Thinking About NOT Sending Bright Daughter with Summer B Day to Kindergarten....

Updated on March 09, 2011
K.P. asks from Tunkhannock, PA
30 answers

Hi! I have been reading all of the great responses and insight on the K subject, so I almost feel silly posting yet another question. However, I have not found any that are exactly our story. So here we go: my daughter will be 5 on Aug 9. Our school cut off is Sep 1. She is very bright - we were told that she was academically ready for K during her 3yr old preschool. This year, she aced the 4/5 preschool assessment at the start of the school year (and was only the second child in the school’s history to complete it as quickly). I do NOT mean to sound like I am bragging. But my daughter is just extremely smart (her ped has suggested "gifted" - whatever that exactly means). We are registering her for K and have reserved a spot for her in the 4/5 class at her current preschool. The issues: her current teacher has told us that she would have a hard time keeping our daughter stimulated if she were to return next yr. She has also told us that our daughter is ready for K. However, she is very small and extremely innocent, not to mention that she was actually 6 weeks early (so if she was even a little closer to her due date, there would be no issue since she would not make the cutoff date). She wears her heart on her sleeve and her feelings sometimes get hurt (esp by other girls who are older and sometimes not as sensitive as my daughter). I also know of several "redshirts" and Sept-Oct bday kids who will likely be in her class at +/- one whole yr older than her. I think for the most part, she would sail through K-3rd grade with no more or less tears and tribulations than would be expected for any child. My greatest fears lie in the “tweenie” years and up – peer pressure, puberty, boys, and bullies – all very scary.
So - what to do? I am greatly interested to hear about your experiences. This is such a difficult decision. Send her to keep her academically challenged and risk social/emotional issues down the road or do not send her and risk academic boredom and stifling her love of learning???

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from New York on

I was in the same boat. My daughter was petite, born early SEpt. but very bright. I sent her to K. she did well academically but I wish I had kept her back, Though HS she constantly complained about being the youngest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Send her. She is ready.
You can't freak out about the tween teen years until you get there.
When she is a tweenie, she'll be ready.
She will find a really nice group of friends to hang out with and she will be fine.


answers from Dallas on

Over the span of her life it probably won't make that much difference how you decide.
I wish I had held my son back simply because he will be leaving home when I wish we could have him another year. I sent him because I thought it would make a closer relationship with his older brother than if there were another year between them in school. That hasn't been the case.

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I was one of those kids like your daughter...younger than most of the kids, sensitive soul, but too bright to be held back. Teachers told my mom I'd be too bored if I didn't start K when I did, so she let me go. I struggled with some bullying issues but did great academically. In the end, I ended up fine. I am now a practicing veterinarian and I am not scarred for life because of some mean kids back in school - if anything, I am far more successful than they ended up being and I have many good friends now.

I don't if this will help or not - in the end you need to do what you feel might be best, but there's nothing that says for certain she will run into a bullying problem. Do things to improve her confidence, like sign her up for karate or gymnastics. When she hits puberty, she will deal with all the same challenges whether she's in 5th grade or 6th grade when it happens.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

If she is ready and the preschool has already told you they won't be able to stimulate her another year, it's a no brainer...send her to Kindergarten. Add to that that she meets the cut-off and her pediatrician has noticed her "giftedness" and you would be doing her a disservice to hold her back...if she didn't make the cut-off I would have suggested having her tested for early entry. You will be surprised how much maturity can happen over a few months time and you have six before school starts.

I have basically the same situation with my daughter, who does not make the cut off, and I am having her tested next month. I don't want to push her if she's not ready but I don't want to hold her back over her birthdate being a too late (especially when the cut off used to be later and they changed it).

My son started school in MD before they changed their cut-off so the kids all started school when they would turn 5 by Dec 31st. His birthday is Oct. He was so bright and so bored in K and the teacher backed the whole class up to reteach one child. All the other kids were bored to at this point so my son was extremely bored. Not being stimulated causes kids to zone out and miss key things and/or behavior matter how smart they are, there are some steps you don't want them to miss. Be sure wherever you child attends keep her stimulated and learning.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

By holding her back you run the risk of her becoming so bored and fed up with school she doesn't try, why should she if everything until AP Physics and Integrated Calculus is too easy?
Personally I would put her with her peers.
If she is bright she will learn to handle the bullies. Who knows, there may not be any that are mean to her.

MIne is the youngest in her class, she skipped 2nd. She has held her own with the "bully" girls. In 3rd she only weighed about 40 pounds. Got her period with the other girls, Is now getting her license~this is the only thing that has given us a little bit of grief, she is in a new school and the kids wondered why she doesn't have one yet. She had to admit she was 15. Now they think it's totally "spawesome" that she gets to graduate one month after she turns 17. Go figure.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I don't think you'll avoid any issues with other children by holding her back a year, but I do think she may become really bored and wind up not liking school (preschool at this point). It's hard to let our little ones head off into "real" school, but if not this year then next year she's going to have to learn how to deal with insensitive children (and probably already does at preschool -that age isn't known for its empathy). As far as the tween and teen years -again -it doesn't matter when she starts school, she's going to have to deal with all of those things anyway. My parents took me to a child psychologist when I was 3 because they felt I had exhausted their resources, and I had certainly exhausted all the local preschools. The psychologist evaluated me and told them to send me to kindergarten, but no one would take me (and there were no Montessori programs anywhere close to us at the time). So, I basically languished for two years bored out of my mind while my mother kept me at the library and tried to find something to engage me (this was the early 70s in a tiny town, so there weren't the options available today). I ultimately wound up leaving high school two years early to start college, so I entered college in a freshman class with people 2 years older. All through school, most of my close friends had been a grade or two above me, so this wasn't a problem. Your daughter may surprise you. She can be sensitive, but she may find friends who are even older than the kids you worry about due to her advanced intellect. I would at least try it. You can always try something else if it's all turning out horribly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

She NEEDS to go to kindergarten and you know this in your mommy heart and brain.

Almost all "only children" tend to be very bright, but innocent about certain socialization situations.

She is ready to soar in a school situation. She will be fine, there will be (gasp) other children just like her.. Our daughter was like your daughter and there is NO way we could have held her back. Yes, she was and still is one of the youngest in her graduating class at college, but she was a National Merit Scholar and always did great in school. We allowed her to be the person she was and tried to never underestimate her.

She will graduate next spring as a just tuned 21 year old, double major with honors. I cannot imagine having held her back at any moment.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

When in doubt, hold them out! I am in the exact same boat as you. Our son is extremely bright and has an early Aug b-day as well. I was all for sending him to school but my husband was very against it. He started when he was 4 and the problems he had in school were in his later years and he is confident he would have fealt differently about school if he were to start a year later.

He was in all the smart classes, so it wasn't anything to do with having trouble learning, it was mostly all about being the youngest and the issues that come with that. I have read up on this and I am now all for holding him back until he's six. It's very stressful knowing that the decision we make for our children at such young ages can have a drastic impact on their entire lives.

Here are a few links to articles I have read. You probably have already read them too. :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Send her to K! You are doing her a huge disservice if you hold her back academically because of some worries and what ifs about her teen years. She is who she is and she isn't going to be any "tougher" emotionally just because you hold her back a year. Now that said, you already know her personality and the likely challenges for her. So open up honest conversations and help her feel comfortable coming to you if she has social hurdles that she doesn't know how to handle. My son and I talk weekly about the social aspects of elementary school, everything from how to handle "mean" kids to how he can help his friends all feel valued (he had problems on the playground with certain friends having hurt feelings because he wanted to play with exclusively with them). Roll play tough social situations, let her practice coming up with solutions to issues with you there as guide and advisor.

Our experience: Son, mid-Aug. birthday same cutoff as you. Very bright. Tests gifted. Small for his age. Socially behind his preschool classmates. We did what you are, registered him for both K and another year of preschool. We made the final decision on the first day of school. And I am so glad we made the decision to send him to K on time. He is near the top of his class in every subject, he surprised us with his sudden socialness and has a lot of friends. Can't imagine him as a 1st grader this year, they seem so young. For sports, he isn't as fast or strong but he has found things he excels at like archery, chess, etc. He prefers individual sports over team sports and that works just fine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

You have to do what's right for your child right now. In holding her back, you are telling her that you don't trust her or think she's smart/capable enough. (She is a bright child; she knows the discussion swirling around whether she's "ready" for K or not!)

Here's the thing. Yes, it's scary to send your sweet, precious girl off to Kindergarten. But you know what? She's still going to be the same sweet, precious girl a year from now - she'll just have been bored to death with another year in Pre-K. If she's ready, trust that she can handle herself and send her to Kinder to make her way.

Both of my girls were young in Kindergarten. My older one has a Sept 13 birthday and is now in 3rd grade as an 8 year old. She has always been a sweet, obedient girl, and she has really surprised me by becoming a leader among her friends. She has many friends who look up to her (even though she's 8 and some of them will be turning 10 soon due to red-shirting in Kindergarten).

My younger daughter started Kindergarten a full year early (at 4 years, 3 months). We intended for her to repeat Kindergarten, but she was ready for First grade. So then I thought, well, maybe she'll repeat 1st grade. But now we're getting into the last quarter of the year and it looks like she's absolutely ready for 2nd grade. She has a ton of friends, and though she is smaller than the other kids, she leads them all around at recess like the pied piper! They may be 7 and she may be 5, but she's like a tiny dictator! LOL My point is, don't worry about what "might" happen 5 or 10 years down the road. Do what's right for your daughter NOW. Continue to assess the situation year after year, and if there is ever a problem, you can address it then. Don't let the fear of the unknown cause you to deny your child the opportunities she deserves. Parenting very bright children will often cause you to have to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, I have found. It's a little scary, but I've found you just have to trust yourself, and trust your child. They can do amazing things when you let them!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

my own son was in a similar position. and i'm wondering if so many people are telling you to send her because she is a girl and not a boy. my experience and perhaps baise is that boys are more immature than girls period. So if you were asking about your son i would say to hold him. And after thinking about this, I do think holding her is a good idea. There maybe nothing you can do about other tweenies and all those mean girls out there, But having another year will give her some maturity to better deal wtih this, PLUS what you said about the 'redshirts".
so then the issue becames one of her temperment, Is she able to entertain and find stimulation herself. Or is her boredom going to mainfest its self in a behavior problem??? I used to teach preschool and it burns me up to no end that a teacher in that type of setting couldn't find a way to work on the level of that child. That tells me they aren't meeting each child where they are at, that tells me they are shoving some sort of generic curriculumn down these little guys throats. If they are studying butterflies and everyone else is learning about the letter b and the butterflies life cycle, the teacher could go out and get some National Geographic easy reader books about butterflies and let your daughter read them, While everyone else is talking about their favorite color of butterfly the teacher could be doing graphing and putting that information on a chart, the lower acedemic ones might not get as much out of it as your daughter but they can see that more kids liked yellow than green, your daughter could be using counters to figure our how many more liked yellow than green, simple addition if SHe is ready for it, Like i said it won't hurt the other kids or take anything away from what they were already learning but your daughter could still be challenged. And please please tell me they don't do the same units every year, There will be some over lap but they should be able to come up with a few new things to shake it up.
Personally, if at all possible I would look around for a different Pre-K program for her. Especially if the school she is at isn't willing to work with you and for your daughter. I'm not talking total special treatment, but not all kids are on the same level at all and they really need to take that into account.
you could call the elementary school and ask to speak to a K teacher and see what they say, ask if there is an enrichment (gifted ) program to keep her from being bored, when you do send her. At our public school there is a program for the first graders starting in the second half of the year. my son enjoys that.
jsut a few other things to toss out, does she have any super super tight friends that are either staying or going, and how do you feel about that?
Can you afford another year of preschool?
Its a hard hard decision, but from what you wrote it really seems like you have a handle on it. I firmly belive that how you deal with school at HOME is more important than much of what goes on at school wether it's having opend dialog about peerpressure or finding challenging extensions of learnign topics, YOu have control over how you deal with it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think you should send her. There is a possibility she will always be small (there was a girl I went to school with who was held back because she was small, and guess what, even as the oldest in the class she was still the smallest). I also don't think you can change personality. My daughter started K when she was almost 6. She is very innocent and shy and being the oldest hasn't changed that aspect of her personality at all. There are some tiny girls in her class, and to be honest, they get a lot of the attention because they are cute. I think you should deal with the now, that she is ready, and not the future and what will or will not happen. BTW- my son will be turning 5 over the summer and will be starting K in the fall. I hold my breath because he is immature, but I don't think holding him back will change his personality either.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Please send her-My daughter was-still is -brilliant-I sent her to kindergarden when she was 4 and she turned 5 in November. I have never regretted it-and I don't think she does either! Don't you want her to be around bright kids?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I went through my entire academic career being the youngest in my class. I didn't even realize it, though, until well into middle school. My b'day is in July. My parents sent me to Kindergarten 2 months after I turned 4. It wasn't even like I missed the cutoff by a few weeks or months - I missed it by 10 months. I was 10yrs old in 6th grade, graduated HS at 17, graduated college at 20. Never, not even once, was my age an issue for me (except senior year of college when I couldn't get into bars legally and all my friends could). I did well academically, socially, emotionally, in all ways. When I look back on my childhood, I have great memories - I truly had a fabulous childhood that I'm very thankful for. My grandmother was a kindergarten teacher (mine, actually) and she told my mother "K.'s ready, you'll send her to my class next year". So that's what they did. It was overseas at a private international school, so there was really no "cut-off" or state mandated tests, etc. But it was a very academically challenging school (my friends went to Stanford, Harvard, Brown, and everywhere in between etc.) I did just fine.
So although there are pros and cons to your choices, I just wanted to share that at least for ME, it was all good. BTW, my youngest daughter is ALSO the youngest in her class (we started her early because she only missed the cutoff by 3 weeks and she was TOTALLY ready). She's in 3rd grade now and so far, it's been a great decision for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My niece was four when started k. She is also gifted and excels in school. My childrens b days it was not an issue. However my two older both Have ADHD with focusing issues. They are bright and receive good grades but they would of not benefited going to school early. If I were you I would start my daughter in k this coming sept.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on have to take a breath for a second...don't worry about that whole huge picture....she is ready academically....she must be able to sit and focus if she completed the test so quickly...i would send her...and don't worry about all the other stuff...just now..she has you with her...she is a lucky girl!! M.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

There is no way to know, how she will mature... by 4th-5th-6th grade and older.

I have a friend, whose daughter is very advanced academically and she skipped a grade.
Now that she is in middle school... her social life and interactions with the other girls, are strained. She is younger. They know she is younger. They are doing things that are not appropriate for her etc. They get their periods, she is not there yet. They are into boys, she is not. They do things, that are older. She is not.
So her parents said she's had a hard time.
At this age.
When she was still in elementary school, is was not so pronounced.
It is the age juncture and age related phases. That differs, now.

But that is just one example.

Again, there is no way to predict, how your girl will mature... emotionally or mentally. Those things are non-academic, development. Which cannot be, quantified.

I don't know... except, that a Mommy's intuition and gut-instinct... is usually a good gauge, of things.
And, it is also how you 'prepare' her/teaching her/guiding her... on the emotional development of a child.
ie: teaching them about friends, choosing friends, coping-skills, how to be self-assured, how to DISCERN interactions and how others treat you etc.

Then I have another friend, of an academically advanced son. She kept her son, at his grade level. Because... per emotionally maturity, she knows that he needs to be with his same age peers. It was best for him.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

First I would ask is she emotionally mature? Typically most girls tend to be more mature, but some are not. Have you considered homeschooling her? By doing this it would allow you to tailor her learning to her needs vs being bored in school. Make a point of checking into the gifted program that they have. Some schools offer nothing at the elementary age. This can cause problems at a young age with boredom, lack of work and little promotion if the child does well.
In the past socialization has been an argument against homeschooling. But I can tell you first hand that this is not an issue unless you allow it to be. There are many activities available.
Some things I would recommend before deciding. Check out the HSLDA website for requirements in your state.
Look for a homeschool support group in your area.
Take a look a homeschool convention in your state or a nearby state.
One advantage to homeschooling your gifted child at home is that you can constantly challenge your child, give them what they need when they need it and move at her own pace instead of having someone dictate to you what your child needs and when. I have several friends that have "gifted" children and have successfully homeschooled their children. I don't think they would change anything.



answers from Harrisburg on

You are so right to think abut what will happen in middle school. There are longer term implications than just next year. That said...only you can make this choice for your child. We have one with a September birthday (our cut-off is 9/30) and we waited with him, but sent the one with the July birthday. They're both now in middle school. Did we make the right choices? I don't know. BUT...middle school is tough socially. My kids are both "gifted" (as defined by their school) but the social part is tougher than the academics. The school has encouraged us to have our younger one (who is already nearly the youngest in her class) skip a grade, but we have held off. She is still a little girl physically...I've seen the girls a grade up. They are young women and there's enough pressure without putting her up a year. It is the law that they must educate your can push for other options down the road if you chose not to send her this year. If your daughter is "gifted", she will have an IEP and that gives you lots of ammo. Though our daughter is technically in 6th grade, she's in a 7th grade English class and an 8th grade level math class. This allows her to be challenged, yet keep her with kids her own age for phys ed and the rest of the classes.

It is a very hard decision. I don't know that you'll ever be sure. Just weigh the facts, make the decision and don't look back. She'll be fine either way. As much as we want to think it's a life altering probably isn't.

Oh...and be prepared to fight fight fight! There is a lot of money in school budgets for special ed...but not a lot for gifted ed. You will need to be a proponent for your child. Sometimes, this will feel like a full-time job...but don't give up. PM me if you have further questions.


answers from Erie on

I would probably try to homeschool her for a year. my son will be 5 in july and is very bright as well but kindergarten is a different experience and i don't think he is mature enough to deal with it yet. i would rather not start him now and hold him back rather than start him early, have him be the youngest in the class and possibly have to hold him back in later years. he won't remember this now, but if we had to hold him back later he probably would. :(

Do you have a Montessori school in your area? I would recommend looking into that style of schooling if you are considering sending her.



answers from Portland on

I have a 12 year old. Even if you are extremely tough and can put up with things easy, tweenie years are just hard for anyone for the resons you stated. I would worry about yet, but if she gets older and it becomes a problem, then you might need to think about it. She is only 4. She has 6 more years. Her personality may change, and it really is kind of far off. I would say register her for K, and if anything goes wrong, see if you can go back to the pre-school.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I see all the responses saying send her, but I realize that's because most people see classroom schools as the only option. We were in exactly the same shoes as you with our daughter. We tried homeschooling, it was a perfect fit for our family, and we have never looked back (11th grade now). The level of family closeness and love of learning that this style of teaching fosters are phenomenal and just don't happen when you send a child to school all day; and socialization does NOT have to be an issue, as people will try to scare you into believing. (My daughter has always had wonderful friends who uplift each other, rather than being hurtful and pressuring; but more importantly can sit down and converse delightfully - I have been told so often - with people of any age, can function in just about any social situaion, and knows how to operate n the "real" world of of everyday tasks - shopping, keeping a house, mananging money choosing healthy relationships. THAT is socialization.) She is planning for college, and judging by her tests scores will be in line for excellent scholarships.

I won't push it if it's something you are not comfortable with it, but I'd love to talk with you more about it if you are willing to consider it (in which case please message me!). Don't get me wrong, schools definitely have their place and are wonderful for some families - but this is also a wonderful option for others. Good luck to you with a tough decision!



answers from Los Angeles on

I would send her.

My birthday is in early August. The cutoff date when I was a kid was Dec 2, so I went to kindergarten right after my 5th birthday.

I was a tiny kid - always the shortest in my class. Had I been held back, I probably still would have been among the smallest. I was just tiny. My sister was 4 years younger and almost as tall. My 3.5 year old son is now the same size that I was when I was 7, and he's tall but has plenty of friends who are just as tall as he is.

I did get teased some. Only by one boy in elementary school but I was able to stop it. A few people would make comments to me in junior high and tease me, which hurt, but it wasn't constant bullying. No one bothered me in high school, even though it took until my junior year to start growing.

I was also very smart and usually got straight A's. I probably would have been bored if I'd been held back.

If your child's teacher is telling you she can't stimulate her for another year, I really think you should send her. Being small was never ideal and I never liked it, but it never ruined my life either. I had lots of friends and was a very happy kid. And like I said, even if I'd been a grade behind, I still would have been very small.



answers from New York on

I suggest sending her to a private school with G&T (gifted and talented program). Here in NYC they have them at several public schools, if you have your child take the G&T test they are considered. Not sure how it works where you are, but you could find out easily I am sure. Maybe check it out on SavvySource??? Also, I am sure your town/city has an education site.

Don't hold her back, later on, she will not be happy about that decision.
If you have to, you could supplement her education with academic programs after school.
(scholarships are readily available in many places if you need that too!)
Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

Send her. I am an oct bday. The state I was born in had an oct 31 cut off date. We moved to NJ with a Sept 1 cutoff date. But, since I was already in school, I was kept at my current grade level. So, I was younger than everyone else. I had no social problems & made a lot of good friends. I also excelled at school & graduated in the top ten. So did my best friend (who I am still friends with 15 years later). She was a feb bday & was started early in K. She was actually younger than I was. She flourished socially & had/has more friends than I can count.



answers from Philadelphia on

This is a a tough problem. For me kindergarten readiness doesn't have to do with academic skills but with social skills. The stuff I read suggested that kids do fine in elementary school but have trouble later in life like you suggested, the teen years. It can be challenging for a child to be a full year plus younger than her classmates. I the school district where my kids go, it seems many people wait with their kids who have summer B-days (cut-off is Oct. 1st). This fact would make me wait with my child so that s/he would be more the same age as her/his piers in school. I think you could supplement your daughters education and wait a year for kindergarten. You could look into transitional kindergarten programs designed for kids just like your daughter. It is a big choice and we as mommies can't see into the future. Do what YOU think is best. You know your child better than anyone, preschool teacher included. :)



answers from Reading on

I started K in the mid 70's. I don't even know if they tested me, or offered my mom a chance to start me early. Anyway, I stayed at grade/age level, was bored out of my mind, and I dealt with the meanies and the bullies anyway. School was a chore and a burden any which way you sliced it. It would have been nice to have had a challenge and academic fun to balance out the social crown of thorns. Just my anecdotal two cents.



answers from Miami on

I had my daughter in pre k and when I sent her to K she was sooo bored the first two months because they start from scratch and my kid new all the stuff. Her problem was more boredom than the kids. It was third grade the whole horrible peer pressure and mean kids started. What I say is try the school you are thinking about. If the kids do not seem to be working out you can find out early enough to switch her . If you have the money a montesorri school might be better for her they will let her work at her own pace.



answers from Philadelphia on

My oldest daughter is in the gifted program in school and is on the younger side with an end of April birthday. I am not sure if it is related to "giftedness" or not but she has always been more mature than many of her peers. It wasn't until middle school where she is with " gifted" kids all day that she has made close friendships. She claims that these girls are also more mature. I would send her if I were you.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions