Age and school level

August 28, 2006

Since we’re on the topic of going back to school, I thought I’d post about something that’s been on my mind lately. My son is seven and in first grade. His birthday is in early summer–we’re actually opposite you season-wise, so let’s say he turned seven on June 14th and goes into first grade on September 1st. (It’s actually December 14th and March 1st–but that gets confusing.) When he was in kindergarten, the school recommended that he repeat kinder–he was just turning six at the time. We agreed, so he was six in kinder and then turned seven the summer before he went into first grade.

Anyway, I am now doubting whether we made the right decision. I realize there is no taking it back, and he is stuck in the grade he currently is in, but I can’t help but wonder. He is the oldest kid in his class (although there are several with birthdays early in the school year, so they are just a few months apart). Had he gone into first grade last year, he would have been the youngest in his class. I also realize that everyone develops at their own rate–and that boys tend to be slower to read, for instance, than girls.

So, all you teachers out there: Is it unusual to have a boy turn seven before entering first grade? He will be 18 throughout his senior year of high school (assuming all goes well) and turn 19 just after graduating. I guess a big part of my concern stems from the fact that I hated high school (academically it was as challenging as watching paint dry) and I graduated early at 16.

No one has a crystal ball, of course, but what do make of this situation?