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Why should someone hold a kid back a year before starting kindergarden?

This seems to be something that a lot of moms I know are considering, especially if the kid was born close to the cut-off date. I'm confused by this. I understand that if a kid has some developmental, behavioral or health problems, and are getting help for it, the parents might consider waiting another year so the kid have a real chance at keeping up, but I consider this to be a special and totally justified situation. The kids I'm talking about are perfectly normal. If anything, some of them seem to be surprisingly advanced verbally or socially, and most of them have tons and tons of opportunities at home and outside to learn all the skills needed to do well at school. These are some very lucky and impressive kids. So I'm just baffled about why there is so much talk about holding the kids back. I like their moms, and I don't want to be mean, but I just can't see anything good about making these kids wait another year before starting school. What do you think? Am I missing something?

 
Sebbiemama

Asked by Sebbiemama at 1:50 PM on Feb. 8, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 22 (12,447 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • I have wondered the same thing. People assume my husband and I are holding back our son because he turns 5 years old in May. We are not. His teacher told me that I should hold him back. When I pressed for reasons, her simple answer, "His birthday." His is gifted( we had him tested) and I feel it would be a disservice to him to do that. He has 4 girls in his class that turned 5 years old last October. I have observed numerous times in the his classroom and found that my son is much more mature than they are. He actually sits for story time, which takes 20 minutes+ at times. The girls are bouncing around and having to be asked numerous times to sit still. That is bull that boys mature slower.
    Mom2Just1

    Answer by Mom2Just1 at 2:55 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • You certainly are missing something. Ask the moms what makes them feel this way. I know with one of my daughters I felt the need to keep her because I didn't think her gently personality was ready yet for the rigors of a 9-4:00 school day with southern kids. lol! I thought I'd keep my other daughter too just to let her have that extra year of pressure-free childhood (and I DO think children are pressured too much too soon), but she craved and begged for school. Her dad and I figured it wouldn't hurt to let her give it a go and if she changed her mind we'd pull her out and do it the next year.
    misses_nick

    Answer by misses_nick at 1:55 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • If they can't sit still long enough, they are not recommended to go to K. Some children are just not ready to go to school until they are almost 6 and there is no sense in pushing them into school until they are ready.
    matthewscandi

    Answer by matthewscandi at 1:56 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • Could be teacher recommendation.
    Simplicity3

    Answer by Simplicity3 at 1:51 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • i personally feel my 4 year old is more than ready to start Kindergarten this fall. however, she was born after the cut-off date, her birthday is 10/13 to be exact. i will be enrolling her in VPK this fall though to keep her mind stimulated and to be fully prepared for next fall when she can start. if i had the choice though, and i feel as strongly about her being ready as i do now, i would not hold her back.
    tnm786

    Answer by tnm786 at 1:53 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • The cut off in my state is August 1 and my son was born September 10, I could have pushed the issue b/c he knows a lot of things that they know in school, but I enrolled him in pre-k this year and he will be ready for kindergarten next year. I think he just needed another year to learn to sit and listen, schools are not made for active boys, all the sitting down and paying attention is hard under the best circumstances, but my son has so much energy I didn't feel he was ready. But with this year in pre-k I am sure he will be fine next year

    I will do the same for my daughter, she is born after the cut off date also (8/23) and I am not going to push the issue, there has to be a cut off somewhere.
    Bubbie0809

    Answer by Bubbie0809 at 2:20 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • *gentle* personality
    misses_nick

    Answer by misses_nick at 1:56 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • Matthew, what is long enough? I should clarify that I'm not talking about kids with hyperactive or attention issues. Is there some guideline or way to test it? I'm honestly curious because all kids get wiggly, and learning to sit still for a long time and pay attention is part of being in school for most of them.

    And yeah, no teacher has suggested that these kids wait a bit (they're in the 1-3 year age range, so it's way early for school evaluations).
    Sebbiemama

    Comment by Sebbiemama (original poster) at 2:21 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • Many elementary school teachers say that generally, if a boy's birthday is anywhere close to the cutoff date, then parents should go ahead and hold them back another year. Boys tend to develop slower, later. Many times the problems don't show up in kindergarten or even first grade, but later in elementary school when the social expectations increase and they haven't matured enough to keep up with it - they tend to act out and it usually starts to affect their school work.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 2:27 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • It's not bull that, in general, boys mature a little more slowly. That is common, evidential knowledge.
    misses_nick

    Answer by misses_nick at 5:37 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

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