I am a stay at home mom of two boys, and they are 2 and 4. My oldest, he is 4 now, will be turning 5 in June. My husband and I have gone back and forth about sending our son to kindergarten in the fall. It is a full day kindergarten, and that I feel is too much for our son. He is very smart and knows his abc's, counting to 20, and also can put a 300 piece puzzle together by himself. He currently goes to preschool tues and thurs 9-11.
I have talked to his preschool teacher, his pediatrician, and now also the school guidance counselor, and they all suggested he start school when he is 6. With that said, I made the decision the other day, and I enrolled him in the same preschool next year. He will be going 3 days a week and 2 1/2 hours a day. It is a little bit more, and hopefully the following school year we will have moved to another school district and it will be 1/2 day kindergarten.
My question is for parents who have made that decision to keep their child back and start kindergarten when they are 6, did it make a difference? Also for the parents who sent their child to kindergarten when they were 4, almost 5, or turned 5 in the summer, how did your child do? Did you notice a large difference when they started kindergarten? Also, as a parent, what did you take into consideration before making that decision?
I've never heard of 6 yrs olds in kindergarten. At 6 they are usually in first grade. Your boy will be 5 - 5 1/2, I think that's a perfect age to send him to kindergarten. I'm sure he will do just fine
My daughter turned 6 in February and will be starting kindergarten this August.
We as her parents felt that she needed a little more time as kindergarten is not just fun and games anymore. The extra year of preschool has allowed her to mature more socially. She was a little behind and we wanted to give her every chance to improve in an environment that she was comfortable. She has blossomed and is now ready for kindergarten. The school where she will be attending is a very good one and kindergarten is now at the 1st and 2nd grade level.
I feel very good about the decision we made. It gave her the time to "catch up" so maybe she will not struggle to keep up in kindergarten.
We thought some about her age at graduation, but that is such a long time off. We felt it was better for us to hold her back now when she is so young then for it to happen later at a time she would be embarrassed.
When mine were young they had gone to pre-k and then straight to kindergarten too much is never enough for them in learning. The first day is the hardest more so for the parents of letting their child go. It is more harder on the parents than for the child and children tend to sense that with us but letting them know that they are big kids now and once they are in Kindegarten they will learn so much more they will interact with other children make friends it is a whole different world for them after time they will love it. What they do in school he will bring it home I put all my kids things art on the refrigerator etc. By my oldest going all day to kindergarten also gave me more time with my other children to work with them and actually by my oldest going better enhanced my middle child he learned more so it has its advantages there also....your children will learn from each other as well....good luck....
My son is now 3 1/2 and really needs to be in a pre-school 2x a week for the whole day! He will be 5 next Aug. 2009, and we will start him in Kindergarten right away.
I do not think I would wait until he was 6. But it depends on the child. If he is going to a pre-school now, that should help get him ready.
I have two daughters whose birthdays are the end of July and I sent them both at 5. I now have a 2 year old son who has a May birthday and I'll just have to wait and see with him. I used to teach kinder-second grade and the summer birthday boys were often quite noticeable. I would be doing a lesson and a boy would do something immature or goofy and I would look up at the birthday chart on the wall and just about every time they had a summer birthday. Most times their school work reflected immaturity as well.
I do think every child is different and you just have to make a judgement on your child. My daughters were reading way ahead of schedule before kinder, so I didn't think much about it. Our ped had a good point though. She definitely recommended sending them with their late birthdays because since they were way ahead academically, them being younger would balance them out. Does that make sense? They probably were going to be at the top academically, but it was better to have them be younger, smaller, not the fastest, etc. They needed challenges somewhere. Look at the whole picture. If he is ahead in one area, it may be a good thing to send him and let him meet those challenges in another area.
I also think you need to look at the school district/area too. If we lived where I grew up, I would definitely send my son at 5. It's 1/2 day kinder and I've been in those classrooms and it's more of the traditional kinder that we attended as children. Where I live now, it's full day and it's more like first grade. My SIL teaches first grade in our hometown and my now kindergartener is doing more than my SIL first grade students are. So that's another thing to consider.
Again, you know you're child best and what is best for him.
DS will be 5 in June. He's been going to preschool at his daycare from 9-11 since he was two years old. He's excited about kindergarten and we feel he's ready. The school district is implementing all day kindergarten next year, which I'm a little nervous about, but if they'd still had half day kindergarten, his daycare would still have him in preschool in the mornings and kindergarten in the afternoon.
You are doing the ABSOLUTE right thing. I can't tell you how many kids wait the extra year to start kindergarten. It happens ALL the time - esp. with boys, who are known to be immature compared to girls. Many kids with late spring and summer bdays wait the extra year. I think the other posters failed to see thepart about the teacher, pediatrician, AND guidance counselor all telling you that your son needs to wait a year. Please do not ignore this part. They are telling you this because they are the experts in this field and have seen kids who are not ready for kindergarten enter too early.
Trust me on this one. I am a former teacher and school administrator (now SAHM). If you had several people tell you to wait the extra year, DO NOT ignore it.
I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER heard a parent tell me that they regretted holding their child back the extra year. I worked at a private school and every once in awhile I had the bright kid who just needed to mature emotionally and developmentally. I am guessing that is the case with your son. He just needs the extra year to grow up a bit.
Whoever said being 6 in kindergarten sounds unusual is wrong. What about the fall birthday's? My son is a Nov. b-day and will be 5 and turning 6 when he enters Kindergarten. He has the advantage b/c of this. Most kids turn 6 in the midst of the school year. Believe me, he will have the advantage being one of the oldest in the class.
Believe me, you are doing the right thing. I would bet money that in a couple of years you will be so happy you waited. It is much better to hold your son back now than to find out in 2nd or 3rd grade that you should have waited.
Thank you all for your responses. Keltokel and anyone else, thank you for helping me, and supporting my opinion. I am nervous because we live in a larger city, they have 3-4 schools for each grade bunch, like 4 schools for kindergarten-2nd grade and so on. I personally do not like a full day kindergarten, I believe in 1/2 day. There are so many reasons I am keeping him back, and when I talked to the guidance couselor at the school he would go to, that sort of made my decision final.
My son has stayed at home with me since he was born. I have not worked in 5 years. I tried to put him in preschool when he was 3 because I needed a break and my second son was 4 months old. The first couple of days were ok, but then it got harder and harder. I could not take it emotionally, and the preschool was not happy with my son, he was crying for 45 min., then while they were doing important activities he would fall asleep, and the school was disappointed, he disrupted the class with his crying, and then sleeping. He went Tues., and Thurs. from 12:30-3:00 pm. I took him out. He was also disrupting our house on the days he went to school, he would start crying when he got up, and realized he had preschool. It was terrible. My husband sleeps from 4 am-11 am, and then goes to work. He was disrupting my husband's sleep. It was all too much. It was supposedly the best preschool in Bangor, and there was a huge waiting list to get in, but I found it was not what everybody claimed it to be.
Then this past fall I put him in the home based preschool that is about 10 houses down the road from our house. The teacher is wonderful, and has become my friend. My other son is 2 and he will go when he is 3 and 4.
I have decided to keep my 4 year old back. He is going to be 5 in June, and will not be attending kindergarten this fall. From what I understand, it is common for boys to start kindergarten a year late. He will be going to the preschool down the road again, but 3 days instead of 2. The guidance counselor told me I do not need to do anything, just register him next March for kindergarten.
My neice who is 5, she just turned in january, is much different from my son. She has been in daycare since she was 6 months old, and knows what it is like to be away from home from 7:30-5:00, so for her kindergarten is no problem, and she is excited. At times my son still has an emotional breakdown for the preschool he goes to now, and he only goes 2 hours twice a week. I just feel emotionally, and socially he is not ready.
I am glad to have made the decision, it feels like a weight has been lifted off.
I appreciate all your helpful posts. Thank you.
Last edited by gorgee; 04-11-2008 at 07:35 AM.
Reason: adding one more thing
Kass3175 we have had quite a few people tell us how well our daughter is doing now and that we made the right decision to hold her back.
Last summer when we made our decision to do another year of preschool, I was worried about what people would think. I spoke to the county school superindentent and the director of my daughter's preschool. They backed our decision. The preschool even started a new teaching program so my daughter did not have to repeat what she had done the year before. It was a new and better curicculum that was a little harder in some ways.
We are now confident that she can enter kindergarten this fall with the ability to keep up academically as well as socially.
I like Keltokel's response.
Good luck with your son in whatever decision you make.
tlhamabama, thank you for helping me with your response. I really feel with all my heart that my son should stay back and not start kindergarten this year. He is not ready for full day kindergarten, and it scares me for him. His current preschool teacher is wonderful and feels that next year he will be ready. She will work with him and help him so he will have all the skills needed to go to kindergarten. He is a brillant child in a lot of ways, he can do a 300 piece puzzle on his own,knows abc's and 123's, but he is not ready to be away from home 8-2. I think it will do more harm to him than good, and be an extreme amount of work on my part.
My other son is completely different, very out going, and with his personality he will probaly be all set to start kindergarten at 5. If I have any doubt, I will not hesitate to keep him back too. I believe we have to go with our first instincts.
My daughter's birthday is in August and she started kindergarten (full day) a few weeks after her 5th birthday. She was in preschool 4 days a week for 3 hours a day the year prior. I had the same concerns as you. I didn't know if it was too much, but I was also affraid that she would get bored if I had her do preschool again.
She did very well in kindergarten and really enjoyed it. She couldn't wait for first grade. The only problem that kept getting brought up was her "maturity". She's a kid, she's not suppose to be that mature. That really ticked me off!
Anyway, in first grade (this year) she struggled with and math gave her a little trouble. I worked with a lot and helped her to become more confident. My husband and I were discussing keeping her back in first grade until we moved. We are in another state and they are just now learning things that she was doing a few months ago in her other school. She is so much more confident now having this "review" as she calls it. She is picking up new skills that before just baffled her. It is so great to see her so happy like that.
So after all my rambling, I say go with your gut. You know your child. Given the choice to do it again I would wait. I regret that I pushed her like that, but now things are evening out and she is thriving. Nobody can tell a mother what is righ for her child!
My son will be 6 this July and starting Kindergarten this Fall. I struggled with this in the beginning but here's a few comments from Teacher's that made me wait:
1. It's easier to move them ahead if they excel academically then it is to "hold" them back after starting. Holding a child back really can alter his self esteem.
2. Younger kids gravitate towards older kids and can be a huge influence. I personally thought that I would rather my son be the influence rather than do what the "big kids" are doing.
3. In California (I don't know if this is true in every state) I'm told that what used to be the 1st grade curriculum is now the Kindergarten curriculum. Academically my son would have done well BUT he really wasn't interested in doing the work as much as he loved playing. I wanted him to have the chance to be a kid for a while longer. Now he can't wait for Kindergarten and his pre-school is sending homework home with him to get him in the habit and he's doing remarkably well! It should be an easy transition for him now - I think it would have been too intimidating before.
Good luck with whatever you decide. I have NO regrets at waiting. My son is a much more confident, assertive child and should have no trouble being in more of a leadership role with his peers.
Ugh, shortly after I posted here about DS having a June birthday and our feeling he was ready for kindergarten, the director of his preschool/daycare center took me aside and asked if we were going to send him or keep him back.
Her concern has to do with this "not being the kindergarten of old" where we learned shapes, colors, alphabet, counting. She's concerned that his imagination is going to be squashed or that he'll be labeled early on as being adhd (he's not). It's more of a 2nd grade level -- children are expected to know their alphabet frontwards AND backwards. Heck, I can't do that without practically giving myself an aneurism.
I don't have a reason to doubt her opinion. She spends 8-9 hours a day with our son. She's been in the business for 25 years and has seen LOTS of kids go thru our school district. She's had 1st & 2nd graders having to attend summer school or get tutors, get burnt out...
So, we have 3 months before registration to figure things out, talk to some people. Shortly after my conversation with her, I pulled out the kindergarten readiness packet my husband was given at pre-registration. Eeek, there was a section on proper pencil holding/penmanship !!?? to prepare the child for cursive writing.
Hi..I have to chime in on this one....My son has a
July birthday...so we waited until he was 6 to start him..It was honestly the best thing we ever did.
He is now almost 16, and will be a sophmore next school year.
We never had any issues with his work, in fact, he excells in all subjects.
He has never struggled at all, even with times tables..lol
He actually thinks it's cool that he can get his drivers liscense a year before his friends.
you will in fact be surprised at how many parents start their kids out later.
His older brother and sister did not wait to start..they both were just over 5 when they did..and I can tell you, it was a struggle at times. I can't tell you how many evenings were spent at the kitchen table crying over homework.
My son will be in advanced math next year, and he is already looking at colleges.so, if by chance your child needs more of a challenge, the school will see to it that he gets it. (like i could help him with trig and algebra anyway, lol)
my son is actually more mature socially than alot of his friends..but he is the 3rd child, and has had some influence from his siblings.
I do not regret for a second holding him back a year.
Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany but from Mililani, Hawaii
Re: boys and kindergarten
I think it really depends on the child. I am a special education teacher and I see some children who should have waited, and then i see others that really benefit from having gone from when they were younger. It really depends on the child.
My own son started kindergarten when he was 4 years and 10 months. His birthday is in November and he started in July actually, so he was 4 years and 8 months. I won't lie, he was a bit behind his peers and he did need some extra time with homework and everything, but he is an amazing student! Now he's in second grade and he is equally matched with his peers. He is doing so well in school I am really amazed. So he was able to manage, but not children are.
As a special education teacher I would say that every child is different and only you as a mother can really say, my child is ready or he's not. Can he count, know his letters, is he social, it really depends on all kinds of things. But there is nothing wrong with letting him wait a year. I hope it all works out!
While I do agree that each child is different, I firmly believe that if you have professionals telling you to wait, you need to listen to them. Like Rataosk said, the teacher spends hours a day, in the classroom, with her son. She knows when a child is ready for the next level.
The other thing that parents often overlook, and I have seen this first hand, is often boys who start too young have problems when they get older. Voice change is a major factor. I had a friend in high school who skipped a grade. He was extremely bright so he got to skip 3rd grade (now a days they would never do this!). Well, come high school, his voice still hadn't changed. Poor kid was called gay and all kinds of names. Doing a speech in front of class was so embarrassing for him. He graduated at 16 and got his master's degree in economics by 21 so he was super bright and can now laugh at all the kids who poked fun of him. But, all his friends were driving in high school and he didn't get his license until later. Just little things like that, which can wreck havoc on self esteem.
So my advice is to listen to the professionals, and like previous posters have said, you will most likely NOT regret holding your child back.
Our son started Kindergarten a week after his 5th birthday...he's now in the 3rd grade, and doing GREAT, in advanced math, and reading.
his ONLY struggle is the "wiggles".....finding it hard to sit still.
I think a MAJORITY of the time kids will do fine going in younger, but it depends on parents, and how they work with them at home. Many parents believe the school is their education and is up to the teachers, which I STRONGLY disagree with. Teaching is both the PARENTS and TEACHERS responsibility!
We spend time working with him and always have, we also sit with him when he does his homework.
I think it depends on you, how you feel he'll do. I have children I care for that are in all day kindergarten and doing great!!!
Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany but from Mililani, Hawaii
Re: boys and kindergarten
Ratatosk: I think it's crazy IF they are trying to force the D'Nealian style on the kids in Kindergarten. However, I DO think it's important for them to learn the CORRECT way to form letters and that is: Top to Bottom, Left to Right. As a SPED teacher, I spend a lot of my time with First graders who cannot write their letters correctly. They start from bottom to top and go right to left, and I have to spend months re-teaching them the correct form. This is an Occupational Therapy thing as well. That is the proper way we form letters. So it is worth while teaching him the "correct" way in Kindergarten, so they don't have to re-learn it at any other time. You never know a certain school's standards, so... but D'Nealian is some new fancy way and I think it's too fancy. I would go with the regular, old-fashioned way! But, if that is the school you are keeping your child in, then those might be the standards and so your child will have to learn it to do well. But check out your state standards, and if that particular stlye is not listed in the standards, then you as a parent can say you refuse to teach your child that way and want him to learn a different way. You'd be surprised how much a parent can do and change at school.... be involved!!! Sure, it makes more hassle for the teachers, but hey... essentially, it's YOUR kid!