Debate on starting school — The Bump
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Debate on starting school

So, DH and I were having a mini - debate. DD was born on December 1st so she could start kindergarten at 4 or delay her and start a year later. So, either one of the youngest or the oldest in her class.

 We have plenty of time. Right now she is in an in-home daycare, and we will switch her to a more formal daycare/preschool at 3 years 9 months.

Thoughts? The youngest or oldest in a class?

Obviously a lot will depend on her and how she is at that point. Right now she is very social and great with kids, and smart enough- so it could go either way.

Re: Debate on starting school

  • I started at 4 and I always did fine.  I would have been so mad if my parents "took away" that extra year of my life.  If she really doesn't transition well she can repeat kindergarten, but at least give her a chance.
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  • akayfakayf member

    Are you sure she could start at 4?   Both the town I teach in and the town I live in have Oct 15 as their cutoff.   My SIL's town has Aug 31 as their cutoff.


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  • imageakayf:

    Are you sure she could start at 4?   Both the town I teach in and the town I live in have Oct 15 as their cutoff.   My SIL's town has Aug 31 as their cutoff.


    This is the way things are around here as well.  The child has to read the age of 5 by the cut-off date.  I'm not sure what our cut-off is since my daughter's birthday is in April, she won't go until she is 5 anyway. 

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  • Yes. it is the parent's choice here. I started at 4 and was born mid-October also.

    I don't think it would be "taking a year away from her". if we started her late- some say it is a year more to be a kid since Kindergarten these days is way more intense than when I went! (at least in my neighborhood!) Just not sure- and repeating kindergarten I would think worse- no? than 2 years of preschool.

     

    My DH says start late, I say start early and can see it from both sides. Especially since most districts would have the cut-off anyway!

     

  • imagejaninekrause:

    Yes. it is the parent's choice here. I started at 4 and was born mid-October also.

    I don't think it would be "taking a year away from her". if we started her late- some say it is a year more to be a kid since Kindergarten these days is way more intense than when I went! (at least in my neighborhood!) Just not sure- and repeating kindergarten I would think worse- no? than 2 years of preschool.

     

    My DH says start late, I say start early and can see it from both sides. Especially since most districts would have the cut-off anyway!

     

    clarifying..cut off here is Dec 31st

  • It really depends on your child and how social she is/how ready she seems for school. I was born in December and was always the youngest in my class. It was fine. It was kind of a downer to learn how to drive after everyone else and to turn 21 after everyone else in college, but the kids who were the oldest had to drive the rest of us around for months and months and their parents didn't seem too happy about that. The turning 21 later thing did not adversely affect my social life in college at all.

    DH, on the other hand, was always the oldest in his class. His parents held him back (August birthday) because they were worried about his social skills. I honestly couldn't tell you if he would have done just as well if he had started school earlier or not. He and I have totally different personalities and I don't think when we started school has anything to do with that. I'm naturally social, he's naturally more of a loner.

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  • I think repeating kinder would be far worse than holding off a year. I get how you feel though. DS will start when he is almost six because of his birthday. I was the same way because I'm a November birthday. My internship was in kinder and I only have experience with one boy who was started earlier than he should have. He was four and had to be held back because of maturity issues. His emotions weren't developed enough yet and couldn't handle beginning that soon. His mother was fine with it and he did so much better the second time around.

    And yes, I agree with the extra year being more of a "play" learning. We plan on private for kinder because of the intense push for academics.

  • DD is Nov. 28.  She is bright and reading many sight words and sounding words out.  She is doing all sorts of academic things 5 yr olds are doing and she's a young 3.  She is the oldest and mature too.  We have agonized over this, and have done a lot of research. 

    We had planned to send her to Montessori for pre K and K so she'd start K as a 4, almost 5 yr old.  I was always the youngest and excelled.  DH was the youngest and excelled, and was a trouble maker til they put him in a GT school.  Genetically she should go ahead early even though she misses the cut off.

    BUT research shows the younger ones have more socialization problems (b/c they're younger, or b/c they are more prone to social problems b/c they're pushed ahead for their brightness?).  Academic readiness is not the main predictor of sucess- social skills are.  Resiliance is.  DD has these, but recently an incident at preschool brought light to some areas of social skills we can boost.  A kid took her hat and was nasty to her when she asked for it back.  She perseverated on it for weeks, and her teacher pointed out that she is sweet, sensitive, and a rule follower (WAY more so than at home!) and has extreme difficulty with kids who don't follow the rules.  Little things like this.

    We decided to let her be the oldest, research supports it, and in this region, schools and college apps are REALLY competitive so now in all my mommy and me classes, all the parents talk about trying to conceove so that their children will be the oldest for the "edge."  SO weird.  I am a former teacher and emailed my past beloved principals and colleagues for some advice, and unaminously the vote was laterlaterlater. 

    Be that as it may, my LO is flexible, and an eager learner.  She would be fine, I'm sure, and I do wish she'd go ahead early so that the twins are more than one grade behind her, but ultimately, I decided keeping her in pre-k will give our kids one more year to bond more at home and allow me to keep her home with me a little bit longer- 15 yrs down the road.

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  • LoveEeyore- you have definitely given it a lot of thought. I was so anti holding her back but the more I heard DH's opinion and starting reading, I am way more for it now!

     We shall see- especially if I have another baby. Financially it is another year- of $15,000 for daycare/pre-school...Fun times.. Kindergarten free but that can't be the reason!

  • I work in a high school and so I get the kids years later but 100 times a day I hear I need to graduate with my right class because my Mom held me back or they didn't start me in K until later and now I am old. It drives me crazy because you have 4 year to end and leave HS but that is how they feel ugh!

    But I also think that it is better to start them late than to hold them back. I would personally hold off on the decision until your child has made it to 4K and see what her teacher says as far as being ready etc. I was an August baby and was the one of the youngest in the class since the cut off when I went to school was Dec 1st (I had a friend born on the cut off date that is the only way I knew hehe). I didn't mind and didn't have a problem.  

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  • Yikes.  That's really young to be starting kindergarten.  My LO will be born in Aug, and I'm waiting until she's six to send her.

    I taught kindergarten for 5 years, and my mom has taught K for much longer.  We both agree that even if your child "seems" ready, maturity will eventually become a factor and may negatively affect your child's education. 

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  • I think a lot of it is going to depend on the child's personality, anxiety level, and general readiness for school - I'm of the mindset that repeating a grade can be harmful emotionally to a child in the way of esteem but it will all depend on how you handle it, of course.

    DS is going to start early preschool at montessori in August (he'll be 2 yrs, 4 mo). I think this will better prepare him for kindergarten. 

     

  • It does somewhat depend on the individual child, but I know that I had an August bday & was always one of the last to do anything.  I hated it. Personally, I would not send my child, knowing she is likely to be one of the youngest in her class.  Plus...4 is just still so...young.  I wouldn't rush it. 
  • Starting college at 17 may not be great.  I know there was a 17 year old on my floor and her parents were called when there were typical issues since she was a minor.  I think staying back in K would be worse than starting when she is 5.  I'm a November baby and I never had an issue, in fact I had several classmates that were within 2 weeks of my b-day so it's not like I was the odd person out.
  • With a December birthday, I'd hold her back. I was pushed forward as a September baby (with an October cutoff) and while I did fine academically I think I would have gained more confidence and self esteem had I been older instead of the youngest.
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  • In MN and most neighboring states the deadline is August 31st.  Our son has a late July birthday and it seems like everyone here tends to hold boys back so they start when they are six if they have summer birthdays. We haven't decided yet- he is in a Montessori program now and we will see how he is doing when he is 4 and go from there.  It is unheard of to send 4 year olds to kindergarten here, so my perspective would be to wait.

    I have a December birthday and I was in the middle of the pack for everything and liked it.

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  • DD is a december baby, we do plan to wait until she is 5 almost 6 to start kindergarten. I also have a december bday and was one of the oldest in my class. I didn't feel like I was held back at all. It felt just right. This may sound silly- but I just don't want to rush DD. She'll have 2 years of pre-school, we do many different activites together (swim, music, playgroup) and she goes to an in home daycare 2x a week with kids right around her age. Hopefully everything will work out.
  • My DS's birthday is 11/23 and the school cutoff is 12/1 and we have had the same conversation. Initially, my H favored holding him back, however looking at how much he is progressing right now at age 2, I think for sure he will be ready for kindergarten at 4 instead of holding him back. I had a late birthday as well and although it was annoying to be the youngest as far as driving, turning 21, etc., I am glad I started school when I did.
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  • DS is starting preschool this fall. The cutoff age in IL is 5 by Sept 1st, so DS will already be 5 when he is eligible to go to kindergarten.

    I would wait until your LO is in preschool for a few months, then ask her teacher if she thinks LO will be ready or if she should wait another year. Her teacher would know best if she was ready.

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  • This is a monthly debate here too.  DD has a Sept. birthday and meets our state cut off.  We had decided to prepare as if she is going into school early and re-evaluate as she gets older.

    Part of that prep was starting pre-school at 2.5 (about 2 months ago) in a Young 3's class, so that she will be comfortable in the "regular 3's" in the Fall.  The Young 3's is her real age group (June-Dec. 31 B-days).  However, we wanted her to be with older kids to evaluate her progress.

    DD being 2.5, all of her classmates are almost a full year older than her.  She is def. the "baby" of the class, as a year at this age is a big deal.  We are now going to wait until June and see what the teacher thinks is best (go back to Young 3's next year and then move into 4's or go into regular 3's).  We put a deposit on her spot in the regular 3's as they fill up first. 

    We waiver on whether we want her to have her "initial" school experience be the reality of her future (being the youngest) or to give her chance to be an older kid and see how she does.

     

     

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  • One more point:  DH always insisted that we would hold DD back had she been a boy for athletic reasons.  Crazy, I know.  It's just one year physically can make a HUGE difference for a boy and plays a pretty important role in athletics too.  Not sure what sport DH thinks our imaginary son is playing at such a high level, but entertaining none the less.  As a female athlete, I'm not sure it would have made a huge difference for me, but I can see his point.
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  • hmm - this is an intersting debate.  Our DD is Dec and she does not meet the cut off (which ~ Sept. 30th I think) so she will start at 5, almost 6.  I'm also a Dec. baby and starred when I was 4, almost 5.  I have been disappointed that DD won't be able to start until she's almost 6, but reading this post makes me feel better about her late start. 

    I hated being the last to drive and starting college @ 17 was a little weird, but academically, I was always at or above my class peers (and did G&T and honors, etc.) but I think socially the age gap may explain alot of my shyness - especially as a very little kid. 

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  • The cutoff here is 10-1 and DS has a 10-10 bday so he will definitely be the oldest. He has a speech delay so he is receiving services in their preschool classes right now. He was too young for "regular" preschool so he is in a Young 3's class. He will go on for 2 more years of preschool and then start kindergarten. Since he is already in school, I have no plans to take him out now.

    DD has a July bday and we will probably send her on time so she will be a younger kid. My kids will be 1 year apart in school even though they are 21 months apart in age.

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  • I didn't read all the responses, but I always thought if I were in that situation, I'd start a girl early and boy late because of maturity levels later on in adolescence. Of course, I'm not in that situation with two boys born in March and April, so I have no real idea what I'm talking about.
  • My birthday is December 1st too and I started KG early.  I was always one of the youngest in the class.  I did well academically and it didn't have major social impacts.  Was kind of annoying being the "little one" all of the time but by the time I hit college and grad school, I was glad that I had the headstart.

    Your district may have some sort of test to determine if she is ready.  Also, you may get a feel for if she is ready or not.  I would just wait and see how it goes.  My mom pushed for it because she knew I needed the challenge.


  • imageLoveEeyore:

    BUT research shows the younger ones have more socialization problems (b/c they're younger, or b/c they are more prone to social problems b/c they're pushed ahead for their brightness?).  Academic readiness is not the main predictor of sucess- social skills are.  Resiliance is.  DD has these, but recently an incident at preschool brought light to some areas of social skills we can boost.  A kid took her hat and was nasty to her when she asked for it back.  She perseverated on it for weeks, and her teacher pointed out that she is sweet, sensitive, and a rule follower (WAY more so than at home!) and has extreme difficulty with kids who don't follow the rules.  Little things like this.

    I skipped kindergarten and would not recommend it.  I had so many social issues.  My parents wanted me to do things at a certain age, ie makeup,  first dates, etc. but I wanted to do them when my friends were.  I was immature in comparison to my classmates and I was picked on a lot for that.  I never felt like I fit in in school.  I did play sports at my age level and I felt much more comfortable with those girls.  If it were my DD my thought would be that being a pre-teen and teenage girl is hard enough, I don't want to make it harder on her.  

  • My son is a mid-November birthday - he'll start kindergarten when he's 5 and turn 6 a short time later.  Wouldn't even consider starting him earlier. 
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