Should I put my son in class with young 4 yr olds or middle/older 4 yr olds? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 02-05-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
lkmiscnet's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My son will be 4 yr and 4 mos in the next school year. I had planned on putting him in the middle and older 4s class. However, today I was pulled aside and asked if I would consider the early 4s class as they had 13 enrolled in the middle/older 4s and maybe half that in the early 4s.


For this school year, he is in a class with middle/older 3s, 4s and even some early 5 yr olds who just missed the cut off for kindergarten and he is doing well.


My thinking is that he is better off with the middle and older 4s, esp as he will be preparing for kindergarten the following year. I have also read/heard that they learn lots of new things from older kids, even though in this case, we are talking months. But, kids can change a lot in just a few months. To me, it's kind of like if you want to become a better tennis player or whatever, you play with someone "better" than you.


What would you do?

lkmiscnet is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 04:20 AM
Skippy918's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I too, had the same options last year. I decided to put him with the middle/older 4s since this class would all be going to K the following year. He has a late summer birthday. He's halfway through and doing great and learning so much and will be ready for K in the fall.

Ryan 08-28-08  & Julianna 5-3-11
Skippy918 is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 04:35 AM
Red Pajama's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: climbing a mountain of laundry
Posts: 1,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

If you are set in sending him to kindergarten with that same group of kids, I'd probably keep him with that group.


When is his birthday?

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
Red Pajama is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 06:04 AM
Neera's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,189
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

Dd seems to be right in the middle of the older and younger kids. However, I don't know if she is learning anything from the older kids. I think she is ahead in everything that's being taught (she's always bored doing her homework) so she doesn't have anything to gain from the older kids.

Cheerfulness enables us to remember no problem lasts forever ~ Unknown
Neera is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 06:44 AM
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

All things being equal - same classroom with same resources, same teachers and support staff, same programs offered - I would probably opt for the smaller group of children. He will get more attention from the teachers. They may have more time and energy to help him explore different aspects of the program or to try different activities that are difficult with a larger group of children. There will be less competition for resources in the classroom. Also, there may be some benefits to being one of the older children in a classroom. If he is one of the more mature children, not just age-wise but emotionally and socially, it will be an opportunity for him to develop and use some leadership skills. That will promote his self-confidence. 


You'll find lots of support for either side of the argument about being the oldest vs. the youngest in the early years of school. For many years, being the oldest seemed to be favoured. Redshirting became a popular phenomenon. There's been a predictable backlash. In the past couple of years, the pendulum has been swinging back. Now you read lots of good things about being the youngest. I'd take it all with a grain of salt. 


Honestly, I think it's more important to look at the whole learning environment and consider the entire individual child when making the decision. Generally, I'm a little skeptical about how much difference a few months' age makes in a classroom. At that age, individual development and maturity vary so widely. You can have quite mature 3 y.o's and very immature 5 yo.'s. It's also not unusual for children to demonstrate asynchronous development where they may be advanced in some areas but not in others. Personally, I prefer multi-age classrooms where students have a wide range of ages but again, I would consider lots of factors, not just age, in making a choice.


Best wishes with the decision.  

Neera likes this.
ollyoxenfree is offline  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off