Pre-K Or Not?

Updated on January 05, 2010
S.W. asks from Dallas, TX
7 answers

I keep getting "advice" by, I'm sure, well-meaning friends of mine, but now they've planted worries into my head. I'd like to hear from anonymous mothers and folks like you who've been through this....OR maybe there's a K teacher on here who could offer some friendly advice.

My son is 4 (Oct 25 bday) and will be 5 next Oct. He's very smart for his age, loves to learn. He's always spelling words on the street when we walk, in the car, on the TV. In the last 3 months he's sounding out the words and reading. He's reading! I'm so very very proud of him! His personality is shy. Not terribly so, but not outgoing and loud. He obeys well in class, great student, but not a leader with his friends. He's in a 3s class right now (becuz of the time of yr his bday falls) and CAN go into a 4s class next yr. I've heard he should go into Transitional Kindergarten or Pre-K. I've also heard he should not and stay in the 4s class. So here are my worries: If he starts Pre-K, will he be bored in kindergarten and start to get in trouble? If he stays in the 4s class, will we then be risking 2 years of boredom and more trouble?

Have any of you had a kindergarten-ready 4YO? What did you do? How did they turn out? Do they still do well in school? Did they go to advanced classes? Is there a program or school you'd suggest?

Thanks in advance.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so very much for the feedback. I am enrolling my son in a K-prep class next fall. I'm very happy with the school I've chosen and I think my son will benefit from having that extra year to mature. I also spoke with a couple of kindergarten teachers and they informed me that he will have plenty to keep him busy and intrigued in kindergarten, so he won't be bored. Thank you again, everyone!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I had that problem with my son. We ended finding Campbell Christian Academy. They ignore the age of a child. Instead they allow children to master a skill and move on. My 4 year old can read books and my 6 year old is working on long division and reading several grades above his peers. They are amazing. If you want any more info let me know. This school was an answer to our prayers and I love to share it with other moms. They also have a website at

Good luck



answers from Dallas on

You might want to look at a montessori instead where the children can develoop at their own pace and are often grouped according to abilities and not necessarily age. When he turns 5, he'll be more than ready for Kindergarten. I was pushed ahead, and honestly, I think it was a bad thing. Intellectually I was more than ready, but not emotionally. The girls were just that much ahead of me when it came to things like boys, etc.

Your son is shy and might do well staying with his age group when it comes time for Kindergarten. My son is very outgoing, smart and big. He was accidentally put in the class ahead of him (long story). He did fine, but he's done much better with his peer group since then. He's also been happier. At his age, and your son's age, a year makes a BIG difference. Most of the work in Kindergarten is stuff that the kids already know so your son won't be the only one in that position. It's really the social environment that's the big thing. I would vote to let him stay with his peer group at least starting with Kinder. Ultimately, you'll know what's best for him emotionally but I just wanted to throw in my experience. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I have a son that will be old enough to attend kindergarten, but not by much. I am not worried about his readiness for kindergarten, it's middle and high school that I worry about. Maybe your son will be a tad bored in kindergarten..not likely..but lets say he is. Well, I would prefer that to the alternative, which is maybe he wont be as mature as the other boys in 9th grade. That one is a lot harder to compensate for! In kinder, the teachers can give extra work, harder books to read, etc. In middle school, there is nothing they can do to help a younger boy cope with his struggles. SO, I say, stick to pre-k, then kinder the next year. There is so much stimulation and fun, that even if he is a bit ahead academically, he will be getting plenty of enrichment in other areas. I know this is a tough decision, I wish you the best of luck! ~A.~



answers from Dallas on

I'd do pre-K the year before he goes to Kindergarten. Even if he's reading before he goes into Kindergarten, it's still all a new experience. He'll learn about his school and have all those new friends. His Kindergarten teacher should be able to provide him with books on his level, so he shouldn't get bored there.



answers from Dallas on

I am a PreK teacher and at our preschool the child must be of Kinder age to attend the transitional class. So make sure you ask about that if you have not already.

My daughter has an October bday and so badly wanted to start Kindergarten early. I decided against it and have no regrets. She was never bored in PreK 4's or in Kindergarten.

On another note, if you push him ahead....when he is in Middle and High school he may be smaller than all the other boys...this will effect his abilities in sports, in either skill or weight qualifications.

One more thing...why have to pay for college a year earlier than needed.

If you do choose to stay in PreK 4's, find other ways to challenge him at home.



answers from Dallas on

Here is something to think about. By law, you are not required to have your child attend kindergarten. You can place them right into 1st grade which they are required by law to attend. I know for kindergarten you have to be 5 by the end of July but I'm not sure if there is an age requirement for 1st grade. Just something to think about!



answers from Dallas on

Hi Stacy,

I taught pre-K and Kinder and the research shows that allowing a child to move ahead and be with his/her intellectual peers rather than physical peers is very beneficial. I would second both previous posters as offering wonderful options for your son. Let his abilities be the deciding factor, not his age.

Best of luck!

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