When to send my son to Kindergarten?

Ellen - posted on 12/21/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My oldest (son) just turned four. He is a December baby. Where I live the cut-off age for sending your children to kindergarten is 5 yrs by December 31. So come September I have to make a choice if I will send my son to Kindergarten or wait another year. He is a bright boy, and very active. He has been going to preschool this year and will continue until Kindergarten. I also have daycare kids, so he is used to having other kids around, socializing and getting to know new kids. I know that 'mom knows her child best' but I am having a hard time trying to decide what to do and would like to know what some of you other moms did with boys that were Nov or Dec babies :) and how did you make your decision?

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Kerry - posted on 12/30/2009

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it really depends on how ready your son is. talk to his teachers and see what they think. if your school district offers testing, have him tested to see if he is ready. Both my boys have late birthdays and our cut off date is 5 by Aug. 31st. Both boys went to K when they were already 5 and getting ready to turn 6. Best thing due to maturity levels and keeping up. My 3rd grader is doing well and my Kindergartener is at the top of his class. Go with what you feel is best and hope it all works out.

Peggy - posted on 12/29/2009

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My oldest son has a Nov 20 birthday in a state with a Dec 1 cut off. Just like you, I struggled with sending him or holding him back. My son's preschool teacher was invaluable in helping us decide what to do. She had been watching him for 2 years and saw that he was in all areas (academic, socially, physically, emotionally) in line with the March birthdays. Even though there were three boys with birthdays in late Nov, he grouped with the older children. She rarely advised parents to start Kinder with that late of birthday, but she felt he would suffer if he stayed back. She was absolutely right. He is a top student, tallest and has many friends in his third grade class. He would have had huge problems by waiting. Look at your son in all areas of development, not just his birthday. I also worked with his Kinder teacher early on to make sure it was a good fit as we had a plan to switch to a developmental Kindergarten if needed. Good luck!! It is a hard decision!

Lindsay - posted on 12/29/2009

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Where I live the cut-off is to be 5 by Oct. 1. My son will be 5 the same month that he starts Kindergarten. He is in pre-k now and will be next year as well (he's currently 3). My thought is that even though he will be one of the youngest, if he doesn't do well, he can repeat one more year and it won't be as hard on him as an older kindergartener having to repeat. If he thrives, he will continue on. I don't see the harm in starting them when they are in the age range.

Jennifer - posted on 12/29/2009

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Here the cutoff is Oct 15 and Evan's birthday is Dec 7. He's in pre-k this year and will go to K next year a few mos before he turns 6. I can't imagine him being in K this year, at least not where he's going to go. My oldest would've been o.k. but he was reading before 5 and enjoys school a lot. I'm not one for holding kids back, but Dec 31 seems like such a late deadline! It's really going to depend on your son in the end. Ilana was born Nov 3 so misses the cutoff by 2 wks. I'm still not sure what we'll do w/ her. We might push for early admittance if she starts learning her letters and numbers now like my oldest did. Good luck.

Kekua - posted on 12/25/2009

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Both my kids are december babies and I sent them both to kinder at 4yrs old. They had plenty of preschool experience and knew all the things they needed to be prepared academically. If you feel your son has that, go ahead and send him. If for some reason he doesn't do well he can always "try again" next year. But I doubt he will. :)

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where i live the age is 5 by august 24th my sons birthday is august 22nd, so he just made it at 5- he struggled a bit in the beginning but now he is a happy and smart 1st grader. as everyone else said, it depends upon the child. and also the teachers... if you feel he is ready, send him... the very worst that can happen is that they will hold him back a year if they feel he wont do well in 1st grade....

Shannon - posted on 12/22/2009

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It's all so subjective. My oldest went 'young' (one of the youngest in his class) and it worked great. Do to when his birthday is, my next boy went 'old' (one of the oldest in his class) - and I'm grateful - I don't think he would have done as well if he were younger.

So - it really just depends on your child and how ready you think they are. Good luck!!

Lisa - posted on 12/21/2009

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My situation was a little different but I got some great advice. My two oldest children are 17 months apart. My daughter is older and when she was in kindergarten I would volunteer in her class once a week and the teacher let me bring my son along since he was older and she knew he was well behaved. i think that helped him out a little. My daughter is a younger student, she has a summer birthday and is one of the youngest in her class and it has worked out well for her. My son is an October baby and our cut off is September 15. He is one of the oldest kids in his class. He had the same kindergarten teacher and she said it was the best thing for my son to be an older child in his grade because for boys, it is a maturity thing.

Angie - posted on 12/21/2009

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So you son will be 4 and 9 months when he starts kindergarten, right? The same age my brother and I were when we started school. I did great - never a problem. My brother stuggled all through school. I had the opportunity to send my youngest to kindergarten at the same age and chose not to - it was the best thing I ever did for her. She is thriving in school and I don't think she would be had we put her in a year early. Have him tested by the school to see if he's ready. It will help make your decision a little easier. Keep in mind that this means your son will be leaving home for college at 17. Some colleges will not allow him in college dorms at that age and he won't be able to rent an apartment either. You know your son best but a teacher will know if your child is truly ready to start school at 4 - we mom's tend to look at our children with rose colored glasses (at least I do). Good luck.

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