When should my daughter start school?

Angie - posted on 04/09/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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The schools here in shelley say she cant start till after she turns 5. She turns 5 Two months after school starts. I think its bull they wont let her start till the year after! Anything I can do about this?

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Melissa "Missy" - posted on 04/11/2009

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Now what I just said about my daughter, I can not say about my 2 boys.  My oldest boy is 8 and he is now in 2nd grade doing fine but I had him in preschool at 4 and he just wasn't interested.  I wasted my money because he didn't learn a thing and they went over it again and again.  Now my 4 year old boy already knows the days of the week and can count to 20 and colors.  I think it really depends on the child and girls seem to grasp it alot quicker.  You need to do what you feel is right for your daughter and your family.  What was good for my daughter was not a good idea for my son's. 

Melissa "Missy" - posted on 04/11/2009

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My daughter was in the same predicament- She missed the cutoff by 3 week.  The cutoff was Oct. 16.  I was told the same thing about being 5 to go to public school but I went out and found a private school that had a cutoff date of Jan. 1 to turn 5.  She is in 6th grade and 11 years old.  She is currently on Principal's list for 2 quarters and AB honor for the other quarter.  She has been selected as a semifinalist in Preteen America, student government, homecoming court princess, and is very active in sports.  I did worry about my decision in 2nd grade but she got away from that teacher and has been doing great ever since.  I would look for a private school- it didn't cost much more than daycare did at the time and they were really good with her.  She had better handwriting than most 5th graders in 2nd grade.  Good luck!!! 

Angie - posted on 04/10/2009

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Thank you all for your feedback. It helped me to talk to others. Im so new at this I was nervous because there seems to be so much we parents have to do and I felt like I was holding my daughter back. Every where I go I hear these moms talk about their kids already being in kindergarden and preschool I wondered if I was suppose to get my daughter enrolled already. I know she is learning very well already because she is good at counting, her colors and shapes. Her alphabet she may need more help with, but all in all I think she is developing well. But where my kids stay at home with me all day then stay with their dad at night, I feel they dont get to be around kids their age enough. So I wondered if she would enjoy being in school being around little people.  She does take dance lessons once a week but I feel like thats not enough. She enjoys playing and having fun with kids her own age when they come around. I wanted to start her in preschool, but I talked to the school district and they said preschool is mainly for children with learning disabilities that need longer schooling to get them on the same level as others. So I may as well take the time we have and have fun and help her with the main things in her life for now. You are right, they grow too fast and I wouldnt want to miss out on their young stage.

Angie - posted on 04/10/2009

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Thank you all for your feedback. It helped me to talk to others. Im so new at this I was nervous because there seems to be so much we parents have to do and I felt like I was holding my daughter back. Every where I go I hear these moms talk about their kids already being in kindergarden and preschool I wondered if I was suppose to get my daughter enrolled already. I know she is learning very well already because she is good at counting, her colors and shapes. Her alphabet she may need more help with, but all in all I think she is developing well. But where my kids stay at home with me all day then stay with their dad at night, I feel they dont get to be around kids their age enough. So I wondered if she would enjoy being in school being around little people.  She does take dance lessons once a week but I feel like thats not enough. She enjoys playing and having fun with kids her own age when they come around. I wanted to start her in preschool, but I talked to the school district and they said preschool is mainly for children with learning disabilities that need longer schooling to get them on the same level as others. So I may as well take the time we have and have fun and help her with the main things in her life for now. You are right, they grow too fast and I wouldnt want to miss out on their young stage.

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My son started kindergarten early because he squeezed by the age limit and I totally regret it now.  He started in a public preschool in MD and began kindergarten there. We have since moved (a couple of times....military) and now are retired and living in PA. In our area, it is the norm to hold back children and have them start at age 6 (especially boys for some reason)... this means that Chris is the youngest in his class by at least a year and in some instances 2 years. He is a straight A student, but socially, he does not have as much in common. There is a huge gap between a 10 year old 5th grader and an almost 12 year old 5th grader and some of the behavior of the older kids isn't all that endearing!



I really don't see what the rush is. Enjoy your daughter now, because once she is in school, time goes by sooo fast. Do the ABC's, colors, shapes and numbers with her and if you feel strongly about it, enroll her in a half day preschool. Having worked in public schools in 2 different states (in kindergarten actually LOL) I can say that  the days of fingerpainting and playdough are over. Now they are expected to write in journals, work at a computer and do math and have very little time for the "fun" activities that we once enjoyed. As a result, the number of children recommended for occupational therapy has increased in order to learn how to cut with scissors, color and hold a pencil because they are not developing their fine motor skills in kindergarten (thats what the fun stuff was really for). Enjoy your daughter... she'll be fine starting a little later and you will not regret it a bit!

Dawn - posted on 04/09/2009

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Where we live 8/31 is the cut off, no exceptions for public school.  However, some private schools will let you start earlier...and if you show the public school the record of kindergarten completion, they will honor it (so back to public school in first grade).  That being said, the kids who are a bit older in school have a tremendous advantage developmentally.  My son is in Kindergarten this year--he is a May baby and almost everyone is older than him.  He's doing well in school, but I wish he were on the older side, it would have made it easier on him.  I wouldn't rush it.  Kindergarten isn't what it used to be...here it is full day (7:45am-2:45pm) with only one 15 minute recess & 30 minute lunch, weekly homework assignments and they have to be reading to move on to first grade.  They don't ease them in to school anymore.  They have the rest of their lives to be done with school and working...it's ok to let them be a kid a little longer!

Gloria - posted on 04/09/2009

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check to see if there is a head start in your area.  If not do as I did. my oldest son had the same problem, and when he did start, he was top of his class. Make sure you read to her, and work with the fundamentals: colors, numbers, letters and she will be fine.

Gloria - posted on 04/09/2009

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Quoting Angie:

When should my daughter start school?

The schools here in shelley say she cant start till after she turns 5. She turns 5 Two months after school starts. I think its bull they wont let her start till the year after! Anything I can do about this?


check andsee if your area has a head start school.  I had the same problem with my oldest son and he was top of his class when he did start. just make sure you read to her alot and work with her at home with her numbers, colors, and letters.

Teyaka - posted on 04/09/2009

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Depending on if she was already in pre school, some schools let you switch over. If I am not mistaken, depending on the district.... if your birthday is during or before September you can enroll that year. Later than that and you have to wait. But see if you can have her in head start and then switch her over when she hits 5.

Briana - posted on 04/09/2009

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Some school districts allow you to appeal or challenge that rule.  They do not usually make that open to the public but once you start to dig around and ask questions you can find out if that is an option.  I would check with the school district to see if that is an option in your area.  Sometimes they make you pay to have the child tested to see if they meet the requirements set forth to start school but it may be worth it if she is ready to start school.  Another option is to see if the schools around you offer open enrollement if they have different age requirements.

Portia - posted on 04/09/2009

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I say start school as early as possible! my son is only 2 1/2 and hes already in school. Even if she is just a liitle bit younger I think she will benefit from having a head start. Just my thought :)

Cassie - posted on 04/09/2009

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I believe you should wait until the following year to enroll her.  She will be more developmentally ready to deal with the intellectual, social and physical demands of kindergarten.  While you want to try to give her a head start and get her into school as early as you can, it will actually be in her best long term interest to start school when she is five almost six.  If you were to enroll her this coming year, she will be a four year old in a classroom with five and six year olds.  Even if it is just for two months, there are major developmental differences between a four year old and a six year old.  It is ultimately your decision to pursue this, but I think it is in your daughter's best interest to wait.  That is why the school has this policy.

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