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Has anyone enrolled their child in Kindergarten early?

My daughter is 4 and missed the cutoff to get into Kindergarten in the fall by 3 weeks. There are some extenuating circumstances. She's tall for her age and already looks like some first graders I know. Secondly, she's bright. She's able to sound out simple words already, writes simple words, understands adding and subtracting, etc., etc. My dilemma is: Do I push to enroll her this year so that she's engaged and learning with children about her own size and ability level, or do I wait until next year? That would give her another year to mature, but then I'm afraid she will be way bigger than the other kids and more advanced, leading to some other problems. Has anyone had a similar situation? How did you choose?

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Asked by Dawn_M at 1:10 PM on Mar. 26, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (15)
  • My older 3 were close to the cutoff, my twins missed it by 3 days, I gave them all another year to mature. A friend of mine sent hers when her son was 4 and he struggles on his grade level. That said though, he may have anyway cause he likes to goof off lol. You know your dtr, do what you think is best.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 1:14 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • He is in the sixth grade.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 1:15 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • I would wait. Rather have her ahead of the class than behind. This happened w/me w/my son. I waited to send him. He turned 6 in kindergarten and now he's at the top of his class, straight A student! And don't worry about her being the tallest or oldest, their probably be more just like her in her class. GL

    Answer by mamaada at 1:28 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • it sounds to me that she is ready. but i am not a teacher. i would talk to the school. express your concern. let them know your reasoning for wanting to enroll her, but that you also want to make sure that she is really ready. the cut off dates change all the time it seems like to me. so i would maybe see if there was someway for them to test her or something. i know when i started school it was Aug. 30th and now i think its June 30th? I don't remember for sure what it is now.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 1:30 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Our school district doesn't allow it.

    Just because she's big for her age and is smart doesn't mean she's socially ready. Social development is just as big an issue as any other for Kindergarten.

    My 5 year old could have passed kindergarten when he was three. He's going in the fall according to his age/birthdate. There is NO WAY he was socially ready.

    Wait until next year. I have a 3 year old in the same boat...missed it by 3 weeks, big for his age, cognitively advanced for his age. He's stuck waiting.

    As I said...the school district here wouldn't allow it even if I did want to push it. There's too much more to it than just size and brains.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 2:01 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • I would put her into school when she is academically ready for it. Don't worry about her size...

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 2:40 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Our school district won't do it. Most of them stick to their dates. I'd just keep working with her and encouraging her and when she does enter you can work with the school to decide if she should go with the regular classroom curriculum, a gifted program, skip a grade, etc.

    We are doing the same with our 3 1/2yo who is doing basic reading and 1st grade math! He's also always been in the 90+% for size. He must be 5 to start school, though. I don't really want him to go so soon, anyway. He's going to preschool next year, but just for the friendship and learning classroom manners. My daughter's in the preschool program this year that he'll be in next year and I know he can already do everything they are working on now lol. But there are no other affordable options, so I'm going to keep letting him learn at his pace, wait until he's 5 and then work with his teachers if he's still ahead to do what works for him :-)

    Answer by SahmTam at 3:28 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Thank you all for your input. I still have several months to think about it. Regarding socialization, she's been in preschool for two years and is quite mature. I did hear that the districts here will allow a child to enter Kindergarten after their 5th birthday, even if it's already halfway through the school year, so that's another option. She's a December baby, so we could always try to enroll her in January and if she's ready to go on, great; otherwise she can have an extra year of kindergarten.

    Answer by Dawn_M at 6:42 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Most schools will not allow her to start early. It's not always about academics in Kindergarten, a big part of Kindergarten is socialization and being independent. Is she ready to be in Kindergarten socially? Can she do things for herself...toileting, opening packages at lunch or snack. Putting on shoes and coat, following directions. I would keep her out and give her time to mature.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:18 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • They don't allow early admission here. To get into Kindergarten you have to be 5 before the beginning of August. Even if you turn 5 the day after that date you have to wait until the next year...they don't make exceptions. A private school might but not the public schools (and not our Catholic school).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 8:29 AM on Mar. 27, 2009

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