My 4-year old’s birthday is in late September, right before the Kindergarten cut-off date. So I’m looking for some advice – should she start this year, or should I hold off until she’s almost six?
I know so much of it depends on my daughter’s maturity level and all that, and I’ve pretty much made up my mind, but I’d love a general opinion.
My birthday is September 16th. I started K when I was 4 and never went to preschool. I learned to read shortly after school started due to being out for two 2 week spans and my mom taught me. I started college at age 15, graduated at 19. The only problems I had being the youngest was watching my friends get their licenses before me LOL Other than that, no harm done. I had the maturity to start early.
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It really does depend upon your daughter’s level. That being said, girls typically are ready for this earlier than boys. Looking forward to reading your answer.
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Well, I think I’ve talked about this same subject with you because we have the same issues with K. Our cut was Sept. 1st, his b-day is Sept 3rd and they have a NO EXCEPTION rule. The only way to possibly get around that would be to have him go into testing to prove he is ready. Testing was several thousand & we decided we will just let him have one more year at home. I worry that he will be bored with it by the time he gets to school, because he’s already doing most of what they have to know to pass Kindergarten. The only part that he needs from it would be the socialization and learning the structured part of it. I talked to many professionals about this and we were told by all of them to just get him involved with things to help with socializing, but to hold him back till the school district says he’s allowed to go. They don’t recommend putting them in when they are barely at the age because socially, it’s more difficult. I’m still not 100% on our decision of holding him back, and I know he’d be ready this year. But, I’m honestly not ready to see him gone all day long so the forced to wait thing works.
The cut off here is September 1st. My son’s birthday is September 2nd. I could apply for early entry, but after discussing the issue with his preschool teachers and watching him interact with kids his age, we have opted to wait a year and put him in when he is 6. Yes, someone will always have the youngest kids, but if he started at 5, he’d be in class with children a full year or more older than him. And that’s just a huge gap. And someone already mentioned that boys tend to do better when they wait.
Academically, I think he’d be okay, I could push him this summer to make sure he’s ready, but he could also use another year to develop fine motor skills. I have talked to a number of friends with kids who started at the younger end that are struggling. And while I have heard plenty of people say they wish they had waited to start their kids, I have never heard someone say that they regret waiting the extra year.
I started school when I had just turned 5 and was among the youngest in my class and did fine, but my H started at 4 and struggled socially. However, I also think it’s worthwhile to consider that kindergarten is SO MUCH HARDER than it was 20 years ago or more. I did fine with the curriculum then, but who knows, I might have struggled with the curriculum as it is today, being at the younger end of the class.
My daughter has a late November birthday, so I have no choice with her, and I’m sort of glad.
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If you feel your daughter is ready, I would ask for her to start this fall instead of waiting.
My 6th grader is a September 30th bday. I put her in school before she turned 5. Now she was very social & really needed to be in school. She was always ahead in her daycare/preschool classes. I don’t know what happened, but she never picked up reading. Well, actually she hates reading, so almost refuses to practice.
That led her into always struggling in school. I’m still glad that I put her in though, two of her closest friends (boy & girl) both have October bday so are even younger. If you think she can handle the social interactions & the school work (think of what 1st grade was like for you) then put her in. If you think she is on the immature hold her back.
Also, if you do put her in early, you might have to work with her a bit more. I know for me, I have to help my 11 year old way more then I have ever had to help my 7 year old. She is on the young side for school as well, she is a July bday.
Our cut off here is December 1st. . . . which got me my 9 days. As a teacher and parent, I think you have to look at each child differently. There are kids that are born August – November in our area that do well and others that are not mature enough to handle the stresses of kindergarten. I would talk to others in your area to see what they have to say about things. Please note that my son’s teacher (he is in kindergarten now) told parents at open house that kindergarten is the new 1st grade. It really has been beefed up even since I did my student teaching. What I taught my 1st graders is much of what my son is doing. Good luck with your decision.
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Musings from Me says
When my 5th grader started school the cut-off in MD was December 31. She was born in end of August, so I really did not consider holding her back. Part of the issue is that her preschool did not have a Pre-K program. I would have had to drive her out of our town and I had an infant. So to kindergarten she went.
She had the worst K teacher ever…no control of the classroom, barely able to teach, and left the school after that year. Her 1st grade teacher was a lifesaver. Many in her class were young Aug-Dec. kids. The other kids in the class were older that her. She read in K.
The age difference between young kids and the ones who could be in the grade above due to birthday was not noticeable until 3rd grade. My daughter was in a 3rd gr class with a couple of mean girls — who were old for the grade. these girls were socially more mature and are still a problem in 5th grade. I had to tell my daughter to ignore these girls. I think that my daughter’s class just has more issues with girl drama than my older daughter’s group.
It does depend on the child. I do think that my daughter would have benefitted from being held back as she has struggled socially with being one of the youngest. Many of the older ones are in the top reading and math group. My daughter is very tall for her age and towers over the 4th graders, so size wise 5th grade is a better fit. It is so difficult to know what to do.
Does your school test K before they start school? If they do you could have your daughter tested and see where she falls. In MD, kids are shown the uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers to 100, sight words, and letters sounds. K students don’t need to know all of these. The teachers use these as a baseline.
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I had to wait to enter kindergarten and graduated when I was almost 19. There weren’t many of us that age and I think that bothered me a bit but I don’t really see it as a problem.
My son was 19 when he graduated high school and I truly think for him it was a very good thing as he matured slowly. Each child is different with different needs but I think that most children do fine even if they have to stay back and wait because of the age cut off.
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Our 2-year-old is a September baby too. Fortunately, we still have a few more years to think about this…but I know it will go by fast.
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