any long-term damage being the youngest in preschool? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-23-2004, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm having a pre-school dilemma... it's sign-up time for Sept and pre-schools are really competitive around here, I need to get my act together!

My dd's b'day is 12-24-00, the cut-off for the school year in NY is Dec 1. So when she goes to school, she'll be among the oldest. But now she's just 3, and she's in pre-school, and I'm trying to figure out what to do. She's currently in a 3's class (ie ahead of her strict school year) and doing great, she can do everything, participates, is happy and well-adjusted as far as I can see. She's somewhat advanced in her language and things like puzzles, matching games, is getting into spelling etc.. so it makes sense right now for her to be in with the older kids I think. The question is when should she repeat? Because I do think she should be in the proper class in school, I was always the youngest kid and suffered socially, also the NY date is quite late compared to the rest of the nation.

One of my friends is all full of doom and gloom about what will happen if I put her in the 4's class in Sept (with the intention of her doing a half-day pre-school-based kindy the next year, and then public school full-day kindy the year after). She'll find it really hard, be put off school, be stressed, all the 'real' 4's will be way ahead of her etc. Do any of you have any experience that you could share to help me out with this? I just don't want my kid to be bored... she gets really annoying when she's bored! :-)

thanks -

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#2 of 7 Old 01-23-2004, 11:08 PM
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Hi there. Dec 1 is a really late cut off date, as you said. The trend around here is move all the cut offs to Sept1 because families were moving around looking for cut off dates they liked better. So, you may even see that cut off date change by the time she is 5. I think it depends on her maturity level and temperament as opposed to her age. It is hard to tell now what she will be like when it is time for k-garten. Would it make sense to send her with the 4's next year, but then if she doesn't seem ready for k-garten, repeat a year of preschool? Her teachers would be able to help make this judgment too during her preschool (4) year.

I don't know if that is helpful. I just know kids change a lot from year to year, more than we expect them to.


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#3 of 7 Old 01-25-2004, 04:13 PM
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First, can you find out what the composition of the 4s class will be next year? If you found out they were all on the older end (ie birthdays early in the year) maybe keep her back. That said, unless it is a very big academic jump that you haven't mentioned, if she is doing well ahead right now why would you expect it to change. Since she will always be the oldest (since you plan on sending her at her correct "age"), it might be a good idea for her to have the experience of being the youngest.

Good luck,



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#4 of 7 Old 01-27-2004, 10:55 PM
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My dd is one of the youngest in her class, and when I was enrolling her in K, I had unsolicited advice from a few people to hold her back.

I don't get it. If she were immature, or otherwise not ready, I could see it. But she wasn't at all. She's in first grade now and doing extraordinarily well, and is perfectly well adjusted.

Somebody in the class is going to have to be the youngest. If we all decide it can't be our kid, children will be 18 before they are enrolled in K.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-30-2004, 10:51 AM
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Hi -- Just wanted to offer my 2 cents.

I was a Novemeber birthdate and the youngest in my class every year of my life. By the time I had dropped out of college afte failing too many courses, I realized that perhaps I wasn't mature enough to handle the workload. I had always felt that way -- like an extra year would have been a major advantage for me.

My mother said all along that she regretted sending me to school when she should've held me home one more year. I struggled with schoolwork my entire life, and more due to my social immaturity than my intelligence level.

I just wanted to tell you my stiry, hoping it helps
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#6 of 7 Old 01-30-2004, 11:10 AM
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My dd turned three on Sept 27th and the cut-off date around here is Sept. 1st. She is younger than some children by a year.

Nursery school has been a wonderful experience for her! I like that she plays with children of all ages. My ideal would be a multi-aged classroom woth children ages 3 to 5 all playing together.

Anyway, dd is thriving and doing quite well with her friends and teachers.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-31-2004, 05:35 PM
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Both my sons are among the youngest in their respective classes, one is in K and one is in 3's preschool. They both were both totally ready for preschool, my oldest was so ready that he skipped the two day a week 3's and went right to the 3 day a week 4's which he did for two years. He LOVED it. He still loves K.

I would say that it totally depends on your dd. If you are putting her in a different school for the 4's repeat I doubt that she will be bored. First of all it will be all day and second not many schools do exactly the same activities. I honestly think that she will be fine if you feel she is ready, go with your gut mama!

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
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