To bridge or not to bridge?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Kate is a summer birthday so she will be one of the youngest in her kindergarten class if we send her to kindergarten next year.  Her pre-school has a bridge class with 7-10 students and 2 accredited kindergarten teachers.  I am thinking of putting Kate in the bridge class to give her an extra year of social and emotional development. But honestly, I am on the fence.  She is smart and she is beginning to read and spell.  She does however struggle with numbers.  Her teachers think she will be fine in kindergarten but they also think the extra year would really be beneficial too.

One of my hesitations is that it would be the ONLY year that Kate could EVER be at the same school as one of her brothers.  Harry and Kate could be in elementary school together next year (leaving me only 2 schools to juggle for a year!).  But the next year, Will will be in high school.  Harry will be in middle school and Kate will be in elementary!  I have always pictured Harry walking Kate into kindergarten and being the "big" brother for her at school.  I also think that in some areas  (fine motor and verbal skills) she is really ahead of her peers and I don't want her to be bored.

I know y'all don't know Kate personally so I am not asking your advice on what to do with her specifically.  BUT I know there are Moms and teachers out there who have gone through this and have regrets and/or successes or sage wisdom to share.  So if you have anything to share about this issue, I'd appreciate hearing from you.  There might be a benefit or disadvantage that I have not yet considered.   You might have an experience that would help me with my decision.  So come on, share with me.

And since I need to put photos in each post, here are some shots from the other day.  I bought Kate these cute white jeans and top at Old Navy and she was trying them on for me. I so wish they made this exact outfit in my size. And I so wish I had her LONG, thin legs:)  She was being such a HAM that I grabbed my camera.  These are all Straight from the camera. Sorry there are so many but I love her silly faces and poses in them all:)




Her "serious" look:)



Her monkey face:)

Snickers came in the room  and hugged Kate's little face with his paws and kissed her:)

Literally rolling on the floor laughing!



She is such a playful little monkey model:)

P.S. Will is also a June birthday and he DID go to bridge at this pre-school many years ago and it was the right decision but it was more clear cut in his case.

Another P.S.  I am working on a post about what Dave did for me for Valentine's Day too.  It was a very romantic grand gesture:)


    love the little outfit.. and you know better then anyone..
    You will make the right decision..
    Love ya

  2. One of my regrets as a parent is that I didn't give my daughter the extra year before kindergarten. She too seemed ready in lots of ways, and she was successful enough academically, but she would have been much happier with an extra year to grow up.

  3. so tricky, i totally understand.

    i will say, i doubt you will go wrong either way with her. sounds like the pros & cons might just well be even.

    ( fyi, not one upping you, but we've had the three different schools going on for a few years. it's not as crazy as it sounds.)

    smk-one of the younger in her classes. very bright. would have been bored had we bridged her. her social skills were well developed as most first borns are.

    mgk & emi-hung back a year. one stayed home with me a year after pre-school and prior to kindergarten. the other has a very early birthday so she spent an extra year in preschool.
    perfect choice for both of them. mgk is very bright but both have had some perks from an extra year of social development. the academics at the school where they attend is very rigorous so especially for emily the extra year has been great.

    cek-smack dab in the middle & is doing well.

    those pics of her are some of my favorite. i was just in oldnavy & loved that little top. sadly they had sold out of all buy one. one--not in cek's size :(

  4. Ok. You asked, so here goes. Our daughter is now 23. Her birthday is even later than Kate's, and we let her start kindergarten being the youngest in her class. She also was very verbal and starting to read. I will always remember her pediatrician saying that, in her case, it may be a boring year if we did not let her begin. It is such an individual decision, and I always wondered if we had made the right one. The only time she did not like it was when she got her driver's license a year later than all her friends. :) Now, she is delighted that she will graduate from law school at only 24! Sorry to be so long, but I hope it helps.

  5. Judson has an August birthday. He was (and still is) a difficult, high maintenance child and frankly I was ready for him to go to school and stay there all day. While there were times through the years when we saw it might've been better for him to be in the grade behind where he was, it had more to do with his size for sports (late bloomer in middle school) rather than anything academic. He held his own and could've done a lot better in school if he'd so desired--he recently got an A in Calculus in college and he turned 18 right before he left in August. So while we sometimes had regrets, although not often, right now we are glad that he's not still in high school and living with us. This is where my BIL and SIL ran into problems with their boys--they were 19+ and still in HS and there were lots of conflicts because they were doing the things 19 year olds do...only most of them are not living with mom and dad. And holding them back did nothing for either of them academically--in fact the oldest dropped out of college.

    People always say to hold boys back, but having lived through it, I'm so glad we sent him. Probably not a reason somebody would tell you, but I'm looking in the rear view now and that's how I see it at this point. If only parenting was an exact science! You just have to do what you think is best at the time and pray it all works out.

  6. Ok. You asked, so here goes. Our daughter is now 23. Her birthday is even later than Kate's, and we let her start kindergarten being the youngest in her class. She also was very verbal and starting to read. I will always remember her pediatrician saying that, in her case, it may be a boring year if we did not let her begin. It is such an individual decision. The only time she did not like it was when she got her driver's license a year later than all her friends. :) Now, she is delighted that she will graduate from law school at only 24! Sorry to be so long, but I hope it helps.

  7. Hello....I am a school teacher and feel like MOST students benefit from the extra year. As a parent myself of a kindergarten boy who is going to repeat I feel like the extra year cannot hurt. Kids are pushed so hard these days and are learning more in kindergarten than we learned in second grade. I honestly feel like I would rather my kids be ahead of the game than to struggle in any area when I could have held them an extra year. Just my thoughts. I enjoy reading your blog and cannot wait for our sister/daughter from China! Best of luck to you with your decision.

  8. If she is already learning to read and spell I would consider sending her to Kindergarten in the Fall. My daughter is in Kindergarten right now and was so bored for the first two months when her teacher was teaching the students the letters of the alphabet. Unless you think she is really lagging behind emotionally I would send her. Just my thoughts. Good luck with your decision - I'm sure you will do what is right for Kate.

  9. Gosh - look at those long legs! I'm used to seeing her in a dress and boy does that outfit make her look so tall (and older!).

    I know that your mommy intuition will give you the right answer for Kate. I wish I had bridged Cody when he was that age. He was the youngest in his class and he was smart - very smart, but emotionally he wasn't ready and could have used that extra year - I have regretted it every single year of school and he will be graduating HS in a few months. I KNEW it was the wrong decision but I relied more on my friends "guidance" than I should have.

    If you think that she needs a little extra time to blossom I would let her bridge. You are the expert where Ms. Kate is concerned and you will make the right decision with prayer and listening to your intuition, Kate and the Holy Spirit!

  10. oh THAT outfit...LOVE IT!! Lucy just leaned over and said, "Kate looks so cute in that outfit!" :)

    You do know Kate best...I am no help since Lucy was almost 4 when she came home...I knew she would not go to Kindergarten until she turned 6, she needed 2 years in Pre-K.

    Cant wait to read about your Vday!

  11. We definitely struggled when trying to determine if Bruce should go into Kindergarten or not. (He attends a Catholic School). We spoke with a social worker, Bruce's pre-school director and other parents who had been in similar situations.

    Bruce had the social skills, he knew his letters, numbers and colors and everything he needed to enter kindergarten; however, we thought he would definitely benefit from waiting one more year before going up a grade. We were also concerned that he would enter his senior year of high school at the age of 16 and not be mature enough to handle being one of the youngest in his class. Maybe our thoughts were on overdrive thinking that far ahead, but we wanted to ensure we were analyzing everything since we knew we wouldn't be able to change our mind at the last minute.

    Well, we decided to keep him back one year and haven't regretted it for one minute. This one year has made such a difference and there is absolutely no doubt he'll do fantastic next year in Kindergarten.

    Take care.


  12. LOVE the outfit. I am a kindergarten teacher and have a daughter with a late August birthday. I say send her. Kindergarten is for five year-olds (unless they have legitimate maturity and/or social issues compared to peers). I don't know why so many people 'red shirt.' Kindergarten is for five year-olds! From how you've described Kate, she is exactly ready for kindergarten.

  13. Oh this is such a hard decision. Here are my 2 cents from a teacher's perspective.
    I say look at the social aspects a lot more than the academic aspects. Most children even out academically at some point {for the most part}. However, if she is immature in ANY way, then let her start a year later. She will have a much easier time and so will you. School is so much harder, socially, these days. I taught first grade and kids were already making fun of clothes, hair, lunch boxes, etc...especially girls. It is much easier for them to deal with if they have a little maturity on them. If she has a summer birthday, there could be girls in her class that are 10 months older than her {give or take} and that 10 months is just as significant as a 2 year old vs. a 2y 10 mo old. Just some things to think about...good luck!

  14. How does she do socially? That is, how does she do with frustrating situations? With anger? With the big and little problems of life? My 2 cents is if she handles all that well, then send her to K because she seems more than academically ready.

    But academics are not everything, as you know.

    Our kiddos have struggled with so many things, and an extra year can only be a good thing, imho.

    Snick :) (former K teacher)

  15. Kim, we bridged!!! We are so happy that we did. We felt the same way about Hoot's academics. Socially he just wasn't there. I can't describe it, but he seemed so much younger than the kiddos in his class. An older wiser retired teacher promised us that we would really appreciate our decision once he reached junior high... she said she's never heard a parent say they regretted holding them back a year, but she's talked with many parents that wished they had held off a year. Hoot has so much more confidence this year. He repeated kinder, but at a different school. he has no idea he's repeating. We call it Super Kinder this year... he loves it!

  16. As a former teacher and mama to 5, I have seen more people regret not holding a child back. You never hear someone say that they wish they had not held their child back a year. My mother advised me that it has nothing to do with their intelligence, but everything to do with development and maturity... and more down the road than right that minute. Think about how the bridge year will make her more of a leader than a follower and how she will be more sure of herself in middle and high school. Do your children have friends who are young for their age/grade? You can usually see a difference at some point in their lives. You'll make the right decision for your sweet girl. We can't wait to follow her school adventures! Plus, I TOTALLY understand wanting to see big brother walk her into school. If she does the bridge year, he'll just have to take a day off the following year! Pray about it and you'll know what to do!

  17. My daughter is an Aug 30th bday. Our state cut off is Sept 1st, so she barely makes the cut off, and this also makes her always the youngest in her class. She is always the smallest and youngest.
    I know I have worried about Kindergarten every since she was a toddler. She was in early intervention due to so many delays and sensory issues dealing with her neglect the first year of life. I mentioned it at every IEP meeting and worried if she would be ready academically and socially. I was back and forth (and I'm a sped teacher myself). My daughter had an excellent preK teacher for year 4 and she helped her mature and do a lot of things she used to be afraid of. We also started OT again at this time which helped her behavior.
    Well, if I had held her back in Kindergarten and repeated PreK, she would be a very BORED little girl. She sailed through Kindergarten with an awesome teacher. She is in a private school at our church and this was a first year teacher but she was so excellent! Her class only had 10 kids so that helped as well. She was reading so well and made A's on almost every subject I believe.
    This year she is in 1st grade and is still excelling, especially in reading. She reads with expression and hardly finds a word she can't pronounce. She struggles with math but still is a high B in that subject. now that she finally understands subtraction she has brought up her grades. She has such a good memory for history, but somehow can't remember her math facts! She is a little sloppy with handwriting but it has improved. Her imagination is great.
    I am so glad we let her go along with her age group because she would have been so bored in Kindergarten this year. Our plan all along was that if she wasn't ready for 1st grade then we would let her repeat Kindergarten at the public school I teach in, that way there wouldn't be a stigma of her repeating in the same school with the same teacher. But there wasn't a worry.
    If you feel Kate can master the work, I would put her in the Kindergarten class. Meet quarterly or more often with her teachers to assess how she is doing and by the spring of K year, you should know if she is ready for 1st grade or if she might need to repeat K. A LOT of kids repeat K for various reasons. Better to challenge her than her be bored and get in trouble for mischief!
    Kim O

  18. Kate's outfit is darling, love those poses and the one with her and Snickers is hilarious!! :)

  19. Although I'm a first grade teacher and a Mommy, I really don't feel right offering "advice" since each child is SO different. I will say that what I learned in late 2nd/early 3rd grade, I am now teaching my little six year old babies. It drives me nuts how much we expect out of children. Sometimes, I just want to start a revolution and take them all to the playground for recess all day! Ok- so enough of my tangent... And totally random... I was a gymnast in my younger years, so my legs have always been short and super thick. I'm not at all jealous of Kate's leg's that are probably already taller than me!! ;)

  20. Kim -- We are in the same boat here! It's such a hard decision to make. We sent Carson early and he has done just fine. Kamree's birthday is August 1 and we are sending her too. I know you will decide what is best for Kate.

    I just saw that outfit at Old Navy and almost bought it for Kamree. I am trying to hold off since we still have snow on the ground!

    I can't wait to hear all about your V-Day!

  21. None of the kids in my family did the "bridge". My sister, Abby went to kindergarten at 4! She is a November birthday so she turned 5 in November of her kindergarden year. She went on to graduate from college at 21 and is now teaching 3 year olds in inner-city DC. She took the praxis exam (certification to teach elementary education) and scored in the top 15%...EVER. I am so proud of her. She was tall and had many friends (even from a young age). She also always very very athletically talented. She struggled at various points during the time she was school-aged but I think my mom is happy she did not bridge. It's a personal choice and you will make the right one. Now I have to figure out if I should take a trip to Asia (including CHINA) with my graduate school class.

  22. I completely understand your situation. My parents were in it with me and now I am in it with my daughter. I am an August birthday and started school in Boston. I was young but so were most of my classmates. When I was in 1st grade, we moved to Texas. Suddenly, I was significantly younger than all of my classmates. Academically I was doing great. Socially I was fine too. My parents decided to wait it out. As I got older, I was still an all A student but I wasn't at the same maturity level as my classmates. (The majority of them were an entire year older than I was) On top of that, I was really petite so it was harder for me to be a contender for sports. When I reached 8th grade, I applied to an all girl's private school. I was accepted for their high school but the school mentioned the option of having me "repeat" 8th grade since I was so young. Initially, my parents were shocked because I was so strong academically but after a lot of praying and talking, we decided to take that route. Looking back now, I am SO grateful. The friendships I made that year were so much stronger. I was able to relate to my peers so much more and didn't feel out of my element. By the time I reached high school, I was ready for it. I wasn't the last one to drive and I wasn't 17 when I graduated.

    Now, my daughter is in a similar boat, however, she is a June birthday (like Kate... exactly one year younger). She is doing great socially and academically, but we are still going to have her do the "bridge" year. We are confident that if she is in a strong school, they will push her no matter what. I'm not worried about her getting bored. I am thinking more about the big picture and want her to have success later down the road.

    (okay. sorry for the novel and for the spelling/grammatical errors. I didn't review what I wrote)

  23. Hi Kim,
    We went through the same dilemma with my oldest daughter born in June. We ended up not holding her back because she would be so bored! She's now in 1st grade and so far things are still fine. Around here, most people hold summer boys back and girls who are born in August. Also since Kate has 2 older siblings, she's probably more mature socially and academically. I'm sure you already did these things - talk to her current teachers, find out what her other friends are doing (may help if she has friends going with her), visit the 2 schools in session to observe teachers and students. Keep us posted!

  24. I can't wait to hear what everyone says. Landree's birthday is in September so I am so glad I don't have to make this choice. She is so smart so I know she will be ready when it's time, but I am thankful for the extra year for me! :)

    I LOVE Kate's shirt! That will be perfect for the beach. I am trying to mix it up and not do white every year and it's harder with a boy, but I love this! Gymboree has some really cute things too. I need to go shopping!

  25. She'll be great whichever you choose! I'd lean toward sending her on track if you're on the fence.

    I teach middle school in the gifted program, and several kids skipped up grades successfully.

    Personally I had end of November birthday and was honors and advenced throughout gradeschool and college with my Masters at age 21.

    Do what feels right for you!

  26. And love the ruffle top!
    Surely some bloggers who sew those adorable twirl skirts could whip one up for you!

  27. My parents started me in Kindergarten when I was 4 (late Oct birthday), and the had me repeat 6th grade when we moved. I was doing fine academically (except in math which has always been a struggle), but they felt I needed to mature socially so they decided to hold me back. I loved being the first one to drive and turn 21 in my group of friends. I also played volleyball in high school and in college and it was very advantageous for me to be older in my recruiting year group. Good luck with your decision!

  28. I would have been the youngest in my class and after hearing from a friend who was a principal, that younger kids tend to follow as opposed to lead, they decided to keep me back a year. I was always very thankful for that decision. Though I have always been an old soul, I have always seen a difference in my decision making, thought process, etc... in comparison to kids in my class. The extra year can't hurt, but it can definitely help!

  29. When did your baby go and grow up???! Wow, I can totally see her when she's older in these photos. Love her hair.

    And yes, you know best. I have no experience, other than I don't want Lilah to leave me at all, EVER! Who cares about school! Haha!

    And you guessed right, I'm not back to work yet. I'be always said I missed too much already of her life, and that I'd stay at home with her until she started school. So that means I'm going back to work part time in September. :)


  30. I think it is helpful to think big picture, not just the next year or two. My boys have early summer birthdays....we decided to wait that extra year before sending them to kindergarden.
    That was 16 years ago, and we have never regretted our decision. They are now sophomores in HS, excellent students, socially confident, and having success in athletics. They will graduate HS and head off to collage when they are 18. I cannot imagine seeing them go at age 17.
    Just a different perspective to consider. Good luck with your decision.

  31. Kim, Your pictures capture what a truly happy child Kate is! Beautiful.
    Okay, for the wait or go to K question. I'm a blessed mom to twin girls born (late summer)in China and also a teacher. I did not think twice - we waited. (They were ready academically). BTW, I never call it "held them back". Because we didn't.
    I wanted them to have more time with me - once "real" school starts, I knew it would dominate our time. I also knew how much is expected of students now - too much stress. We also thought about middle school and high school - would we want our dtrs to be the oldest or youngest? With all they have to deal with in those grades, we felt being older and hopefully a little wiser would be a benefit.
    They are never bored - there is always so much going on at school, they stay busy and we are able to enjoy extra-curricular activities, instead of up all night doing homework. There are many more reasons, but one thing I always asked parents who asked my advice,
    which decision would you regret more if it didn't work out?
    Hope this helps. Saying a prayer for you for peace in your decision.

  32. I have not posted in a while...Kate's outfit is darling!!! My oldest started kindergarten at age 6 due to the cut off and did great!!! Lindsey will be 5 in May and I am starting her in kindergarten. She love school and I think will do fine. The attitude I have is I can always pull her out or she can repeat. I dont think that will happen though. You will make the right choice for her! Working in an elem school I can tell most kindies that have have been to prediction is that Kate will do awesome!!!

    I was a Sept bday and atarted K age age 4 and made it. LOL! I wish you the best in your choice!!!
    ~Kathy in Ak

  33. Adorable as Always--thanks for always including pictures!!!! BRIDGE is my 2 cents!! As an educator and parent--I do not know ANYONE who regrets waiting but know many that regret sending--Never for academics--but more for social reasons especially social issues down the road (driving, friends, college...). Have a friend currently in this position--sent because child is extremely bright--but she is by far the youngest in her class and already in first grade she is seeing the effects for socially being the youngest! I always advise parents on the fence to ask the school how many summer b-days are being held back and how many are coming?--what % of the class will be a year older when they start?--most school will give you this info--and if more than 50% are going to be a year older--BRIDGE for sure!!!
    good luck with the decision--I know you will do what is right!

  34. Love her outfit!!

    The school decision is such a tough one! I am of the opinion that there are a lot of reasons you SHOULD bridge a child, but not very many reasons you SHOULD NOT. That being said, if you DON'T bridge her, she will be fine. Really, she will. Years ago there was no such thing and children made it. But, there was a reason for the bridge and I think they have found success with it. If she could get by on her cuteness....she'd be at the top of the class!! One adorable child!!! :)

  35. First of all, the outfit and Kate are absolutely adorable!!!

    As a former preschool teacher (I taught 3 yr. old for 5 yrs. before having Preston) I think more times than not, it's beneficial to have the extra year. I always told parents that giving a child an extra year "couldn't hurt, and could really only help" the child. Meaning not every child needs the extra year, but it's certainly not going to "hinder" their future schooling by giving them the extra year. Plus, this is always the ideal time to do it, rather than wish you had later. All that being said, I will say that most kids, including my oldest Preston, have been boys that were given the extra year. From a teacher perspective I honestly think boys need the extra year, no matter when their bday is. Girls, it's definitely a different situation. Hope I'm not confusing you- just sharing my thoughts.

    Now I will say that my actual bday is Aug. and the private school in Atlanta I was at, actually recommended that I attend their "pre first" program (basically the bridge) and have the extra year. My parents did not listen to their recommendation and put me through to first grade and never regretted it.

    I would just go with your gut on know Kate the best and it will all work out. Looking forward to hearing about Dave's Valentine surprise!!

    Good luck, keep us posted


  36. I'm a teacher, but I teach middle school special ed. so I can't really weigh on this from a teacher's standpoint since I don't work with young kids.

    I can, however, weigh in on this from a personal standpoint. I'm a December birthday and when I was growing up, the cutoff was December 31, so I made it by 8 days. My parents enrolled me in kindergarten and I started 3.5 months before I turned 5. I never had any issues keeping up with the other kids who could be anywhere from a few months to almost a year older than me, socially or academically. I did have a hard time with math, still do, but never enough to make me have to repeat a year or anything like that. It kind of stunk being the youngest when it was time to start driving and stuff, but as far as school itself, it was never an issue and I'm glad my parents started me young.

    No one can make this decision for you of course, and both options sound great. It's definitely a tough call, but just remember that if you start Kate in kindergarten and it's too hard, she can always repeat it and it's not a huge deal since she's so young.

  37. Love, love the pics (and the outfit!)
    Can't wait to hear about your Valentine's Day!!

  38. I held 2 of my 3 boys to give them the extra year as both would have been the youngest. Both were reading and writing at 4. I have NEVER regretted this decision. It has paid dividends for them. They both needed the extra year for social maturity. They did not need that maturity for kindergarden, but I am finding the dividends being paid in upper elementary for sure.

    It is a very personal decision and I am sure you will make the best one for your daughter:)


  39. That is a tough decision.
    My son is very bright, so I did not hold him back, however in our area almost everyone holds back boys and this was an issue because he was the youngest in his class. We now homeschool so he can hang out with whatever age children he wants too and still do the work at his level. My one concern still is that when he goes to college he will be younger than his peers. Maybe he can do a service/mission year somewhere between high school and college though.
    I'm not sure that was helpful, but just our journey so far in schooling.

  40. I would send her on to kindergarten. As a teacher and a former kindergarten teacher I have seen this issue played out over and over and really that extra year does not make a huge difference in the long run. However, she will never forget the year she went to school with her brother.

  41. My Grace just said "nite nite " to your Kate> She was talking to the picture of Kate rolling on the rug:)
    As far as the bridge? We held my daughter back in pre -K (Oct b-day) We sent son ahead ( july b-day) . It was so hard to choose. Son is small for his age but so smart. I don't regret either decision. I know my son would have been really bored. For some reason the teachers said to by his reading ability not numbers?

  42. I only have a 2 year old with a December birthday so this is not something that I am going to have to deal with however, I will tell you what 2 of my friend did, in the same dilema did...her daughter did it twice. They both did the bridge one year and then regular kindergarden the other. It has benefitted both families tremendously.

    Up to you, you and Dave know Kate best.

  43. Kim,

    These pictures of Kate remind me of when Eliza Grace's cousin looked at pictures of her looking older and exclaimed to her over the phone, "I saw the picture of you GROWED UP" ..."When I get to be a teenager.." :) Your little monkey model couldn't be more beautiful!

    Such a personal choice that I have counseled many friends on because I'm an educator... and though I REALLY WISH I knew Kate (and you personally) ... I don't ... what about letting her go ahead to kindergarten and see where she is at the end of kindergarten.

    That said, pray over it and go with your gut feeling. You'll make the right choice!!

  44. Wow -- lots of good advice already, so I'll add my 2 cents. Since she's already reading and spelling, I would send her to kindergarten. I've always thought that kindergarten is for 5 years olds. Plus, looks like she is tall and won't be the smallest in school.

    Love that outfit and her adorable poses!


  45. I have no advice as I haven't been there yet our daughter has a 8/31 b day and everyone says hold her back, however in every respect she is ahead of her classmates...we shall decide once she had completed pre-school.

    On another note the outfit love it...on line or in store, I can't find on so cute!

  46. I'm so glad you posted about this because I will be in the same predicament with Molly in a couple years. Although her bday is even later (9/19) so she really will just meet the 9/30 cut off date for Kinder. Even though I'm a teacher, I'm torn. So I'm going to read through all of these comments and put them in my 'think tank'! ha! Can't wait to hear about Vday!!

  47. You've already received alot of good advice. My story is my parents started me in K when I was 4 (Oct birthday). I was starting to read and seemed bored in pre-K so they went ahead and sent me. I did fine during elementary school but once I hit middle school I didn't feel like I related to those in my grade and it seemed like school got harder for me. I graduated at 17, graduated college when I was 21. No matter what stage I was at my closest friends were always a year behind me (grade wise). I wish more than anything my parents had held me back a year. And when I look at starting college at 17 (and trying to choose a major), that blows my mind. Just my opinion. But like others said, you do know Kate best and will know if it's the right decision.

  48. As a mom of 5, I have experienced my children being the oldest in the classs and being the youngest. We made the decision each time, based on that individual child. Nothing about any of your other children and nothing about anyone else's children should matter in the decision. I would suggest however, not to underestimate the importance of sharing a school with a sibling. It can be a wonderful experience for both of the children. My youngest is already lamenting the fact that this is her last year with a sib in her catholic elementary school

  49. Adorable photos and outfit!

    We went through this angst too with our June baby. In the end we decided not to hold her back. Like someone else commented, Kindergarten is for 5 year olds. Yes, some children are not ready but most are, but their parents still hold them back because they want their child to be the biggest, smartest, etc. From our experience, the older kids in the class are definitely more bored and really should be in the next class.

    Good luck!

  50. My daughter has a May birthday and has no problem socially or academically in her grade. In her particular school the kids who are the oldest in the class are the ones who stand out more. They are taller, they have lost more teeth, etc. It is very noticeable. I was a very late birthday (Oct) and started in a private school and I'm so thankful my parents kept me going with my class. I was the youngest but had no problems socially or academically If you are on the fence, my hunch is that she's ready to continue with her class. :)

  51. I've had so much fun reading all the comments, although I bet for you it's only made things MORE confusing! Just goes to show that it really does depend on the child. My 2 cents (as a mommy with a daughter who is the youngest in her kindergarten class), I'd tell you to send Kate. Kindergarten is SO about reading and writing, and if Kate is on track for those things, she will do fine! I'd like to second what one mom said about meeting with the teacher. At one of our conferences we talked for 5 seconds about academics (not an issue) and spent the rest of the time talking about emotional stuff, since we have a little perfectionist on our hands. STRESS!! So, just keep in good contact with her teacher and it'll be fine! :)

  52. Kim,
    I read and enjoy your blog but have never written a comment to you but feel the need this time. As a former K teacher I also sat on the fence as our July birthday, Chinese daughter, Gretchen, was getting ready for school. We looked at all the pertinent information and assessed that she go to school that year and not wait. She is now a sophomore and socially has kept up fine. That was our concern as academically she flourished. You know your own daughter best but I believe Gretchen would have been bored in her studies had we waited another year. Our oldest, Alyssa, we waited and this was the correct decision as she was not emotionally able to handle what was ahead for her in K.
    Good luck and I know as you do that God's plan for what is best for Kate will come to you as He sees fit.
    Blessings to you and your darling family.

  53. Hi Kim,
    I know you will make the best decision for Kate and your family.

    Everyone says they don't regret holding back but it's possible it still would have been great if they didn't hold back.

    If you do bridge, do both grades have differential learning for those who are excel? Will they tailor her learning and homework accordingly so she is not bored?

    Looking forward to hearing your decision and your thoughts, Cathy

  54. Love the armoire - may I ask where you got it? Kate seems so confident, smart, and well-adjusted - she will do fine either way - good luck!

  55. Hi Kim,

    OK, we have just gone through this decision making with Mia. First off from a school psych view, most of the kids we see struggle are young for their grades. OF course that is a generalization but many of the kids we test should have had another year of preschool and are very young for their grades-- summer and fall bdays. Furthermore, many of the kids we deal with for emotional and behavioral concerns are also young. Of course I dont think Kate will have those issues, but from the school psych prospective, it is ALWAYS better to give the kids another year-- even if it is clear they are ready for kinder-- never do parents wish they would have put their kid in- rather almost always they wish they would have given them another year.

    So we are dealing with this with Mia and made the decision to keep her out another year about 6 months ago. Mia is October 29 and in CA the cut off is Dec 1 and next year the cut off is moving to Nov 1 so she would literally be a couple days from the cut off. For Mia is is probably more clear cut than with Kate, but it was a tough decision beuase we were getting the "She is ready-- put her in" from everyone including her school. She is sounding words out, doing simple addition, spelling and acadmically totally on target and even above for Kinder. She is ready-- I really believe that-- BUT, being that young for her grade, why push it. She is also little so she would be appropriate size wise to wait a year, but overall, I can not find any reasons to not give her another year in preschool. As long as her preschool is challenging her which it sounds like the bridge program woudl do that for her, then you are good. We will do the same thing with Finley. She is Oct 12 and we will keep her out as well--- to start in 2.5 years. It is best all around and it is always better to be the top of the class!! Hope that helps but if you have any other questions, let me know. I dont know everything but this is my field :)

  56. If you can (and she is ready) I would send her. As a teacher, I see no difference in age with my students. I do notice the parents that don't spend time with them. I notice the parents that don't work with them. I also notice parents that give one excuse after another on why their child is not doing the work when I know that he/she can.

    I totally agree with Dee...why not graduate one of the youngest and get going with life. There are soooo many advantages. If Kate is starting to read...go for it! If it doesn't workout, then hold her back a year in K. I know you won't have to. I still wish LiLi could have gone early.

    P.S. Even being the oldest in her class, she is still one of the smallest. That shouldn't matter when you are deciding.

  57. I think there is some value in respecting the age cutoffs your school has set. Kate will be five so I'm sure she'll do really well with her peer group. She is bright and confident and at this point Kindergarten will be challenging and fulfilling for her. If for some reason she doesn't flourish in Kindergarten, which I'm sure she will, she could always have her do Kindergarten again and you'd be in the exact same place you'd be if you held her back a year.

    For what it's worth, Kenna's very best friend has a summer birthday and started on time. Greta is a sweet, lovely little girl and I couldn't have handpicked a better best friend.

    Ultimately, it's what ever you think is best for your little girl! :)

  58. My son has a summer birthday and we sent him to kindergarten right after he turned 5. He is now 9 and in the 4th, and in the gifted program, BUT his is still imature for his age and struggles with being responsible and organized. I have always wondered if waiting a year would have been befeficial.
    I now teach pre-k and all of my students have summer birthdays or have just missed the school cut-off. I have been teaching pre-k for 3 years now and have NEVER had a parent regret their decision of waiting a year to start kindergarten. Hope that helps. Godd luck with your decision!

  59. Hi!
    I definitely am not qualified to chime in on bridging..
    But, I can comment on those awesome jeans that Sienna must have!!!! Kate looks so grown up.. In looks, she is totally ready to be a "Kinder!"


  60. I can't weigh in much, but I'm loving the information given above. This is good criteria to follow for my "soon-to-be" primary school age little one.

    Times are so different now, from when my older kids first started! Kids are faced w/so many issues these days!

    Good luck and LOVE Kate's outfit! I "spied" this little top out last week while at our local "OLD NAVY"! Don't you just love that place

  61. Such a personal and case-by-case decision! I was always the youngest in my class, and although I excelled academically, it was pretty tough in middle school when my friends were chasing boys, trying on makeup and growing up and I was still riding my bike and playing with my dolls... So, when the time came to decide what to do with our eldest (boy), we agreed that although he was ready for K, academically, we would give him another year of "play"school, and have him be one of the oldest. All I could think was that I would rather he be off to college at 19 vs just turning 18 :-)
    Good luck!

  62. my oldest is 17 and her birthday is Aug 27th. She went to K and was the youngest in her class and she did fine. She is in the top percentage of her class in HS and has received scholarships to college. With all that said you will know best. I knew my daughter was more than ready to move on and I don't regret it except the fact she will be going away to college next year and I'm not sure if I'm ready for that haha

  63. I think (not an expert here just to be clear) that if she is only lacking in one or two areas, I'd send her ahead. I honestly think that a kid being bored in school is far worse than one a bit above her head. That's why there are tutors if there are real problems. I had tutors even into my college years for one subject but was always in honors classes. I just had one or two areas in life where I needed that extra explanation. But with the help, I went to one of the top high schools in the nation and was in honors courses.

    And what happened to baby Kate? She looks so pretty and grown up in those photos!!

  64. It sounds like she is ready for K. If her teacher say yes, then do it!! Socially, she will probably be fine once she is in class and making friends. I am sure you will make the right decision for Kate. Good luck

  65. I say keep her where she is as long as you can!


  66. Kim,
    I do not have the time to read all your comments so please forgive me if this has already been said.

    I have never known a parent to regret giving their child the gift of time. As an educator, It was always hard to make the decision for someone's child and then I had to make the decision as a mom.

    Here are a few things to consider:
    -she will always be at the top of her class ...if you give her time.
    -she will have time for extra activities b/c school will not be a struggle. (in any area)
    -as she gets older, you don't want her to be last to date, drive a car etc. I would rather my children drive themselves than begging to ride with a friend.
    (I know the date issue is hard to think about now...but just a thought.)
    -she will attend college at an "older" age and therefore be better prepared for making decisions.

    I am sure everyone gave you the educational reasons. I decided to focus on more personal reasons that are not so immediate.

    Finally, you are her mom! Mom always knows best. Trust your heart and pray for wisdom! You will make the best decision for your precious girl!


  67. I have heard of REPEATING kindergarten because a child was not ready for 1st grade, but never an extra year of preschool. I agree with the kindergarten teacher who said kindergarten is for 5 year olds. Send her to kindergarten!!Let her be in school with one of her big brothers!!(I think that is worth a lot!) You can always repeat kindergarten if you don't think she is ready for 1st grade. Or-repeat 1st grade which I think is the best grade to repeat if you are going to repeat a grade. Good Luck!! Ashley (former elementary school teacher- mother of 4!!)

  68. I have been reading your blog for a pretty long time but have never commented. I had a few friends who were for some reasons one year younger than everybody in the class in high school. For some of them, it was clear that they were less mature than others while others seem more mature than most of their classmates. Some of them were excellent students who receives many academic awards. I think you should also consider how Kate is feeling towards kindergarten. Does she seem excited about it? Does she talks about going to school with her brother? If yes, I think that means she's ready. A lot of people talked about later in high school and college. In my opinion, between a 17 year old, a 18 year old and a 19 year old, there is not such a big difference. At those ages, they all hang out together.

    I don't know what's the cutting date where you're leaving, but where I live it's October 1st. I have a summer birthday and had no problem in school. I made friends easily, had great marks and really enjoyed my school years in general.

    I hope this can help, good luck with your decision.
    Sorry if there are mistakes, I'm a French Canadian.


  69. I had the same situation with my daughters and son and my pediatrician left me with this, "Would you rather give your child an extra year of childhood or another year of adulthood?" Just thought I would leave you with this! I had both my daughters and son take 2 years of PreK, they were in private school, but it sounds like the same thing you are trying to decide what to do with Kate! I honestly have no regrets and would not have had it any other way! Hope this helps!

  70. J is an August 28 baby, and our cut off sate is September 1. For a boy, I believe we made the right decision giving him and extra year in preschool. On the other hand, my niece is an August 22 baby and she didn't do that. She is a little regretful she went ahead...

  71. Do you know the kids in either class? No one has brought it up, but I would take that into consideration. I always thought my sister had a better class than I did in school...Oh, very cute outfit!

  72. This is a dilemma our family also ran into when I was growing up as the first born and also for my first born - being an October baby myself, I was happy to be graduating and starting life early - only regret was driving later than everyone else which in the long run was nothing. I think personality and birth order has more to do with being ready than age. My summer baby went to Kindergarten on schedule. My 2nd child born in November is so much more advanced academically and socially than her peers because she is the 2nd child and because of her birthday that we are actually skipping one year of school. Kids who were not socially ready were those who had a lot of separation anxiety, tantrums, didn't make friends easily, had learning disabilities, or other anxieties. There are many checklists online for kindergarten readiness socially and academically. Good luck!

  73. Hi Kim,
    The reasons you listed why you were considering the bridge class was about a few academic areas and you said Kate is already spelling and reading. There are many people who complete kindergarten without reading and are still successful in their education. It is amazing how much kids learn and accomplish in kindergarten if they have a desire to learn, good teachers, and parents who are involved. Do you have social or emotional concerns that you feel would affect Kate succeeding if she went on to kindergarten this fall? Will another year really change much? I know you and your family will make the right decision for your family and that Kate will do well in either scenario because of how you have raised her so far and how you will continue to play a strong role in her learning socially and academically. Blessings, Cathy

  74. I started to read all the comments and then realized I wanted this to be my own thoughts, so sorry if I repeat something that has been said. Three of my four children have summer birthdays. They are all "summer old." (really dislike the term held them back). I have never regretted it for any of them. I've actually never heard of a parent sending them a year later and ending up sorry. I believe so so much will depend on the teachers they will go to for kindergarten. A good teacher will always find a way to challenge them, harder spelling words, more vocabulary - I even had one get homework math sheets from the grade above. My older 2 are both in the Duke Tips program, I only share that to point out that they are both bright and were ready to go when they were 5. All 3 of them are leaders in their classes, but more importantly, they are comfortable with who they are. I don't know if this is because they are older, but I really believe it has to help. One more year at home- one more year before they go to college, why would we not want that? Flash forward - I really believe that when they get to HS, the drinking, and other things they will be faced with come at a grade - rather than an age. So, if a 16 year old is offered a beer, it might be easier to say "no" with one more year of maturity. Two of the three are boys, the other is a girl (I had 3 boys, and then a girl) and I never felt that gender played a part in my decisions. I hope this helps, obviously it is something that I really believe in. One more year to hang great would that be?!

  75. LOVE the outfit!

    Such a hard decision . . . such great comments both ways!

    I was one of the oldest in my class, which I really liked. I tend to think that extra time is almost always the way to go. Having worked in higher education for many years, I automatically think about how these decisions affect the child years down the road . . . and that extra year at home might be really beneficial!

    You will make the right decision!


  76. All these comments do seem to cover all the pros and cons but after reading them all I'm actually laughing - the things some say it sounds like they are tallking about keeping her back 5 years not 1!

    If a child is kept back one year it doesn't necessarily mean they will be at the top of their class, or a 'leader', or never struggle - and things change over time too.

    I don't think one year makes this 'massive differnece' that some assume. And one year becomes less and less as time goes by.

  77. I was born two days before the cut off day, and even though I could read at age three my parents waited a year. I always have been a leader and have gained lots from the extra year at home!

  78. Kim,

    It really is a personal decision. As a former 1st grade teacher - I would say to send her. If she is beginning to read - all the more reason to send her. With 2 older brothers she is probably on the mature side. I think that makes a difference. Best of luck with your decision! She is adorable!


  79. first..... LOVE the outfit, I think her attitude makes it even more dear!! I am not a fan of bridging.. I think so many parents do this to give their child the edge up( not saying you), if she stays behind a year she may end up bored.. let her work hard to get there, she looks like a highly intelligent child and as a former 4 and 5K teacher, the fact that she was holding her scissors properly made me think she was way advanced than most children her age(the pictures with Dave at her school).

  80. This is such a personal decision. The Tongginator has a March birthday, so it was easy for us, but her three best friends all have late August/ early September birthdays. All three are also adopted from China.

    The twins were bridged and are the oldest in their grade (birthday on the cut-off). While that extra year caused some issues academically (they are way ahead of their peers and were often bored), they needed the extra year for social/ emotional reasons. They were on target in terms of social skills, but just needed that extra year of mommy time... an extra year of naps... etc.

    The Tongginator's other friend is the youngest in the grade (birthday two days before the cut-off). She is doing fine academically - right in the middle of the pack - which is great when you are a full year younger than some of the kids. Socially she is fine as well. She's "young," but that is quickly disappearing... not growing up too fast, just catching up, so to speak.

    I think you have to go with your gut on this one. You never know how it's going to turn out until after the fact. Two things: My friend with the twins had to ask herself "is this a question of are THEY ready, or is this a question of am *I* ready?" For her girls, it was no to both. And since her girls were adopted as toddlers, it was good to give them all an extra year together.

    Another thing I would suggest is to look at Kate's main peer group. What grade will they be in? Even if they attend different schools, grade levels drive a lot of activities. This also influenced the twins mom. Because most of their friends were heading to kindergarten the following year.

    One final thought - putting on my former kindergarten teacher hat here: As to a child being "completely ready" for kindergarten or not... it rarely happens. There is usually one area that a child is lagging behind. Because they're KIDS. My daughter, with her March birthday, was way ahead in certain areas and lagging behind in others. Kindergarten helped her grow in ways that I could not.

  81. I love the outfit! i too wish they had it in my size!

    Kylee's has a late summer birthday and we are doing Kindergarten in the fall. The right answer is different for every family. Good luck in your decision making. I know it's hard. I know Kate will do great wherever she is.

  82. I gave all 3 of my summer birthday boys an extra year- I wont bore you with all the reasons why- all 3 were capable of going and I am sure they would have done fine-but I have never for one second doubted my decision. Best choice ever.

    If you want to chat about it, shoot me an email.

  83. Just wanted to say that being oldest in the class does not guarantee leadership, being the smartest, being the most mature, etc. I know many kids who are the oldest and actually are still struggling. Yes, there are definitely some kids who need the extra year. But more often than not, seems there are too many helicopter parents out there. Holding back sometimes is more for the parent and can be detrimental as with the helicopter parenting style. Some think that it is better to be driving and drinking earlier than their peers - well they may be "older" but being in the lower grade with younger kids, they may not be ready for those responsibilities. Also for those who commented that the children who are held back will be more ready for college - the time between high school and college is actually a good time to take a break, if necessary - not everyone has to go to college immediately after high school. The things we looked at when we sent our kids to school - teachers, peers, curriculum, where their siblings will be, personality, birth order, strengths, areas that need improvement. As others have commented, from looking at Kate's photos, she seems so confident, smart, already mastered many skills (scissors and pen holding), happy, well-adjusted, secure, and proud - she already looks like she's in kindergarten!

  84. I say, go ahead and put her in kindergarten:)


    1) The age and birthday month are not indicators of when a child should start school. It's, rather, the individual child's emotional and physical development that is a better indicator.

    2) Since Kate has two older brothers, I think she'll be fine with having older kids in her class. And besides, what if her kindergarten class is filled with April or May babies? Then that's only a 3-4 month difference--hardly noticeable at all. Maybe you should check with the school registrar and see what kind of kids are enrolling this fall.

    3) If Kate were to be pushed back a year, she *might* find that her classmates are a bit babyish (in the toys and tv shows they choose).

    good luck!

  85. Wish there was a magic answer for this question! Seems years ago this was not even really a question people thought about - they just sent their kids off by the cut-off and most did just fine. Nowadays, no matter what the cut-off is, people will have a different cut-off in their mind. Does Kate like challenges? My daughters get bored when they are not challenged. For all those who are for waiting because they want their kids to have it easier, it may backfire. Many kids these days have everything so easy that they are ill-equipped to handle the real world. They have skated through their lives and do not know what it's like to be truly challenged, they get bored easily, are harder to please, and do not get to feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something after working hard to attain it.

  86. My daughter has a August birthday. When it was time for her to start school she was ready. Both academically and maturity wise. It wasn't until she was around 10 yrs old when I really noticed a difference. We were at a pool party. While most of her peers were starting to hit puberty and talking about boys, she was jumping off the diving board trying to do cannonballs to make the biggest splash.

    Then puberty really made a difference. Not only physically but emotionally she is not as mature as her peers. Which does feed into academics as her teachers expect her to be on the same level maturity wise and she just isn't. I feel like she still wants to be a kid and be silly but at the same time she wants to fit in with her peers so she's trying to grow up in a hurry.

    She's 13 now and most of her friends are starting to turn 14 or 15. There is a big difference in maturity level at this age.

    Good luck with your decision.

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  89. Beautiful pictures!
    If your Kate is already reading and spelling, and her social skills are on par with her peers, than I say send her to kindergarten. My Kate is an August birthday (turned five the week before school started), and she went to kindergarten because she was more than ready. Like your Kate, she'd gone through a Montessori preschool, and was probably better prepared to begin first grade versus kindergarten where many kids are just starting to learn their sounds. My Kate also struggles with numbers, but that's ok, because it's good for a child to feel challenged in some areas. I was a kindergarten and first grade teacher until my first was born, and honestly, it all boils down to the individual child. Some kids really, really need that extra year. Some may benefit from it. Some may lose their motivation if not being challenged, and that's a shame. Best of luck in whatever decision you make! Go with your gut and all will be well:)

  90. If only everyone was born the same month! :)

  91. Kim,
    I haven't read through all the comments so forgive me if this is repetitious. I'm sure your head must be swimming. I wanted to chime in though because I too faced this same dilemma twice. It was not an easy decision for one child. He is very mature for his age, extremely responsible, always far and above his age for intellect. He was very bored academically in pre-school. But we based our decision to wait to start him in kindergarten (to the shock of his pre-school teacher) on the following things:
    1. every elementary school educator I spoke to, without exception, said the additional year usually only benefits the child.
    2. Children are expected to deal with so much more at such an earlier age, that we thought more maturity could only be an asset.
    3. Thinking ahead to the teen years and college as well..facing peer pressures and big life extra year of maturity when facing this seemed to be of nothing but positive consequence to us. This was one of the biggest concerns for me. Not elementary school, but high school and college.

    We were definitely concerned that he would be bored, but we worked with his kindergarten teacher with offering additional work for him to do if he wanted.

    My son is now in first grade. No, he has not been "challenged" a whole lot academically, but I think that will come in future years. But, he is self-confident, a positive leader among his peers, and excels in school.

    Perhaps these things would have happened if we would have put him in earlier, I don't know. But he's flourishing and I'm grateful.

    Not to say that this is the right decision for Kate, but I thought I would share the factors we considered and hope that it helps with your decision making process.

    Best wishes, and I'm confident you know Kate well enough to make the right decision for her. I have loved watching her grow up, by the way. Thank you for sharing. :)

  92. Hi Kim,

    I'm a Chinese girl living in Spain. I ran into your blog by accident and have been enjoying it a lot. You've done such a great job raising Kate as well as your two other boys. I wish you all the best with your family.

    Today is a very important Chinese holiday, Lantern festival. Hope you had some Tangyuan, it will bring good luck to your family for the whole year. And if you have any questions regarding Chinese culture, please feel free to ask, I'll do my best to answer them.

  93. hi! i tend to not comment often, but this is a topic that is really close to my heart. (please forgive the poor typing/lack of capitilization, i am on my ipod). my ex and i had a very similar problem with our son. the "social schooling" you could say starts here at the latest at 2 years old with a formal play group 3 times a week. after a year of thus children usually go to "kindergarten" which is really preschool until they are 6 (or 7 if they are not ready for school). my MIL talked my ex and i into keeping our son in play group for extra year because he was not talking yet (he didn't start talking till just after 3rd birthday due tobeing bilingual). this was one of the the worst decisions we ever made. instead of taking on the role of being the "oldest" instead he went backward in development. but this was different because he was with younger kids and kate would be with her own age. i have to say that at the end of his kindergarten time the MIL and SIL both were against desi starting school even though both my ex and i as well as his kindergarten teacher and peditrician were all for it. we went ahead and started him in school. he is one of the youngest kids in his grade but he is doing so well. he really enjoys the routine of it all and is excited to learn. i would really caution against holding a kid back to devolp social skills, because some kids really need the example of older children but still their own age in order to find their own way. good luck in reaching a decision, only you as parents really know what is best for your child. :)

  94. I agree that you will make the right decision. Trust your gut. My P is a summer bday and I, too was on the fence. Our K is only 1/2 day now so I sent him thinking that the pre-k class would actually be longer than K which seemed silly to me. He is doing great! I'm really glad I sent him as I think it is a confidence booster for him- being the "baby"- same as Kate in the family. He feels so grown up going on the bus, having homework, etc. All 3 of mine are in the same school this year and I love that! Next year with M in middle school my world will change. Good luck deciding!

  95. Several readers have brought up a good point about being with older or younger kids. Does Kate seem to do better with older kids or younger kids? My kids gravitate towards older kids and find younger kids more babyish. If Kate goes to Kindergarten, she'd probably be less than one year younger than the oldest kids but if she waits, being born in June, she could be more than one year older than the younger kids.

  96. I totally agree from "The Whitledge Family" and "Kathy." I, too, am a teacher and have a 5yo boy with a summer b'day that is repeating 4k. In fact, we put him in a half day 5k class to begin with and pulled him out....I bet myself up about that for weeks b/c I felt like I, as an Early Childhood Professional, should have known what to do. My son was not as academically ready as it sounds Kate is but that's not the only consideration. You still have a few months to decide and I suggest you register her in both schools so you have a spot in the bridge class. Another view: my best friend's daugher who is now 25 was the youngest in her class and often wished her parent had held her back even though she did well academically, is an R.N. and is about to enter nurse anthes. school.
    I'm sure you will make the best decision for your daughter. However, don't base your decision on having to go to 3 schools next year.
    I, too, wish I could have that outfit! Precious!

  97. Love these photos of Kate - she looks so sassy and pretty. She looks very grown up too! Love your armoire.

    If they could just stay little!!


  99. Hello, I have read your blog for quite awhile more as a reader than responder however I faced this myself and so will our daughter. I graduated high school at barely 17.I will have to say it is pretty young to be a "grown up" and out in the real world. I must also admit that I likely would have benefited if my parents would have had me wait another year before starting school. I was not that mature emotionally looking back and small in size. I personally struggled which is not the case with everyone I am just being honest about my experience. In the state we live in kindergarten is 5 years old with the cutoff being 5 by September 1. Our daughter (from China) will be in kindergarten at age 6 which basically was decided for us due to the cutoff date. I am ok with this. I would rather have her as someone else mentioned older and hopefully more mature than academically ready but emotionally maybe not. Best of luck as you prayerfully consider your options. You have a beautiful family. Blessings...

  100. I have no advice to give but just wanted to say Kate looks adorable as always - LOVE her outfit!

  101. Speaking as a teacher, I would say that if your daughter is reading (which is amazing) I would send her to kindergarten. I wouldn't worry to much about the numbers, they will follow. I'm also a June baby (LOL) and I did fine!

  102. My mum is a psychologist and used to do a lot of evaluations of our friends who were on the cusp (including my little brother!)
    She reccomends getting kids evaluated, it is a big decision and so specific to each child- so worth it.

    incidentally she has just started blogging at and would probably be happy to help you out via email or the blog

    Good luck!

  103. Great outfit for Kate!

    Wow from all the comments, sounds like maybe the cut-off should be changed and that Kindergarten should be for 6 year olds instead of 5 year olds?

  104. What a wonderful post. I have done both with my children and would always take the extra year if given the choice. I think in many ways it has been a gift to us.

  105. I have read your blog for a little over a year :) I am a Pre-K teacher in a full-day 5 days a week program in the south. My best advice would be to wait a year before sending her to kindergarten. No matter what, there will always be a huge range of social, developmental, academic abilities in children in the class. That's always the case in my class, and my job as a teacher is to meet each child individually where they are--I love it! They learn so much from each other. "Waiting" a year would be so beneficial to her. She will be given the chance to be a leader, to grow even more confidence, and to get ahead academically. We have students repeat every year--even ones that are reading on a second grade level. But it is amazing to watch them grow up and mature and truly see the difference and watch them think "i know when i go to kindergarten, i can be SUCCESSFUL and do anything I put my mind to". Further, you have to think about her in the long run....she could be full year or even year and half younger than her peers...that means in high school she will be the last to drive, etc. You want her to be able to stand up for herself and not succumb to peer-type pressure, which sadly, happens all too much these days. Not ONE parent from my class has ever regretted their decision of waiting another year for, what's the rush in your sweet girl growing up?? That is just my advice :) Of course, each child needs to be looked at individually, and moms always know best!!!

  106. Just went throught this with Charlotte, and I, too, wanted her to be in school longer with her brothers but decided just this week to hold her back...AND I am on my way to Old Navy to buy her this outfit!! sooooo cute I'll send you pics if they have it!

  107. Can't find your post about Heaven is Real, but must say I just finished the book and LOVED it. Really made me stop and ponder. Thanks for the recommendation!! Melissa

  108. i didn't read this post all the way through, but i read your most recent one about the comments you have received over sending kate to school. {i am 28 now...} my birthday is august 14th. i started school "on time" and i remember my parents contemplating holding me back in first grade not because of grades {i have always been an a+ over excelling perfectionist student}...but because i was so young, so small. they didn't. when my parents moved my siblings and i to private school my 5th grade year they did. i repeated my 5th grade year. and although i think i handed it well...that can be a HUGE thing at that age...moving schools definitely helped. i am so grateful my parents did this for me. i have never regretted their decision. there are many ways to see it...but most of all i see that i gave me an extra year to decide "what i wanted to do with my life". 18 is a very young age to be expected to know what you want in a degree and career...i had that extra time to grow and mature and learn what i should major in...less wasted hours and credits. i graduated college in 3 years with my bachelors...kinda caught up anyways with my "original group" i guess! i am also grateful that because i was one of the last in my group to drive that i didn't have that responsibility of driving was never an issue. so many aspects i am grateful for and appreciate. i don't want to flood you with a novel so i'll stop there! ;)

    your post actually gives me something to think about as i have always assumed i would hold CTC back when he starts because it worked so well for me...i should be more open in my thoughts that it depends on the child.

  109. She really is growing up!
    Buddy is a June birthday and I so regret not keeping him back. Always better to be the oldest rather than the youngest...especially when they are in high school. Better to be the driver than driven! I am sure you will make the right decision.

  110. My son Chris is a November 15th birthday and started Kindergarten in Sept. at 4 years old (Catholic school). He did fine...Kenny was a November 29th Birthday (Cut off in Ca, December 1st) we held him back (great decision). Livi is Sept. 10th (cut off is Sept 1st) she had to wait a year (so happy that she had to wait the year because she needed the extra year). Miss Addison is a March birthday and started school at 5 years old..she is shy, sweet, innocent and has probably been a little sheltered. She had trouble at first putting herself out there with the other kids and often would cry because someone hurt her feelings. It's now Feb and she has blossomed!!! Academically she excels..but I'm most excited about her social skills and how she has become a bit of a social butterfly : )
    I am a Dec 10th Birthday and missed the cut off (Dec. 1st) I hated being the oldest and when I hit 11th grade, the private school I was at allowed me to complete both 11th and 12th in one year. It's different in today's world with many children being held back...I say you know Kate better then anyone and only you can make the right decision for her and your what feels right.

  111. Just a couple of my motto is "If in doubt, leave it out". So, if I had any doubts about sending her early, I wouldn't do it. two: I was sent to school early, and I suffered throughout elementary school, because I was sooo unprepared emotionally to deal with all the cruelty that other children can (and, DO) dish out. I was miserable and HATED going to school, as a result. Keep her sheltered for as long as you can. There's nothing wrong with sheltering your children from the 'storm'. It's ugly out there!

  112. I taught kindergarten for many years. You'll never regret the decision to wait.....


Thank you for your kindness.