33 answers

When to Go to Kindergarten - Enroll Before She's 5? - Littleton,CO

My daughter will miss the Oct 1 cut off date for Kindergarten by three weeks. She is only three now, but I am thinking about when she should go to Kindergarten. I was a "young" student - young for my grade. I did well academically, but socially struggled a bit from time to time. Therefore, I originally planned that I would her go with the established schedule - meaning she would turn 6 her first month of kindergarten, and be "older" for her grade. However, I am now wondering if that is the right decision. She goes part time to daycare/preschool now and does really well academically and socially. She seems bright to me (as I know all of our kids to to us!)and thrives in a structured environment. Maybe it would be best to get her into Kindergarten a little early? Anyone who has experience or advice on how to make this decision would be much appreciated!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I did learn by calling JeffCO schools that the October 1 date is not negotiable. SO... there is no such thing in the public system as putting your child in "early" for Kindergarten. My new plan is to visit schools as the time gets closer to see which is the best fit for her - maybe a philosophy that will teach children within the class at different levels and a teacher that will be willing to give her a bit more challenge within the current curriculum - if that exists! Thank you all for your insight. Take Good Care.

Featured Answers

Personally, I never heard anyone wish that they didn't hold their kid back. Despite how she is now, I think the more challenges would come later on, in junior high and high school. But, that's just me. It's a tough decision.

Good luck!

p.s. She'd get her license sooner than her friends, which she would probably love! (I was one of the last ones...)

I was young for my grade - when I graduated highschool I was still 17 until the end of the summer. I never even noticed that I was young for my grade - it never affected me academically and I thought it was pretty awesome that I got done with school sooner instead of later. I would always think it was funny when I met people who were a grade behind me but were actually older than me. If I were you, I would say GO FOR IT and let her try out school! If she lags behind you can always hold her back with no harm done! :-) Good luck!

I know several people that started their kids early and only one thought it was the best idea for her kids. They all felt it was too soon when it came down to it. I say play it safe and send her when she is older. The best thing that can come of it is she will be ahead socially and academically, what a confidence booster that would be for her!

Good luck and don't cry too much on her first day of Kindergarten. = )

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Hi D.:
I have a son who has a late Oct birthday and he went as a 6yr old for the most part. I have another son who has a July birthday and he is going as a young 5. I have seen alot of birthdays is my sons kindergarden class, but they are all 5 before the deadline or mostly 6's. If the schools have a deadline then I think that you have to follow that. You can hold them back for 6, but I do not believe you can start them ahead. I think. If she is in Preschool then Let her enjoy that fun time. My son did headstart as a 5 yr old and it was great for him. They also learned alot, but at the same time had more field trips and outside play. I wish you the best. I struggled with sending my 5 yr old this year but he is doing well.

Our little guy was also young. Now he's 2 years younger than some of the kids in his class. It's a struggle, but we're glad we did it. We're now looking at some of the other options, such as charter schools that let you work ahead in the subjects of interest, etc. Even though he's so young, our son is still bored most of the time with school. I can't image if we had put him in at the "right" time. GL! I know it's a tough decision.

D.:

I've been wondering the same for my daughter. I turned 5 in the beginning of Kindergarten. I did well academically. I was a "late bloomer" which made me self-conscious, but didn't really seem to be a factor in my social skills development. Researchers say that on average, girls are better off being late bloomers than early bloomers. On average, boys are the opposite: better off being early bloomers than late bloomers.

I'll be interested to see what others think.

D.- I was in the same exact situation this year. My son just turned 5 the end of September. I was worried that he was too young to go to Kindergarten, but with the cut off date, I was told I could not re-enroll him in Douglas county pre-schools if he's 5 by Oct 15th. I could go to a preschool outside the county, but after talking to his pre-school teachers, they thought he would do just fine in Kindergarten. Being young, and a boy, I was hesitant, but I'm really glad that I did it. (He only did 1 year of preschool) He is keeping up just fine academically and doing great socially. My daughter is now in 4th grade and she was born the end of August and is currently the youngest in class. She's very bright and I'm really glad that I didn't hold her back. (She would've been bored if I held her back)

I just let my son's teacher know my concerns, and if I need to re-evaluate next year, then I'm more than happy to do that. You know your child, so go with what you think would be good for her.

I say, go ahead and put her in. The cut off is silly, especially if you only miss it by a few weeks. In several other states (ie California) children are enrolled in school based on the calendar year NOT some silly academic year. For instance, all children born in 2005 will enter Kindergarten in the fall of 2010.

I disagree that Kindergarten is "a lot different than preschool." I have a preschooler and a kindergartener right now. Guess what? They are learning the exact same things. Kindergarten is technically optional in the state of Utah anyway.

Also, with the whole "no child left behind" plan, the curriculum in all of the grades has been geared way back. We used to learn multiplication and cursive at the beginning of 2nd grade. Now, children do not learn either of those concepts until 3rd grade.

Listen, we are struggling with one possible outcome of this problem here. Our son has an October birthday. At the time we wanted to have him go to Kindergarten he obviously "missed the deadline." We didn't know all of the other options (like private Kindergarten, etc) so he ended up suffering with boredom through 3 years of school. Yes, you can do extra homework projects with them, but when they have to sit and right letters and words over and over again in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade (the "boring & tedious" homework) they are in no mood to do your extra "stimulating" homework. They are practically bleary eyed from the tedious stuff that gets sent home already.

This year, we ended up skipping him a grade. He went from 2nd grade to 4th grade. THAT has been a challenge. It is much harder to have to do it later on. Third grade is not a grade I would recommend skipping.

My guess is that if your child has even average intelligence (and she sounds like she is actually above average) she can definitely handle kindergarten next year.

It is much harder to have to skip her later on. If you do end up waiting and down the line you end up skipping, I would recommend skipping 2nd grade. It is the most useless grade--It is basically a repeat of Kindergarten and 1st. We have been through 2nd grade with two of our kids already (within the last 3 years) and both of them nearly died from boredom.

Good luck with your choice. The most important thing to remember is this: While we clearly all have an opinion on this subject, it ultimately is YOUR choice. If you decide to wait, great. If you decide to put her in, that is great, too. YOU know what is best for your child. Don't let anybody make you feel bad about the decision that you make because they cannot possibly know your child as well as you do.

I was in the same boat with my daughter (our cutoff is Sep 1 her birthday is Sep 21). Because I was among the youngest in my great and did great academically I thought that she should be able to go that year early (in Utah, though, they are very unyielding in public schools. I actaully thought about having her go to private school for just this purpose)

But, I talked to her preschool teacher near the end of the year before turned 5 (so the 'early year') and the teacher suggested we go ahead and wait. I thought she did well in the school environment but the teacher told me that she was still somewhat immature and would probably do better a bit older. So we waited and had her do another year of preschool. I'm so glad we did. She was emotionally immature and "real" school is different from preschool, especially a daycare/preschool (I've had kids in both). She needed that extra year, and as among the oldest in her class her immaturity hasn't stood out as much as if she was a full year younger than some of the students. She is in 5th grade now and is still adequately challenged. And in high school, she won't be the last in her group to date, learn to drive, etc.

Before my daughter went into school, I would never have said wait. Now, I think it may be a good idea. (On the other hand, my son's birthday is in June, and a lot of moms are having their little boys with summer birthdays wait, but I didn't. He's doing fine too, but sometimes those few months can make a difference)

I don't have any great advice except talk to her preschool teacher. Get her/his honest opinion about whether your daughter is really ready for kindergarten. With the 'no child left behind' she will always be passed from grade to grade, even if she is not ready. She can always do another year of preschool.
I am a Nov birthday and therefore was always old for my class, I am shy by nature so have always struggled socially. I really think this is a decision for you. Think about the future too. Will all of the girls mature before her? Will they all be driving way sooner than her? Will age become a factor down the educational road?

Good luck. Once you make your decision, try not to second guess yourself too much!

I was young for my grade - when I graduated highschool I was still 17 until the end of the summer. I never even noticed that I was young for my grade - it never affected me academically and I thought it was pretty awesome that I got done with school sooner instead of later. I would always think it was funny when I met people who were a grade behind me but were actually older than me. If I were you, I would say GO FOR IT and let her try out school! If she lags behind you can always hold her back with no harm done! :-) Good luck!

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