This study shows that children born in September tend to be the oldest in their age group when they enter school. This gives them an additional year to develop compared to their peers. The general focus of the study was estimating how children who are relatively older in school will do in their academic performance. The cognitive development of children born in September was compared with the other children in the same year of school. It included children born in August, who tend to be the youngest children in their class.
This study took place in Florida with 1.2 million students between 6 and 15 years of age participating. The children born in September were found to have higher cumulative average scores in school every year. It is thought that the additional 12 months for social, cognitive and emotional development prior to entering school played a role.
Typically, they are more mature acting than younger classmates. In addition, they may be in a better position to handle the academics and can more easily relate to others. They tend to be less attached to their parents and are looking forward to school with more enthusiasm.
Those advantages may be what provides them with a boost compared to younger classmates. The research also suggests that children born in September may be able to get into better colleges and might even have lower rates of juvenile crime and incarceration.
There may also be other factors that could contribute to the intelligence of the child and their progression. This includes affluence, parental influence, socioeconomic status and eventually, the age of the child.
According to the study, children from affluent families tend to be held back at first so they are at a cognitive advantage when they enter the school system. This delayed enrollment for about a year provides them with the opportunity to develop socially, mentally and emotionally.
Approximately 4-5.5% of children in the US enter kindergarten after being delayed by their parents. This redshirting technique is practiced by some families to provide an academic advantage to the children. Since they are able to mature both physically and mentally during that year, it may help. According to the research,
“While the more affluent families tend to redshirt their children to give them a competitive advantage, families that are unable to do this – either due to lack of awareness or resources – are surrogated by the schooling system, which retains their children in grades prior to testing. This differential remediation also helps explain why we find larger kindergarten readiness gaps for lower SES [socioeconomic status]children that then vanish at the time of testing.”
When children are found to be struggling academically, the parents may also withdraw the children from the first class that year. They may be put into a special program or sent to preschool so they can develop and acquire knowledge before going back to kindergarten.
If a child is retained or held back voluntarily, the outcome is likely to be the same. It typically means positive things happen to the children.
If you have a child born in September, there is something else that will be of interest to you. This study shows that they tend to come home with better grades, get into better colleges and are less likely to be incarcerated. When you really stop to think about it, however, it doesn’t have to do with the month when the child is born, it has to do with his the month when school starts.
This study looked into a large sampling of the population but it isn’t all-inclusive. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule and sometimes, you need to look beyond the research. If you have children and they weren’t born in September, don’t be overly concerned. If you provide them with attention and TLC, they will be just fine.
h/t: The Hearty Soul