Toddlers: 24 Months+

Kindergarten, waiting an extra year a new thing?

I know I'm still 2.5 years away from DS going to Kindergarten but several of my friends with older children are talking about holding their children who will be turning 5 in the next month or two at home another year instead of sending them to school in late August.  My friends say their son's "are not ready" or "mature enough" for school.   When i was kid, when you hit the magic number 5 you went to school and that is our plan for DS at this moment.  I guess one thing that really makes me scratch my head is the fact we are more than 7 months away from these kids going to school so that is a lot of time for them to mature a little more but I guess their mom's know best. Is this a new thing?  Just curious.

Re: Kindergarten, waiting an extra year a new thing?

  • They say the older kids in kintergarten do a lot better.  I think I read that somewhere.  But I think too the mom knows her child best (or maybe "mom" isn't ready yet, lol).

    Delaying kindergarten isn't that big of a deal rather than having your child held back in a later grade.  I'm sure teachers see tons of kids start that are within the age limits that aren't ready yet. 

  • They say that boys should wait until they are almost 6 to start kindergarten.  Boys develop behind girls until puberty and then the excel past them.  If we have a boy, I will wait until they are 6 to start kindergarten. 

    My sister's were also held back when they were younger and didn't start until they were 6.  There were twins and preemies.  I'm not sure if it helped them or not, but they were both in the top 10 of their class.

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  • Our schools must be stricter on age around here, because unless it's a private school, you don't get much say. It's based on your birthday, period.

    We've specifically asked, because DD's birthday is close to the cutoff date, and we have been told at every turn that it is a strict date, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    I only know one family who delayed kindergarten, but he has diagnosed developmental issues. They're currently repeating his last year of preschool, and he'll enroll in kindergarten next year.

    I do know, when I was in school, it seemed the parents of my friends who had birthdays in the August-October range got to pick. I guess because their birthdays were close to the cutoff? Two of them I know for a fact could choose when to start school for that reason, but it was only the kids in that range that I remember this with.
  • I am a former 1st grade teacher and can say that a lot of kids are NOT ready for school at age 5. That being said, many/most are, which is why the age to start school is 5. As a parent just try to pay attention to your own child and decide with the help of the school if your LO is ready. Pay attention to things like how your child does away from you, how he listens to other adults, how he interacts with other children, can he follow simple directions and take care of simple tasks like washing his hands, putting on boots, blowing his nose?

    Of course some parents can't wait until their kids are older to send them to school, and school is a place for learning. But for some kids, it's worth the wait.

    Side note.... I was just talking to a friend about this b/c my son is a June baby, so he will be one of the youngest kids in his class. But I already know that he will be more than ready for school at age 5.

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  • I am a Kindergarten teacher, but in our county the cutoff date to start K is September 1st. So if your LO has an 8-31 birthday they can start, if its 9-2 they have to wait a whole other year. No exceptions.

    With that said, my experience is that the older children do seem much more ready academically for school. Generally speaking, when I have a student who is really lagging behind or a problem behaviorally, I will often check their birthday. If it is a July or August birthday, sometimes that is just the main reason- they are still a little immature. Of course, that doesn't always correlate, but you can see a trend.

    If you have a choice of when to start, I would have your child in preschool the year before and see how they are doing. If they can get along with other children, take directions, and know how to count, and know some letters, then let them start.

     

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  • This doesn't seem like a new thing to me. I have a few friends, mostly male, who were held back a year before starting kindergarten, especially if they had birthdays later in the year or were considered small for their age at the time.
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  • image kyfirewife:
    Our schools must be stricter on age around here, because unless it's a private school, you don't get much say. It's based on your birthday, period.

    We've specifically asked, because DD's birthday is close to the cutoff date, and we have been told at every turn that it is a strict date, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    Interesting. I wonder how our district handles this, considering that a child isn't even guaranteed a seat at the public school one is zoned for until 1st grade around here. As I see it, if you aren't guaranteed a seat, how can you be "forced" to send your child to kindergarten?

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  • It's not a new thing, at least in my area. Growing up, there were always kids in my grade that were basically an entire year older than me because of parents holding them back an extra year. Most of them were boys.

    They just recently changed the cutoff date in MI to December 1. That means that there could potentially be 4 year olds starting Kindergarten if they have a bday in Sept-Nov.

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  • Where I live and work students have to be 5 before the first day of school. School starts here mid August. I can understand many parents reasoning for wanting to start kids later in school. My DH's cousins were triplets born in July and very small so they put them in another year of preschool so they had a chance to be closer to size with the rest of the kids. They started hs this year and have done great.

    I work at a High School and we constantly have students and parents that tell me their child needs to "catch up" and "get with their right grade." For us they are graduating on time if they finish in 4 years. But these people started their children late in school or held them back and now think they need to graduate at the age everyone else.

    So if you feel that you need and or want to hold you child back be prepared for that to come from your child later in life because as teenagers they don't want to graduate as the older child. 

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  • No, not new.  My sister and my BFF both waited an extra year to start (BFF has a June bday, sis is Sept).  It was absolutely beneficial for them!  I worry about this often because my 2nd was born Aug 26 and the cutoff is Sept 1.  I am leaning towards waiting an extra year.
  • image abergale:

    I work at a High School and we constantly have students and parents that tell me their child needs to "catch up" and "get with their right grade." For us they are graduating on time if they finish in 4 years. But these people started their children late in school or held them back and now think they need to graduate at the age everyone else.

    So if you feel that you need and or want to hold you child back be prepared for that to come from your child later in life because as teenagers they don't want to graduate as the older child. 

    This is what I would worry about as well.  Wouldn't that mean they would be graduating high school at 19!!  I work with kids with special needs and I understand their parents wanting to give them an extra year, but I guess I don't understand holding them back just because of a late birthday.  Someone has to be the youngest in the class.  (Maybe I don't mind b/c when I was younger that was me Smile )  

    Also, and I don't mean this to be snarky or judgy cause I really hate that and everyone needs to do what's in the best interest of their own child, but all I can think when people say they held the kid back and they are doing great, is that they are being compared to kids a year younger than them.  Other kids their age are doing 1st grade work.  I don't know, it just seems weird to me.

  • I am so surprised at how much it varies from area to area.  Where I live you have to be 5 by December 1st and that has been the cut off for at least 25 years.  My husband and I both have late fall birthdays and our parents felt we were ready and we did very well in school.  My sister is one of the oldest in her class and she did well too.  It is so personal.  I honestly think it is ridiculous to say you are holding your child back for sure when they are only 2 or 3 unless you have some serious concerns.  I am a teacher who worked in several kindergartens over the last few years and I can tell you that there are also children who need challenges and who get bored.  I am also confused by people saying that a summer birthday is okay to send and a couple of months later, no way.  This is all very interesting to me.  I look at my son and think he will probably start at 4, almost 5, but we'll see how he does in preschool. 
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  • This is not new.  My brother who is 29 had a May birthday and started "on time" at age five and he was noticabely smaller than many of the boys in his class as there were a ton of summer/fall boys who started at age 6.  It wasn't a huge deal and littel bro did fine.

     My son was born July 21st, so he will be close to the September 1 deadline for our state.  I will assess closer to the time (he is 2 1/2 here).  Our montessori daycare offers a 1/2 day kindergarten so at the very least I will have him do that at 5 and go to public school kindergarten at 6 if I feel it is necessary but I am keeping all options open at this time.  I would worry about him being 19 when he graduates.

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