22 answers

Kindergarten for a 4-Year-old

I am trying to get a jump start on the next school year for my son who will be 4. I ran into the same issue when my daughter was 4 with her not being able to enter Kindergarten because she had to be 5 by Sept 1 (her bday is Sept 4). I ended up putting her in private Kindergarten for a year. I could do that then because I was single and didn't have to get anyone to agree with me to do so. Now I am married and my husband is not for spending the extra money to send our son to private Kindergarten. I wouldn't be adamant about it BUT our son is a very intelligent little guy. He is beginning to read, grasps the concept of addition and subtraction and has a very extensive vocabulary and is inquisitive to no end. I don't think it's in his best interest to stay in a pre-k program for another year. Does anyone know a reputible, hopefully low cost school, private or public that will accept a four year old Kindergartener? We live in Lewisville around Fox and Garden Ridge. While I'm on the subject Texas law regarding age is completely absurd to me. Texas will fail kids for passing classes all year long and failing one standarized test but doesn't have the sense to test children INto school. How ridiculous I should have to scrounge around for a school to accept my children. Some 5-year-olds are ready for school and some are not. Why shouldn't my children be given the opportunity to be educated when they are ready even if they are only 4? No child left behind? I don't think so.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for their reply. Let me start off by saying I was very upset when I wrote this request partially because of reliving the situation with my daughter. I agree that kids should be able to be kids as long as possible but I am also a very big advocate for education. I waited until I had my kids to get serious about it and I know how it has cost me. With that being said, I do allow my kids to be kids. They are constantly learning and being taught without even knowing it. They learn through games we play, when we go for walks, when we watch tv, driving in the car etc. I don't make them whip out books and pencil and get on the grind as soon as they get home.
I think also I may be a stickler because I have worked for Denton ISD for the past 6 years and although I didn't work directly in the classroom, I still see what happens to some kids who are not motivated and whose parents do not push them to their full potential. On the other hand, as the secretary for the EXPO program, I also see what happens when kids are pushed to reach their potential. I just want what is best for my kids. I want them to be as well rounded and educated as possible so that when they grow up, they can confident and independent leaders and entrepreneurs, not making money for other people.

Again thanks for the replies.

Featured Answers

What's the rush? He's just a babe! He will be in school all day for MANY years to come. Enjoy the precious time you have with him now and just continue fun filled learning at home or preschool for now.

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Ok...I agree with not pushing them ahead. I have 2 girls and the younger one turned 6 the end of August and I waited, and yes only 3 weeks into school, I am so happy I waited.

Anyways, you asked about a preschool program...right around the corner from you at Garden Ridge Church of Christ they have a GREAT! preschool program. It is called Lewisville Christian School. The younger one went there last year to their pre-k program, it was m-f from 9-1, and she loved it and flourished. She was so ready for kindergarten. They also have a private kindergarten that is a really good program as well. As for price, last year for the month for pre-k it was about $235, so it might be $5-$10 more this year.

Good Luck!

I don't know of any that do, but I just thought I'd give my two cents from my sister's experience. My niece had a September birthday as well and was very intelligent and more than ready to start school at 4 years old, so my sister enrolled her in private K. Academically, she's done very well. However, she started high school this year. It has been very hard for her socially being more immature than the other kids and she's had a hard time making friends. Something that really wasn't a problem until the middle school years. Now, on top of all that, she's so much smaller than the other kids in her school which has caused her some self esteem problems. She's a naturally smaller person anyway, but compounded with being a year younger than most of her classmates, it makes it worse. My sister now says she wishes she'd given her that extra year, even though academically, she's had no problems at all. I just thought it might be something to consider, especially having a boy. I would think in the high school years, it'd be even harder for a boy to be the smallest one in the class and might make sports tough as well if he decides to play. Just something to consider! Try to think more in the long range plans instead of just the here and now. Good luck in whatever you decide.

I would check into CCDC (Christian Community Developmental Center). It is located on 1171 with the First United Methodist Church. I have two children that attend there. It has been a wonderful program for us. Good luck.

I understand your position. I am a September baby and so are my children. I never regreted that my parents held me back. My twin brother and I got to do everything first. However, when my 3rd grader was almost 5 years old, everyone was telling me how smart she is and that she should start kindergarten that year. I finally started looking into it seriously and talking to multiple friends. I finally spoke to a friend of mine who has an August Birthday and is a Kindergarten teacher. She agreed with everyone about Hannah's intelligence and even felt like she was mature enough to handle school, but then she started asking me questions.
1. Do you really want Hannah in High School at barely 14 with a child that could be 19 years old.
2. Do you want her going to camp and other activities before she is really ready for them.
3. Do you want her to be the last of her friends to drive, to date, and to develope.
Children are very cruel these days and I want to give my children a fighting chance and a leg up. With those things in mind, I chose not to start her early. I feel as if this was the best decission for her and for my twins who will turn 6 this month and have just started kindergarten. My son was not mature enough to be in kindergarten last year and sometimes I question his readiness this year. Where his twin sister would be excelling in 1st grade, but I did not want her to face the above issues either.

We have chosen a new school for all 3 children this year. It is called the Education Center. It is located in Lewisville off of Edmonds and Fox. It is a small charter school in LISD that goes from K - 12. The classrooms are smaller than the average school and it operates on a self pace program (like home schooling). My oldest daughter is excelling. They allow her to work at her own pace. If she finishes the required work for 3rd grade prior to school ending, then she will be able to start the 4th grade courses at that time. K and 1st are run like the regular classes (in LISD), but I believe there is still room for them to excel.

I do not believe that they would be able to take your son next year, since they are a public school. However, it might be something for you to consider the following year. I would look into the mothers day out programs and home schooling for next year.

He's already smart so starting K on time (as opposed to early) isn't going to change that. Missing out (even though he really wouldn't be) on one year of school is not going to negatively affect his intelligence. Have you thought about home schooling (or perhaps un-schooling) a bit during this time?

My parents put me in a year ahead (I have a Jan b-day, was tall, smart & could read). Really, it was a big mistake in retrospect. Yeah I did ok academically, but there was definately a difference I felt. I would have done just as well in school had they waited a year. I think someone else said it best -- the early years are for socialization. It's better to be with your peers. I think this is especially true for boys who just don't mature as quickly as girls.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

What's the rush? He's just a babe! He will be in school all day for MANY years to come. Enjoy the precious time you have with him now and just continue fun filled learning at home or preschool for now.

I have not had time to read your other responses so you may have received this one already. But I think it is far worse to start a child late in school than to start one early. While he may be intetellectually ready in your opinion, he may not be emotionally ready. Don't push it.

And Texas is really quite generous with their September 1 date in my opinion. We were living in Indiana when my daughter was in school and in that state the child must be 5 by June 1 to start kindergarten.

Lewisville Christian School is a great school in your area. I don't know if they would accept a 4 year old in the kindergarten program but it would be worth a call. My daughter attended there from pre-school through kindergarten and we had a great experience.

I am a former teacher, and unfortunately S. there has to be a cut-off somewhere. I know many moms who will even hold back kids until they are six before going to Kindergarten. When I was in school they would promote you if you were advanced, but I don't think they do it anymore. There will always be kids in every grade that are advanced and some that are not. Some kids are very bright, but are behind socially,and that can even be worse. The public school system is not perfect, but its better than most people in the world have. I would try a kindergarten program through a church or one that meets a few days a week to cut costs. Since your child is smart, they will do fine next year whether they go to kinder or not. I know First Baptist Denton has a kinder program, but it might be a little late. Also Calvary at Denton Bible might..I don't know? Best Wishes, A.

Hey S., I read all the other responses, but I still see where you are coming from. My son is almost 3 and extremely bright, so I will probably be in your same situation when teh time comes. I understand the maturity factor everyone is mentioning. However, personally I grew up in England, where school typically starts at age 4, and I saw no issues with it there. Not sure why the difference. Only you know your son, so if you are absolutely sure he is ready, then I agree he is ready. No one else knows your child. With that said, my suggestion is homeschooling the Kinder year at age 4. You have obviously done a good job so far, so keep it up! You may even want to homeschool 1st grade and only then can you ask your son be tested to see if he can go into 2nd grade, or at least a gifted program in 1st. I think this will be my plan. Congrats on raising a smart boy. I think we shoudl all expect a lot from our kids, but we should also remember to let them be kids. It can be a fine line to walk. Good luck.

Speaking from experience, I started my oldest (now 13) in school early. He was in private school from PreK to 1st grade. He was a year ahead of his peers and while he was EXTREMELY bright and learned everything at a fast pace, his maturity level as he got older started to show in the class.

When he was in 5th grade, we thought about holding him back but didn't. In 6th grade, he didn't pass. His immaturity affected his grades even though he could do the work.

Let him enjoy being 4 and not rush him. Boys are MUCH different from girls.


I agree, I wouldn't push a boy ahead early because of the maturity factors. I have a 3 and a half year old boy who is almost reading and writing, is great at math, and loves learning. However, his maturity and behavior keeps me from putting him in a classroom setting. I am going to homeschool him until I believe he is ready for a classroom. I am a teacher and have seen what our schools have done to our boys. So many more boys are medicated for just being boys. They end up labeled when boys just don't mature as fast as girls and are much more active. I have a little girl and the differences are amazing. She is 8 months old and already shows more paitence and ability to sit than my son did at that age.

I wish that our schools didn't segregate by age, but by ability. It would actually be better socially for our children as they would learn to interact with people of all ages. Right now we are telling them that they should only be with people of their own age. These should be your friends. I mean we don't even let the ages eat or play together. They don't learn to communicate with anyone but their friends. They don't learn to see things from other peoples perspective, because they aren't around people with many different problems than their own. Yes, this isn't as evident until the teenage years. However, we have created generations of people who care more about being cool than being kind... Just walk through the malls on the weekends.

I know this doesn't apply to every child. There are exceptions. However, just listen to the tone of all the other posts. Isn't it sad that we have to say don't let your child advance academically at their own pace, because it will create problems when they are in middle school. Just 150 years ago people went straight from 8th grade to college. Sure science and math have advanced since then. But we've all seen that email with the 1850 or so 8th grade graduation test. NONE of us could pass that test today. What does that say about the one room schoolhouse vs. our age segregated schools today?

Well, I agree completetly with the rest. Why not let him enjoy his early years. Work with him at home, and use school time for socialization. Once he gets into Kindergarten, perhaps he can join an accelarated program. I know many friends in your situation. They have ot regreted their choice to just let their kid be a kid. So, think it over. I know DKH Academy in Highland Village has a Jr Kindergarten. You might want to check it out. They may not have room. And, I am not sure if they would place him in a kindergarten class. Academics are not everything. My daughter is ahead of the bunch because she did private kindergarten. She is having a great time in 1st grade. She is loving it. She is being a kid!

1. I used to live in Lewisville and my son went to a private Day Care called Children's Choice. It is right next to the Lewisville Hospital... very close to you (I used to live on Pebblebrook off of Bellaire). A friend whose son is 2 years older than my son turned 5 inJuly so they choose to keep him back. A very smart boy but also very much a summer baby even though he made the cut-off his parents,and I agree, made an excellent decision- did his first year of kindergarten @ Children's Choice. His second year was at LISD in The Colony and the mother says that e did wonderfully and was ready and prepared.
2. My son won't turn 5 until October 6th, so he too missed the cutoff date. I choose to homeschool him (I am have taught PreSchool & Kindergarten in New Jersey & 5th grade & kindergarten in LISD) After experiencing the schools in NJ, Massachusettes, and Texas- as a teacher, a parent, & student, this is the best decison for us.
3. As a former K teacher I have alot of young smart children. However they were very immature. This is the only thing that is in the minds of 'the powers that be' who choose these cutoff dates. Standing in line, acting silly, behavior control, being away from mommy, and most importantly self care are just some of the things taken into consideration. I have had students who did not know a single letter of the alphabet, how to count to ten, or hold scissors prperly but because they were mature enough rapidly caught up with their peers. I am not saying your son is not mature, just shedding some light that kindergarten is mostly maturity and not academic knowledge.

You may want to rethink sending him. I have 1 daughter & 5 sons, so I have sent plenty of kids to school. It's ok if the girls are young, but here in TX so many boys are redshirted that you may find most boys in his class to be 6. At 4-6 yr old age it is of no importance, but by middle school, being up to 2 years younger may really bother your son, especially if he likes sports. Just to let you know, I have 1 girl & 1 boy with Sept birthdays. The girl is ahead, I waited to send the boy to school til he was 5, despite the fact he could read and add & subtract.

Sorry to be negative but I see the interactions my older kids have & I would NOT recommend sending him early. If you really want to, contact TWU since they have a pretty neat preschool that may also be a kindergarten.

I completely disagree about a four year old in K. There has to be a cut off somewhere and personally I think they should move the cutoff date to August 1 or even July 1st. Most kids are just not ready for K until after they turn 5 and some not then. When you do become a teacher you will certainly change your mind about testing kids into school at 4 because teachers and schools lack the time and funding as it is. They certainly don't need more testing. I am a mom to a four year old boy and a former elementary school teacher of 7 years. Good luck towards your degree in teaching!

Hi S.,
I taught middle school for a number of years, and we saw what the other moms have written about all of the time- the young boys (and some girls) could just not get it together- they could not find papers or they would have trouble with a locker.
I felt so bad for the kids because they were smart, but just much younger than the other kids.
Please consider allowing your son to be the oldest in his class- kids have to take on so much responsibility- let him be a kid for that extra year.

The early years are far more about socialization, getting used to the school environment than it is about getting educated. My younger son has a mensa IQ but we delayed his start (he is an August birthday) and have no regrets. For boys (and especially a younger child) that extra year early on is invaluable. I have yet to meet a mother that regrets holding her child back (or just following the guidelines in your situation), however, I have met many that have regretted accelerating their child's education early on (even when they met the age requirement).

You have to consider he would be the youngest (and possibly smallest) in his class, which from a social perspective can be very negative in the long run, especially for boys. When he's 14, there could well be 16 year olds in his class (many, many parents in Texas hold boys back to get an advantage in sports).

I agree with the last response. It's more than just the academics, it's also social skills that you need to think about. I was a prescool teacher before staying at home with my son. I taught the 4 yr. old class. Through the school year, several kids turned 5, but I still had some younger 4's. There is a big difference in the social behavior and skills in that small age difference. Just something to consider...

Have you thought about any local Montessori schools? Montessori Episcopal School and Flower Mound Montessori are very good schools. Montessori schools have mixed age groups (3 to 6 years old) rather than segregating according to age. The older ones teach the younger ones and the younger ones absorb so much from the older children. Even if your son is not admitted to public school kindergarten, he would still be around older children this year in a Montessori environment.

S., as far as I know, there is a test for this. You can also test him out of Kindergarten altogether, and he will go on to 1st grade next year.

I ran into the same situation with my daughter, whose bday is September 19th. Every state has a different cutoff date, and had we stayed in Louisiana, she'd be a year ahead in school.

However, waiting is a GOOD thing. She is the oldest in her class and the most mature. She is also in the EXPO program, which gives her an extra challenge each day, although she hates missing anything in the classroom.

As for as your son goes, he'll be the first one to drive and meet all of those milestones. He'll also be more mature and maybe bigger and more able in sports than some of his younger classmates. There are pros and cons to it all-- just weigh the pros as well.

It has been good for us-- but I am one to not want my kids to grow up too fast. But, there is a big difference between my 3rd grader (who is the youngest in her class) and my 1st grader (oldest in her class). Being older is to the child's advantage!

Good luck!

I have 2 boys 6 and 10 and they were both born in July. I chose to hold them back because I have sisters that teach middle school and they told me that 6-8th grade is when the "maturity factor" is very evident. I volunteer in my sons's school everyday and the little 5 year olds are overwhelmed with all that is expected of them.

There are many reasonably priced pre-schools in the Lewisville area (my children attended Lamb of God) that have great 4 and 5 year programs. I always asked the pre-school teacher what she thought at the end of the year. Remember, it is not what they know these days but how they handle the social aspect of school. A school day for a kindergarten student is from 8-3 everyday with no naps.

Go to the Texas State Education website and you will find over 100 items listed for "Kindergarten Readiness". There is more pressure and more expected of them than when we were children.

Good Luck!

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