My son is now almost 11. He has a late August birthday. When the time came for kindergarten, we followed the state’s recommended age, which meant he started school just shy of his fifth birthday. We had briefly discussed giving him another year and asked his preschool teachers, but they did not have any strong concerns so we moved forward.
Within a month we could see we made the wrong choice. His entire year became about behavior, not about learning. He hated school. He was simply too young to sit still and focus for the things he was being asked to do. His ADHD wasn’t diagnosed yet and many kids had trouble following the directions, but he was worse.
In January we talked with his teachers about our options at that school; hold him back or move him forward. Even at that point in the year she feared he would be bored with repeating the curriculum but moving him forward would continue the social and behavior issues.
We visited a Montessori where the teacher said, “I can give him a year to mature and keep moving him forward academically.” He has been there ever since.
When we were researching, one teacher said, “I’ve never met anyone who regretted giving their kid another year.” Now in our case, it was kindergarten, and the older they get, the tougher it will be. One parent told us her decision not to hold her son back didn’t really materialize until 16 when his immaturity really became obvious.
If you can give him another year–and as we and others have mentioned, find a new school might make it easier so potential stigmas are lessened by “repeating”–I would do it. It is a very hard call and I doubted myself; but after that first year he stopped talking about doing kindergarten twice and he loves school now.