More Parents Choosing to Delay Kindergarten

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
More Parents Choosing to Delay Kindergarten
7
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 1:34pm

A few mothers were having a discussion about the trend of delaying kindergarten and I thought this article was an interesting one.  What are your thoughts on it, any experiences good or bad with delaying, or not delaying kindergarten?

THIS fall, one in 11 kindergarten-age children in the United States will not be going to class. Parents of these children often delay school entry in an attempt to give them a leg up on peers, but this strategy is likely to be counterproductive.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/dont-delay-your-kindergartners-start.html?_r=1

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Community Leader
Registered: 06-27-2006
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 4:42pm
Very interesting topic. Thanks for posting, Tracy.
I have fought with this very subject just this year. Riley was 5 in November, so he missed the cut-off by a couple of months. But, he is more immature at this age than I remember my others being.
We are going to place him in K in a couple of weeks and just see how he does. I never thought that being with older, more mature children, might help him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 9:55pm

What I know about is the difference in High School Juniors and Seniors. I've known HS seniors who were 16-17, and highly motivated... and HS seniors who were 18-19 and way too old to still be in that juvenile position! They were fighting with their parents, disruptive, doing drugs, and some dropped out after getting in trouble with the law.  I myself graduated a year early, and cannot imagine having still been at home another year, let alone TWO years!  Everyone I know from the generation after me, (more recent graduates) as well, who graduated early are SO GLAD they did! And like I said, the ones I know who graduated late were miserable.

It is a totally different situation if the child is simply developmentally lagging and needs more time to develop, and that extra time could mean the difference between utter failure and success. But even with some delays, sometimes waiting a year is not going to fix whatever the specific disability is, and in fact can just delay the needed help by one more year.

I always wonder if the parents who delay specifically to have their child bigger and "better" than their younger peers think about how it will be when they are in high school and are "bigger"...older... not "better"... and legally adults... and are not in college or out on their own, and the parents are still trying to impose adolescent restrictions on them?


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Community Leader
Registered: 06-27-2006
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 9:19am
That is a perspective I bet they never think about. And it make a lot of sense!

Like I said previously, I was one thinking about holding mine back. After reading the article and what you have written, I'm glad we decided not to.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 9:29am
I also graduated at 17, the cut off when I started school was Dec. 1 and I was a late October baby. Since I was the first born and a girl, my mom said I was definitely ready to start and I was fine with it most of the time. I did hate getting my license so much later than others, and I was 15 1/2 and at the end of my sophomore year when I started dating a guy who didn't start Kindergarten til he was 6 and so he was ending his junior year but turning 18 over the summer, so it was a BIG deal that even though we were only a year apart in school, we were 2 1/2 years apart in age at the time. But overall, I agree with what you pointed out, I was definitely motiviated by it. I don't think some parents think of the long term affects of holding a child back solely for the reason of "getting a jump start on the race" by having the kid a year older than its peers.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 10:09am

My son was born 9 days after the cut off.  I decided to use a virtual charter school. I managed to get him into school a year early. He was 4 the first week of school. The second week he was 5. I have no regrets at all. He does have a hard time sitting still but he would be bored with the work provided to him in the grade most people think he should be in.  He is currently in second grade.  According to the tradtional rules, he would be in first grade.  If I had red shirted him, he would be in K.  He is currently using a math book for 4th grade.  Imagine how much trouble he would get in for being bored.  Imagine how more he will learn because I didn't stiffle him.

Furthermore, I want him to graduate at 17. I do not want him to be 18 his whole senior year surronded by an entire school of girls he cannot legally date.  I also do not want to put up with a legal adult who still has to go to school and gets treated like a kid. I graduated early and know I would not have done well in school once I did not HAVE to be there.  I have no regrets about my decision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-1999
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 11:56am

I think it all depends on the needs of the individual child.  I waited until my ds was six to start him in kindergarten.  When he was 5 he was not socially or emotionally ready for full day kindergarten.  He is very small for his age and I was also thinking ahead to middle school where it is really difficult to be a small, young boy.  He is 11 and just started fifth grade and I have no regrets.  He is still small—the same size as his 3rd grade brother who is about average in size.  I can’t imagine sending him off to middle school this year looking like an 8 year old.  Academically he is at the top of his class but there are lots of advanced kids in his school so he is still being challenged.  Socially I believe he is much more confident than he would be if he were the youngest in his grade.  He is happy, has meaningful friendships, and is generally well liked by his grade level peers.  He has never been teased or bullied which was not the case for my brother, who was young and small.  My dh was also young and small but his parents delayed kindergarten for him and he always felt he was more confident socially because of that.  I think that parents should do what is best for their individual child because there is no one choice that is right for every child.  I was never trying to make my child the “biggest and brightest” as someone told me when I was first struggling with what to do.  I only wanted him to be successful, happy and safe and I believe that is what I have done for him.

 

Debbie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 2:32pm

auroraroze - 

Yep. My younger daughter would have had to wait another year just because her birthday was right after the cut-off date in our state. She could've started in other states, but not ours. BUT - she went to a Montessori, and their cut-off date was in the middle of the school year rather than the beginning, and she was not the youngest.  When she switched to public school, she was the youngest, not because of the cut-off date (there were several others by then - 4th grade - who had started "early"), but because she was also a year ahead. That also was not an issue socially,  as she was quite socially mature and maturity was NOT an issue for her.  She LOVED starting college early.  She much preferred that environment. She started at a Community College.  Oh - and she had some disabilities.


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