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Did you hold your boy back from Kindergarten for a year? - Page 5

post #81 of 124
I have a girl born in July and a boy born in June. I sent both of them to kindy when they had just turned 5. They are usually either the youngest or one of the youngest in their class. My ds has done great in school. He even has some issues, diagnosed with SPD, yet still gets great grades and fits in well with his peers. My dd is struggling some in the 4th grade, but that's more because she has missed school due to illness then her being young.

My youngest just turned 5 and will start kindy in the fall. I worry more about him being ready because of his speech and fine motor issues. He is not really writing his name or drawing much. He just had his yearly IEP so we're addressing some of the issues. I'm hoping he qualifies for OT.
post #82 of 124
Originally Posted by Hanbonem View Post
What are your thoughts on delaying entry to kindergarten for a summer birthday boy?

I’m starting to get won over to the idea if only so that he doesn’t get labeled as the silly can’t sit still kid just because he’s less mature and somehow establish a pattern. I’d also read in some blog that older parents were saying it made a good difference to have sons going to college at 19 vs 18.

Anyone have a similar dilemma? What did you end up doing and why?
My son's birthday is mid June. He isn't the very last day of the birthday rule, but has normally been the youngest in his class so far.

I can understand the desire to keep him back from a maturity standpoint (I admit I considered it, and my son is a little bit immature) but, I decided to send him on.

My reasoning: my son already knew academically what school was going to be teaching for kindergarten. Socially he can be immature, but not academically.
If he had started year later into kindergarten, the won't sit still and pay attention would have been 100 times worse that it was.

The social, I feel will come from being around children that are a little older and more mature.

For you, I would ask myself where your child is academically as well as socially and consider how both will impact going in or holding out a year.
post #83 of 124
I haven't read this entire thread, but my son has a November birthday (1 September cutoff) and I started him last year at 4.5. I have absolutely NO regrets, despite the fact that he's one of the youngest kids in the school (and the youngest of the ones he sees regularly). He's petite for his age (I LOATHE the size argument!!), but very socially adept; It's never been a problem for him. He's also enrolled in a cyber charter school, so it's not like he's in a classroom every day (though he does have regular time with classmates).

I started school before I turned five. Mike started school before he turned five. I know dozens and dozens of people who did so. Holding kids back confers no long-term advantage in any study I've ever seen, and in many cases confers a distinct disadvantage.
post #84 of 124
Originally Posted by karne View Post
I don't know anyone personally who held their kids for sports or to be on the top of their class. For us it was more about not trying to make ourr kid "fit" into a system before he was ready. I guess I don't care to have that labled as being a red shirt kid.
I've heard of it in sports, but not schooling. It's really from sports where, in college, the athletes are allowed to play for 4 years. If a freshman comes in and is going to get his degree in 5 years, they might wait a year. He can practice with the team and do everything except actually play in the games. The term they call that is "red shirting" and they do it when an athlete is not quite ready to play or they feel it would be best to let him or her wait a year.
post #85 of 124
Thanks Matt. The term's origin wasn't familiar to me.

I've been thinking about this issue because it's so complex. I volunteer in my son's kindy, which is what has made me glad that we waited for ds to mature a bit before sending him. It's truly a struggle many days for the kids are are either the youngest, or very young for their ages. The teacher loves them all and is so very kind, but the curriculum can be tough for kids who just aren't "there" yet. This is definitely a very small percentage of the kids-one or two, but it stands out. But, from what I read in this thread it sounds like parents feel it all works out in the end.
post #86 of 124
My ds has a early July birthday and we're sending him to Kindy in the fall. I considered (last year) holding him out another year, but I think he's really ready to go. His best friend is almost a year older, bf's birthday is just past the cutoff so he'll be one of the oldest kids in the class. And while there is an obvious size difference, I haven't noticed much in terms of a difference in abilities/maturity. The school he is going to has a lot of unstructured playtime, 3 recess periods, lunch, and an hour long nap/quiet time.

It's a small private school and when I asked the director she said that red shirting isn't very common there.

I started school early and skipped a grade, I was 16 when I went off to college. That's easier as a girl, but really my parents gave me a lot of freedom in high school and that helped me prepare for being away from home at a pretty early age, especially in terms of managing my time and being responsible for my actions. I certainly dealt with the freedom much better than many of my dorm mates.
post #87 of 124
DS1 has an October bday. When we lived in NY, he started full-day pubic PreK as a 3 year old...turning 4 in October. (I think it was a December cut-off). He blossomed... loved school.

When we moved to FL, they have a September 1st cut-off, so our choice was repeating pre-K... or just home-schooling for a year. We've homeschooled this year...and it's been great. (Granted very lazy homeschooling... lots of play, with a bit of math and reading thrown in maybe 1-2x/week.) He didn't have any issues in Pre-K. But having him home this year has made me realize how much he is still a child who needs PLAY. Kindy here has very little play. It's all academic.. including standardized testing.

I feel we gave him a great gift this year.
post #88 of 124
It is so interesting to read about the academic kindergartens. DS has an 8/31 birthday (in a state with an 8/31 cutoff) and we sent him the year he was "supposed" to go. We had comments when he was 2 about how we should hold him back because young boys just did poorly. I don't think DS learned anything academic in kindergarten, though most of the year was great for him. We put him in 1/2 day, though, so that makes a difference. Not because it was less academic, but because it gave him more time outside of school.

It seems to be common knowledge in our district that many summer boys are redshirted. But the reality does not seem so clear to me.

In DS's kinder there was no one who had already turned 6 when the year started, but one child who did not turn 5 until November (early entrance). In his 1st grade class there was one child who had started late (turned 7 in August, a girl) but also a child who didn't turn 6 until October. Now, in 2nd grade DS is in a 1st/2nd grade split. There is a boy 1st grader who is older than DS (late entrance) and a girl 2nd grader who is younger (only by 9 days, but over the line--- early entrance).

DD's classes have been the same. She was homeschooled and started public school in 2nd grade at 6 years old (January birthday after the cutoff--- so 4 months younger than "standard"). In her first class (1st/2nd) there was a child with a December birthday (early entrance 1st grade--- he was only 5) and a girl in her 2nd grade class that was younger than her. In her 3rd grade class there was a child who was actually two years ahead (1 full year and like 7 days) and a child who was started a year late. Now, in 5th grade she is the youngest, but the oldest is once again someone who is slightly old.

My point? There is actually a lot more age variation *in our district at least* than is acknowledged. While "everyone" knows that you start boys late, no one seems to really acknowledge that there are at least as many starting early and way, way more that just go on time.

IMO, you need to do what seems right for right now and be willing to change in the future. Both my kids are young for the age and if I felt they would be better served being a year back, that is what we would do. Honestly, I really feel like my DD's situation was ideal---- homeschooled for K & 1st and then put in the correct grade at that point, when she was more ready for a full day of school.

Writing is DS's major challenge (not content, but keeping it neat for long paragraphs) and I wonder if he would have an easier time in 1st instead of 2nd. That said, most of his other subject would be way too easy if he was in 1st instead.

Personally, my philosophy is to send the kid to school "on time" unless you have a concern specific to *that child.* Not what might happen to that child in 10 years, or when puberty hits, or what the neighbor says is common for other ______ kids, but for that child. I'm not going to sacrifice the appropriate fit *now* for possibiblites in the future.
post #89 of 124
Just another data point: My eldest has an 11/21 birthday in a district with a 9/31 cutoff. We will not be petitioning for early enrollment for him. While he's smart as a whip, he's always been a bit slower than average with social skills and with the sort of "academic" stuff that matters in kindergarten. He's also an enormous perfectionist, which we're trying to work with him on. While I think he could handle kindergarten now, I'd rather 'red shirt' him and start him later.

My younger boy, who has a 12/28 birthday in the same district, we would more strongly consider trying to get into kindergarden early -- either through a private school, or applying for early admission. He's quicker to pick things up, more verbal and social, and might not be as well served with another year in preschool when the time comes.

I guess the moral is: Look at the kid, not the district or the crowd.
post #90 of 124
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Another thing...

School districts are in favor of red shirting. When the NCLB testing comes up if they have older kids taking the test the district scores better and gets more funding.
I haven't finished the thread, but I wanted to address this. I've had personal experience with two school districts seriously discouraging holding preschoolers back--one in Northern VA and one in CA.

That said, we chose to give DS an extra year of preschool. It was a very difficult decision. DS is special needs and is socially immature and has poor attention-to-task. He is also big for his age and academically on-target. All of that was hard to balance. I pushed for keeping him back and that's what we've ended up doing. He'll start K next year so we'll see how it plays out.
post #91 of 124
our school system (Fairfax County, VA) is pretty hard core about keeping to the cut off date (Sept 30th) and very encouraging about starting kids late. The rule is that all children age 6 and above must be in school or have submitted the paperwork for homeschooling.

The reason has nothing to do with kids in elementary school, but rather that studies have shown that 12 year olds do better in middle school than 11 year olds, so they don't want kids starting middle school "early" (the school system has an extensive gifted and talented program, so they address intellectual advancement through those programs).

Me, I am happy we don't have to face this decision with my oldest whose birthday misses the cut off by one month. He is very very smart but only recently (January of this year) really started to show kindergarten readiness in terms of maturity, language skills, paying attention, etc. So if he had started kindergarten this year, I think he really would have struggled, especially since the kindergarten class is much more structured, with a much higher teacher/student ratio than in his cooperative preschool.

We also started him "late" (compared with many families around here) for preschool (nearly 3) for the exact same reason - he just wasn't ready yet. Because he was ready, he flourished in preschool and absolutely loves school. We hope he has the same experience in kindergarten.

My younger son, well, he is a different matter. He is even later - Nov 10th - but he will be ready by 4, I can tell (the preschool was joking amongst themselves that he was ready for kindergarten at age 3). It is just his personality - he will be loved by any teacher he gets because he is a little charmer and has a precocious vocabulary - but he is also a secret troublemaker, something most teachers don't seem to see...chaotic neutral, that one...; )

He'll start school at age nearly 6 because we cannot afford private school (and you have to do private school for at least 1st grade too b/c they won't take a 1st grader outside the cut off either) and we cannot afford to homeschool (dh and I work full time running a business).

btw, both DH and I were the youngest in our classes. I was fine, coasted even, but dh had a hard time with maturity (he was academically advanced of the entire class, even as the youngest). His school convinced his parents to hold him back in third grade, which he HATED. His take is that if maturity is going to be an issue, then it is better for a kid to start kindergarten late, and potentially skip a grade later if it was a mistake, than to start too early and force a kid later to be held back.

I do think that PP had a good point about kids not being academically challenged - both dh and I were not truly academically challenged and we learned that smart != working. So it was a shock to me when I actually struggled with material and had to learn how to learn. I am not sure I ever really got over my emotional association that smart = easy.
post #92 of 124
The reason has nothing to do with kids in elementary school, but rather that studies have shown that 12 year olds do better in middle school than 11 year olds, so they don't want kids starting middle school "early" (the school system has an extensive gifted and talented program, so they address intellectual advancement through those programs).
We are also in FCPS. I struggled with the decision of whether or not to send my highly sensitive/emotional, low social skills August birthday girl to school on time. I did and honestly it was the best thing for *her*. The school pushed a bit to hold her back because she had a very emotional start to first grade (we did private K) but we pushed back.

I seriously cannot imagine how bored she would have been if we had held her back. She is already working way above grade level in second grade. We are hoping she qualifies for GT because otherwise I am also afraid of the smart = easy phenomenon. I had that as well and it wasn't until I hit college that I found work that did not come easily to me and I had NO study skills at all.
post #93 of 124
I will say, personally I had the flip situation. Academically I was so far ahead of my peers (advanced at reading, etc.) that though by my age--born in Dec-- I was not able to attend kindergarten (missed the cut off) my parents decided to send me to kindergarten privately.

So, I attended private kindergarten and then entered first grade being the youngest one in my class, over a year younger than most. In high school I also made the choice to take outside classes, graduated early (at 16) and attended college at 16. I just LOVED learning. Still do.

My mom is upset right now that my SIL has kept my nephew behind. He was no where close to the cut off, and she has decided to keep him behind because she feels it will give him an advantage. He doesn't have any behavioral issues. He will be nearly 6 1/2 years old when he starts kindergarten.

What bothers my mom the most is that academically he is so far behind my own DD, who is about the same age and in kindergarten right now. He's not really challenged at all where he is, they're not really teaching him up to his potential. And, I agree with those here, you look at the individual child when making these kinds of decisions. His parents say that he is a 'small' child and they feel that it will be advantageous to him physically to be older than his peers.
post #94 of 124
Originally Posted by qwertyem View Post
So, I am very familiar with the kindergarten routine at this school and feel it is geared well towards young children that aren't quite ready to sit still (they move around a lot to different stations, etc.) In addition, ds already knows many of the teachers and the librarian at the school, so he feels very comfortable there. As a matter of fact, the last time I volunteered in the library, ds tried to line up with the kindergarten class and go back to class with them!!
That would be my DD2 Maggie! She is always trying to get into the kindy class at her sister's school. The prinicpal jokes that Maggie is ready to go NOW!! Thankfully she has speech at her sister's school twice a week now because she cannot wait to go to school there.
post #95 of 124
Just wanted to give my 2 cents....

My DD turned 5 last Aug 14th and I held her back from Kindergarten, and I do not regret my decision. I felt she wasn't ready for it, and was too young. She'll go this coming up fall when she's 6.
post #96 of 124
Just adding my 2 cents as well.

My ds will turn 5 this upcoming Aug 12 (2009) and he will not be going to kindergarten this fall. He's not ready. He also has a major medical issue.

Each family has to do what's best for their child, and I know that's different from family to family (and from child to child.)

For us, the best decision is to wait another year. :
post #97 of 124
Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
I've been thinking about this too as my ds (May bday) is starting 2 half days of preschool this fall at 3 yo. One reason I wanted to get in this particular preschool at this time is that they have a 5 half day course for those who are not sending their kids to kindergarten at 5 yo. I'm mad that our district changed to a full day curriculum. I just can't imagine a 5 yo ready to go to school for 6-8 hours a day. My ds is already as big as a 4 yo which brings its own problems as people who don't know him have high expectations. He also is in speech for articulation. And that brings me to my dd - will I send her on time or wait an extra year so they are 2 years apart in school? The two tier system is definitely a consideration for us.

I also try to think down the line - alot of kids don't get held back in K but then they have problems in middle school. That concerns me alot. And yeah, going to college/career at 19 seems alot better than 18. I would rather my kids stay somewhat under my supervision as long as possible.

All of that said, I went to very prestigious schools "on time" with a May bday. I never thought it was an issue.
are you me????? Wow, we have a very similar situation except DS is not tall, just average. these are hard choices!!
post #98 of 124
I am on dial-up Internet connection today so I don't have time to read all the responses. But here is our experience. My DS's bday is mid August and I struggle over this decision. The school we wanted was lottery so no guarantee of getting in the next year. His preschool teachers said he needed another year of preschool for social reasons but they were scared of his academics if we waited a year because he was so far ahead of his peers in many areas. He also has sensory processing issues and fine motor delays (both mild to moderate) that we had to take into account.

There was an online article that helped me and I will try to post later if my computer with the link can ever get online this week.

Here is what we did:

Registered for both preschool and K so that we could have more time to decide.
Registered him for a couple weeks of all day summer school at a local private school so that he could experience being gone all day and having lunch away from home.
I volunteer weekly in the classroom so that I have a good understanding of the expectations and a good relationship with the teacher.
He ended up going to K right after his 5th bday and I am so glad. He does not seem like the youngest in terms of sitting still or attention span. There are kids who turned 6 in October who are more squirrelly than him. He has some issues with authority but that would have been the same no matter what age he started as it is his personality, not his maturity. He has tested into the gifted program which is good because he is bored with stuff like singing the alphabet song. I meet with the program director tomorrow to find out what is available for him. Now I can't imagine having waited a year!

Good luck with your decision.
post #99 of 124
Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
I wish we could get more parents with older kids to weigh in on this. I'm curious about the longer term...middle school, high school, college.
*shrug* I can speak from my own experience, but it was in the 1980s and things were really different back then.

My birthday was 9 days after the cutoff, and nobody held their kids back then. So, I suddenly "lost" all my friends into kindergarten. Which, as a almost five year old, I found kind of humiliating.

Going forward, I almost always ended up being among the oldest kids in my grade. It hurt me more than it helped me, because maturity-wise I found myself ahead of them. It's hard to make friends when you think that the kids you have to associate with daily are all silly--and hard to keep up friendships with kids who consider themselves "older" than you because they're a grade ahead even if they're only a couple weeks older. Academically, I did fine. Socially, I did not.

It was also hard that my 22-months-younger sister was only a grade behind me.
post #100 of 124
I know dozens, if not hundreds, of people who started school "early," myself included. If you count summer birthdays, I definately know of hundreds. I've met exactly two people who wish they'd been held back (both women, interestingly enough); Everyone else shrugs and says, "What's the big deal?" We're talking about birthdays everywhere from 31 August to 14 March, so a pretty big spread.

Of those few I know who started later and/or were held back, none are comfortable, socially, even now as older teens/adults. There are so many things to consider that are difficult for parents of kindergarteners to fathom. Everyone mentions driving, but how much thought have you given to dating? Are you going to be comfortable with your 19 year old son dating 17 year old girls, if they're "both seniors?" Eighteen and nineteen year old boys are often being lambasted in news stories for spending too much time with much younger girls, but if they're in the same classes... well, these things are bound to happen.
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