My son is only 5 years old and in Kindergarten. Our district has a cutoff of December 31st, so he began K as a 4 year old. His birthday is December 4th. We thought he'd be ok being he was in full day daycare since 19 months.
He is struggling to focus and working in large groups. He recieves early intervention services for reading and math. I have to say he improved A LOT since September. But his teacher says he isn't where she'd like him to be.
I have a lot of people their opinions. Two 18 year olds with October and November birthdays said they wished their parents left them back bc they were the last ones to do everything. In college they couldn't rent books, go to clubs, etc because they weren't yet 18. Other parents of kids have said they regretted not holding their kids back and others say it was the best thing they did to hold them back. However, I am now nervous that he will go into Kindergarten again in September and be a beginning reader while the other kids are nonreaders. Is he going to be bored?
My real question is....has anyone here thought about leaving their child behind or has done it? I would like advice from parents with older children. Thanks in advance!
Hi Crunk, I have a 6YO that is now in K. His birthday is July 22nd and our cut off is August 1st. I choose to hold him back in PreK. I was talking to the teachers a few weeks ago we were talking about holding him back again in K. I have deceided against that. He will go into 1st grade with additional support services.
The extra year really helped him. He matured so much in that time. I would do it again for another late birthday. They say boys take longer than girls to mature. I know in my LO's it is true. I would make the same decision again.
Hi I have a 16 year old daughter that started school when she was 4 at a small private school. She was in the Pre k program, which was in the same class as the kindergarten class. I was so proud when the teacher told me that she would finish her Pre K work and then complete the kindergarten work before some of the other children. Wow I have a smart kid I thought. Academically she was good and she is still doing well academically. Right now she is a top basketball player and she is being heavily recruited by colleges. She has been playing basketball since a very young age her talent level was so high she always played at least 2 grades up. This all sounds great right? But we as parents get so caught up in the accomplishments that we don't see the problems until it is too late. Children are very social beings and as the other children that were older than her began to start to mature around the 5th and 6th grade she began to struggle socially. I regret putting her ahead at that point. Whether we like it or not we like to fit in and when we don't it becomes a struggle. We have to look at all aspects not just whether they can read or right or compete at a higher level but will socially fit and will it cause issues. Best of luck in your decision .
Hi Crunk, My son is 9 now and in 3rd grade. Our school has a July 1 cutoff date, and his birthday is June 21. So I put him in kindergarten when I was supposed to, but it proved to be the wrong decision for him. He struggled with reading and with being as mature as the rest of his class; he just never seemed to fit in. After he completed 1st grade, even if I wanted to hold him back, the district would not have let me because they passed him, even though he struggled with some things (he did not struggle enough to fail). I homeschooled him for a year - we worked really hard on reading and math. Then I put him in second grade. It was the best thing I could have done for him. He is now the oldest in the class, and the fact that he is a little older helps offset the fact that he is a little less mature than most kids his age. He is at the top of his class in math, and an above average reader in his grade. He has way more self confidence than he ever did. And he doesnt have to say he failed a grade because he was homeschooled for a year and never actually repeated a grade in school. Regarding your worry about being bored because he would start as a beginning reader - I also have twin girls in kindergarten this year. They could both read when they went in to kindergarten. These days, I think the teachers are well trained in challenging all the kids at their levels. The girls read the Magic Treehouse books while the other kids are learning their letter sounds, and it makes them very proud that they are one of just a few kids who can read such advanced books. I think, if your son is struggling now, later on in school, say middle school and high school, when things are really getting tough, its going to be very discouraging for him, and he may really struggle to be successful. A child must feel capable to succeed, and if they struggle from the beginning, it will be difficult for them to develop self confidence and to do well. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Thanks for your Reply!
I would say to trust your instincts. Your posting gives the impression you feel he isn't ready, so I would say trust it and hold him back. I would not be at all worried that he will be bored in kindergarten -- many kids are already reading and writing when they start kindergarten and many times the activities are at various levels. Plus, so much about kindergarten is about socialization and learning the routines of school, and another year of learning to work in groups may help him. My daughter is finishing first grade now and was already reading in kindergarten (in the youngest quarter of her class), but there are lots of kids in her class who have been held back -- maybe 15-20 percent, mostly boys, and honestly they are not at the top of the class, mostly the middle. Remember that in many areas of the country the cutoff for kindergarten is way earlier -- some as early as July or August (ours is September). If you keep your son back, he will actually be in the class that he should have been if he had lived almost anywhere else in the U.S. This is important not only because when he goes to college he will be competing with these older kids, but also now with the common core standards most states are introducing, there are uniform requirements for math, reading, etc., for each grade -- this means your son is basically trying to do stuff that is a year ahead of him all along through school. Things really are getting more complex — my first grader is already doing some multiplication, when this used to be third grade! So the cut off dates may have been set in an earlier age when things were more laid back and kindergarten was for playtime and naps. Also, I really think there is a readiness factor, where some things just click when you are ready to be there and it will be a ton of work (and frustration) otherwise. He may be frustrated with first grade math at 5 turning 6, but find it fun and interesting at 6 turning 7. I think one of the greatest gifts you can give your son is a love of learning and confidence in his ability to learn, both of which will be tough if he is not held back, as it sounds like everything may always seem "hard" to him, where it may seem "easy" or normal if he is held back. My youngest missed the cutoff by 5 days, and at first I was frustrated and thought that she would be very ready for school (like her sister would have been at the same age) but she is a different person than her sister and won't be ready ahead of schedule — if her birthday had been a week earlier, I would be considering holding her back. So basically, if you are this strongly considering it, it probably is the right thing. I wouldn't worry about the "not going to clubs thing" (I skipped a grade and was way younger and this was really not a big issue) but I would worry a lot about academics and socialization -- not just for increased academic success, but also increased confidence, happiness and love of learning.
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