School deleaying - "redshirting". - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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All of the sudden we realized that we really don't believe that our 4.5 daughter is ready to go to school next fall. It is not that she would not make it but being practically July baby she would end up being smallest kid in the class and when we look at the differences in physical and fine motor skills between her and the kids that would be with her in the class that are from the year before.. cutt off date sept 1st.. so all those from sept to dec of previous year to her birth..

I have stumble upon some article about delaying schooling and it just made my jaw to drop.
Now we really are reconsidering senidng our LO this year.

If you did dealy what did you tell everyone around you..

Everybody is asking about my LO age and then ..oh so she is going to school in the fall?..

and what do I answer? what do you answer? or what did you answer..

did you honestly admitt that you deleyed the school or not?

was your child shy being older in the class or was he or she subject to
some radiculing because of that?

I know that there is tons of developmental things to achieve by delaying
but I am now wondering about any social-emotional price to pay.

How people in general react to this? Do they feel about peopel who do it as weirdos?

do those who do it openly admitt or just lie?
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#2 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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We delayed. Late summer b-day, so either going to be the oldest or youngest. Also gifted. We still delayed, and had a glorious year basically unschooling.I treasure that time. I did receive criticism, and I have experienced a lot of negativity here on MDC about delaying. But, in the end, it was the right thing to do at that time.

Do what works for your child and ignore those who might criticize you.
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#3 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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I'm not sure the homeschooling forum will get you very good answers on this topic, learning at school will get you people with more experience.

My feeling is that if she's not ready, no point sending her. As long as you're prepared to deal with any future adjustments that may be needed, you'll be fine. The only concern I would have is if you think she might later be bored. I know my daughter wasn't ready for K at the beginning of this year, but first grade would be a better fit for her next year.

Luckily, as homeschoolers it doesn't matter, but you might consider whether it might be a challenge you're likely to face.

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#4 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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I just say, "we homeschool." End of story!

ETA: Oops, are you actually talking about sending her away to school? You're in the wrong forum for that. sorry!

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#5 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 03:01 AM
 
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Some probably benefit. Most probably aren't harmed. Brighter kids may end up being hurt academically, as their intellectual development may surpass that of their classmates even without formal instruction, and lack of challenge doesn't tend to be academically helpful in the long run.

I think delaying entry into K is much more emotionally healthy than holding a kid back later, so if your gut feeling is that this is something that is going to be a struggle long term, it's worth looking into.

If she currently goes to preschool, what do her teachers think about her readiness? Have you talked to a K teacher or counselor at the future school to see what they think?

(And I agree, this probably isn't the most appropriate forum )

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#6 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 05:34 AM
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#7 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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Not sure if this is the same....i'm in the UK and our "cut off" is February, DD's birthday is April, so if i'd made a request she could probably have gone this year aged 4 years and 4months, and since i didn't she will go next year, aged 5years and 4months.

My DD is not currently in pre-school of any kind. Some factors in that have been that we moved house 3 times in the last 18months (and thus were never close enough to the same pre-school for her to go and settle in), she and i actually enjoy being at home together and though she loves spending time with other people she knows, she actually copes poorly with being in a big group with unfamiliars and without me. Finally, we are having her first sibling this year and i am uncomfortable with that change coming right before the bye-bye-off-to-nursery/school change, which would be only a few months later.

Because DD is bright (not sure about "gifted" at this stage) and way ahead in many ways (knows all her letters, numbers, can do simple addition and subtraction, can read a little, has a lot of general knowledge - all from us chatting and doing magazine quizzes! Nothing formal going on here) i have gotten a lot of comments about sending her this year and not next. People have told me she'll "waste" just sitting at home with me (as i type she's in the hall building a little staircase onto the bottom step of the big staircase for her toy duck to go up....we don't waste here! lol) but i really think there is a big nonsensical rush in our culture to get kids out and into the world ASAP, regardless of the child's, or the world's, readiness for that.

I was head girl in my final year at school, and the head boy had been kept back a year (which meant he was 18 just before the school year began instead of at the end of it) and honestly i think it had made his schooling life more fun and less stressful for him - we all went off to uni afterwards and he did great. I asked him about it a few times (in the way of young adults - awkwardly as in "did you get held back?") and his mother was a teacher who felt he just wasn't ready at nearly 5 so she sent him at nearly 6 instead. In scotland the law only requires you start schooling at 6, so it's no biggie from that POV, only in the sense that most other kids are 4.5-5 when they start.

I have a close friend whose son was struggling in his peer group at nursery and she decided to hold him back a year (his birthday is January so he'd have been either youngest or oldest) and he's flourishing now he's with a slightly younger peer group.

So much depends on the kid and the school, but i would say it's ok to trust your gut and not worry too much about potential comments - people comment on everything anyway. When he's 25 i seriously doubt there will be anything about him you can "blame" on when he began schooling in the academic sense.
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#8 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 09:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
We delayed. Late summer b-day, so either going to be the oldest or youngest. Also gifted. We still delayed, and had a glorious year basically unschooling.I treasure that time. I did receive criticism, and I have experienced a lot of negativity here on MDC about delaying. But, in the end, it was the right thing to do at that time.

Do what works for your child and ignore those who might criticize you.
That is us, except my ds has a fall birthday with a December cut off date. I could care less what anyone else thinks, he is my son and I did what was best for *him* not me, or anyone else. Also, around here, it is common for fall b-days to do a developmental kindergarten, then regular kindergarten. We are/did not do DK, and he will try out regular K this coming fall.

You know, I am always curious why people don't get flack for sending their children early...to me that[I is something to think about. Oh, and where are the studies that compare states that start Kindergarten with all kids at least age 5, versus those that start kids at 4? I find it interesting that people are so negatively vocal about a parent choosing to wait unti their child is ready. Who am I to say when your child is ready...only you can know that!

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#9 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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My kids are middle school so my perspective is based on that. It really is easiest for the kids who are in their right grade, and by just going with the cut-off, you are guarenteed that your child will NOT be the oldest or the youngest. So many parents feel that their child needs to either be bumped up or held back that the range of ages is quite silly. In my DD's 6th grade classroom, the ages range from 10 to 13. Most the kids are 11 or 12 and life seems to roll the smoothest for those in the middle.

Girls mature earlier than boys, and deciding to hold a girl back *could* make the difficult adolesent years even more difficult.

But I think the biggest problem with redshirting is that it can mask mild special needs. If your child's development if off what their peers are doing, it may be a sign that something is slightly wrong. Holding them back from school may not help the problem go away at all, they just end up older and bigger than every one else, delaying a year of intervention, and still stuggling with the same issues.

Quote:
do those who do it openly admitt or just lie?
At some point, your DD will have to explain to her peers why she isn't in the right grade. If you can't work out how to tell other people, why put her in that position as a child?

She won't have the option of lying because all the kids know how old the others are.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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This is a strange topic for me cause I had two very bright, winter born children. I did live in a metropolitan area where red-shirting was the norm for white, wealthy kids. Honestly, I thought it was tough to take with all those "big" kids in the first grade and kindergarten classes. But each and every one of those parents believed that their kids needed the extra year at home or preschool. As an observer though, I can tell you these kids are the class leaders and the class bullies.

Good luck in your decision making.
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#11 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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wow. I agree with several pp that you have to do what feels right to you. Personally I teach at home. I do not think it sends the right message to very young children that they are 'supposed' to be separated from their parents. In our state the age for compulsory attendance is 8. I don't think it is ever an issue about how old a child is in what grade. I was the youngest in my early school years, but then ended up being the oldest due to truancy problems in middle school. No one ever made a deal about who was what age. Except the football guy that was 3 years older due to failing grades... Keep the child home and explore unschooling or homeschooling if you feel you need to 'do' something. I guess I just don't understand any adults saying anything since I do not have a social circle. But when I did I was already odd one out due to breastfeeding, no vax and belief in attachment parenting, so really I wouldn't let anyone else's opinion be a factor (even mine in reference to you). If your mommy gut says don't, then don't. I do not believe feeling your child is not ready equates to a child having a learning disability as was previously mentioned. I do not think children are emotionally ready for separation from parents until much later than 5. that is my opinion.

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#12 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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My neighbors did this with their very tall boy. He made the Aug 1st cut-off by days but they just said he would start the next year. My only reaction was cool - he'll be the same year as my DD. I don't think it's a big deal and not much explanation is needed.

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#13 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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I hadn't even thought of adolescence being a potentially awkward issue for OP's dd -- isn't it odd, 'earlier' development of adolescence for a boy (per his peers) is considered a bonus, but not for a girl? Although I agree that's the case in our culture, it sure seems sad.

My aunt put her oldest son in school 'on schedule' (he was a July birthday, cut-off was late August). He struggled, and was held back in the second grade. Frankly IMO his whole life has been impacted by being in school before he was really ready; she felt that he wasn't ready at the time, but had a lot of pressure to put him in (he was her oldest, too, so I think she was less certain about bucking the status quo). She held her second son back a year, even though he was a March birthday I believe. And she and he are both happy about that and feel that it worked out well. She said he just wasn't 'ready,' to sit down and focus and do all the 'school' tasks.

I'm glad both my girls have early fall birthdays - they don't meet the cut-off, they will naturally be the 'oldest' in their classes (we homeschool right now, but if/when they are in a brick and mortar school - certainly by college). I've always hoped that means that they will be a little more emotionally mature than their classmates, a little more able to insulate and negotiate some of the pressures and decisions of the social structures of school.

Finland doesn't start school 'til kids are 7 years old (formally). Yet they are top of the world for test scores/achievement by their students. SO -- personally I feel that there's no rush to get a kiddo into a school setting. You can unschool at home for a year (go ahead and tell people you're homeschooling if you are feeling a lot of pressure). I think that, with the possible exception of foreign language, an attentive parent can help a kid learn at home for the basics that they need before they start formal school -- alphabet, phonics, numbers/math, some very cool science and history things just as a matter of course - art, music. There is a lot of research which shows the facility of starting a foreign language before or at Kindergarten age - but since that's really rare in most American public schools, it's not like your dd would be missing out on that. I have a friend whose boys are in a German immersion school since Preschool, but I think that's an exception, those sorts of opportunities are unlikely.

The reaction that people have tended to have to Ina being essentially an "old" kindergartener have been:
1. Oh, she's so bright, you should challenge in! [My response: I like spending time with her, she's learning at home too, and one more year to be a kid before she has to be stuck in school all the time, seems to me like a wonderful bonus for her!]

2. Well, they'll figure out the emotional maturity thing - it just takes a few years to catch up. [This from my sister, whose daughter barely made the *next* year's cut-off for K, but enrolled her anyway. Her daughter is actually pretty advanced, even emotionally, for her age. So maybe it's true. But I've seen a lot of kids who certainly could grasp and handle the intellectual aspects of school, but emotionally still needed to grow a bit. It's OK to value your kid's emotional life as much as their intellectual growth.]

3. Oh, I don't want to have to pay for another year of daycare/preschool! [My response - well, I am an at-home parent, so that's not an issue for us. I sympathize with you about how much that costs, though!]

Basically, I try to make it "all about our family" and our own decision and completely independent of the decisions the other person has made. That has been more difficult with my sister, since her dd's almost a year younger than dd1, and since she's chosen the opposite approach (push into school rather than enjoy another year off, and public school vs. our at-home schooling).

So far, quite a few people have been supportive -- Oh, that's wonderful that you get another year with her! I got an extra year with one of mine, also a fall baby, and it was so nice to have -- those sorts of responses. Very few have been judgmental about it (it probably helped that we were on the other side of the cut-off).

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#14 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 01:23 PM
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My oldest son doesn't have a late birthday; in fact, he has an early birthday, January in a state with a Dec. 1 cut-off. We chose to keep him home his kindergarten year when he was 5.5. He was not ready for school yet and benefited from an extra year at home. We did some minor academics-- maybe half an hour a day of phonics and math. However, rather than sending him to kindergarten at 6.5, we put him straight into 1st grade and he's thriving there now.

My youngest son tested into early K this fall and will be 4 yrs., 7 mos. when school starts. The cut-off is Oct. 1 so the next-youngest child will be 3 mos. older than him (and that's unlikely, due to redshirting and the admission policies at this particular school-- probably every other kid will be 5 already). He is gifted and mature for his age and I don't have any real concerns about his age, other than worrying that he might get picked on simply for being the only 4 yr. old in a class of 5 and 6 yr. olds.

I believe in children being treated as dynamic individuals. You'll know, in August/September, if your daughter is ready or not. But if you decide to keep her home this year, that doesn't mean she won't be ready for 1st grade next year. It's too early to decide, when she's 4, to put her in kindergarten at 6.
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#15 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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My birthday is August 17 and so this is just based on my personal experience. It was really hard always being the youngest one in my class. I always felt a beat behind, socially, and I never really felt like I fit in. I was often friends either with people younger or older than me, but rarely had friends in my own age group. My parents had a choice to hold me back or put me in, but I had taught myself to read so they felt like they had to enroll me. My dad still to this day says he wishes he hadn't.

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#16 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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I started Kindergarten a year late myself, and honestly, it was never a big deal. I was older than a lot of my classmates, but there were also plenty of other kids who had early birthdays or were held back for whatever reason who were also a year older. It meant I turned 18 right before my senior year. I don't see why I would have preferred being a grade ahead, come to think about it. Physically, I wasn't taller or more developed than most of the other kids - you'll have extremes on both sides, and I would say I fit right in, if that makes sense. There are 9 yr olds that start puberty, and there are 14 yr olds who have just began - so from that point, I wasn't any different.

I don't know why outsiders or family member/friends would care, either way. It's not a big deal to me if a barely turned 5 yr old starts kindergarten, or waits until they are 6 to begin. Heck, my oldest didn't even go to kindy as we were homeschooling then. So, she was really late starting school.

My kids all have feb/march birthdays, so they are actually in the younger age group among their peers - I guess. They had friends who turned a year older closer to the beginning of the school year, but they have classmates who have yet to have a birthday and the school year is almost over.

Really, I would do whatever you feel is best for your child - and not worry about what anyone else thinks. I don't know that there is really a right or wrong answer - either way it will work out just fine.

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#17 of 97 Old 04-27-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I was the youngest (sept 30 with an Oct 1st cut off) and then we moved when I was in 4th grade to a state with an Sept 1st cut off so I was even younger. I was also the TALLEST (until 7th grade when I was 5'8") and ahead academically and was "skipped" in certain subjects (math, science, in fact when I was in Jr High I took chemistry at the high school with seniors). I also "matured" sooner than most of my peers, starting my period at 9 and in the 4th grade.

So there is no way to predict what's going to happen based on birthdate.

In the state I'm in now, K is not required, so some folks send their kids to "pre-schools" that do K (but may not be accredited for K) and then decide if they want their kid to do K again or go straight into 1st.
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#18 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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In my dd9's 4th grade classroom, the age ranges go from dd (who turned 9 1.5 months after 4th grade started) to 11. The 11 y/o started K at 6.5 while dd started a month before her 5th bd. No one seems to care about age at this point, honestly. My dd is probably the shortest but she's just going to be a short adult too unless something drastic changes in the next few years.

I wouldn't expect that you will receive a lot of negative reactions to holding her out unless your community is very different from those in which we have lived. It doesn't seem uncommon and I do believe that it is less common for the younger kids to start "on time" in many communities due to parents believing that it generally confers an academic or social advantage. Research does not support that advantage, but each child is an individual.

Does your dd attend preschool and can you solicit input from the teachers there, if so, as to how they believe she is performing socially and academically in comparison to her peers? Could you speak with the potential K teachers to see what they think? That might help you ascertain whether your concerns about starting her in the fall are reasonable.

eta: You know your child best. I did want to say, though, b/c so many other people are posting about having wished that they hadn't been the youngest, that I never felt that way. I have a fall bd and was on the young end for grade as well (started K shortly before my 5th bd). I never wished that my parents had waited to start me and never felt out of place being younger. I think that personality and a lot of other factors play into whether being older or younger works for an individual child and it is sometimes easy to assume that our problems, social or other, are related to something that may not be the cause at all. We can only live our lives once so there is no way of knowing if any of us would have been better off, worse off, or about the same if we had been older or younger for grade.
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#19 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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I was a late-August baby and wish my parents had waited anotheIt r year to send me to K. I was commonly the youngest/smallest kid in class growing up. Being a shy, anxious, self-conscious kid, this was particularly hard.

With my own family, we usually homeschool but we tried school one year and I put my ds1 in public K at 6.5. He turned 7 that Feb. and was one of 8 kids who were 7 before the year was out. Half the remaining kids were 6 before the second semester. The teacher said it's becoming more and more common to wait till kids are 6/7 to start K.

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#20 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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Know your kid and know your school. My friends around the country were all surprised that our DS started KG at 4 with a Dec birthday, but that is the norm in Connecticut. He's physically large and capable and academically advanced. He's now in first grade and kind of bored so I'm really glad we didn't start him late. Most kids here start based on the cut-off for CT so they are all somewhat younger than elsewhere in the US. The teachers and schools know this.

My brother started his DD on time but she was one of the youngest and really struggled. They pulled her mid-year and she did KG again in a different school. She's now doing great. My brother himself was a late fall birthday, started on time and was held back in 4th grade. While this annoyed him, he turned out completely fine. I expect his daughter will as well, with a kind of a false start, as will our son with his on-time start, but being quite young.

My DH and I were both the youngest in our grades and it was fine for both of us. My DH tended to be a bit of a crybaby, but as he says of himself, he was that way until at least 3rd grade and they certainly weren't going to wait that long for him to start school. I was a bit geeky and awkward, but that wasn't going to change either.

I guess I have two take-away messages. First, don't worry so much about what other people will say. There is going to be more variation than you might think. And second, this isn't the kind of thing that you make a mistake now and there's no correcting it ever.
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#21 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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We homeschool now, but my 4.5 year old will be school aged for the fall. The cut off is the begining of December, and he has a September 30th birthday. He's tiny, has a speech delay, would still be four at the begining of the school year, and seems to be a bit behind socially and with his fine motor skills. If we were doing public school, I would definitely wait for him for another year. However, my oldest son missed the kindy cut off by about 6 weeks, and I really wish he had been able to go. By the time the next year rolled around, he was bored and eventually he skipped a grade. I think waiting that extra year made school much more challenging and difficult. My dd has a June bday, and while she didn't go to kindergarten at all, I can't imagine having held her back an extra year if we were going the school route. So, I guess my answer is that it really depends very heavily on your individual child. Both of my older kids were very independant at a very young age and very academic minded, while my youngest is much more clingy and emotionally volatile.
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#22 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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My daughter has a early Aug birthday the cutoff around here is sometime in December. She struggled through K and is struggling in 1st grade but 4 months into the school year the teachers agreed there was something going on and by Jan/Feb she was evaluated by the school district. For her holding her back wouldn't have done much good she still would have struggled in school. Since they cant officially diagnose she was suggested to have ADHD Inattentive Type, auditory processing deficit, speech and language impairment.
My son has a May birthday and we will not be holding him back either
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#23 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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My dd's birthday is June 26 with a Sept 1 cut off. I've never considered holding her back; nothing implied it was necessary.

My state doesn't have universal preschool and I was planning on keeping her home until K. But she is dying to go to school, and on days that I stay to deal with ds' discipline issues she cries for an hour when we leave; so I am looking into sending her to a private pre-k because it is what she wants. She would drop me like a hot potato to go to school.

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#24 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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We homeschool now, but my 4.5 year old will be school aged for the fall. The cut off is the begining of December, and he has a September 30th birthday. He's tiny, has a speech delay, would still be four at the begining of the school year, and seems to be a bit behind socially and with his fine motor skills. .... while my youngest is much more clingy and emotionally volatile.
I've bolded that red flags for some sort of special needs/developmental issue. You might want to bring this up with your doctor and request and evaluation if you haven't already.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I've bolded that red flags for some sort of special needs/developmental issue. You might want to bring this up with your doctor and request and evaluation if you haven't already.
Thanks Linda. Yes, we're working on getting a school district eval - specifically for speech, but there are other concerns as well.
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#26 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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A lot can change with kids in 4 months, how soon do you have to decide if she's going this year or not? If she asked you about going to K, say mid way through September, could you get her in late?

Go ahead and plan to send her next year, but be open to it working out for her to go this year.

ETA: I went a bit early (Sept 1 cut off, Sept 28 birthday) because I asked to go and I enjoyed it. Looking back, being the youngest kept me closer to level and made it easier to fit in. (I was one of the few kids in elementary school with parents who read for fun.)
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#27 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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I would concentrate on what's best for your dd - not what might seem best to the neighbors. There is a boy in our neighborhood who is 2 months older than my twin sons, and they started K just as they turned 5 (made the cutoff by 2 days), while the older neighbor boy waited a year. There was no way he was ready for kindergarten at 5, but a year later, he had matured a LOT, and has thrived ever since.

Another neighbor started her daughter according to the cutoff (she was probably among the youngest in her class, I don't remember her birthday), and she struggled so much in first grade that they moved her to a different school and had her repeat 1st. It was a fabulous solution for her, and didn't struggle in school again. She just plain wasn't ready yet.

A friend of mine has a dd who was born 2 weeks after the cutoff, so she is one of the oldest in her grade. Her parent could have petitioned for her to start early, but they felt waiting a year was in her best interest - not so much at 5/6, because she was VERY ready for K at 5, but their concern was with her being the youngest girl in her grade in middle school.

Bottom line - every kid is different, and what works really well for one child would be a nightmare for another. You know your child best.

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#28 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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BTW, I think the term "redshirting" in this case applies to parents who hold their kids back so that they will be bigger and stronger to play sports in school.

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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#29 of 97 Old 04-28-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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My birthday is August 17 and so this is just based on my personal experience. It was really hard always being the youngest one in my class. I always felt a beat behind, socially, and I never really felt like I fit in. I was often friends either with people younger or older than me, but rarely had friends in my own age group. My parents had a choice to hold me back or put me in, but I had taught myself to read so they felt like they had to enroll me. My dad still to this day says he wishes he hadn't.
I had the exact same experience, Aug 13th B-day! I was always the "baby" tagging along, from elem to high school, it was always the same, it was very difficult in high school being the youngest. I ended up being exposed and doing things that I certainly should not of been doing at barely 14 years of age. This is always what I tell parents, just don't think about your child right now but in ten years.

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#30 of 97 Old 04-29-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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Oh! I should add that I went to an IB/International studies magnet high school (kids got accepted there based on the international studies program and then could choose to enter the IB program in their Jr year). So that stacked the deck towards lots of geeky kids who weren't into the cliquey popularity stuff that can make it hard to be the youngest.
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