di9mite , Parent asks:

Should I have my 5 yr old, in kindergarten tested to advance to 1st grade?

I decided not to send my 5yr, who will be 6 next month, to kindergarten last year and now that we are in kindergarten it is obvious that he is way beyond sorting and counting to ten. He reads on his own, understands math and science concepts and is a great problem solver with language skills that are 1st grade or above. His challenges are social, navigating the school process and trying to remain focused in class. His teacher commented that he is having trouble not "joking around" when it is time to focus during class (she said his behavior is "nothing to be concerned about" but I want to help him now, not when its too late).
 I am wondering if he bored. It is only 3 weeks in to kindergarten and I'm trying very hard to remain objective.   I want to know about testing, how to advance if needed and when it would be socially acceptable to bring this up to his teacher. I don't want to be the dreaded "kindergarten helicopter mommy".
In Topics: School and Academics, Kindergarten readiness, My child's growth and development
> 60 days ago



Sep 8, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to Just Ask!

It sound like you have a very bright kindergartner!  However, in my opinion, kindergarten is not only about attaining academic skills but being able to socialize with others.  Perhaps you would like some professionals who work in the school (i.e. the School Psychologist or Guidance Counselor) to assess your son's overall profile of skills over one or two observations. They can then judge if his "joking around" and other skills/behaviors are due to reasons such as boredom, social immaturity or a combination of explanations.

As a parent of a child who was one of the youngest in her kindergarten class I must tell you that when she became a high school student there were some challenges. For instance, some of her classmates were driving before she turned 15.  Also, the maturity level between her and her older classmates was much more noticeable and the peer pressure more intense then if she had been with age mates all along.
This was just our circumstance, but perhaps food for thought!


Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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Sep 4, 2010

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hi there,

Thanks for using JustAsk!

While social skills are a significant part of what kids learn in kindergarten, it sounds like much of your child's inappropriate social behavior may be stemming from his boredom. If he's continually excelling at academic subjects -- and just as importantly -- possesses the social skills to interact, empathize, and engage with kids his own age, it may indeed be the case that he's ready to move onto first grade.

I'm including a link below to a frank discussion about the benefits of skipping a grade, that also includes some guidelines that will help you determine whether your child is prepared.

I suggest scheduling a meeting about the pros and cons of skipping a grade with your child's teacher and principal, before making up your mind.

Hope this helps!
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