Delaying Kindergarten

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by Rex Kramer, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer 1,000+ Posts

    I have 2 kids and one on way. Oldest will be 4 in late June. I plan to send her to Kindergarten next fall (fall '13). I grew up in Austin Westlake. I live in Highland Park. "Redshirting" is rampant both places. I recall moving from Corpus Christi to Austin when I was in 6th grade. I remember thinking how much older everyone was at my new school. How a lot of boys had facial hair, and I had never seen boys with facial hair. And I had always been (and going forward, would be) one of the biggest in my class. But, I graduated as one of the youngest. College, same. While I am one person and by no means an expert, holding kids back is exactly what the term figuratively implies, and I agree completely with this article:


    Recently there have been several mothers who look horrified at the thought of my wife sending our oldest (and soon to be here 3rd - due in late July / early August) to Kindergarten as soon as able. And unless my kids are way behind, I think the idea of holding your child back is horrifying.
  2. NickDanger

    NickDanger 2,500+ Posts

    I was born at 11:59 on 8/31 in 1962 because my mother was already ready for me to go to school. I made a 1590 on the SAT and graduauted in the top 5 with my only efforts expended on shortcuts in both high school and law school classes and I am an *******. Age is irrelevant. I, too am astounded at the lemmings who use age to determine grade. People is the 40's used to skip entire grades. BUT then there is society. They don't really mind not being first, but being behind a much younger person really seems to chap their ***.

    How much of maverickness are you willing to ask your kid to endure. I have my own opinion and you should have your own, but that is really the only question I can think of.
  3. Bronco

    Bronco 500+ Posts

    Rex- This is a tough issue no doubt. I have 2 kids one with a July birthday and one with an April birthday. We held back the July one and the April one went as scheduled.

    We have never regretted for one second holding back the July kid. In fact, we think it was probably one of the very best things we ever did. We used a transition year at a school that had a unique program for exactly this kind of thing.

    We met with many educators and, literally, the only negatives they could give us was that our kid might be a little smarter than the other kids and a little more mature than the other kids. While being one of the youngest in a grade had risks of the exact opposite. If our kid was going to be smart and mature anyway then holding them back wouldn't really change much but there was no apparent downside. However, if our child was immature or small physically for its age they would benefit from an extra year and would probably have some challenges if we didn't hold back. We also considered holding back after kindergarten was not a good option. Simply starting a year later had no impact, phsychologiaclly on our kid.

    Dealing with a kid that is a bit mature for their age or a bit smart are easy things for parents to handle and deal with. However, dealing with an immature kid or one struggling with school are much more difficult challenges. Raising kids, as I am sure you know, is a challenging thing in the best of times. Why not give them every chance to succeed and minimize the challenges you will face as parents.

    Another factor to consider comes from the book Outliers, which I am pretty sure you would be aware of. One of the most interesting parts of the book dealt with the elite Canadian hockey players and the fact that a very large majority of them were born in the first few months of the year. The answer was that hockey leagues had a deadline date of December 31 for the leagues. Soa kid born on January 1 got to compete against kids born a full year later on Dec 31. In the early developemental years kids grow and mature rapidly. The older kids were simply bigger and faster (by a year) and as a result gained more confidence and more agressiveness and the younger ones never could catch up. Obviously a few did but the statistics on it were astounding.

    Using this same example to school, it is certainly possible that develpopin maturity and confidence could be hurt by being younger than their peers. Things change so ver fast at that age.

    Of course, there are tons of examples of this having no affect on kids at all. But, our position came down to why would we not want to give our kid the very best chance to succeed. At the end of the day, I just couldn't see any downside to doing it and could see (however small) some downside to starting too soon.

    Good luck to you.

    PS Just read the article you linked to and think it is entirely wrong for you and your situation. First, with a summer bday, your kid really won't be that much older than his classmates. Second, they talk about underpriveledged kids and the need to start learing. I feel pretty certain that you are not at all underpriviledged and, like our kid, I would guess your kid would be in some sort of transition school anyway. third, they talk about kids that accellerate as being high achievers. well, no ****. They are talking about kids that obviously have very good smarts to begin with. If you accellerated a dumb kid, there is no way he would suddenly get smarter. Lastly, and most importantly, you will most likely be a very involved parent and will help your kids deal with all of there development needs. There isn't one single negative the article points to that isn't negated by involved parents.
  4. VYFan

    VYFan 2,500+ Posts

    There's the sports perspective, but also the academic perspective. I have four kids--May, June, July and August. Never held them back. All excelled. If anything, two were bucking for being pushed up a grade, and three were put up a grade for math and some other specifics--thus, often with kids almost 3 full years older, the ones held back. Not a problem. Nor is BOREDOM a problem, which your probably very bright kid just might have if stuck for 18 years with one grade slower competition than what she needs.

    So, I say, if no one is coming to you with a problem saying that your kid needs to be held back, don't do it. One compromise is to home school your child for kindergarten. Buy a set of materials, try even half-way to work on it, and you'll teach the kid twice what she will learn in a school, just from being around the house with your wife and you. Gives you the extra, very special year with her, lets her be a kid a little longer, but then put her straight into 1st grade. We did that with #3 and wished we did it with the others.

    Everyone's different, so this advice might not be for you, but it's a different perspective to consider.
  5. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

  6. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    I think that used to be the case for kinder but isn't really true anymore. They are expected to be reading (not advanced stuff by any means) by the end of the year. Most older kinder teachers say that what I am teaching in prek is what they used to teach in kindergarten.

    I don't really have an opinion on holding kids back. Parent support matters more than anything. If your kid is reasonably mature and is doing ok with academic stuff, I say they are ready.
  7. Gadfly

    Gadfly 250+ Posts

  8. longhorn_melissa

    longhorn_melissa 250+ Posts

  9. darius

    darius 500+ Posts

    Both of our children were summer babies, and we sent them both to Kindergarten when they were barely five. Both excelled academically, graduated at the tops of their classes, and went Ivy League.

    There were plenty of "hold back" kids in their classes who knew that their parents held them back and didn't let them start school with their peers, even though they were old enough. I couldn't help but wonder if some of those kids struggled with self-doubt about whether their parents thought they could compete academically with kids their own age, and thus decided to hold them back and have them go to school with a bunch of boys and girls younger than them. In particular, I remember one boy repeatedly telling people, when asked what grade he was in, "I'm in 3rd grade, but I should be in 4th grade." He apparently felt it necessary to explain, without being asked, why he wasn't in the appropriate grade for his age.

    Our kids had two disadvantages: 1) they were smaller for a while and thus at an athletic disadvantage (that vanished by their sophomore years); and 2) they got their driver's licenses later than everyone else. Both were only minor annoyances to my wife and me.
  10. CottonEyedHorn

    CottonEyedHorn 1,000+ Posts

    our son is five, with a late August birthday. He's in kindergarten right now, and we plan to re enroll him in kindergarten next year. He is doing well academically but has room to grow socially. Moreso than his older peers. Speaking with several teachers and counselors, they have affirmed our decision and wish more in our position would do the same. It would resolve a lot of the situations they deal with in the K and 1st grade environments. I was in a similar situation growing up but did not get held back early. I did fine acedemically but socially hated being one of the younger kids, turning 11 in the same year my friends turned twelve. Being smaller for sports didn't help, nor did watching all my older friends drive much earlier than I. Don't want the same for my kid.
    That being said, he will not be in the same school next year and will not have to worry about seeing all his friends move on,
  11. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

  12. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    At the end of kindergarten kids are expected to be reading at a dra level three. You aren't going to get the majority of five year olds on that level in five or six weeks. That is learning to read, not just learning to go to school. Your kids might have already been reading when they went to school but 90% aren't and we have 9 months to teach them how.
  13. longhorn_melissa

    longhorn_melissa 250+ Posts

  14. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

    Then we agree that kindergarten is diluted down because many kids aren't taught what they need at home? I really think this has changed over the last 30 years and our society and our schools are at a huge disadvantage because parents are too busy or lazy or self absorbed to teach their kids as early as possible.

    BTW, rude begets rude.
  15. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    I agree with most of your posts (west mall) but you have this one wrong. The standards of kindergarten are much higher than in years past. They used to focus on socializing the kids, teaching the colors, numbers, and letters. Now, they teach the kids how to read, they have writing journals, addition, subtraction, etc. Kinder today is much more like first grade when I was in school (I'm 29).

    The kids that aren't taught at home are behind on day one of their school career and most never catch up. It is very hard to go from knowing no letters to reading independently in 9 months.

    Seeing the increase in kindergarten standards while the kids are coming in lower and lower is large part of why I became a pre-k teacher.
  16. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    I found this in an article and thought it summed up the new kinder pretty well. Although at most school are getting help for kinder students and not waiting for them to be behind in first grade.

  17. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

  18. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    My only point in this discussion is that kinder is harder now than ever before. The reading expectations are especially higher. Im sitting in a room that is on the same hallway with six kindergarten classes. You can either choose to believe me or not.
  19. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    As far as testing, most districts use ALL of these for kinder:
    TELPAS (for ESL kids)

    This goes well beyond making sure they are remembering the letters.
  20. Trusted Insider

    Trusted Insider 1,000+ Posts

    "Outliers" definitely makes a good case for having your child be as close to any cutoff date as possible, be it for academics or athletics. Why then wouldn't you hold your child back if he or she is late summer? It's not a level playing field for late summer children and if you even it out a bit or even create an advantage from what would have been a disadvantage by starting them late then I don't see why anyone would object.
  21. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer 1,000+ Posts

  22. Trusted Insider

    Trusted Insider 1,000+ Posts

  23. Bronco

    Bronco 500+ Posts

  24. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer 1,000+ Posts

  25. Trusted Insider

    Trusted Insider 1,000+ Posts

  26. orangecat1

    orangecat1 500+ Posts

    What is interesting to me is that every year the Dallas News will list all of the valedictorians/salutatorians in every single high school, and will list their ages/colleges they plan to attend.

    In past years I noticed that there were more than a handful of students who were 19 years old. I just looked again at the 2011 list and the list of 19 year olds has reduced down to a very few.

    There are far more 17 year olds than 19.
    It will be interesting to notice this years list. This should be an indication of which is better. Do you have more 19 year olds than 17 years olds as a valedictorian/salutatorian?

    The 17 year old list could even include the children that started at the standard age, but skipped a grade as well.
  27. Trusted Insider

    Trusted Insider 1,000+ Posts

    There would be a disproportionate number of 17 (or "normal" age for the grade) compared to older kids.
    Besides, I don't think anyone is saying that the extra year guarantees anything but that it perhaps improves the chances for success. Ultimately, there is still (usually) a tremendous amount of work at home in order for children to reach the heights of top academic honors. So to me the question is not whether starting them late will lead to them being valedictorian but rather if it helped them be top 10% instead of top 25%. And I guess we would never know. I guess it just seems to stand to reason for me.
  28. Larry T. Spider

    Larry T. Spider 1,000+ Posts

    If you start a year earlier, you will graduate college a year earlier, start work a year earlier, and then possibly retire a year earlier or have another year to make money. Probably not the deciding factor but it's worth a thought.
  29. Giovanni Jones

    Giovanni Jones 1,000+ Posts

    Here's my $0.02, which is purely anecdotal and based on my own experience, take with it what you will.

    Our daughter was born in late July, and we decided against holding her back a year. Several factors were considered in this decision. My wife had been an elementary school teacher (before she quit to be a full-time mom after our daughter was born) and she had been busy stimulating our daughter's mind since day 1. We also had her in an excellent pre-school program with terrific instructors (her teacher had a son who was valedictorian of his class). Most of all, we and everyone else concerned considered her to be emotionally and socially mature enough to to ahead and enter K. She's done well in school (currently a member of NJHS and participating in band and track).

    As for myself, I was an October baby and my parents were urged to consider placing me in K a year early (this was in California, back in the early 60s). They decided against it, due to my severe shyness. I think they probably made the right decision by keeping me on the standard schedule.

    btw, they had an article on this very issue on 60 minutes last night


    Apparently a lot of people are "redshirting" their kids not necessarily because of a special situation involving the kid but in the hopes of giving them an advantage. (Of course, if everyone red-shirts their kids for Kindergarten, that perceived advantage may become less significant)
  30. elface

    elface 250+ Posts

    I have two kids. The second was due mid Sept., but we scheduled a c-section for Aug. 31, so he could start school a year early. The first one was born in Nov., she entered kinder at her correct age and in a month they tested her and moved her to first grade. She graduates this year. She has done well in school and participates in varsity sports, and has excelled at music. She never pushed herself academically or in sports as those things came pretty easy (she took sat in 7th grade for Duke TIP and scored higher than me when I entered college), but she busted her butt in music. She will enter college as a 17 year old and I would certainly like to have her stay in the house for another year. Who knows how she would have done if she would have remained in her grade. She definitely felt out of sorts being either the youngest or one of the youngest kids in her class.

    The younger one went to a montessori kinder and entered first grade as a young one. He was behind the other students in a very competitive school--Plano and the elementary had many students from Indian, Korean and Chinese first generation families. He worked his butt off and we moved to an adjacent albeit excellent school district and I decided to hold him back a year. He now takes care of business consistently and was chosen outstanding student in his last year of elementary school. His grades were really good, but the principal told me it was because of his character. The work ethic he developed in his first few years of school have really helped him in all facets of his life as he competes in sports and music as well.

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