Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I need some advice. Thomas's birthday is September 4th and he will be the big 5. The cut off date for kindergarten here is September 15th. DO I SEND HIM, OR DO I WAIT ANOTHER YEAR? I thought I had decided a long time ago, to wait and send him when he turns 6, but now that it is drawing closer and I am thinking about it more, I just don't know. Everyone has always told me to generally send a young girl, and hold back a young boy.

Thomas (like most kids) is ready academically. Socially...I used to think he was behind, but he is doing better and better with people, so now I think he may be ready. As far as seperation from me, he is fine for the three hours, twice a week he goes to preschool...but every day for Kindergarten...I just don't know????

To throw another spin on things, Nicholas will be 5 August 23 in two more years. That means his birthday is well before the cutoff. I feel like if I send Thomas, I will need to send Nicholas...if I hold Thomas back, I will need to hold Nicholas. I think because they are two years apart, minus two weeks, in age, they need to be two years apart in school.

Also, he has cousins here. Newell 6 now and will be 7 on September 5th...he just went to kindergarten this year and will be in first grade next year. Ethan is 5 now and will be 6 in November and he will be going to Kindergarten next year.

Advice???? Please send any and all!

Oh...in answer to some comments about my preschool post. Some friends and I do a rotating preschool. It is twice a week, for 2 1/2 hours. We rotate weeks. So I teach at my house one week out of five weeks. Our goal is to teach the kids to follow directions, sit still for a short lesson, raise their hands, and get along with each other. We are very laid back and give them a lot of free play time and movement activities. We use a book called, "Teach me Mommy," as a base for ideas and themes, and we supplement whatever else we want to do. This is the second year I have done this...last year in Las Vegas with three year olds, and this year in Junction with mostly 4 year olds. It has been a great experience both times.


Elisa said...

don't they usually hold boys back because they're not ready for the academic stuff yet? But Thomas already knows probably all the stuff they teach in Kindergarten so if you don't start him next year but you still want him to learn and grow then you're going to have to supplement and then he might get ahead of other kids his age and be bored in class which could make things difficult. You'd know best though Jen, and i'm sure you and jackson have talked things over and that you'll make the right choice.

Karin said...

Ah, that IS a tough one. James is only 2 1/2 months older than Thomas, but well before the cut off date so it hasn't really been an option. There are SO MANY things to look at, as you guys seem to have already considered... I kinda think if he seems ready, send him, but then you have other factors like size and maturity to consider, too. I loved being one of the older ones in class. Come high school, he'll either have to bum rides off friends his sophomore year or be the one borrowing YOUR car to haul everyone else around, if you hold back. He's probably good buddies with the cousin starting school, right? Good reason to send him--but, he or you could (unexpectedly) move, so you don't want to base your decission on that alone. Yikes, I have no experience and am no help. When I taught pre-school, the age thing was a bigger issue than when I taught kindergarten. -There, it was more personality- some younger ones were more "mature" (could sit/listen) better than slightly older children.
just homeschool...;)

CJ said...

This is not really advice, just my own opinion based entirely in emotion... :)

I am totally scared to send my kids to public school, I think I will keep mine with me as long as I can! 5 is so young, and I worry about what my babies may learn from other 5 year olds who come from not-so-good homes. Plus I feel I can teach my own kid so much more efficiently than a kindergarten teacher with 30 kids. You know, if you wanted to,you could just tell the school you are "homeschooling" him this year, keep him with you and do basic teaching with him, (ABC's, 123's, which he probably knows anyway) and then send him to 1st grade next year, or whatever. I am planning to keep mine home with me for the first few years since the teaching is easy, and its not like they won't get a social life with other kids through play groups, kiddie sports, and church. Then I'll send them when I'm ready, with their age level. I may not send them until middle school if everyone (including me) is enjoying themselves! I'll have to see, I realize I may change my mind after a couple of years!!

I agree with Elisa though that ultimately you know what's best for you and your situation, you may be ready for the break that public school affords, or maybe you just want to enjoy him and protect him from "the world" a little bit longer.

CJ said...

I just realized I didn't really answer your question at all. Haha. Based on his age, I'd probably wait a year. I was always THE YOUNGEST in my class, my birthday was the week school let out in June, so all the other kids had turned whatever age I was turning long before I did. And somehow it made a difference being younger than everyone, I don't think I felt as confident. I would think age would be especially important to a boy though. He won't want to be younger than all the girls in his class, especially in high school. :) The girls may turn 16 in time for prom while he is still 15. If you wait to send him when he's 6, he'll have his choice of girls for prom!

idahomayos said...

Ahh that is a tough one... but I say wait one more year. Trace turned 5 last Nov (he's just a few days younger than Julia's oldest) and so he will start this coming year (and be one of the older ones in class) Chase turned 5 on Sep 24,(after the deadline), so he was almost 6 before he started and is one of the oldest in his class (in Chase's class there are 4-5 of them are Sept bdays and older than the others and that group is the class leaders...year after year). I feel that it has been the best thing for Chase...academically he was ready at 5 but the extra year home was good for him. As for Nicholas...I know that's hard. Charlee's bday is the same day :) and I told Steve when she was just newborn that I was keeping her home and not sending her to K until she was 6! She's my baby! but I am feeling that anx. as she is tiny in size but seems very mature but I still think I will wait until she's 6 to send her. On a side note...my bday is Sep 11 so I started K when I was 6 but then in the 3rd grade my teachers felt like I was so far ahead they moved me up to the 5th grade the next year...so I skipped the 4th grade. Putting me with the group of kids that I would have been with had I started K when I was 5. I HATED being the youngest one. I didn't get my drivers license until I was a jr! There were several times too that I felt like I just wasn't quite emotionally ready for what was happening. When it came down to it both my mom and I had wished over the years that I wouldn't have skipped ahead...so that is the main reason I'm wanting to keep Charlee one more year since she is so close. I do worry about the getting bored in class because they are so far ahead of everyone else but school's are recongnizing the kids that are advanced...here in ID they are piloting accelerated classes for advanced elementary aged kids and only the advanced kids are in those classes. Hopefully they really take off and are the wave of the future. Then in high school they can always dual up with college courses and graduate with their Associates and High School Degrees at the same time. One more reason having that drivers license a year earlier would be handy! ;) Sorry for the long post...but I have been thinking alot lately of Charlee and that very thing. I feel kids grow up fast enough as it is... having one more year at home can be a huge self esteem and maturity booster. Best of luck in deciding what is best for Thomas :)

Smitty n' Chelle said...

I have Kialey in Kindergarten and she absolutely LOVES it. My advice wouldbe to send him and if he seems not quit ready you can always pull him out or even hold him back the next year and have him repeat it. I think if he is doing good academicly than he would do really good with learning and holding him back might limit what he could be learning and might get bored if it is too easy. I would not look at te numbers, he is old enough so I would definately send him. Now if he cries for you when you leave him it might not work but other than that I would send him. Kialey is realy shy but at school comes out of her shell and has really helped her self-esteem. so enough of my rambling, I would send him!

Jamie said...

From my point of view as a teacher of 1st graders. I would defiantly have to say it would depend on his not on an academic level at all, but a maturity level. If he is not mature enough he will get behind and I would worry about his self-confidence. If he is ready don't hold him back because like the comment previously said its very easy to have them repeat Kindergarten and it parents can easily do that. Also whatever you decide to do, rest assure by the time they get to second grade (which is actually mostly a repeat of 1st grade) kids that were behind in 1st grade and even K (due to maturity) always catch up and you would never know the difference by the middle of the year(most kids who were behind in K actually catch up in 1st grade). I would say for sure if he is mature enough send him, but that is my opinion. If you feel that he is not quite mature enough to handle it then hold him back so he feels confident enough to feel good about himself.

Jamie said...

p.s. Jen, I can't believe you have a child old enough to worry about Kindergarten, WOW! Just yesterday we were doing Sparkettes, haha.

Smitty n' Chelle said...

I was thinking, have you asked him what he thinks? Ask him if he thinks he is ready and if he would be okay being away from you all day. He he seems really excited and does well with other kids that might help you know if he is ready. Just a thought.