Parenting & Family

December kids - your experience with JK.

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  • Jan 29th, 2018 7:32 pm
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2006
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December kids - your experience with JK.

Hi all - hoping you can share your experiences regarding your December children in particular when they headed to school for the first time.

Reason I ask is that I keep reading about redshirting (holding kid back a yr to be the oldest). Are there really disadvantages in putting a 3y9m kid in jk?

My daughter was born on Dec 31 literally 10 mins before midnight. Can’t believe those few mins affect 1 year of school!

Since year one, she was super advanced in all developmental milestones... ie. 150+ word vocab at 13 mths, knew alphabet numbers shapes (ie trapezoid) by 18 months etc. I see she exceeds skills with others her age!

- she’s 100+% percentile in height/weight (ppl always think shes older than what she is)
- potty trained
- social, happy go lucky and prefers playing with 1-2 yr older kids


Shes never been to daycare, everyday we are doing some sort of program, drop in etc. My mom works for tdsb so her insight has been invaluable (tells me time and time again Im worrying for nothing, jk is play based).

My only concern is that shes literally will be the youngest in kindergarten and mixed in with children nearly 2 yrs older! She’s a tough cookie (she defends herself with positive language) but she is an only child and used to a lot of attention. She’s never been away from us (no preschool/babysitter) therefore Im thinking she’ll be anxious and crying left alone for first time. Im guessing she’ll mimic other kids and in short time will be okay :)

Im registering her in 2 hr preschool style program twice a week where im not there and then jk readiness program through early yrs. should i put her in montessori part time?

Im a Jan baby, ended up bored in school and was put in gifted. Just worried she’s going to be at opposite end of spectrum :(

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! TIA :)
37 replies
Jr. Member
Oct 17, 2013
122 posts
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Ontario
My son was born on Dec. 27 and I decided to have him start JK a year later, rather than when he was 3y8m. It's a decision I fought for and don't regret it for a minute. I don't like calling it redshirting because it sounds as if I wanted my son to get ahead of other students, but, really, I just wanted him to be at a level that was right for him. He is a very bright boy, but his maturity level needed growth. His self regulation might have been frowned upon in a grade higher, but was something more acceptable in the lower grade. By waiting that extra year, we've allowed his maturity to catch up without sacrificing his love of learning.
Deal Addict
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Oct 2, 2010
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Mississauga
dec 28 for my daughter
straight to jk with no prior prepping aside from telling her she's going to school
all they do is play, awesome daycare Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes
no FS or FT atm
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
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First, keep in mind there are no hard set rules on this stuff... There are always exceptions.

Both our kids were planned and born in Q1 of the year to ensure they'd be among the oldest for their year to avoid this. Our eldest started jk this year and transitioned to Jk very well. Granted, given his exposure to play groups, daycare, etc, we had no reason to think otherwise. He's doing well socially and educationally. He's physically small but that seems to have no bearing.

One of his friends (outside of school) was born just a few months before him and ended up started jk last year. He had a LOT of issues in his first year and is still having issues in his second year. From what I've seen in his behaviour, temperament, etc outside of school, I don't think his school entrance age/birth month is the root of the issue but it certainly hasn't helped. If they had held him back a year it probably would've made everyone's life easier but they'd still be struggling.

OP, you're the parent and know your kid best. Based in what you described, i think there will be no issues. Unless you're seeing everything with rose colored glasses... Our school has 4 classes of kindergarteners, and honestly from what I've seen, almost all of them do pretty well. Some might need some extra time or help to adjust, but they all do. It's more the exception when they don't.
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
672 posts
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I kept my daughter an extra year in her preschool and then I enrolled her directly into SK which is the class she would have been in if I'd sent her off to JK at the age of 3. She's in grade 1 more and doing great.

snow_white wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 1:22 pm
Hi all - hoping you can share your experiences regarding your December children in particular when they headed to school for the first time.

Reason I ask is that I keep reading about redshirting (holding kid back a yr to be the oldest). Are there really disadvantages in putting a 3y9m kid in jk?

My daughter was born on Dec 31 literally 10 mins before midnight. Can’t believe those few mins affect 1 year of school!

Since year one, she was super advanced in all developmental milestones... ie. 150+ word vocab at 13 mths, knew alphabet numbers shapes (ie trapezoid) by 18 months etc. I see she exceeds skills with others her age!

- she’s 100+% percentile in height/weight (ppl always think shes older than what she is)
- potty trained
- social, happy go lucky and prefers playing with 1-2 yr older kids


Shes never been to daycare, everyday we are doing some sort of program, drop in etc. My mom works for tdsb so her insight has been invaluable (tells me time and time again Im worrying for nothing, jk is play based).

My only concern is that shes literally will be the youngest in kindergarten and mixed in with children nearly 2 yrs older! She’s a tough cookie (she defends herself with positive language) but she is an only child and used to a lot of attention. She’s never been away from us (no preschool/babysitter) therefore Im thinking she’ll be anxious and crying left alone for first time. Im guessing she’ll mimic other kids and in short time will be okay :)

Im registering her in 2 hr preschool style program twice a week where im not there and then jk readiness program through early yrs. should i put her in montessori part time?

Im a Jan baby, ended up bored in school and was put in gifted. Just worried she’s going to be at opposite end of spectrum :(

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! TIA :)
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2006
625 posts
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Thanks all for sharing your experiences!

I think we’re going to see how the next 4 months pan out. From an intellect, social and developmental standpoint, I see no problem (she shares, uses scissors, can tell me the longest stories)... I think it’s more to do with maturity than anything.

Giving her some time apart may help.. ie montessori part time?
~snow white~
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Mar 9, 2012
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I have a daughter born in January and a son born in December.

All I can say, YMMV, and it's extremely kid dependant. My son, who's almost 2 year younger than my daughter, yet 1 year apart in school. Academically, he's doing much better than the daughter.

I'd swear there is an advantage for the youngest kid in the class vs the oldest kid in the class (as my daughter always way) these days.

No sure if you can compare your experience to your own kids, as schools have changed. No JK when I went to school either. Again, though, you're the parent, you probably know if your kids is ready or not. And yeah, weird sending a 3 1/2 year old to regular school.
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OTTAWA
jeff1970 wrote:
Jan 14th, 2018 8:39 pm
I have a daughter born in January and a son born in December.

All I can say, YMMV, and it's extremely kid dependant. My son, who's almost 2 year younger than my daughter, yet 1 year apart in school. Academically, he's doing much better than the daughter.

I'd swear there is an advantage for the youngest kid in the class vs the oldest kid in the class (as my daughter always way) these days.

No sure if you can compare your experience to your own kids, as schools have changed. No JK when I went to school either. Again, though, you're the parent, you probably know if your kids is ready or not. And yeah, weird sending a 3 1/2 year old to regular school.
My experience is similar. I think in the public school system being bored is more likely than finding it too challenging so being younger can be an advantage. Being in the wrong grade for age also limits the ability to participate in sports for example.
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2006
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Interesting... have been hearing the same thing through cousins and friends with Dec babies (an advantage).

Back in the day my school had jk and sk separated... but bow since theyre mixed, I see it being an advantage by learning from/mimicing the older kids.

A Jan senior kindergarten kid would be nearly 2 years older... i just see maturity being the issue just at the start, and maybe not beig able to sit down for too long lol.

Mine is as books call it... a “spirited” kid. Lol determined, stubborn and a big boss.
~snow white~
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I was held back a year, I was a November baby. Theory is that my brain is more developed.

I had no interests in boys in my grade because I was always the oldest (unbeknownst to them) but I always wonder what would have happened if I was the youngest. You are the parent, do what feels right for you.

FYI, I did well in school.
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Sep 19, 2013
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snow_white wrote:
Jan 14th, 2018 6:39 pm
Thanks all for sharing your experiences!

I think we’re going to see how the next 4 months pan out. From an intellect, social and developmental standpoint, I see no problem (she shares, uses scissors, can tell me the longest stories)... I think it’s more to do with maturity than anything.

Giving her some time apart may help.. ie montessori part time?
I want to share a case of someone I knew. they had a 14yo who was poor in academics and was 1 yr younger than her class. Her parents would always not only use that as an excuse for her poor grades, but would be proud of it to the point of bragging of how she is young and has to compete with students older than her. They would always be extra-protective of her. At the back of my mind, I used to think once she goes to university and in the outside world, there is no 1 yr younger/ older concept. Its not like they are going to bump her grades and give her a job because she was younger.

I am not judging them or you, just sharing an experience. I guess my point is - whatever decision you make, once you make it, its done. Going forward, always consider your daughter to be on par with the class.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -- Douglas Adams
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snow_white wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 1:22 pm
....I see she exceeds skills with others her age!
snow_white wrote:
Jan 14th, 2018 6:39 pm
....From an intellect, social and developmental standpoint, I see no problem (she shares, uses scissors, can tell me the longest stories)... I think it’s more to do with maturity than anything.
snow_white wrote:
Jan 15th, 2018 12:16 pm
Mine is as books call it... a “spirited” kid. Lol determined, stubborn and a big boss.
Seems like you have sort of made your decision, and looking for confirmation. Based on your points above, I think your daughter should do well. Especially once the balls starts rolling...

I would also suggest talking to other relatives/ teacher, etc just to validate your decision.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -- Douglas Adams
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Dec 31, 2005
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We have both a January kid and December kid.

Our January son (now 8) had a great year when he was in a split grade with an older class. This year, a bit more challenging as 1) he is the oldest and 2) he is very bright. He is also our divp, so that can just add to the fun. That being said, he is in French Immersion, so that challenges him as does his Piano lessons.

Our youngest is a December baby and started JK this past year. While he is physically the largest kid in the class, he often will act his age. Being with kids older than him helps to pull his behaviour up.

As for height and weight...that can change.
Our kids were all 95th percentile when little but leaned out after 4 or 5
14 year old is 75th and 50th
8 year old is 90th and 40th
4 year old is >95th for both
As a reference, I am 6'1 and my wife is 5'11
Jr. Member
Oct 15, 2008
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Windsor
2 kids in school now - one with a post Christmas birthday and one at the end of November. They were somewhat mechanically disadvantaged heading into school (holding a pencil, other small motor skills, etc.), but kids crave the challenge to push themselves. Mine are reading above grade level and otherwise keeping up or excelling just fine. Give them a push.
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I went throught the same decision twice. I have two December girls. I started them early in a blended Montessori program (pre-school to kindergarten) where they start as the youngest. However, because it was a private program, I had option to have them do an additional year before entering grade 1. If they had been in a public school kindergarten, they would have not had the option, as our school board will only have kids held back if they are academically behind.
I had the benefit of watching many kids that were both oldest and youngest before I had to make my decision. In the case both of my kids, they were well beyond grade level academically. One was reading at a grade 4 or 5 grade level by age 4, the other a grade 3 level, their math and other abilities I was told was much higher too. One was in the higher percentiles for size, the other was lower. They were both beyond their developmental milestones, and socially one was ahead of her peers, the other right where she needed to be. The first tested to almost be off the charts on the gifted scale, then second not far behind.
Everyone thought the girls were gifted (which have later found out they are) and told us to send them early. We decided to hold them back so they would be the oldest, and so far, it has been a really good decision as they are now 9 and 12. People thought we were crazy to have them in a regular school as the oldest as they would be bored. This is true, I will come back to that.
The pros of being older is that it gave them an opportunity to develop into more rounded individuals. Because they are so far ahead academically, they were comfortable in that realm, and could work on other things. They are more of a leader than a follower, and I know that it because they are the oldest and the other kids look up to them. Because they are older, things happened to them first. This seems to suck when you kid (especially girl) is starting to go through puberty first. However, because she was the first, she would come and talk to me before her friends. Her friends all come to her. I would much rather have my kids coming to me for guidance earlier, so when they are teens in their really turbanlent times they have already been coming to me for tougher issues.
You should make the decision based on your child. I don’t know anyone who regretted having their kid not go earlier, but more who have wished they held their kid back. There is a less of an issue having a child skip a grade vs. being held back (do they even do that anymore). They may be fine going ahead, but they will be more than fine being older.
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