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Would you/did you send your son to Kindergarten at 5? Would you do it differently in hindsight? - Page 2

post #21 of 67
While every parent has to assess their own child, I really don't get summer birthdays being held back a year. My kids have May and July birthdays, and are some of the youngest in their classes! But, if I had held them back a year, my older son would turn 18 in his junior year of high school. That just seems insane to me. I have a November birthday and started "on time."

My older son would probably fit in better in third grade, considering all the other kids his age are in that grade, but it just doesn't feel right to me. However, we homeschooled until this year (4th grade), so I admit I didn't have to actually pull the trigger about putting him in K, but if we had gone the school route I don't think I would have held him out a year.

My younger son has a July birthday, and if anything he should be in 2nd grade right now, not 1st. He's advanced academically, and we are struggling with him being bored. But, I don't him starting high school when he's 12!

Anyhow, like I said, I respect that all our children are different (and as a homeschooler at heart I don't think any 5 or 6yos should be in school!), but I do think that, with the exception of special circumstances, holding back kids whose birthdays are before Sept is starting to get a little bit out of control. I wonder what the drop out rate is going to be when all these kids are turning 18 before their senior year of high school?
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Despite being published in 2003, I hadn't seen that. Great summary. Thanks for posting. One interesting note in there is that older kids are often referred for gifted testing at a higher rate than young ones, but the rate of getting services is about the same. This would be a concern for me only in a state that does not screen every child for gifted services. Indeed, my daughter probably wouldn't have been referred for services by her teacher, but the school screens each child, where the bar is first IQ (normed by age) then achievement (normed by grade). I'm not aware of a single redshirted child in DD's pull out classes.

I sent my DD on time, beating the cutoff by a few weeks. She's the youngest by far in her class, with folks in our district holding out just about everyone with summer birthdays, and several as early as March. I can't imagine how much more frustrated we'd be with the schools if we'd held her back. We have some struggles with kids in her third grade class ready for the preteen scene. There is some difficulty because my DD is still thinking about fairies and wanting to do jump rope on the playground.

My son misses the cutoff by a few weeks. He's ready for kindergarten now. He's not reading fluently, he's not writing essays, but he is ready to learn what they do in kindergarten. Indeed, he reminds me a lot of my daughter right as she was starting K at the age that he is now. I fear for the next several years of school for him. He'll be just as bored, if not more so, than my daughter has been.
post #23 of 67
Everything I'm reading is focused on K-5th or 6th grade and those years aren't my concern. I also have no thoughts of giving my son an edge in athletics. Honestly, I don't think he has any chance of being an athlete. We also don't have any concerns about academics, I think he could handle the academics of kindergarten now. He will be academically advanced no matter when he goes to school.

My concern is my son's social maturity level in his teen years and if he will be ready for the things he will be facing, most especially when he goes away for college. My other concern is about differences in gender. For instance, I believe there is a big difference in the average maturity level of 5 year old girls vs. boys. DS always seems to identify with the kids that are younger than him, especially if they are girls.

For me, it's all about his social maturity now and in years to become. If I do what's best for him there, it might cause other issues because of his academic levels being vastly different from his classmates. In a school district where the average graduating class is 65, that could be a problem.

Sometimes being a parent is so tough
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
There were kids in DS's kindergarten class that were turning SEVEN in kindie! These parents love it at first but by 3rd grade, start complaining that the curriculum isn't challenging enough (yeah, because they shouldn't be in 3rd grade.) They want their "advanced" kids in the gifted program but are upset when their children don't have the scores to get it (because their being advanced isn't about being accelerated learners... it's about being a year older.) Almost all the bully issues on my kids campuses involved red-shirted boys AND girls.
I think red-shirting can be the right choice for some kids, but ultimately I think schools should have a window (no younger than 5 by X and no older than 6 by Y) and they should stick to it regardless of maturity issues, etc. The only exceptions should be for special needs kids. Basically, everyone redshirting has allowed the schools to make K developmentally inappropriate.

I do actually know people that regret waiting...as their kids get into 3rd and 4th grade, they're ready for more challenging stuff. My DD was a late Aug birthday (so started K at not quite 5) and she has done great (no entering 3rd). As for my DS, he started K last week (already reads at a beginning of 2nd grade level) and was absolutely ready to start. As far as the teenage years, my DH hit puberty extremely late (as did I), so both my kids will be at the young end regardless. I feel pretty strongly that given my kids are socially and cognitively ready for K, I would be doing them a disservice by holding them out.

Finally (and I post this on every redshirting thread), the research doesn't support the practice. The advantages that kids see in K-2 are almost completely hone by 3rd or 4th grade. A good summary of the research from the NAEYC can be found here:

journal.naeyc.org/btj/200309/DelayingKEntry.pdf

I'm not sure this research perfectly reflects the current situation (of middle-upper class families holding out their kids for the "gift of time" but it's the best summary of peer reviewed research available).
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jen in co View Post
As for my DS, he started K last week (already reads at a beginning of 2nd grade level) and was absolutely ready to start.
In my community, it seems like this is the standard for parents to "allow" their kids to start on time. To be clear, ready for kindergarten should be ready to learn to read, since this is what they teach there. "Ready to learn to read" is a pretty standard list of ability, including knowing the alphabet, that letters make sounds, and knowing that text conveys a message.

I remain puzzled by "maturity" arguments at the K and HS levels. Maybe I live a sheltered life with perfect kids (ha!), but I find those qualities ascribed to maturity to be more a factor of the individual's personality than an individual's age.
post #26 of 67
I hadn't seen that naeyc article before, but found it interesting. It didn't change my satisfaction with our decision to wait a year before sending our ds. I used to tell everyone not "we're holding him back!" but "we're treating ourselves to another year home together!". We had such a wonderful year, during which we did lots of fun/educational things as a family and tried some preschool programming we wouldn't otherwise have had a chance to do, and he has had such a wonderful school experience so far with the delayed entry.

Here the kindy cutoff is 4 by March 1 of that year, so much younger than you all are talking about. I don't believe in early academics at all -- red shirting has nothing to do with it - I'd love to see the school age pushed back to 6 or 7 for everyone. ETA - to me, there are two different issues with this question - 1) what age *should* formal schooling start for children? and 2) is the program I want to send my kid to optimally able to support him or her at this age/stage and in the future?

My dd was 5.5 when she started school and was more than ready.

ETA We have always planned to enroll our kids into a French Immersion program, which is almost too structured for my taste and would require a good level of verbal development.

I just did not see my son being ready emotionally or ready physically for a structured program -- he was too active, too much separation anxiety... At around his fifth birthday, I finally saw him as ready - that's the age that most of your children are when you are wondering if they are old enough, interestingly.

I recently read in Steve Biddulph's Raising Boys that there is a testosterone surge in little boys around age 4 that diminishes by age 5. This surge makes kids more active and adventure-seeking, and less compatible with the classroom! I would love to use this to argue that kindergarten entry should be delayed by another six months, at least, here where I live.

I also came across this article recently and found it interesting. My dh was labeled "hyperactive" as a kid and I don't want either of my ds to be in the same boat:

http://www.cchrint.org/2010/08/17/us...n-their-class/
post #27 of 67
I have a son with a July birthday. He will be 5y1m when K starts for him. I have every intention of sending him on time (but am willing to assess his readiness as we get closer). Our cutoff is August 1 and I think that turning 5 before the school year starts is completely developmentally appropriate. I might have a different opinion if our cutoff was December 1.

I have a November boy who just started K last week and he was more than ready.

I am also swayed by the fact that my boys go to a Montessori school. There is far less stereotyping of boys personalities vs. girls there and the education is individualized in a way a traditional school could never accomplish. My younger son also thrives around older kids and that makes a difference in my thought process. He almost avoids kids his own age in favor of 4 and 5 year olds.
post #28 of 67
My 4.5 yr. old just started kindergarten. His preschool teacher recommended sending him early and his current school evaluated him for early entry. So far (week 2) he is doing great and loving it. Many of his classmates are 6 or almost-6, having waited an extra year, but emotionally and behaviorally he fits in fine. He is a little shorter than most although he's tall for his age. For sports we are just going to do age-based teams-- he's currently playing on a 4-5 yr. old soccer team-- so he won't be the smallest.
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
But, if I had held them back a year, my older son would turn 18 in his junior year of high school. That just seems insane to me..... I wonder what the drop out rate is going to be when all these kids are turning 18 before their senior year of high school?
I teach seniors in high school and those boys in particular who are 18 before the school year starts usually have a difficult time. The drive and work earlier and tend to be past high school by senior year. I have a son with an end of July birthday and there is no way I will hold him back until he is 6.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
My son misses the cutoff by a few weeks. He's ready for kindergarten now. He's not reading fluently, he's not writing essays, but he is ready to learn what they do in kindergarten. Indeed, he reminds me a lot of my daughter right as she was starting K at the age that he is now. I fear for the next several years of school for him. He'll be just as bored, if not more so, than my daughter has been.
You hear more about bored gifted boys acting up in class. Bored gifted girls will usually behave well no matter how poorly served they are for a while, but the boys just find ways to entertain themselves. Those ways to entertain themselves usually involve getting in trouble.
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
Here the kindy cutoff is 4 by March 1 of that year, so much younger than you all are talking about. I don't believe in early academics at all -- red shirting has nothing to do with it - I'd love to see the school age pushed back to 6 or 7 for everyone. ETA - to me, there are two different issues with this question - 1) what age *should* formal schooling start for children? and 2) is the program I want to send my kid to optimally able to support him or her at this age/stage and in the future?
I think you're talking about Jr K in Canada, not kindergarten in the US where there is only the single year.

If one doesn't wish to start any formal schooling till the child is 6 turning 7, there is no need in most states to put the child into K a year late. One can simply skip it and put the child straight into 1st grade.
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
I think one thing to look at is which group is his peer group?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jen in co View Post
Basically, everyone redshirting has allowed the schools to make K developmentally inappropriate.

.



My son is not quite five and just started K. He fits right in. He is one of the tallest kids and one of the loudest kids. He is very confident and ahead academically. There is absolutely no good reason to hold him out. He does have some behavior issues, but he has always had behavior issues and starting school at six is not going to fix it. In fact in his case it could make it worse. He can not stand younger children. There is also no doubt in my mind if I held him out he would be in the wrong grade academically.
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
I think you're talking about Jr K in Canada, not kindergarten in the US where there is only the single year.

If one doesn't wish to start any formal schooling till the child is 6 turning 7, there is no need in most states to put the child into K a year late. One can simply skip it and put the child straight into 1st grade.
No, I'm talking about kindergarten - there is no Jr K in my province - it varies from province to province. Parents can pay for preschool or go to subsidized programs if they choose, starting when the child is 36 months. K eligibility starts when a child is 4.5 -- having turned 4 in March of the same year, they can start in Sept.

I would not want to skip kindergarten. I like the transition here from 2 half days a week of preschool to 5 half days a week of kindergarten to 5 full days a week of school. Skipping K and going right to full days at the age of 6 seems abrupt. Also, in the French immersion program here, the immersion kindergarten is a necessary prerequisite. They are expected to have quite a good comfort level with French by grade one.

ETA - Everyone's child and situation is different. OP, I think you need to trust that you know what is right for your child, whatever that is
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
I would not want to skip kindergarten. I like the transition here from 2 half days a week of preschool to 5 half days a week of kindergarten to 5 full days a week of school. Skipping K and going right to full days at the age of 6 seems abrupt. Also, in the French immersion program here, the immersion kindergarten is a necessary prerequisite. They are expected to have quite a good comfort level with French by grade one.
And this is another point where people in the US need to look at their particular local district as well, and take it into consideration. Some districts have half-day kindergarten, some districts have full day kindergarten. Few people talk about "red shirting" their kids around here, and I believe it's because we don't have full day kindergarten. They still won't be going full-on into the school environment until 1st grade anyhow.
post #35 of 67
We sent our summer birthday son when he was 5. Of everyone I know whose kids are withing a month on either side of my son's b-day not one of them sent their 5 year olds. It is very very common around here to hold boys back a year if their birthday is within 6 months of the cut-off.

I don't for a minute regret sending my son when he was 5. Most of his daycare friends were 6 months older than him and were starting school when he did. He was academically advanced and I'm sure that holding him out of school for another year would have been a disaster. For a matter of fact, we have since skipped 1st grade making my son, now a 3rd grader, two full years younger than many of the boys in his class. He's thriving. This is the best school year we have had yet.

Of the friends who held their kids back a year one regrets it. The one has a child who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. She kept him out of school that extra year because of his inability to focus and his high energy making her think he wasn't quite ready for school. But now she's dealing with a child who is bored in school from being ahead due to being older plus has ADHD. The unchallenged work makes difficulties focusing even more difficult.

The other friend held her son out for a year as well. Her son had a really really hard time making friends and negotiating the social atmosphere of kindergarten and an extra year of age didn't help at all. It may even have made him seem just not quite in step with everyone else.

Overall I'm not a big fan of holding kids back a year even when it's the norm where you live. However, I firmly believe that each parent knows their kid best. You need to do what feels right for you, your child, and your family. You know you child best. Kids grow and mature very quickly so I'd personally hold off on making any decision until just a few months before school starts.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
I think one thing to look at is which group is his peer group?

As a child, I missed the cut off by 9 days. The peer group I had chosen through that point was the kids who were older than me, not the kids younger. So, from my perspective, my whole peer group went off to kindergarten without me, and I was stuck back with the "babies." This did impact me throughout elementary school--being on the more mature side, I was very impatient with the kids I was grouped with, and never formed any close friendships at my own grade level.
Same here, except I missed the cut-off by 12 days. Not only did my friends go off to kindergarten without me, but they also went off to junior high without me, and off to high school without me. Because I continued throughout school to mainly be friends with kids the grade older than me.
post #37 of 67
This is not something I will ever face due to my kids' birth months, but I am anti-redshirt. I think teachers push it--gift of time, yada, yada--because yes, it's going to be easier to get those kids to sit down and meet NCLB standards when they're older to start with. The research on redshirting, however, is extremely unconvincing--there is a slight advantage that drops off, and sometimes it's in fact a disadvantage.

I think of a 19yo high school senior and I almost get a shiver down my spine. I was 17 my senior year and when I think of who I was at 19, and imagine living at home then...It's important to think way forward, not just look at where your kid is now.
post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I think of a 19yo high school senior and I almost get a shiver down my spine. I was 17 my senior year and when I think of who I was at 19, and imagine living at home then...It's important to think way forward, not just look at where your kid is now.
Yeah, I was quite good and ready to GET OUT of my parent's house by the time I went off to college. Ready enough that I came up with ways never to go back and live there again (not even over summer). And I had an otherwise good and close relationship with my parents. I was just ready to be my own person, somewhere else.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
And this is another point where people in the US need to look at their particular local district as well, and take it into consideration. Some districts have half-day kindergarten, some districts have full day kindergarten. Few people talk about "red shirting" their kids around here, and I believe it's because we don't have full day kindergarten. They still won't be going full-on into the school environment until 1st grade anyhow.
I think this might have something to do with it. We have full day kindergarten with no options for half day. That will definitely be something I take into consideration when I make my decision next year. As of right now, my DS would have a problem with this because he naps for about an hour every afternoon.
post #40 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atobols View Post
Everything I'm reading is focused on K-5th or 6th grade and those years aren't my concern. I also have no thoughts of giving my son an edge in athletics. Honestly, I don't think he has any chance of being an athlete. We also don't have any concerns about academics, I think he could handle the academics of kindergarten now. He will be academically advanced no matter when he goes to school.

My concern is my son's social maturity level in his teen years and if he will be ready for the things he will be facing, most especially when he goes away for college. My other concern is about differences in gender. For instance, I believe there is a big difference in the average maturity level of 5 year old girls vs. boys. DS always seems to identify with the kids that are younger than him, especially if they are girls.

For me, it's all about his social maturity now and in years to become. If I do what's best for him there, it might cause other issues because of his academic levels being vastly different from his classmates. In a school district where the average graduating class is 65, that could be a problem.

Sometimes being a parent is so tough


The general theme I'm feeling is that no one thinks a ("normal") kid at 19 should still be in high school (with which I agree, btw) and that "red-shirting" a kid before kindy will result in that.

But, my son, if we were to "red-shirt" him (send him at 6) would mean 1) he would turn 6 a week or 2 (at most) before his first day of kindy and 2) he would turn 18 a week or 2 (at most) before the first day of his senior yr. If my son's bday were in, say March or even probably June, I would likely not even be having this "conversation". But, it's not. His bday is in August.

I fully agree with a pp who mentioned that there is a definite difference between boys and girls as far as school readiness / maturity / whatever you want to call it. For the pp who said her son is "confident" and ready, I just wish my son was like that. His personality is introverted and it takes him a lot of "practice" at something (including socializing) before he begins to have ANY confidence with it. I am hoping very much that this yr of preK will be enough "practice" for him socializing, doing "school" stuff and all of that that he will feel confident enough to feel ready for kindy.... but I also know that, given his personality, it may take another year for that to happen!

I suppose that I don't think there is necessarily a "right or wrong" answer to this, but I do agree that schools should perhaps have some kind of "window" as pp mentioned and I especially like the idea of one pp of changing the school start cutoff from Sept to May (then all summer bdays would be the next yr) or something like that. But, until then, it is up to me as Mom to do what I feel is right for my son. (oh, and fwiw, ds2 has an april bday and there is no way I would consider holding him back. he'll be 5 y 5 m when he starts kindy AND has had his big brother to follow around all this time - he gets along better with "older" peers).
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