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Better to be older or younger in preschool?

Posted August 7, 2015 - 2:26pm

My daughter has a late August birthday. This means that she will be either very young for her grade or on the older side. Which is better? We are wondering so that we know when to start her in preschool. My own birthday is late August as well (such an amazing coincidence to be able to celebrate together!) and I was always old for my grade. My parents started me in preschool so that I was on the young side and I did an extra year of pre school. I kind of liked being on the older side, especially in high school and college but I'm not sure how others feel-- thanks for the help!

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I would say go with the older side.  From a social perspective, you don't want your child to always feel like their the last one to the party.  They'll always feel like they're just a step behind.  But if you let them be the older one, then suddenly they get to experience everything BEFORE their friends, which definitely can help since kids flock to things that they can't have. 


I have many years of experience teaching both preschool and prekindergarten. There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general I have found that the children who are on the older end tend to have a better experience in the classroom. They are more mature and able to cope with the demands of spending the day apart from their parents, learning and growing in friendship skills. Learning how to share items, be independent in personal care skills, attaining information in the academic arena and working on cognitive and motor skills are tiring work - no matter how fun the day is. I find that children who are younger in the class often want to nap, may have less confidence in speaking up and advocating for themselves and in maintaining a steady level of energy and stamina throughout the day. This is not one hundred percent true for all students, but generally the older stuents seem to thrive the most!


I would recommend having your daughter be on the older side. It seems like when kids are on the younger side, they often can feel left behind or left out. Plus, being older means more maturity. They'll be ready to tackle challenges and learn at school. 


Older it is! Still wondering if there are any moms out there though who think younger is better. Would just like to hear both sides of the story!


I have an interesting situation in that my son started preschool on the early side. I know this is pretty uncommon, but for us it worked. He's always been on the young side in all of his classes, but I think it forced him to grow up a little quicker and mature faster than some of the other kids. I'd definitely recommend starting early if you think your kid is up for it!


My eldest daughter started school quite early.  She seemed to be doing well, but had crying spells after a year.  My youngest was older when he started preschool and I never had any problems.


@Cshelton did you have a conversation with your son about starting early or did you just decide? Also, do you think your son did well because he is a boy and by nature a little bit more outgoing or no??

Frugal Minded M...

I think it depends on the school district you are in.  3 of my kids have late summer birthdays.  When the oldest started we were in Michigan where the standard was to send no matter what.  Then we moved and in the new school district every body held back if the birthdays where after March.  So my son who is an August Birthday have kids in his class who are almost two years older then him.  that's a big age difference for a grade and being the youngest is definitely hard.  So much so that when the 3rd summer birthday came around we decided to hold back right when he was born.


I really think it depends on the child. If you have a younger child who has hit all the milestones other kids in the class have hit and is socially mature enough to be with an older crowd, younger could be better. But if the child is not quite where the other, older, kids are as far as what they are ready to learn and how they play, you might as well wait.


My first born was a late month so was older. I remember being upset when we had to wait another year for him to start school, but in the end, I saw how much he grew emotionally, physically that year and I was glad he was able to wait. My second child was early....a younger child in his class and he had some struggles. Every child is different. My 3rd started younger and excelled! 

Mommy Ramblings

I think for boys who mature slower it is better to be on the older side. I think girls that are older are a little more sensitive to being older and since they mature faster are better off being younger than older in their class. However with sports, kids that are older in their grade definitely have an advantage.


I can relate to this debate!  I have an early October birthday and my parents started me early.  I was always the youngest and last for everything like getting my driver's license etc. but I didn't mind.  I kind of liked feeling "ahead".  My youngest's birthday is 2 days before mine.  She's starting pre-K in a few weeks but she's almost 5.  She's really small for her age so I think being on the older end will be good for her.  It's much harder these days to enroll a child to elementary school early and chose not to fight for it since I was on the fence about whether it would be right for her.  Right now I'm pretty confident about my decision. Nothing wrong with an extra year of preschool!


It sounds like you made the right decision! Funny how things have changed - I remember at least two friends of mine who had late September bdays in school, so they were almost a whole year younger than some folks. You don't see that as much anymore!

Your Kid's Table

Love this thread... I'm constantly agonizing over this too! My middle is August 2nd and just turned 4. We decided to start preschool this year and if he excells like crazy (which I doubt) we will just send him to kindergarten next year. The plan is to send him late though. However, he has a little boy in his class that is a whole year younger than him. By the way that boy has to be dragged in, literally.


I think younger age is more suitable to attend preschool as children develop their brain during initial four years. Parents must promote early education. There are many preschool, which provides all the fundamental facilities for children to grow and develop. Send your child to a best Melville full day preschool with the goal that they can build their cognitive skills, self esteem, get social communication and learn methods of being creative and confident. You can find more information about preschool and their programs at online.