29 answers

Entering Kids into Kindergarten Early......

My son will be 4 the very beginning of Oct. Next year he will miss the cutoff to get into kindergarten by a month. I talked to the school the other day and asked about kids entering kindergarten early and they advised me to enroll him next year and he will go through a testing process and interview with a psychologist to see if he can do early enrollment.

Just some background on why we are set on entering him early. He already knows how to write all letters of the alphabet (in caps), he knows the sounds that all letters make, he can spell several words, he can sound out words to figure out how to spell them, he can count beyond 30, he can write most numbers, he is very articulate, I can go on and on. Our daughter was in kindergarten last year so I know what they learn and we're very confident he will do well. He would only be 4 years old for about a month of kindergarten. My mom is worried about him starting early b/c he will always hang out with older kids, I hung out with older kids and I didn't start school early so I'm not worried about that. He is very tall for his age so he won’t look like he’s the youngest of the bunch. We’re going to put him in preschool this year a couple days a week so he can be around other kids. I am a stay at home mom so he’s not with kids outside of family very often but does very well making friends at the park or other places we go. We don’t want to rush him growing up but we don’t want to keep him out of school two years, it would only be holding him back educationally. He has always been more advanced than kids his age (not meaning for that to sound like I’m bragging, it’s just the truth).

Are there any moms out there that have entered their kid(s) into kindergarten early? If so, What was the testing process like? Did your child do well in school not only in kindergarten but beyond? Please tell me your experience.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of the opinions and experiences everyone shared. We will continue with our original plan to have him tested to go into Kindergarten next year. If we lived in a different school district in our city that has a later cutoff date, he would get in without being tested. He'll turn 5 one month after school starts, it's not like he'll be a year & half younger than other kids. As far as him being mentally ready and mature, he's very mature for his age. He gets bored when he plays with kids his age. He’s a very unique kid. You would just have to know him to understand the extent of it.
My thought is if my child was in school and they tested out of their grade and was recommended to move up a grade, I would not hold my child back. There's really no difference. Also, I think not allowing you kid to go to school cause you like going to the park with him/her or because you want them to be the oldest in hopes they’ll be the smartest in class if just not right. But that’s just my opinion and of course that is what this site is all about, getting other moms point of view. Thanks again Moms! :)

Featured Answers

In Calif. the cutoff date is Dec., I believe, so my November b-day daughter didn't have to be tested in order for me to enroll her early.

She just graduated high school, and has done just fine socially and academically. She's even in the second level of calculus in her first year of college!

It sounds like you son will be ready. Really, what difference does one month make?

1 mom found this helpful

I might find that it is different if I were talking about one of my boys, but in my daughter's case, I pulled her out of school and we now use an online program and she is basically homeschooled, because at age 7 she is reading, writing and doing math at a third and even 4th grade level, depending on the subject matter. I refused to have her in a class with children that much older than she is. While it may not be an issue now what happens in junior high or high school? Just something to think about. Holding him back is NOT the answer but you need to know he's safe as well.

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I am a teacher and also come from a long line of teachers in my family. I would not recommend worrying about studying for the test. IF he is ready, then the test will show it. My school offers a pre-k class for all the young fives that missed the cut-off date. If he does not pass the test, then I would recommend finding a preschool that offers an older group, so that your son isn’t in a room with kids almost half his age. They also factor in emotional development when testing to see if a child is ready for kindergarten. A child can be ready for kindergarten mentally, but still too immature to handle the stresses of full-time school. Curriculum has changed over the years for elementary grades. The school work is much more difficult and intense than in years past. You want your child to be ready for the stress of testing, and difficult curriculum. There are younger kids that are extremely bright, but would cry most of the day at school and have a difficult time socializing with the kids in their class. As a teacher and parent, I would want my child to be the oldest kid versus the youngest. I have seen what happens to some of the youngest kids in the class. I am not saying that all of the youngest in the class have trouble, but 75% of them usually do. Your son may be in the 25% category of younger classmates that flourish and do quite well. Can your son socialize with all ages? Is he outgoing? Does he do well in situations when he is dropped off somewhere without his parents or family members? How well does he handle a situation when he cannot figure out a solution? Does he get frustrated easily? These are also factors that you need to consider when putting your child in kindergarten. His maturity level is just as important.

5 moms found this helpful

I ditto what Bobbi & Allison said.

My son tested to enter Kindergarten this year and actually tested at a first grade level academically, socially & mentally. He is 4 and can read, write, do math, knows our States and all the facts about our solar system. He is also very imaginative, can tie his own shoes and gets along great with kids younger and older than him. HOWEVER, I've decided to wait until next Fall. I love having him at home going to parks, beach, nature walks, museums, aquariums, library or just sharing an ice cream together on our front porch. He will be in school most of his life. I want to enjoy having my son at home with me as long as I can! He will start school at age 5 (almost 6) but at least he will not be the youngest, but the same age as most the boys in his class.

As a parent I will continue to nurture his brain at home by challenging him academically.

My son does sports and takes summer camps so he is getting a lot of socialization outside of the house without me.

That just my 2 cents =-)

I’m sure whatever you decide will be the best decision for you son. You know him better than anyone!!

3 moms found this helpful

Your school's cutoff must be Sept? Ours is Nov and I know alot of schools that are Nov. That means that there are alot of 4yr old starting K in our district, they just have to be 5 by Nov. I would test him and if he's ready, send him. He'll get bored with another year of PreK. My kids have summer birthdays, so both of them will graduate when they are still seventeen.

2 moms found this helpful

my daughter is 11 and missed school by only 4 days.. she is in all excellerated classes and i could have put her in early.. i'm glad i didn't.. they grow up to fast as it is. she is top of her class and one of the oldest.. i see kids that are 1 year younger struggle as they get older because of issues assoicated with acting younger, not growing as quick maturity level, falling behind, can't play sports with the kids in their class because sports goes by age not grade, ... it doesn't work as they get older... let him be top of the class next year.. my daughter was reading to her kindergarten class.. she read her first harry potter in 1st grade.. so she was tops.. but it was fine.. because she is with kids her own age.. she is not tutoring a lot of her friends in math.. it's all good.. i'm glad i didn't push her.. she did another year of pre-school and excelled .. was bored ... but when she got home we always gave her more to do and learn.. she loves learning.. good luck.. don't push him or her.. it's not worth it.. wait.. they are in school so long once they start.. give him another year to be a 4 year old..

2 moms found this helpful

We struggled with the same dilemma. We asked anybody and everybody for advice, i.e. teachers, friends in similiar situations, school personal, etc. It's a huge decision to make for a child at such an early age. It will impact them for years. The simplest and most profound advice came from a friend with a boy who had the same struggles was.... your won't see it when he's in kdg or even in 3rd grade but as they get older you will see that the younger ones (boys in particular) will be followers. The older ones will be leaders. That did it for my husband & I. My son had 2 yrs of kdg - 1 @ his pre-school and 1 at his public school. He was, and is, a smart cookie. Our school addresses those kids who are gifted, even at the younger grades. I was not worried b/c I knew they would challenge him acedemically (and they did, with a lot of my input) but when he is the older kid in the kdg class and can follow 4-part directions he was the one that was chosen to run to the office for the teacher. He was given more responsibilty and he blossomed knowing it.

My son is now in middle school and in the gifted classes. He is also in school politics and a patrol leader in his boy scout troop. In retrospect, "holding him back" was the BEST decision for us and my son. Every child is different. Go with your gut feeling and in the future you will know that you did the very best for him. We have never regretted our choice.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think he will have an issue with the school work, but is he mentally mature enough to go to school? Just because he can do all the school work you mentioned doesn't mean that he may be emotionally ready.......

So I would guess that the testing will be both school and emotions.....

Sounds like you have a done a great job with him.......take care....

2 moms found this helpful

They grow up so fast and once they're in school, that's your life -- it revolves around school. If you enjoy being with him and do interesting things with him, why the rush? It makes me sad that parents want to send their kids away so young. (I had a friend who was an early start and it was so hard for her. Although academically she did ok, she was the last one in the class to drive, etc. It's better to be the first than the last.)

2 moms found this helpful

I was THE youngest kid in my class growing up. The cutoff was Dec 1 and my birthday is Nov 30. My mom was a 1st grade teacher and she was teaching me at home and thought I was ready. I never had a problem making friends, and I had friends that spanned the grades above and below me as well. I also did very well in school, consistently making honor roll. I think that if your child is as advanced educationally as you say, get him tested if that is the rule where you live, and send him when he passes.

1 mom found this helpful

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