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<p>DS1 is 5 w/ a June b'day. We live in an area where it's the norm to hold back boys w/ summer b'days.  At preschool last year, all his teachers were unanimous that he was ready for k, don't hold him back. At the school interview, same reaction. Now several months into the year, he's never had a discipline problem, he's made friends, he says he likes school.</p>
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<p>Here's my problem: by the end of the year, he's going to be the only 5 y/o, and not just by June, but by Mar/April--people here will hold back boys w/ May b'days. My DS is intelligent and mature for his age, but his age is 5, not 6. I'm really starting to notice that his schoolmates--like our next door neighbor who was held back and is a full year older--are more mature. More mature speech, likes/dislikes, and appearance. Now I'm totally second-guessing myself about not holding him back. Anywhere else this wouldn't even be an issue--he IS ready for kindergarten, I just don't think he's ready to be 6, and w/ 6 year olds who've already had a year of "transitional" kindergarten, which is basically full time private K.</p>
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<p>So now what do I do? His teacher says he's doing great. That I'm even considering holding him back is such a perversion of the system, because I'd only be doing it for a perceived social advantage, but by NOT doing it I feel like I'll be doing him a disadvantage. The school won't hold him back--he's doing great. In fact, I fear that if I make him repeat kinder, he'll be bored out of his mind. (Of course half his work is 1st grade work, b/c of the 6 y/os who've already passed K, but that's another issue.) DH would like to move closer to his work, and I'm now thinking about doing so and starting DS over in another school as a kinder kid. Again, not because he's not doing well, but b/c I hate that he's competing w/ kids a year older. He's started saying that he's "stupid" about certain things, talks about how other boys can do certain things--yeah, of course, DS, this is their second year of kinder!!</p>
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<p>Sorry for this rambling book. I'm so conflicted about this and would love any advice or insight.</p>
 

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<p>We experienced the older kids in my ds's class when he went to kindergarten.  I was frustrated because his bday is at the end of March, but some of the kids in March were even held back by parents to get the advantage.  Even though this is frustrating, I would not hold my kid back.</p>
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<p>Holding a kid back is very tough and schools rarely recommend it even when there is academic need.  Back when I took curriculum instruction classes, they were concerned with the emotional toll it takes on a kid to be held back.  I could see why the school is discouraging you.</p>
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<p>If your kid's teacher feels he is doing well, it would be unfair to hold him back to get more mature.  Maturity will happen, and there will be kids in his class that are older than him and act more immature.  There will also be students that are younger that are more mature.  </p>
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<p>I think it would be frustrating to make new friends at grade level then next year while watching friends and peers move on.  Also, academically boring.  This is just my opinion, though, so you have to choose what works for your family.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>melissa17s</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284965/5-y-o-in-kindergarten#post_16110037"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We experienced the older kids in my ds's class when he went to kindergarten.  I was frustrated because his bday is at the end of March, but some of the kids in March were even held back by parents to get the advantage.  Even though this is frustrating, I would not hold my kid back.</p>
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<p>Holding a kid back is very tough and schools rarely recommend it even when there is academic need.  Back when I took curriculum instruction classes, they were concerned with the emotional toll it takes on a kid to be held back.  I could see why the school is discouraging you.</p>
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<p>If your kid's teacher feels he is doing well, it would be unfair to hold him back to get more mature.  Maturity will happen, and there will be kids in his class that are older than him and act more immature.  There will also be students that are younger that are more mature.  </p>
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<p>I think it would be frustrating to make new friends at grade level then next year while watching friends and peers move on.  Also, academically boring.  This is just my opinion, though, so you have to choose what works for your family.</p>
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<br><br><p>Thanks for the reply. I would only have him repeat at a different school, not the same one--we'd be moving to a new district. And I too have heard about the emotional toll of holding kids back, but I wonder if that's still true--in my district, it seems the majority of boys start late/at 6, and not because of any sort of delay. If anything, every parent I've talked to said their son WAS ready, but they "wanted to give him the advantage." If the majority of boys are intentionally being held back/starting late, is it still a negative?  I don't want to wait for my DS to be more mature for his age--he is mature for his age--I'm wanting him to be in classes w/ same age kids.</p>
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<p>I'm hopefully obsessing for nothing, it's just that when I see my 5 y/o kinder kid playing w/ the 12 month older kinder kid, I wonder how it will play out in the years to come. I feel like I've blown it by allowing him to start at 5 WHEN HE'S SUPPOSED TO!</p>
 

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<p>Are there also a lot of 6 year old girls in his class? My DD has a September birthday, but I do not plan to hold her back if she is ready (she 5 and is in K now). Would he not still be in the majority when most of the girls are not held back?</p>
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<p>Carma</p>
 

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<p>I personally would never hold my child back because of what you're perceiving as a potential social disadvantage to being appropriately aged. The way I read what you're saying is that he isn't actually having any problems. You're just trying to preempt them based on what you think may happen, and to me, that's not a good enough reason to hold back a child who is otherwise prepared.</p>
 
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<p>If you were going to hold him back, you should've done it pre-K and given him "another year with your preschool friends and teachers". Now all that's going to happen is he'll be bored with stuff he already knows (and act out), seeing his friends on the playground and having to explain to them that "my mommy didn't think I was ready for 1st grade" (and act out), he'll feel like you don't have any confidence in him (and act out), question his own sense of how well he's doing (and not bother to try, and act out).</p>
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<p>I mean, it's tough enough on kids who are actually struggling and <strong>know </strong> they need more time on the year's concepts. For a kid who has been doing great in K? You're guaranteeing that he has trouble the rest of his time in school.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<p>Good points, I can't multiquote. First, if I were to hold him back, he wouldn't be in the same school, or even the same district. As I said in my first mega-post, we will probably be moving for DH's work (to another city/school district), so he will be starting a new school w/ a new group of friends regardless. But maybe I'll luck out and this won't be an issue in another district, happy thought.</p>
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<p>Re: girls vs boys, it's the boys who are starting at 6. The girls seem to be starting when appropriate, that is, at 5.</p>
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<p>Also, re: the acting out, like I said in my first post, he's never had any discipline issues, unlike many of the other students. I wonder if it's because they're bored? Again, most of these 6 yr olds have already had preschool AND "transitional kindergarten." It's challenging for my DS, but again, he's seeing most of it for the first time!</p>
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<p>I dunno, thanks for the thoughtful replies, lots of good points to consider.</p>
 

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<p>I'd also add that he's 5 1/2. There's a lot of maturity that comes in the 6-8 months before he'll start first grade.</p>
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<p>I would never hold back a child who is academically and socially ready to move on.</p>
 
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<p>There really is no social advantage when the price is academic poverty. Yes, retaining him means DS will be older but he'll also be with kids who are JUST STARTING the material that he fully completed the year prior. What will they have in common? Almost the entire day of school is spent on academics. A full day of remedial work is not worth 40 minutes to recess/lunch time where they can throw a ball farther. Yes, you could ask for academic accomodation but that tends to be iscolating which again, counteracts the social advantage.</p>
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<p>Plus, studies show that retention is almost always a negative for children. It's only a benefit when a child has a specific problem that can be fixed prior or during the retention like a hearing loss or a workable learning disability. In other cases, the negative impact can be overwhelming.</p>
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<p>Both my kids are the youngest in their classes. DS started kindie on schedule in our area at 4 years 10 months. There were boys in his kindie class that turned SEVEN in kindergarten! Still, DS is one of the top academics in his class and does fine socially. He's not a "king pin" like a group of the more extreme red-shirted boys who are turning 12 in 5th grade but I don't WANT my kid to be one of those boys either! They tend more towards behavioral problems and bullying in our area. Mom might be happy their big boy is in the higher academic group but kid's not blinf to the fact that he's 1.5 years older than the kid sitting next to him in the same group!</p>
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<p>There are lots of options when it comes to educating your child. I wouldn't hold back a child who is clearly doing well as your child is!</p>
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<p>My kindergarten son has a late August birthday with a September 1st cut-off for school.  He is doing amazingly well.  No behavioral problems, doing well with academics and his teacher says "he's a JOY to have in class".  Yes, some kids in his class are a year older than him, but I dont' think he even notices this or cares.  Things will eventually even out and some of those red-shirted boys will be wishing they hadn't started school late.  If things are working out well, I think it's best to just let them be.  I know it's hard, but I try to just look at my own child and not worry about the other children in his class. </p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>Yes, retaining him means DS will be older but he'll also be with kids who are JUST STARTING the material that he fully completed the year prior.</div>
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<p>Think it also depends on the character of your child. My DD is very eager right now to learn new things. She was so looking forward to read and write, that I think she would become unhappy if she needed to redo K (she is in a fullday private K at our daycare now, so I can still bring all 3 kids to same building in the morning for one more year). Next year she will go to first grade in public school.</p>
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<p>We kind of have an opposite problem, about half of the private K class didn't make the age cutoff for K, so they will redo the K in the public system, my daughter is on the older side (just a few months though) even with her birthday in September. I am worried the private K is slower than public K because of that. But on the other side public K is only 3 hours a day with a very long summer vacation between K and first grade, while the daycare K is a full day and continuous in Summer, so how can it be slower?</p>
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<p>Carma</p>
 

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<p>I'm still confused by the "academic advantage" these kids have....I dont think there is any advantage.  Kids learn what they are ready to learn.  Some learn later than the norm, and some earlier.  By  2nd grade all of the kids will probably be at the exact same academic level.  Hardly justifies the risk of boring your child the next academic year.</p>
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<p>Is this really that prevelant?  I never even heard of this practice.  To me, this just makes teenage pregnancy more of a reality...older boys having sex with MUCH younger girls!  Think ahead....a boy who is 18 and a junior is dating a 15-year old sophmore....very believable in this circumstance.  To the girl, he is just one year ahead, but the boy will have so much more sexual energy and power over this girl without understanding how to temper it, because afterall, he is just one school year ahead of her.</p>
 
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<p>I wouldn't hold him back.  My oldest has a March birthday and when he started kindergarten, his class had several boys who were repeating kindy.  Even now, he's a full year younger than about half his classmates and is the youngest in his class.  He's doing really well, he's way ahead of his grade level academically and even though he is younger, he was more than ready to start kindy and I wouldn't dream of holding him back.</p>
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<p>My youngest has a June birthday and will be starting kindy next fall.  I know he's academically ready and I won't hold him back another year.  He does really well socially, but he is slow to warm up and doesn't like change so much so I know his first week or so will be rough.  But I don't think his entire personality will change if I hold him back a year.</p>
 

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<p>My kindergartner will be 5 this month. He started a year early and is 12-18 mos. younger than many of his classmates. There is only one child who is less than 6 mos. older than him. He is academically advanced and thriving socially in kindergarten. Sending him to a second year of kindergarten next year would really upset him and probably damage his self-esteem. My daughter will be 5 in July the year she starts kindergarten, and I'm sure we'll send her on time. My oldest is old for his grade although he started on time, and he's fine, too. There is at least a 12 month span in every grade and usually more, and someone will be the oldest and someone will be the youngest. It sounds like your son is doing great. He's not really competing with kids a year older because school isn't a competition. </p>
 

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<p>Malcolm Gladwell has a lot to answer for. (He pointed out the so-called age advantage in Outliers.)</p>
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<p>If he's doing fine and is happy, I'm not sure why you would cave to social pressure to get him to conform to an arbitrary perceived advantage, unless you think he might be playing football in high school.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newbymom05</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284965/5-y-o-in-kindergarten#post_16110566"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>Re: girls vs boys, it's the boys who are starting at 6. The girls seem to be starting when appropriate, that is, at 5.</p>
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<br><br><p>Why?</p>
 

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<p>In general, I think the academic downside of having a bored, disengaged child outweigh the positives of having a child with same-age social peers, but it sounds like the situation of him feeling out of place is also not good. Can you tease out what skills and situations make him feel "stupid"? Is it the culture of the school? I know some schools emphasize competition as a motivator for boys. Is there a particular skill set he needs to grow into? Is he a perfectionist about spelling or handwriting or something that, again, he needs more time to grow into? Maybe nearer your DH's work is a school that would do a better job of honoring an age-appropriate child in first grade? I visited a few schools (before ultimately choosing to hs), and was very struck by the difference in cultures, even within our town.</p>
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<p>Six months (nine, really, until August), is a lot of time to see him leap forward.</p>
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<p>In our area, there is no stigma to repeating kindergarten. I know one boy who had the same teacher again, and one who had a new teacher, both at the original school (different schools for both boys). Both parents feel that their child grew into what he needed in that extra year, the boys seem to feel fine about it, and in both cases it wasn't to keep any kind of social advantage, but because the kids were just not seeming ready, they seemed young for their age socially and academically both teachers felt they needed time to mature. YMMV, but I wanted to throw those anecdotes into the hopper.</p>
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<p>Sorry for disjointed post; bedtime :)</p>
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<p>Heather</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>~PurityLake~</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284965/5-y-o-in-kindergarten#post_16119794"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newbymom05</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284965/5-y-o-in-kindergarten#post_16110566"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>Re: girls vs boys, it's the boys who are starting at 6. The girls seem to be starting when appropriate, that is, at 5.</p>
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<br><br><p>Why?</p>
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<p><br>
There is a tremendous belief that boys are naturally immature and that they should be held back to "benefit" them. IOW, teachers think they're more restless, and it's easier to have them be a year old and less wiggly. Then the parents are convinced that boys "perform" better if they're older.</p>
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<p>We have parents who do this in other areas as well. My dd had a boy on her soccer team who was 18 months older than the league cut-off (which isn't set in stone since it's non-competitive). This kid would just score repeatedly. His mom kept talking about how great he was, and one day I finally said, "he's a year and a half older than everyone. How can you be proud that he's more coordinated? He should be in a higher league!" Then, you know, it offended her, but I felt better! (DD had been complaining that this kid got the ball all the time.) To me, it doesn't teach your child anything valuable. You're just manipulating the system to make it appear that your child is smarter, more athletic, etc.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
Yes, the belief is that girls mature earlier than boys. It's true that in general, girls possess the ability to sit still sooner and often have stronger fine motor skills than boys but academically, boys are usually ready for all the learning that girls are. Personally, I think we ought to hold back boys less and instead make elementary school more boy friendly in general. At this point, elementary is really set-up to value female characteristics, not male. There is a reason that boys are slipping in long term achievement. Yes, it's FANTASTIC that girls are pulling forward in science and math and that the womens lib movement has really allowed girls to reach their full potentiol. It just seems that the counter-result is that boys are dropping in achievement and that's not good. We want both genders to have what they need right?</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>~PurityLake~</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284965/5-y-o-in-kindergarten#post_16119794"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newbymom05</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284965/5-y-o-in-kindergarten#post_16110566"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>Re: girls vs boys, it's the boys who are starting at 6. The girls seem to be starting when appropriate, that is, at 5.</p>
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<br><br><p>Why?</p>
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<p>I think I'd be inclined to not hold him back. My dds go to a school with mixed age classes (1st & 2nd, 3rd & 4th, etc). I really don't see that much difference between the 1st and 2nd grade boys except one boy who's old enough to be in 3rd grade, but that's more than the age split you're talking about. There are kids who are just 6 in the class and kids who are 7 and 8. They all seem to get along pretty well. If you go read over on the parenting the gifted child forum you'll see a number of threads about grade skipping for gifted kids. Many of the folks posting there seem to come down on the side of skipping to keep the kid challenged. You're not even talking about skipping, but just keeping him in the right grade for his age. I'm sure there will be other kids his age in the class. Maybe there will be many/most of the boys who could be a year older, but the girls are more likely to be 6 in first grade. I think down the road being held back may be more of a problem for him if he gets bored with the material, etc.</p>
 
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