audrey900's picture
audrey900

Kindergarten for my June Birthday daughter

Hi.  I posted at the beginning of the summer about whether or not to send my June birthday daughter to kindergarten in the fall.  We live in California and our cutoff is the latest in the country at December 2nd.  Believe it or not, we STILL have not made the final call.  My thoughts are:  if we send her now, she would be one of the youngest and possibly struggle.  If we wait a year, she would have such a better chance to be at or near the top.  In the meantime, she would be in a phenominal junior K class at our preschool.  Does anyone feel that waiting a year would harm her in any way?  Thanks so much for any advice.  I am really starting to loose sleep over this one as school starts in a few weeks! 



bethmcpherson's picture
bethmcpherson

My Aunt has 7 kids and when her youngest was old enough to start school she decided to hold him out. Instead she sent him to preschool. She said it was the best thing she ever did. If she could go back she would of done that with all her kids.

gizmo's picture
gizmo

Audrey,

My son also celebrates a late birthday.  His is in July.  Had I known he was going to be the youngest and smallest in the class, I would have held him back.  He just was not mature enough to be with that age range of children. He learned his material quickly but his mental level is still younger than theirs which made it harder for him to make friends.  In a week, he will be entering the 2nd grade but truly I wish he was entering the 1st.  His mental level is still not mature enough IMO.  Please consider her age and how she will have more confidence if she were a bit older.

Good luck!

audrey900's picture
audrey900

Thanks for the advice.  My gut is to wait a year, but I don't want to do her a disservice in the process.  Several months ago her preschool teacher described her as "young-minded" socially/emotionally.  I think that since then she has grown in this area, but waiting can only increase her confidence and self-esteem even more.  I also don't want her to be teased at all for being a 6-year-old kindergartener...etc.  Does this happen?

gizmo's picture
gizmo

I think more children turn six within the first months of kindergarten, so I do not think her age will be a problem.  I think it has to do more with emotional growth etc.  I know my son had a hard time sharing because emotionally he had just turned 5 before entering Kindergarten.  It is sad to say...but I hope I have not messed my son up by *not* holding him back.  He still seems emotionally younger than his peers.  I am hoping this year is better.  

God Bless,
Maureen

turbomama's picture
turbomama

I can really relate to your anxiety about starting your June birthday daughter in kindergarten. I, too, have a June BD daughter that also had some health issues. In the end, I determined to give her a series of simple academic testing. She did fine, so I determined to place her into kindergarten. This April '08, we will be celebrating her second Doctorate degree, (including her Medical degree- she is a great pediatrician!) I did hold back my younger daughter, who has also graduated from college, but she felt K-12 grade school was a bit boring for her. The point is, my younger daughter, though academically ready, was just not quite as mature as her older sister. Good Luck!

momtotwo's picture
momtotwo

I also can relate to your anxiety - in hindsight...my DS has an early June birthday, and our district cutoff is Sept. 1st.  I had never heard of this practice of "redshirting" for kindergarten, until he started school.  He has been in a daycare PT for several years, and in their accredited 3K & 4K programs.  He has always had better gross motor skills than his fine motor, but he knew everything on the list of "what your child show know to start kindergarten" provided by our district.  After his 2nd week of school, they conduct KG screening.  At this screening, the first thing his teacher said to me is "Your son is having a really difficult time in class."  I was blown away.  She then mentioned that he is the youngest in his class and that most of the kids with summer birthdays didn't start until this year.  First of all, I can't believe that for the rest of June, July & Aug, there are no other kids - they must be getting held back for the next year.  I thought this was 5K, but if most of his classmates are now 6 and some might be close to 7 by the end of the year, that is a major difference.  I wish they had offered some sort of screening BEFORE signing him up.  The teacher, on the other hand, that is another issue in itself - I feel now like she's labeled my son a problem but when I try to talk to her, I feel rushed or that I am interrupting her.  She made the comment that DS's writing skills (fine motor) are poor, and "that he is going to have a lot of problems in my class as we write a lot" - DS is also a lefty, and I've done a lot of research on helping learn to write.  When I brought these up, she deferred to the school's OT and was going to get her suggestions.  We want to do as much as we can to help at home, obviously to catch up to the older kids in his class, but I feel like we are going nowhere.  I don't want to be labeled as a meddling parent either, so we are going to work on things at home as much as we can, and wait for the first parent/teacher conference.  If things don't improve from there, then we'll probably get the principal involved in a meeting.  At this point, we are ok if he has to repeat K next year, if he is always going to be playing catch up with his classmates, but we will wait and see.  I think its a new vicious cycle that has been started by holding kids back - I don't remember that happening too much when we were younger.  Its like his class is now 6K, not 5K!!

katesk8's picture
katesk8

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lanie's picture
lanie

YOU CAN NEVER HARM A CHILD BY GIVING THEM AN EXTRA YEAR OF GROWTH! Particularly children who have summer birthdays.  In every grade, in every school, in every state, there is a cut off date.  That means there will ALWAYS be a youngest child and an olderest child.  The chronology of when a child's birthday is, is less relevent to emergent success in school, than is the developmental age of the child.  Maturity is the indicator of developmental age and is only nurtured by time. Give your daughter that gift now, while it is still your choice to do so, rather than later when you may need to keep her back if she is not reaching the academic milestones that will be defined by her actual age and grade level!  We gave both our daughter and our son, July and June birthdays respectively, an extra year and we have NEVER REGRETTED THE DECISION!

kasb2008's picture
kasb2008

Hi Audrey 900,

I'm curious what you decided to do regarding your June birthday daughter who was eligible for kindergarten last year? I am in the same boat with a June daughter for the coming fall and we are also thinking about giving her an extra year. I'd love to hear what you decided and if you have any feedback looking back on the past year.

Thanks!

junieg's picture
junieg

The extra year will give them a better start when it is time for them. I held my son back for a year and it made all the difference. I have read so many posts from people whose children are being held back in school in grades 1 and 2, so this could just prevent that happening to your child if you feel she is not ready now.