Can I Place My Daughter in First Grade at 5 If I Want????

Updated on June 10, 2008
T.H. asks from North Richland Hills, TX
19 answers

our daughters birthday is after the sept 1st cut off to start first grade at age 6. she'll have to wait a whole year and will be 7 when starting the first grade. my question is do i have the right to place her in first grade at age 5 when she'll be 6 in a couple of weeks after school starts????? not to sound like "one of those mothers" but she really is ahead of other kids her age and always has been. thanks.

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answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,
I realize you posted this long ago and have probably made decisions by now. None the less, I'd like to toss another option out to you. I am a licensed teacher with 13 years teaching experience. I will be opening a private school out of my home in Rowlett this fall, and hope to move to a seperate facility soon. To begin with, I will take in kids kinder through second grades. I'd love to find a core group to work with at least until high school. I have an ad under Local Business Reviews Academics k-8 with a couple reviews and one under home schooling with another review. The School for Enlightened Learning is very child centered. I offer quality education at prices lower than traditional private schools. Whatever you decide, best of luck!



answers from Houston on

I have to face that too with know 2 children... You personally cannot do that but if the school thinks that she needs to be in a different grade she will be. But more than likely they will not do that.

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answers from Dallas on

That is an interesting question and I don't know the answer for Texas schools but I do know that in Oklahoma you can not in a public school. Some of the private schools might allow it but usually only after testing.



answers from Dallas on

You might be able to but I would not do it. She might be ahead now, but things get much harder later on.

And honestly it's better to be the oldest in your grade than youngest in your grade.

Mine are 14, 15 and 17 (my son just turned 17 today!) and I can tell you many, many kids are in your daughters age range and they waited and life has turned out well for them. One of them though, didn't wait and then he was held back at 7th grade... it finally caught up with him. And after a year of home school he's back into regular school.

Keep her in Kindergarten... you can't go wrong.



answers from Dallas on

You have the right to go into your local public school and ask that your child be tested "up" to enter into 1st grade. Not always the ideal situation from the educator's perspective, BUT, if you really feel your child is emotionally able to handle it you definitely should go in and ask the school. Normally they have some sort of norm refernce test and your child has to score within a certain range to be moved ahead a grade.

Best of Luck



answers from Wichita Falls on

Has she gone to kinder yet? Although it is not required that children go to kinder in Texas just that parent's declare where they are going by age 6. Have you read any research? Because what I have read indicates that most children catch up by 3rd grade.

My dd is 4 and can read - for real - not just hop on pop, problem solve, and can do simple math. Her bday is in early Aug and we are going to hold her back. Mostly because when hormones start raging we didn't want her to be the youngest in her class. Or goto college at 17! Being older can also help with asserting your leadership abilities - in our opinion.

If your child is honestly gifted she will be tested and placed in G&T at a public school or given more challenging work at a private school. But why not let her actions in kinder set the pace for her education?



answers from San Angelo on

My little girl was five and skipped kindergarted. We really debated about putting her in the first grade, but we did and she is doing great! There were a few days at first when the kids called her "baby" but it was kind of obvious since she joined their class a week after school had started. She is about the same height as the other kids and I don't think there will be long-term effects. With your little girl only a few months behind, she should do just fine. Was she able to start Kindergarten or did you home school/private school? Will you be able to get a waiver for her to start after the cutoff? Some districts are really strict about that. Good luck and if you need any other info about 1st grade, let me know!



answers from Amarillo on

I understand what you're saying--My friend put her kid in private school his 1st year so he could go on. Most public schools will say no bc they have to draw a line somehwere. My b-day fell that way too---it is Sept. 3 (only 2 days) and they wouldn't let me go. Of course that was 24 years ago, but If they let one, they have to let everyone else. Is there a reason you are wanting her in early? I hope things work out for you the way you want. I guess all you can do is ask. Good Luck!



answers from Houston on

In Texas you can not enroll your child in first grade. I had similar problems with my son, because he is also ahead academically. We tried private schoo and it was a HUGE mistake. Public school ended up being the best thing for him in kindergarten. What I realized is that intelectually he may be ahead, but emotionally and maturity wise he is not. He needed to be with kids around his own age. He is not the only one that is a bit older than the other kids and so far it has not been a problem.

If your daughter is advanced enough the school can test her for the gifted and talented program, and that will also help if she qualifies.

Give public school a try, and research other options in case it doesn't work for you. Good luck!



answers from Houston on

Dear T.,

My state required children not 6 by Sept 1 to start the next year in kindergarden. That was the biggest mistake! My children were the oldest in their class. Then we changed states, new schools, new problems. And both my girls were held back to make up for the lack of education offered from one school to the next. Once your children reach the age of 18, they can decide to not finish school or get married, or both. You will have less control to help them finish school. By the time they start Junior High, they will be exposed to so many different new things. And you cannot always avoid other opinions or outlooks on life, but you need every advantage or opportunity to teach your children your opinion or outlook on life, without outside interference as long as possible.

If home schooling is not for you, then consider private schools.



answers from San Antonio on


My husband and I are having the same kind of predicament as you. Our son is 4. We just moved to San Antonio and put him into a learning day school. When we signed up the teacher said if she notices a child that is too advance for his age group, she will test him to see if he should belong in the next age group. Well, it happened she tested him and she put him into the 5 year old class. He is doing very well. We have a chance next year to put him into a Kindergarten class, but he will still be 4. I know the going thing is for your child to go to kindergarten at the age of 5 by Sept 1. I also have the question "Should I put my son into kindergarten next year or hold him back a year?

As a mom who has the same situation, I have feelings of wanting him to be in the next level, but in the same sense am very nervous that later on he will be held back for some reason. I feel he should stay back just so he stays with his age group, but then I don't want him to start acting up in class because he is bored.

Any advice???



answers from Dallas on

I say check with the school district administrator. Your child may need to undergo certain tests but I don't believe that it is impossible. If she has not been in any type of classroom setting, you may not want to push her to excel just yet.



answers from Dallas on

You cannot put her in public school in Texas. The cutoff is they must be 6 on Sept 1st. What you can do is put her in a private kindergarten now, if you can find one with openings (I don't think the private schools would let her in to first grade early either, but I could be wrong) and then switch her to public school in 2nd grade (you have to go to the private school at least two years if you start them early). My son was reading on his own at age 5, so he skipped kindergarten at the private school where he was and went straight into first grade. So, we could have switched him to public in 2nd, but we chose to keep him in private school to ensure that he remained challenged academically. If your daughter is bright as you think she is, then you might want to start looking into the private schools now, as she will likely be very bored in public kindergarten. And, if she's also physically active, that can often lead to really bad behavior in the classroom.



answers from Austin on

I can't really say what to do with your daughter. I can tell you though I am a "product of 1st grade at 5" my birthday is also after the "cut off" date.
I do remember some problems switching from private school to public school in 2nd grade but only because of the behavior problems of the other children in the classroom. In private school we were told if we did not behave we would not be allowed to return to school.
In public school were were told that the teacher would tell our parents most kids that acted out would say there parents didn't care, as I got older I understood that that was usally true.

I did not notice any difference in age until High School when the kids in my class were able to go to "PG" rated movies in Freshman year I couldn't go until Sophomore year. Or the kids started dating at 16 in their Sophomore year and I had to wait till my Junior year.

I will say graduating at 17 and having to wait till I was 18 to go to the "bar" with my friends was somewhat disturbing. I guess with the drinking age now being 21 that would not be a problem with High School.

I have noticed that through out my life, my friends are older than me, even now. I have liked being the "baby of the group" especially now at 43. I feel that it has been a good thing.

I feel it was better for me than being bored with school because I was academically ahead. I still made A's and B's all through school.

My parents being there and understanding me was also a big help. I feel if you have support behind you anyone can do any thing they wish.




answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't put your daughter into first grade. As a teacher and a parent I think it's a bad idea. Academically your child may be ahead, but eventually the difference socially would show up. My twins b-day is Sept. 7 and I didn't start them early. I thought of it as one more year home with me, one more year before getting in the car with friends or a boy....I would rather my kids be the first to drive.



answers from Dallas on

Our daughter is the oldest in her class, has been for both Kinder and first and it is the best thing for her. It allows her to exhibit her leadership capabilities because she is more mature than most of the other kids. She is only little once and has plenty of time to grow up and go to school-let them be young. Also, a friend of mine put it like this to us; would you rather your 15 year old be riding around in a car with her 16 year old classmates or would you rather your mature 16 year old be the one driving? What about college, do you want your 17 yr. old leaving for college or your almost 19 yr. old-it just makes me nervous to think that she may make immature choices if we pushed her ahead. NTM -they have state laws/rules for a reason.



answers from Dallas on

You can send her to a private school for first grade, then the public school will honor her placement in 2nd grade as a younger student--however, because of her age, if the public school finds her to be ill-prepared for 2nd grade (in academics or maturity), they have the right to move her back to first grade--after she has already started in the second grade.

As a teacher, I have RARELY seen problems with kids being the oldest in their classes. I would wait to start her in first grade, then just make sure her teacher is offering her enrichment activities if she is ahead of the class. Consider having her tested for the gifted program. We often see kids struggling (if not with academics, then with social issues, etc) who are young for the grade (those with summer birthdays who just barely made the cutoff) and end up really having a hard time in first and/or 2nd grade. Kindergarten and first grade are just NOTHING like when we were in school. We (state of Texas) have very high academic expectations of our young students.



answers from Dallas on

I would encourage you to look forward in her life. You have every right to ask them to evaluate her, but you should think beyond right now. Like what being the youngest will be like vs being the oldest. There is nothing wrong with letting her being ahead of classmates and giving her the confidence in life that comes with that. You say she is ahead of other kids, but how about maturity wise. You also have to realize that being ahead now and being ahead in 2 years when other kids catch up might not be the same thing. Those other children could actually even pass her and that means she would be behind of the older kids.

Personally, I wouldn't consider it until about the 2nd grade. If in 2nd grade, everything was too easy and she was getting trouble because of being bored then I would push testing her to be moved up. Being older in class has great benefits.(look ahead to getting her drivers license, dating, being 18) Our old school district actually offered a developemental 1st for younger children who werent behind but not ready for 2nd grade. Those kids were generally summer babies who were just turning 5 when kindergarten started. They evaluated them after this class and determined where they needed to be. Most were on track after that year of maturing.

If she is truly advanced she will have plenty of opportunities even in her appropriate grade to move at a faster pace. In High school most districts offer testing so that kids take more advance classes and some kids can even have at least the freshman year of credits under their belt before they graduate high school (if not even more).

I would sit back and let her have fun in kindergarten and first grade. Feel free to tell the teacher and get their input, but let her see how she grows. Kids grow at different rates ( I don't mean just physically but mentally as well) and the majority seem to catch up with each other at some point.

The faster you age them the faster they are out on their own and not your baby anymore! (that is the emotional "I don't want my kids to grow up mom" in me talking!)

Good luck



answers from Dallas on

If she has never been to school you may not want to do that even if you can. My daughter is in Kinder and ahead, but she is getting use to the whole school thing. She has all 6 yr olds in her class. She is the youngest still being 5. She will not turn 6 till the summer.

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