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When to start school

My son is 3, turning 4 in March and is pre-registered with the local head start. I was wondering if 4 1/2 is too old/too young for head start. Should he even go to head start, or should he stay home.. Maybe start kindergarten, because normal starting age is 5, so he will be a little short of the age but with his birthday being where it is he has options. Part of me thinks he should start kindergarten so he is not behind school grade wise when he is older, but part of me is worried about throwing him into regular school, full days as opposed to only 1/2 to 3/4 days in head start. I think he would be a bit too mature for head start, but a little too small for kindergarten. Just looking for opinions!

p.s. we do not have regular pre-k in our school district.

Answer Question

Asked by Ava_Eliz911 at 10:30 AM on Nov. 21, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (-11 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • All depends on maturity. A lot of boys don't start until they are 6 due to maturity. That is not uncommon. I don't know who you would ask to evaluate his maturity level.

    Here you have to be 5 years old before the first day of Kinder to be eligible for public kindergarten.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:33 AM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • I would say send him to the head start, it IMO is better to be one of the older kids in a class rather than the youngest. In my state you have to be 5 by the first day of school in order to start kindergarten, you might want to check to be sure.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 10:43 AM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • Send him to Head start. 4.5 is WAY too young to start kindergarten. I thought pretty much all states you had to BE 5 to even get in. Anyway, better for him to be older rather than younger.

    Answer by kmath at 11:18 AM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • This is a hard decision and should be based solely on your child. How much social time does he have with other children, his maturity level when with other children and of course his interest.. It has to d with stillness and ability to focus.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:24 AM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • I think it's important for all kids to go to some kind of head start program. it is not exactly school, kind of like a learning daycare. but this is where they can learn "rules", and how to interact with their class mates and teachers. I think it helps to prepare them before they get to Kindergarten where it really counts.

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 11:28 AM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • In my school district a child HAS to be 5 on or before August 31st to attend kindergarten that school year. Your son does not qualify for the 2014-15 school year. He would have to wait until the 2015-16 year. There is very little benefit to placing a child into school early.

    My son misses the cutoff by 6 weeks. I COULD have pushed to have him start early, but after reading 100+ responses saying WAIT, I did. I'm glad I did. I child will struggle horribly if they are not socially/emotionally ready. He is 10 and in the 4th grade. He starts the school year, and the next month has a birthday. He's one of the oldest in every class he's in, and I'm ok with that.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:36 AM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • My son does not have any child interaction day to day with anyone except his baby sister who is 14 months. My other son is in 1st grade so he is gone a good part of the day. My three year old is VERY smart, that is the only reason i considered Kindergarten already. I want to keep him home forever because he has Congenital Ptosis and his eyes are small and droopy and I dread the day he gets made fun of :( Thank you all for you input and replies! I will probably just enroll him half days in head start!

    Comment by Ava_Eliz911 (original poster) at 12:34 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • Head start is a great learning experience. Not just in curriculum but learning to be away from mom, follow directions and schedule.


    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 1:01 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • The school will evaluate him and determine whether or not he is ready to start kindergarten.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:57 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • 4 is too young for kindergarten. A lot of kids will be 6. I really doubt they would take him. I would do a year of pre school.

    Answer by mompam at 9:54 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

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