When to start kindergarten?? — The Bump

When to start kindergarten??

Hi everyone-I'm not on here much since my kids keep me quite busy these days. I have twin girls who just turned 2, born at 33 weeks. Our state has a cutoff date for children to be 5 by December 31st of that school year to start kindergarten (so some children start at age 4). Many parents are holding "ber" birthday babies back since kindergarten is so academic now and is full day. My girls were supposed to be born late September/early October. I know we have a few years, but I'm driving myself crazy deciding whether we should start them on time (right after turning 5) or not. The big kicker is that there is talk to move the cutoff date to October 1st. My kids' due date was October 5, but their birthday is in August. So if the cutoff is changed, according to their due date they would have to wait a year. They will go to preschool next year and I know I will have to wait and see and listen to their teachers, I'm just stressed. They have had no developmental delays and have done everything according to actual age not adjusted, and have not received any EI services. Thanks so much.
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Re: When to start kindergarten??

  • I think it's too early to make a decision, honestly. They just turned 2 - readiness for K is dependent on a bunch of different social, emotional, and academic factors that goes beyond when their birthday is or should have been.

    Having a Dec 31 cutoff, or even an Oct 1 cutoff, is pretty late - the norm is more along the lines of Sept 1 and even then there are plenty of summer birthdays who start at 6 instead of barely 5.

    Everyone has an opinion and a story about someone who started early/late and loved it/hated it. It comes down to what's right for the family and the child.

    My oldest will be 5 in April and will start K next fall in 2015. The twins are late June (Aug due date) and the jury is still out for them. They'll likely start "on time" right after they turn 5, but I have to wait and see how the intervening 4 years go first.

    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • I agree it's too early.  My kids were born in February so it didn't really affect them, but if your cut off was Sept 1st and they were August babies, not due til October I'd consider it if they seemed immature, like they needed another year (also to me depends if kindergarten is full day or 1/2 day).  Here it's full day.  I would talk to their preschool teacher as you go along and see how they feel.  I think you'll know what's right for them.  If the cut off stays December I'd probably start them on time as long as there was no other reason other than their birthday to hold them back.  You'll be amazed what will happen over the next few years.  My kids barely talked at all before they turned 2 and now at 5 they are more than ready for K.  (they also got EI for gross motor delays early on).


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  • I also have a summer birthday LO who was due in October but born in August. Our cutoff here is Sept 15. I've also thought about it, but like other posts, it's too early to tell.

    My mom is a school counselor and said that she's never had anyone say they regret holding them back, but always regret starting too soon.
  • I also think this a very individual decision that you'll figure out as you get closer to kindergarten, but just wanted to share my story. I was born the day after Christmas but I was due in early January, and the cut off where I went to school was December 31. My mom took me to kindergarten registration when I was 4 and apparently and they had kindergarten teachers giving a placement test of some sort, and although I passed it, the teacher said my maturity level was not quite where the other kids would be. My mom was already on the fence about it and although it was her decision to make, the teacher's opinion was I think what made my mom decide to keep me in pre-k another year. It's kind of weird to think I could've gone through school with the kids one grade up and I would've had totally different friends. Anyway I don't regret that my mom did that and if anything I think it gave me an advantage. See how they're doing when the time comes and you'll make the right choice.

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • Thanks everyone for the advice! I agree, too early to know. I guess my only decision to make right now then is to drive the extra 10 minutes (20 total) to another town where there is a preschool with a pre-k program meant for young 5's. I'd hate to decide to keep them back, and have to move them to a different school for one year. Registration for preschool for next fall starts this fall/winter for most schools.
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  • Just read this study yesterday and found it good food for thought. My twins were born in June and cut off point in my state is July so they will be the youngest.

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