K Or Pre-K

Updated on May 28, 2011
J.F. asks from Doylestown, PA
11 answers

My daughter will be 5 Sept 3rd and I'm not sure which program to put her in. Some of the schools have a cut off of Sept 15 around here and some have Sept 1st. The one catholic school we were looking at would put her in K b/c the pre-K program is full and I'm not sure if thats the best option. She knows her letters, numbers, can write all of her letters and numbers, and can write a good amount of words, and can so addition and subtraction, and simple times tables....I think shes ready mentally but I don't want her to struggle in later years or socially. What would you do? I was hoping they had a pre-1st so we could do K then pre-1st so she wouldn't be repeating Pre-K again but they don't offer pre-1st so its either repeat pre-k again at the schools shes at or do K??
I should mention I have an October birthday and finished school at 17 and was still bored at school, and had no issues about being younger or 17 for paperwork for college,or getting a job ...it never even occured to me everyone was almost a year older...

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answers from Kansas City on

My son's birthday is July 21. He is still 5 and J. finished Kindergarten. I really felt he was ready, but has some hesitations because of his age. I put him in K (with the blessings from his Pre-K teacher) and he did GREAT! I also felt if he was going to do an extra year, I'd rather him do an extra year of Kindergarten than Pre-K. I would send her forward and see how she does. She can always do an extra year of kindergarten.

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answers from Los Angeles on

She's ready academically, so I would say put her in kindergarten. I was like you, started school at 4 with an October birthday, graduated when I was 17, started college that fall, and I was fine the whole time. The fact I was younger wasn't a problem for M. at all. My mom said she decided to enroll M. a year early because I was ready for school, I was very excited about it, and kept bugging her about when I would start school. It never even occurred to M. that I was younger than everyone else, had friends like everyone else, etc. If she seems ready, then I say go for kindergarten.

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answers from Miami on

Put her into the grade that the school you are choosing suggests. If you need to hold her back later than you can do so. The cut off dates are arbitrary. I'm 39 - with a 9/13 bday. I started kindergarten at age 4, was 17 when I graduated, and when I started college. No problem. The cut off at the time in my state was November 30th! She sounds academically ready! Plus, you know from your own experience that these dates are ridiculous. I think you know the answer in your own heart.

Good luck! C.

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answers from Albany on

Wow, most the things you mention my kids didn't even start til 1st grade! And yet you think she might need Pre-School?

Really it shouldn't be so much about what she KNOWS, it should be about what she's ready to LEARN.

Both my boys have fall b-days and started kindergarten at 4 (this was the mid 90s of course). The oldest J. finished his first year of college with a 3.83, on merit scholarships (and yes he was 17 went he went away), the next is a junior in HS in mostly AP classes. So for US anyway, the wait a year theory didn't apply.

I WILL say however, now I wish I had them both HOME another year, tehehe, and really, what's the big rush?


But yeah, if she's writing FULL words, and doing ADDITION and SUBTRACTION, I can't see the point of another year of pre-k

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answers from Denver on

My daughter is in a similar situation... I am keeping her with her class (misses the cutoff by 3 weeks) because I have to (state law).. AND I want to. She will have plenty of time to grow up. I would rather give her another year of emotional and social development and not rush her childhood. She's bright (don't we all say that... ) and if she gets "bored" we'll take on some piano lessons etc... I've talked with many teachers and they all recommend not pushing forward too fast... Good luck!

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answers from Phoenix on

She'll be bored to death in Pre-K. I would put her in the Kindergarten program, personally. It's not as if she's 4 months past the cut off.



answers from Philadelphia on

It's truly a personal decision. Sounds like academically she would do well. You need to see if she's mature at her age and socializes well right now. Unless there's an extreme case, I'd let her go to Kindergarten. I too was a fall baby, born September 14 and graduated at 17. For M., it would have been better to start a year later as my maturity level compared to the other kids was lower. I was not ready to be cut loose to the world at 17. I held my triplets back a year because of this. They have an October 7 birthday and the cut off date last year for K was Oct 1. They offered to test but after thinking about it, for my three it was better to wait. They were not well socialized as we were limited to going out being there were three of them and hardly for M. to go out with them, plus one of them was a bit lagging academically. Still is. Plus the idea of them graduating at 18 rather than 17 was appealing as well. I think they need that extra year. But every child is different. I know two of my triplets would be doing well today if they were in 1st grade but emotionally not so much.

I wouldn't over stress it. If she is really lacking socially in kindergarten you can request to do kindergarten again as kindergarten is not mandatory. 1st grade and up is.

My husband was held back in 1st grade because he talked so much he couldn't get any work done. He graduated at 18 and was a September baby. He feels it didn't affect him at all. His sister was held back as well in 1st grade two years earlier because she wouldn't say a word which affected her school work. She graduated at 18 and feels it was good for her. Both couldn't imagine being cut loose to the world a year earlier than they were, but this was for them. My best friend in school was 17 when we graduated as our birthdays were days apart. She thrived well after graduation and had high maturity.

Do what you think will work best for her. Like I said, she can always do K again if the need is really there, but it sounds like she would do J. fine in Kinder.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets


answers from Dover on

If she is ready for kindergarten, I would put her in kindergarten is she makes the cut off. If she J. misses it by a few days, it would be worth it to see if she could start early.

I would not do the pre-k unless necessary (can't start or isn't ready to start). When I was in school, the age cut off was 5 by Dec 31st so you daughter would have easily made the cut.



answers from Pittsburgh on

i was in kindergarten at age 4 and never had a problem socially or mentally. The only time i ever even noticed people were older was when they got their drivers license, but it didn't bother M., they J. drove M.. It sounds like your daughter is ready now and since she is so close to the cut off i'd put her in K. Otherwise she'd be like a year older than everybody, and personally i'd rather be younger than older.



answers from Allentown on

Well in PA a child need not start any school until they are 8 years old, so until that point you can do what ever you want. I sent my daughter who was 5 last June to another year of pre-K for the socialization. She will turn 6 this June, and the rest of her class will be going to K this fall, but she will start first grade. There is no rule that says any child needs to go to K or even first or second grade. I would send her to another year of pre-K. The socialization is great at this age, and it sounds like academically she is fine, so she could start first grade next year if you want her to or go to K next year. I know my daughter is ready socially now even though she was ready academically last year. She too was reading already, and does math well. But I do believe the socialization is much more important in the early years. They don't get that socialization in K anymore.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Have her evaluated by the school. Putting her in Kindergarden because Pre-K is full makes M. think that that particular school is not a place I would send her. You don't make decisions about kids based on the schools' convenience.

It really depends on the kid, and a good Kindergarden teacher or Educational Psychologist will be able to advise you. Good for you for realizing that there is more than academic readiness to consider-- I agree, academically, she's ready, but you have to consider her social-emotional, gross and fine motor skills too.

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