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Youngest or Oldest in Kindergarten?

My youngest son was born October 2nd, and the cut off date for school here is October 1st. So he will be only a month shy of 6 years old when he starts kindergarten. There is an option for him to start a year earlier (one month shy of his 5th birthday) IF he goes to a particular preschool for 2 years prior to kindergarten (it would prepare him to start kindergarten at a younger age. So depending on which we choose, he will either be the youngest or the oldest kid in his class!

He is an intelligent child at only 17 months old (even though he refuses to talk), and he absorbs everything like a little sponge! I can't imagine not sending him to preschool as soon as he is 3! So either way, I will be sending him that early, but should I wait to put him in Kindergarten?

What would YOU do?

Answer Question

Asked by MichaelsMom330 at 6:57 PM on Mar. 10, 2011 in

Level 16 (2,334 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • It is definitely better to be the oldest than the youngest. I held my son back too. I asked a lot of teachers before making my decision.

    Answer by mompam at 7:00 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I would wait. My son's birthday was a day before the cut off. I sent him to preschool instead that year. He did great in preschool. Now he is in 1st grade and is a great student. I am glad we waited to send him to kindergarten.

    Answer by Snewo at 7:01 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • If he is smart and intellit why not send him prschool.

    Answer by singlemom369 at 7:02 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I started 2 months shy of my 5th birthday and it was hard being the youngest kid in class all through school. I'd wait til he was 6

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:08 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • If he's smart and absorbing everything then I would send him. If he's showing interest in school and learning then definitely send him. No reason to hold him back one year if he wants and can go just because of a day cut off.

    Answer by Jessica45 at 7:26 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I asked this same question on another site two years ago. My son has an October birthday and the cut off here was August 31. 90% of the responses I got said it would be better to wait.

    Like yours my son is super bright, we're actually in the process of getting him into the Highly Capable/Challenge program, but was a little lacking in the social department. Many of the respondents that I had with my question were teachers. They REALLY want a child that is older and socially ready. One 4th grade teacher I talked with told me that the majority of her class was really young that year and it was difficult to teach certain topics because of the immaturity.

    We waited and it was probably the best choice we made.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:28 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I was in the same boat 6 years ago with my 1st. The cut off date was 4 days before her birthday. I thought about the option of sending her to the school where she could start what I thought was on time, but being a poor teenage mother at the time, I couldn't afford it. So she ended up being the oldest in her class. Thankfully poverty made my decision for me. Now looking back, I'm glad she didn't start early. The extra time helped her to become an even greater student. She would have started middle school last year instead of this year, and I don't think I would have been able to handle that.

    Answer by keisha613 at 8:20 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • If he's only a year and a half old, there's no telling how he'll be in 3-4 years - give him time and make the decision later. My 3rd child has a June birthday and will be going to kindergarten when she's 6 - she's 5 now and currently in her 2nd year of preschool.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:50 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • I think that's something that should be decided closer to when the time comes. You'll be able to guage his capabilities better then. Where I live you aren't required to send your child to school until 7 years old. Other states are the same. Every child is different. Don't make a decision because you're worried about his age compared to his classmates. Make a decision that will be best for his education.

    Answer by Renee3K at 8:55 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • My son has the same issue, his birthday is Sept 29 and the cutoff is Sept 1. He is the oldest kid in his class. It works well for him. He just isn't mature enough to skip a grade even though he is smart enough to. I would wait.

    Answer by kmath at 12:15 AM on Mar. 11, 2011

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