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Talk to me about your gifted or advanced child, please.

I am starting Kindergarten home school curriculum with our son next month (he is 3 and a half). He craves "school" and asks daily to go to school (it is located a block and a half away, at the end of our street). We went through pre-K books last year and I'm looking forward to teaching him how to read bigger words and do a bit more advanced math (he adds & subtracts already).
What do I do when it comes time to enroll him in school, though? Here in Michigan, a child has to be 5 years old by December 1st to be enrolled in Kindergarten. His birthday is Dec. 16th. Can I go through some sort of appeals process to allow him to start school next fall? Do I just home school him again next year and then hope they'll let him skip Kindergarten and go directly to first grade when he's 5 (turning 6 during the school year)?


Asked by EwansMommy at 2:21 PM on Aug. 4, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • Here in Oregon. A child does not have to be registered for public school/private school/charter school or as a home school student until they are 7yrs/ 1st grade. Check and see if that's the case in Michigan. If it is, that buys you a year, you can homeschool him this year, and then just enroll him into 1st grade, next year.. And if he is advanced or ahead of the curve in 1st grade the school may have a TAG/GAT program for that grade level (I know that most of the elementary schools here do). If you can't do that, then I would consider just homeschooling him for kindergarten and then just enrolling him into 1st grade next year. Even if he had to take a placement test, he'd most likely pass it.

    My son attended a regular Public School for 1-5, and then transferred to an academically advanced charter school for 6-8, and then to another academically advanced charter for 9-12. And now he leaves for MIT in less than 2 weeks.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 2:27 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • The social aspect is more, is he able to handle being with the older children all the time? Remember, if they do put him in the 1st, he will always be 2 years younger than his classmates. Right now that doesnt seem like a big difference, but when he is 12 and they are 14, or he is 14 and they are 16. There will be BIG differences, developmentally speaking.

    Answer by RheaF at 2:29 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • Try for 4 yr old kindergarten. Skipping kindergarten and going to first grade might impede him socially being 2 years younger than the other kids.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 2:24 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • Take it at his pace. If he wants to learn and is retaining the information go for it!! DD started Pre-k at 3 1/2. She is now almost 5 and we will be finishing up kindergarten by the end of November, and will be starting 1st grade in January. She LOVES to learn. Chances are though, your school district will not allow him to start school untill the designated age(usually 5). They do this because of the social development factor. They may test him at 4 1/2 for kindergarten, but if he goes into school, already having been through K. at home he will probley end up very bored. Have you thought any about just continuing to homeschool?

    Answer by RheaF at 2:26 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • I agree with RheaF. My nephew sounds a lot like your son. My sister home schooled him until he was in 5th grade, our school district has a age requirement until 3rd grade.
    His birthday was in October and the cut off was Sept.15th. He was finished with all of his kindergarten work before he was 5, so she started 1st grade at age 5, when he technically should have been going to kindergarten. He has always been able to do the work, that is not the problem.
    But now that he is in high school, the other kids have been in full on puberty for two years and he is still a little boy. He has problems socially, that he wouldn't have had if they had waited until he was old enough for kindergarten.
    They have those guidelines in place for a reason.
    My son was also ready for 1st grade work in kindergarten, but we put him with the kids his age. He was bored in class, but fine socially. We were unhappy about thee lack of challenge for him...

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:43 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • like Pixietrix, we put him in a academically advanced charted school. He is no longer bored and is excelling.
    I think being in a group of kids that are the same age in very important. I was always they youngest in my class and it sucked that everyone was older and was dating and driving before me.
    Seriously look into your different options as far as schooling go. Charter schools are popping up everywhere because parents are tired of the mediocrity of public schools.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:43 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • Our school district's gifted program consists of keeping the child in a regular classroom but providing them with extra work, which is fine with me, as long as he's learning and being challeneged.

    As far as socializing him, we are very involved in our church and he attends childcare there three times per week. He will also be starting karate in the fall and we have playdates 3-4 times per week. He is very respectful to adults and so caring towards his peers. I don't worry about him socially at all.

    Thanks for the advice, ladies!

    Comment by EwansMommy (original poster) at 2:24 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • He actually won't be two years behind. Maybe I wasn't clear. This year (2010-2011) I will homeschool him using K curriculum and he will turn 4 in December. Next school year (2011-2012) I will homeschool him using Grade 1 curriculum and he will turn 5 in December. The following school year (2012-2013) I will put him directly into Grade 1 and he will turn 6 in December. Aren't most kids 6 or 7 in Grade 1? So he'll be with his peers, socially, but will hopefully be challenged with the gifted program and not bored since he will have already done first grade curriculum. Does that make sense?
    I can't put him in K this year or next year because he's too young (only by 15 days next year, but the MI state website clearly states the child must be 5 years of age by Dec. 1st).

    Comment by EwansMommy (original poster) at 2:40 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • Oh and yes, I have considered home schooling him but my husband and I would really like for him to have the experience of attending school, especially since the elementary school is literally in the middle of our subdivision and all of his neighborhood friends will be attending there.

    Comment by EwansMommy (original poster) at 2:42 PM on Aug. 4, 2010

  • Pixie, thanks for your answer. It's very encouraging!

    Comment by EwansMommy (original poster) at 2:43 PM on Aug. 4, 2010