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100% sure my daughter is ready for the test, should I hold her back a year? Her birthday is Dec. 5.

I’m assuming you are in NY and if this is the case, you can’t really hold your child back a year and get her tested later in the hopes that she will do better.  This is true in most public school districts across the country.  You have a window of time that your child must be a certain age to start kindergarten.  In NYC, for example, she must be 5 from January 1 – Dec. 31.  A child born Dec. 5 would be one of the youngest kids in her kindergarten class.  If you held her back and tried to enroll her the next year, you would have to enroll her for first grade because she would be too old for kindergarten.

Private schools work differently.  They will often give a window of time in which they’ll accept children.  For example, in NYC, kids must be 5 from September 1 through August 31 in order to qualify for kindergarten.  However, if you have a child with a summer birthday, they will often encourage you to wait an extra year and let the child mature and start kindergarten at 6 instead of 5.  Even if your child is older than that, they will be open to allowing you to give him the extra year to mature.  Let’s say you have a boy who is very small and a bit immature, you can often hold him back and let him start school a year later.  This practice is called “red-shirting.”

Finally, I don’t think any of us are ever 100% sure that our child is ready for the test.  Unfortunately we must always check the dates in which tests must be taken or our child may lose the chance to qualify.

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