9/7/11

When Should Kids Start Kindergarten?


I was really excited to do this post about how the boys display their age. Look at their dirty little fingers! But then it hit me. They are three years old. So young! This week they start preschool and next year, when they are still four, they start kindergarten.

In NYC, all kids turning five before December 31 start kindergarten. Since my boy's birthday is September 25th, they fall well within the cutoff. It changes from state to state. In Florida, where I grew up, all kids had to be five-years-old by September 1st. Since I have a November birthday, I was one of the older ones. However, had I lived NY, I would have started school a year earlier. That would have changed my entire life. I would had different friends. Started college earlier. Maybe missed the opportunity to meet Rob.

Academic worries aside, this kindergarten start day is huge. Reading this article from the NY Times didn't help ease my concerns. Part of me is super worried.

And the other part is super excited to get rid of the boys so much earlier than expected! (bwahahaha!)

 

26 comments:

  1. My four year old just started junior kindergarten last week - she turned four in July and was so ready for the change. My boy was born in February, so he'll be one of the older kids - cut-off in Ontario is December 31. It's emotional this journey I find...you don't want to let go of the babies, but you can't wait for them to grow up and be 'easier' ;) Can't even imagine multiples...

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  2. They are so cute! In New Caledonia (the french territory where I'm currently living) the kids start school at 2 years + 9 months, isn't that crazy!! I think that's too much, they are so little!

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  3. looks like they're destined to be arizona state sun devils... my neck of the woods! that's our little hand gesture we break out for cheers and school spirit and such. so cute to see little boys naturally breaking out the pitchfork! :)

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  4. Gosh, I don't know how on earth I'll ever send my kids off the kindergarten....glad thats years down the road. :) Your boys are soo stinking cute, Sharon!

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  5. I was four when I started Kindergarten, so I was always the youngest of my friends. The only time it bothered me was in college when they all turned 21 before me and I got left home while they went out :P

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  6. Cute three year olds... My just turned three year old (Aug 13), Tate, shows three the exact same way. SO so cute!

    She starts pre-pre-school next week. The jury is out whether Tate will start kindergarten as a youngun' in two years or be one of the older gals. Time will be the judge on this one.

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  7. In France they start school at 3 (or if your birthday is before December 2.5 years.) It is basically a well organized play time. It is only 4 days a week and the kids go home for a two hour lunch in the middle of the day. I LOVE IT.

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  8. I was just talking about this with my best friend (we met in Kindergarten). My parents could have started me a year earlier, and then we would not have met when we did. We probably would have known each other, but would not have the same kind of bonding that being in class together fosters. Her son will start school next year and we were talking about how you just can't know as a parent. Your kid's friends are so important and you have so little control over who they meet and when.
    Sorry no advice, just comment.

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  9. the trend on the west coast is to hold your boys back a year because of the demands they put on children so young these days (i taught first grade in los angeles for 8 years before settling into full time mommy mode). i think you should find out what the average age is of the kids is these days because it was more and more common for kindergarteners in california to be six most of the school year and first graders to be seven, and so forth - especially with boys who mature later. it is a great service to your kids to give them the time to mature before putting them in. find out if you can wait and i would if i were you.

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  10. Sweet boys. You know, I have thought about the when-to-start-school issue a lot. Here (WV) the cutoff is also 9/1. I have a September birthday and if that would have been the policy when I was in school I would have been a year behind as well. I think about how different my life might have been.

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  11. Demands are really high, I'm sure your boys are extra brainy and well capable for K, but if you wait a year they'll always FEEL bigger, smarter, and more in control than their younger piers, making it easier to love school.

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  12. We did half day 4k at a private school to get them ready for kindergarten. I think my Feb child did better than my two summer ones. He was half a year older than them when he started. Looking back, I probably should have held Natalie back a year. She turned five about a month before school started. She is way more immature than the boys.

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  13. Dude, Sharon, you have to read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. It talks extensively about this, I bet you'd enjoy the perspective.

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  14. sharon! yes! ed read outliers a month or so ago and he was trying to explain it to me. you'd like it.

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  15. Ok-I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum here. I fully believe in watching your child and deciding what is best for your child. My 7 year old is in third grade. His good friend is turing 9 only one week after my son turns 8. We did not bump him up a grade because we wanted him to grow up faster or because we were looking for some character building. He was so bored from what was being taught in his kindergarten class that he became lazy. He already knew the sound that z says; he knew how to spell and read 'zebra' and that xylophone didn't start with z. So we took him into the school and asked them to test his level. In kindergarten he tested at a third grade level. We only bumped him up one grade because we didn't want him to be younger by two years. The added challenge made all the difference for him. Even with the grade jump he is still at the top of his class. Each child is different. Each parent has a responsiblity to do what is best. I believe that if we live up to our missions as parents than our school system wouldn't be so hard to figure out.
    (I usually don't comment because I don't have an open blog or other media identity, and I hate to be anonymous. Yet, the other view wasn't being voiced).

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  16. I taught preschool/kindergarten for five years and I think it depends on the individual child. While there are common developmental periods for children, each is unique.

    Also, even though I taught preschool, I don't believe it is necessary if the child is being stimulated and cared for in a dynamic way at home (exactly what you are doing, with all of your fun outings and projects). Kids should go to preschool if they don't have someone who can do those things with them during the day.

    I love your blog. Your children are adorable and better dressed then most grown ups.

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  17. I agree with the others about needing to evaluate each child. I do however think that most boys will benefit by waiting an extra year. My girl's have birthdays in March and September and they both were ready to start school at five. My boy's birthdays are in May and June. The older one just didn't have the ability to sit still and do what is needed to be done yet. So we decided to have him wait until he was six. We've never second guessed the decision. My youngest probably would have been ok but we waited to be consistant with the boys. Plus we would rather have him excelling because he's a little older. All the teachers I've talked to agree that boys in general benefit from being older.

    The other advantage in our opinion is that they will leave on their missions shortly after graduating. Alot of things can happen in the year in between school and mission. James left three months after graduating and others I've talked to enjoyed leaving that quickly.

    I agree with the last person who posted: I love your blog Sharon.

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  18. My oldest started kinder this year at 6 years old. He could have gone last year but I decided to hold him back a year. He has a summer birthday. I weighed the pros and cons. Boys mature at a slower rate than girls and I felt like having him home an extra year had more benefits than not. Kinder is full day here in Dallas and it is a L O N G seven hours. The first two weeks took patience on my parts. Lots of meltdowns. Tough decision. Good luck!

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  19. This is my first visit to your blog! Thanks for sharing that NYTimes link and I hope Kindergarten goes well for your boys! My almost four year old has a November birthday, and while she's (in my eyes) super bright and would love school, I'm also a little nervous about this Northeast early start. We're homeschooling for Pre-K since here in CT we don't have the awesome NYC Public Pre-K option. I'm from Florida originally too and all her little cousins down there are just starting Kindergarten at 5. We shall see--Good luck!

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  20. I agree with the last person who posted: I love your blog Sharon.
    buy facebook review

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  21. sharon! yes! ed read outliers a month or so ago and he was trying to explain it to me. you'd like it. http://creamsarioriginal.org

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