I have been asking myself this question all year long. My 5th grader who is to go to junior high in 6th grade is ADHD, youngest boy in his grade and the shortest as well. He is not failing but he is not doing very well academically but most of all I feel that he is not ready emotionally nor do I think he is mature enough to have several different teachers, classes, responsibility of going to classes on time if at all. When I speak to teachers, principal about my concerns regarding this issue I think they are looking at me in fear that my son will be at their school another year! But they always just say that he is academically doing well enough to go ahead to the next grade. For me it would be a little different if it was just a grade year up but it’s a whole school change and with a whole different set of responsibilities and changes that I am not sure he is ready for.
If I had it to do over again I would have fought harder for him to start school later. The issue was the school district was slowly bringing down the cutoff age to start school forward one month each year until it got to September 1 (which is where it stayed). Problem was that my son started school the year before when it was October 1 and his birthday is September 23. They were very adamant when I picked up registration packet and I thought okay that is the rule. Well I knew then he was immature if anything but not yet aware of the huge role my son’s ADHD was going to play in his life over the next few years that followed! I guess one of my reasons for replying is to let others know— follow your gut, you know your child and it is much easier for EVERYONE especially your child to fight the system early on (starting kindergarten date) than it is later when you are dealing with all of the feelings your child might have towards being held back when he is a little older like 4th or 5th grade. I wish I would have fought for it back then. It would have been so much better for him to have 1 more year to mature and be ready to start school. I guess knowing then what we know now we would all make lots of different choices in everything.
So- I decided to have him go ahead to junior high because I think it would be emotionally hard on him to be held back for all of the reasons stated before in this post. I know that it will be a hard transition for him and would have been nice to have another year for him to mature before starting but all of the mental anguish might be worse on him. My point- fight for it when they are younger, you won’t regret it!!