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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Parents Who Think Delaying Kindergarten a Year Gives Kids a Head-Start Need to Read This

Posted by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:52 AM
  • 89 Replies

Parents Who Think Delaying Kindergarten a Year Gives Kids a Head-Start Need to Read This

by Jenny Erikson

Does it seem like more and more parents are keeping their autumn-born children home from school for an extra year before they enroll them in kindergarten? It’s not in your head. Statistics show that more kids than ever are 6 instead of 5 when entering school these days.

The rationale makes sense. Parents generally want to give their kids the best chance, right? Why not start them a year later when they’re in that questionable, when-do-I-start-them time frame?

I had to confront this issue when my eldest started school. Her birthday is September 26. Her school’s cutoff date was September 1, but they allowed potential students to test in early, so long as his or her birthday was before December 1. We tested, she got in, and she started kindergarten a few weeks before her fifth birthday.

She is now the third youngest in her fifth grade class, and there are kids that are a full year or more older than her. And you know what? She’s doing just fine. I won’t lie ... some things have been more difficult throughout the years than if she’d had that extra year ... but nothing major. She gets good grades, she has great friends, and overall she is a spectacular kid.

But still there’s that worry that runs in the back of my brain (because I’m a mom and that’s what we do -- duh) that I have somehow done her wrong by starting her in school earlier rather than later.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find out that several long-term studies have recently come to light that show that younger students typically fare better later in life than older students do.

Think about it ... there is an almost un-doubtable advantage for a 6-year-old over a 5-year-old in the same kindergarten classroom. But what’s the difference between a 25-year-old and a 26-year-old in the workplace? Who do you think is likelier to fare better at that point ... the 26-year-old that was always ‘advanced’ in school, or the 25-year-old that always had to work a bit harder to keep up?

I’m sure it’s not a hard and fast rule, but I’m glad to know that some of the more difficult aspects of being among the youngest in class might actually be to my daughter's benefit someday.

Do you have an older or younger student in their grade?

What made you decide to enroll them in school when you did?

by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jackiewal10
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

My younger DS will be old when he starts school.  We don't have an option here.  His birthday is after Sept. 1st.  He CAN'T enroll until he's 5.  There is no testing to get them in sooner.  So he will be 5 for a month and a half in Kindergarten, then he'll turn 6.  The cut off when I was in school was in December, so the school's have changed things, not the parents.

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM
2 moms liked this
It's NOT the 25-26 year old that parents should worry about. It's the 12-17 year olds. I know what happens with the youngest kids in high school, particularly the boys, and it's NOT a pretty sight!
luvmybug
by Bronze Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Well, I started my dd in preschool when she was 3, her father pulled her out of it after the divorce, so she had to do junior first. Now she is almost the oldest in her class, but also ahead of her peers. She is 9 and in the 3rd grade. She wants to move up a grade, but I just don't know...
kellysp6637
by Bronze Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM
1 mom liked this

 I have to disagree with this article, I feel a confident child will grow into a confident adult......so even if they DON'T have to struggle in school, it won't mean they won't be as successful as one who did.  If anything, having the opportunities through advanced programs at school, and the leadership opportunities often makes them even more prepared.

When my youngest was smaller, I was very upset that she missed the k cutoff by TWO weeks.  She had been in academic preschool and was extremely ready for kindergarten, but the school would not allow her to test in...or any child for that matter.

Fast forward to now...she's in fourth grade....does fantastic at school, is very advanced and is seen as a leader and this has given her tremendous confidence.  She loves school and looks forward to it every day.  As a parent, it's such a pleasure to not have to fight her about school, etc. 

I am very involved in her school, pta, etc and work to make sure she is always challenged.  I also request the notorious "hard" teachers to make sure she  is challenged so she won't get bored. 

mickstinator
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:09 AM

I don't think it's really all that wise to just take in wide, generalized stats like "younger students typically fare better later in life" as advice on how to handle an individual child's needs and situation. It provides no variables or explanation of exceptions! I would not think twice about that statistic if I felt my kids would benefit from an extra year at home. 

That being said, I have a January birthday and a September birthday in my household. My January son just started kindergarten at 5 and is doing wonderfully. I'm so glad my September son will be one of the oldest in his class. He's typically later on achieving his milestones. If he had a July birthday, then I would strongly consider keeping him at home another year. 

STVUstudent
by Bronze Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

My kids are early September birthdays with a September 30th cutoff... so for us, I really didn't even consider NOT starting them "on time".  They are the youngest in their first grade class at just-turned-6.  There are a few who are "older"- already 7... one kid is almost 8. 

My kids do fine.  My son has been on fire since Pre-K2, his twin sister is a little slower, and struggled a little in kindergarten, but is florishing in first grade.  I was a late started with an October birthday, and I always felt out-of-sync with the other kids in my class. 

Chymerra
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM

My two that are in school started late. Not by choice. Their birthdays' are in November and the school cut off date is September 1st. We cannot test them in earlier. The district will not allow it and will not make exceptions. 

jackiewal10
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM
4 moms liked this

I have re-read this "article" and this is really just horrible "research", IF any actual research was done at all.  Far far far too many generalizations and inaccuracies.

mrsary
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM
I think the kids should start kinder at the cut off too. Holding them back for the year and starting them at 6 doesn't help. I did end up holding my daughter back in 1st grade, but that was after failing at Kinder and 1st.
mrsary
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this
That's not starting late. The article is referring to when parents start the kids a year after they were actually able to start.


Quoting Chymerra:

My two that are in school started late. Not by choice. Their birthdays' are in November and the school cut off date is September 1st. We cannot test them in earlier. The district will not allow it and will not make exceptions. 


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