Five Year Old and First Grade

Updated on August 04, 2011
L.C. asks from Euless, TX
15 answers

My son's birthday is on Sept 3. He is currently in private Kindergarten and tested at a 6 1/2yo level in his first grade readiness test. Here is my appears that he cannot get into first grade at a private school because he misses the cut off by 2 days. After my internet research, it looks like he would have to go thru extensive testing in order to place out of Kindergarten and I am not willing to do that to a 5 year old. Our other option is private school and he has already been accepted to Clariden. But, we want to make sure we have exhausted all of our public school options before we commit. We are planning on moving, so location is not an issue, but we would like to stay in the Grapevine, Flower Mound, Roanoke area. Does anyone know of a way around this? I already know there are differing opinions regarding whether boys need to be held back a year, so please don't get bogged down by that issue. Thanks!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Sometimes it's just the law. And remember that he needs to be socially and emotionally ready as well. I'd wait the extra year. My .02.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I say don't rush it. At this point he is smart enough. It doesn't mean it will always be that way. It may, and it may not.

He may not be emotionally or socially ready now either. Plus, graduating early will make him have to grow up earlier.

My friend sent her youngest son early. He (17 now) has told her (as he is struggling in school) he wishes she didn't.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think it's nice he tested older and seems to be ready for 1st grade. How fun to have such an intelligent child.

I look at the long term effects of stuff like this. The biggest draw back of kids being in grades they are not old enough for is that they are 16 turning 17 their senior. Barely old enough to date and getting out of high school, hopefully going off to college, all before they are legally an adult.

I would much rather have a child who was in class with kids their age, be 6 turning 7 in first grade and so forth so they can be 17 turning 18 their senior year. He will have a much easier time making good grades because his brain will be more mature and ready.

But in the long run you are his parents. If you truly want him in first grade this Fall then go for it. If he fails he can stay back and be with kids his age. If he succeeds he will be just fine.

Just an after thought. If you do get him in private school in a grade ahead then have to move to another area due to work or something he will have to go in the grade he is the proper age for. It would be really hard if he was in 3rd or 4th grade and had to go back to 2nd or 3rd then.



answers from Dallas on

We have the same situation with my youngest child. She was born on Sept. 2. She is not yet 2, so we have a while until we deal with schooling. But, I have already talked to lots of friends about this. Most parents that I've talked to favor keeping them in the lower grade, for all of the reasons listed by others (I even have a friend who started her child early, then had to hold him back in 2nd grade). I think that it probably doesn't matter too much to kids themselves until they turn 16, then at that point they would rather be the first to drive rather than the last. My sister-in-law also shared with me that she was able to easily skip a grade in high school by taking one and a half extra courses through a college program. So, I figure if my daughter seems way more advanced than her preschool classmates, maybe we'll do private K and first, otherwise we'll probably let her decide and try to skip a grade later if she wants.

Anyway, if you and your child's teachers agree that he should be in first instead of K, then you'd know best! Good luck on your decision!



answers from Honolulu on

Emotional and social maturity is more important.

Bear in mind, in many States, Kindergarten is not 'mandatory.'
IF a child is entering school at say 6 years old, some elementary schools will put the child into 1st grade. PER their age.
Unless, the parent requests, that their child enter Kindergarten, at that age.

So you need to check with the school. Because each school (public) has different entry policies.

Boys do not 'need' to be held back a year. Necessarily.
It is per their emotional and social maturity.

You can also check online for "Kindergarten Readiness" checklists.
Google search it.

Each school, also has differing curriculums, too.
So comparing schools, can be hard.

What is best for your child, is the thing to go by.
And also knowing a schools policies.

My friend has a son that is very advanced. She kept him in the grade level per his age and maturity. So he did not enter school at a higher grade. She knew him and what was best for him, per his maturity. Although very bright, he was still not as mature.



answers from Topeka on

He is in Private Kindergarten already so why can't he attend the first grade in a private school? I guess i don't get it,just because he misses it by 2 days how is he in kindergarten now then



answers from Detroit on

Hi there. I am a Director of a school where we offer a Private Kinder and 1st to get around this very issue. In the state of Texas there are no age requirements going into 2nd grade but there are for Kinder and First. Each district handles it differently. Keller ISD allows children to be tested as does Birdville ISD but the tests are very difficult. We are very fortuntate in that our teacher teaches her class at these required levels. As long as the child went to a private school or was homeschooled and has records to prove it they can enter 2nd grade at any age. I hope this helps a little!



answers from Dallas on

My daughter is A Sept 15 baby. We live in Flower Mound and I asked alot of questions and did alot of research. I have an older child so I knew the office staff and teachers pretty well. I picked there brains and with the exception of all the testing there isnt another way around it. So then I thought well we can do Private kinder and then start first grade at public. Nope that didnt work either. You have to be 6 by Sept 1 to enter 1st grade regardless if youve had kindergarten or not.

So I chose to do Private preK and then started her in Kinder this year. Two weeks after school started she turned 6.

Honestly it has been great. Shes a little more mature than the other kids so she is able to sit and focus and learn better. Shes picking up reading and doing great. I have now decided I would rather the classes come easier for her than her have to struggle. Also her being of the oldest rather than of the youngest in her grade is helping socially. Shes a leader and not a follower.

Good Luck.


answers from Dover on

Are you saying he will be turning 5 on Sept 3? If so, hear he would miss the cut off for Kindergarten but since he had already completed Kindergarten and tested high enough would be able to transfer to public school. Many parents here will do private k and then transfer to public 1st grade...the age cut off would no longer be an issue.



answers from Kansas City on

I don't think the extensive testing is worth it. Yes he'll be a bit older in the class, but honestly, I think it's fine. There are lots of kids, girl and boys, who are almost 6 when they start K. If you have the money and like the private school better, then yes, it's an option but don't rule out public school becaue of their rules.



answers from Dallas on

The minimum ages for K and 1st grade in Texas are set by state law and are consistant across every district.

Starting in second grade, public schools will take testing and previous school experience into consideration when placing a child in school, but in K and 1st they go by age alone.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter also missed the cut off date and was ready for kindergarten. We looked at all the options available. We live in Coppell and have an awesome school system. I was worried about her being bored since she is one of the oldest kid in school but recently they did testing and realized that my daughter was ahead of her class. She is now in the challenge program which we love. If your school has a challenge program than I would not worry about him missing the cut off date as they will work with his needs.



answers from Dallas on

my understanding is that it's a very difficult process statewide to move them ahead a grade, and considering the "trend" of holding kids back until they're nearly 7 to start kindergarten, i'm not sure it would be to his advantage to push that issue in a public school environment. i think your only options are private first grade or public kinder. good luck and congrats on such a smart kid!



answers from Dallas on

As a person who graduated from high school at 16, I want to share with you that I ended up taking a few years off before I finished college. While academically it's easy to keep up with the kids ahead of you, socially it's harder. Once I got to college, it was very difficult socialize since I wasn't legally old enough to do things most 18-year-olds could. I went back at the age-appropriate time, but it would've been just as easy to stay out of school.

That said, find an academically challenging program for your son. Check out some of the charter schools known for academic rigor (Uplift schools, Harmony schools, etc.)--they are free and have excellent reputations. Since the schools and classes are smaller, there is better opportunity for your son to be challenged.

Best of luck! This is a great opportunity your son has!



answers from Dallas on

The law in the state of texas is you have to be 6 by Sept 1 to start first grade. I would consider private 1st grade. My son is in a smiliar boat but his bday is August 21 and will be 5 this year. We are doing Private Kinder in the fall.

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