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My DD is currently 4. She is in her second year of public preschool with an IEP for special needs. It looks like she might not need an IEP next year but, of course, time will tell.

The problem: We are getting a ton of pressure to send her to kindergarten next year. She barely misses the school district (state) cutoff of Oct 1 (her birthday is Sept 27). I'm concerned about her not being ready. She's smart but she not only has had some developmental delays but she is also medically fragile. I'm just worried that starting her in school too early will have life-long (at least school-long) implications.

How do I make this decision?

Anyone else been in this position that can share their thoughts and experiences? Any teachers have thoughts about this? I've read so many studies. Nothing seems conclusive. I know it depends so much on the child. I just need to talk to real people who have BTDT!
:

Thanks!
 

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Wait a year. Definitely, with a birthday that close to the cut off (and it is a late cut off anyway). If she doesn't qualify for an IEP next year, then I would send her to a mainstream preschool, to get some experience in a mainstream setting before plunging into the academic pressure cooker that is today's kindergarten. I taught elementary school and never knew anyone to regret waiting a year, but I knew many who wished that they had. Especially with delays and medical fragility, it's almost a no brainer to me. (No offense meant, I just think it's a pretty clear cut waiting scenario.) Have you asked teachers why they want her in kindy next yr? It may be a funding issue for them, or they are concerned she wouldnt get stimulation, etc, which you could provide (esp with a play based preschool).
 

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Originally Posted by Terabith View Post
Wait a year. Definitely, with a birthday that close to the cut off (and it is a late cut off anyway). If she doesn't qualify for an IEP next year, then I would send her to a mainstream preschool, to get some experience in a mainstream setting before plunging into the academic pressure cooker that is today's kindergarten. I taught elementary school and never knew anyone to regret waiting a year, but I knew many who wished that they had. Especially with delays and medical fragility, it's almost a no brainer to me. (No offense meant, I just think it's a pretty clear cut waiting scenario.) Have you asked teachers why they want her in kindy next yr? It may be a funding issue for them, or they are concerned she wouldnt get stimulation, etc, which you could provide (esp with a play based preschool).
Thank you!!

I think it's a funding issue mostly (but the stimulation issue is a concern). My school district is "difficult" to say the least. IEPs are almost a one-size-fits-all here. There's not much of an individualized plan.
It's a fight regardless of what we do.

I told them in her IEP meeting this year that we were not set on her going to kindergarten next year. I knew they would pressure me (and they did/do) but I held firm that we need to evaluate the situation more later in the year. They agreed but weren't happy about it. They talk to her constantly about how great it will be when she goes to kindergarten next year!
Everything is very, very passive-aggressive.

The teacher is stuck with a difficult administration. She loves my child and thinks DD is a superstar but 17 of her 18 students have IEPs. Hello!! It's not like the competition is stiff, KWIM? My DD is doing much better than last year but she's probably not even average except for her verbal skills which are very good. I just think she'll have a really hard time measuring up with so many knocks against her already.

She's in 5 hours of school 4 days a week this year. The only other preschools in our town are 2-3 hours, 2-3 days a week. I hate for her to have had so much school and then drop back to so little and then have to go to full day kindergarten the next year. I'm positive they will not let her go another year at her current school. It will be ugly if I insist.

The way education is in Kentucky, students can have 5 years to complete K-3. The only year you can "retain" is 3rd grade (they can stay in the same grade that 5th year if needed). What if I send her and she wasn't ready? She wouldn't be held back until 3rd grade. I can't imagine how terrible that would be socially and emotionally.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! BTW, my mom was an elementary school teacher (recently retired) and she absolutely thinks we should wait. She did with her 2 typical September birthday kids and has never regretted it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mamatohaleybug View Post
Thank you!!

I think it's a funding issue mostly (but the stimulation issue is a concern). My school district is "difficult" to say the least. IEPs are almost a one-size-fits-all here. There's not much of an individualized plan.
It's a fight regardless of what we do.

I told them in her IEP meeting this year that we were not set on her going to kindergarten next year. I knew they would pressure me (and they did/do) but I held firm that we need to evaluate the situation more later in the year. They agreed but weren't happy about it. They talk to her constantly about how great it will be when she goes to kindergarten next year!
Everything is very, very passive-aggressive.

The teacher is stuck with a difficult administration. She loves my child and thinks DD is a superstar but 17 of her 18 students have IEPs. Hello!! It's not like the competition is stiff, KWIM? My DD is doing much better than last year but she's probably not even average except for her verbal skills which are very good. I just think she'll have a really hard time measuring up with so many knocks against her already.

She's in 5 hours of school 4 days a week this year. The only other preschools in our town are 2-3 hours, 2-3 days a week. I hate for her to have had so much school and then drop back to so little and then have to go to full day kindergarten the next year. I'm positive they will not let her go another year at her current school. It will be ugly if I insist.

The way education is in Kentucky, students can have 5 years to complete K-3. The only year you can "retain" is 3rd grade (they can stay in the same grade that 5th year if needed). What if I send her and she wasn't ready? She wouldn't be held back until 3rd grade. I can't imagine how terrible that would be socially and emotionally.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! BTW, my mom was an elementary school teacher (recently retired) and she absolutely thinks we should wait. She did with her 2 typical September birthday kids and has never regretted it.

I sat definitely wait. My dd is 5 in June and I'm considering waiting. (My dd has not done any preschool though.)

If your dd really wants, she can skip a year later.

The further along she is developmentally, the better she'll do in school when she starts. Better to start with confidence!
 

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DS is an August 31st b-day in a school district w/an August 31st cut-off.

He went into kinder this year at the "right" time and we're very happy with the decision. There is actually an early entrance student who just turned 5 this week in his class, so he is not even the youngest.

I would look at the academic and social criteria and then decide.

Also, you CAN hold back before 3rd grade. Just like they are saying she needs to go to kinder next year but YOU get to make the decision, I'm not seeing how they can force her along w/out your permission.
 

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Oh, also wanted to add that DD was early entrance and SHE isn't the youngest in her grade (and wasn't last year either).

And this "academic" kinder is not true where we live, so you might want to look into it further.
 

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My oldest turns 11 this month and was past the cut off date in our state so he started a year later. He started H/S kindergarten while 5 and turned 6 that December. He is now 11 (just about) and in 5th gr. and most of the kids in his class are still 10 until after the first of next year and younger than him but at the same place academically. In the long run they catch up.

But I'd probably hold her back if it were me. JMHO. Is it possible to have her tested at the first of the year to see where she stands and what the school thinks about her starting next year? If she's ready academically by that time (a lot can change in a few months time) then you wouldn't want to hold her back.
 

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Your dd has the same bd as mine (except mine is 6). Our K cut-off is also Oct. 1. We did start dd in K last year a month prior to her 5th bd. It really does seem to have been the right decision for her. However, we weren't dealing with medical issues or anything else of that sort.

Most of the research that I found on this issue found it to be better academically and socially after 3rd grade to be the youngest rather than the oldest in a class, but that was really already what my heart was telling me for my girls (my older one has a bd that barely made the cut-off as well -- by 2 weeks). If you believe it to be in your dd's best interests to wait another year, you are the best judge of what is right for your child.

I don't like the trend toward redshirting all kids who have summer or fall bds b/c it just keeps pushing back the age for the majority, creating a greater age discrepancy in most classrooms and makes it harder for the teachers to teach this more diverse and older group in concert with the much younger kids in the same classroom. You are dealing with some special circumstances, though, so I don't know that it would be on the same par as a parent of a child with no specific special needs holding a child out just b/c they don't want her to be the youngest.
 

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I was the youngest and while I was ready for k both socially and academicly...I was not ready for college at age 17!!!

As a ECE teacher I would love to see the K cut off pushed back to the end of August at the earliest. I have concluded from experience that most 4 year olds are too young for the demands of K.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post

Most of the research that I found on this issue found it to be better academically and socially after 3rd grade to be the youngest rather than the oldest in a class,
I found this to be true. I was the oldest and it was really tough- but not till 4th grade or so. It was hard being tall and developed, plus I was academically advanced so there was no need for me to be with younger kids. These were issues that didn't bother me till 3rd or 4th grade, though. (Other than with gymnastics and ballet were being big and tall are problems.)

That said, I don't think it's a good idea to puch kids too fast at 5. It would really be best is you could keep her back, but later help her skip a grade.

For us that is a real possibility- in Seattle you almost certainly have to change schools and friends between 5th and 6th and again between 8th and 9th (or 7th and 8th.) I figure that if I started my dd "late" she could either skip 5th or 6th and spend one less year on Jr high. After all, wouldn't we all like to spend less time in Jr High!
 

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I would hold her out for another year. We are probably looking at the same issue with my ds. He is in his first year of special needs preschool and is doing very well academically. His teacher at first said if we kept him in preschool for 2 years, he could probably get mainstreamed for kindergarten. Now she is saying that he will probably be ready for kindergarten next year. His birthday is 11/4 and the cutoff is 12/1. We are really resisting and and will probably only let him go to kindergarten if it is a mostly special ed program. Then we will probably repeat it.

I'm have no issues with my ds being the oldest in the class. His birthday is so close to the cutoff and many people are holding kids back with spring birthdays even. He is very immature and will have social issues no matter how old he is. I have a 2 year old typically developing child who will probably start kindergarten right after he turns 5. I really think this is something that has to be determined for each child individually.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post
Most of the research that I found on this issue found it to be better academically and socially after 3rd grade to be the youngest rather than the oldest in a class,
But all children are individuals and learn differently, how could age factor in to how a child learns?? Just curious. For instance, when I used to homeschool my oldest two DS they both excelled and stayed far above their grade level and then they started private school and since then they've both always been at grade level and comparable to the other students in the class.

My oldest is in 5th and almost 1/2 of his class has birthdays in Dec and Jan and the rest have already come and there are one or two that are later in the school year. He is right there where all of the other students are academically and I know this because I grade lots of papers for the teacher every week and stuff them in the children's cubby holes for the parents to pick up. I don't compare the kids but I know what all of their grade averages are. It doesn't matter if they are boy vs. girl, older vs. younger or whatever else you want to compare - they all make about the same in grades in the same areas. It's really quite interesting.
 
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