mousdahl's picture

Looking for others advise...

My 4 year old daughter has a October birth date and therefore misses the cut-off date for Kindergarten this year. We do have some options to put her into a private Kindergarten (which will allow us to put her into 1st grade anywhere the following year).

She is already reading, counts to 100, speaks clearly, understands very basic math problems, and isn't behind socially. So, in my opinion, I think it's a no-brainer to push her up into a Kindergarten program... but my wife thinks otherwise. I don't want to have her do another year of preschool (learning her colors, alphabet, 1-10 etc.), right?

Does anyone have advice about this? Pros and cons of her being the youngest in her class?

Thanks for your thoughts.


acitez's picture

Academically, it seems that your child is already in first grade. Has she been in an academic pre-school or has she been at home?

mousdahl's picture

She has been in 4yr preschool this year (though technically she was supposed to be in 3yr preschool). So our options are to put her in Kindergarten or repeat the 4yr preschool program. The major difference, from my wife's point of view, is that the preschool program is 5 half-days and the Kindergarten is 5 full-days. Her program this year was three half-days -- so, the jump may be more than she can handle.

acitez's picture

There was a study done by the Yale child development program that suggested that many 5 year-olds are not really ready for even 5 half days.

sandstorm's picture

My birthday is in October too and I was going to miss the cut off as well.. honestly I am thankful that my mother enrolled me into Kindergarten and first grade in a catholic school and then transferred me to public in the 2nd grade! I turned out fine! I had straight A's, and made honor roll every year! I actually enjoyed being the youngest in my class, and essentially by the time I was in high school, there were a group of us all around the same age and loved graduating at 17 than 18! :) If your child can handle the work, then I would say go for it!

way2busymom's picture

Both my kids are the youngest in their class. Both scored in the 99.9th percentile of our district GATE test.

My DD did a mid-year skip from kindie to 1st grade. She was 2 to 5 grade levels advanced all around when she started kindie. She's now 12 and in 8th grade and there have been absolutely no issues with her being the youngest. DD is the poster child for a successful grade skip largely because she was an ideal case for it in the beginning. She was on the older end of her natural grade, she's tall for her age (though a late bloomer puberty wise,) she's extremely driven, unusually mature and responsible, very confident, fiercely independant, many years ahead academically, assertive in asking for appropriate work, very atheletic and strong fine motor skills, her peers tend to naturally defer to her in reguards to leadership. We have no regrets including not putting her in kindie early. We LOVED her preschool year despite her abilities at that point.

DS is an October baby but we have a later cut-off and so he started kindie on schedule as a 4-year-old. He's always been sensitive to being the youngest especially when almost every boy in class is a full year or more older than him (red-shirting is very popular in our district.) Fitting in is FAR more important to him than it ever was to DD. He's advanced academically but not driven to accelerate.... happy with being able to do the work well and quickly... more time to play on the computers. His fine motors aren't as strong so being the youngest didn't help him keep up in that reguard (and took a hit on his confidence.) I don't regret sending him on schedule but I'd be lying if I said there haven't been disadvantages to him being the youngest. It's not just boys either. One of is friends is a girl and only a couple weeks older than him. They are in the same class and she's pretty sensitive to being the youngest too (and she's high on the gifted scale too.)

Some things to keep in mind... check your district about the transfer from private school. Most districts have caught on to this trick and now stipulate minimum ages for 1st grade. Consider your child's fine and gross motors.. it's not something you can rush. Consider level of giftedness. A child who is a year advanced can usually be handled very well in the regular classroom. Also consider the kindergarten class. Some are very academic and require more seat time than others. Some schools with an older student body are very used to kindie's coming in reading, writing and doing math. You're DD might not be as advanced when you compare her to the students she'll be with.

I'd look more into your options before commiting to early enterance. A good developmental preschool won't focus on letters and numbers. Look for one that focuses on science, nature, art, ect. Look at your schooling options. Immersion schools can be a great place for advanced children (my DS goes to a tri-lingual school.)

I'm very much in favor of acceleration in the right cases. Just check out all the options first.