17. I am so glad I graduated at 17 just turning 18. If I graduated when I was 18, I would have turned 19 a couple months later and I would of been an older freshman in college. In my opinion, it is easier being younger.

The only draw back to being youngest in class was not being able to get my drivers license until junior year. I don't think this will really matter much these days due to all the changes in the rules of the road. Teenagers can not drive with a car full of friends anymore.

Trust yourself.

Good luck,
M.

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S.O.

answers from Champaign on

I would recommend holding him back, being the youngest is harder (I was an Oct birthday when the date was Dec) although being tall I was glad I was 5'8" in 7th grade, not 6th-but I'm a girl.

I would ask the advice of the preschool teachers, possible Kindergarten teachers or principals. Seeking advice here is great as well. You may also consider a psychologist although it sounds like he is fine socially. My point is to be informed when you make your decision.

Good luck.

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

My oldest son has an early August birthday, and he started Kindergarten when he turned 5. He is doing AMAZING in school, and I would not have done it any other way. My 2nd son's birthday is 8/30. He is 3 now, and in his first year of preschool. He will start Kindergarten when he is 5. After 2 years of preschool, I think he will be more than ready.
You definitely have to base it on the individual child. From what you mentioned, it sounds like your son will be ready. Don't let other people influence your decision on this one, only you know what is best for your child =)

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L.R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

I also have a son with a late birthday, 8/17. We decided to hold him back after speaking with his pediatrician. He stated, it is always better to be the oldest than youngest, always better to be the first to figure something out than the last, etc. etc.

Our son is now the oldest in 2nd grade and thriving. He does realize that he is the oldest, but we just tell him he had a late birthday. Eventually he will figure out that he could have gone a year earlier, but by then he will be old enough to understand our logic.

We do not regret our decision.

Good luck,
L. R.

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K.P.

answers from Chicago on

I have two children with late August birthdays and my youngest child has an early September birthday. My oldest boy has a late August birthday and went to preschool for two years. His preschool teacher and his father and I agreed that he was definitely ready for kindergarten and not to hold him back. The grade school had kindergarten testing prior to the summer before school started and that also showed he was ready. I would consult with the preschool teacher and go with your gut feeling, you know him the best. I do think it depends on the individual child. My son is in third grade now and is one of the top students so I have never regretted my decision. My daughter is in school as well, she is one of the youngest in her class and does well.
Good luck with your decision!

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K.J.

answers from Chicago on

Well, I start kindergarten early and I turned out fine. I was always the youngest child in my class. I ended up going to summer school in high school so that I graduate even earlier from high school. I turned 17 in October of my senior year of high school and I graduated in January; 1/2 semester early. I started junior college and the following fall I went to a 4 year college. I continued to get my masters degree in social work and I own property. Also I am the mother of a very challenging 3 year old girl; whom I love dearly. Your son will be fine with starting early!!!

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W.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
This is totally something that you have to listen to your inner mom voice about. If he is in preschool I would listen to his teachers advice and maybe talk to your kindergarden techer and ask her advice. There is a boy in my daughters class that his mom had the same dilema and he is just fine. She is now glad because he is a little antsy so her final decision was made because she was afraid he would get bored if she waited another year. Also you always have the option of pulling him out and having him repeat the year if you think it was too soon, and you look at it as another year of preschool. In my daughters school they have programs that help the kids that are behind, my daughter caught up in 3 months. She is one of the youngest in her class too. You know your child best and don't let anyone push you to do something your uncomfortable with.
Hope this helps,
W.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

if it is only 3 days before cut off, I would send him to kindergarten now unless he is young for his age. I went early and loved it. If he is good around his peers then he will gain so much from the experience and why wait to give him education. I think the earlier the better (within reason).

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D.K.

answers from Chicago on

My son has an 8/20 birthday and we chose not to wait a year. He had been at Bobbie Noonan's for preschool and was learning very well and acted like anyone else the same age. He is doing well and has even had placement in the gifted program for this year. He is now in 5th grade. I really think it depends on the individual and if he's ready I wouldn't hold him back.

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M.M.

answers from Greensboro on

Okay K.....this is exactly what we experiences this past year! Okay. My son's bday is Aug. 30th. He has always been very smart and was ready for school too, but we were torn, as you are. We decided to wait, with the same thinking as you. What happens when all of those hormones kick in, when they all start to mature? Our thinking was for concern for the future, not so much the present. But, in the course of that year (the year that he would have gone to kindergarten) he excelled and began to read more and more. When summer came around, I figured that he was reading at a third grade level...but I am not am educator. I take care of children and work with them, but I do not have a teaching degree. Anyway, I took him to his well check up and the Dr asked us how well he was reading and what he was reading. I handed him the information sheet that the Dr's office provides on safety, etc. He read the whole thing to her. She asked why we didnt send him and I explained why. She told me that you accomidate that child in the present. If he is socially where he should be and if he is ready for kindergarten, you nurture his needs in the present. She asked that he be evaluated and then I would have to leave it up to the school to decide. We had him tested and sure enough, he was reading at a third grade spring level. His math was good, but the reading was so far ahead, they didn't test him on math as much. Anyway, he skipped kindergarten and went straight into first grade. My husband and I were still worried about later on, like around fourth and fifth grade, when everyone starts to "change". Our intentions were valid and I feel that we had the right idea, but he definitely needed to go with all of the other children his age. In 1 month, he was reading at a 5th grade level and now he is at a 6 grade level and all of his homework is customized for him. His teacher seems to think that he is gifted, but if you think that your son is where he needs to be and that he is mature enough socially, then you need to send him on. If you are worried that you aren't making the right decision, ask to have him evaluated. Leave it up to the school to decide. You may be surprised by how much he grows in that year, just like Michael. Do what is best for him now, not what you think MAY be best for him in 5 years:) 1 other thing...both that Dr and my sisters/mom (teachers) said that from their experience, the children that are bigger and older than the rest of their class tend to feel out of place and tend to get bored if they are a bit ahead of the other children. When they get bored, they start looking for other ways to occupy themselves. Many times they start to get in trouble or start to pick on other kids. Michael's teacher said that she realized that he started to get bored and that's when he would start getting ancy. That's when she realized that she needs to challenge him more. Think about the "bullies" in your classes. Were they bigger than the kids that they picked on?

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D.W.

answers from Chicago on

It really seems like it depends on how socially and intellectually ready your son is. You know him best.

I'm a November baby myself and was put into school early, but I was always at the top of my classes. I liked being one of the youngest because I always felt like I had a head-start on my peers, which lasted even to my adult life -- starting a great career at age 21, and becoming one of the youngest VPs at the firm. My parents tell me that I was rather precocious and was ready for the challenge of school early. It just depends on the individual child.

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R.H.

answers from Chicago on

K.,

there will always be lines drawn, somewhere, as to what the deadline is for going to school this year or the following, and for many other things. My daughter had an August 19 birthday. She was also "a smart kid who did well socially." She is in 7th grade now and has done just fine. The school district, by setting that deadline, has put forth that they think kids who are 5 by that time will succeed. If you also think he will succeed, why *not* do it? Would there be a benefit to *your child* to being the oldest, rather than the youngest, in the class? Are there potential drawbacks to *your child* to being the oldest, rather than the youngest? (e.g., if he is ready mentally, physically, and socially, and you wait, he may find himself bored in years to come because he's able to handle more than he's getting.)

You, and his preschool teachers, are in the best position to answer his readiness, and it should be based on his readiness, not generalities.

Good luck.

R.

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

One of my friends gave me the advice that you should think about the future - not just the here and now and that your child will be one year older before going to college or pursuing another trade, career etc and I have always kept that with me as I have the same predicament and have chosen to wait a year!

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L.L.

answers from Chicago on

Dear K.,

I don't have children, but I was the youngest kid in the class because my mother had me tested and I started a year early. (I am forty-two now.) The only time I feel being youngest may have affected me was around junior high. Other girls seemed to suddenly shift into a focus on cliquiness and make up and boys that I didn't understand. I still had my own friends, though, and I really don't know if it would have mattered. I'm very grateful to my mom for starting me early, because I still felt bored and held back in school, and would have liked more challenge, so I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been if I'd waited another year.

One of my male friends now was two years younger, as he started early and then skipped a grade. From talking to him, my sense is two years is a bit too much. He didn't have any trouble intellectually, but it was hard for him to fit in, and he felt awkward asking out girls older than him, but that's who he knew. Even one year might be a bit tougher for a boy than a girl for that reason. Still, my friend is a pretty happy adult. If your son is excited about starting school and is socially comfortable, I would think he'd do fine.

Good luck! You sound like a great, very caring mom.

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K.Y.

answers from Chicago on

As a Kindergarten teacher, I recommend that you keep him home one more year. Boys tend to take longer to mature. Your friends are right, let him be the oldest in his class the following year. With Kindergarten being more demanding,in regards to academics, why not let him have one more year to have fun and play at home.

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C.L.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
My son has a Sept. 7th birthday and when he was starting school, we struggled with holding him back and having be the oldest, and putting him in early and having him be the youngest. He too is a bright kid and certainly would have been ready for kindergarten early. Ultimatley we held him and we are so glad we did. He is 17 now and has had a much easier time of school as the years went on. I think he would have been fine in the early years of elementary school, but as Jr.High and High school came along and classes got way harder, he was able to excell rather than struggle. Down the road you have to think about how he'll ultimately do in High School, because that sets the groundwork for where he'll go to college. Our son may have been the first in his class to drive (okay when you have siblings who need shuttling around), but I am glad we waited. He's an Honor Roll student, an Nat'l Honor Society member and I don't think he would have done as well as if he was the younger student. High School is tough these days, lots of expectations,(can't imagine what it will be like in 10 more years)but, I'd recommend you set him up for future success.

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D.H.

answers from Rockford on

My daughter has an 8/24 birthday. We held her back because she is very petite, but was also very smart. We think it was a great bonus to her in the long run, as she is now in college, and is a member of two honor societies and is on the dean's list. We believe that with her being older than other kids gave her more self confidence. She was not always the "baby" of the class. I, myself, was 4 when I started kindergarten, and know that made me feel like I had to always prove myself to everyone (including myself) that I was not a "baby." Good luck with your choice for your son. You, ultimately, will know what you choose is best for him. Go with your gut!

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M.J.

answers from Chicago on

I say keep him home the extra year. My daughter just missed the cut-off to get into Kindergarten and I was initially really bummed. I didn't want her to be home and bored and felt that she was really ready to go. But when school started in 2007 she was the oldest and the brightest one there. Every evaluation I receive from the teacher is glowing. They say that she is bright and insightful, thoughtful and very mature. She listens and follows directions and has really been a positive leader in the class, so much so, that most of the other children follow her lead during group assignments and class discussion. She knows how to behave and has excellent manners. I think most of this is because of that extra year. Not that we were at home working with her diligently. She is the oldest of four. But that she has that extra year of maturity under her belt. I only wish that I could do this with all of my children. I however cannot. My now three year old is too close in age to his two year old twin siblings that they would all end up in the same class together and that would be devastating to him. But I highly recommend keeping your son that extra year. I honestly believe that once he gets into kindergarten he'll be better prepared and learn more because he'll be a little older. He'll know how to sit still and pay attention, etc.

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

K.,

I have 2 boys (13 and 6). My youngest birthday is 11/14. He is in the 1st grade. He started pre-school at the age of 3. He was 5 years old when he began 1st grade. He is an honor roll student. I think that if you know that your son is totally capable of handling the work, you should enroll him. In my opinion, I feel that the system is wrong by having a child be a certain age before he/she can start school. If I were in your shoes, I would enroll him.

L. B

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B.A.

answers from Rockford on

HI! As a preschool teacher, I usually ask parents what they would do for their child if they do not send them to kindergarten. If the option is no preschool type of placement will they be home doing nothing or will someone be working with them on kindergarten type of things? I'd rather see a child in school than at home in front of the t.v. (Not saying that's what you might do, just a general point for anyone.) It doesn't sound like your child is delayed in his/her learning and may do just fine. I hope this gives you something to think about anyway and good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hello K.! My middle daugher who is now 9 was in preschool when she was 4. She turned 5 in July so she started k then. She loved it and she is very smart. We were worried because she went in not knowing anything. She stayed for extended day K that they had then and within a month wow. She is now at the top of her class and has been since first grade. She is reading at a 8th grade level and she is only in 4th grade. Her teacher just told me she reads 989 words per minute. She can actually read the Harry Potter books, you know how big those are, in about 3 to 4 days. My oldest daughtrer who is now 12, her birthday is in Nov and she ahd to wait to start and she was more then ready. She was almost 6 when she started. My son, his birthday is in April. He is special needs too. He will be 5 on his birthday and will be going to K in the fall. I would definitely say that I think that you should go ahead and send your child. It sounds like your son might do very well and may be ready. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a PM anytime.

S. Bailey CLD
Aurora
www.tendermomentsdoula.com

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E.D.

answers from Chicago on

I taught 1st grade before I was mom. In my opinion, I'd wait, especially with a boy. It will give him a great advantage to be older. My son is in preschool and his birthday is in Feb. (he just turned 4) and he is actually one of the youngest kids in his class. I think the BIG trend is to hold back and give them the extra time. There was nothing better than a class that was older. It really made a huge difference in what we could get done and test scores and maturity. Not to mention you legally get to spend one more year with your son at HOME with you. They grow up so fast. I don't think you'd regret your decision.

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S.K.

answers from Chicago on

Hello K.:
I am a mom with two daughters. The youngest birthdate is 8/24. My mindset was she had an older sibling to teach her some things and she was a girl (girls mature faster). She was very bright and social and still is but now in her freshman year and when I look back at Middle School she has a tendency to be behind the other students and than at the half year back of her age, i.e. 14.5 years, she appears to have arrived to where her peers are all ready. It is than that her maturity couples with her intelligence and social abilities. I wish I had realized this sooner. She is doing fine but maturity lags until her half birthdate kicks in.

Bottom line, keep him home another year. He will shine through because you will have given him the opportunity to have all areas on his life blend and balance as he progresses school year after school. Remember we know they are bright! It isn't about intellect it is about maturity. I hope this helps you with your decision. S. K.

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K.C.

answers from Chicago on

I think it is perfectly OK to start him now. He is smart so send him. I am from the Caribbean and we enroll children a year earlier and we do very excellent in school, especially when we compete on a global scale.

K.

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L.J.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
We faced the same situation. Our son's birthday is 8/22/99. We were so torn about sending him to kindergarten. He is also the first born. We talked to many people and everyone seemed to encourage us to wait a year. Well, we did and I have to say it was the best decision we made. He is thriving so well in school. His confidence level is great and think a lot has to do with the fact that he is just a little bit older. Honestly, most of the kids in his class turned 8 this year well before December. If we wouldn't have waited, he would have been SO much younger than everyone else. Good luck with what ever you choose to do.
Lisa

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K.D.

answers from Chicago on

My Daugether has the same birthday 8/2/01. I sent her to kindergarten at age 5 and she is doing well. You know your child , go with your gut. We knew she was reading and doing math at the level she needed to be. Most preschools in the area do testing. The school district also does it , to see if they are ready. If you're in District 158 , you can call and find out. Then you would have a better ideal of where he is at.
Don't feel like you decision is the wrong one what ever you do, each child is different .:)
K. D

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J.B.

answers from Chicago on

My twin sons have an 8/11 birthday and I felt I couldn't hold them back a year. They were reading, highly verbal, and large for their age. They're in 3rd grade now, still large for their cohort, still ahead in all academic subjects. But, they are behind socially. Looking back, they probably were behind socially even at kindergarten, but I forgot to include that in my decision. I think we'll encounter social challenges throughout the grades, but their cognitive profile is so disparate with that, that I think holding them back would have added more behavioral problems (smart kids need stimulation) without helping the social ones completely. I think every child is differeent, just look at the complete picture and decide where the best balance will be for your son, and brace yourself that it's not going to be perfect. Like anything, analyze it and choose the challenge you think most palatable or addressable. Sounds like you're on top of it. Good luck! Remember, if he's off the charts bright, he'll only start having behavioral problems if he's not challenged in class.

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S.A.

answers from Chicago on

My birthday is August 23rd and my brother's is August 31st....both of us started at the right time and never had an ounce of problems. You will know when he goes if it will be a problem and the professionals will tell you if it is. At that point they will suggest that you hold him back a year. He won't know the difference and he will be fine. I had a best friend who's birthday was in September and she was held back in kindergarten because she was a little immature for her age. She did great after that.

Please don't assume that he won't do well and hold him back. If he's like most that fall in that category, he will be fine. I was 17 when I graduated from highschool. I thought it was great. It made me feel smarter than the other kids because I was younger and graduating.

Really it is only a few months difference from his classmates. The only bummer is the other kids having birthday announcements at school and you don't....that won't change if you keep him back.

He will be fine.

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D.F.

answers from Chicago on

My son's birthday is 8/28 as well (this year)....I would not even consider having him go to kindergarten right when he turns 5. It wouldn't be the early years that I would be concerned about, it would be the high school/college years. My brother was a May birthday and my mom regrets sending him (not for the school part of it, but for the social part).

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T.M.

answers from Chicago on

My experience as a mom and teacher would be to send him to kindergarten when he is legally suppose to go. Unless a child has an obvious delay, they should attend school with their peer group. As a teacher, I can almost always tell when someone has been held back. People forget that there are certain developmental milestones that all children go through at certain ages. This can make a child seem "different" than other children in their grade, when in truth they are really just developing at their appropriate age. It can be very obvious physically in 8th grade when some children need to shave, etc. In some cases when there is a social and cognitive delay, it can be helpful. In most cases, parents think they are giving a child an advantage, but I don't see it that way. Just an opinion, however, I hope it helps.

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R.M.

answers from Chicago on

DO NOT WAIT! Send him A.S.A.P. I have worked in all levels of our public school system and have witnessed untold cruelty by the peers of the 'oldest' in the class.
Additionally, studies repeatedly show that the human brain deteriorates with age. The younger the student is, the more memory retention that can be exercised. Best wishes to you & your family.

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A.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

I am in my mid 20's now but I have an Oct birthday and started K when I was 4. I think it was a bit harder when I was young because I felt a little behind (even though I wasn't). I would say it was probably the hardest when everyone else could drive and I couldn't. But once I got past that I have loved it. I probably felt a little more pressure (self induced) to do things at the same time as people in my class though. It was great being a RN at 21 after a 4 yr degree (even though it probably scared my patients at first). No one can believe I am this young with a husband, 14 month old, house, and great job. Looking back I wouldn't have it any other way because I loved the kids in my grade and my life is awesome now.

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J.B.

answers from Chicago on

I was in the same situation that you are right now. My son's birthday is 8/25 and I was fortunate enough that the daycare that I had him in had a kindergarten there, so I put him into Kindergarten. At the end of the year, I discussed with his teacher about whether he was ready for 1st grade or not, based on his age. We determined together that he was ready for school and he is now in 1st grade and doing great. The only issue that he has is that he likes to talk, but that is him, so whether I held him back or not, I believe that talking would be an issue no matter what. I also believe that as their moms, we know what our children are capable of and if you feel that he is socially ready and can make it through Kindergarten, then go for it. Good Luck!

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

Wait!!! I have 3 boys ages 18, 15 and 13 and I started the 15 year old when he was 6 because his birthday was the day before the cut off date. His best friends birthdays are just a few days after his birthday and so he isn't the only older child in his class. I was afraid he would be soooo old. My 3rd son's birthday is in May and so he is on the younger side in his class and he is really smart but I wish I had held him back. Being my youngest he is more immature anyway. He has had a far harder time being one of the younger kids in his class. The maturity makes a big difference and besides then they don't face all that peer pressure at such a young age.

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

Actually yes, I started my daughter in Kindergarten a year early. Her birthday was actually about a month after the cut off date. I wasn't sure what to do either, but I took her into the school, let them give her the test they have to be able to tell if they're ready. She passed and they almost insisted she start early. I would have been completely fine with waiting another year, but it seemed she was ready. As it turns out she was. She's now 8, in third grade, and loves school, and gets good grades. In kindergarten I had to work with her a lot to help her in certain areas but I'm not sure if that still would have been the case with any child just starting school. My advice would be to see if your child's soon to be school would have that test before summer, and see how you feel after that.

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J.C.

answers from Chicago on

My husband was the youngest kid in his class. He started kindergarten at age 4 years, 8 months, back in the days when that was allowed. I met him as a 16-year-old high school senior. We graduated together, but he is 7 months younger than me.

He says it was hard being the youngest, especially in high school. He was the last one to shave and to get his drivers license. Most kids turn 16 during their sophomore year, but he waited until the middle of his junior year. He also thinks it hurt him academically, as he ended up going to summer school twice during high school.

Our children were all born at the end of the calendar year, so they are right in the middle of their classes. Our older son is 17 and a high school junior and our younger son is 7 and a first grader. Based on their experiences, I prefer that the boys be a little older. They are more capable and mature and can handle most classroom situations. They are also 'on par' with most of peers, not far behind, but not too far ahead either.

My older son has had classmates like yours--with summer birthdays. Mostly you cannot tell who is older or younger than most. I was surprised to learn that one of his pals was a 6-year-old kindergartener. He fit right in.

Finally, I have a friend whose son is in the gifted program and quite young for his age. He's a high school sophomore, but should be a young freshman. It doesn't seem to bother him much that he's younger than most. Of course, he's been smarter than most for most of his life, so I think he finds it easy to shrug a lot of stuff off.

I know you will do what you think is best for your son!

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.!
One of my closest friends went through this before her son entered preschool. Her son's birthday is 8-27 and after talking with multiple Kindergarten teachers, preschool teachers, and doing research online she decided to wait a year and she is SO happy she did. She doesn't worry if he is struggling because he's too young for his grade and he fits in well socially. I think that all moms who have a younger child in class always have concerns about his/her age being a factor in the level of success or struggles. You know your son best, and once you make the right decision you will feel comfortable with it. If you're unsettled with your decision or unsure, maybe it's not the right one. Good luck, I'm sure you'll make the best choice.

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S.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
My name is S.. My sons b-day is 8/27/00. I sent him to K when he was 5 and have not regreted it. If you think your son is ready, then absolutely send him. Zach is now in 2nd grade and is ahead of even some of the older children in his class.

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S.M.

answers from Chicago on

As a teacher, I would ask the preschool teachers as to their advice. I've seen it go both ways. I teach junior high and have a student with a late birthday who struggles academically. On the other hand, in the same class, I have a student who skipped a grade and does just fine. I've seen it go both ways many times over the years. Truthfully, the decision is with you. My son has an August birthday as well and we have debated this, too, even though he is only 19 months old. Ultimately, the decision will rest with where he is at skills wise when we get to that point.

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K., I have been exactly where you are with my all 3 of kids. Trust your instincts and what feels right for your child. My son, now 19 has a Sept 1st birthday. I did put him in kindergarten the year he turned 5, so he was 4 when he started. The time I noticed the greatest difference between him & his peers was 4th-5th grade. The other boys seemed so mature but by 7th-8th grade it leveled out... Of course, as a Mom. I 2nd guessed my choice for awhile. On the flip-side he is now a successful 19 yr old college sophmore and it all meant nothing in the big picture. He graduated high school with a great GPA and he graduated early in January of his senior year and went right into college at 17! My daughter now 15 has a Sept 4th birthday and she is a H.S. freshman. I had no choice, she is the oldest in her class, and will be legal to drive the 1st week of sophmore year! Also she will go through her entire senior year and be 18... her little sister. 2 years younger at 13, you guessed it, an Aug birthday... she is only 1 grade behind her sister, yet 2 years. They are all 3 "right where they are supposed to be", and thriving in all areas. So trust yourself, inside you is the answer what is best for your child. In the big picture of life he will be where he is supposed to be.

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K.D.

answers from Chicago on

I used to teach kindergarten... I would hold him back. If I were to walk in a kindy class now, I would be able to pick out the young boys. It will catch up to him later... and being the oldest isnt all that bad:) Better to be older than in 2nd or 3rd grade when him being the yongest will catch up to him. Good luck! Hard choice I know!!
B

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G.G.

answers from Chicago on

Both my sister and I were sent early to school. We have birthdays in Sept and December respectively. It all depends on the child. Both my sister and I didn't mind being sent to school early and since we both excelled in class and in sports and music, it seemed kinda cool to be the youngest. We loved having older friends and that was reinforced when we place in AP classes or advanced foreign language class in high school where we took classes with the grade above us. We also both attended highly ranked universities.

I now face this same dilemma about holding back or sending my son early. My son birthday is Sept 3, yet I enrolled him in a curriculum based daycare to see how he will do during his pre-school years starting this Fall. If he does well, I will not hesitate to send him in 'early' to kindergarten. What if he were born 3 days earlier and made the cut off? Would 3 days make any difference? In my case, I was 4 months past the cut off and did fine being sent to school early.

You know your child best. I do believe that there is no harm to holding back your child one year but I'm just offering the opinion that you should not be afraid of chosing to send your child to school early. You can always send him/her back when you find that isn't working. It's not the end of the world.

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G.K.

answers from Chicago on

I am in the same boat as you. My youngest has an 8/28 birthday also. He has been in preschool for 2 years. I am a preschool teacher. I think he is capable of learning and ready for kindergarten. His teacher feels the same way, although I worry that I am making the right choice because he is small. He weighs 31 pounds and is in the 5% for height. I worry how this will affect him in the future. I will be interested to see responses.

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D.L.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

If he is small or immature compared to his peers, I would hold him back. If not, I would have him assessed by your public school. There are professionals there that can evaluate him. Also, talk to his pre-school teachers & his pediatrician. After you gather this information, you can make the best choice.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

My son is almost 6 and in kindergarten. He is a little immature for the group. He birthday is in May so he is a little older than your son. I kind of wish I would have waited a year to send him but it's too late now. How is your sons maturity level?

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

I am a school psychologist and I also have a summer bday son who is on a 2 year road to 1st grade. My son's district has programming via an EArly 5's kdg class (last yr) and a TK1 (transition) program (currently in) that he has participated in. Next year he will go to 1st. My son had some mild speech and OT issues and he was very shy. The kdg screening team made the recommendation for the Early 5's/TK1 programming based on these concerns and I was all for it. However, it sounds from your description that your son is mature and bright enough to handle Kdg. Maturity is the big issue for this decision. I felt my son would be lost in a larger room because of his shyness. Additionally, he was smart enough to know that he was difficult to understand so I wanted to prevent further frustration if the teacher or whoever had difficulty interpreting some of his speech. So if your son is mature and can handle it, holding him back may frustrate him and cause future issues. If for some reason, Kdg is hard for him for whatever reason, you can always wait a year for 1st grade. But it sounds like he is ready. I would definitely take him to your district Kdg screening and consider their feedback prior to making a definite decision. The screening team should be fairly knowledgable and their recommendations would be about your son's best interest.

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J.M.

answers from Chicago on

Trust your gut ! You are his Mom and you think he is ready so send him !! Im sure he will be just fine !

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C.D.

answers from Springfield on

Honestly, you should listen to your friends. My son was born 8/31 and just made the cut-off date. We decided to send him to school that year based on the opinion of the school. Their reasoning was because he's taller than average and would "fit in" better physically with the older students.

Now that he's in first grade we (teachers and I) realize it was a very bad mistake. Socially and mentally he's not on par with the older students. His teacher explained that at this point in development just a month or two in age can make a very big difference in learning capabilities.

We are stuck in the position of sending him to summer school and hoping that he can catch up or hold him back to repeat first grade so that he gets back on par with the students his age.

I would highly reccomend waiting another year.

Editted to add: During his Kindergarten year he was very well adjusted, learning as he should and doing wonderfully. It wasn't under first grade and the real learning began (math, reading, writing etc) that he started to fall behind and we noticed his maturity level wasn't on par.

L.W.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
I asked a similar question a couple of months back (http://www.mamasource.com/request/2313455744608894977), and I have since decided to wait. Instead of putting my son in kindergarten this fall, I'm enrolling him in a half-day preschool program. Although my son is bright, I just want to make sure I'm giving him the best possible start that I can.

I talked it over with friends, and other family members who have been in a similar situation. Then went to discuss it with the teachers at the school he would have attended, and we all agree that it would be better for him academically as well as socially to wait. But of course each child is different, and your son may do well. We just all agreed that boys are a little slower than girls, and that it is better for them to be the oldest in class rather than the youngest.

In one particular instance, my cousin sent her son to kindergarten "early" (his birthday is 8/28 as well). And once he got to third grade they decided to hold him back. He just wasn't where they thought he should be, and he seemed to fit in better (socially) with the second graders. So again, I think it just depends.

I know it's a hard decision . . . it was for me and my husband. But we feel we're doing what's best for him. Let me know what you decide.

Good luck!
Lynn

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

I say trust your mommy instinct. I'll say it again becuase I dont think women liten to it often enough, especially with the constant "help" that is supplied from meaninful friends, family and even strangers.

If he does well socially and you think he can handle the program, send him. Kids who are bored in school later in life get into all sorts of trouble, including failing classes. Being the youngest in his class isn't going to have a bearing on his social life- kids look to see who is in their grade to be friends with, not how old they actually are.

I was one of the youngest in my class, and by highschool, most of my friends were even a grade older than me. Children will seek out those who are like them to be friends with and by college, it won't matter at all.

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D.P.

answers from Chicago on

K.,

I taught 2 years full day kindergarten. My daughter will be 5 June 10 of this year. I debated a long time on wether to put her in K this year because I know the expectations. She has the intelligences and is gaining the maturity, so I will probably do it. I can tell you that younger children, especially boys come in at a disadvantage when the cut off date is that close. I suggest you get a hold of the pre k requirements and see if your son meets those requirements for his school district. Then look at is maturity and evaluate wether he can follow directions, stay on task, and be responsible for his belongings. Remember there is nothing wrong with another year of pre-school. It only reinforces essential concepts. Best of Luck to you!
D.

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T.M.

answers from Chicago on

As a past elementary teacher - I say WAIT! If you send him early, it will "catch" up to him by grade 2. He needs the extra year to mature, which will greatly help him later. He may seem ready academically now, but you'll see him struggle later. Wait - wait - wait.

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J.V.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
I too am living a situation like this. My son has a late July B-day, has speech delays, is tall (both my husband and I are 6 foot and taller)and is a shy boy. I decided that we would start KDG and see what happens. My gut feeling was that he wasn't ready but we would see. It has been such a roller coaster of a year. At first I thought all was well, he came home every day learning something new. At the end of 1st quarter his report card showed him to be on track. Once the homeowork started coming home the problems began. He is very immature at doing his work, he watches the other students to follow their lead. All of the sudden he seamed to be learning a lot in a little amount of time, I was thikig everything is o.k. Get the next reeport card and he his still on the bottom of the learning scale. Now I am struglling with A) do we hold him back B) I feel like I made a huge mistake and we should have waited C) He still has time to develop these skills. If I were to decide today I would hold in back. I feel it is better to do it now than to wait a year or two. I do have concerns about him in the future. I would rather do it now while he is unaware of the difference then wait until he has strong relationships, and then do it when children are old enough to tease him.
I hope that you can follow your gut, it is usually right. Do not let others decide or make you feel that the decision you are making is wrong. You know your child best and you get to make the call.
Good Luck
J.

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L.G.

answers from Chicago on

I've NEVER heard of a mother regretting waiting a year....I often hear of moms who wished they would have waited a year...My mother in law to this day, regrets sending my brother in law early, who is 40 years old!!!
L.

M.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
I will have the same situation next year.
I also have to jr. Highschoolers.
They say boys are less mature than girls( what else is new).
Which I could see later on in fith and sixth grade.
But I will send my little boy next year,and I will just see how it goes.
Don't worry to much,you could always pull him out.
My older son, was so not ready,I left him in,and eventually he was fine.
I come from Germany, live here for 15 years, now overthere
they start first grade at age 5 !!!!!
Good luck Marion

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J.A.

answers from Chicago on

There is a girl in my son's preschool class who is 5 while the rest are just turning 5. She is overly bossy and most of the kids don't like her for this reason. Her mom chose to hold her back and I think it was a bad idea. Girls are more mature than boys, so it will depend on your son's personality and independance. The preschool teacher can tell you if he's lagging behind the others or is excelling. I wouldn't hold him back unless he still needs to develop listening and social skills.

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P.A.

answers from Chicago on

My 9 yr old was born Dec. 15. He was 2 weeks past the cut off for early Kindergarten testing. I am grateful now. He also was very smart. Talked eartly, could count to 100 by 4, ABCs by 3, he was very sharp. He is now in 3rd grade, doing well. He's not the smartest in his class but is not having many struggles. However, there are times when grasping some of the math concepts don't come as easy to him as the years before. This is when I am grateful. Who knows how many struggles he may have had if he were in 4th grade right now.
Good luck.

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G.R.

answers from Chicago on

I've had one of each. A son to go to school too early, July birthday. A daughter who went to school late with a November birthday.

The male child was smart yet a follower. He was slow to socialize and date. My daughter is a leader, not as smart as my son yet has taken opprotunities that he hasn't. If I had to do it over again, I would wait and allow my child to have the advantage of age.
A little about myself, I'm married to a great man, with a adult male child of 24 still immature and a 16 year old daughter who is more mature then her brother.

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B.C.

answers from Champaign on

K.,

I have taught Kindergarten. I would say that you know your child best. There is nothing wrong with sending a younger boy to kindergarten at 5. I had a student whose birthday was close to your son's or the same. He did just fine-his mom had more of a problem with it than he did.

Remember, trust yourself. You are his mother and will know the right thing to do. :-)

B.

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J.E.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

I felt like you about 4 years ago. My son will be nine in August and will be entering fourth grade this fall. I wished that I had made him wait an additional year before starting kindergarten. He is doing ok but I felt like he would have done better if I had waited. The older children have more experience and seem to be so much more mature they also tend to remember more even at 6 years old. I now have a two year old with a November date of birth and he will be a late starter but I will feel so much more comfortable when his time comes.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter had to wait to start kindergarten on account of her birthday. She seems to be doing very well in school and with all the other kids. At least for now that is. I hope that everything will be okay as she gets older and realizes that she is the oldest in her class. What im saying is that i kinda feel your pain. I also had to start late on account of by birthday. For me I always felt weird being the oldest. Kids always assumed I had failed a grade and had to repeat it and telling them why I was older did nothing. Kids can be brutal. I always wished I would have been able to start when I should have on account of the mean kids and all my friends were a grade higher then me and out of school a whole year earlier. From my experience I would say start him now. Sorry I was so long winded. Let me know how it goes. Good luck

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S.N.

answers from Chicago on

I currently have a 6 year old who is struggling in first grade, his birthday is in late June after school ends and I wish everyday I would have started him a year later. His immaturity has gotten him into trouble and he can not follow along in class with the other kids. This has lead to some behavior issues and in a cycle that seems to keep going on. There are alot of boys who are almost two years older than him in his grade and you can see the difference. It has been an extremely stressful year, but to top everything else off he has bad asthma and allergies that have also impacted his ability to learn along with the others. I have many friends who started kindergarten a year later and in discussing with my son's teachers it almost seems preferred. Now there are a lot of boys who are successful in kindergarten at 5, so it does come down to your instincts about your son. It seems so much more common now than ever before. Hindsight: My husband and I are considering having our son repeat the first grade and that too has been a very hard decision, but in the end if he is able to succeed on a daily basis his self esteem will improve and he will be a much happier and healthier kid.

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S.G.

answers from Chicago on

I'd recommend checking with your pre-school teacher and see what they recommend for your son. Your pre-school teacher will have the most impartial opinion of your son's readiness. Also: check with the local school district for any info on how well it's worked for them in the past.

A friend of ours held her son back a year because he was right on the line, but he was already a pretty smart kid. He would have been one of the smartest kids in his "real" grade, but holding him back didn't work the way they expected. Now, he's not just ahead of the second grade, but they have to send him to the third grade class for math anyway. This means that he's intensely bored the rest of the time and his attitude and mood can slip often. As the oldest kid in the class, he ends up acting the same as everyone else (in maturity) anyway, because that's how you fit in. As a former school teacher, I'm thinking they may end up promoting him in a few years anyway!

From my own experience (academically); I did very well in school but they never believed in skipping grades, so I never had a hard class until college where I had absolutely no study skills because it all had come so easy before.

Also: consider ALL of your motives. In the case of my friend: she truly dotes on her son, investing all of herself in him. When it came time to put him in school, SHE wasn't ready for it and put it off another year; him being young for his grade was one reason, but I doubt it was her MAIN reason.

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C.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

My son turned 5 on Aug 7th and started Kindergarten soon after, he is the youngest. I have noticed that in terms of certain things he is a bit behind. But, I was also one of the youngest in class as well and I think it would be more than O.K. to send him even being younger.
If you wait the year, it may have the opposite effect. I bet he will catch up in no time like my son is.

Cherylynn
Mom of 5 1/2 yr old boy and 2 yr old girl.

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A.G.

answers from Chicago on

If he seems socially ready, I would not hold him back from Kindergarten.
A.

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K., My son was born 8-10-99. He is in 3rd grade now and is the youngest 3rd grader. He is doing good. He has ADHD...I believe more of a milder case than what could be. He is doing all 3rd grade level work.....excels in all subjects; only struggles with reading comprehension which I feel would still be a problem even if I had held him back. There is always one thing that a child could improve in; nothing is perfect. The opinions and advice of others can be helpful and at the same time more confusing. You should go with your gut feeling. Ask your self how quickly he picks up on things...maybe ask your pediatrician what stories he or she may have heard from other parents. I am glad I did not hold him back, b/c he is so bright and if only in 2nd grade now, I don't feel he would be challenged enough. My husband and I are happy with how he is doing. B/c of his ADHD he has a coach he works with every day to discuss a behavorial goal that he is to work on throughout the day in class. They meet in the a.m. and after class to discuss how he did with obtaining his behavioral goal. After 5 days of meeting the goal, he can pick a treasure out of the coaches treasure chest. So the school your child will attend makes a difference too. Will they work with you if they see he is struggling or if he is overachieving? Maybe talking to the school could help give you some direction too. All schools have social workers and they may be willing to talk with you. Good luck...whatever choice you make will be a good one.....being a parent is so full of decision making. Good luck and if you would like to chat more, my email is [email protected]____.com. :)

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R.A.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

I have two children one who will be 11 in May my other will be 6 in August. My oldest son was 5 when he started Kindergarten and he was one of the youngest children as well. We had a cutoff day of July 1st at the time. He will be in Sixth grade next year and seems to be doing well. Our preschool teachers at the time told me he was a little immature to go to kindergarten but it was up to us whether or not to send him. I always agonized over whether or not we did the right thing but he has not had any problems with school.
Now my youngest, he has speech problems, but our cutoff is now August 1st so he couldn't go to Kindergarten at 5 and will be starting in the fall and he will be one of the oldest children in the class. He wasn't close to be ready to going to school last year with his speech problems so I was happy to hold him back.
My advice is to you, you know what your child is capable of if you feel comfortable sending him then you send him. I know I have 2 different situations for you and hope that my experiences help.

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K.J.

answers from Chicago on

Sorry, I just got this, but I started school when I was 4 because my mother wanted me to go with the other kids on my block that was starting at 5. I had no problems being 4. I have always excelled in school. If you think your child is ready, then go for it. I can't see that a month or three days will make that much of a difference. Good luck.

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D.L.

answers from Chicago on

If he is ready I would send him. It all depends on the child. Some are ready so me are not you shouldnt really just go by age.
I wish I could send my 4 year old to kindergarden because she is very ready and she doesnt turn 5 till nov. My 6 year old is in kinderkarden and is an older kindergardener and would benefit from repeating. However I dont want him to be akwardly old in high school like into the 20's since he might have to repeat another grade in the future...

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D.C.

answers from Chicago on

My advice is from my own personal experience. My birthday is 11/30 and my husband's is 10/20. We both were in the same class as our peers born in the same year and we both did well in school, both at the top or our classes. Even though I was 17 when I got to college, it didn't hinder me from doing well or any other activity on campus. I think it is more of your gut instinct and your child's personality, instead of looking at birth dates.

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K.C.

answers from Chicago on

K....My son turned 5 right before school started as well...now he is in 3rd grade. Let me tell you..He is very smart. He was in preschool before Kindergarden so he got the extra help he needed...My son is very smart. Some Mothers think it is best to hold their children behind but I feel it is up to you, if you think your child is ready then send him. Dont worry about all the other stuff....He will be fine. Believe me. Iam a mother who knows. My son is doing just fine. And is getting high grades...

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I am a kindergarten teacher and mother. If you think that your child will be successful and you are comfortable sending him then do it. I can tell you honestly most kids do not even pay attention to how old their peers are.Kindergarten is a time for social, emotional and intellectual growth. There are so many things that are combined to make your son have a wonderful experience. Age may come up in high school when he doesn't drive at the same time, but other than that it really never comes up. I have had 4 year olds get early entrance into kindergarten, and they do just fine as well. Hope this helps!

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J.M.

answers from Chicago on

I was in the same dilema you are last year. My son's birthday is july 10, and I debated holding him back a year. I asked his pre-school teacher if she thought he was ready, and she said yes. I am happy to say that I listened to her and did send him to Kindergarten, and he is doing wonderful! He has made many new friends, and is doing well academically.
I don't regret this decision at all. I do work with him alot at home, to make sure he doesn't fall behind, but I would be doing the same had his birthday been in September. I think as his mother, i worried far more about this than i should have.

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G.S.

answers from Chicago on

According to law your son is age appropriate to begin kindergarten. According to you he is smart and does well socially. So what's the question? September 1st has not always been the cut off and whole lot of us "youngest in the class" succeeded in school. What does his preschool teacher say? Parents cannot control every situation in their child's life, nor should they try. Parents can, and should, be loving and supportive. Be interested and involved with school, communicate openly and honestly with your child's teacher. If you hold him back now you'll never know if he could have done it. Let him try. He may succeed!

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R.L.

answers from Chicago on

I was the youngest kid in class (August b-day)and was always teased because I was so small.
In my opinion, I was right in there socially and academically with my peers but my physical develpoment wasn't as advanced.

Kids have 13+ years of school in their futures. I think that an extra year of being a kid is priceless. I'd savor that year of innocence...you won't get an extra year of that with a 17 year old graduate!!

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D.D.

answers from Chicago on

OK, as a tenured 15 year kindergarten teacher, I am advising you, it is best to wait! It is wonderful that your son is bright, that is not the problem at hand. Cognitive development is essential to a successful kindergarten year not to mention attention span capabilities. This only comes with age! Unlike pre-school, your son will have to learn to sit and stay in one place for periods of 20 to 40 minutes at a time. This is a momentous task which takes up to the third quarter for most of my students to master.
Very bright children are usually extremely kinetic so this is difficult.
Unlike pre-school, the emphasis is learning to read, phonemic awareness, recognizing upper and lower case letters (not in order). In Math they are required to recognize their numbers 0 to 100 (not in order), addition, subtraction, money, time and fractions. No, I'm not kidding! We are not even allowed toys in our classrooms! Play time for us is working with manipulatives in math, math games, listening centers, computer centers, quiet time reading on the rug. I teach social studies, geography, science (form follows function, etc.,) They have a Library, Math, Science, Computer Lab and Gym resource as well. This is a full day kindergarten, closed campus. No naps. They do go to lunch in the lunch room.
I work for CPS in an inner city school. Testing goes on in reading on a bi-weekly basis.

Be glad your son will have an extra year to grow and develop. Just think, he'll have another great year in pre-school to learn social skills and how to follow directions not to mention free time to play! When he does go to kindergarten he will be ready and at the top of his class thanks to you!
Sincerely,
D. D

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B.H.

answers from Bloomington on

He will be fine. If he's ready now...he'll be ready in the future. Follow what your gut instinct as his mom. Take other people's advice, yes, but you know your child the best. :)

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T.S.

answers from Jackson on

my son bday is in june, he, like your son was socially and mentally ready so i decided to put him in kindergarten. He did just fine. He is in third grade now and has never had any problems. I have another son whos birthday is in june and next year will be 5, he on the other hand might not be ready for kindergarten next year. He is socially needing a little more time before he will be ready. He is in pre-school this year, a lot can happen in a year. With the help of his teachers I will decide whether or not to keep him in pre-school another year or send him on to kindergarten. I feel fortunate to have a choise without having his age make him stand out. I personally don't think it will hurt your son if you decide to do either. Good Luck!

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D.D.

answers from Chicago on

I woudl say it is up to you based on his individual progress. My daughter's birthday is 8/3 and she missed the cutoff date, however she was very ready to go to kindergarten last year and is finishing 1st grade at a private school as we speak. She is doing wonderfully and has had above average grades in everything in school. Maturity for her has been no problem, but they say boys are usually less mature. Use your best judgement and make the best most informaed decision you can.

Good Luck!

D.

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D.Q.

answers from Chicago on

I guess there is no right or wrong. My daughter was a month after the cut off, and I wanted to test her in because of the level she was at academically and socially. The more and more I talked with people, the more I decided to just keep her out of Kindergarden one more year. She started this year and knows most of the stuff being taught. I prefer that to struggling through it.

Speaking from experience, my mom tested me in early and I started a year prior to when I was supposed to. I actually hated it because I was always being made fun of being the youngest. everyone in the class was turning, lets say 8 and I was turning 7. Always a year behind. It really sucked when all my friends drove a year before me, dated, went to the bars, etc.

The only good thing now, is 40 is approaching fast, and when all my friends turn 40, I will still be 39 and holding.

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

If this response duplicated...sorry. I hit some button and lost my response, so I'm retyping it.
My daughter was born on August 1st. We sent her that same school year and she's done marvelously. She's now 15 and a sophomore in high school. She's been an A-B student all along, had done extremely well academically, socially has tons of friends. You'd never know there was an age difference. This is the first it's come up is now because all her friends have or are getting their license and she's just starting drivers ed this summer.
She plans to go onto college and study medicene...either a pediatrician or neonatal nursing. That's about the extent of her indecision at this point.
It was a great decision that we made and one we would do over again and never have regretted.
Go with your gut. She wasn't a very social kid back then either and putting into the kindergarten class helped break her from that shell. She didn't even go to preschool other than a couple days a week for 6mo. before kindergarten and some classes her and there.
Whatever your decision, I'm sure it will work out for the best.

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

My baby is still a fetus, but I am a kindergarten teacher and I can tell you my point of view if that will help you.

I think you should go with your gut and think about YOUR KID and not anybody else's. Your friends are giving you advice based on THEIRS not yours. If your kid did poorly socially and was slow or stupid I'd say hold him back, but if he's smart and does well socially there is no reason to do so. So what if he dates younger girls who match his maturity level when he's older? Will his dating experience be less rich because of it? If he is really smart and a good socializer it probably won't be an issue anyway.

Of the students I teach, I must say it depends totally upon the kid. I have young children in my classes who are better adjusted and catch onto my lessons faster than their older class mates, and I have other young kids who fall behind. But everyone matures at different rates anyway so birthdays aren't really a sure-fire way to figure it all out. My classes are for 4-6 year olds, and I have 4 year olds who "get it" more than the 6 year olds and the reverse and it all depends on the child.

And honestly, the education system in the U.S. is so hard core that if they made the cut off date 3 days after your child's birthday, your child should be fine until that very date and then some. If they wanted the date to be 3 days earlier, they would make it so. They are very picky about those things and hem and haw over them forever.

As with most issues with your children, I'd say go with your gut. Good luck and hope I helped a little!

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P.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K. ~
I am a SAHM of two boys; 6 1/2 and 3. My oldest son's birthday is 8/17. We chose to hold him back and almost not a day goes by where we say holding him back a year was the best decision we have ever made. We had major doubts that we were doing the right thing at first. The more we thought about it, though, we started to think of it as an advantage most do not have rather than a problem. Not many have a choice, but I am convinced if they did, many would make the same choice we did. My son is very social (from being in full time child care for 4 1/2 years)and doing well in kindergarten. However, we have seen how much easier things come to him being the oldest and that has given him confidence in his academic abilities at a young age. I am very grateful for that as he does have some self-esteem issues. He is still challenged, however. I don't believe reading skills come easily to anyone who is not born genius. But I know come next year, going from 1/2 day of school to full-day will be easier to manage being older and more mature. His coping skills have developed so much in the last year and he has grown up SO much in the past 6 months I can hardly believe. Not since he was going from infant to toddler have I seen so much development.
I hope this advice is helpful as I don't often give it to parents. Every family is different. I just feel very strongly that if you choose to hold him back, you will never regret it. If you choose to send him, though, you can never go back. They are too young at this age to know the difference, but at the same time are young enough to benefit from it.
Good Luck!
Pam M.

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J.D.

answers from Chicago on

I was an elementary school teacher for 10 years before "retiring without a pension - Ha" to stay home with my 2 children. I was asked this question by many a parent and by friends and family members too. My advice is typically the same....
While I agree that many children are academically and/or socially ready for kindergarten in their parents eyes, I believe the parents need to look far down the road.
A typical kindergarten class in Illinois will start the year with a handful of beginning readers and a handful of children who can't even write their name (I have even had 1 child who did not even know his full name when it was called aloud). My point, in kindergarten the varience is great between children, both academically and socially, but they all end the year prepared for a full (state-mandated) school day in first grade. I taught kindergarten for 3 years, first grade for 6 years, and I was a reading and lanuage specialist (mostly helping the children who fell between the cracks as they got older). I have seen the long range pluses and minuses of just decision you are stuggling with.
Now, what a parent must ask is whether they'd prefer that their child be the brightest and most well rounded child in the class or the average or even below average child in dealing with peer situations and academic independent directions. You see, down the road, typically third grade, both mental and social skills are put to the test. Peer pressure sets in and the school books get tough.
What I would actually suggest, if it is possible for you, is to send your little guy to a seperate kindergarten program (like those offered through some preschool, private school, or daycare centers. Then, if he is doing a stellar job, place him in public school's first grade the next year (or even at the midpoint of the year). If he is still a bit "young" in some areas he can go to the regular kindergarten he would have gone to without being behind at all.
Two years of kindergarten never hurt anyone, but 2 years in third or fourth grade can crush a self-esteem.

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A.T.

answers from Rockford on

Hi, K.. As a teacher, I've heard lots of opinions from parents on this. I've never heard one parent say that they had regretted waiting a year; however, almost all parents that did send their kids early have regretted it. Just a little food for thought.

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T.B.

answers from Chicago on

My child will miss the cut off by 2 days. His birthday is on Sept. 3rd. I wish I had the option of sending him to school on time. I was born in November, and at the time the cut off was alot later, I did just fine coming into school when I did. My age had nothing to do with my learning ability. As long as you help him along the way, he should not have any problems. Never let anyone else underestimate your childs ability to adjust and keep up with the rest of the children. Pray about it, and leave it in God's hands.

God bless,
A concerned mother

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A.L.

answers from Chicago on

Hello K.,
I have two boys with birthdays on the same day but are 5 yrs apart. September 1st birthdays, right on the cut off. I put my oldest through the kindergarten testing and they told me that he could go to kindergarten at 5yrs. But I did not want him to be the youngest in the class so we waited. I am so glad I did. He has some challenges with reading and comprehension. The second child was so far advanced than my first. It was very hard not to send him early but I kept him home one more year till he was 6. I kept thinking about him beening the youngest in the class and I did not want that. It really benifits him in the long run. I know that when he gets in Jr High and High School, my youngest will be in advance classes and it will be challenging for him. For my oldest, who is in 8th grade is right where he needs to be.
When your kids start school the time just seems to fly by. Enjoy the time that you have with them!
Blessings!
A.

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W.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you checked with the school he will be attending to see what they think? My son has a Sept. 6th birthday, 5 days after the cutoff date, so he will be one of the oldest in his class when he starts school, too. Everybody tells me it's best to wait to send him to school rather than sending him if he's not ready (even though you think he may be ready, once he starts, you might find he's not).

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R.B.

answers from Chicago on

I do not yet have children yet(pregnant), I am speaking from personal experience. My own birthday is 8/23/76 and I wish I had been held back to start school a year later. I did well in all areas(socially, physically, academically, maturity), but I feel having that extra year of development could have helped me perform even better. High school/college is so competitive these days. I would want my child to have every opportunity for an advantage. My husband has a July birthday and he feels the same as I do so we will hold our child back if at all possible.
Hope this helps; it's not an easy decision.
R. in Bolingbrook

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J.F.

answers from Chicago on

I have a son whose birsthday is 8/27 so I can relate. We did have our son tested at the private school his sisters were attending and they were sure he was ready and despite the fact that his teacher was an amazing lady he was simply too young and did not get everything out of kindergarten he needed. We are homeschooling this year and it is working out fine but I still thinkk if I were to put him back in school now I would put him in first next year. Socially he did well and academically not too bad but he was not ready and there were many areas where he has not excelled. Also there are alot of areas where it is a struggle to get him to concentrate for a s long as they would ask of him in regualr first grade. ALtogether I wish we had done it differently but I would rather have learned that now than when he is older.

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C.T.

answers from Chicago on

Our son turned 5 on the 29th and made the cut-off. I would only send him if I was guaranteed Mrs.X(teacher my older son had the previous year, I knew she was simply awesome, the best). The school changed his teacher so he would have Mrs.X so we sent him.
During kindergarten he did fine, kept up with the other students, made great progress throughout the year, etc. (He was in TitleI for reading, but that was not a big deal, and didn't seem like a red flag.)
Fast forward to 3rd grade. The first 2 weeks of school he was coming home with 4-6 hours of homework a night. Mind you the first 3-4 weeks of school is mostly review and seeing where the class stands as a whole. 4-6 hours of homework- on review work.
I approached his teacher at Open House(like the Thursday before the Labor Day weekend). I asked if there was something going on, if everyone was getting all this homework, ETC. She said he was just having a hard time keeping up and the work seemed to be very difficult for him. I asked if I could come in the next day, I already knew what we had to do.
Met the next day with the teacher and principal. It didn't take 5 minutes to decide we would send him back to 2nd grade.
Fast forward to 3rd quarter of 5th grade. Holding him back was the best decision we ever made for him.
I don't regret or beat my self up about sending him to K when we did, I just wish I knew then what I know now.
For us, it was a growing and positive experience.
Good luck in whatever you decide!
~CJ

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K.T.

answers from Peoria on

I strongly suggest waiting I have never heard anyone saying they regret waiting. My daughter and son had summer birthdays and we waited and it really paid of when they got to high school as they had that extra year of maturity.

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T.E.

answers from Chicago on

Being the youngest ins't the worst and will make him try harder to be like the bigger kids. I have one born august 1 and he does great in kindergarten. The date is there for a reason - for most kids it's fine - unless he was premature or something else.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

Trust your gut. If you believe he's ready, he probably is. Growing up, I was right in the middle of my age/class group. My younger brother & sister had those cut-off birthdays. My mom's been a teacher for over 35 years. She waited with my brother because he was initially shy - he later wished he was a year ahead since from a sports perspective, he played a year up and then his best friends went off to play in college while he was stuck as a senior in high school. My mom sent my sister as the youngest because she was shy and felt she needed the social stimulation. In both cases, it all worked out just fine.

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A.Z.

answers from Chicago on

I actually went through this with my twins. Their birthday was 4 days after the cut off date. Many schools will not let them in. They say that they will test your child, which they did w/my girls. They said that one could go into K, but one could not(for simple silly reasons-not b/c she didnt know her fundamentals)...so what we ending up having to do was send them to a private Lutheran all day K in Illinois(we live in IN.) and then they would be able to start 1st grade when they were 6 instead of having to wait a whole other year. I had comments from people that waited and people who didnt. Here is my advice to you and a few things for you to think about...do what you feel-try to remember like other posters said-we as parents always think our children are smart and can sometimes miss a few things. That being said keep in mind the curriculum(spelling?)knowing the ABC's is not sufficient enough...kids are now required to be reading when they go into first grade(at least where we are at). I found that K isnt like it used to be-learning our abc's, shapes, colors, etc. I would call the school and find out what is expected of the students and then decide if your son is really ready to take on the tasks. Also, there are tons of sites and books that you can get ideas of what is being taught in what grade. The site I use for extra practice work for my kids is edhelper.com. Oh and as for my twins that went in early...there have been a couple of times that I have thought that I maybe should of had them wait to start school, but now that they know what is expected they are doing great. Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! Good Luck!

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J.N.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.. I have a five-year-old kindergartener who started school this year after completing two years of preschool at a well respected program. Before starting, her new school requested she come in for kindergarten testing and she passed with flying colors. My daughter quickly found out that kindergarten was a whole lot different from preschool. Preschool is about crafts, learning to write and do papers, socializing, singing songs and holding hands as you walk to the playground area, and being able to hug your teacher and your friends.
Kindergarten is about not touching your friends, keeping your hands to yourself as you walk to and from places, telling the teacher when your friends hit you or exclude you because schools have a bullying policy, doing lots of papers because schools need good ISTEP scores or in the words of my daughter, "work, work, work." They are expected to be able to sit at tables to work without talking and interrupting their friends, and start and complete tasks timely and neatly. There are no naps. There are many, many days she asks me if she can stay home just to play.
Your friends are suggesting you wait to send him because being one of the youngest kids will be hardest on him, not 5 or 10 years down the road, right now. He'll want to play, and he'll need to do lots of busy work and follow lots of rules. The social and academic expectations on children are so much higher than when we were children.
I would highly recommend putting him in a really good pre-k program a couple days a week, and then just starting to teach him some things on your own. There are some really good guides out there that teach parents how to teach their children how to read, write, and do math. These are the only skills you will need to focus on him learning k-2, because if they can't read, write or count, the rest, ie. science, history, religion, etc., really doesn't matter because they won't be able to process it without mastering basic skills.
I would highly recommend reading the book, "The Well Trained Mind" by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. It's written for parents who want to know how and what to teach their children at different ages and grades, but it's also an excellent guide book that gives lists of excellent books to read your children, and also gives good information on how to teach preschoolers and beginning readers.
Good luck with your decision. Whatever you chose to do, follow your heart, and your son will be just fine.

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L.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

I have a now 10 year old in 5th grade. His birthday is 8/27 so he just made the cut off. I wish I would have know then what I know now. I totally thought he was ready and sent him. He was so muture, did wonderful in preschool, all the signs pointed to him being ready. He was fine in Kindergarten, but has struggled ever since. Most of the kids are a year to a 1 1/2 older then him. It didn't seem to really matter his age, the maturity factor enters the picture. He really has a tough time staying organized, and focused. I thought maybe ADD.. but had him tested and it came back that he's just young, and will grow out of it. It will definately be much easier on your son if he is the oldest kid in the class instead of the youngest.

Good luck, which ever you decide.

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T.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi K.

I am in the same position, but a little yonger. My son was born on 8/25 and turning 3 this summer - so we are contemplating sending him to 3 yr old preschool or not. It is a tough call. My aunt has been a 2nd grade teacher for as long as I can remember, and she says older is better. However, I think that we are going to send our son to 3 yr old preschool next year for socialization more than anything else (SAHM too). But, I think that when it comes to kindergarten, we are going to have another judgement call on our hands. I really think that I want him to be older to make academics a bit easier on him (not to mention social life - can you imagine not being able to drive until you're a junior - Yuck!).
Thanks for posting this - know that you are not alone.
Trish

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