Prior to this, it had never dawned on me that he would ever be perceived as not being "ready" for K. If anything, I think he has already mastered most, if not all, of what is taught in K, besides improvement in writing skills. I have always perceived him as being very bright and likely "gifted," although I'm not sure how to define that term exactly. He has been learning to read for some time, recognizes many sight words & sounds words out phonetically, has an excellent memory and vocab., etc. (If he is doing this now, what will he be doing a year-and-a-half from now if he enters K at that time?) But yes, he is also very energetic, social, talkative, fidgety, does not like to wait for his turn to talk, etc. He is strong-willed, high-spirited, intense, and "on" all the time. He is both charming and challenging. Now I find myself actually wondering if, in this particular school, he would be better served to wait a year, esp. since he would prob. be the youngest boy in his class. The K teachers paint a sort of doom and gloom picture of "overplaced" children who are not "developmentally ready" for K and who never catch up to their peers, etc. They also state that parents never regret waiting the extra year. Ultimately, it is just a recommendation, and ds could enroll if we wanted him to, but now I am actually a little torn. I've come across studies showing that children w/ summer birthdays tend not to fare as well as their peers with fall birthdays, etc. Of course, I realize that we know him better than someone who met with him for 30 minutes, but I have heard that schools put a lot of faith in the results of this Gesell test and feel that it is a good prediction of how the children will do in the school setting. Something that struck me as a little odd is that while there is a lot of emphasis on the dangers of "overplacement," I've heard no discussion on the dangers of "underplacement" -- i.e., isn't it also detrimental if the subjects taught in the grade are really nothing new or challenging to the child? And which is more detrimental? On the other hand, since ds is so social, I think he would enjoy the social interaction a lot and would not really be concerned (at least in K) that the material is not challenging.
FWIW, this is a private school, & I'm sure many of the kids come from very good, traditional pre-school programs. I'm sure a lot of the children are very bright and that the parents are also bright and "competitive." DS' preschool is primarily play-based and not very structured.
Sigh. Sorry for the long post, but I am just trying to think through all of this. Before anyone asks, YES, I have thought about homeschooling in the past, but I WOH part-time during the week, have a toddler, and just not sure that it would work out. I've also thought about Montessori options and will explore those as well.
I've cross-posted this in the Parenting the Gifted Child forum.