5 yr olds entering 4K this fall

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by cm301263, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. cm301263

    cm301263 Well-Known Member

    My boys have a late summer birthday and also they just turned 5 we opted to put them into 4K this fall.
    I was curious to know how many others have done this. We feel comfortable about our decision to do this but I know that sometimes it can be a controversial topic.
  2. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    My nephew had a summer birthday.  He actually did pre-K and half way through the year they moved him to pre-K 1/2 day and Kindergarten 1/2 day.  Then he did full day Kindergarten the following year.  He was ready academically but definitely not socially or maturity wise.  He graduated this past spring and is starting college in the fall at age 19.  It was a great choice for him.  It had no negative impact on his schooling or making friends.  He turned out fine.  In fact he actually now has a leg up in that he is the oldest and more mature one of his friends.  He tends to be the leader.
    There is no rush.  In our state Kindergarten is not even required technically.   
  3. monica77

    monica77 Well-Known Member

    I am curious to see opinions about this issue also. My kids are turning 5 on September 3rd and the cut off date for SC is Sept 1st - no exceptions are allowed - I called the school to ask about it.
    I think academically they are both ready - and they are really big and tall for their age - but maturity wise - I am not so sure. Vanessa is really advanced academically - but she is still a mess emotionally - she throws a fit for random reasons at times - so I hope she matures more before she starts Kindergarten. Max has no patience to focus for a long time - so I hope waiting an extra year will be beneficial for him as well. 
    In our kids' situation is not a matter of choice - but I think it will be good for them in the long term to wait. Plus I hope that being among the oldest kids in their class - they will be more mature and think twice about making bad decisions - (such as drunk driving), and maybe they will be better about resisting peer pressure. Of course - this is all wishful thinking at this point.
    Also I discussed this situation with some teachers that we know and both of them told me it's a good thing for them to be older.
  4. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My boys birthday is in October, so they had to wait until they were almost 6 before they started Kindergarten. I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision! 

    While I was not happy(just to myself) they had to wait, because they WERE ready, they are doing superb in school and I couldn't be happier! They are some of the oldest kids, are much more well behaved(which could be due to how they are raised, etc vs just their age too), and academically were above and beyond their peers. Proud mommy! :) So I think them being back a year, while I thought they were ready, did wonders. And I think in those beginning school years, them starting school on the younger side doesn't necessarily matter, it does end up catching up to them as they get older. 
    1 person likes this.
  5. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My good friend has two sons with Sept and Oct birthdays, so both of her boys are one of the oldest in their classes.  And she feels like that worked out well for both of them.  She does have another son with a summer birthday, so he is one of the youngest and she frequently worries about him, not academically but maturity wise.  He's doing well in school though.  My two are December babies, so while they might be among the oldest in their class, I feel like they are where they need to be.  
    I think only you know your kids best and if you feel like this is the best move for them, then it is.
    1 person likes this.
  6. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    My kids are December birthdays, so we didn't have a choice, but I'm glad they are on the older side.  Academically they would have been ready last year, but they struggle with impulse control, sitting still, etc.  Even being among the oldest in their class will be hard - they are still behind in those skills (probably going to get diagnosed ADHD very soon.....)
    I think you have to do what is right for your kids.  I have friends and nieces/nephews who were on the younger end and they are doing great.  Do what feels best for your family and don't worry about what others say.
  7. tarcoulis

    tarcoulis Well-Known Member

    We didn't have to make that decision, but I have a niece and a nephew who were the youngest in their classes.  Nephew did really well academically, and socially and emotionally right from the start. Niece did terrible from the start.  She was a 'lifer' at a K-12 school and I think she developed a bit of a reputation early on for short attention span, troublesome, low academics etc, and worst of all, she even started believing it.  She was on the 'naughty rug' so often that she wouldn't let other kids sit on it.   She didn't really 'get' school until 10th grade when one teacher believed in her and so she started believing in herself and just took off from there.  She is getting excellent grades at university where she was barely passing at school.  It depends on the child. 
  8. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    My boys have a late June birthday, and I sent them at 5.  They are among the youngest in their class, but in academics they are at the top.  One has a few social issues, and they are due to his ADD, and he would have them regardless.  He is also 5'10" at just 13 years old!  But, if you look at them in a group of their peers, you would never guess that they are among the youngest in the group, and that has been the case since they were in preschool.
    My advise to parents is to look at the child among the peer group they are in.  If they stand out, it is probably because they don't belong with that group.  I know kids who need that extra year, and I know kids who stand out because they really didn't.  When they are older, they seem to be the "bully" of the group because they are more mature than their peers and are ready for more than their peers are--if you know what that means.  I know kids with a September birthday (cut off here is Oct. 1), who are very ready, and kids with a June birthday who aren't yet.
    Finally, maturity does come with age.  Also, there are kids who have aged out of certain sports before their grade peers due to cut off, so while their friends can play soccer in the fall as 8th graders, they are no longer allowed because they are too old.
    1 person likes this.
  9. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    Sharon said it so well.
    I would never ever have a blanket statement for waiting or not waiting. It totally depends on the child.
    I have seen it go both ways with old for grade kids get restless and unhappy as eldest due to lack of challenge and/or maturity of peers. I also have seen it work well for kids that just needed more time.
    That said it is important to know that many 5 year olds have some trouble controlling emotions, waiting their turn for too long, being silly at inappropriate times, and/or focusing for longer than 15-20 minutes. That is actually not unusual. Most Kindergarten teachers will start with shorter sessions, seat time,and other movement activities that are age appropriate.  Also, some kids act differently at school than at home. It is the frequency & intensity of the behaviors that would change it from within developmental norms to out of the developmental norm.  Also, some kiddos that may have some developmental delays or maturity issues are better off going to K with lots of supports in place than do more PreK with less support. Our school has an awesome social worker than works with K kids on how to be a good friend and social curriculum and also holds lunchtime friendship chats for K-5th. This is not available to the PreK program.
    My own kids are young for grade and thriving. As they head into 5th, I cant imagine them going into 4th. They  act their age, which yes at times is younger than peers, but not out of the realm of standard for an older 9 year old.  Their class the past year (4th) had the youngest at older age 8 (kiddos like mine with Fall birthdays) and then kids that turned 10 before school started. In their particular class-- the  'mean kids' are a cluster of old for grade girls.  They say they are too old to play and roam the school yard at recess while teasing other kids at times for not wearing bras/clothes/etc. That said, not all the old for grade girls are that way, but in that grade/class a small group of older girls banded together and have multiple issues with behaviors.  It could be the dynamic of the girls, it could be that they are all 18+ months older than some peers, it could be insecurities that they all are developing physically faster than peers, or it could be personalities that clash and would no matter what.  Who knows.....that said they look older and attempt to act older than the vast majority of their peers since that group slants toward 'young for age' for whatever reason their are a lot of young for grade kids. I don't know about all of them, but the majority of them do well academically so that is not the issue.
    They both will go to college at age 17 turning 18. They both walked into 1st academically strong but with some delays in other areas (we did not do Kindergarten at all). Being youngest has been an asset to them, as they could focus on other things than academics early on in 1st & 2nd. With the exception that one DD is very thin/short for her age (would be regardless) and looks even smaller among her peers, they blend in with peers both behaviorally and academically at this time.  
    I would talk to the principal about K expectations at the start of the year and then match to what your DC can do. Also ask does the class slant young or old? How many kids do they get that wait a year (some areas this is common and sometimes it is not)? Is Kindergarten mandatory (if not, if they are ready and mature a ton over the past year could they for 1st could they bypass K and enroll with age similar peers) Are potentially moving to a different area that would have a different cut-off date and how would that impact your kids? How common is retention? How common is skipping a grade  for a 'grade readjustment' (this has happened before for kids that waited and then went to K and were moved to 1st soon after start of school to match age to grade).
    You'll find research to support both points of view, but most published studies support sending age eligible kids. There is also  somewhat greater push emerging for kids to be able to skip or advance if their academics are very very strong and/or they have divergent thinking patterns so that may possibly also make the differences in ages within a grade level larger.
    As a preschool teacher, I am familiar with Kindergarten expectations and PreK programs. I have suggested to parents both to wait and to send individual kids.  It all depends of what Kindergarten looks like in your area, what the age of the student considered is vs the cut-off age, if the child (regardless of cut-off) is developmentally where they should be, and what it looks like long-term.
    As a parent, I second guess our choice at times but after mulling it over-- the pros have always outweighed the cons. I will always wonder about 'what if...' but so far I am happy with our choice and the teachers we have had all have supported it and agreed it was a good choice in our situation.
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