Re: Summer b-days and kindergarten
DD is a sept bday. She started Kinder last august while still 4 (cutoff is CA this year was Nov 1). She is thriving, academically the top of her class, a social butterfly, etc even though she is one of the very youngest. I am VERY glad that we sent her on time. She loves school.
Ds is a July baby. He will start school on time at 5y1m. He will be the smallest and near the youngest (cutoff in CA in 2014 will be Sept 1), but at 3.5yo I can already tell that he will be ready both academically and socially. I default to sending them on time. My child would have to show MAJOR readiness issues before I would consider waiting. Even then, I'd have to be sure that it wasn't a special ed issue before delaying their entry (sending your kid to school older than the accepted age for that grade makes it harder for them to qualify for special ed services).
As a teacher, I've seen both ends of the spectrum: kids that were just too young and not ready yet and needed to repeat Kinder for that reason (not special ed reasons) and kids that were held out the year and came to Kinder BORED b/c they were WAY past what was taught, heads-and-shoulders taller than their classmates and didn't fit socially b/c everyone was 1y-18mths younger than them.
I tell parents this ALL the time: look at your kid. You know your kid best. Most kids are ready to go on time and should enroll on time, so go ahead and sign your kid up. That way you have a spot if you want it. If it is Julyish and your are sure your kid just isn't ready yet and they have a July/August bday, then go unenroll them. Just make sure that it is the child who is not ready (not you, or other people telling you that ALL summer babies should wait). Good luck with your choice.
S, mama to my First Grader, K (9/07) and my PreSchooler, e (7/09) and married to my best friend, E (2007)