kid being youngest in the grade

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    says who

    Latley I am hearing of many parents that they don’t want their kid to be the youngest in the grade, so if the child was born in the last month of the deadline they would rather send them back.

    They are saying ” I want my kid to be the best in the class”. We are talking about average kids. Don’t people realize that there will always be a oldest and youngest in every grade? Is it a healthy attitude to want the child to be the top of the class?


    Is it a healthy attitude to want the child to be the top of the class?

    Like anything else in life, there’s a balance.

    There’s nothing wrong with setting high standards for your kids to aim for — including being top of the class.

    OTOH, it is very wrong for a parent to obsess about it and berate the kid if s/he falls short.

    My personal philosophy with my kids has always been that as long as I know they tried their hardest and put in the effort then I have no complaints.

    If they try and try and try and really put the effort into a subject and come home with a 50 on a test because that’s the absolute best they can do for that material, then I have no complaints. OTOH, if the kid gets an 85 but barely studied and could have done much better — well, then, I’m not pleased at all.

    The Wolf


    It is difficult for a child to be the youngest in the grade and/or being at the bottom of the heap especially in this day and age when the Yeshivas promote only the top and the metzuyanim. In addition, parents would much rather wait it out than leave the child back a grade once they have started school and can’t keep up and I agree with that, because that is not good for the child. WE as grandparents do not understand why our 2 year old grandchildren are already in nursery school even in diapers? Why can’t they still be home with their mothers? Is it because the mothers work or they have another one or two at home or they want or need some free time? I am told that the 2 year olds need social stimulation with their friends and need to be both socialized and prepared for school. Honestly, what’s the rush?


    As an October baby, my mother said to definitely keep me in the grade and not keep me back. A very smart move on her part. I was mature enough for school and there was no reason to have me wait another year to start. Its interesting because in school I wasn’t even considered the youngest- there were at least ten classmates who were younger than me. I guess if you see if your child is ready-definitely send them.


    in my elementary school i was the youngest and the shortest kid in the class. BH i had a bunch of friends and never felt one bit of complex for my appearnce/age. in high school i was again the shortest but i had a girl that was 3 months younger… she was the smartest girl in the class and also didnt have any social/acedemic problems. i feel parents are soooo busy with nonesense. make sure your kid is happy, well adjusted, well brought up, they look neat and theyll be fine. you cant control who ur kids will grow up to be. they have to face their own challenges to grow. let them BREATHE!!! u are not gauranteed that theyll be on top of the class because they are from the oldest!!!


    In Teaneck, the cutoff is September 30th. I had a son on September 17th.

    In the younger grades, sometimes kids aren’t emotionally mature enough to start. A lot of people have told me that their 4 year old wasn’t ready for school so they kept him back. I’ve been told that girls generally stay in their grades but boys often get held back.

    My philosophy is to examine it based on the child. My niece was pushed ahead (she was 2 weeks past the cutoff) because she was ready for school. Each kid is different.

    says who

    WolfishMusings said

    “There’s nothing wrong with setting high standards for your kids to aim for — including being top of the class.”

    OK. But leaving back a grade is not a matter of setting a stndard on the child’s part, it’s more that the parent has a need that the child should be on top.


    If the child is smart he/she will still be the top of the class, even if pushed ahead.

    If the child is not smart they will still be on the bottom of the class, even if left behind.

    My Yeshiva has on many occasions picked the valdictorian/speaker to be the youngest of the class, there was no reason to push them off a year, and they were just as capable as children 6 Mo. to a year older.


    I would like to add that if your child is NOT ready, don’t push them up! I had an experience in a bungalow colony where one mother decided to push her son into the older bunk e/t he was not ready (it was really for her pride) and the kid was miserable, he was tagging along w/ the big boys, and his counselor got yelled at…it was very unpleasant.


    Now that I think about it more, I might have some insight into this.

    I have two kids who graduated from the eighth grade this year. No, they’re not twins — one is 14 and the other 13. The older one was held back by us for a year. Both have birthdays in Sep/Oct.

    My son (the 14 year old) was the oldest in his class (as you can imagine). My daughter was one of the youngest. They’ve been that way for the last eight years and will continue that way through high school.

    The choice to hold a kid back or not needs to be made taking the kid’s abilities and capabilities into account. Our son, we felt, needed the extra year of pre-school, and so he was held back. That was not the case with our daughter. Both of them do well — I don’t find that my son dominates his class nor do I find that my daughter had difficulty in hers.

    Ultimately, each kid is different, and there cannot be a “one size fits all” answer to the question.

    The Wolf

    says who

    I agree with all people that are saying that it depends on the child and not by youngest or oldest.

    Dr. Pepper

    Every child is different and each case should be looked at individually.

    We were told at the end of last year that since the youngest kid in the class was being left back in kindergarten our daughter was going to be the youngest. Then the school suggested that we leave her back since she would now be the youngest.

    As we weighed the pros and cons we were leaning towards keeping her back but there were some “issues” with the incoming class. In the end we had her evaluated professionally and was told not to leave her back. (She scored very high on the IQ test and we were told that if we leave her back she will be very bored in class. She had a very productive year and we are happy with the decision.)


    “They are saying ” I want my kid to be the best in the class”.

    That is absolutely not true, at least not in every case. We held back one of our kids in kindergarten for a second year because, as the youngest kid, he was behind, socially and physically. In kindergarten it makes no difference, but in later grades it does. He thrived in the next year, when he was from among the oldest. Parents want their child to be able to hold their own among their classmates.


    If the child is smart he/she will still be the top of the class, even if pushed ahead.

    Agreed. I have two classmates who skipped a grade into my grade, they both remained at the top of the class. IMO, age and a childs performance in a classroom have nothing to do with each other, in general (That being said, I have seen in a few cases where, in pre school, a child was physically incapable of keeping up with the class. He needed more rest time, took him longer to do things. As he got older, it went away.)



    I actually have a kid who is the youngest in the class. It never occured to us that we should think about holding him back as he was doing very well academically(as much as it is relevant)in nursery. The problem that we find is that the class doesn’t fit a bell curve at that over 75% of the kids are 7-12 months older and he is also the smallest in the class. There actually is a kid a grade lower with my sons birthday. So, while he his doing very well academically and probably in the top 10%, he struggles socially. While this couldn’t be determined in nursery, if it was mentioned to us we may have considered holding off a year to give him some more time to mature.


    1. As stated by other posters, it depends on the kid.

    2. Children are born year round so whenever a child’s b-day is (and school deadlines keep moving so making or missing the cutoff is meaningless), there’s likely to be someone else in the class who is pretty close in age.

    3. That said, I actually think it’s better to be one of the younger kids in the class than one of the older ones because the kid can graduate HS earlier and have some breathing room to spend more time in yeshiva or seminary (or even, gasp! college). They can stay for shana bet or make progress toward a degree without worrying about being an old maid/alte bochur.


    When I saw this thread it interested me immediately as I have a child who missed the cut-off date by a few weeks, but we pushed her ahead. She was just ready – socially and academically. Thank God, neither we nor she have regretted the decision. As many people have already said, it depends on the child. I’m wondering if “says who” has kids in the parsha yet (or any at all) as his/her attitude on this issue seems to me to stem from lack of experience 🙂

    Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.


    i was always one of the youngest in my class, and i love it! I got to start my life earlier..I am able to finish college…while still being young..younger by less pressure…

    says who

    Imma613 said:

    “I’m wondering if “says who” has kids in the parsha yet (or

    any at all) as his/her attitude on this issue seems to me to stem from lack of experience 🙂 “

    I don’t understand you, It seems to me that we are on the same page?

    Btw The thing that made me start this thread is because my 3rd son is starting cheder next year and he was born in the last month, and people are telling us ” You’re not worried that he will be from the youngest?”. and i don’t like this attitude.


    My mother pushed me ahead – I turned 5 in the end of February of Pre1A. I dont think it really made a difference – and anyway I still wouldnt have been the “top of the class” even if I had been with the grade younger. The youngest girl in the grade was 2 months younger than me (she skipped a grade)……and BTW both of us were pretty near the “top of the class”.


    The younger the child, the more of a difference a few months can make. Let’s say you have a September 1 cutoff (as was at my school and the schools my siblings attend now)- so the kids with the September birthdays are the oldest and those with August birthdays are the youngest. Well, in 8th grade, there’s very little practical difference the oldest and the youngest. In 3-year-old nursery though, the developmental differences could be enormous. In that scenario,our September-born child almost certainly has better-developed language and motor skills, and is likely completely potty trained, whereas the August born child will almost certainly be less developed and newer to the potty scene. Holding back won’t make up for that- if the child isn’t ready at that age, they should be kept home another year and be placed in the correct grade the next year.


    says who –

    What most people here are saying is that a parent’s decision to or not to push ahead their child comes from a perspective of “chanoch l’naar al pi darco” not from a desire that their child should be “the best in the class”

    I feel for you that people are hocking you about your son. If indeed your son is ready – socially, academically and otherwise, than be confident that you are doing what is right for your child. Try to smile and ignore your well-meaning (albeit annoying) friends.


    It’s not a case of wanting your kid to be the best. Rather- the best HE can be for himself. Why should a kid be forced to struggle his way through.

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