Advice on delaying kindergarten

My son has an August birthday and we have decided to hold him back and start K just when he turns 6. Any advice on where to send him on his 3rd year of preschool? Has anyone done this? Are there any places that take older kids 4 and 5?

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HI there.  My daughter (and I) both have late August birthdays.  There is a great book called "Summer Children" that discusses how big the developmental gaps can be at this stage of life between a few months. It's the same idea Malcolm Gladwell discusses in David and Goliath when he talks about all the Canadian hockey players being born in January.  Your child will really benefit by being truly "ready" by age/stage.  My daughter went to East Bay Waldorf School where they have a 2-year Kindergarten -- starts at 4.9 and goes until 6. It's amazing and she has benefitted ever since -- she's now a 6th grader and doing extremely well on all fronts -- academic, social-emotional, etc.  Good luck to you! -- Summer birthday mom

This doesn’t answer your question about preschool, but are you in Berkeley and planning on going to BUSD? If so, be aware that admissions will try to enroll your son in 1st grade. We delayed K entry for our son this year (for legitimate medical reasons he was not ready to enter K at age 5 with a late summer birthday and we kept him in his montessori preschool). It was a BATTLE that took several months to resolve to get admissions and other administrators to allow him into kindergarten. I’m talking multiple letters from current preschool teachers, doctors, threats of legal action (as there’s no written district policy and the state only outlines minimum but not maximum ages for each grade, the district is on shaky terms with their attempts at regulating this). If you’re in Oakland or thinking about private school then this won’t be such an issue! 

Hi, one thing that comes to my mind is EBGIS; the East Bay German International School. They are bilingual and follow the German curriculum, which means that in their Kindergarten year kids continue with a heavily play-based approach and are not required to sit and learn to read and write. So its a bit more structured than preschool but less intense than american kindergarten. Of course the language piece might not work out, but still thought I share.

Hi - our twins were October babies and we decided to do the same.  In their case, they remained at the existing pre-school (Griffin) and there were two other children parents who had decided to do the same.  They started Berkeley kindergarten at Malcolm X the following fall.  I did look around at a Montessori pre-school and Step One but ultimately, with the other friends staying at the existing, it worked for us to stay put.  I should say that my twins are about to graduate from college this spring so we are a few years out but...I never regretted it.

Hi,

I did the same thing with my son, who is now a first grader at a private school.  He has a Aug 25 birthday.  Developmentally, it is exactly what he needed and the decision was supported at his school.  I HIGHLY recommend that you call the elementary school that he will be attending to find out the age cut-off for Kindergarten.  We had a couple of friends that also gave their child an extra year of preshool and then tried to enroll their child into a Berkeley or Albany public school and got major push back.  Both were told that their child had to skip Kindergarten and go straight to first grade.  It's really unfortunate.  Good luck!

There are places, I am sure. Montessori tends to accommodate older kids in terms of cognitive development. But you may want to ask yourself -Why? And what needs to happen to make your kid “ready” for K?  I know there are admission deadlines and all, but at the same time, there needs to be some clearly defined reasons to forgo K and to make that decision 7 or 8 months prior to K actually starting requires some telepathy I know I do not have.

My boy is an April birth, and he is the third youmgest in his class. Of note is that now, the range of skills gets extended upward. Although mid-pack in terms of of cognitive and socio emotional development, he’s encountered problems with the kids who turned 6 within a month or two of school . The two kids I am thinking of can be quite verbally inappropriate-name calling, some pushing, some attention seeking, etc. i get the sense that the kids can be bored and may have stayed too long with a younger cohort. Just wondering what prompted the red-shirting, as from a socio emotional standpoint, the extra year has not appeared to have helped..

So if you go for it  identify why, and what the goals need to be with that additional year. It’s been my experience that the “gift of time” does little unless it is accompanied by carefully enacted intervention.

my 2cents..

You should check the rules for your district. My understanding is that in BUSD the default would be that your kid would just skip K and go straight to 1st grade. 

I highly recommend the Aquatic Park School. My kid is there is 4/5 room for just this year and it is an amazing program. 

You will probably gets lots of similar replies. Anyway, that is what TK is for. Many public schools have a TK program, and it would be free. We have a TK class at my child’s elementary school and I’ve seen the TK kids really thrive when they are promoted to K. Basically they get through all the usual K jitters in TK, and by the time they are in K, they have established friendships already and they are familiar with the elementary school setting already. Did I mention it’s free? Preschool can get pricey! If you prefer not to go public, there are numerous preschools and co-ops that offer TK programs. Good luck!

Our daughter (who is now 14) has an August birthday and we had her start K at age 6.  We sent her to 3 years of preschool at Grand Lake Montessori in Oakland.   In her last year there, they called it kindergarten - but we just re-did kindergarten when she started elementary school at a different school.  Hope this helps.  

I have worked with preschoolers for over 25 years. In my experience children do best, and learn most, when they operate within their social milieu. A very rough way to look at it, if your son most successful play-mates (he actively construct play with them - not just follow them around) are moving to kindergarten, then most likely kindergarten will be a good placement for him. Unless your child has had little experience in a group setting, and his self-help and social-emotional skills are still emerging, the benefit of being in a class with less mature children are minimal at best, as it will not contribute to his sense of true competency or relatedness. Here is a good read: https://www.educationnext.org/is-your-child-ready-kindergarten-redshirting-may-do-more-harm-than-good/.

Maybe you already know but now there is T-K or transitional kindergarten for children who have late birthdays. 

You don't say where you are, but my son attends Little Beans Preschool, and their older kids group has 4 and 5 year olds.

Many Montessori's will do an extra year with students.  My Own Montessori in Rockridge does this, although they are often full!

I've heard of schools enrolling students directly into 1st grade if they are 6 by September 1st. You might want to look into that before you try to do this.

We are considering this for our August born son as well. I just found out by calling BUSD that if you do an extra year of preschool then at 6 you are allowed to go to first grade and not kindergarten. I’m looking for advise from other parents as well who are considering this or have done it. 

Have you considered a Montessori school? Montessori mixes kids ages 3-6 in a single classroom, and kids complete their Kindergarten year within the preschool and then advance into first grade (though going to kinder after would be fine too). My kids attended Nia House which we absolutely loved and highly recommend, but if that isn’t convenient for you, there are several other Montessori schools in the area that may have space.

Hi, we gave our August birthday boy another year of preschool, so he was 6 when he started K in OUSD. We made this decision because he's a shorter kiddo, his temperament is quieter and it felt right for him not to then also be the youngest for his school career. While we are just getting started, I have heard from a number of parents with older kids that it was a good decision for their families to start at 6. That said, other boys from my "new moms" cohort went on to K at 5 and seem fine. As in so many things it's about what's right for your family. We were in a language immersion preschool program for 2 years so he had plenty of stimulation and learning that last year.