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Thinking about enrolling our 4 yr old into kindergarten this fall. (He'll be 5 in early December). He's been in preschool for almost a year and the kindergarten in our town is only 1/2 day. Struggling with if it's too early or we should wait another year.”

10 replies so far...

  • I am an educator and a mother of twins. Once they were of age to move on into the public school arena I had a decision to make. I knew the answer without a doubt. I held my twins out of school until they were six. I knew that if one of them experienced trouble and had to be held back, the other would advance without the other. Also, you can never gain another year of time for your child to develop. If you move them along, you have lost a year of time and are only left with another year through retention. You can never make a mistake by holding kids from entering school, but CAN make a mistake by pushing them on ahead. All kids should be given the gift of time. Linda

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Linda on 2nd March 2011

  • We held our daughter back and it was the best decision we ever made. She's in 2nd grade now and has been in the "advanced" group in KG, 1st, and 2nd. She has so much confidence and even enjoys her school work. I defintely thinks things would have been different if we tried to push her before she was ready.

    Reported Posted by Jenny Guckin on 12th February 2011

  • Oceans mom, that sounds like my kid brother (excluding the professional help issue). He had vision issues, which no doubt affected his writing and speed of completing his work. Now havng a kid with developmental vision issues (beyond just nearsightedness), I have seen vision therapy make a big difference. Vision therapy isn't well-known, so many parents wouldn't think to get their kid tested for this type of problem. A child could have 20/20 vision and still not be good at the type of focusing, etc. needed to do schoolwork successfully. Just a thought.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 4th February 2011

  • It depends on where your child stands in compared to the other children in the class. One of my customers was just telling me about her son who is extremely intelligent and has been tested with a very high IQ. However, his fine motor skills are behind the other childrens and he cannot write as well as they can and he is the youngest in the class. This has led him to have low self confidence and a lot of frustration so severe that they are now seeking professional help for him. Some kids, however, are just fine. I would check wiht the KG class in your area to see what htey require so that you dont run into a similar situation.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by oceans mom on 3rd February 2011

  • In Illinois, kids must be five by Sept. 1 to start kindergarten, and I know lots of families with kids who have summer birthdays who have even waited another year (particularly in the case of boys) due to maturity reasons. It's truly more than what they know--it's how they interact and cope on a daily basis. If your child is super-mature for his age, then he might be able to handle it. If not, I'd definitely do another year of preschool. In the long run, I think you'll find him to be happier from a social standpoint.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by jengray on 3rd February 2011

  • Where I live, KG starts at 3yo, and Junior school -full day- at 5. My little one attended day care since the age of 3 months and therefore was used to a routine of going to "school" all her life. Transition from day care to school was not difficult and I am absolutely happy -as she is- with all the new things she has learned in "big school". Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lu on 2nd February 2011

  • What is causing your concern? There must be something that is making you question whether he should go on to Kg. How does your son do at play dates? Have conversations with the preschool teacher as to how he acts in school. She/He will know if your son is on target for Kg and would be able to handle it. How are his verbal skills, as well as his fine and gross motor skills?
    As a preschool director, i had the opportunity to speak with many parents concerning this exact issue.
    For all the parents that did decide to hold their child back, not one of them was disappointed with their decision. They came back to me and expressed that their child excelled in Kg, and that they made the right decision for their child. Trust your decision; it is made with love and so it will be the correct one.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Bodacious Biscotti on 1st February 2011

  • Maybe you could find a KG readiness checklist online for the school district he will be in, or the state. Some expect the kids to identify and write all their letters, etc. When a child is on the younger side, they like his cognitive and motor development to be ahead of the curve, to make up for the fact that he will probably have a few age-related challenges. And, people do tend to believe boys should be older when they start. Personally, I believe that if the cutoff is Jan 1, the KG should cater to normally-developing kids (male and female) who meet the cutoff. But that doesn't mean the child is going to have an easy road. My brother was born on the cutoff and was bright / advanced, but he had difficulties beginning in 2nd grade - partly because his intelligence outpaced his small motor skills and maturity. He survived, however.

    I believe a child needs to be challenged intellectually in order to meet his full potential. To me, putting him in school a year late takes away the opportunity for many challenges throughout his childhood - assuming he's meeting age-appropriate milestones.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 31st January 2011

  • In CT the cutoff is Jan 1st and yes, he's fully potty trained, knows his numbers, colors, shapes, can write his name, etc, etc. Where he goes now it's a full day so I don't see any issue with going 1/2 day but am getting the "but is he mature enough" lecture from family. Very frustrating!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Patty on 31st January 2011

  • What is the official age cutoff? Is he academically and verbally meeting typical 5-year-old milestones? Fully potty-trained and OK with other adults and kids? Are his fine motor skills sufficient to write legibly without help?

    In my state, your child would have to pass a test to get into KG this year, and you would get a lot of push-back. But if your school's cutoff date is after his birthday, he may do just fine. It really depends on the individual at that point.

    I have a 4yo born in January, and she would blow KG away right now. But because of her age, she won't be eligible for KG until she's 5.5, and I'm pretty bummed about that. But, it is what it is. My other daughter will be 5 in October, and I'm glad she misses the cutoff by 10 days. She could use more time to work on her visual learning issues.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 31st January 2011