Our son’s birthday: Sept 24th.
The dilemma: To send or not to send.
Conventional wisdom: No kid has ever been harmed by being held back, especially boys who are generally thought of as less mature.
My biggest fear: Not giving my son the opportunity to reach his fullest potential.
My wife’s biggest fear: Making the wrong decision and it not bearing out until years later.
My belief: Nobody knows your child as well as you do. Nobody. We looked at this from every angle and analyzed all of the signs — the way he learns, the way he colors, how his eyes scan every detail of every page of every book we read him, how perceptive he is of the world around him, how well he makes new friends, how seamless he gets along with his cousins in NJ after not seeing them for months, and on and on.
The thought I couldn’t get out of my head: What if he was ready for kindergarten and we held him back?
The decision: We sent him. The opportunity was there for us to send him and we did so because we both believed in our hearts that he was ready and capable. We had our doubts, which were completely natural and healthy, but these doubts simply were not enough to overcome our convictions. We sent our oldest son to be the youngest one in his class with confidence.
Currently: Everywhere we go in town this kid is waving to or playing with friends from school. Social concerns, a very big part of our decision making process, almost seem laughable now as we watch our “cruise director” at work. We were probably most confident in his academic ability and are very proud watching him excel at his lessons and projects. He even grills his mom (a second grade teacher) about what she is doing with her class when we are discussing our days over dinner.
My advice: This is an enormous decision and ours was not made lightly. I don’t have a yes/no answer for you, only you have that. Getting to that answer is going to take hard work and much soul searching. Your going to have to gather information and solicit the advice of those you trust.
My hope: To make this post a place for that information and advice to be found. Please answer any of the questions below or simply share something you want that’s relevant to the topic. Let’s give parents who will be faced with this decision some of the tools necessary to find their answer.
What are your thoughts/beliefs on this topic?
Did you experience this with your kid(s) or familiar with someone who has?
Does anyone wish they could go back in time and change their mind?
What are things to keep an eye on as kids advance in school?