My four yr old is ahead of most of the kids starting school this year, but because he doesn't turn five until November, they wont let him into school until next year...

Linzy - posted on 04/13/2009 ( 56 moms have responded )

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Am I just going a little overboard with this? Or should I push to have him in school this year? Even if I can't get him in this year, I want him tested for gifted and I don't have the first clue where to start... Please help!!

Thanks!
Linzy

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Kim - posted on 07/12/2009

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My oldest daughter has a Sept. 11 birthday, missing the cut-off by 11 days. Having a Dec. birthday myself and knowing how much I enjoyed being one of the oldest all through school, I decided to let my daughter enroll with her age group, even though I knew she was much more advanced than most of the other kids. (She got a reputation many years for being the smartest in her class.) She's a sophomore in high school now and has told me numerous times how much she appreciates me not putting her in school a year early and standing firm about not skipping a grade. She has a friend who was skipped a grade and had trouble when the other girls began to develop physically much sooner than she did and again when all her friends were driving and she had to wait. My daughter has been in Gifted Ed classes since 3rd grade (the year they start G.E. in our school district) and enjoys her Advance Placement classes, even though they're a lot of work for her. I gave a lot of thought to this when she seemed advanced even as a toddler and decided I wanted her to have as normal a life as possible. I've encouraged her to get involved in sports and to become a well-rounded person. We're not through the teenage years yet, but she's a very happy and respected kid. I never had my daughter tested for gifted. It showed up naturally. Believe me, the teachers know! I wouldn't push the school to test your son. Just be there to celebrate his achievements and encourage him to do anything he's interested in-unless you want to put him in a faster track. You have to decide what kind of life you'd like your son to have. Some kids burn out after all the gifted classes throughout their school years. Putting them a year ahead of their age group might contribute to that. Just work with your son's teachers whenever you decide to get him into school. My daughter had a 4th grade teacher who let her come up with her own spelling words. My daughter would give her teacher a list of words, some of which the teacher had never heard of. As long as my daughter spelled the words right on the spelling test, she was fine with that. My daughter was reading at a 10th grade level in 4th grade, so even putting her a year ahead in school wouldn't have put her on the "right" level in reading and spelling. If you want your son to be well rounded, don't push things, but stay involved in what's going on at school. With God's help, he'll turn out just fine!

Wendi - posted on 06/23/2009

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I just wanted to say these are all good ideas, and each kid is different. However, one thing I disagree with is "giving them more work" to keep them from getting bored. These children shouldn't be punished for breezing through their work by being given more work. They should be able to move ahead of their peers or get out and play. None of my kids liked the "coloring" in their early school books. Why should you have to color the number 5 when you already know it? They saw immediately that this was just busy work and fought it. Also, something my husband says, is that in high school you are often graded based on your work, if your work is harder (like for GT programs) you have a harder time getting a good GPA than your non GT peers, then the colleges don't always look at your classes but just what your GPA was and don't give credit where credit is due. Kids who take the easy classes but get all A's look better than kids who take the harder ones and get A's and B's. Just my 2 cents.

Yasmeen - posted on 06/19/2009

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I had this same problem when my daughter was 4. I went to to board of education and they gave me a form to fill out and told me that it depends upon a couple of different things, 1. is the child social developed enough to attend regular classes with the older children. 2. is the children verbal and motor skills well enough developed for the child to attend school early (i.e., does the child know the basics {alphabet & numbers}, can he/she hold a pencil and write correctly with it, can the child communicate in a clear manner that can be well understood by others {no baby talk}, is the child able to ride a bike or triclyle without help or aid of an adult?) These are some of the questions that were asked on the form they gave me, and they said that my daughter would have to go through the interview process and would have to be able to deministrate all of the senarios that were asked on the form. I though it was too much headache to go through so I decided to wait. Worst mistake I think I have ever made in my life, If they are ready go for it and dont give it a second thought!!!

Jody - posted on 06/03/2009

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I am an elementary principal and I get this request a lot. I am also a mother of a son who has an August birthday. The cut off here in Kansas is a child must be 5 by August 31st. I waited to start my son in kindergarten until he was 6 years old. He was very smart as a 5 year old but I worried about his social maturity. He was extremely shy and an only child. He is now 14 and I have NEVER regretted this decision! He is now very outgoing and confident among his peers. He has a maturity level that has helped him immensely with the social pressures of middle school. He is one of the oldest in his class making him more competitive in sports and academics.



When parents ask me to start their kids early, I always ask them to think beyond kindergarten...beyond elementary school. Look way ahead in your child's life and ask yourself if you would rather have your son dealing with middle school bullies and pressures a year younger than hs peers...ask yourself if you would rather your son deal with dating drama and pressures in high school a year younger than his peers...and ask yourself if you would rather your son leave for college as a young 17 year old?



As for having your son tested for gifted, every state has different guidelines, standards and procedures. If your state requires an IQ test, then it is best to wait until your son is 8 years old. Most IQ instruments do not yield reliable results in children younger than 8. Most schools are very good at meeting the needs of all students. Establish a relationship with the school administration and teaching staff and give them time to get to know your child. I am betting that they will see the strengths of your child and work to capitalize on them! Good luck!

Deborah - posted on 04/16/2009

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In Texas they leave it up to the districts and in the Austin area the districts are drastically different. The district I live in will allow early entrance to kindergarten as long as the child can pass a test equal to 3rd grade level which is absolutely nuts to me, because if the child is equivalent to 3rd grade shouldn't they then be in 3rd grade? I know .. mature level comes into play here but the point is the bar is set really high to discourage early entrance. The district next to us is a famous district that is ranked 59 in the nation and they absolutely refuse early admittance. What they will do is have the child start in kindergarten at the age they should start and then in the first month test per the parent's request and will provide the option of moving the child to 1st grade bypassing kindergarten all together.

These are just a few possibilities but all states are different. Some uniformly make decisions on this topic at the state level while others leave it up to the district. So start at the state level and find out where your state stands on this and then if they leave it up to the district call the district and talk to them. Don't rely on word of mouth. One mother I know has a child that was born 3 days after the cutoff date and all the mom's were telling her that she could admit her early but she finally called the district and found out they wouldn't even consider it.

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Hi! We were in the same boat and you know what, we kept our son home an extra year!! It is not just about book smart, it is about emotional and mental preparedness. Keep doing the reading writing at home. When he goes to k, he will be ahead of the kids in those aspects, but he will still want the social and play time like any other child his age. Now, here is where we did something different. When it was time for grade 1, we put our son in a multi-age grade 1-3 class, these kids mentor each other and work at their own pace. This way whatever they excel in, they can keep working ahead and are still with kids in their own peer groups. Our son remained in multi- age till grade 5, at which point they did not offer the multi-age class. This may not be an option for everyone, but we are now homeschooling, I have taught him grade 5/6 this year . Which is all available on line for free! This fall we will be enrolling him in a new school, directly into grade 7, which, because he stayed home an extra year before starting kindergarten, is still his age, grade and skill level. He is a happy, bright boy and we have no concerns whatsoever. We have always kept in mind that even though our child may excel in school now, we would never want to pressure him into a situation, that at some point ,he may think he has disappointed us, if he is ever having difficulty at a later time. ~ Learning should be fun and exciting for everyone! Hope that helps.

Suzanne - posted on 03/03/2013

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My 3rd daughter is 4 and will be 5 on Aug 7th. Our cut off date has been moved to Aug 1st! We don't even start school until mid Aug do I don't know why they moved the date before school starts. Anyway, she has been reading 3 letter words, sounding out many other longer ones, writing her full name, knows all letters and sounds, numbers, and songs, for about 6 months now. She improves daily, it seems. She speaks in full conversation, looks you in the eye, can explain every feeling she has and dresses herself. My first daughter's Bday is Aug 4th. And she started school two weeks after she turned 5. She is in 3rd and just now feeling challenged with the work. My middle girl is a Jan baby and in first grade has been at the top of her class since the day she started kindergarten. I understand the benifits of being the oldest vs. the youngest but with the pattern and development of my girls it seems like my 4 yr old will be given tons of busy work when she could be "learning". I don't know what we'll do but these comments have been very helpful. Thanks:)

Donna - posted on 10/11/2012

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I am a Pre-K teacher and parent of three. Do not push! Children need to be ready socially as well! Always keep the future in mind. If you put your child ahead in school, the social problems hit earlier in life. School friends will be taller stronger and able to do things your child will not beable to do. When your child is older, the others will be driving, dating and well other things and your child will feel left out. You also have to try and imagine your child graduating and leaving for college at 16! That is how old my daughter would be if I had pushed her a year ahead. If your child chose not to go to college, then what? You have a 16 year old with nothing to do all day, too young to be out in the world but already out of school. You can always challenge your child and push your child at home, making them the top of the class. Your child might be a little too challenged and struggle in an upper grade.My sister was reading Charlotts web to the kindergarten class when she was five. She was reading at age 3. She was eventually bumped up two grade levels and later moved back because she could not handle being around older children. As a matter of fact, she acted out. One day she took her clothes off and stood on the desk saying I want to go home! needless to say, she got her wish! Remember, being very smart is a good thing, the school will decide if your child is "gifted" but I would not rely on them! You could also consider home schooling. Good luck with a rather tough choice. I have been there both as a teacher and a parent.

Wendy - posted on 10/05/2012

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Wendi-- (PS: I'm a "Wendi" with a "Y" lol....I don't come across many)



Didn't your school offer College Courses for kids who had advanced GPAs? I ask because your comment is true (I took Advanced Placement Classes and realized I was screwing myself because you're right....most Colleges look at primarily Grade Point Average and NOT the "Advanced" element of the GPA in relation to the difficulty of the class), so I made the decision (because I was over 18 in the beginning of my Senior Year and didn't need my parents' approval) to take College Courses for College Credits during my High School Day (meaning the Professors come to the High School during your day and teach the College Courses to the kids that qualify based on GPA of *I think it was* 3.4 or higher).



So that really alleviated the issue you speak of because instead of just taking AP classes and actually putting myself in a situation that might lower my GPA, I took myself OUT of AP classes and enrolled myself in the College Courses to keep my High School GPA in tact (regular College Prep courses) while also earning College Credits AND challenging myself intellectually.



The only "catch" was that I still had to pay full price of the the College Course to do all of the above, but it's worth it because I didn't have to take dumb electives nor Advanced Placement classes for "no reason". I was able to skip the electives, maintain my GPA, and be a few steps ahead (in College Credits) before graduating High School.



That was way back in 1999 our local Public School offered that option, so I'm curious if that's something that just my school district offered. I sort of assumed since it's 2012 that every school offers that option now. Do you know?

Wendy - posted on 10/05/2012

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In response to Sandra's comment about Kindergarten:



Schools are weird that way now. My son's old school district did half days for Kindergartners UNLESS the child was behind academically/intellectually/emotionally and only the children that needed extra help were allowed to have "full day" Kindergarten.



But then I moved a few miles away to *my old* school district and they offer only half days and don't do the full days at all.



But then other school districts offer the Full Day to advanced kids (instead of the ones that are behind) and the half day for the "regular" kids.



It's weird how much it varies from school to school and the parent has pretty much no say as far as Kindergarten is concerned since we have no "evidence" (of academic excellence) to back up our reasons why we want half day/full day for our kids.



It seems to be a district-to-district thing that's entirely up to the school, so I just dealt with it and let it slide because Kindergarten is mostly a breeze for kids regardless of their academic level.

Wendy - posted on 10/05/2012

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Linzy--



There isn't much you can do about the age he starts, I happened to be a November baby as a kid and was therefore older than most of the kids in my grade (and also excelled academically). They do that to ensure the child is emotionally able to handle a school situation and the age thing isn't something you can change. As far as Giftedness goes, it's your legal right to require the school to test for IQ, gifts, disabilities, and medical problems (if they're of a psychiatric nature) and they are required to do so at no cost to you. However, you will have to push (I had to push for 4 years and am finally now getting the testing and specialized programs for my son) and be a constant force in your child's schooling and with the staff. You will have to be "open minded" and keep in contact with the Counselors, teachers, and principal and convince them there's a reason to be tested.



However, it isn't likely they will test at such an early age because of the fact that he hasn't even entered Kindergarten yet (meaning they have no reason to think he "needs" testing because he hasn't even been in class or shown strengths/weaknesses yet) and typically it's hard to get those tests (for free by the school) until Grade 3 because the Professionals say that kids whose parents had a hand in giving them a "head start" (ie: helping them to read and learn things before beginning school) usually only give them an advantage until approximately Grade 3 and then those kids tend to "even out" with the other kids (meaning that if your child still excels after Grade 3, THEN it shows that he may possibly be naturally Gifted and not just good at remembering what the parents taught/showed him) and they'll be forced to test.



But until your child is enrolled in school and has shown reason to need those tests, your only real option is to pay for outside testing and/or place him in private school/classes. But make sure to keep on it because that changes dramatically once they excel for a few years in school (their requirement to test for free and provide specialized services to your child at no cost).



So be vigilant, but also be patient. IQ is difficult to measure in a child that age because they're too young to truly show their level of learning (because they haven't attended formal education yet).



But as far as the age-thing, I used to "mind" that I was older than other kids, but by my Senior Year I was happy it was that way because I turned 18 in November and was able to sign my own excuse blanks, lol......seriously, though. It didn't negatively affect me emotionally or academically. I just took Advanced Placement Courses in place of electives and also took College Courses (that I paid for) for College Credits during my regular (high school) day. Most schools offer that option to kids to retain Grade Point Average of about 3.4 or higher (meaning you still have to pay since they are real college classes, but the professionals will come to the school and do them during the student's school day instead of taking pointless electives when you already have enough credits to technically "graduate"). So don't be upset about that. If your kid needs that challenge (especially in High School near College Years), as long as his grades stay above a high "B" average, he will be eligible to get College Credits under his belt during his High School day, which makes him being slightly older pretty much a non-issue.



He won't be "behind" when starting College if he can take some of those basic courses while still in High School, so his age really won't matter at all for him emotionally OR academically.

Talia - posted on 10/02/2012

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Im having an issue not knowing what direction to go in as far as getting my child tested into kindergarten she is 4 and doesn't turn 5 until Dec. but she is ahead of her class she's already doing beg. math and starting to read and I feel if I keep her in pre-k without a fight she will begin having other issues such as getting bored in class and starting to act out....WHAT can I do?? Does anyone have a clue what to do????? I live in Houston if there is a website or something to go to please let me know???

Sandra - posted on 08/30/2009

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I think it also makes a big difference if it is a full day or half day K program. My son was just not ready to be away from me for so long (full day K) at a younger age, but now that he is older a skip of K was more appropriate. I would suggest a Montessori school if one is available as they allow for more independent learning.

Laura - posted on 08/29/2009

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I wouldn't say you are going overboard. YOU are his Mom, &, I personally feel most (not all mind you,some are delusional LOL) know their kiddos. My DS will turn 6 on Monday & has been in 1st grade for over a mos now (we do year round school here =) . DD will turn 5 on Sept 19th, &, to be blunt, is ahead of most kids I know who ARE starting K this year. Utah is pretty strict, & won't start kids 'early'. My DS is the youngest in his class, & is shy, but is fitting in well, & in the top in mostly math (not a surprise, so were hubby & I LOL) . FWIW, I am a Nov b-day & was 'held back' for maturity issues (I was 5 when I started K) . I was bored all through my schooling, & I went to a private, ie advanced, school, & took ap classes. Not trying to sound uppity, just stating our case. =) So, my DS is in 1st grade, & my DD is not in K this year. They are 1 year 19 days apart in age, & will be 2 years apart in school, which, I think stresses me more than them. LOL I'm not sending DD to preschool for a 3rd year, as, honestly, she learned everything her 1st year, & repeated most of it her 2nd year, so, we are homeschooling this year. So, next year, DD will be one of the oldest in her class. Oh, &, she's also the height of a 6 1/2 yo. Sigh. That is annoying too. She'll be advanced & taller than her classmates next year. But, I am enjoying having her home all day while her brother is in school. We are doing all sorts of fun things & enjoying the time off until next year. =)

Tammy - posted on 08/22/2009

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I had the same issue with my daughter when she was 4, who also has a November birthday, and what I did was send her to a private Kindergarten I found that would accept her at age 4. However, I must warn you that this could be a double edged sword, so to speak. Now that she's 6 and starting the 2nd grade, other kids are endlessly teasing her about being the youngest, and littlest one. That makes her stand out, then when they figure out she's gifted they've got a whole list of other names to call her. She's been begging me to switch her to a new school where no one knows that she's gifted.

Sheila - posted on 08/16/2009

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We are in the same boat (end of Oct birthday) and our 4yr old daughter is academically doing 2nd grade work and multiplying. We have decided to push her because she socially and academically is ready. If your school district will allow it, consider starting him and if he's not socially ready, do some sort of homeschooling to keep him intellectally stimulate and give him more time to be ready to attend a school setting.

Crystal - posted on 08/10/2009

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My oldest son started Kindergarden last fall (Oct.15th cutoff, Oct 25th birthday) After speaking with a trusted Christian friend/teacher we opted to let him go when recommended. We did find a good preschool for him to attend because his mind needed the stimulation. Boys tend to take longer to become socially ready for school although he was academically way above his peers. He did very well both on a maturity level & with his work when he started Kindergarden. His teacher raved over how well he did & was very helpful in advancing him at his own speed rather than staying on things he already had mastered. He is going into 1st grade this year & is Very excited. I've already begun talking with teachers that teach at the school he attends & our church also. He was pulled out last year for reading & we're looking into doing the same thing this year. Also, instead of taking a nap at rest time, his teacher would do specialized work with him because the level he was on academically was 1st & 2nd grade levels. Just remember, you are the ultimate decision maker & the only person he has to advicate for him. If you send him or if you let him stay with his age group, you must stay in constant contact with his teachers to be sure they are doing all they can to keep him moving & not intellectually standing still.

Tanya - posted on 08/10/2009

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That happened with me when I was a child! My parents went to the school board and fought for me, told them to give me a test to see if I was ready, they agreed! Sure enough I got to start Kindergarten that year!! I wasn't emotionally ready for 1rst grade which is where they recommended placing me! LOL!! I was always the youngest and shortest kid in my class but I was also the smartest!!!! I graduated high school 3 months after I turned 17, early mind you! My parents claim that fighting for me was the best thing they could have done!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/06/2009

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Being a boy, I would keep him in the right class...boys always do better socially and academically if they are older for their class

Mary - posted on 08/05/2009

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I am a mom of a highly gifted child, and I am a teacher. The best thing you could do is to provide a stimulating environment for your child until he reaches the school age. There are multiple areas of development, and it's seldom a good thing to push children into a group of children who are older. They may be more developed physically or emotionally, even if your child is ahead academically. I have seen that when a child is gifted in one area, he or she may be a little behind in another area, for example, emotional or physical development. Your school district should have a program to test for giftedness. Some districts don't recognize artistic or musical giftedness, but they will recognize academic giftedness. Basically, enjoy your child, give him/her as many good experiences as possible, and then put your child into school at the normal age. It seldom serves much purpose to jump a child to the next grade. It usually puts them at a disadvantage physically or socially.

Rosanne - posted on 08/05/2009

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I agree ... don't push them but they can be challenged. If challenged they do what they're able to do. Then the teacher(s) can see that the child would or would not be able to do advanced work.

Debby - posted on 08/05/2009

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I would check with the elementary school that's in your area to see what resource they can point you towards for your son to be tested. As far as pushing him, he may be ahead of the kids his age smarts-wise but he would still be behind them age-wise, if that makes sense. I would see about getting him tested, then see what the expert recommends. My daughter was tested & found gifted in Kindergarten (she's going into 2nd this year), and just this year is starting in the gifted 2nd grade class. I wouldn't push it. :)

Rosanne - posted on 08/05/2009

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I know exactly how you feel. My son (who is 11 now) was in the same situation regarding his birthday and his start of school. My sister would tell me from a Mothers point of view and from a Teachers point of view she can say that it's the best thing for kids. I totally agree with her. My son aces all his subjects. This year he is going into the 6th grade. He's supposed to be in the 7th, but due to the level of his grades he will be pushed up to 7th within a couple of months of the start of school. Then they will eventually put him in a 3 year high school program (as long as he keeps up the same work). He will be able to graduate high school by the age of 16. You need to remember that boys mature slower than girls and having him behind a year just because of a birthday it's not so bad. He will most likely be ahead of the game! Gin up Mom! :)

Tiffany - posted on 08/04/2009

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In most areas its very difficult yo force a school district to allow a young child to attend. If I were you I would either work with him at home, teach him to read and add/subtract single digits, work on phonetics etc, then when it comes time to enroll him, skip kindergarten. Some states don't even require it. I know its not required in AZ. My 4 year old daughter, born on Halloween misses the cut off, so she is not allowed to start school until next year. Right now I have her enrolled in a local District run Preschool, and she's already bored. We're going to give it 2 weeks then if things don't improve in the class acedemically, then I'll pull her and she'll learn at home. For example, she's studying sight words on flash cards, etc.

[deleted account]

Looking back on your life, if you could choose to have an extra year of childhood, or an extra year of adulthood, where would you put that year. It may be frustrating now, but let him be a kid for one more year. Use that time to enrich his life with experiences that he would not have had time for otherwise. Piano lessons? Art/music Class? Soccer/T-Ball? The possibilities are endless. Try to look at the bright side of having your baby home with you one last year. :-)

Isabelle - posted on 07/30/2009

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Call the school and tell them you want your child tested for gifted, otherwise you need to contact a psychometric (person whose job is to give psychological tests). My recommendation however, if you can, homeschool your baby and your child will truly be able to blossom. Check out local universities who offer gifted children programs, they offer classes for young gifted children but you need your child's IQ results first. No matter what, do not rely on public education to bring the best out of your child. You will have to work with him and complete his education yourself, which can be a lot of fun and very, very rewarding. Make sure your child practices a sport too. I did all this and my kids rock! Good Luck!

Heather - posted on 07/30/2009

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I faced this same problem last year. My daughters pre-school teacher highly recommended she skip K and go straight to 1st grade. Emotionally and socially she was ready as well. I had a professional IQ test done for backup. Well, I had to fight tooth and nail with the principal of her school just for them to test her to have her bump up. They over tested her - basically set her up to fail. I decided to let it go after months of fighting to get that far. Needlesstosay, her Kindergarten year was a flop. She didn't learn anything new. The teacher she was given - one that was a part of the testing process - did not challenge her and she did not click with the other children. It was a waste of year. I knew it would be

I regret not being more agressive and having more discussion with the school-board. I decided not to make any more waves at school as we will be there for quite awhile having 3 daughters.

My point is - if you feel, in your gut, that your child is ready - do the battle.

Heather - posted on 07/19/2009

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We faced the same situation here in Texas with my daughter. I am a school teacher so I knew they offered test for kids to take to exit out of a grade level (K-12). She took the test the summer before entering in school and went to 1st grade rather than kinder. Some of the social understandings have been difficult for her to understand but with her high level of maturity and intelligence she is handling it like a champ. We did test her for GT and she did qualify in all areas. So you may want to check with your districts Central Office. He will also have to be interviewed by a school counselor and they will have to sign a form in support of him skipping a grade. They typically will interview him without you and then meet with you to discuss the upsides, downsides and options. Good luck to you. Heather

Alicia - posted on 07/18/2009

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I definatly think this is a personal choice for each mom. I have a 3 1/2 yr old that we started checking into early start for kindergarten so we would know if it was worth putting him in preschool a year early. After a lot of phone calls I found my best option to get information is the AIG centers. They gave me a lot information including the state guidelines. For North Carolina it requires them to be tested for Apptitude(IQ) at which they have to test at 98% or higher on it. Then they have to take a reading and math readiness test and have to score at 98% or higher in at least one not both. Then they ask them to do like a social interview along with two recommendation like preschool teachers or such. And after all that it is up to the principal to accept them. The testing here runs about $350.00 and has to be done through psychologist. I spoke to one in regards to the testing and she said that she has only had a handful be able to complete at a 98% rate. I think IQ has to be like at 130 or higher. In talking with the psychologist about my lil one as to where he is at now she thought that with a year of preschool he could probablly make it so I think we are gonna try it. He gets so bored easily if things aren't challenaging enough so we worry he will get bored if we hold him back and not pay attention. It is definatly a personal choice for each child not something that is black and white. I say check with your AIG center and also your state website for their guidelines. Speak to a psychologist and let them know where he is at and they can give you an idea if they think he could handle it. Good Luck.

Rebekah Shelton - posted on 07/10/2009

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If you think you child is above average hre their age, why don't you consider homeschooling????

Tonia - posted on 07/10/2009

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My son started K when he was 4 and has excelled academically ever since; however now that he's 13 and starting high school there are several obvious differences between him and his friends. Luckily he's a tall kid for his age, but there are a lot of growing both emotionally and physically that happens during puberty. Everyone in his class is a good year older and I although he thinks it's cool that he's so much younger than them and was taking advanced classes like Algebra II/Trig as an 8th grader, he's more concerned about the fact that his friends will be driving, going out on their own, and dating long before he can. All in all, I think it was critical to stimulate his intellectual abilities, but I also feel there were other options available that I didn't know about at the time (subject acceleration) that would have been better for his emotional needs. It's hard to imagine them as teenagers when their 4, but regardless of how intelligent they are, they all go through puberty and the struggles that come with it.

Magi - posted on 07/06/2009

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As a K teacher and a mother of 2 gifted girls, one old for her age and one young, put him in a preschool and keep him motivated at home with outings and fun projects, making learning fun. I wouldn't put him in school early.
Maturity is a very important factor to consider...and having maturity at 5 does not mean his maturity will keep up with the others as they grow together. My youngest is a Nov 25 baby (CA has a Dec 1 cut-off date) and although brilliant in school, her immaturity stalled her every year till after winter break. One of her teachers called her the second semester kid, and she was spot on. In Jan, her light bulb would turn on and she would soar, getting there however was a chore. She recently told me that she wishes I would have held her back. She is off to college in Sept.

Our preschool teacher calls it the Gift of Time...time to grow emotionally and academically.

Good luck!

Camille - posted on 07/02/2009

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My 1st child was an August bday, and she ended up being the 2nd youngest at high school graduation. When she was 14, she had friends in the same grade driving - and I wasn't ready for that! She was very bright, I wouldn't have held her back, but I wished her bday was 1 month later. When pregnant with another child and a due date of Sept 1, I just prayed it was later, and it was. Now, home schooling is a different story, there is not the peer pressure that you get from regular school, skipping a couple grades would be easier. However, do you want your 15 year old to go away to college?

Cija - posted on 07/02/2009

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My oldest son has a November birthday. The cut off in OH is August 31. I had him tested for early entrance. He tested within the range for kids starting kindergarten, but because he did not test above and beyond they refuse to admit him--ha. I found a charter school that took him at 4 and he did fine. I have continually kept close tabs on his "emotional" maturity. My son is now 13 and going to high school next year. He was put into talented and gifted classes when he was in 3rd grade..

Melissia - posted on 07/02/2009

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I had the same issue with my daughter who in now 8 yrs old and starting 4th grade in the fall. I just enrolled her in a private school for kindergarten. But you must decide if socially your child is ready to deal with the demands and the focus it takes to attend regular school. My daughter was a social bug already and got along well with everyone. So you have to know what your child is capable of dealing with.

Melissa - posted on 06/29/2009

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The school system isn't made for children like ours. I would suggest you keep him home and teach him there. Wait untill the school does let him in, then push to get him advanced. Thats what I did with my daughter. In kindergarten they put her in a first grade reading class. I continued to push and they put her in 1st grade. I think academically she could be higher, but socially she is good. So I will let it ride for now, all the while finding social activities for her. I have not heard of any kind of testing that can be done before 3rd grade, if anyone has please let me know.

Amy - posted on 06/29/2009

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I went through that last school year. My daughter continued in pre-school and I found ways to enrich her through outside activities. I paid for her private testing, she did qualify for gifted. When she began Kindergarten, I presented the school with her testing results. The school checked her ability and in 4 school days she began first grade and was there this past year.

Cindy Renee - posted on 06/28/2009

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You have already gotten a lot of advice. When my daughter was four, she was reading 2nd grade level books and I checked into the AIG program at the public school district that I was teaching in at the time, to enter her in school early. I was fortunate enough to have the director offter me her sincere advice which was to wait a year then let her attend kindergarten and then if she was still ahead to advance her. She is now six and I enrolled her in the kindergarten class at a Christian school that I taught in last year. She was reading 5 grade by the end of the year and although she had some difficulty (mostly boredom when made to do busy paper and pencil work while her class mates had reading group). She made it through and now will skip first grade and work with a teacher that is experienced with keeping her involved. There are no easy answers and I find it not only refreshing to hear your concerns in this day and age where it seems like so many parents are too busy, but the fact that so many others have taken the time to share their input makes me realize that we truly are joined as one people in love and compassion for our childrens sake. May you seek the Lord in all your choices.

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my daughter was ahead of most kids when she started school also. fortunately she was 5 when she entered kindergarten. as soon as she entered kindergarten her teacher noticed her abilities and my husband and i had many conferences to decide on what we would do with her. we started out with letting her go to the first grade every day for reading instruction since that is where she excelled the most. since she was socially mature at that age and adjusted well to being with the first graders my husband and i decided that she should move ahead to the first grade. we moved to a different stat when my daughter was going into the third grade due to my job situation and i thought that may cause a problem for her but it hasn't. my daughter now is going into the fifth grade this upcoming school year and to this day she is still above grade level even though she has already skipped a grade. she scored the highest you can get on the state testing in math and her reading level is still about two grade levels above. if you believe your child is intelligent enough i would definitly push for him to get into school. call the school department and see what you need to do to have him tested to show that he is ready for school.

Jennifer - posted on 06/23/2009

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I have a 5 yr old son with a December birthday that blows his 6 yr old sister with a November birthday out of the water. I asked the school district about advanced classroom or gifted and talented when he starts kindergarten this year and they said that they would test him after the school year starts and conference about it. I sure hope that they can be flexible all kids do not fit into the cookie cutter mold of this old this grade.

Tami - posted on 06/23/2009

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Ask the GT teacher in your school district where kids in your area can go to be tested if you want to go that route. We started a year and a half before mys on was to enter kindergarten (which was a year before he was age eligable). We worked with teh Board of ed and he got in early. OUr school is not the norm and there not another district near it willing to do this, however my daughter went through the screening to enter thsi september a year early. test 1 1/2 standard deviatios above the mean (same scores as my son) and they are not letting her in or hte other 5 families htat tested their kids for early admission. School has now chagned their policies to 2 standard deviation above the mean. THe supertinedent suggested having her go on time and skipping 2nd grade.

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I scanned the comments already posted and found you have gotten lots of good advice. I had the same problem when my son was four, and also solved it by putting him in a Montessori school. Montessori methods are wonderful for young, gifted children because they can learn and develop at the pace they choose in every area of learning. His biggest challenge has been the socialization. We had to transition into public school when he entered the third grade, and because of the age rules there, he's one of the youngest students in his grade. Some are even two years older than him. So he is not as socially or physically developed as some of them. This does not seem to trouble him, though. He is keeping up with schoolwork very easily, and is in the gifted program at school. The other moms are correct that you just have to evaluate the unique characteristics of your child to make the best choice. Do whatever you think will foster a love and excitement for learning--there is no better start to his education than that.

Jennifer - posted on 06/18/2009

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I'm in the same boat. And I teach in a school for gifted and talented students! Another year of no school and getting in trouble at preschool because he doesn't want to do boring things. But, I take some heart in that he doesn't have tests and stress yet. At my school they get tests and homework in kindergarten :( I toy with the idea of homeschooling him so he can get the education at the level he needs but without all the other stuff he doesn't.

Clare - posted on 06/07/2009

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I went through the same thing with my daughter. She is very bright/intellectually advanced for her age. I was worried that her having to wait the extra year, she would suffer for it. Yes.....she is academically way ahead of the other kids in her class as she would be better suited to the year one class....but she is still learning things, which is great. She also enjoys being with children that are older than her as she can relate to them better, however, by being with kids that are younger than her it offers a chance to challenge her in a social degree, which I believe is also good for her. She is coming along in LEAPS and BOUNDS and does do the work a little to easily but I think it is best that she went in when she did 5 1/2 and be put up a class when she gets to 2nd or 3rd grade - which I think will happen anyways.



btw...it was mentioned to me to get her tested before school, but this was going to cost a minimum $500 for one test!

Lisa - posted on 06/04/2009

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You can get your son tested by a psycologist. My son started kindergarten this year but 6 weeks later he was promoted to the first grade. It has been rough as far as getting him to complete work on time, but the teacher has worked with us. He knows the material but can be "forgetful" in common sense areas!

Heather - posted on 05/30/2009

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Because we miss the deadlines for early entry with both of our kids (daughter is April, son is January), we took a unique approach with our eldest. We had her grade-split.

She was enrolled in Kinder and that was her "homeroom". She was in there for PE, Music, Art and Math. She'd go to a GT first grade classroom for Language Arts. (that was the grade-splitting part). She was a welcome part of both classrooms and it really helped her mature socially. She's a quiet kid, but I would not say socially immature. She actually preferred the First grade classroom...she understood the kids better! We then tested her the following summer so she skipped first grade and was enrolled for second grade the following year. So, basically, she attended Kinder and first in the same year, then tested to move to second the following year. It has been a wonderful decision for her. She has friends in first, second and third grade and has continued to excell in her academics to the point we're not sure she's been truly challenged. However, we're willing to go a little easy on the academics in order to make sure she's adjusted well socially/emotionally. We just enrich at home. Then again, that's our expecation for school: they'll cover the basics, we'll provide what's missed.

Our son is entering Kindergarten this fall and we are trying to figure out if skipping first grade and/or grade-splitting will be right for him or not. He's much more well-rounded than his sister was, but doesn't always like to work...he'd rather socialize! Our approach is to watch him and make the decision in the spring when we have to register for testing. We may test him just to see how he does. We don't lose anything by testing him other than time.

Each kid and family is unique, so it can be hard to decide. Social/emotional issues are a big factor. Personally, I enjoyed having the input from my daughter's kinder and first grade teachers, the GT specialist and the counselor. All were instrumental in helping us discuss and decide what was right, and I anticipate the same team to help us decide about our son. We work to have a good relationship with our school and tailored our approach to reflect a "work together" attitude rather than a "my child is special" attitude.

Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 05/30/2009

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I would suggest Montessori or Pre K program - both would be good for him... At this age, most schools will not test or advance this age of a child - in grades - at this age, its about learning structure in a school setting, socializing etc.... My 4yr old sounds the same as yours - when he was 3 we knew he was ready for something - at 4 we put him in a pre k program - he advance far beyond the other children - reading, writing, doing math etc... The teachers were amazed, however their goal is to help prepare the children for kindergarten (rules, structure, socializing & becoming familar with letters, numbers etc...) Yes he will be in kindergarten & we have been told that due to his level of understanding - he may find kindergarten boring & not be challenged - so we need to be on top of this & provide him stimulation beyond what the classroom does -- Most schools do not even considered advancing a child at this age & also do not offer gifted programs until the 1st grade - so yes, it is a waiting game -- Yes, we asked! Do get him involved in some sort of program....... It will build his love of education & help him in future years....

Chris - posted on 04/20/2009

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I would wait until he is in school. The school will test him and let you know if he wualifies. All of my children were reading, writing, and knew their colors and shapes before they were in Pre-K. My youngest 2 are in the gifted program. They weren't tested until the first grade. If you push the school, they may not believe that he is gifted enough. Don't worry. It will come.

Alison - posted on 04/15/2009

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Linzy, I would go ahead and wait it out. I had the same issue with my son when he was 4. Our cut off is Sept 1 here in AR and turned 5 in October. Just because your son can read early and probably knows his colors,shapes,etc. doesn't always mean he's gifted. Of course, if he knows these things at such a young age, he's VERY smart. Ask the school to consider sending him to the grade above him for just reading and even go ahead and put him in GT or flex groups, is what we have for those in between. Our GT program is selected by test scores, pretty much.
I agree with the mom that said it is usually easier to skip 2nd or 3rd grade b/c by then you get an idea of how they can handle it socially. Especially BOYS! My son skipped 3rd grade this past school year b/c of MUCH pressure from his 2nd grade GT and classroom teacher. I was very timid about it but they told me he wouldn't skip a beat. We worked on multiplication tables and some other math skills a little this summer, but because my son is truly gifted and not just "VERY SMART" he didn't skip a beat academically. He's been very successful with all A's all year until last 9 weeks, his social life got in the way a bit and brought home his first B. He realized that for the first year he had to actually give it his ALL and that his barely trying wasn't going to breeze him through this grade like the prior grades had been! There is DEFINITELY an issue with the social adjustment but I feel like we have it all worked out. I now have no doubt I made the right decision for him and I was glad I waited. As a matter of fact, my younger son is showing the same signs, my older son did at the same age, but his bday isn't until Feb so I am DEF going to wait before I make a grade skipping decision for him. It's very rare they entertain the idea in most public school districts. I hope this helps and I'm sure you will make the right decision for you son!!! Good luck and God bless!!!

Jennifer - posted on 04/15/2009

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I thought about testing for early enrollment for my oldest (she has a december b-day) she was way ahead emotionally and mentally, and her daycare teachers even suggested I should, I didn't. In her case some days i feel i should have, she gets bored easily in school. However I just ask the teachers to give her extra work, and we do a lot at home. My Next daughter however has a July B-day and we held her back, she was definately smart enough, but there is no way she would have made the emotional jump into kindergarten any earlier. Don't base your desission on how smart he is you can always work with that as you go, is he emotionally ready to deal with going?

Manda - posted on 04/14/2009

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I ran into the same problem with my daughter (her birthday was in October). I worked very hard to try to get her into our district for testing in order to have her admitted early. The administration of the grade school gave me a lot of problems and ended up actually denying her admittance. I knew she was more than ready and this was confirmed by the teacher that tested her, so I decided to begin her schooling myself.

I went out and bought the Hooked On (Math, Phonics, Reading, etc.) boxed set for kindergartners, along with various other sets and individual resources. As I worked with my daughter, I watched her develop further and further than what I was seeing from the kids that I interacted with her age. The Hooked On program really helped my daughter develop her basic skills into something more. I am a Girl Scout leader and have many friends with kids the same age and my daughter just flew past what they were learning in school. The one on one really helped her a lot and I decided that homeschooling was actually a pretty good fit for us. My mom primarily works with her now because I've moved into my senior year of college, but I am amazed at how much the homeschooling program has helped her.

We now use an online program called k12 now and my daughter actually moved up from first grade into second grade earlier this year (two grades ahead of where we were told she "should" be). The program allows the children to advance grades, but only if they've actually completed all of the work that is required by grade (at least 90%), This ensures that the child is comprehending what they should be. They are put on daily and weekly lesson plans to help you get through the courses, tested at the end of each lesson, and have required online classroom sessions and conferences. Obviously, this is not something that will work out for everyone, but it might be an option for you to go through. They do a test in order to admit the child into the program and that would give you some idea of where he is at. Good luck in whatever you choose!

Mindi - posted on 04/14/2009

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This is always a difficult decision. Friends of ours had their daughter enrolled early with a September 12 birthday. They thought it would be a good idea, but they ended up regretting it when they realized the social ramifications of it. She had a difficult couple of years with lots of crying, and it was always due to social issues. They wished they had not enrolled her early and had let her be one of the oldest in her class. She is now in fourth grade and doing fine, but they still say if they had to do it over again, they would not have started her early. My daughter has a September 19 birthday and we did not start her early. We have not regretted it at all!

Ellen - posted on 04/14/2009

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Sonja and Missy have great points. We're going through the same struggles here - for the second go around. Not sure how far we're going to press the issue. In our district it's easier to skip 2nd or 3rd grade than enter early.

Missy - posted on 04/14/2009

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My son goes to the Montessori school and they are allowing him to advance early - many private schools will do this. If that's not an option for you, there's always homeschool AND depending on your state, you can get your child tested for early entry. I would call the state school board, don't mess around locally because the administration probably just won't want to do the extra work - then come armed with knowledge of how to get your kid in.

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