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What is your opinion on giving boys a "bonus year" before starting kindergarten?

before being accepted into my kid's school , all children are assessed. the kinder teacher suggested that i give my son (who will be 5 in july) a "bonus year" to mature before he starts kinder. she insisted that it has nothing to do with his intellect. she also said that in her experience, boys need more time. she felt that i would be harming him if i put him in this fall. if i give him this bonus year, he will start kinder next fall @ 6 years old. he can write his name and can write/sound out about half of the letters of the alphabet, among other things. he does need redirection once in a while when he is completing a task though. isn't this normal? the pre-school he is now is great and his teacher insists that he is ready. also, he won't start till late august so is it likely that he will be ready then? what could i gain/lose by giving him this bonus year?


Asked by ericadrian at 3:30 AM on Apr. 3, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (32)
  • This happened to my son as well. He is now 13 yrs old....His preschool teacher was on the fence about him being ready and the kindergarten teacher suggested that we wait another year. His birthday is 10 days before the cut off date. I chose to keep him in preschool for another year despite my families disapproval. It was the BEST decision that I could have made! He is now in 7th grade and doing great! That "bonus year" gave him time to mature and get more prepared. It defintely benefited him! As for him not being the same age as the other students, it never bothered him. His friends are his friends no matter how old they are.....
    I know it is a hard decision, but follow your gut! Good luck with your decision!

    Answer by my_three_sons at 8:15 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • I personally would not wait. I think it is important to keep children with the same age kids if at all possible. No, the teacher is right, it may not hurt him but how is it going to help him? I was a preschool teacher for 4 years and most 5 yr olds need to be redirected. Show me one kindgergarten teacher that will say she has the "perfect class". Just curious, why does he have to be accepted? Is this a private school?

    Answer by craftykidsclub at 4:01 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • My son just turned 5 this past February and he's going in the fall.

    My second son turns 5 three weeks after the cut off date so he HAS to wait a year.

    My third son will start when he is 4, turning 5 during kindergarten because his birthday is three weeks BEFORE the cut off. He's only two and I have people telling me to hold him back already! Unless he shows a severe lack in social readiness, he's going. I'm not holding him back.

    (my youngest two will be in the same grade, too)

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:27 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • I wouldn't wait. From what you say, there is no reason to but her personal opinion about boys. Kinda of offended by that and he is not my son.


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:10 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • It really depends on your child. If you think that he is ready then go ahead. If he's not you can't hurt him by holding him back. If he's in preschool, talk to his teacher. if not you may want to try to get him evaluated by another professional either through your doctor or or local school district.

    Answer by litlsuzzy at 8:33 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • Who ever heard? You should do what you think is best for your son. You are the only one that knows.

    Answer by Rachel24517 at 8:37 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • It depends on the child and what YOU feel is best in the end, but I'd give her suggestion some consideration. Kindergarten isn't what it used to be. They start learning to read/ do math from day 1. The more letters/sounds of letters they know, the better their chances of doing well, b/c they are reading A LOT by the end of K these days. My son was even doing fractions in K!!

    My oldest is now in 2nd grade. We waited with him until he was 6 (July b-day). He had trouble socially (he now has an autism diagnosis, which came later and put the pieces together for us...). That was the best possible decision for him!

    My youngest son also has a July b-day and will be 4 this summer. He will def go at age 5, though, b/c he's already reading and doing addition and has no social issues.

    Give it consideration. She's just telling you what she feels will give him the best chance for success. In the end go with what you feel is best!


    Answer by SahmTam at 8:38 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • There's a book titled "Better Late Than Early".

    I homeschool so thankfully we can go as far ahead as we restrictions!

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 8:50 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • Well, first of all, this is not their decision, its yours. I think waiting is an excellent idea for a boy who has a late birthday. The maturity in girls is so much faster that sometimes the boys struggle to keep up. I personally wouldnt put my child in kindy if I didn't just HAVE to. One thing you could consider is getting him some curriculum and basically "homeschooling" him for this bonus year. He could spend that time learning the basics and by the time that he does start school, hes likely to be ahead. Then maturity wise, he will be right with them. I don't care what age a child is, if they are lagging behind in maturity, it makes a big difference and it can be very hard for them to adjust. I am a sahm so any extra time that I could spend with my children was a plus for me. I say give him the extra time to mature. Don't rush him into kindergarten. He will be in highschool before you know it!


    Answer by momofsaee at 8:50 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • I've heard of the idea of giving boys an extra year, and for some boys, it's an excellent idea. But you are the best judge of whether your son is ready for Kinder or whether he would benefit from an extra year at home. Kinder is a lot more academic than it was when we were in school. They are expected to be ready to read before they walk in the door. They are expected to have some basic "school skills" like being able to stand and walk in line and being able to wait their turn behind 10 or more other kids and being able to follow the teacher's schedule without (much) complaint.

    It's something to think about.

    Answer by May-20 at 8:52 AM on Apr. 3, 2009