Over on Imamother, there is a post about kids who are born a few days past the cutoff. Should you try to push them into the next grade or not. The consensus is that the kid is almost always better off being the oldest in the class, rather than the youngest. Older kids are bigger, more mature, more physically coordinated, and will have an easier time making friends and playing sports.
And now for something not completely different.
Thing 1 is a November baby. Here in NY state, that means that she was born about 5-6 weeks before the cutoff. She will be of compulsory school age in the fall (and I get to begin the paperwork saga that is the bane of every NY homeschooler's existence). However, she is in a very unique position. I happen to know two other November babies--both of whom were held back. I've never held her back. As a result, she was always in the older group--with the entering kindergarteners (or Pre-1A kids, depending on lexicon) at camp, with the Pre-1A crowd in her Sunday program. She's also earned her siddur, and has worked her way through material appropriate for five-year-olds. And she's not having any problems. She's tall, well-spoken, and mature--even though she's young. Had I held her back, she's be learning her ABCs instead of reading Little Bear. She's be learning her numbers instead of manipulating them. Also, I keep hearing about the social effects trumping academics. Isn't school supposed to be academic? Otherwise, it's just a six-hour a day social club.