My son has a fall birthday, and against the advice of others, we started him in kindergarten at age 4 (he turned 5 a month later). He is now in 5th grade, doing OK academically, but roughly a year younger than most of his other classmates. We have been shocked to find that we were unique in sending him vs. holding him. He has a number of friends his same age, all in the grade level below; and he is aware of how young he is for his grade level. My question: we have an opportunity to have him do two years of 6th grade: one at his current school, and then one at a new school (with a brand new incoming 6th grade class). We want to hold him -- should we do it? Will it be damaging to hold him back, even when he wants it?
I would not hold him back even though he may want to be with friends, if you were to hold him back he would be above that grade level, but even though he wants to be with his friends it's best for him to face challenges sometimes but with him going to his age grade he would not face challenges and sometimes students need to face challenges.
The only reason to hold your child back is when he is not coping in the grade. Emotional aspects need to be considered as well when they cannot problem solve and use correct judgement when doing tasks, When they give up easily and become irritated at themselves, when they battle with the challenges that the school work set up for them.
Explain to him that he can still see his friends during recess.