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Old 08-20-2011, 09:49 AM   #1
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Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

This is pretty premature since my son is going to be turning 3 next month but I'm thinking about preschool. Our state has a cut off date of September 30 and my son was born September 22. My son will be eligible to start kindergarten when he is 4 going on 5. But with the increased pressure on kids to perform in school, I am thinking of waiting until he is 5 going on 6. I've read a bit about this concept of "redshirting" but it seems pretty fuzzy on whether it is good or not.

It would be nice to hear opinions from real moms especially if you have a child born near your state's cut off date. What do you think about the concept of redshirting? If your child is near to the cutoff date, what did you decide and what most influenced that decision?


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Old 08-20-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

as a kindergarten teacher I would highly suggest waiting a year. He is a boy and a young one at that. In my experience and my family's experience (a sister is a teacher, and my mom is a principal), boys with summer birthdays are not ready to do kindergarten at the age of 4.

My daughter's bday is Sept 11 and our states cut off is August 30th. We do have an option in our district called "early entrance" where any kid that is born before Sept 30 can "test" to get into k early. Now I have had some kids in my classes that did this...and only 1 of them was actually ready. She was reading at a 4th grade level, and was very very mature. All the others were not ready. Yes they were smart but they had the maturity of a 4 year old (which they should have since they are 4!)

Just because they are academically ready (can read, write, do math equations) doesn't mean that they are ready socially. Especially boys.

just think he will be the last one to get his drivers license...if that matters to you. He will be in the younger sports groups than his friends (if your area does them based on age).

Good luck with the decision, you have time.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

I don't know what Red shirting is... but my dd is near that cut off, too. Actually she will be 6 in a month and just started K. It would really depend on the child AND the school. Mine go to a waldorf-inspired school. Kinder is all about learning to play and be away from parents. They learn about routine and have a lot of play time with other kids. It is normal for kids to do 2 years of Kinder and start 1st grade later. They evaluate the kids at the end of the year and see where they are.
Some kids are ready at 6 for 1st grade, others need an extra year of K.

For me, it was all about that particular child's readiness. Besides, what does it matter if they are a little older? That extra year of school may have to be made up later (and its harder on them to have 2 years of say 3rd or 4th grade).
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:22 AM   #4
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

I have a daughter who just turned 5 on August 2nd. She will be starting K next week as she is TOTALLY ready. No doubt about it. Socially and academically she would be bored doing another year of pre-K. However, her younger sister will be 5 next year on August 29th. She technically makes the cutoff but is a totally different kid and I am considering waiting a year for her. In my mind, if I have any doubts about how she might do socially and/or academically, waiting a year will give her some time to grow and ultimately be better for her in the long run. There is actually a lot of research to suggest this is true. I know as many have said it is especially true for boys. For DD2 I am playing it by ear but at this point (based on her personality now at nearing age 4), I'm 75% sure she will be waiting another year and will be going into K having just turned 6.

Ultimately it really depends on the child. Also, it depends on your state and school district. I know here in California they are expecting kids to come into K knowing their alphabet, being able to count to 100, and even knowing a few sight words. They are teaching them how to read in K (basically K has become what 1st grade used to be). Also, almost all K programs here are full day now. In that case, I'd be more wary if I had any doubts. However, if I lived in another state that had more relaxed standards, my options would be different and so I'd have different decisions to make.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:35 AM   #5
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My DS's birthday is 9/29 and our cut off date is the same as yours. He is a very mature little guy and is going into the 2nd grade this year. He excelled academically and socially! So, it's not always a bad thing. You know your kid and can see if he's ready to sit down and get to work or if he'll be the one constantly going to the principal's office. And best of all, if you start, and he's struggling, you can pull him out, and wait. No harm no foul. And at least at that point you can see his readiness and work on it with him.

I know people will say he'll be thee last for a license, last to donate blood in school, last to do lots of things, but I was that kid and did fine. I graduated 8th in my class about 2 months after I turned 17 and got my license. I was the 3rd youngest. The second youngest graduated 7th and the youngest ended up being my SIL who did just fine as well. She has a Master's now. So, don't think that being the youngest is going to be some horrible thing. Could it be? Sure, but it doesn't have to be.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

My ODDs b-day is Dec. 30th and the cutoff here is Dec. 31st. She turns 4 this year but starts school (jk) in a few weeks. She's totally ready and I think it would be terrible to hold her back. Having said that, I know every child is very different and learns differently and I wouldn't hesitate to hold mine back if it were needed.

FWIW, I'm also a teacher and come from a family of educators, principals and teachers, and they all agree with me.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

You will need to take into account your school district's policies as well. There are some school districts here that have started making it mandatory that if your child is 6 years old by the cut off date for first grade(since K isn't mandatory) that they will be going into first grade, not kindergarten whether or not they have done kindergarten yet. There's been a big movement out here for parents to delay putting their boys into school for a year so they'll hopefully be among the biggest in their class and more likely to get into sports/do better in sports when they are much older.

For me my oldest didn't hit the cutoff date so it wasn't a concern with him. My second son was born in April so way before the cut off and even though he's much more immature socially than his brother was at age 5 he's ready in every other way. I think I'd rather them repeat kindergarten if needed than skip it entirely for an extra year.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

If you can, wait a year. My districts cut off date is December 2nd, which is my ds1 bday, so he went into kinder at 4 years old and was the youngest child in the class, he tried to keep up but he did have a hard time. I wanted to put him in preschool and was told due to his bday he HAD to go to kindergarten if I wanted him in school. Had he been born Decemeber 3rd, he would have been able to go to preschool. I called the district to complain and it did nothing. They let him start/finish the of end the year with the preschoolers who got a full year, he got 1 month, then they all went into kindergarten even though my ds was so much younger than everyone else. He went into first grade with the kids and did pretty good I still felt uneasy about everything expected of the kids and him being so much younger, I ended up holding him back in first and had him take the grade over. I talked to his teacher who I got to know very well since she was also his kindergarten teacher and she agreed with me on my concerns and put in for him to be held back like I wanted. The second time he was with kids his own age and he did so good, He got a different teacher because he was used to the first one since she was his kinder and first grade teacher and she favored him, I think because he was so young, so he got away with a lot with her. In the new year, repeat 1st grade, he was at the top of the class. I personally feel they shouldn't put kids in grades according to birthday's and cut off dates but more according to where they are in age and test them then place them. They would see a barely 4 year old would do better in preschool than in kindergarten kwim?
Sorry my post turned into a vent, I am still irritated by what they did, my ds1 is in 3rd grade now and he loves school.

Last edited by Sweet_Fantasy_Fox; 08-20-2011 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:50 AM   #9
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

Originally Posted by Leaner View Post
I don't know what Red shirting is...
red shirting is a sport term. Colleges will take a freshman and let him practice and be on the team, but not let him compete. (because you can only compete a limited time in sports (4 years)) So when he's on his 4th year of compition, he'll have 5 years of experience. It yields a bigger (more developed physically) more experienced athlete, and "sacrifices" the same athlete 4 years earlier as a weaker less experienced player.

I don't know how that applies to kindy. they won't be "playing" an extra year in elem school.

and if everyone does this, there is no advantage. It becomes normal.

The little boy I babysat for had a b-day close to the cutoff and they had a class called "young fives" where it was like pre-school, but they were all well... young 5 year olds. or kids that maybe needed another year before kindy for another reason.

It would depend on the kid. I have a July b-day (cutoff was aug 1) so I am one of the youngest in my class. I was 17 when I graduated HS (because it was June, I turned 18 in July) I didn't feel that I suffered. If anything I felt the kids that were 19 in our class were the ones suffering. They were legal adults and ready to move on with their lives, but had to finish HS. it's really a personal decision.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:55 AM   #10
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

My boys aren't really close to the cutoff (ours is Sept something and they have May and June birthdays), but we will be starting K at age 6. This year, my oldest is in a K-transition program after attending 3 & 4 yr old preschool. The twins will do the same.

I do not see any disadvantages to waiting a year, but I do see many (based on my personal and professional experiences) that could occur if I sent them early. I personally see no problem with my children repeating a year of preschool, but would not want them to have to repeat a year once in elementary school. I think the dynamics are very different.
Lisa ~ Momma to Cole, twins Evan & Grant, and NEW TWINS Paige and Nolan born 1/15/12
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