Looking for Early Entry into kindergarten...Academically Very Good Student

Updated on March 27, 2014
H.M. asks from Beaverton, OR
29 answers

My daughter is 2 months short for entry in kindergarten (Beaverton, OR) and not eligible to the early entry test too... I did a lot of research already to not waste an year for this bright kid. I've searched public, church, co-op schools, and nowhere accepting kids Kindergarten legally (without wasting an year). And i read the previous questions about this topic, but didn't get the right answer. My questions are:
Is there any possibility to put my kid in kindergarten? Please let me know...
Is there any school who accepts kids without cutoff?

Note: She started reading when she is 2 and now she is very fluent reader( can read chapter books too)... and she knows American sign language and good in math and writing too.
Present preschool teacher says "Academically she is so good and can try for kindergarten."
I've no second thought to hold my kid one year back... Please help me even if you know little info about this issue.

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answers from Houston on

Teach her at home. If not, you will be a nightmare to the teacher who will have her hands full with less 'gifted' masses.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I wouldn't look at it as a wasted year. There are so many fun learning opportunities without the constrains of a schedule, lesson plan and having to sit in a class room all day. Go outside with her and explore the world together. Cook, play and do arts and crafts together. This is her last year of freedom. Why take it away when she is still so young? If she is as bright as you think she is, she will be successful no matter what.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I've been a long time substitute (13 yrs) mostly in K-5.

A lot of children come into K and can read, write, do math and parents believe they are the exception. There are a lot of bright students who start K on time and part of the reason for maintaining the "rule" is that K is not all about academics.

Children have to learn how to deal with others, be more socially adept, mature and learn the structure of the school system. I've seen some very bright K's come in and be the worst as far as adjusting to the structure, developing and I've witnessed some major meltdowns from all academic levels.

We notice that most of the time, all of the children even out pretty much around 3rd grade. This is when most are adjusted the best, ready socially and academically.

We do have a Gifted and Talented program and children are tested in the spring of K. At that point, some children are pulled out during the week for more specialized focus.

I hate to see a child pushed because parents believe they should be in a specific grade or skip a grade. Most of the time, the children fare better when they are allowed to be a child.

Best wishes finding what you are looking for.

20 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I think I"m starting to think more like a grandparent than a parent but....

In the whole scheme of things, is it really that God Almighty important that the kid waits one single year? I mean, will it really matter when she's 30 years old whether she goes next year or the year after?

I just answered the half day K question in a similar way.

What's the big rush?

In the 90s in NYS, the cut off date was Dec 1st for K. Both my boys started K at 4 since they have fall birthdays. They did just fine.

And now that they're both away at college, I wonder, why was I in such a big hurry? If I'd waited the year, I'd have had them home another year. And I LIKE them, you know?

It's funny how when they're so young we're in such a terrific hurry to move on to the next thing, then when they're grown we wish we could get some of that time back.

Starting K the following year does not make her less smart. If you're concerned about her not being challenged or being bored, there are many ways you can supplement her education yourself.

Anyway, I kinda wish I'd waited that year. But then if an older mom told me this story I'm telling you know, it might've annoyed me.


You do what you feel is best for her, and what YOU feel is best is the only thing that matters, ok? But just enjoy her, while she's very young, because she IS very young.


18 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My cousin was so smart he skipped 5th grade. Socially he was so awkward he repeated 7th grade.

One of my best friends sent her very bright son to kindergarten because academically he was ready and he even made the cutoff date. Although he still does fine academically, she really wishes she gave him the extra year because socially he really could have used an extra year.

My daughter was tested in 3rd grade for the gifted program. Her reading level was that of an 11th grader. Letting her skip a grade would not have made a difference at all accademically. She still would have been way advanced.

My advice is to enjoy your bright little girl and take it upon yourself to enrich her education. Pushing her ahead in school is not going to provide the kind of enrichment you probably want anyway.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure you think your daughter is exceptional, but really, other kids come into K knowing how to read and write as well. Some come in barely knowing their ABCs or how to tie their shoes. By about third grade it all pretty much evens out.
Do some reading about child development and early childhood education.
Cognitive skills are only part of it. She needs to be socially, emotionally and physically ready as well. Even if she's mature for her age she will be in a class full of bigger, older and more assertive children, especially boys because so many parents tend to hold boys back these days.
Is that really what you want for her? To be pushed into growing up so fast?
It will only be a "wasted" year if you allow it to be. She can read, create and develop her skills at home. Take her to museums, art and music events and the library. Sign her up for classes and lessons if she wants to be more social. A well rounded education is about more than time in the classroom, give her those enrichment experiences yourself. That's what parents do, especially when it's clear their child is bright and has a love of learning.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You've already gotten plenty of replies advising strongly against pushing her into K early. I agree. K is about far more than being academically ready for it. And if you push her now she will always be the younger one, the smaller one, and as kids get older that takes a toll, especially around middle school.

I would add this: You mention that you don't want to "waste a year for this bright kid."

Please, please see if you can adjust your own thinking here. Can you see that your attitude comes across as this: Anything other than a classroom setting is somehow a "waste"? Do you see how that is, honestly, narrowly defining enrichment and learning as just meaning pure academics and the classroom?

A truly bright kid is going to learn from anything and everything. You are not being expected to "waste a year" here - you are being handed a tremendous opportunity to spend the next year with your child helping her learn in other ways.

If she's done with her present preschool and would be bored there, find her a good pre-K program elsewhere. I would advise against five-day and/or all-day programs. She still needs time to chill. But a good pre-K will challlenge her without pushing her too soon into all-day K structures, and a good pre-K will work on the VITAL social and organizational and listening skills that are as important, maybe more important, than the fact she can read already. (I know you may think, ha, no way, but it's true -- can you hear that from another parent and believe it?) And a pre-K that does a ton of worksheets is to be avoided; that's lazy teaching, not "academics."

And you don't want full-day preschool because, if you are at home with her, you have a huge opportunity to read with her, take her to library kids' programs, to craft store kids' programs (she needs to use her hands and creativity as well as her reading eyes), to take her to the store often and have her make lists and add up simple numbers as you buy things, take her to museums (you live in the Pacific Northwest--so much to do there!)...so many ways to enrich things for her and still let her have another year before she starts K.

School is great but brings its own stresses and pressures --yes, even on kindergarteners. She may be socially very mature for her age now, but why not give her another year to get even more experience and maturity?

It's not a waste. It's a gift. Use it.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Um it is not all about the academics. There is so much more to it. What is the rush to get her into school. Why can't you just take the time and enjoy your kid. Take her to museums, library. Maybe a music class, etc etc. like I said in the half day K, this is time you will never get back. They grow up so fast.

There is not a school,around that would take her. Considering what people do these days with holding back their kid, the age gap could be huge. Then your bright kid will be behind the eight ball. Keep her in preschool.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Eta: she is a fluent reader etc. She is 2. Reads chapter books now. But when she is older in age, say at 5 years old or 6, and she is then perhaps reading still at a more advanced level, those books will probably be more like 5th or 4th grade books and subjects. So, you will need to really watch the types of books she reads. Because she will still be younger, than the books that she reads which will be geared for older, kids. ie: if she is in 2nd or 3rd grade, would you really want her to be reading books which are about Tweens or Teens, already? And this does happen.
You speak about her academics.
But not about her maturity or emotional development or social management skills etc.
These are 2 very different things.

I work at a school. Grades K-5th.
I see kids like this.
VERY smart. But then, that becomes the focus for them, because they are told this all the time. They may be in the Gifted classes too.
But that does not mean, they are more successful, or better than, or smarter, than the other classmates, of the same grade or even if they skipped a grade.
The determining factor in how they do, is about their emotional and social sense of self and self management and how they do in and among, other kids and in a dynamic of being around other kids.

I see lots of supremely smart kids at school.
And some of them really do not do well.
Or they are not well behaved at all or have poor attitudes.
Despite, whatever socio-economic background they come from and no matter what type of family they come from.

Academic ability does not determine, everything. At school or in school.

You can also, home school her.

We have a friend who's son is on genius level. But the parents kept him in his grade, per cut offs. He has graduated high school already. Great young man. And ALL along, from Kindergarten, they nurtured, him. NOT focusing on ONLY his academics or focusing on HOW SMART he is... all the time. He knew he is smart. Highly intellectual and intelligent. But his parents, parented him according to his age and grade and he flourished. He was well... rounded. He never thought he was above anyone or better than or "smarter" than anyone else. He didn't think that just because he is so advanced, that that is all he is. He didn't hinge his identity just on how smart he is. He didn't derive his identity only on how smart he is. He knew that being SOOOOOOOO smart, was not all there is in life. His parents really did their son justice. They did not focus his entire life just on how smart, he is. His parents as well, were always #1 in school and academics. His Dad was a brain, too. But they were people who did not focus on "smartness" or it being their only thing.
Their son had an identity, of himself. He KNEW himself. That was not based, on how academically supreme, he is.
We also have a friend who had their daughter skip a grade. Because she is so smart. Well, from middle school, she had a hard time in school and among her peers. Lots of social issues and problems, they had. And then they regretted basing their daughter's school life, just upon her "smartness" and academics. She had all kinds of awards and accolades. But so what. She had all kinds of problems All the way until she graduated High School. And her peers/classmates, were older. So they were doing things that were OLDER... even if it was inappropriate. And well, kid life at that point, was not on par with their daughter.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

There is a reason they set the cut off where they do, and it is about both academics and social development. She may very well be smart, but studies show that kids that start K out ahead do not stay ahead (their peers tend to catch up by 3rd grade) and having her be so much younger and socially less mature then her peers could continue to be an issue for her throughout all 12 grades.

The Alternative is to home school, where her social development in not as important.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My sister started school when she was 4 and turned 5 in Oct.
She was academically alright.
But she cried over absolutely EVERYTHING for the longest time.
Maturity wise she just wasn't ready.
Really, she would have done better to stay home one more year.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Let the kid be a kid. There will be plenty of time for education.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You can teach her much more in one year than she'll ever learn as the youngest kid in Kindergarten.

My older daughter was the youngest in her class (she did make the cut-off, but barely) and although she was bright, she was always the youngest and seemed to always struggle to keep up with her peers. It got worse when the kids got older and she was THE last person to get her license, etc.

My younger daughter is one of the oldest in her class and I can see how good that is for her. She was one of the first to get her driver's license, she is confident and secure and is at just the right level of maturity. And I'm SO GLAD I had almost an extra year at home with her. If I could do it all over again, I would have kept my older daughter home for a year and spent time with her and worked on things that would enrich her life.

Once they start school, that's it. They "belong" to school then, not you. Keep her home and enjoy her and learn things with her just one more short year. You won't regret it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Leigh R. and KM took the words right out of my mouth, only better! GREAT ADVICE!! An extra year hanging with Mom, growing, learning through experiences, developing,and just being a kid is never a waste.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

My older daughter was ready for kindergarten, academically and maturity wise when she was four. Still wouldn't dream of sending her early, you are only a child once. There is more than academics to childhood and really if you are spending this much time teaching her she is missing out on a lot.

I don't regret not sending her and since she went to private schools she could have gone at four. She is a very happy adult now so I don't think there was any harm and she was never bored. It just allowed her more time to explore her own interests.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

you're not holding her back. you're letting her be.
i have no clue about forcing schools to let a very young child begin early, but i do know that academics are only a small slice of a large pie.
there's no reason any good involved parents (which you seem to be) can't present their own bright kids with heaps of learning opportunities at home. look into some of the great homeschool curricula now available and play with them (don't push! no drilling!)
if you don't look at this year as 'wasted' and instead view it as a terrific opportunity to influence your child's entire future educational experience in a positive way, magic can happen.
or you can sour her for good.
choose wisely.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

We have had a somewhat similar situation with our daughter, who was a week shy of the cut off date. She also is academically very good and almost certainly could have handled the material. However, she needed some more time to grow up in terms of maturity and self-confidence, and if we had pushed it, she would have been in a situation of having to catch up and keep up, rather than being easily near the top of a pack. We decided to give her the extra year in preschool, and we see no reason yet to regret that decision (other than her resentment that she was 'held back'). My point is that there are two pieces to school readiness: the academic part and the social/maturity part. So it is quite possible that your daughter isn't ready on the social/maturity area.

That's not really your question, however; I'm just adding extra information which might help you to rethink whether it even would be good for her to start school early. Two months is a significant part of a year. It is 1/6 of a year--no school probably would bend that far. Maybe you can home school her if she really IS ready and then transition her into a higher grade after a couple years? But overall, I think you might benefit from seeing this coming year (if it's not in school) as an added year for her to play, mature, learn, and develop outside of an academic schedule. It's not a wasted year. If she gets to school 12 months later, it will not harm her ultimate ability to be a physicist as an adult. Just a thought... good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Okay I have no experience with early admittance, but I do have an exceptionally bright child with a fall birthday. The school has pressured me to grade skip her, and I have refused.

Here are some of my reasons. I will not rob her of her childhood. ONE year would NOT be enough (I have had independent testing done and the school has done their own testing to prove this point.) In addition her rate of acquisition is so high that she does not need to sit through repetitive lessons like the other students.

So what are your options? First I hope that gifted education is mandated in your state. If so, push to have her tested in kindergarten. Then you're going to have to advocate your butt off to get her the proper level of education. You'll want the best teachers with the ability to differentiate the material for her. These teachers are few and far between in my experience.

Engage her in as many extracurricular activities (sports, scouts, etc) that you can because you want her to be well rounded.

Finally look for ways to enrich her education. Around here there are weekend workshops and summer programs for talented youth. Look for different outreach programs through your local universities, museums, etc. Regardless of what the school can provide, you'll need to go above and beyond so prepare to open your wallet and let the money fly out.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like you did your research and the answer on K is "no". My friend red shirted her son because he needed more time to mature. Another friend's daughter did start early, but the cut off here is a strict 6 weeks past the initial cut off birthday. Anyone beyond that can NOT start K here. IMO, find a good pre-k program for her. You said nowhere will legally take her. There are reasons for cut offs, even when the kid is bright. Remember that K is more than just academics. Does she have the social skills to go with it? Long division only goes so far when the kid still takes a nap, doesn't like to share and has meltdowns in class.

Had I chosen not to enroll my DD this year in K (we thought hard about it, due to maturity concerns, she is a young 5) I would have sough out an academic pre-k program for her as a middle ground between preschool (where they admitted she was beyond what they could easily offer) and kindergarten. Friend with the really smart kid in preschool? They will have him tested in May and then the school will make a plan for how to best educate him. And he will be able to keep up with his peers socially, even if he is beyond them academically.

I went to a magnet program meeting a few months ago. A mom there had put her "too young" son in K in a private school. The principal was firm that they would have to very very carefully consider his application because even though the private K took him, he may not be socially ready for 1st grade with their public school kids who were more than a year ahead of him. Nevermind the academics. To put him in when he wasn't socially ready would be a disservice to that child. My own DD is 6-8 months younger than most of her class and that's hard enough.

Please consider very carefully why you think K is the only option for her.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

How about a Montessori school? Sometimes they're more flexible. Did you ask the school to test her, even though she's not eligible for the early entry test?

She definitely sounds academically ready. If they won't let her do K this year, maybe when they test her next year for K, they'll skip her to 1st grade. Or, could you home school for K and have her take the entry test for 1st next year?

Also, think down the road a bit. If she starts early (at 4), she'll start middle school (6th grade) at 10, high school (9th grade) at 13, and college at 17. There may be some disadvantages to that.

My sister graduated grad school with a girl that finished college at 18 and grad school at 20. Her undergraduate degree was in Elem Ed and her Master's Degree was Educational Leadership. In the state of FL, you can't apply for your teaching license until you're 21, so she couldn't even get a job in her field for another year. What's the rush??

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The Waldorf program near me said they would take a kindergartner prior to the cutoff. However, they would repeat kindergarten because they could not start first grade earlier than the state cutoff. Perhaps that might work?

A mixed age Montessori classroom might work as well. My son's Montessori had a 3-6 y classroom. So kids could start doing kindergarten 'works' as soon as they were ready for them.

Alternatively, you could home school or unschool. HUGE time commitment and you didn't say if you and your partner both work outside the home.

It looks like your cutoff is September 1. There are states (NY) where the cutoff is December, so your child would not be weirdly young for kindergarten. She would turn 5 during her kindergarten year. Perfectly normal. As far as I can see there are no logical reasons for different states having different cutoffs. It's not like NYC kids are more socially adept than Seattle kids, right?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We homeschool. Is that an option for you? One of my kids is 8, does 5th grade math, and 4th grade language arts/history/science. Of course if she were in public school, she would be in third grade, so for us homeschooling works out well.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I would highly recommend a Montessori preschool (AMI certified). They have curriculum for 2 years of preschool plus kindergarten, but they base advancement on the child's readiness, not age. They also tend to be great about encouraging interests and academic exploration. If you have a Montessori school that goes into elementary, even better as the progress will just continue into the official grade levels.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I think she will be bored in kindergarten if she is as smart as you say she is. How is she on the maturity level? I know a lot of times the problems are they are very smart but maturity wise they arent ready. However, with that being said if you havent found a school that will forgive the 2 months thing then I don't believe you will. I know that my area isnt forgiving and the cut off date is the cutt off date, but one of my friends daughters was able to bypass kindergarten all together by testing out of it when they moved here so maybe you can let her do one more year out of school then test out and go straight to first grade? I am not sure if this helped at all.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't know anything about your area, but my guess is that if the age cutoff is state mandated, then any schools who receive state funding are not going to be able to accept your child early.

I am NOT a fan old holding kids back whose birthdays fall before the cutoff even if they are a "late" birthday, but your child does not make the cutoff. Do you live in an area where a lot of people redshirt? That can lead to your child going to school with kids who are significantly older than her.

I don't know why her preschool teacher would say that she can try for kindergarten - she should know that your child won't be accepted, unless she knows of any schools that don't abide by the cutoff date. Also, please remember that many children who are advanced academically are NOT advanced socially and may not have the non-academic skills needed for kindy, or the independence skills needed - able to button their own jeans after the bathroom, zip their own coat for recess, blow their own nose. Teachers have their hands full and don't have time to do these tasks for the children in kindy. I work in an elementary school, and see kids who can't figure out how to carry a lunch tray or put on their coat.

So, you may feel that you are not getting the right answers if we cannot give you the name of a school or district that will accept your child. You might want to post this question in the way that it is seen by those in your area. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Academically, she is ready. However, what is more important at this age is the social/personal skills. So, continue with what she is doing at home, or look into various programs (if you have a good metroparks or state parks system, or library system, they often offer free or low cost programs on nature, reading, etc., that she can do for further enrichment).

But focus on the personal skills - taking turns, learning to share, learning to speak her thoughts/needs to you and especially to other kids. Go on lots of playdates and unstructured group activities. Great book on the topic is It's Okay Not To Share. Made the NY Times booklist for parenting books last year. Great stuff in it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My good friend had her daughter tested and they let her start in first grade during her kindergarten year. So, she just jumped a grade instead of starting early. That is one idea for you. They say it is not possible in our district...yet she somehow made this happen. Her daughter is in 3rd grade now and is doing great. She had some emotional/social problems her first year but they got it all worked out. Talk to the schools, the principal, and find out if you can talk to the person who does testing for the gifted program. Our son was very academic and this was very noticable when he was 3 - 4 yrs old. He could count to 100 and above, do math, do soduku puzzles, read, etc. We started him in Kindergarten at the normal time and then they tested him and put him into the gifted program. For example...in 1st grade he was reading at a 6th grade level. I'm happy we did it this way for various reasons. PS - My birthday is the beginning of August, so I was the very very young 5 year old in Kindergarten (I would not make the cutoff now a days!). I always did great academically and by middle school everyone was trying to copy off me on tests which was annoying. I could finish all my work for the day in the morning and never had homework. I was in all the accelerated programs through high school. So, starting early may be the best thing for your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You should check into Happy Hollow Children's center on beaverton Hillsdale hwy.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I googled your state regulations regarding this and this is what the law says.

Washington has age requirement laws for entry into public school kindergarten and first grade:

Kindergarten age requirement: A child must be 5 years of age as of midnight August 31 of the year of entry to be entitled to enter kindergarten. WAC 392-335-010.

First Grade age requirement: A child must be 6 years of age as of midnight August 31 of the year of entry to be entitled to enter first grade. WAC 392-335-015.

According to the above statement even if you do find someplace for her to go to school she'll be stuck in kindergarten for 2 years because they won't legally be allowed to put her in first grade the year after.

So here are your choices.


To BC Canada Ded 31, California Dec 3, Hawaii Dec 31, Kentucky is October 1, Maine is October 15, Maryland Dec 31, Michigan Dec 1, Montana Dec 2, Nebraska Oct 15, New Jersey Nov 30, New York Nov 30, North Carolina Oct 16, North Dakota Dec 2, some states are not listed.


I truly had no idea so many states didn't have cut of by the first day of class.

I think kids should be with kids their own age, that means if their peers have to be 5 by the first day of class then so should that kiddo.

In this case it is obvious she's bright, too smart for regular school. It seems you might just have to home school her of find out about gifted and special programs for kids that are young geniuses. Seems like there has to be some program out there for the kids who are in college at 12....they had to go to elementary school somewhere.

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