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Kindergarten - September 1 Cutoff Date

I have a 4 year-old girl turning 5 next September 11. According to all the information I have read on line, the cutoff date for CPS is September 1, which means she would not get to go to kindergarten until she was almost 6. Emotionally she is not ready at 4, but I think by next year she will be fine. She has gone to daycare since 3 months so is used to being away from home for the day. As far as academically, she knows all her numbers and letters, can write 3 and 4 letter words on her own and has started to read the short words as well. My fear is that if she doesn't start kindergarten for another 2 years that she is going to be advanced beyond her class mates and will become bored and will lose interest in learning and going to school.
I know there must be many parents that have already gone through this dilemma. Can you please tell me my options on what to do to keep her motivated? Is there any loop holes in the Sept 1 cutoff date that I can take? Any help/advice will be much appreciated!

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Take it from an Educator and a Sept 1st baby myself, it's no fun being the youngest. My daughter is a Nov 3 baby and I felt the same way you did, but knew I didn't have options. She excelled and loved things coming easily to her early on. Now she is in 3rd grade and has leveled out with all of the other kids, but has a great attitude about school. All the experts said that is what would happen and it did. Enjoy that extra time with her. Self confidence is key to learning.

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I think if the birthdate is within a certain time frame you can have them tested into kindergarten. Just contact the CPS Administration on North Street. They are very nice and will help in any way they can.

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My neice's b-day is Sept 13, she also missed the cut off and yes this did make her much older than some of her classmates. Honestly it was NEVER a problem for her. She is 19 now and it had no ill effects on her throughout her whole public school life. Don't look for loopholes, the date is put in place for a reason, there has to be a cutoff somewhere. She'll be fine in school, she won't be bored (unless you put the idea in her head first) because there is a lot going on and the teachers are prepared for kids at all different levels. She'll have a great time even if she is the oldest! Think positively.

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Hi A.,

Some school districts have a class specifically for children who turn 5 right at cut-off. It is between pre-K and Kindergarten. Also, you can ask the school for testing to be done. Most schools will allow the children to be tested. What they are looking for is: maturity, do they know "sight words", can they tell time on a hand clock, can they sound out all of the letters of the alphabet, can they write all the letters of the alphabet, can they recognize numbers from 1-100, can they write them and can they write their name (properly Uppercase first then all lowercase). My children go to a private school and they test the children coming into kindergarten and if a child is advanced and can complete the end of Kindergarten test, they see the 1st grade teachers, talk and test with them. Some children have been moved into 1st grade and just skip Kindergarten. Also, on the other end, if they cannot pass an entrance exam, the parents are notified that the child is not ready to come to Kindergarten. Check with your school district to see if anything like this is set up at your school. You can try for in-between class or if they have testing for advance placement when starting Kindergarten, you may not have to worry about her staying in pre-school another year and she can head straight for 1st grade. Good Luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

Take it from an Educator and a Sept 1st baby myself, it's no fun being the youngest. My daughter is a Nov 3 baby and I felt the same way you did, but knew I didn't have options. She excelled and loved things coming easily to her early on. Now she is in 3rd grade and has leveled out with all of the other kids, but has a great attitude about school. All the experts said that is what would happen and it did. Enjoy that extra time with her. Self confidence is key to learning.

1 mom found this helpful

I have experienced this situation from both ends: my Son and oldest was a late july birthday and quite short. Altho he was reading at 5 I got pressure to hold him back. I decided he would be bored out of his mind if I waited.

The next a girl born on 9/9. So she has always been one of the oldest.

This last one just started this year. He has a july birthday and again is a little guy. I really considered holding him back except he seemed so advanced in reading and writing. I actually had him tested and it turned out his language skills were already 2 grade. So I sent him.

Here is what I have learned: My daughter has done extremely well in all aspects of school. She is just above average student but her poise and maturity have made her a leader. She also has really enjoyed sports and done well at that. My oldest son is starting high school now. The age thing didn't seem to make a difference until middle school. Then I could really see that it would be an advantage for a boy not to be the smallest. Its very obvious when these kids hit puberty. So some kids get really big fast and start with the girls. Also the level of maturity to handle the increasing pressure/responsibility of school becomes an issue. I see it now in high school. If I had it to do over, I think I would have waited. As for the little guy, we'll see. Maybe we'll take him to Europe for a year before high school... (I wish)

So I think waiting is your best choice.

1 mom found this helpful

My neice's b-day is Sept 13, she also missed the cut off and yes this did make her much older than some of her classmates. Honestly it was NEVER a problem for her. She is 19 now and it had no ill effects on her throughout her whole public school life. Don't look for loopholes, the date is put in place for a reason, there has to be a cutoff somewhere. She'll be fine in school, she won't be bored (unless you put the idea in her head first) because there is a lot going on and the teachers are prepared for kids at all different levels. She'll have a great time even if she is the oldest! Think positively.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,
The school district in my area has a program where the child can be evaluated to see if they are ready to start kindergarden, but the child's birthday has to come before the middle of December. The cost, which I've heard is between $300-$400, is the parents responsibility. If your daughter is well advanced, most schools don't have a challenge program until second grade. You might have to supplement her learning somehow at home if this is true for your area.

Also, check out Montessori schools. The great thing about Montessori is that a child can progress in leaps & bounds, WITHOUT being told that they'll have to wait until they're a kindergardner to do more advanced works in the classroom. Preschoolers who are reading, will be able to read to a teacher or assistant. There are works in the classroom that challenges children in all areas, no matter where they are in their learning. My son has gone to a Montessori school since he's been 3 & now he's in third grade. He's learning a whole lot more than his cousins that are attending traditional schools. I realize with the ecomony the way it is that money can be an issue. If that's the case, check out books like Montessori at Home to get ideas to supplement her learning.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry A.- my advice is Wait- The idea that a child will be "too advanced" is silly- all kids learn and intereact in new enviroments differently- your daughter's experience being in a public school with a diverse age range will be a change for her- in addition to new friends, new teachers etc that haven't known her since 3 months. I an a SAHM and have 4 children- they all have different academic and social interactions in school and their birthdays vary from May, March and Dec. My youngest (now 2) is a September birthday and I couldn't be more thrilled. You as a parent have 6-9 waking hours a day to enrich your child's learning environment- let her have fun and learn at school at the age appropriate time. Don't talk about how "OLD" she will be, how bored she will be etc. our kids soak up our feelings like a sponge. Enjoy and celebrate your little girl- school will come before you know it and you can't get this time back!
Beth
PS I am sorry if I sound a little harsh- but all of my other daughters are in elementary school and I hear parents quite often complain of the "school not providing enough enrichment" which is code for "My child is too advanced for the norm" but when acheivement tests come out they realize their children are just like most the rest- well within the norm- not a bad place to be.

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A., I was a principal, and taught many years. It is so nice to hear all of the things your little girl can do already. She is lucky to have such a great mom! Don't worry about the cut off. It is so much better to have the oldest child in the classroom than the youngest. I could walk into the room and tell the July August vs September October kids immediately. Your child is already advanced, and will probably find school boring because they generally work with the lower group at the expense of the upper group. Sorry, but that is just a fact. My kiddo hates school because it is boring (imagine that embarrassment) even though she gets A's in the jr high. Anyway, that "older" age is an advantage when they play sports in the later years, too. It is a hard choice. If you live in Illinois, kindergarten is not even required, though the 1st grade cut off is 6 by September 1st. I just thought I'd share my observations with you. The only thing you can do is enroll her in a private school for k and 1st and then she will be accepted in 2nd at the public level. Good luck in whatever you do!

1 mom found this helpful

I think if the birthdate is within a certain time frame you can have them tested into kindergarten. Just contact the CPS Administration on North Street. They are very nice and will help in any way they can.

1 mom found this helpful

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