I was just reading your post to a parent who was considering holding back her kindergartner. I have a similar dilemma with a 5th grader getting ready to go to middle school, but the reasons are mainly maturity, not academic.
My son was a very early sight reader, and was really bored in preschool unless there was a pretty challenging curriculum, so I always had him in a class where he was the youngest (he has a late October birthday) and I was able to find a great 4-year-old preschool where they basically covered kindergarten. After that, we moved to Hawaii where the age cutoff for school is December 31st, so he was tested and determined to be fully ready for 1st grade, and not too young there, so he was enrolled in 1st grade at a private school.
He did well there, and we didn't have a lot of issues with school or academics until this year. He has been the object of a lot of verbal bullying lately and seems to have a lot of anxiety about school. His academic performance is still good (he makes mostly B's, some A's in a fairly challenging curriculum), but he has lost interest in a lot of school and other activities.
His Dad is deployed for a year, which definitely doesn't help. Since he is a year younger than many of his peers now in Florida, with an August 31st cutoff, we are considering enrolling him in a private school where he has the option of being in a 5th grade class that does 6th grade work. I really feel that it would be good for him to rebuild his confidence in himself, which seems to be really low right now. He is really adamant that he doesn't want to go to the private school and wants to go to the big public middle school with all of his "friends." I can only name about 3 or 4 of these so called "friends" who haven't been mean to him in some way in the past year.
He is a Korean adoptee in a sea of white people which doesn't help. He has been teased about being Korean, being adopted (one of his so-called friends in a younger grade called him a "poor orphan" yesterday). I want him to feel he has some choice in a life as a military kid where he doesn't have a lot of choices, but on the other hand, I want to be able to look back when he's grown and know I gave him the very best opportunities to thrive and flourish.
If he was your kid, what would you do?
From: Laura, Niceville, FL