Is my son ready for Kindergarten?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Derby_Mom, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Derby_Mom

    Derby_Mom New Member

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    Nov 25, 2006

    I know it may seem silly to be asking this now but I want to make sure I have all the info I need when it's time to enroll my son in school. Here is the deal. My son just turned 4 on the 1st of November and here in Texas and many other states he won't be allowed to start Kindergarten until he is 5 almost 6 years old. The problem I have with that is that my son seems to be very advanced. He has never gone to daycare or a preschool of anykind but he is unusually smart. He knows all of his shapes including Hexagons, pentagons, octagons, trapazoids, etc. He knows all of his colors. He knows all of his numbers 1-100 and can recognize them by site out of order. He can count to 20 in spanish as well. He knows his alphabet and recognizes his letters out of order by site. He can read some small words. He has a very large vocabulary and is great at holding a conversation with older kids. He is great at sharing most of the time and he loves to make new friends. He can do simple addition and he is always trying to get me to give him homework or what he likes to call "seat work." I know he is socially ready for school and I believe he will be mentally ready for Kindergarten next school year too but in Texas they won't let him start Kindergarten until the 2008-2009 school year. Should I insist on getting him in this next school year? Can I do that? In california he can start in the 2007-2008 school year. Are there other places that have an age cutoff date of December 1st like in California? My husband is in the military so we may be able to get orders to another state that might make entry into Kindergarten this next year easier but I guess I just wanna know if I should bother. He seems more than ready to me. He is doing stuff that his older sister didn't even learn until she was halfway through kindergarten. I am not sure what to do or what I can do so if anyone has any advise I would love to hear it. Thanks!

    Derby_Mom
     
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  3. nvkteacher

    nvkteacher New Member

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    Nov 25, 2006

    This is a very personal decision and I have seen it work out many different ways. I am an am/pm kindergarten teacher in las vegas and here kids can start when they are 4 if their birthday is before the begining of Sept. I had a few students who were 4 when they started and one of them is doing great and the other two are not. They are high academically but emotionally they are not ready for kindergarten. If it was my child I would probably wait but again it is personal. I do not see any reason to rush them into kindergarten early. You can definately keep supporting him (and teaching him) at home. Anyway just my opinion
     
  4. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Nov 25, 2006

    I am in Connecticut and they also allow 4 yo in school if they turn 5 by Dec. 31st and although most of them know their letters they aren't at the maturity level of a 5 yo. We also don't have a prescreening and a few of mine don't know any letters ect A, B, C or if they are in order.

    Also, I have taught 5th grade for MANY years and I always knew the kids who's parents put them in school too early. They were still behind socially and it was even more evident in 5th.

    But as Nvkteacher pointed out it is your preference. If you think he is ready and you want to push him, then that is your choice. Or you could put him in a good preschool and get him on a structured routine so he is prepared socially as well.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Oh, and I taught in Killeen, Texas. I met my dh while he was in the Army. Have you been stationed in Fort Hood?
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Nov 25, 2006

    In MD, the cutoff is 8/31 (or is it 9/1? I always forget). Your son would not be allowed to enter K next year. We do have a process for getting an exemption. The child has to go through IQ testing and a pyschological maturity assessment by the school system's pysch. dept. I was talking about this with our resource teacher and she told me that we had over 300 kids apply for the exemption and go through the testing this fall, and only one was accepted into K. They aren't looking for the kids that are advanced...they are looking for the profoundly gifted kids.

    Until the last few years, we had a cutoff of 12/31. I can tell you, those fall kids were rarely really ready to handle the rigors of the classroom. Most of them were smart enough. It was the maturity that made them strggle. Kdg in most places is all day now (at least around here) and if your son's never been in a formal school environment with a large group of same age peers before, that's going to be a real challenge.

    And, think about this...if you do push and he does make it into K next year, there will inevitably be some kids in his class (usually boys) who were "red-shirted" and could turn 7 sometime in the school year -usually late Spring. There could be kids in his class 20 months or so older than him, bigger than him and more advanced than him (socially).

    What I'd do if I were you is look for a structured, academically oriented Pre-K program for him. I'd look for one that was either every day, but half days, or one that was all day a few days a week. I'd bet he'd thrive in that type of setting!
    Kim
     
  6. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Nov 25, 2006

    I teach public Pre-K in TX (DFW area) and I have never heard of any school district in TX allowing a child into kindergarten "early". If they did it for one then they would have to do it for all. However, are you aware of the new law in TX that allows military children to attend public pre-k for free in TX and waives the income/language requirements? This would be helpful to you next year when he is old enough for public pre-k. Once he enters the public pre-k program then all sorts of services would be available to you, you could push for gifted testing etc. In my district we IQ test in kindergarten, but I have seen some parents who pushed for it in pre-k and were successful. Perhaps your school district has a gifted kindergarten? Our school district just started a gifted kindergarten class last year, as pre-k teachers we are supposed to identify those students who may qualify for the gifted kinder the following year and they test them.
    good luck!
     
  7. Derby_Mom

    Derby_Mom New Member

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    Nov 25, 2006

    Thanks for the advice. The thing with my son isn't just that he is academically ready but he seems to be socially ready. When my daughter started kindergarten she was 5 years old and my son seems to be even more ready than she was. I don't want to rush him but it seems that he is socally ready as well as academically. I guess we have plenty of time to see where he is by next school year. I just want to make sure we try to encourage his abilities and not hold him back from excelling. It is just strange because I haven't really worked with him to get him to where he is. Thanks again for all the words of wisdom.

    Derby_Mom
     
  8. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Nov 25, 2006

    Derby Mom,

    It sounds as though you are doing an excellent job raising your son. He is definitely ready for kindergarten academically, which would give reason for us to believe cognitively. Socially, you should look at more than just his conversations with his peers and his ability to share; but, assuming he is ready here too, you still must look at his emotional and physical development. Then you should also consider how far you want to push your child. If you start him in school a year and a half early, and continue with your parenting style, which is obviously intellectually stimulating, then, how long until he starts skipping? Already the youngest, unless he has an early start on puberty, your son might find himself at the bottom of the social totem pole once he begins junior and senior high school. On the other hand, different studies have shown lack of challenge or stimulation in school can, also have negative ramifications. But, you can always skip him later if you desire.
     
  9. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Nov 25, 2006

    In my district, a child must be 5 by Sept. 1st. NO exceptions, whatsoever. Even if a child is exceptionally gifted, he still needs to wait until he is age eligible. I have known parents to get around this by opting for a private christian school that takes them younger for kindergarten. They do this for one year only, and the next year they go to public school for kindergarten.
     
  10. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Nov 25, 2006

    We had a similar situation with our daughter and opted not to take early enrolment. I think kids need to be ready to sit for extended periods of time, pay attention, follow mulitiple directions and concentrate in a noisy, distracting environment. It's sad to see kids at school who are simply not ready.

    It does sound as though your son would cope with school with no worries, but kindy isn't your problem - high school and on are going to be issues if he's 1 -2 years younger than his peers (think about when they all get licenses to drive, or start dating). We also didn't want our daughter at university when she was 16, which would have been the case had we started her early. All in all, I'm glad we let her start with her age peers, she's going into high school next year and has had some fantastic teachers who have enriched and accelerated her learning.

    Let him have a year at preschool, that is a great thing for kids. Let him play in the sand and climb and imagine with his buddies before he has to cope with the structure of school.

    Again, this is just my opinion, we all know our own children best!
     
  11. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Nov 26, 2006

    The social aspect is the only thing I worry about. Academically, my students vary from being able to read, to not being about to identify one letter at the start of the year. I have one students right now, that is 4, he won't turn 5 until June!! He is VERY smart, but his social skills are very low. His parents did not think that they were, but he licks people, touches everyone, and is unable to be part of the group for the full 2 and a half hours. He gets tired very quickly and has to take rests during the morning. He will have to go to T-1 next year.
    I personally don't think kids should be rushed into school. I would send him to a pre-K program if you think he is in need of a challenge.
    Just my opinion.
     
  12. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Derby Mom, please don't think about now only. What about when he is in middle school and all the others are "maturing" faster than him? What about graduating from high school so young and heading off to college at the age of 17?

    I held my very GT, intelligent son back because his birthday was in August. Sure, he was very ready for kindergarten, but I didn't want to start him on a path that had more to consider than just Kindergarten. I didn't want him playing high school football with bones that had not had as much maturity as they could get. There is so much more to this than just next year. We chose to do pre-k twice (one private) and then let him start. It didn't hurt him at all and now he is 13 and still does wonderful in both academics and athletics. Plus, I want him to be ready to head off to college as a confident, mature young man.

    This is also "just my opinion" and since you are asking for advice, then I'm sure you will do what you think is best. Just know that I've had no one tell me that they wish they had sent a child on on or that they were sorry they waited.
     
  13. SheilaK

    SheilaK New Member

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    Three of my four children have July birthdays. I did not send them to kindergarten until they were six. Academically they were ready, but I felt an extra year to mature would not hurt. This has worked wonderfully for them (8th and 12th grades now). As mentioned in earlier posts -- to be one of the first in the class to have driver's licenses is often better than to be one of the last. Also, to be a boy, and having an extra year to mature is a bonus in the upper grades -- socially and in sports.
     
  14. AllysonKinder

    AllysonKinder Rookie

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    Maybe you could put him in Pre-K and if you think he is not being challenged enough, you could supply extra work at home to reinfirce and extend the learning he gets in school. I would not rush it either.
     
  15. Mizz Lucy

    Mizz Lucy Guest

    Nov 28, 2006

    Give him the gift of another year to be a child.
    He can go to formal school for the next 20 plus years and then the work force.
     
  16. springflower71

    springflower71 New Member

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    I am having the same problem. My son will not be 5 till oct. but he is ready for kindergarten. He has been in private pre-k for the last year and we just can not afford to keep him there next year. My son's teacher sends extra work home will him because he so far above the rest of the class. He scored a 94 on a Bracken test back when he first started there. They said they think he would have scored high but they could tell he got bored. A Bracken test tells then what level a child is on and he is at advance. He is reading and doing 1st grade math and this is not just me saying it this is his teachers. My son wants to go to big boy school as he calls it. I was told by the public school that he has to wait because he will not be 5 but that they year after that I can have him tested to move up to 1st grade early. That makes no sense to me. If he can go to 1st early why not kindergarten. If you find away around this let me know.

    Springflower71
     
  17. seduflow

    seduflow Companion

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    you dont want your child to be young in high school or college! Maturity and intelligence are 2 different things! There have been girls and boys that have entered high school at 13 and were simply not prepared to handle the social aspects of it! LET KIDS BE KIDS!
     
  18. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    This thread was posted by Derby Mom in 2006.
     
  19. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    That was us. My daughter was 5 at the end of her kindergarten year. There were children (BOYS!!!) that were seven. You do the math. When they were in 10th grade, she would be 15 and they would be 17!!! How do we explain why her curfew is different or why she can't date them? We elected to repeat kind. and we have had a successful year. Amazing things have happened with her. Yes, she knew everything on the report card last year. Yes, she is reading and taking Reading Counts! test. But the best is that she volunteers to read out loud, to demonstrate the daddy dance at the Christmas program, and to run errands for the teacher. She would have never done this last year and I don't think she would have done this this year if she was in first grade. :2cents:
     
  20. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    As a kindergarten teacher, I am never quite sure why parents want their child in Kindergarten earlier than they need to be. I agree with the poster who said she had never had a parent complain about keeping their child back instead of pushing them too soon. Especially boys (not to sound sexist). There is so much more to Kindergarten than academics. I have some children in my class that are academically advanced and I give them plenty of enrichment activities. I also make recommendations to the parents of enrichment opportunities in the community. The most successful students in my class are usually the oldest and success includes alot more that academics.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Good point-but I am sure someone will be interested.
     
  22. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I agree, social skills are hard to learn.
     
  23. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I was going to say the same thing! Of course, that would mean a private school (in Texas).
     
  24. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Vanna, when does this come into effect??
     
  25. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    The TX law allowing children of military personnel into pre-k waiving the language and income requirements went into effect last school year. Our program is currently serving many military families.
     
  26. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    WOW; that's awesome! Thanks Vanna!
     
  27. ianangelyk

    ianangelyk Rookie

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    in my district we can put our children in pre-k witch they start at 4 year old and i live in Texas. If they offer pre-k you should enroll him now. so he can be able to go to k when school start in August. have you ask about other programs like PCI the child can stay there until he is five.
     

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