I think I am coming late to this party! The posts were interesting to me since I delayed 2 of my 3 kids.
I would like to see positive examples of starting a 4 year old in Kindergarten. I read a lot of posts where redshirting was not a positive to other kids. But give me an example of a July 25th birthday boy starting school on August 2nd from a positive point of view. Seriously.
I held my son back and my daughter.
My daughter's birthday is August 23rd and she actually started school as a 4 year old. She was 4 and going to school for 8 hours! After school started we discovered that she was hearing impaired and held her back in Kindergarten for another year. It was without a doubt the best thing I have ever done. She wasn't a bully. Rather she resisted being bullied by other girls because she was more mature. She wasn't bigger than everyone. She actually was on the smaller side. Imagine if she had been a year ahead.
When my son started - it was obvious that if delaying or repeating kindergarten had benefitted our dd so much - it obviously would benefit my ds who had a late summer birthday. He is now 14 and in the 8th grade. He's 5 ft 2 and not even 100 lbs.
I know I sound snarky, but I would appreciate it if the previous posters would make decisions for their kids and stop judging me for the decision I made in reference to my children. Not just because they are my kids, but because you are wrong. My kids aren't bigger than everyone and they certainly aren't bullies.
Thank you kathymuggle for once again being the voice of reason and continually posting that it is up to the parent.
I don't have boys so I can't address an example of a younger boy starting K, but I do have two younger girls who started. The oldest has an August 29th bd in a district where holding younger kids out a year is very common and the cut off was 9/15 when she started. Like a pp, I won't say that what worked for her is generally right for most kids, though. She started K in early August a few weeks before her 5th bd. She also skipped a grade and is now a high school freshman having turned 13 a few weeks into the start of the school year. All of those decisions were absolutely the best thing for her socially and academically.
My youngest has a 9/27 bd in a district with a 9/15 cut off. We kind of snuck her around the cut off by starting her in a different district which had changed their cut off to 10/1 the year she started and then moved her to the other district. She is, thus, the youngest by quite a bit. She is also very, very small. As an 11 y/o 6th grader, she's under 60 lbs and about 4'5". On the other hand, it really wouldn't have mattered how long we waited to start her, she would always be one of the smaller people. Many of the women in our family on both sides are around 5' or somewhat shorter. The men on both sides of the family range from 5'4" to 5'10" (only one man is this tall and her dad is 5'6"). Again, I don't think that holding her out a year would have necessarily been a good choice although she is less driven than her sister and might have been okay. It's hard to say since I can only see the outcomes the way we did it. She's doing well socially and academically, though.
I certainly didn't mean to slam people who did hold their kids out a year with my one short post above. Like others, what I don't care for is the assumption that there are nothing but positives to be gained by waiting and when it becomes so prevalent that kids whose bds are near the cut are not only one year younger, but often two. My youngest, even without a grade skip, has kids who are 18+ months older than her in her grade. My oldest, with one grade skip, has kids who are nearly three years older than her in her freshman class. They are getting close to getting their drivers licenses while she was 12 at the start of the year.
I think that it is reasonable to acknowledge that there can be negative and positive consequences to either choice and that it often depends on the child. What I see too much of (and heard too much of from educators when my girls were younger) is that no one regrets holding their kid out a year and that many or most people who start younger kids do regret it. That certainly has not been our experience.