â« Shawnn âªâ«â« - posted on 03/10/2015
You wait until the cutoff for her birthday, and quit trying to push her too early. If you feel that she's ready for the socialization, etc, that a structured school day would provide, put her in preschool.
There IS a valid reason for those cutoff dates, and a child with a december birthday can find themselves well behind their older peers if pushed too early.
Ledia - posted on 03/10/2015
Where do you live. In my area, the public schools will not accept children for K4, K5, and First Grade until they are the appropriate age. There are also no gifted programs until 3rd grade--one of the many reasons American schools in many areas are falling behind other countries.
This is the workaround that we were given. Many accredited private schools will accept children who meet the academic and social requirements, even if their age is a little young. You can send your daughter to private school until she finishes first grade, then she will take a test to transfer into public school. She can go into whichever grade she tests into regardless of her age.
It can be a little tricky though. We have some private schools that do a great job, and children who've attended those schools routinely test into public school a grade or two ahead of their projected grade based on age. Unfortunately, some private schools are very much sub par, and children who've attended those are behind. Additionally, if you choose a Montessori school, or other school which uses a more hands on, creative approach to learning, your child may actually be very advanced in relation to her peers, but she may test into a lower grade because of the format of the standardized test, which relies more on memorization than actual intelligence or ability to learn and figure things out on her own.
Another downside to starting school early is that she will not relate to her peers as well emotionally and socially, which are both very important aspects of education. Just because a child is academically advanced, does not mean that she is also socially advanced--in fact, recent research indicates that academically gifted children are often behind their peers of average academic ability in terms of social development. Thus, when the teen and young adult years come around, many gifted children are more prone to depression, addiction, and other risky behaviors.
If you feel your child is gifted, and that is why you want to start her early, the best course of action is to begin homeschooling her until she is the appropriate age for school--avoid basic subjects that are taught in school, such as hand writing, spelling, alphabet, etc. and focus on creative learning that is often overlooked--storytelling, visual interpretation (art history, metaphoric language, etc.)--and its application to real life, academic advancement, and specific careers or life situations. Once she starts school, continue to supplement her learning with additional resources so that she does not get board at school.
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