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CNesson
CNesson asks:
Q:

My daughter is young but  ready for kindergarten.  Should I start her or wait until public school start date?

I live in a very good school district but they do not offer full day kindergarten programs.  Further they will not test to see if children are ready for kindergarten if they do not pass the Aug 1 birth date.  My duaghter's birthday is 12/2.  She just turned 3, knows most of her capital letters, she is beginning to understand that letters spell words and that you can read them in stories, has a high capacity for attention and detail and will focus on one task for up to an hour at a time.  Further, she is very tall for her age, according to medical charts she is the size of a 4 year old or more and most people mistake her for being 4.  

I'm concerned about her starting to early and being too young.  However she is accustomed to a full day of preschool two days a week.  I'm concerned that she will be bored - as I was in school.  When I started kindergarten I already knew how to read, please forgive the childish thought I had, but I remember thinking that other kids were dumb for not knowing their alphabet.  I don't want this to be her experience.

My only recourse around my public school system is taking her to a private kindergaten (which I think we can afford) and then put her back into the public school system at the start of 1st grade.  Of course all of this will be decided when we get there in the next couple of years.  But I'm wondering if others have had any experience with this?
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness
> 60 days ago

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graham
graham writes:
Hi Crystal.

I have no experience with this myself, but It sounds like you need to find a school, public or private, that can offer your daughter individual attention. Some schools will tailor the curriculum to the student depending on the students developmental level. Schools with lower teacher to student ratios may be more able to keep track of your daughter and not let her become bored.
> 60 days ago

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bob
bob , Parent writes:
I also have a child, a son, whose birthday is 12/2.  We had the choice of starting him a little early or a little late.  We chose late.  It worked out very well; he just wasn't ready in the "early" year.  I know this isn't the advice you were seeking.

I believe, in general, that holding back a year is better, but it completely depends on the individual.  There really is little in the way of risk, especially if you have a school or teacher who can challenge advanced students.  Do you think that you attitude towards the other students ("other kids were dumb")  negatively affected your school experience?  Can you recall when you outgrew that sentiment?

One thing that comes to mind is that your child might become friends with the more advanced students from an early age, and if she can stick with that through all school years, it would, I think, make a significant difference, especially in middle and high school.
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi Crystal,

The first thing I'd say is that you might be surprised about what's happening in kindergarten classrooms these days.  Like you, I learned to read in kindergarten but curriculums have really advanced since then (for better or for worse) and what used to be taught in 1st grade is now taught in kindergarten in a lot of schools.  So I guess one way to put your mind at ease about your daughter being bored is to contact the school to understand what's going to happen in Kindergarten.  You might be happily surprised about what she'll be doing in the classroom.

That said, let's assume your daughter is still going to be "ahead of the curve" when she gets to kindergarten.  My son is in K now and was accademically ahead of many of his classmates.  What I've learned this year is that Kindergarten is about a LOT more than academics.  It's about learning how to be in "real" school (no more help putting your shoes on or getting your lunch out like in pre-school!) and about having less adult involvement in social activities.  My son's teacher has found lots of ways to keep my son engaged academically so he's not bored (something you should definitely talk to your school and teacher about) but he's learning as much as the other kids (maybe even more) about how to get along as one of 20 kids - skills he'll need for the next 12 years and beyond!

I also try to keep him intellectually stimulated by taking him on field trips after school, reading higher level books to him, etc so I still feel like he's really learning a lot this year.

I think if you're going to end up in public school anyway, you may want to think about starting there.  In partnership with the school and teacher you can make sure she has a good first year and avoid having to change schools for first grade.

Let us know what you decide!

Kat
> 60 days ago

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GATELearner
GATELearner writes:
Hi,
One way to know if your daughter is really ready to be in kindergarten is to look at your state standards and see how many of those she has mastered or is very close to mastering. If she is close to mastering 85% off all of your state standards for kindergarten (Language Arts & Math), and she is emotionally mature for her age, I would recommend starting her in kindergarten, if your district allows an early start.

It has always bothered me that something as arbitrary as an age is used to determine kinder readiness when in fact it should be based on each child's developmental readiness and content mastery.

Fortunately there are several states going in this direction, for example Kansas City, MO. The district is moving toward advancing students based on content mastery. In Adams County School District, Colorado, elementary and middle schools have already made this change.

Students should be allowed to work at their own pace whether it's more quickly or in the case of others, more slowly.

As far as emotional problems, if you check internet sites for Gifted Children, they state there is no research backing up the claim or showing students suffer any emotional harm from starting kindergarten early (if the child is ready).

My questions is, why do we insist on allowing our brightest children to sit through material they already have already mastered?

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JeanneBrockmyer
JeanneBrock... writes:
Your daughter is lucky that you are taking such a careful look at your options.  In my experience it is a good idea to consider both the child's intellectual gifts (what she knows and can do) and her social gifts (how she interacts with others).  Sometimes children with intellectual gifts are about average socially. In that case it's best to keep them with their age group.  They will likely be the leaders!
Dr. Jeanne Brockmyer
> 60 days ago

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dakkie14
dakkie14 writes:
why dont you try the k12 program it helps when a child is over advanced or underadvanced or when the puplic school just is not quite right for them
> 60 days ago

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