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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
I am a teacher myself and can see a world of difference with the September birthday kids. They are more confident, secure in whom they are, true leaders of the class, and all around more mature. Unless your child is gifted, of which you can get her tested, then she will be just fine. I always tell parents to hold their children back a little because of the emotional aspect of school. Parents always focus on the academics but do not think about how well their children can handle stressful socialization scenarios and the stressful new demands of children starting in kindergarten today. A long as your daughter has a good teacher then she will be fine even if she is academically advanced. The teacher is trained to work with all levels of students; we never have a classroom with kids all on the same level. Good luck and enjoy the extra year with your daughter it goes by so fast.
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!
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.
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.
I have been teaching in CPS and the burbs for 10 years and there is no way to get around the cut off date. To register for school you need your daughters birth certificate. There will probably be about 5-7 children in her kindergarden class in a somewhat similar situation. We call those children, kids with earily birthdays, which in reality she is lucky. Children go to kindergarden every year, some highly prepared, and some not prepared at all. In your daughters case she will be highly prepared and if you live in area where you have good public schools there is really no need to worry. Teachers know how to teach to higher level learners even in kindergarden. Most schools have enrichment programs, "great books" in reading, and some sort of advanced math.
If you are really concerned the only other thing you can look in to is private schools where they aren't as strict with the cut off date.
Hope this helps.
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!
Just a thought. I don't know if it works but I have heard that it does since Kindergarten is not mandatory in IL. Have her attend a private kindergarten (ie daycare that offers kindergarten). The following year I have heard that public schools must take a 1st grader that has completed a kindergarten program elsewhere. Be wary though, you are now taking her from being the oldest to being the youngest in her grade. Make sure she is really ready. My son is one of the youngest in his grade and academically he is fine but emotionally he is still almost a year behind his peers. I know he will catch up as they grow and mature but right now I see a big difference. This difference will follow her for the rest of her schooling. She will be last to drive etc. I know it is difficult to think that far ahead but it helps to think it through completely. Good luck making the best decision for your child. No one knows her as well as you do!
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)
There are reasons for the September 1 cutoff date, and if you felt entitled enough to have an exception made for your daughter then the school would have to make exceptions for the kids who are one day late, two days late, three days late, and so on and so on (what about all those kids who were born Sept 2-10?!? I'm sure there are hundreds of them who are right on par with your daughter's skills). In my opinion, if your daughter is that advanced there are two things you can do:
-Search for enriched pre-schools in your area. Pick up the Chicago Parent newspaper (or whatever it is called), there are a ton of elite programs listed in there.
-Wait until she is eligible to enter and rejoice in the fact that she will probably be a natural leader among her peers. There's a lot of intrinsic joy that comes with helping younger classmates who might be a bit behind.
I agree with the previous poster that discourages you from putting the idea into her head that she will be bored, miserable, and want to drop out by the second grade. She'll only feel that way if it is an attitude that is perpetuated. Just be really excited and supportive of her opportunity to shine in school, whenever and wherever it may be!
We go to Cardinal Bernadin School, they have two locations in Chicago. They admit children when they turn the age, not after Sept 1st. We love it there. We even decided to take a pass when we were admitted to the school we were waiting on admittance to. When we do decide to go back to our intended school, she will be the oldest in her class and it will be a blessing. It has been a great fit for us. They have Montessori and traditional classes, but we love the Montessori.
My daughter's birthday is in Sept and I couldn't be happier. As a teacher I know that being the oldest in the class is GREAT!! The cut off is there for a reason and I know in our district there was no "loop" hole. There were always parents thinking their child was too "advanced" for kindergarten, but they were always wrong! Just let your child be a kid longer and enjoy the freedom!! Take her extra places and enjoy the time--she is only young once. Please don't put ideas in her head that she is too advanced--it will only cause her problems in school!!
Yeah I know one person who fought it and got their kid in despite the cutoff date (her birthday was like 2 days after or something). It can be done. But I'm a teacher and I can tell you that even if she is ready at 5, there are advantages to being the oldest in your class and either way your child will perform wonderfully so you needn't worry! If it's any consolation, the oldest kids are always the most mature, so they get into less silly fights, often are the most responsible so they get big parts in performances and get leadership roles more readily than the younger kids (not always but often)... so either way don't be too sad! There are advantages to both!
my son who is now six and in kindergarten just turned six september 2. talk about just missing the cut-off date. your daughter will be fine. there are several advantages to her being one of the oldest in the class. one of which is she will be a leader in many things and her confidence will be good. as she goes through kindergarten, you and the teacher will be able to find out if she is too advanced or not and then go from there. usually kids are either advanced socially or academically and not at the same time. so it all works out in the end. since she has been in school for such a long time, if it is an option, i would consider putting her in all day kindergarten rather than half day.
I had a similar situation with my daugher, who had an October 4th birthdate. I was torn whether to petition the district to let her go, especially since her preschool believed she was ready.
After talking to others I decided to follow the district cutoff and not send her early. These days, many of the summer birthday boys are being held back, so she is not even the oldest in her class. I have to say that being older though, gave her an advantage in Kindergarten and now first grade. She may have been a little bored in Kindergarten, but now in 1st grade, she has been put into a reading group for advanced readers since she is reading at a 3rd grade level. Next year she will hopefully qualify for the gifted program, or at the very least, for the higher math and reading groups, so she will have all the challenge she needs.
I also have a son who is 8 who struggled with writing and reading his first few years of school. He ended up in remedial reading last year and we had to do a lot of extra work at home with him to get him to where he needed to be this year. It is so nice to not have to worry about this with my daughter. You should take this into consideration when making your decision. Someday, you'll have two sets of homework to help your children complete every night. It's nice to know that you'll have one child for which homework is not a struggle.
From my experience I believe with time you will see it is a blessing for your daughter to be more advanced than her classmates. My children attended private school and there are no exceptions to the cutoff date. My daughter's b-day is 9/15/91. She was usually the oldest in her class which means due to her maturity she has had multiple opportunities to practice & exhibit her leadership skills. I think it is also why she takes such pride in her schoolwork. (Her 2 older brothers were good students but she has really excelled.) She hasn't ever complained of being bored. She's now a 17 yr old junior in high school and has already been approached to apply for a scholarship to attend Loyola University upon her graduation in 2010. Her maturity allows her to be involved in plenty of extracurricular activities. She is having the time of her life!
She has a classmate who is also a good student but is having a hard time emotionally in large part because her father forged her birth certificate to make her 2 years older to avoid the need for childcare.
My daughter has an October birthday-we went the whole year when she turned 5 with her being very ready for school and having to wait. The kids with the late August birthdays are the ones who seem to have a harder time at first adjusting...they are definitely more immature. In then end...they all even out and it's fine. Don't worry about it.
Friends of ours were able to appeal to their school to get their very bright, mid-September bday daughter enrolled in kindergarten as she was 4 going on 5. And seriously, she is a smart girl. The next year, she wound up repeating kindergarten and guess what? She's still a smart girl, well-adjusted and thriving in 2nd grade.
My advice, if you really think you should try to get her into k early, test her. You will know if she is "advanced" or if she should enroll as a 5 year old going on 6. There are good CPS schools that will meet her needs if indeed she is advanced in her class. Good luck!
I just turned 40 this past September 11th. I have three older siblings and my mother fought to get me started in school early probably because I was a little smarty pants and was driving her nuts. I don't know if I was tested at all, but I was always ahead in my class and graduated top ten in my high school. That being said, in some respects I wish I wasn't the youngest all the time. I actually started college before I turned 18. I think either way your child will be fine, but don't have regrets if you end up waiting a year. She may become bored -- but may be bored anyway even if you start her early (I know I was bored if I wasn't challenged). It will depend on the quality of her teachers, advanced programs she might have access to and how engaged she is in school in general. Just make sure to offer other opportunities to her and help her keep to interested even if that means doing something extra outside of school. Whichever class she ends up in, there will be advantages and disadvantages. Good luck!
I have 2 September kids (9/2 & 9/12). There is no remedy in Champaign County. I have written to the school board and attended meetings asking for a testing option instead of blanketly saying that I child 1 day past the cutoff is not ready for school. My kids are always the oldest kids in their class and people always ask them if they're in the grade the matches their age. It really bothers me because I'm originally from the east coast where the cutoff is still Dec 31st and if we move back home while the kids are still in school, their classmates will automatically assume theyve been kept back a grade.
And it never ends. USD116 offers drivers ed to 15 year sophomores and they will not make an exception for my 15 year old freshman. They did suggest I could pay for his state mandated drivers ed with a private drivers school.
I could write a novel about this... our daughter's birthday is Sept 3rd, so she missed the cuttoff by TWO days!!!! We live in Glen Ellyn, District 41 and their policy was a Sept 1st cutoff too - UNTIL we came along!! Many districts have a policy for early admission exceptions, but ours didn't until this year. We should have started complaining to the school district last fall, but THANK GOD it worked out for us anyway. We first found some legislation for Illinois that stated that the cutoff was Sept 1st, but exceptions were to be determined by district. We then wrote a compelling letter to the Superintendent asking why our district did not have a policy for early admission. After she didn't respond after 3 weeks, we phoned her and played phone tag until we caught up with her. She said that there was interest in creating a new policy, but not to keep our hopes up. Well, I just so happened to find out there was a Board of Education meeting that night we had finally caught up with her, so we pleaded our case to the board. We then followed up with various BOE members AND with the Superintendent - and at the very last minute (like the week before school started this year) we found out that they did pass an early admission policy and were able to have our daughter tested/ assessed and she was accepted into Kindergarten this year!! So, if you live in D41, then there is now a policy where you have to apply early and get your daughter assessed, but she CAN get into Kindergarten. I have about a thousand more details for you and/or examples of the communcications we have had with the BOE and the Superintendent if you want them - please EMail me if you would like them and I will be more than happy to share. ____@____.com. Fight hard and good luck!! - K.
some districts will allow early testing, ours doesn't.
I have a daycare boy that just turned 5 two weeks ago and the day he turned 5 he was VERY sad to not be heading off to school, but he seems over it now. We are using this year to get him reading, improve his handwriting and be another kid this year.
There is a law that says if the child attends an accredited (that's the key word) kindergarten program the public school must accept them into 1st grade regardless of their birthday. So, you can search for accredited programs. I know Chesterbrook Academy offers such a program, but they are WAY WAY expensive.
My daughter is 4 (as of September 14). She is in 3 year old preschool due to the September 1 deadline. However, we enrolled her in a private school with more advanced programs (including french, art, acience, drama, etc.). She was bored at her previous preschool but not at the new school. In addition, there is kind of an advantage of being the oldest in her class (by at least a few weeks)as I think she is more prepared to learn.
I was in the same place as you a few years ago. My dd was very advanced academically but past the cutoff date for kindergarten. If you feel she is ready for kindergarten and you can afford it, I'd put her in a private kindergarten that will take her early. As long as it is an accredited school, you can transfer her to a public school for first grade and they won't have any choice but to accept her. With my daughter, I held her back and ended up regretting it. She was so far ahead of her classmates. I switched her to a private school which was better but still ended up having her skip a grade. It was the best thing for her. She is now in 8th grade and is a straight A student. She has lots of friends and couldn't be happier.
FYI - Check this out. I've been keeping my eye on it, and I'm willing to bet that if it becomes law, it will not be well publicized (see some of your previous responses). Very likely if it passes, our only option will be the neighborhood school. Please note, it only applies to CPS. Wanted to share with someone who can appreciate. Don't know if your preschool will qualify, ours will. Best of Luck!
The public school is very inflexible with the cutoff date. And if you send your child to a private school for kindergarten, you will still be stuck because they have the sept. 1 cutoff for first grade, too. My son is in the same boat, he turns 5 Sept 12. He goes to the public PreK, has since he was 3, and even last year he knew all letters, numbers, shapes, colors, letter sounds, etc. I used to have the same fears, that he will be bored. However, I do know (as I am a teacher also) that he will benefit from the extra year socially. I always say it is the parents job first to teach their kids, and the schools second. They are only kids once, why rush it? Since I won't be sending him to private, I will just keep teaching him and hopefully, when he does enter Kindergarten, his teachers will start teaching him at whatever level he's at.
Like many of the other posters said there really isnt much you can do. This was our situation-when my twins were ready for K the cutoff was Aug. 1, their bday is Aug. 9th(we are in Indiana so the cutoff is different here). What we ended up doing was putting them in private school for K and then having them go into 1st grade here in Indiana(since they had been through formal K they could not be put back in K b/c of their bday). My twins were born 5 weeks early, had been in daycare since they were 12mo old and I felt the same way as you did. They are the youngest in their class, which could have its downside, but they are excelling better than the kids that have the earlier bdays. I think in your situation there really isnt anything you can do except try a private school(money talks). Bottom line is that you know your daughter, but some things to think about-the schools are A LOT different now(at least my experience)-my kids had to be able to read books coming out of K. They are in second grade now reading at a third grade level, but their vocab and math and reading comprehension are sometimes difficult for me to do. I have been out of school for some time and dont remember ever learning this stuff, let alone learning it is first and second grade. Even though my kids are not behind or anything like that I am still torn on our decision. Every kid is different and everyone has a different opinion so you have to go with what you feel b/c you know your daughter and her abilities. As with anything, the cutoff issue has its pros and cons. In our case-things have been great! Good luck!
I know it's a hard situation when your child's birth date is near the cutoff, but they have to draw the line somewhere. I would not try to put her ahead, there will be other children in the class on the old side with her and those younger, spread throughout the year. She may not be the oldest. I have seen children (in my daughter's class) held back from birthdays as early as April due to premature birth, etc. All these kids will have different experience, I doubt she will be advanced beyond all of her classmates. My daughter is on the younger side and went into Kindergarten reading on the front end of her class-the teacher worked with her at the level she was.
Does her daycare have a preschool portion? I am not sure if you taught her her letters and numbers, or if they did.
As with school, if you have good daycare/preschool teachers, they will meet your child where they are and work from there.
If she's bored at daycare or at home I would look into workbooks, books (the library has great systems so you can find books just at her level) and other projects you can do to teach her (my girls LOVE baking and cooking). We also love reading classics at night, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, etc.
I also doubt she will lose interest in learning. I haven't seen many kids in my daughter's classes for the last three years that aren't interested in learning more.
I have 3 children who's birthdays fall right after the cut off date. My daughters are within a month and my son is within 5 days. You can have the children tested to see if they can go in depending on what state you live in.I didn't test my girls and they just went another yr to preschool and they have never struggled and always maintained excellent grades.
(My son is still in preschool)I was room Mom for both my girls K classes so I was able to see firsthand how many of the "younger" kids struggled some were even held back or went to summer school.
It worked for me.
I have heard of people getting their kids tested to show they are ready for kindergarten when their birthday comes so close to the cutoff date. Not sure if you would try the school district or what though. I would start with the school district.
Hi- I have a daughter born Sept. 10th, so she went to school when she was almost 6 and she was advanced as well. I wouldn't worry. Each kindergartener is different in their abilities and they will challenge all of them at their level.
It's always better to be the oldest, rather than the youngest. Academically she might be ok. But socially is where she would benefit from another year with kids her age in pre-school or in a pre-k program. I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule but from what I've seen, the kids who are older than their classmates seem to do so much better overall. Most schools have no exceptions anyway. Our district doesn't, and my kids have gone/are going to private schools and there were no exceptions there either.
Let your child wait another year. Right now your child is ready. But as the years go on it will probably be more difficult for your child. I saw this with my own daughter. She struggled from around 10-15, she was less mature then most of the other students in her class and caused her a lot of heartache because kids thought she was weird. It did not help in developing her self-esteem. I also have a child born in late November so I had no choice but to wait and I can tell you that she is a much more confident. Give her the extra time as a parent of a 13 and 17 year old...time goes by way too fast.
My daughter was a Sept. 1st birthday so I know what you're talking about. I started her late and she did great all thru school. Honor roll student and her extra time was devoted to sports year round which kept her out of the trouble that so many get into. Your child may not like sports but end up with music, art programs, dance, cheerleading, pom poms, or numerous things schools offer now for kids to keep them busy. Unless a child is a prodegy which your dr. would have tested for, she'll be fine. The whole key is to keep them busy and give them love.
You know, I am currently in the same position. My Daughter will be 5 on September 4, 2012. The school district wants her to wait until the following year. My daughter is a fluent reader and is way beyond her years. I am a stay at home mother so I work with her everyday. If you have found any way around this could you please let me know? My email is ____@____.com ....
Thank-you for your time!
Hi. A friend of mine had the same dilemma. Although we're in the suburbs, I think Sept 1 is a state wide rule. My friend's daughter was born September 10. She too felt her daughter was ready for kindergarten before she technically was eligiable. There is a test she can take and yes, you do have to pay for it. Sorry, I don't know what it is called. My friend had her daughter take the test. The results stated that she was ready for kindergarten but didn't have a high enough IQ to warrant her starting before she turned 5 so she had to spend another year in preschool. The extra time didn't seem to hurt her any even though my friend worried that it would. See how she is in kindergarten, then you can look into enrichment or advanced placement if she does get bored or loses interest because she isn't challenged enough.
I would check private schools. The cut-off dates are different in other states where kids can start kindergarten if they turn 5 in December or October so the argument that they are not ready for kindergarten not being 5 in September is just silly.
Parents know the best when their child can start school.
Some public schools make exception if the child's birthday falls within 30 days of the cut-off date. But unfortunately most public schools don't want to deal with it.
I don't know about any exceptions that public schools may have, but some private schools have a more flexible cutoff date. My daughter attends Kindergarten at Chesterbrook Academy Elementary school and their cutoff date is either something like Sep 15th or October 15th -- I forget specifically. During orientation though, they mentioned something about a simply evaluation that they do to make sure the children that exceed the normal cutoff date are indeed ready to attend kindergarten. The evaluation, as described and if I remember correctly, was very simple and non-threatening for the children.
Obviously, private school isn't something that everyone can do but if you're able to afford the additional costs, it might be something to look into. Chesterbrook is amazing in their cirriculum, small class sizes, and I love the all-day kindergarten. I'm not familiar with any other private schools.
Hi A., I have 2 kids, one with a December birthday, the other with Sept 13th. There is not supposed to be a loophole in CPS. We ran into this when trying to enroll my daughter for preK at the CPS school that my son had gone to for 3 years and they did not bend the rules. I have heard of parents changing the birth certificate to get their child in...
In the end, the extra time was great for my son and I think it will be great for my daughter as well. For my son, it gave him more time to mature socially. For my daughter, who is quite mature socially, I think it will give her more time to develop academic skills and might be an advantage if we choose to apply to selective enrollment schools, which require testing.
For my son, who we worried was getting bored with pre-K in his 3rd year of it, we worked closely with his teacher to keep challenging him and engaging him positively. He became a classroom leader and helped others learn the routines and she also began to journal with him (and some others) to continue to support his academic development in a positive way. So, I think that the best way to go is to work closely with the teacher to understand where your daughter is socially, emotionally, behaviorally, academically, etc., and use that extra year to support positive development in those areas, knowing that the teacher will likely have to provide some challenge/stretch in particular areas in which your daughter is particularly developed or competent.
I would wait a year. I have talked to many pre-school teachers who have had parents say, "I wish we would have waited," but they have never had a parent say, "I wish we would have sent him/her earlier." Also, you may be surprised at the number of 6 year olds starting kindergarten with July & August birthdays. My son's birthday is in July, and having him wait an extra year is something I am seriously considering.
I think you can pay to get her tested. But now a days a lot of people are holding their 5 year olds back. Kindergarten is not like it was when we were kids. They are expected to read by the end of the year. It is pretty challenging.
I am not a parent but I am a September baby and was not held back and I never struglled. To be honest, the older kids in my class are the ones who struggled the most and eventually most of them did not go to college. I graduated from a top notch private college in 2006 as did my younger brother who also has a September birthday and was not held back. How is one year off going to help a child learn and become social if they are not with kids their own age. Don't penalize all children because some aren't ready. It should be on a base to base situation. If a child is held back and then strugggles in school then what happens. If your child is not ready, fine, but that is yout child not mine. It called holding a child because because that is exactly what you are doing. You are putting a child behind others even before they have a chance.