starting school with an August birthday

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 6:15am
mom2's picture
Joined: 05/03/2007 - 09:00

I am trying to decide whether to start my daughter this school year or hold her out another year. She has a late August birthday and has multiple, severe food allergies. Academically she is very ready, but socially I think she is behind and I am not sure she is ready to handle the responsiblity on her own. The school has been cooperative with us but we are trying to weigh out the benefits and negatives to holding her out. There seems to be more positives for keeping her out another year.

What are some of your opinions and experiences on starting school if your child's birthday falls in August or September? With severe food allergies would it be too much of a negative to be the youngest in the class? Is one more year going to make that much difference in maturity? Do you feel like you made the right decision by sending them on or keeping them out?

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 6:59am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

One of my good friends has a daughter who turns 5 on August 8th. She has been trying to figure out the answer to this question the past few years. Then the school made a policy that the child had to be 5 by August 1st. So she did not make the cut off.
But before that they had decided to send her to one more year in pre-school. The parents felt that it would be better NOT to be the youngest child, socially, educationally, and even down the road in sports, extra activities, etc.... They would rather her be older and more mature, then younger.....
I know this is a child by child question. I know we are struggling with our little boy who has a May birthday. I have heard to go both ways with him.
Good Luck!!

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 7:29am
Peanut Militia's picture
Joined: 03/06/2007 - 09:00

Our daughter's birthday was the cut off day. We sent her because we felt it could be a buffer year if she got sick. We are still not comfortable with the decision. I know it was hard on her when she was so much younger than everyone. Would the teacher be honest with you? They know in the first week or so if she is going to be able to handle the social side of things. Personally, I think she would have benefited from another year of half day pre-school. My husband sees the "progress made in the year."
We didn't think we would have to worry about it with our second. Her birthday is 2 1/2 weeks later-then we got the new dates and she is one day inside the cut off. I do not think we will start her that year, we will wait. She is a 'younger soul,'
even though I think educationally she is ahead of where her sister was at this age.

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 7:54am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I have four kids all in school now. Luckily Ryan was one of the older ones in his class because of his November birthday.
If he was an August baby, it is highly likely I would have held him back because of his PA. Being one of the older kids was definitely to his advantage.

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 9:02am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I have a June 28th baby, he just turned 4, but I do think next year I will be sending him to Kindergarten(he is milk and egg a couple other foods). If they are ready, they are ready. One option I thought about trying was to do 1/2 day K, then if the year is just difficult, I can re-enroll him into full day the following year, if not, he can go onto 1st grade. But you know your child, I wouldn't hold her back just because of her allergies, if she is ready, then let her go [img][/img]
if not, take advantage of an extra year.
edit, our cut off is Oct end of June isn't so bad, if the cut off was Aug, then I think I would wait.
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-4 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 1/2 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited July 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 12:13pm
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Our daughter has an early August birthday and K was too much for her. She changed schools and instead of going to 1st we put her into K again.
No regrets. Good move. She fit right in and did fine instead of having to "catch up" all of her life. Mostly maturity wise. Academically she was way above her peers but maturity wise no way.

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 12:43pm
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

DS will be starting K at 4 1/2. His birthday is in November and the cutoff here is December 2, so he makes the cutoff by less than 2 weeks.
His good friend who is 2 weeks older will probably wait another year, but I just can't see having DS wait. He already did a Kindergarten class in his private preschool and is begging me to send him to first grade. If he can't go to first grade, he told me he would settle for medical school [img][/img]
I would say that this decision can only be made on a case-by-case basis. You know your child best, listen to your instincts.
Mom to 8 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 2:07pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Our cut off date is Sept. 1. DS's birthday is Sept. 13. I just knew he would be the oldest in his class in K. Wrong! Fully half the class was older than him becuase of waiting to start or holding back the summer birthday kids. If your DD is in any way immature I would consider waiting to start. If you start her now, there is a chance there will be kids a full year older than her in her class who had summer birthdays and did wait to start.

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 3:56pm
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Here are some interesting articles on this topic:
[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited July 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 9:14pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

DS is an October baby. Our cutoff is December, so he started K at 4, almost 5. I had been warned by some that he wouldn't be ready, but my gut told me that it was the right thing to start him right away. And I was right, in that he had some issues that I wasn't aware of that needed to be addressed, and would not have been for another full year if we had waited. I don't think he would have been any more ready the following year, either.
But I do understand the argument for waiting, and I see nothing wrong with it, but it would not have been the right choice in our case.

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 10:10pm
Ree's picture
Joined: 12/31/2004 - 09:00

My DS' birthday is Sept 25 and I held him for another year. He's starting K this year. You asked about maturity over a year and HOLY COW, he's matured so much that people are commenting. I couldn't imagine what we would've gone through, but I was in the same position you are in. Here's what made me decide to keep him home:
- I wanted him to have the confidence to say no to people, and he didn't have that last year.
- Many people that sent their child early/on time said that realized in 2nd or 3rd grade that is was a mistake. They found a huge maturity jump later, AFTER they made their friends. Many have their children in services, like reading help, because they're just a little behind.
- I don't want my DS to be last to drive, get a job, etc.. [img][/img]
My DS also gets speech, and his therapist said...If you hold your child back, just make sure he's getting more schooling than the year before. So, my DS started with 2 day (3 hrs) Pre-K at 3, 3 day (3 hrs) at 4, and 5 day (3 hrs) at 5. It's worked really well for us and he's really ready to start.
HTH! Good luck with your decision! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 10:28pm
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

My DS's birthday is July 26th with a Sept 1 cut-off. We waited to send him. He is not my PA child, but he was not ready. He is going to turn 12 this week and will start 6th grade in the fall. It was a very good decision for our family. He does have some learning disabilities so that made the decision an easier one for us. He loves the fact that he is older and, in his case, taller than most of the kids.
Like another poster said, there are many other kids in his class that have summer birthdays and are also turning 12.
Good luck with this decision!

Posted on: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 11:47pm
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

My daughter has an early August birthday and our cut off is Sept. 15th. She was the youngest in her kindergarten class. She is much smaller than children her age, so the size difference was quite noticeable (and a little shocking) to see when comparing her to her classmate. I asked her teachers about holding her back and they highly recommended we did not do that. Her preschool teachers also recommended we not hold her back. Socially she is equal to her peers (maybe even more advanced socially) and academically she is ahead of her peers. If I had to do it over again, I would have waited to start her in preschool and had her be one of the oldest in the class. There were quite a few kids in her class who were more than 1 yr older than her (mostly boys) because they had summmer birthdays and there did wait for them to start school.
Good luck!
To answer your question: If I had to do it over again, I would have waited for her school years to begin. She has an older brother who is 18 months older and she has always wanted to do what he does (school, in particular), so when she 3 and ready for preschool, we decided to send her. However, despite my desire to have waited another year, she does incredibly well in school and gets along with peers.

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 12:01am
maddiesmom's picture
Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

Our daughter is almost 9-her birthday is at the beginning of August. She is academically ahead, but socially very young compared to the kids in her grade. Even now, as she is about to go into 4th grade, I see how "young" she is. If I had to do it again, I would have waited a year to start her in school. Especially with her food allergies, she could have used another year of pre-k, and I am kicking myself for not doing that for her. Teachers/Staff expect a lot more of her in her grade level, but she just isn't that mature yet. She also plays a lot better with kids a year younger than her. Interesting....

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 1:27am
caryn's picture
Joined: 11/20/2002 - 09:00

I have 2 children with sept birthdays -- our cut off is august 1st -- i , too thought our son with a sept 13th bday would be one of the oldest in kdg last year ( about to turn 6 at the start) however so so so many parents kept kids out that he was actually in the middle if not younger -- plus young kids that went the year before were most likely to stay back ( he had 2 in his class that were repeating)
my daughter will be five on sept 6th -- and she will wait till next year --due to the cutoff and I am fine with it.
There is no one right answer and really it is hard to decide because of what so many other people do.

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 1:47am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I was skipped and was always a year younger than everyone else. I hated it. Academically I was still way ahead of everyone, so that was the benefit. I would have been even more bored with kids my own age. But socially I was definitely my chronological age. I was small for my age and compared to the kids in my grade I was really small. Unless you think your child will be bored academically by holding her back, I would wait. I think the disadvantages of starting as the youngest outweigh the advantages, other than the academics. Add in the food allergies and that`s even more of a reason to wait. Even if your dd knows only to eat her own food, there are other issues that come with age. Examples are realizing someone else is eating a Reese`s and walking away, noticing crumbs, telling a friend to wash hands if they ate peanuts. All these kinds of things come with age.

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 2:02am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Just to offer a different perspective on skipping...
I have a summer birthday and my mom sent me to K just after I turned 5. I was very bored in school despite being one of the youngest in my class. Socially, I preferred adults to kids. I was sooo much happier after skipping 7th grade. There were some awkward moments in high school (no driver's license, etc.) but I have never regretted skipping. To me, it was totally worth those minor discomforts to get to college sooner!

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 3:34am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

Go with your gut. I think it totally depends on the child, but I do think it's good to step back a bit to really see what's best. If that makes sense.
I started K at 4 with a November birthday and was a full year younger than some in my class. Being the youngest of 5 children at home...this was normal for me.
DS has an October birthday and I will start him early. He is academically ready NOW and he's 3 - and socially he's ahead as well. I have heard all the arguments to not start him early...and then the same people change thier minds when they meet him.
In regards to PA I am hoping that with him being the youngest that the teachers will tend to be a little more protective of him than they would be otherwise. It might work in his favor in that regard.
I think each child is so different and personality plays into it so much.
Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 4:36am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I agree. DH and I both were always among the youngest kids in our classes... He has a late Aug B-day and mine's in June. In elementary school sometimes we were teased, but not much, and it really wasn't 'mean' teasing. KWIM? Really? The only down-side that I recall was never having a birthday party during school-- but waiting a year didn't solve that, since my b-day still wasn't going to come in Feb. LOL!
People tend to think my DD (who has been radically accelerated) is being 'pushed too fast' as well. Right up until they meet her. She also has a social maturity that made daycare and preschool-type settings mildly horrifying to her. [img][/img] (She simply could NOT understand the animal-like behavior of the average, fairly brutish not-very-verbal preschooler.) My daughter would just stare in mute horror at the grunting, grabbing and squealing.
For her, it has opened her mind to the possibility of having different peers for different needs in her life. So she experiences life much differently than kids who only think of same-age, similar ability children as "friends." KWIM? This is a definite plus w/r to her FA. I always had friends who were in general much older than I. I simply had more in common with them emotionally, I guess.
But a child who is not socially ready might well be unable to cope. I can see that. Being younger can make some already retiring/shy kids really crawl into a shell.
I say go with your parental instincts on this one.

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 6:04am
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
She also has a social maturity that made daycare and preschool-type settings mildly horrifying to her. [img][/img] (She simply could NOT understand the animal-like behavior of the average, fairly brutish not-very-verbal preschooler.) My daughter would just stare in mute horror at the grunting, grabbing and squealing.
That is the funniest image to imagine, but I totally understand what you are describing. My son had the same reaction to preschool. He could not comprehend why ANYONE would behave the way some of the children were. He is an old soul [img][/img] and we often have to remind him he is a child, too.
My DD who is the youngest in her class and the tiniest had a great retort to a couple of boys in her class this year who called her a "baby". She said, "If I am a baby, then why can I tie my shoes by myself and read chapter books by myself..and none of you can". The boys never teased her again. That is just her personality. She is not a door mat. My son probably wouldn't have retorted at all. I am always thankful that my DD is the one with food allergies because she has an easy personality. Most things roll right off her back. My son is a very anxious kid and it would be more difficult for him in so many ways (same with being the youngest in school, the smallest, etc.).
Even though my DD stands up for herself and does very well academically/socially, I still would have held her out another year. At this point, she is aware of the path (1st grade is next) and she really would be bored if she repeated kindergarten again. She was bored this year, academically, with kindergarten. Go with your gut. If I had gone with mine we would have waited the extra year.

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 1:49am
Spoedig's picture
Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

Our school has Sept. 30 as cutoff. My son had attended private kindergarten but the public school refused to allow him into 1st grade (born 3 days past the cut-off)-- so he went to K again (PA/TNA). TOO many people these days "hold their kids back" so they can be bigger, better, smarter, etc. (it all shakes out by 3rd grade so whether your child reads in preschool, K or 1st it really won't matter).
I agree with so many -- go with your instinct!
Personally, I would never have held my child back "just" for allergies.
[This message has been edited by Spoedig (edited July 25, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 3:31am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Well-said. I have a close friend that did this with her child, who has an October birthday. Now the child in question is entering 3rd grade and the [i]only[/i] year this child has been appropriately challenged and happy academically was in the 1st/2nd split in which the child was in the [i]younger[/i] grade, but was allowed to do 2nd grade work as needed.
This child is enthusiastic about school, is a model student, but is often bored and even unhappy.
ETA: As pleased as this child is with the social aspects of 'school' (and the child in question is a VERY verbal and social only-child)... in the past year, this child has BEGGED to be homeschooled in order to move at a self-determined pace.
The child's parents certainly [i]meant[/i] well.... and [i]were initially pleased with the decision[/i]--but have had some serious regrets over it in the last year.
My observation of that situation leads me to this: don't mistake being on the naturally less-socially-mature end of the spectrum [i]temporarily[/i] (as this child would have been [i]at the time[/i] ) for something that mandates a permanent solution. If you hold them out that year, you can't 'un-do' it. OTOH, if you try and it isn't going very well (in, say, the [i]teacher's[/i] opinion) after the first month, then make changes as needed.
But I'm not sure you know until you try. A lot depends on the community you live in, as well. Here, there [i]is[/i] still something of a stigma against being 'a year older'.... that suspicion that you might have 'flunked' K or something. But I know that in some other communities (that other friends live in) this is quite common now as a way to ensure that their kids are at the 'top' of their class. Whatever-- I'm dying to ask some of them if they plan to enroll them in some super-secret-Ninja- make-my-kid-a-CONTENDAH blitzkrieg program (doesn't Kaplan have something like that?? Oh... right. That's MCAT/LCAT prep) for the year or what..... Being older doesn't make a kid more of anything but [i]themselves.[/i] [img][/img]
I can't even [i]believe[/i] that schools are now pushing this 'cutoff' date into the summer now..... used to be it was in late November... then October, then Sept, now apparently it is in some places as early as July. WTH???? Are kids developing more slowly than they used to? Seems to me that with all the time most of them have spent in being 'socialized' by preschools and daycares, they ought to be on average [i]more ready[/i] than we were... KWIM? Unless, of course, those situation aren't really [i]'good socialization' after all....[/i] Maybe so.
JMO, of course-- but I really think the only consideration ought to be the child's personality and desire to go. Kids [i]do[/i] still show up at kindy barely able to tie their shoes and identify colors, and even most of those children do just fine.
I mean-- it's Kindergarten, right? How 'prepared' are they supposed to need to be?? Might not hurt to ask that question of someone in charge of K parent orientation.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited July 24, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 12:17pm
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

June birthday here, 10/1 cutoff. It was a hard decision since we were a couple months from cutoff, but it did fall into the "summer birthday" group.
DS is shy, and not assertive, so I was afraid of sending him as a very young 5, with his food allergies. I figure sticking up for himself may be so much more importnat for him than other kids, and I think being older/more mature would help him.
People with wisdom shared the following with me, which helped me decide:
- If you are worrying too much, hold back. People rarely regret the decision to wait, but sometimes regret sending them young
- YOU have the power to make the decision now, but sending on to 1st or repeating K will not be your decision -- it will be the school's
- It's not just a decision for one year, it's for 13 long years of school (and do you really want to send a 17yo/barely 18yo to college?)
In summary, we did it for a few reasons, but food allergies definitely factored in.

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 3:27pm
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

TwokidsNJ, I'm glad you made a good decision for your son, but I'm not sure I buy some of the advice you were given.
- If you are worrying too much, hold back. People rarely regret the decision to wait, but sometimes regret sending them young [/b]
I would have to see some statistics on this. There is at least one anecdote in this thread where someone regretted waiting.
- YOU have the power to make the decision now, but sending on to 1st or repeating K will not be your decision -- it will be the school's [/b]
Here at our school, if you send your young child to K on schedule and then you don't think he is ready for 1st grade they are certainly willing to have the child repeat K per parent request.
[b]- It's not just a decision for one year, it's for 13 long years of school (and do you really want to send a 17yo/barely 18yo to college?)[/b]
The fact that this decision is not for just one year is true whether you wait or not. As for 17 yr olds going to college, it really depends on the kid. Besides, if they graduate high school early and don't want to go to college right away they can take a year to do an internship or study abroad. There's no rule saying you have to go straight to college.
Just food for thought!
[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited July 25, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2007 - 2:40am
lilanne's picture
Joined: 11/02/2006 - 09:00

Both my children were Summer babies and the cut-off was Sep. My DD the oldest who has the Aug BDay would have still been 4 when school started that year in early Aug. I looked at the class roster and 70 % of the kids that year were turning 6 before Christmas, so I just put her in a pre-K 5 class designed for 5 year olds...It was very successful for her so I just did the same thing when it came time for my DS. They really don't know any difference because they still went to a school (pre-school). When it came time to start Kindergarten their B-days just came before most others in class....In our case it worked out great for my children in their grades and confidence. It is quite common in our area too, that is why there were so many pre-k 5 programs.....My DS just completed Kindergarten, and looking back, I'm glad he was 6 instead of 5 with dealing with the PA concerns. Just my opinions.

Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2007 - 3:15am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

From a Canadian perspective, our cut off date is December 31. DD #1, September 20 BD, DD #2 August 21 BD. We were not given a choice in terms of when to send them. If they were 4 (JK) or 5 (SK) before December 31, they started school, no option.
This is not to say that we could have opted not to send them until first grade because that is the law here. I guess I was surprized that there were options elswhere.

Posted on: Wed, 08/01/2007 - 6:53am
Lori Jo's picture
Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

All of our children are late summer birthdays, with the school district cut-off at Sep 1. All of our children are tiny. We elected to send them with their peers and not hold them back. They've done great. We considered holding youngest, PA, dd in pre-K one more year, but her teacher said "no way, she's more than ready for K".
These decisions were made in the face of my experience. I made the cut-off for school by 2 weeks in Rhode Island. When we moved to Michigan, I was actually past the cut-off and would have been a grade behind if I'd started there. Yes, it was a bummer driving last of all my friends, but other than that I have no regrets. I was academically above my grade level as it was, and was in counseling in 4th grade due to behavior issues until they figured out I was just bored stiff. Once they found out I was reading at an 11th grade level, they gave me more difficult work and I was happy as a clam.
Every child is different, but being the youngest is not so life shattering. I even started college at 17, and did just fine. [img][/img]
Lori Jo,
Rose, 7-31-02, PA
Noah, 7-29-05
Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99

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