delaying kindergarten?

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jdsmom
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby jdsmom » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:17 am

Hey Ladies,
I was just dropping in. Interesting that this should be a topic as I've been struggling with this one a lot lately too. Jimmy is in pre-k now, but he's not fully grasping the concepts (he only sight recognizes a few numbers and letters) and he's much younger acting than his peers (does that make sense?). I'm leaning towards holding him back an extra year just to give him a chance to mature a bit and also get a firmer grasp on those things that he'll be expected to know in kindy. I spoke with a good friend of mine who was a kindy teacher for 10+ years, and she said that usually boys born after March, were a lot more immature than the other kids (that's just boys alone - not addressing prematurity or anything else). My thoughts are that it would be easier and more non-disruptive to hold him back a year now, before he's in the mainstream school system, than to put him in next year and then, if there's a problem, have to hold him back while all his friends move on to the next grade. Or, in the chance that he does pass kindy and they move him along to the next grade, he would likely struggle a lot more in the school years to come than if I just gave him a bit more time to grow up now. Anyway, I just thought I'd share what I was thinking for whatever it's worth [;)]

blznbec
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby blznbec » Mon Feb 25, 2008 06:05 pm

We are struggling with this as well. Our cut-off is Dec. 5th, so he will make the cut-off. My son's ped has suggested that he will be too advanced for public school if we wait to put him in Kinder when he is almost 6. He can go to the accredited K class at his present preschool, but he will go to public school to repeat Kinder and I am afraid he will be soooo bored if he repeats Kinder in public school. We are sending him to a very high achieving school, not our neighborhood school, so I know he will be challenged, but I think he will be too far ahead and bored. My son is small for his age, although mature, well-behaved and advanced for his age. My DH was in the same position when he went to Kinder and wishes his mother would have waited to put him in Kinder later. It wasn't about being smarter than other kids for him, but he wanted to be better or equal to his sport peers. Since our son is small we would like him to have a chance in sports. I was one of the younger kids as well with an August birthday, but didn't really see any difference from my friends. I think having a late October birthday will prove to be a bigger difference possibly in maturity level, but am confident that my son will be well ahead of his peers academically. Decision, decisions!

youtan
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby youtan » Mon Feb 25, 2008 04:38 pm

A bit late to add here and - gosh its been forever since I've posted!

Anyway - Jonathan is currently in kindy. His b-day is early Aug and the cutoff is Sept 30th or something. Academically he was ready, plus some. But, we also have worried about socially (he has a slight speech delay) and technically (his writing is aweful). We put him in an all-day private kindy to help give him a boost. I think its helped but not as much as I'd like because its a bit of a wild class, new teacher who focuses way too much on 'staying on green' (the behavior tool). He has his good days and bad days as we all do. Now we are having to decide if he's ready for the public school's 1st grade. His IEP team seems to think he's not, but aren't sharing anymore than a gut feeling. I'm a logical thinker and was hoping for more concrete answers. We and his kindy teacher think he's doing just fine. Thankfully, since his IEP will need re-done - he's having a full evaluation done - albeit from the same individuals that think he's not ready. I personally think they are hoping that he'll not qualify for any services anymore (speech or OT) and with the year wait for sure they won't have any 'work'. However, I've been reading and reading about school readiness and its interesting when you focus on high school rather than elementary school.

Here are some articles to completely confuse us all... http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/kindergarten.htm

In general, my perspective is that the schools should be much more accomodating to a wide variety of kids in kindy and help them all get ready for school. Unfortunately there are those parents that would hold their kid back even if their b-days fall in Dec just so they would be smarter than their peers - ie making these decisions not based on the needs of the child. Its a big mess, because put kids with any developmental problems in with these 'normal' kids a year older and in fact the classroom ends up more varied than it would have been normally. (hope you followed that mess). And now it makes perfect sense why us preemie moms stress out about the right decision.

I don't know what we'll do about next year yet, but I'm determined to get as much info as possible before we finalize.

We were lucky with Nathanial as he was a spring baby, so on he went... and is now in the 3rd grade.

mama2twins
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby mama2twins » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:06 pm

Alex,
My girls will make the cut off by one month and will be the youngest in the class. Right now they are in a Montessori and are keeping up with the other kids their age. My plan is to put them in Kindergarten according to the regular age cut-offs and see what happens. If they have a hard time, I will have them stay back and repeat the year, but at least we tried and know what we need to work on.
My biggest fear is the the twin thing...that one is going to do OK and the other may not.....then what???

surefoott
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby surefoott » Mon Feb 11, 2008 01:33 pm

My son also has an October birthday and started Kindergarten at 4. He did fine, actually was even ahead of most in the Reading areas and didn't have any problem with High School or College either. Only thing was, all the kids in his grade were driving a year before he could!!! But it worked out fine and I can't imagine holding him back for a whole year. I think he would have been bored. I'd say try it, you can always re-assess your decision if things don't work out.

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hannahsmom
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby hannahsmom » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:29 am

BTW -

I have a mid-September birthday and started kindergarten at age 4, and did fine, which is why I decided to go for it with Hannah. I was the youngest in the class usually, and graduated high school at 17, but it was no big deal until I went away to college and couldn't get into bars the first few weeks of the semester because I wasn't 18 yet [:p]

My brother has an October birthday and also started kindergarten at age 4 (when we went to kindergarten, the cut-off was December 1st). He has also done very well - graduating at the top of his class from the Air Force Academy and receiving two master's degrees after that, so it goes to show that the "young" kids can still do well!

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hannahsmom
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby hannahsmom » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:21 am

I've been there, and was on this board fretting about the same thing :)

Hannah turned 5 on August 24th, 2006. The cut-off to turn 5 for kindergarten was September 1st, so she barely made it, and we decided to enroll her in kindergarten. School started August 1st that year, so for the first three weeks of kindergarten she was four years old. Now, had she been born on her due date, November 24th, she would not have started kindergarten that year since she would have missed the cut-off. But since she did make the cutoff, and her pre-k teacher said she was doing well, we decided to go for it. She did well the first semester, but fell behind the second semester. She had brand-new teacher who had never taught kindergarten before, along with a very wild group of kids that the teacher could not control. Hannah fell through the cracks, and was also bullied by some of the other kids, who were already six years old. It was not a good experience, and I was in the principal's office a few times. She was retained and is repeating kindergarten this year. HOWEVER - I am glad we did put her in kindergarten last year - we considered it a year of practice, and she learned a lot more than she would have in pre-k. She began this school year extremely confident - she was the "big kid" in the class and showed the other kids around the first day of school. She is excelling in her school work, and her teacher says she will be more than ready for first grade. I am proud of her and thankful that she had the "practice" year, so she could succeed this year. She loves school, now that she had last year's review, and knows what she is doing. She still receives OT and ST privately after school since she did not qualify for the services through the school system - their guidelines are silly - she had to be 3 years behind in speech to qualify for the state school's special services program. Anyway, it is a very tough decision...one that you will need to weigh. We went for it, and glad we did. If you do decide to put them in kindergarten and it does not work out, would you be able to take them out and put them back in pre-k?

Good luck [:)]

bethany123
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby bethany123 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 09:30 pm

I live in a pretty, competitive metropolitan area and there is a practice called red shirting now where parents hold back kids with absolutely no developmental problems and birthdays within a year of the cut off just to ensure that they are ahead in their classes academically and physically. Its become such a trend that parents who have kids who would be younger right at the cut off feel pressure to hold their kids back so they are not disadvantaged by so many older kids. I don't advocate this practice but wanted to share just to show that the stigma of being older than your classmates may not be the same as it was when we went to school.

When DD reaches preK, I will probably want to move her forward as long as she is ready and see what happens but the idea that she may be with 6 year olds may make me think twice.

Your girls are close to the cut off if you do choose to hold them back they will still have classmates the same age.


pld0804
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby pld0804 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 08:30 pm

I'm really glad this topic was posted. And the article in the NYT was great. The age cutoff here in Canada is Dec 31st. Holly was due in January, but came in December. I know she's only 1 and a long way from kindergarten, but it has crossed my mind that if she went to term, she'd be in a different year. Lots to think about from now until then!

deerhart
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Re : delaying kindergarten?

Postby deerhart » Sun Feb 03, 2008 08:26 pm

Mason will start this year at almost age 6 (Oct b-day) we had no choice, but WANTED to start him last year (he really needed it).

I dislike holding kids back without a pretty convincing reason. Probably because everyone tried to tell us at age 3-4 that Alex would have to be held back 1 year (and he didn't need it).

There are a lot of things to take into consideration and you may want to try one of the kinder readiness screenings that many districts run.

As for expectations, at least here preschool and Kindy have fairly close expectations as far as behavior, activities etc..


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