K.D. asks from Cumming, GA on May 20, 2009
Early Enrollment for Kindergarten - Wake Forest,NC
Has anyone enrolled their child early for Kindergarten? My daughter will be 5 Sept. 30th. She is very advanced already for her age, but the cut off for enrolling changed this year so you must be 5 by Aug 30th. I think it would really hold her back to have her wait another year to start school. I'm wondering if I'd be too late to do that now, if I should even do it, and how hard is the process to get it done?
So What Happened?™
OK, so my husband and I decided that it would be best to hold her out until next year. We both agreed that we would rather her be mature enough to be an influence, rather than influenced by other students. We're working on stuff here at home, nothing formal, just actively learning on a daily basis. Now I'm just looking for something producticve for her to do this summer, maybe a day camp or something just for a week or two.
M.W. answers from Raleigh on May 21, 2009
She would have to be tested and would have to test at a 1st grade level in order to be admitted to Kindergarten. These were the requirements when I was still teaching 2 years ago. BTW Kindergarten is not required and children are not required to be enrolled in school in NC until they are 7.
K.B. answers from Asheville on May 21, 2009
When the date was Oct 15th my son missed it by 4 weeks. I thought like you that I felt he was ready. I, however, decided not to send him early and I have been very happy with my decision. He's bigger he's taller he's a leader not a follower. My daughter's birthday is Sept 2nd. As aggrivated as I am about them changing the cut off I am going to wait to send her too. Once they start school it goes so fast. Why not keep them young a little longer. Hope this helps.
S.D. answers from Nashville on May 21, 2009
My husband started school before he turned 5. He was always the last one to do everything--last to get a learners permit, last to get his driver's license, smaller compared to his classmates. He made B's in school and played 4 sports. He started college at age 17. He was playing college football against 22 year olds. He always felt like he would have been better at sports if he had been a year older. He also felt like he would have been better at his school work if he had been a little more mature when he started kindergarten.
My son on the other hand was like your daughter--He just missed the cut off date. He was always the oldest in his grade. He was the first one to do everything--the first to get his learners permit, the first to get his drivers license, etc. He was developmentally older and more ready to start school. He was a leader in his classes, made really good grades, and was a great athlete. He was the Valedictorian of the 8th grade, graduated from high school with an honors diploma, and played on state championship football and track teams.
Be patient. It does not hurt your child to be older and more mature than their peers. It actually really helped my son. I wanted to start him early because he was smart, ready for school, and bored in pre-school. My husband would not agree to it and he was right. It gave my son an advantage academically and in sports to be the oldest in his grade and not the youngest.
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L.H. answers from Raleigh on May 21, 2009
There are very specific guidelines in most school districts about early K entry - check your county school system's website for it. Usually they require a private evaluation by a psychologist, and they require that your child score at the 98th percentile or above on IQ and achievement tests because they consider it the same as skipping a grade. These are very difficult criteria to meet, even if your child is really bright. If your daughter isn't reading sentences yet and not adding and subtracting, I wouldn't both with the testing. It is also very expensive (usually in the range of $500 to $800 depending on who you see) and there is no guarantee it will be helpful. Even if she meets the 98th percentile, there's still no guarantee the school will accept her either - it's a team decision.
Another thing to think about is what will happen when your daughter is older. She will want to hang out with older kids and older boys when she is a teenager, she won't drive as early as her friends, in college she won't be able to get into the clubs her friends are going to because she's not 18 or 21 yet. She may not be as mature as the other kids either, or she may think she is more mature than she really is. If you really think she's advanced, you can get some great resources for gifted kids online that you can share with her pre-K teachers and you can take her to enrichment activities when she's home with you. Just some food for thought - good luck with your decision!
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J.B. answers from Memphis on May 21, 2009
K. - Don't. The difficulties don't show up for several years. At five...all the things that need to come together have not...and around fourth or fifth...the results start showing.
Reading anything by educator Dr. Raymond Moore will help - but if you like techy proof...School Can Wait or Better Late than Early would be a good ones. Your library should be able to get them.
In the meantime, since you are a SAHM...there are some really fun learning tools out there - ask a home schooler. An hour - hour a half a day of academic stuff is not too much for that age...but not seven hours!
K.B. answers from Jacksonville on May 21, 2009
My youngest is was very smart for his age too. When he started K, he turned 5 on Sept 9th and the cutoff was Sept 1st. They would not test in Fl. The cutoff is the cutoff, period. We are now in NC where the cutoff is Oct 16th. He is a year older than most of the kids in his class. However, he is a straight A student, in AIG and very well rounded. The new cutoff date in NC for this coming school year has changed and it is end of Aug beginning of Sept sometime, I cant' remember which. So I know here you can have your child tested, my neighbor did and her daughter started early. Ask yourself this though, How old will your daughter be when she graduates? My oldest will be a senior next year and he will be 17 his whole senior year and will not turn 18 until the following Aug. My youngest will be 18 almost his enitre senior year. I think I like that better on a lot of different levels. Don't rush her! She has 13 years of public school to look forward to! LOL
W.G. answers from Nashville on May 21, 2009
I held my daughter out of school the extra year. I opted to let her be a little girl playing one more year instead of starting to be a student a year early. Every teacher I asked told me that I should hold her out because she would have one more year to mature. The teachers said it would make more of a differnce in the later years of education. She did excellent in school, 8th grade valedictorian and 4th in her High School class. I have never regretted holding her out the extra year.
Good luck to you.
T.S. answers from Nashville on May 21, 2009
Hold her back and wait until next year. Most of the kids my daughter went to school with were close to 6 by the start of kindergarten and even if your daughter would be ok academically, socially it will be better for her to wait. Find a good pre k program to keep up her skills in the mean time.
K.C. answers from Johnson City on May 21, 2009
My son just turned 5 and is very smart. He told me last August he wanted to learn to read and we've been doing Hooked on Phonics and some pre-K and K workbooks a couple times a week. Having said that, I don't plan to put him in Kindergarten this fall, though I will continue to work with him at home.
I was in big class -- 18 of us started school together and nine of us went to school together through our first 9 years. Of those 9, about half were 5 in Kindergarten and about half were 6. Those who started a year later consistently had an easier time academically than those who started earlier.
We also know a teacher who told me that by third grade, knowing nothing about a child, she can usually tell within a week what age they started school at. She said that by third grade, those who start later usually have a much easier time academically. This may be anecdotal evidence, but. ... there it is for what it's worth.
If you are worried about your daughter being bored, you might consider looking for a small, private school where she can work more at her own pace and accelerate in the classes that come easy for her. Or just look for some additional "home-school" workbooks that she can work in on her own (even at school when she's done with her other work if the teachers are OK with that). Personally, I read a LOT of good books in my "free" time at school, which instilled a lifelong love of books!
C.T. answers from Parkersburg on May 21, 2009
My birthday is Sept.4th and I was an eary enrollement. Now granted I am 25 now :) But I know she took me in and they had a test that I had to pass. And after a few minutes with me they saw it was fine to accept me. Now through the years there was many times that it was a bummer ALWAYS being the youngest kid...but I loved the thought of still being 17 when I started collage. And looking at it now if I would have had any problems I could have been held back and it would not have been that big of a deal, because I would have still been the same age as the other children. Now on the other hand my son turned 5yrs 2 weeks before school started and he was the youngest kid in his entire school. Now in alot of areas he was more than ready and new everything to get started. He had already attended 2yr old, 3yr preschool and prek so Kindergarden...just seemed like the next step. And he actually started with knowing more than the older kids in his class. But going through this with him, I have relised the other areas that sometimes hender them starting early....There are other things that sometimes show there natural imaturaty and henders them with learning. Such as focusing, with staying seated and just hearing there teacher teach. Learning to do work with self motivation and keeping on task. These are areas that my son has had troubles. He is now finishing 1st grade, and he is doing really good...BUT we all... his Father, myself, my Son, and his Teacher have all worked very Hard for this. He has never been held back. He learns everything just fine...its just learnig in a group setting and when he has to work indepentantly keeping motivated and on task. Sorry I went into it so long, but make sure you see the Pro's and Cons of it. I was great with being the young one, but my son has had to work hard. If you know this is right for your daughter take her to the school and ask them if they still do the testing, if you dont have any luck with them or they dont point you in the right dirrection go to the board of education, and they will help you!!! GOOD LUCK!!!