Author Topic: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?  (Read 4331 times)

jeromedawg

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Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« on: November 01, 2019, 01:30:48 PM »
Hey all,

Looking for some input on the transition into Kindergarten. Our son was born in August so he's going to be the younger of the group of peers if he were to start "on-time" - if we were to hold him back he would be older. Currently we have been planning a move to a new area that has a language immersion program - I do need to call the school to figure out if there's a catch (if, for this language immersion program, it's based on birthdates etc). Supposing there are no 'restrictions' I just wanted to get some feedback and experiences for those of you who were in this situation and either decided to put your kid in or hold them back - how did you come to the decision that you came to and what were some of the reasons? Would like to get opinions/input/experiences from both sides.


TIA!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 01:40:34 PM by jeromedawg »

merula

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 01:44:39 PM »
I wouldn't hold your son back unless you have specific concerns about his abilities. If he's about average for his age in terms of behavior and development (that is, not bottom-quartile), he may be one of the youngest but won't be "left behind" because there will be kids who are older but less ready for school.

I was an extreme case of being the youngest in my class. When I was 4, I lived in a place with a normal September cut-off, so with my November birthday meant I couldn't go to kindergarten that year. But the next year, we had moved to a place that had a very weird DECEMBER cut-off, so when I was registered for school they put me in first grade. We moved again the next year to another regular-September-cut-off place, so I was always the youngest after that.

I was generally on the smaller end of the class physically, but didn't have any academic or social problems from my age, and being a year ahead allowed me to start my "real life" a year earlier. This ended up meaning that I graduated college in 2007 at the peak of the market rather than 2008 at the start of the recession, so it did actually make quite a bit of difference to my career.

My kids don't have summer birthdays, but they are in an immersion school, and for what it's worth, I think they take the early grades slower than other schools because they're working on establishing those second language skills first, before moving on to other things. My second grader is starting to learn how to read English using first-grade materials, for example. In terms of state testing, the English skills even out by fourth grade, so the immersion kids are on par with everyone else then, AND can read in a second language too. From that perspective, I think that immersion schools would be better than average for evening out the advantages and disadvantages various kids are bringing with them to kindergarten.

Psychstache

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 01:45:47 PM »
The mere fact that you are asking this questions means that you have spent more time thinking about your child's education than 90% of parents, particularly at this point.

A lot will depend on the individual child. I started school when I was 4 turning 5, but my parents basically did that because we were poor and it was the cheapest option. I was cognitively very ready, but emotionally not at all prepared for Kindergarten. Contrast that with my daughter, who is probably ready for Kindergarten now* (3 year old who is the child of a teacher and an educational psychologists) but has a September birthday and not eligible to start until she is almost 6. I think she would be fine if she were eligible to start Kinder at 4, but she'll be fine and I'm not gonna go try and tear the system down.

Assess your child's cognitive and emotional behavioral development, talk with your pediatrician and look at milestones, talk with the school and any parents who are or recently did Kinder there, take all that and sit down with your spouse and make your best guess (which is most of what parenting is).

*In reality I would never advocate that a 3 year go to Kindergarten.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 01:57:19 PM »
I can't find it now, but just the other day I was reading a article or blog post (probably in the Washington Post) by a mom who had "redshirted" her late birthday kid but then regretted it. He was so much bigger, smarter, and more physical than his second-grade classmates that he had to make a mid-year move to third grade, which was kinda traumatic for all of them. In retrospect, she thinks it would have been better in the long run to power through kindergarten.

But my sister has had no regrets so far about doing it for her kid (now a nine-year-old third-grader) on the advice of his preschool teacher. Does your kid go to preschool? The teacher's advice might be invaluable.

jeromedawg

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 01:58:55 PM »
Thanks guys! So I'll give a few more tidbits of info. Last year his preschool had a 3rd party come in to readiness assessments (for age and school readiness), and he was behind in his fine motor skills as well as his auditory memory.
Currently he cannot read but he knows his alphabet and letters pretty well.
Overarching issues my wife has noticed as of late 1) our son seems to have a short attention span (e.g. he can't keep focused during swim classes and ends up messing around most of the time. And then comprehension is lacking a bit when we read him stories, etc) 2) he gets very easily frustrated if he can't do something right the first time. 

ontheway2

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 02:08:57 PM »
It's still kind of the beginning of this school year. All of what you say he has issues with seem normal for a kid his age; I'd wait until later to access his attention span.  Also, kids are not expected to be able to read going into kindergarten; knowing the letters and numbers is right on par.

My oldest has a summer birthday. We started him on time, and it was recommended we retain him due to maturity. He was ahead academically. We chose to push him through, and I am glad we did (he's in 9th now).

My youngest was borderline for retention in kindergarten. We worked with him over the summer and had him retested and decided to push him through as well. He did not do well in first grade and is now doing first v2. It has been a great move for him so far this year.

taxman

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 02:13:12 PM »
I'd wait. We had a July birthday boy, and he was perhaps ready for school (per assessments/etc.), but we judged that waiting would help him. While he has some physical advantages, they were not large. Being a boy, stronger/bigger is often looked at favorable anyway. He did really well in school and is now graduated from college and is fully employed, etc.

We knew of another boy (thru school/sports) with a late Spring birthday that was always behind in growth and maturity/grades and that family held their kid back in 6th grade. That is a big negative and a traumatic thing to do...

We also had a late April birthday boy and though our boys are quite similar, we sent him on 'normal' timing and he did not do quite as well with grades/etc. Was generally a bit smaller until high school. I kind of wished we would have "held him back", but he did not do badly...But definitely there is a bit of difference in confidence/maturity/etc. between these two. But as always, so many things factor into that beyond just when they started school.

Society these days seems a bit fixated on getting started/etc. "on schedule". But, you are the best judge. Obviously, other factors of how bright he is and whether all is friends are going to school at the same time might be impactful also.

dcozad999

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 02:21:58 PM »
My son has a July birthday and we put him in kindergarten at 6 instead of 5. He had speech and social issues so it was a no brainer, but to tell you the truth, I would have put him in at 6 anyway. He still has some social issues. He didn't test on the spectrum, but he was pretty close. But he has friends and is doing extremely well academically. I think he would have struggled had we put him in early so I'm pretty confident we did the right thing. He's come a long way.

My 3 year-old daughter has a June birthday and I had originally planned to wait until 6 for her as well, but we will probably put her in at 5. At this point she's pretty advanced for her age. She's a better conversationalist than my 8 year old son half the time. 

dcozad999

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 02:28:40 PM »

We also had a late April birthday boy and though our boys are quite similar, we sent him on 'normal' timing and he did not do quite as well with grades/etc. Was generally a bit smaller until high school. I kind of wished we would have "held him back", but he did not do badly...But definitely there is a bit of difference in confidence/maturity/etc. between these two. But as always, so many things factor into that beyond just when they started school.

Society these days seems a bit fixated on getting started/etc. "on schedule". But, you are the best judge. Obviously, other factors of how bright he is and whether all is friends are going to school at the same time might be impactful also.


This is exactly the reason I planned to wait for my son, even before his issues. One of my best friends had the same experience as yours all through school. He was always a smaller kid (gradewise) until mid high school. It gave him a lot of confidence issues he didn't really overcome until college. Had he been a grade lower I don't think he would have had these issues.

Girls are probably a different story.

SunnyDays

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2019, 03:44:02 PM »
Given that your son has some delays now, I think it would make sense to keep him back a year and have him be one of the older kids next year.  Especially if you hope to have him do sports, itís better to be older because he will likely be bigger than his competitors.  (The book ďOutliersĒ by Malcolm Gladwell correlates success in pro hockey with January birthdays.)  If your son catches up in a few years he can always skip a grade, which I would think would be better than having to repeat a grade if he starts too young.  I was a December baby and couldnít start school until almost 6, and I think that helped me be academically successful.

Cranky

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2019, 04:27:22 PM »
Somebody is always going to be the youngest, and for some kids thatís a disadvantage and for some not.

One of my girls has an October birthday and could have started kindergarten the year she turned 5, but really didnít want to even though I think she was more than academically ready. In the long run, I think she always felt older than her classmates. And then my next dd had an August birthday and was VERY keen to start kindergarten, so we let her. She did fine academically but I did think she was always a bit immature socially.

Thereís never going to be a perfect answer. Iíd go and look at the school and see what itís like. Is there a lot of sitting still? If so, Iíd give him another year, or be open to the possibility of a second year in kindergarten.

FINate

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2019, 04:29:53 PM »
DW is a former kindergarten teacher. Always hold back when they are on the cusp of the cutoff and/or there are developmental concerns. Obviously, don't "redshirt" your kids in an extreme way, but in border cases don't sweat it. Given the option between your kid(s) being (on average) 6 months ahead of their class developmentally vs. 6 months behind, the choice is clear. Both of our kids are Aug/Sept babies and we held both back which was absolutely the right choice. They are just a little bit more mature and capable, which makes school that much more enjoyable and has improved their confidence. 

calimom

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2019, 06:52:14 PM »
OP, you are in California, yes? Check to see if your school district offers Transitional Kindergarten, which bridges the gap between pre-school and kindergarten. It's been around for about 5 years. It can be a good option.

Psychstache

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2019, 07:20:18 PM »
Given that your son has some delays now

DW is a former kindergarten teacher. Always hold back when they are on the cusp of the cutoff and/or there are developmental concerns. 

I don't know that it is clear from THE OPs post that the kiddo has developmental concerns. The behaviors she reports are typicaly of a 4y3mo old kiddo.

Papa bear

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2019, 09:23:51 PM »
I have a son in similar age and birth time.  Weíre 99% sure on holding back even as heís one of the biggest kids and tracks normal developmentally.

Weíve asked a lot of people with older kids (and some now adults) what they did and why.  Never has anyone regretted holding their child back to start later. But Iíve heard a few people tell me it wasnít their best move to push ahead. And one person told me it was the biggest mistake she had made in her sonís life and she would absolutely have held back.

I was one of the older kids, could have gone ahead if my parents pushed the issue. I wouldnít want to have changed that, and donít have any problems or regrets personally. 




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SunnyDays

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2019, 09:26:54 PM »
Given that your son has some delays now

DW is a former kindergarten teacher. Always hold back when they are on the cusp of the cutoff and/or there are developmental concerns. 

I don't know that it is clear from THE OPs post that the kiddo has developmental concerns. The behaviors she reports are typicaly of a 4y3mo old kiddo.

Just going by the OP's comment that the boy is "behind in fine motor skills and auditory memory."  Not a global delay I assume.

teen persuasion

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2019, 09:42:12 PM »
All these responses are weird weird weird to me!

I always thought Dec 1 cut off was the norm.  Holding back spring birthday kids?  Really?

After my oldest's experience (Oct birthday), where she was bored silly by second grade (the wonderful teacher recognised her need for more advanced work and had DD1 join the 3rd 4th grade combo class for reading), I was concerned DS2 (March birthday) would be even more stymied by the pace.  We tried to get him enrolled early, but the school district refused.  Said they'd advance him a grade if needed.  Never happened.  In second grade, the same teacher immediately had DS2 join the 3rd 4th grade combo class for reading.  Both went on to placement in the 3rd 4th combo classes for the next 2 years.  Those combo classes put gifted students with special needs students, and the teachers team taught some subjects, and separated by ability for other subjects.  They were great for teaching the kids empathy for one another (everyone positively participated in and critiqued each other's research projects), and that each student had gifts (which they celebrated) and weaknesses (which they helped each other on)in different areas.  The mashup of ages and abilities helped my kids, kept them from tuning out (or turning snarky) when things were too slow because they had older kids to keep them challenged, and younger newbies to help along the second year.

Unfortunately, the combo classes were phased out, so DD3 (Aug birthday) and DS4 (late Sept birthday) didn't get to benefit from them.

If you haven't guessed yet, I think strict age-cohort classes are counterproductive.  Kids thrive from multi-age settings (like our district's music program).  The kids are exposed to more students than just those in their grade level.  The younger ones can see what the older kids are doing ahead of them (music, acting, sports, vocational, etc.) and talk to them about it and get inspired.  They can inspire those coming up behind them in turn.  Sometimes the older are inspired by the younger, too. 

I know my kids were competitive with one another.  DD1 started violin.  When it was DS2's turn, he did viola, to be different.  DD3 started with violin, but was really waiting for chorus to be an option (later) - voice is her instrument.  DS4 started with band, to be really different.  By then DS2 was in HS, and had already added upright bass and explored jazz band (great excuse for adding electric bass), but little brother going the band route made him go "huh, think I'll ADD band, too".  So tuba, and then trombone in addition to orchestra.  Of course, DS4 had tagged along to DS2's XC practices for years before he was eligible to join the modified team.  Then the modified sports were cut for budget reasons.  Ok, DS4 worked to pass selective modification so he could join the varsity team while in middle school.  And not to be outdone by DS2, added orchestra in HS (the harder direction, band is easier to quickly become proficient in).


I guess I'm saying, let your kids try stuff, even if they don't seem quite ready, yet.  They might surprise you.  And learning from failure is a good skill to have/develop.  I don't think enough people get that chance these days.

nancyfrank232

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Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2019, 09:48:41 PM »
In general, school is useless. Including college

I spend most of my effort undoing the damage that school inflicts on our child

Our child understands that school is just an unimportant game
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 09:50:56 PM by nancyfrank232 »

MayDay

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2019, 09:41:49 AM »
I had a kid with a Sept birthday, and we could have started him at 4.9 as our cut off was 9/30. We redshirted for 2 reasons: 1. Every district around had a 9/1 cut off, 2. He had developmental delays.

I think it would have been better to start him "on time". He's fine now, but he would have been fine starting earlier. He needed more academic challenge.

In general I think is Rich people over think this. Just send your kid to school! It'll be fine.

calimom

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2019, 09:46:50 AM »
In general, school is useless. Including college

I spend most of my effort undoing the damage that school inflicts on our child

Our child understands that school is just an unimportant game


Let us know how that works for you in, say 20 years or so.

Capsu78

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2019, 12:29:54 PM »
I was the 3rd of 5 with 3 boys.  I have a late October birthday near the cut off.  There is no way my poor mother was going to keep me at home for an additional year!
I was always close to the youngest in the class and probably would have benefited me maturity wise. 
Of course, I didn't leave my teen age years behind until I was approaching 40, so maybe that year wouldn't have made much of a difference!

SKL-HOU

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2019, 07:05:49 PM »
In general, school is useless. Including college

I spend most of my effort undoing the damage that school inflicts on our child

Our child understands that school is just an unimportant game

The problem must be with you.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2019, 07:08:24 PM »
Is your kid bilingual? That may affect the comprehension. In any case, if you donít think he is ready, wait another year.

ABC123

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2019, 07:15:27 PM »
Kindergarten cut off in our district used to be 5 by September 30, so my oldest missed it by a week.  They then moved it up to August 15, so my middle kid missed it by a week.  For both of them, having that extra year was definitely a benefit.  But this is all very dependent on the individual kid.  I would check with the school you want him to go to, and make sure what their cut off is, and go from there.

maizefolk

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2019, 07:19:17 PM »
I was a kid who was started in kindergarden a year late (I was close to the cut off, would have either been the youngest or oldest kid going into my kindergarten class), and I'm very grateful to my parents for having down so. Only practical because my mother was staying home at the time.

Middle school is a traumatic time for anyone, but I think I dodged a huge amount of bullying and other crap young teenagers put each other through by being one of the bigger and stronger guys in my grade even though I was also one of the nerdy ones.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 11:52:57 AM by maizeman »

nancyfrank232

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Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2019, 07:58:43 PM »
The problem must be with you.

What problem?

Life is awesome!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 08:22:03 PM by nancyfrank232 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2019, 01:20:52 AM »
OP, you are in California, yes? Check to see if your school district offers Transitional Kindergarten, which bridges the gap between pre-school and kindergarten. It's been around for about 5 years. It can be a good option.

I am in CA but, unfortunately, our son won't qualify for Transitional K due to the cut-off (if the kid turns 5 between Sept 2nd through Dec 2nd they will qualify for TK). Our son will be slightly early at August 23rd :(

That said, I am still curious about all this and how it particularly relates to or is impacted by dual immersion programs. My son is not bilingual by any means but my wife tries to teach him very very basic Mandarin. The hope is that he will become bilingual once he's in the immersion program. Structurally, the daily courses are taught in 80% Mandarin/20% English and starts at K - there is no TK program for the Mandarin Immersion Program that I'm aware of but I should actually check. That said, I have heard that because the curriculum for the immersion program obviously has less of a focus on English, science, and math, that many parents end up spending more time at home with their kids 'supplementing' (I'm not really sure on what that actually means though but maybe I should ask more about that haha).  It sounds like naturally though, kids (regardless of their age) may not be *as* up-to-speed with those other subjects due to the emphasis being on learning the second language. So I wonder if that may make it somewhat of a moot point that we feel our boy is "behind" and are concerned to the point that we would consider holding him back.

ColaMan

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2019, 11:04:02 AM »
We red-shirted (did a second round of K at the private school he attends), our boy, who is now ten years old.   We view it, in retrospect, as absolutely the right decision.  Our only hesitation was that he was already well above-average academically, even as one of the younger kids in his first round of K.  But socially and emotionally,  we thought he could benefit from a bit more maturity before 1st grade (he also had some fine motor skill delays, so things like handwriting were a bit challenging).   Our concerns never manifested themselves -- he is still ahead of his classmates academically, but seems to have suffered no ill effects.  Also, he never exhibited any of the behavior problems associated with emotional immaturity that some of his male peers struggled with.  Being one of the older kids in his class has been really good for him, to this point. 

At the time, we talked with several parents who had been faced with a similar decision, and not a single one expressed regret about red-shirting their child.  It seems that boys, in particular, often need a little more time in order to be able to handle the structure of modern classroom education.

StarBright

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2019, 12:38:44 PM »
Can you observe the kindergarten class before you make a decision?

We went from a very play based pre-school to a kindergarten that had a 7 hour day and kids doing worksheets in week 2. It did not go well. It wasn't anyone's fault but it was a bad match of child to curriculum style.

If you have a wiggler and mover and K where the curriculum has them sitting and doing work all day, then I think redshirting can be good. Actually if you have a super active kid in general that I would advocate red shirting. Maturity helps.

But if you have a calmer, rule following type then they would probably be just fine in a more studious, work focused room. Conversely,  if you have a shy, young child going into a very active classroom it might be very overwhelming.

As my children get older I have become a big believer in fit as opposed to  age being the deciding factor in whether or not a child will do well in a class room.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 12:19:05 PM by StarBright »

Imma

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2019, 01:14:45 PM »

Middle school is a traumatic time for anyone, but I think I dodged a huge amount of bullying and other crap young teenagers put each other through by being one of the bigger and stronger guys in my grade even though I was also one of the nerdy ones.

Being bigger and stronger than everyone else isn't always a positive thing though. A good friend of mine was a September baby and his parents decided to hold him back (cutoff is September 30 around here). He was naturally big and was already as tall as the teachers by middle school and had the voice of an adult male. We all still really looked liked kids and he felt super awkward. Being the big tall guy seems to have damaged his confidence permanently. He's still bigger than average but not as much as much as he was as that age.

My sibling and I were both summer babies and our parents chose not to held us back which was certainly the right decision in our case. In fact my school kept pushing for me to skip a grade but my parents believed all kids belong in the grade the calendar says they belong in (which I don't agree with). For some kids it's much better to start a little later, but many people around me talk about holiding back their summer babies for a year and I don't think that's automatically better in many cases. It really depends on the type of kid and also on the type of school they're going to. I for one know I would have been super bored in class and that would likely have translated to lower grades.

E_Monkey

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2019, 01:34:02 PM »
Every kid is different. Our kid is one of the youngest in his class. We never considered redshirting.

  • Heís big.
  • The ability to focus is one of his talents.
  • He REALLY REALLY wanted to learn to read.

All this talk of redshirting makes me personally very nervous. School was awful for me because almost everyone in my classes took a long time to catch up to where I was intellectually. My mother says now that she should have skipped me.

We work very hard (with his teachers) to make sure that our kid stays mentally stimulated in his age-appropriate grade, even though heís young.

ysette9

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2019, 02:04:32 PM »
Since it is immersion i would personally err on the side of going earlier. Language acquisition is so much easier the younger you are. If you decide in the end to repeat K for other reasons then at least you will have a year of language under your belt, which I think will be very beneficial.

neophyte

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2019, 02:09:47 PM »
Since it is immersion i would personally err on the side of going earlier. Language acquisition is so much easier the younger you are. If you decide in the end to repeat K for other reasons then at least you will have a year of language under your belt, which I think will be very beneficial.
Yes!

My mother kept me home an extra year and I really wish she hadn't.  As a child it wasn't a particularly big deal, although people sometimes assumed I had been held back a year (while I was usually the top student in the class).

From a FIRE perspective I would have liked to have graduated college and started earning money a year younger. Especially (and totally unpredictable 16 years earlier) because that extra year resulted in me graduating at the height of the recession.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2019, 06:07:55 PM »
In general I think is Rich people over think this. Just send your kid to school! It'll be fine.

So true.  My friend living paycheck to paycheck with a late August kid won't be redshirting because they can't afford another year of daycare. 

I get frustrated with redshirting conversations because I just see it as unofficially moving the date for starting school back - now it's May/June kids that are the youngest, next it'll be Jan/Feb...  Someone has to be the youngest!  When I was in school, that was me and I didn't even realize it until eighth grade when a teacher sat us by age (I was always top of my class academically with plenty of friends despite challenges like frequent moves).  And as noted, being bigger/older and going through puberty early isn't always beneficial either.

Yes, there a few kids with developmental delays, but more often I think it's either overly anxious parents or parents seeking a later advantage for their kids (e.g. sports).  Unless a professional has told you otherwise, it's probably going to be just fine, particularly for an immersion school where starting sooner is an advantage to learning a language.

Cgbg

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2019, 06:17:02 PM »
Our youngest was born in July. We didnít hold him back- he was more than ready academically. His brother is 15 months older, so they were one year apart in school and pretty much one year apart in terms of academic development. The younger kid was average height growing up so he didnít appear smaller than his classmates.

He had one classmate with the same birthday, but the kid was one year older. I didnít realize that until the older classmate turned 15 and got his learners permit, while my kid had to wait another year.

merula

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2019, 08:11:25 AM »
That said, I am still curious about all this and how it particularly relates to or is impacted by dual immersion programs. My son is not bilingual by any means but my wife tries to teach him very very basic Mandarin. The hope is that he will become bilingual once he's in the immersion program. Structurally, the daily courses are taught in 80% Mandarin/20% English and starts at K - there is no TK program for the Mandarin Immersion Program that I'm aware of but I should actually check. That said, I have heard that because the curriculum for the immersion program obviously has less of a focus on English, science, and math, that many parents end up spending more time at home with their kids 'supplementing' (I'm not really sure on what that actually means though but maybe I should ask more about that haha).  It sounds like naturally though, kids (regardless of their age) may not be *as* up-to-speed with those other subjects due to the emphasis being on learning the second language. So I wonder if that may make it somewhat of a moot point that we feel our boy is "behind" and are concerned to the point that we would consider holding him back.

I tried to address the immersion thing earlier, but I'll go into a little more depth. My kids are in 2nd and kindergarten at a Spanish immersion school, and they each did two years of Spanish immersion preschool. My Spanish is terrible, my husband's is pretty good, but we predominately speak a dialect from Spain, which makes it a bit more difficult as it's pretty different from the more common Latin American dialects in our area.

One kid has a long-standing speech delay (he's been in speech therapy since 2), the other is pending an ADHD diagnosis, or is just-sub-clinical on attention deficit. Basically, while they're good kids, they're not any sort of idealized student or gifted stars or anything. Our parenting philosophy is much more on the side of encouraging questions as a way of learning than rote memorization, so they've never had flash cards or learning exercises or any of that kind of supplementation at home.

Both kids have learned plenty in English, despite never having formal instruction in it: counting, the English alphabet, animal names/noises, etc. Your standard early childhood stuff.

When we were looking for an elementary school, we toured our local Mandarin immersion, because we had neighbors who went there and loved it. It was a great place, excellent test scores and the kids seemed happy, but it was very worksheet-intensive and we didn't feel it would be a good fit for our kids or our parenting style. There's no "catching up" at all; that school is at the absolute top of the district in terms of English-language testing, although I think a lot of that was that they had class sizes of 15-18 for the first couple of years they were in operation. It's become more popular now, so they're at the average size of 26 for the early years, but no word yet on what the test score impact will be.

Our kids' immersion school doesn't start any English instruction at all until 2nd grade; before that everything is Spanish, and parents are asked not to do any formal English phonics because it can disrupt the Spanish pronunciation. Prior to this year, the 2nd grader wasn't all that interested in independent reading. He could sound out any word in Spanish, but he frequently didn't know what the words meant, so he wasn't comprehending what he was reading except in the simplest books. On the flip side, his English vocab is great, but he couldn't sound out words because he hadn't learned English phonics.

But about a month ago, it was like a switch flipped, and he's reading chapter books in both English and Spanish, and he WANTS to read and go to the library. I think it just took a little bit of phonics and he was able to build on the reading skills he had developed in Spanish and transfer them to English. I'm still concerned about his spelling, which is awful in both English and Spanish, but his teacher said it's age-appropriate. (His to-do list this weekend included "clin rum" and "clin ap stars".)

The kindergartener seems to be on about the same path, although he's trying to read and write earlier than his brother did, probably because that example helps.

Both children are about average in terms of academic achievement overall, but they're at the higher end of their school because it's a Title I school with a lot of low-income and English Language Learner students. Age is definitely far less of a factor in determining achievement than socioeconomic status.

Tuskalusa

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2019, 08:26:06 AM »
My son has an August birthday, and I agonized over whether to put him in school at 5 or hold him back. I finally put him in. He was one of the younger kids, and kindergarten was a bit of the struggle. But it was worth it.

Now my son is 13 and in 8th grade. Heís doing great in school and is right on track. Hereís the thing...I canít imagine him in the 7th grade right now. Heís more mature than that. Heís where heís supposed to be. It worked out fine.

Kindergarten is a big transition, but with the right family and school support, I bet your child will be fine. I get how hard the decision is...I was totally there too. Iím here to tell you that it will work out.

StarBright

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2019, 08:35:43 AM »
. . .
I get frustrated with redshirting conversations because I just see it as unofficially moving the date for starting school back - now it's May/June kids that are the youngest, next it'll be Jan/Feb...  Someone has to be the youngest!  When I was in school, that was me and I didn't even realize it until eighth grade when a teacher sat us by age (I was always top of my class academically with plenty of friends despite challenges like frequent moves).  And as noted, being bigger/older and going through puberty early isn't always beneficial either.

Yes, there a few kids with developmental delays, but more often I think it's either overly anxious parents or parents seeking a later advantage for their kids (e.g. sports).  Unless a professional has told you otherwise, it's probably going to be just fine, particularly for an immersion school where starting sooner is an advantage to learning a language.

I often think about red-shirting and the increased expectations of kindergarten (my DD's K class just started subtraction and do their first reading "tests" this month!) and wonder which came first. Did people start red shirting because the increased expectations are a lot for some kids, or did schools start expecting more because some kids seemed more capable and mature?

historienne

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2019, 08:50:34 AM »
My kids are a few weeks to either side of the school cut off in our area, so one is the oldest in her class and the other is the youngest.  Both seem fine.  I would actually have liked to send our older kid a year earlier - she seemed more than ready - but that would have required going to private school, which we were unwilling to do.  She may still skip a grade at some point, but for now the curriculum is flexible enough that it's not necessary.

Red shirting is unusual in our school district, because it's a high-poverty district and you can't redshirt preK (which is free to low-income families).  So redshirting means finding other childcare for two years, which most families can't afford.  If I lived in an area where every single other kid with a summer birthday was redshirted, I might have considered holding my son back as well.  As it is, he's the youngest in the class, but by weeks rather than months.   

I do think it's worth observing the school.  My kids are in a public school, but it has an adapted Montessori curriculum, which accommodates wiggly kids quite easily.  Other approaches are more challenging for the early years. 

Another option that may or may not be practical in your area would be to do a year of kindergarten somewhere else.  In our area, there are several daycares that offer a kindergarten year.  You could also do a year of private K (I'm assuming here that you are already paying for daycare, so the cost would be more or less equivalent).  Many of the private schools around here have smaller class sizes and more play-based curricula for K.  At the end of the year, you would be able to evaluate whether he was ready for first grade in public school, or put him in public K.   We had thought about going this route with our son at one point, but once my daughter started school and we saw their curriculum in action, we decided that he would be fine going straight to public K.  The immersion program may be a limiting factor there, if they don't allow kids to enter in 1st grade, but it's worth asking about.

As an aside, you noted that he's not reading yet...at 4 years old...as though that means he might be lagging behind his peers.  It is 100% normal for kids not to be reading at all when they start kindergarten.  If they can recognize all the upper case letters, they are well prepared.  I don't want to downplay real delays, but make sure that your expectations are developmentally appropriate.

On the flipside, if you suspect actual developmental delays - the kind that might eventually require intervention -  then I would strongly suggest starting K on time.  Holding delayed kids out of school typically means delaying interventions that they need in order to maximize their long-term outcomes. 

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2019, 09:19:00 AM »
I was the youngest child in my graduating class, and I was the valedictorian.  The 2nd youngest kid in the class was the salutatorian.  3rd place went to the oldest girl in the class (also an August birthday; her parents held her back).

My son has a June birthday.  He was behind his peers in pre-school.  He only knew about 2/3 of his letters and had some trouble staying on task.  We sent him on to K on schedule.  I tried to get him in the Spanish immersion program, but they only took kids who had already mastered a set of criteria (like letters) - they wanted to be able to move straight into the languages.

My kid had huge issues in kinder with behavior, and he was a late reader.  By 2nd grade, though, he was caught up with his peers; in 3rd grade he was identified GT and now in 5th grade he's doing very very well.  [We also discovered at age 5 that kid had some hearing loss due to chronic ear infections, which most likely impacted his preschool learning.  Tubes helped.]

I wouldn't decide anything this early.  Re-evaluate in late spring.

gatortator

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2019, 09:28:22 AM »
We have a very,very late August birthday boy and live in a state with Sept 1 cutoff.  He was also diagnosed with severe speech delay at the age of 3 (bottom 10%).  It took 2 preschool teachers and 2 speech pathologists telling me he was ready, before I make the decision to start him on time.  My biggest concern was how this decision would play out in middle school.    It is so common an issue, that his preschool hosted an optional parent meeting on the topic.  I overthought this issue but don't regret it.

For language immersion,  I heavily weighed this decision as well.  Our home school was not but a nearby school ( on a safe, bikable route) with easy open enrollment was dual language(Spanish).  Kindergarten was full immersion.  I talked to several parents about this experience.  For language, the kids seem to be in a general fog K-2nd as their brains adapt to the dual languages.  3rd grade everything, sort of, clicks and they really get into the flow.   Given the speech issues with English,  I backed down from this immersion choice.  However,  if speech issues were not there,  I likely would have made the decision to go open enrollment in the dual language.

Neither of my kids really read before they started Kindergarten.  It was not an issue for us. 

You are doing all the right things by asking questions and getting information.  You know your son best.  You say that he is already in preschool.  Talk to his current teacher and ask what they think.  They will know both your son and the quirks of your school district.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 12:07:25 PM by gatortator »

sjc0816

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2019, 11:16:03 AM »
I have experience with this since both of my boys are summer birthdays. One in August, one in June.

I do think there are some exceptions... but in general I am really not a fan of this procedure of holding kids back a year for NO OTHER REASON than their birth date (though I could not care less what others do with their kids).

Most people here do it for sports purposes....and it does benefit the kids (in the younger years....it all evens out after puberty) in that respect. But this was just not the priority for us.

I think parents today are so afraid of their kids failing. So afraid of obstacles. We had the mindset that if there were challenges, we would help them through rather than try to pave a perfect path for them. Both of my boys were more than ready for kindergarten and I thought it would stifle their learning to have them do another year of preschool.

I'm just not a fan of the broad brush strokes for kids. My 8th grader is one of the youngest in his class of 650 (yep..that big)....but is in all advanced classes including high school classes for math and science (he was in the bottom math group until 6th grade, btw). He is on the leadership team at school (chosen by teachers, counselors and coaches) and A team for football. My younger son is in 5th grade and doing very well too. I only mention these things because I hear so often parents holding kids back because they want them to be leaders (which is pretty silly anyway). I want my kids to have a mindset of growth and possibility....not make things easy for them.

Had we held them back, my oldest would be almost 19 at high school graduation. I was halfway done with my bachelor's degree at 19 (graduated at 17).

Just my opinion and experience.

sjc0816

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2019, 11:40:57 AM »
. . .
I get frustrated with redshirting conversations because I just see it as unofficially moving the date for starting school back - now it's May/June kids that are the youngest, next it'll be Jan/Feb...  Someone has to be the youngest!  When I was in school, that was me and I didn't even realize it until eighth grade when a teacher sat us by age (I was always top of my class academically with plenty of friends despite challenges like frequent moves).  And as noted, being bigger/older and going through puberty early isn't always beneficial either.

Yes, there a few kids with developmental delays, but more often I think it's either overly anxious parents or parents seeking a later advantage for their kids (e.g. sports).  Unless a professional has told you otherwise, it's probably going to be just fine, particularly for an immersion school where starting sooner is an advantage to learning a language.

I often think about red-shirting and the increased expectations of kindergarten (my DD's K class just started subtraction and do their first reading "tests" this month!) and wonder which came first. Did people start red shirting because the increased expectations are a lot for some kids, or did schools start expecting more because some kids seemed more capable and mature?

Red shirting (in my opinion) has become more commonplace in upper/middle-upper class school districts because of how important achievement has become in our children. Academic, athletic, musical, you name it. Parents want their kids to be the "best"....and they think that being older/bigger/stronger is going to give them a leg up. I think if you can't see that, you're not looking very closely. Our kindergarten was not demanding at ALL.....and we are a high achieving district. Just look at the red-shirting dates these days versus 20 years ago. Our cut-off is mid-September...and the red-shirting dates are stretching back to February/March now. No one wants their kid to be the youngest. It's NUTS.

GoCubsGo

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2019, 11:45:48 AM »
My son was born in late, late August.  We asked our daughter's kindergarten teacher (who we trusted) and she said if it were her child she'd hold him back.  That's what we did and for the most part it worked out great.  Here's some thoughts:

- Big plus academically, we used that year to work on a lot math and reading skills so he came in uber prepared.  Pro of that is that he sailed through grade school and middle school with top grades and state test results.  Con- he's now in all honors classes in H.S.  and he actually has to work hard (it shocked him) but has made the transition well.
- Physically it was a huge plus.  He plays 3 sports and it always helped to be bigger, stronger, faster.  I'd be lying if I didn't say that played a part in it.
-Emotionally-  A bit of a con.  In grade school he was always a bit more mature than his friends which annoyed him at times.  By Freshman year it wasn't an issue any more.

If you can, I would strongly consider holding him back.

minimustache1985

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2019, 12:10:02 PM »
Shy of actual development delays I wouldnít hold them back.

FWIW I was born in an area with a December cut off so was one of but not the youngest with a late October birthday.  I did struggle slightly with emotional maturity (which I personally have no recollection of, so it isnít like it scarred me), but excelled academically to the point where they asked my parents about moving me forward a grade, which they opted not to do bc of the emotional aspect and felt was pushing too much since I was already on the young side.  We moved to an area with a September 1st cutoff and then I was the youngest by a mile, but by that time I was fine emotionally and being 17 at the start of college was very handy.  It also meant I graduated in 08 to a job offer I secured in the fall of 07, to a company that didnít interview anyone who hadnít interned with them for 09 hires, so it helped me by luck that way.

Sugaree

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2019, 12:28:50 PM »
. . .
I get frustrated with redshirting conversations because I just see it as unofficially moving the date for starting school back - now it's May/June kids that are the youngest, next it'll be Jan/Feb...  Someone has to be the youngest!  When I was in school, that was me and I didn't even realize it until eighth grade when a teacher sat us by age (I was always top of my class academically with plenty of friends despite challenges like frequent moves).  And as noted, being bigger/older and going through puberty early isn't always beneficial either.

Yes, there a few kids with developmental delays, but more often I think it's either overly anxious parents or parents seeking a later advantage for their kids (e.g. sports).  Unless a professional has told you otherwise, it's probably going to be just fine, particularly for an immersion school where starting sooner is an advantage to learning a language.

I often think about red-shirting and the increased expectations of kindergarten (my DD's K class just started subtraction and do their first reading "tests" this month!) and wonder which came first. Did people start red shirting because the increased expectations are a lot for some kids, or did schools start expecting more because some kids seemed more capable and mature?

Red shirting (in my opinion) has become more commonplace in upper/middle-upper class school districts because of how important achievement has become in our children. Academic, athletic, musical, you name it. Parents want their kids to be the "best"....and they think that being older/bigger/stronger is going to give them a leg up. I think if you can't see that, you're not looking very closely. Our kindergarten was not demanding at ALL.....and we are a high achieving district. Just look at the red-shirting dates these days versus 20 years ago. Our cut-off is mid-September...and the red-shirting dates are stretching back to February/March now. No one wants their kid to be the youngest. It's NUTS.

My son's birthday is in mid-June and we considered redshirting him, but ultimately decided to go ahead and let him start on time.  My biggest concern was his size.  My brother also has a June birthday and was always among the youngest and smallest in his class and he got picked on a lot.  It turns out my kid is somehow a freaking giant (I'm 5'1 and he's probably going to be taller than me by the time he's 8)

We have the same kind of cutoff dates, but haven't seen quite that extreme of a redshirting class.  Generally, around here boys with birthdays between the time school lets out in the summer and starts back in the fall are likely to be redshirted.  It's not as prevalent with the girls.  My husband has a birthday 6 days before the cutoff, so he was always the youngest in his class and he loved it.  It caused some problems for about a year after HS graduation when he'd had a falling out with his parents and needed someone older than 19 to sign an apartment lease for him though. 

mm1970

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2019, 01:58:03 PM »
Thanks guys! So I'll give a few more tidbits of info. Last year his preschool had a 3rd party come in to readiness assessments (for age and school readiness), and he was behind in his fine motor skills as well as his auditory memory.
Currently he cannot read but he knows his alphabet and letters pretty well.
Overarching issues my wife has noticed as of late 1) our son seems to have a short attention span (e.g. he can't keep focused during swim classes and ends up messing around most of the time. And then comprehension is lacking a bit when we read him stories, etc) 2) he gets very easily frustrated if he can't do something right the first time.
1.  Those issues are typical of his age (and for the next couple of years - especially frustration if you don't do it right the first time.)
2.  "Always hold back boys" a teacher friend of mine said.  I did not listen.

My younger son is a July birthday with a Sept cutoff, and is one of the youngest in his class.  He is definitely fine.  But: he has an older brother, which has helped him learn faster.  He did not suffer from any shyness, difficulty in being away from home because we've always worked, etc.   Plus, we go to a very diverse school with a large % of students who are learning English, on free/reduced lunch, and disabled.

I've had friends whose kids are in wealthier, more  competitive schools, and they ALL hold them back.   I have one friend who held back her son...he's an April birthday for a December cutoff!!  Even if he'd not been held back, he'd have been older than most kids in his class.  Now he's 1.5 years older than many, 6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier...

That said, it's not a race.  I know we group kids by age, and I'm sure there's a reason.  I don't understand why people hold their kids back to give them an edge, but it totally makes sense if they aren't ready.  I don't know why we send kids on from kindergarten to first if they aren't ready - many of them never catch up and get further and further behind. 

mm1970

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2019, 02:13:15 PM »
In general, school is useless. Including college

I spend most of my effort undoing the damage that school inflicts on our child

Our child understands that school is just an unimportant game

Well, I'm an engineer so I have to say, nobody would hire me to do this without a college degree.  It totally depends on your goals in life though.  Many of my family members are blue collar workers who built up skills in their jobs.


Undecided

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2019, 07:34:03 PM »
All these responses are weird weird weird to me!

I always thought Dec 1 cut off was the norm.  Holding back spring birthday kids?  Really?

I didnít double check, but the great majority of states have moved to a cutoff at or around the end of August (you can check here, although it may not be totally reliable:  https://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab5_3.asp).

I cannot fathom how bored my two boys would have been in school (this far) if theyíd been held back. While the early research on academic redshirting tended to be very positive, more recent research has painted a very different picture, basically claiming that younger-started students end up with all sorts of reported and observed positive effects.

Not making any blanket statements here, but itís not a ďno brainerĒ for most kids. Talking to a kindergarten teacher about how kids do in kindergarten isnít really the most important perspective, in my opinion. Itís certainly not the point in time when I have reached my conclusive assessment of how Iím doing as a parent!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 11:42:35 AM by Undecided »

moneypitfeeder

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Re: Kindergarten and holding your kid(s) back?
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2020, 06:43:35 PM »
I'm an August baby that was put into kindergarten on the early end. At the time I was also small for my age, the smallest kid in class. I did fine in kindergarten, but once I hit 1st grade, I excelled, then stalled, then excelled, then stalled, you get it. To the point that my teacher left the decision with my parents at the end of the year because all my marks said to progress me, but she wasn't convinced that I would thrive in 2nd grade. In the end it might have been better to stay at home another year and delay kindergarten. Turns out kids can be really cruel, and after being held back and repeating 1st grade, I was branded a flunky by all the kids in my old class and new class. (All my marks by the time grades came out were As and Bs) This may have been caused not from my age/development, but from the fact I am a very visual learner and they may have not been teaching "properly" to me. I was placed with a tutor and had much less problems once she was teaching me. Funny thing was that the second year of first grade I mostly spent being the teachers helper and helping other kids since I had already learned what was being taught, I was so bored that year. I thankfully changed schools at the end of 5th grade and could shed the "flunky" title, but even years later running into kids I had been in class with that tag still remained. If your August baby hasn't had a lot of homeschooling or prep you may want to consider waiting.