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Mamas of boys, at what age did you place your ds in kindergarten?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hi there,


My ds just turned 4 in Dec. Everyone keeps asking me if he is starting school next year and warning me that I better sign him up now. I have read literature stating that boys with late birthdays do tend to struggle in kindergarten and that that can lead to a negative association with school. I am a sahm and ds has always been with me. He goes to preschool twice a week for 2 hours and already that is a lot for him. Every week I have to pep talk him that he is safe and will have fun and that I will be right back to pick him up....needless to say full time kindergarten seems pretty daunting to me. I am ok with holding him back a year. WDYT?? Any moms out there with tips, advice, feedback??

post #2 of 48

Look at the School Age Guideline for being this old by this certain date because many schools say a Child has to be 5 before this certain date which usually they have to be 5 around a time in August/September .


So more likely your son would have to wait until he's almost 6 to attend kindergarten.


That's the way for my son's cousins who had birthdays in September and October.


post #3 of 48
Ds was 5 and turned 6 the next month. They must be at least 5 on or before September 30 in TN at 4yo they must go to pre K though they can go to pre K at 5yo as well since K isnt required until 6yo. Here is a link to required school ages. http://mb2.ecs.org/reports/Report.aspx?id=32 some states K isnt even required. Wish it wasnt here.


post #4 of 48

Yeah, it's going to depend on your district's cut off date.  Ours is September first, so your son would not be old enough for kindergarten next year.  He would start when he was already five and then turn six during that school year.  If your cut off date is Aug/Sept, then a December birthday is a good one, imo!

post #5 of 48
You probably won't have a choice, as it's been said, most districts have cut-off dates long before December.

My DS's have birthdays in Feb./March, so they were 5.5 when starting Kindergarten, and it worked out well.
post #6 of 48

As others have said, many places have cut off dates well before December, so your DS many not be eligible for K next year.   You school district probably has a website that will give you cut off dates and info about registering.


If your DS is eligible next year, then I would send him.  here's a very informative article on the subject.



You can also search the forum for "redshirt" or "redshirting" to see a lot more on this.

post #7 of 48

Around here it would be your choice. He would make the cutoff as long as he will be 5 by December.

It doesnt sound like he is ready

The advantage of extra time (imo) is the best way to go.

I always feel sorry for the 4 year olds in kindergarten. I was one of them and I feel that it really damaged my social life in school. I was always one step behind the other kids in understanding what was going on. I feel that 4 is still too toddlerish to have to deal with kindergarten, especially if it's a full day.

post #8 of 48

I'd probably hold him back too if it ends up being your choice.


My oldest started at 5.5 (March bday) and he's one of the youngest in his class.  There were several boys held back to repeat kindy so they're an entire year older. 


My now 4 year old will turn 5 and June and will go this fall.  I think he's ready, his preschool teacher thinks he's ready and he definitely feels like he's ready. :)  We'll see what the kindergarten screening says.

post #9 of 48

Original poster looks like she is in Canada!


Their system is different than the US and a child must be 5 by Dec31st so the  OP child is age eligible for K. I dont know if it is all day  or not, but they may also have different standards, given that a large percentage of students may still be 4 when the school year starts.


post #10 of 48

My oldest was 5.5 when he started kindergarten (January bday) and was not ready. I pulled him out after the first grading period and loosely homeschooled. He started 1st grade at 6.5 and did great. 

My second just turned 5 in December and is in all-day kindergarten. He is highly gifted and wanted to go. He does not meet the cut-off but got early admission. If anything, he'll need to skip another grade. 

So based on my kids who started at 5.5 (not ready) and 4.5 (ready), I'd just have to tell you it depends entirely on the kid. I think all-day kindergarten would be too much for most 4.5 yr. old boys. I think half-day would be okay for many 4.5 yr. olds. Some kids won't be ready at 5 or 5.5. My son's K class is mostly 6-6.5 now. 

Also, you can always try it and pull him out if it doesn't work out. 

post #11 of 48

Our cutoff for Kindergarten was 5 years old by October 1st. DS's birthday was October 3rd so he missed the cutoff. So ds was 5 years 10 months when he started Kindergarten. I think he was probably one of the oldest kids in his class, but he really needed that extra time to mature.

post #12 of 48

Yes, OP is in Canada.  As far as I know everywhere except here in Quebec it's a Dec 31 cutoff.  I don't imagine she'd be asking unless her ds was eligible for K in the fall.


OP I'm kind of having the opposite problem.  Here the cut-off is Sept 30.  Ds's b-day is Oct 3.  Dh is happy that he'll be the oldest in his class (per what you've been reading and hearing), but I'm worried that he'll be bored turning 6 at the beginning of K.  My dd is on the other end of the spectrum (youngest in the class - Sept 16 b-day), and she just turned 6 at the beginning of grade 1.  She was more than ready to do this grade level of work at this age.  I think she'd be going nuts sitting in a classroom learning K material (letter sounds, counting, etc).  That said, I do have similar concerns to you on the social level.  My ds hasn't even had the 4 hrs of preschool a wk that yours has - he's always been at home with us.  I'm not sure what kind of transition it'll be for him (dd was also never in daycare or preschool and it was a rough adjustment for the first month or so of school).  That said, I did just read somewhere that most daycare providers and preschool teachers suggest that it's actually MORE difficult for kids to go fewer than 3 half-days to school as it's just too much time away that they are constantly transitioning and never get "used" to it, iykwim.  You may find that your ds finds it even easier being at school more days a week for that reason.  Do you have the option of half-day K?

post #13 of 48

My son will be 5.5 (Feb b-day) when he starts this year.

post #14 of 48

My DS started kindergarten six weeks after his fifth birthday.  It was a hard year for him since he really wasn't ready (although he did fine in preschool.)  He's repeating kindergarten this year and it's like night and day.  He's having a great year.

post #15 of 48

Hi, fellow Canadian here,


I held my Dec 21st boy back.  I didn't put him in JK, sent him to SK when he should have been entering grade one.


So many people said that I couldn't/shouldn't hold him back.  But I knew that my son needed more time.  

The principal was thrown for a loop, but I was calm in my dealings because I knew that he was too young.  Not just because he was a boy, but because of his temperament (very very shy, emotionally immature).  I knew that the school wanted my son at their school (as they are always dealing with low enrolment and the possibility of having the school closed over the low numbers) and I knew that I could homeschool him if they insisted he start in grade one.


He is now in grade 6 and I do NOT regret my decision at all.  He does well in school, he has to work hard but he does not struggle as I knew he would if he was in his "proper" year.  Socially he does well, he is still a young 12 year old and when I see the differences physically in the 13 year old boys in his supposed grade I am so glad he is in the younger grade.


That said, I have seen other boys who are end of year babies, and they do just fine in their year. 


Red shirting (which I had never heard of prior to mothering.com discussions) seems to be when you want to give your child a leg up.  There's a huge difference between not wanting your child to suffer through school vs be the best in their class.


Follow your instincts, you know your child the best, he might be just fine with extra support, or he may need to wait another year till he is ready. Please do not listen to those who insist you are not able to do what is best for your child.  


Best of luck with your decision,


post #16 of 48

Mine has a late October bday. Around here, the cutoff is 10/1 so he was 5 about to turn 6. I think it worked out well for him.

post #17 of 48

I tried sending ds to half day pre-k when he had just turned 4 (by a week or so) because I thought full day k would be too big of a first step.  It's really the only parenting decision I regret.  We gave it a serious go, but ended up withdrawing him and homeschooling.  Looking back, he would have had a much better chance of adjusting more easily to school if I had held him back a year.  He was intellectually ready but 5 half days a week was too much for him at 4 yo and 5 full days would certainly have been too much at 5 yo.  I'd hold your ds back in your situation.  If he was loving preschool and asking for more, I'd consider it.  But he isn't so give him more time.  An extra year can make such a huge difference.

post #18 of 48

DS will be 4.5 when he starts Junior Kindergarten - so he'll be right in the middle of the pack. I'm glad for that.


FWIW, in some school districts around here, you can't red-shirt. Or more specifically, you can hold your child out of, say, junior kindergarten because you feel they're not ready, but next year they'll go into Senior Kindergarten, not Junior. It depends on policy, and probably more likely, the principal. So you'll need to check with your intended school.

post #19 of 48

Fellow Canadian here, with a boy who has a December birthday. :)


We're in Ontario, so my son just turned 4 in December and is already IN kindergarten (JK). My partner and I had many a long talk in the months leading up to kindergarten registration as to whether we were going to have our son start at 3.5. With the move to all-day, every day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds in Ontario, we decided that if our school was on the list for all-day, every day kindergarten for 2010, we'd hold him back. In the end, our school is only moving to all-day, every day kindergarten in Sept 2011, so we did register him.


Our son's school is on an all-day, alternate day schedule for kindergarten this year. He goes 8:30am to 3pm Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday. Was it a difficult transition for him? Honestly, yes. We had decided prior to the start of the school year that we were going to give it an honest try and that if he was still having difficulties come Christmas, we'd pull him out for the rest of the year and have him go into SK this fall. September and October were tough, but come November and December, he has really been loving it. He is the youngest in his class, and it does show some in his maturity level (though there are older kids who have many of the same issues), but he is ahead academically and more on-par with those in the SK section of his JK/SK split.


You know your child best. If I were you, I would see if you can tour the school/attend kindergarten orientation and see how the school works. If you get a good vibe and think it would be a good fir for your son, it wouldn't hurt to try. You can always withdraw him if you see it isn't working, but you might be pleasantly surprised at how he adapts. I know that we were.

post #20 of 48

In Canada it can vary by province, but also school district. Our district had a Feb 28th cut off, so all chidlren would be 4.5 to 5.5 when they enter in sept, but most people that I know with Jan and Feb births waited until the folowing year. We waited with our son ( Jan birth)so he was 5.5, there were a lot of boys in his class that turned 6 that Jan. A few turned 5 in nov and dec. Not sorry at all we waited the extra year. Most people I talked to (before we made the decision) waited with jan and feb births, and the 2 moms I new who didnt', regretted it. ( one by the end of grade 1, one with an older son grade 3/4). I think my child is doing much better being one of the oldest in the class, rather than one of the youngest, and in some kids more than a year younger. I also have a march birthdya so he can't enter until 5.5, so I thought it would be unfair to start 1 child at 4.5 and 1 at 5.5,making them 3 years apart in school, when they are only 2 year and 5 weeks apart in age.

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