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Preschoolers & Kindergartners What a fun time in life! Time to learn 123's and ABC's. At the same time, they're leaving that babyhood we'll miss so much!

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Old 05-07-2003, 01:01 PM
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When did/will your child start school? Holding back?

Our cut off date to start junior kindergarten here is the child must be 4 by Dec 31 or for senior kindergarten be 5 by Dec 31. My son is born Dec 22, 1999. I'd like to hold him back. I think he'd do better emotionally, intellectually, socially to be the oldest in the class as opposed to they youngest, but I'm not 100% sure on this. Do you think that other kids would tease him? Also, he'd be starting with kids born the year 2000 and he's born 1999. I don't know why but that seems like such a difference to me. Do you know of any pros and cons to holding a child back?
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Old 05-10-2003, 07:38 AM
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Starting Kindergarden

Concerning your deleimma about starting your son in Kindergarden this winter...first off, you ask whether or not you should "hold him back"...keeping him home is NOT "holding him back". Why not structure an at-home kindergarten where you do arts and crafts, sing songs and learn the alphabet. There are lots of resources out there for the taking too and I would be VERY happy to help you find some workbooks, or work sheets. Also you might be able to take him to school to meet the kids and teacher once a week. Some teachers will encourage this. Then in the Spring when he officially starts he will be ahead and confident. If you're interested in setting up a mini-kindergarden in your home feel free to ask me for resources. My girl WAS ready for kindergarten early but I thought she was too young (age wise) so we arranged with her teacher for her to come two days a week and "worked" at home. I loved it, she loved it, everyone won.
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Old 05-10-2003, 07:56 AM
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My dh was born September 21st and the cut off for starting school in my state is August 30. I kept her out until she was almost 6 and haven't been sorry that I did. She is one of the oldest and it is easier for her. I also have another dh who's birthday is in June and she was one of the youngest and she had a harder time. When they are among the oldest they are more socially and emotionally mature then their younger classmates and seem to do better in school. I have a relative who was a kindergarten teacher and she said the older ones do better.
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Old 05-10-2003, 08:44 AM
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NOT "holding him back...giving him a "head start"!

You should trust your motherly instincts, IMO. My parents sent my brother rather than have him wait...he had to repeat a grade (I think it was 2nd grade) and my parents truly regretted that decision. My brother had a much more difficult time overcoming actually BEING " held back " than he EVER would have had by waiting a year later to start school. Honestly, it could simply be his personality/whatever, but he was always very shy & timid & had problems with being bullied all through elementary & middle school.

I'd keep him at home, work with him and allow him the luxury of more time to 'be a little kid"! I say delay any and ALL difficulty and/or stress as long as possible....at ANY age of life!

p.s. I know kids are seemingly much smarter these days, but do you really think they're already congnizant of eacj other's birth year at kindegarten age? I'm not being sarcastic - I'm a grandmother & my Gkids don't live nearby....and I know that kids ARE much more aware of things at earlier ages these days, but I'd really like to think innocence isn't THAT far gone at that early age!
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Old 05-10-2003, 09:05 AM
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The cut off day here is Sept. 30. My daughter is now 18. She was born on Aug. 30. I started her to school that year. I thought that she knew enough because she could say and write all of her letters and numbers, cut out and paste things. We had worked on activity books for about a year. I didn't know that she was not mature enough until she started. Most of the children were about a year older, and some slightly older than that. She all of a sudden turned very shy and wouldn't join in. Her work was fine. I really think that I should have waited another year. Being mature enough is very important. Since your child is so close to the cut off date it would probably be best to wait. You could work with him a lot yourself and he would be prepared plus be more mature.
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Old 05-10-2003, 09:07 AM
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starting early

My oldest daughter 's birthday is Jan 6 and her cousin's is Jan 4. they booth started early because the cut off was Jan 31. They both did excellent and were in the top of their class. We did however make sure they were exposed to other kids. We sent them to Bible school and Sunday school. they also had dance lessons. I was big on reading so she was exposed to all type of stimuli. They were also in a track club.

Also they had to pass a test to see if they were ready. They had to know their alphabet, how to count, tie their shoes, their phone numbers.Just to name a few. We were told that they may have to be held back but that never happened. Grandson also born Dec 22 went to a day care that had a kindergarten program for half a day and just regular day care the other half day. He was also fine being sent early but he had a lot of learning experiences in the day care setting.

So it really depends on the child. Like I said there was a test that they had to pass. Does your school system have such a test.?
I can remember the day of the test when my daughter was asked her phone number she gave ours then her grandmother's, her cousin's, the baby sitter and the neighbor. The teacher was amazed she new so many. Then my daughter said of course I know them how else can I call them. She knew how to use the phone and even knew the speed dial numbers that even I couldn't remember.

Her biggest problem came when she graduated from Paralegal school and had to sneak into the bar to celabrate with her freinds because she was under 21.
I think if you decide to wait till next year that could have some advantages but it is really how ready the kid is at that stage. Each kid is different.

Hope that helps,
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Old 05-10-2003, 09:10 AM
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You would definitely not be holding him back but helping him out!! The age cutoff for our state is 5 yrs old by Sept 1st. My ds is August 5, at the time I did not know you could "hold" them back. So, he is now the youngest in his class, he had just turned 5 one month before school started. But, if I had known I would have waited one more year to send him. He could not "keep up" with the rest of the class, and now in 8th grade is much more immature than the rest of the kids in his class.

DD is also an august birthday, and she is doing ok, and has done ok, she had a lot of trouble getting along with the other kids, would fight with them, and the teacher was constantly calling us, that she did this and she did that. But, academically she did ok.

But , on the other hand my other DD's birthday is October 31, so she is older than the other kids in her class, and she is doing wonderfully, gets along with all the kids in her class, and actually gets to help the other kids, which is really great for her self esteem!!! The teacher feels as though he can not say enough good stuff about her, and she loves school, and she can not wait, to go back after the weekends!!

So, I am contemplating "holding" dd #3 back, but she is an April birthday, so she would be way older than the kids in her class!! But, I think it woudl really benefit her. That would put her at 6 1/2 years old when she would start school!! Maybe a little too old. But, if she were in July or August, I would definitley wait one year.

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Old 05-10-2003, 10:09 AM
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What's the rush to grow up?

Read the Hurried Child. In a nutshell, I have done a lot of research and this is my opinion: You can never make a mistake by waiting and letting maturity happen. Of children started early, 98% did much more poorly than they needed to.

If your child is border line, and especially a boy, wait. Boys need two more years of growth than girls. This is especially evident at approx.ly age 4 and 14. Boys and girls are in two different worlds at those same ages.

By the time our children are 21, no one cares when they started kindergarten. But they will remember if it was a struggle they rest of their lives. So enjoy him as long as you can and he will enjoy being your kid. Read books and go to the park.
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Old 05-10-2003, 10:29 AM
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to hold back or not

I agree with the others in this thread-you are not holding your child back, you are giving him/her a headstart -in my mind. My sixth daughter was born on Oct. 9th-the cutoff was Oct. 15th-I kept her out of school even though she made the cutoff-she was too immature being the baby of five other sisters. The only drawback was that I was 51 before I had an empty nest instead of 50. Only kidding she still lives at home and is about to be 21-
Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. ~ R Waldo Emerson
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Old 05-10-2003, 10:52 AM
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I am a Preschool Teacher in New York State. I agree that you need to look at each child individually.

I have seen children become bored with school and turn into discipline problems. I have also seen children that were not mature enough to start school. So it can go either way.

My 3 boys were adopted and all had Nov. birthdays (our cutoff is Dec.1) (Teenage girls did not plan their births too well) My oldest B'day is Nov.30th. His preschool teacher told me to send him to school. He would have been bored if held back. My twins I wish I could have held them back but they needed special education and would not have gotten services unless in school. All has worked out just fine for my boys. In fact friends of theirs think that they were moved ahead in school because they were so smart. Others that were held back are accused of failing.

I have read "The Hurried Child" and "Miseducation" by David Elkind . I also saw him speak. One of the problems that we have is that the education system pushes children too much. Kindergarden is like 1st grade. It is not right. If the school system wants children to be older when they go to school they should change the age limit. There is always going to be the youngest and oldest in each class.

Good luck with this hard decision. Teresa
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