Most parents I talk to think early admission is pushy and that kids should be allowed to be kids for as long as possible. I totally understand this idea, BUT here are my reasons for considering early admission:
*She is intellectually ready (can recognize her letters, numbers, write her name, has a vast vocabulary, etc.)
*She loves the preschool she is currently in and constantly asks why she doesn't go every day
*She is physically ready (her fine and gross motor skills have been professionally evaluated and were deemed "off the charts")
*She behaves better, is calmer in a structured environment. Too much free play equals behavioral breakdown, aggression
*She behaves better, is calmer around older kids, but around younger kids she becomes controlling and aggressive
*My dh and MIL both started school early and felt they benefited from it
*I was bored in my grade level and ended up taking classes one or two years ahead once in middle/high school
I do have some concerns:
*Would she be able to handle a full day at school?
*Would she resent being less physically mature than her peers?
*Would she resent being the last to drive, vote, drink, etc.?
Mostly I'm concerned about her behavior- being older and more advanced in her class could be a disadvantage for her. A structured school environment with older kids and intellectually challenging material will help focus her and keep her behavior in check. Around kids she can control (generally younger kids) in an unstructured and non challenging environment she focuses entirely on physical interaction, which becomes aggressive. She has some underlying "sensory subtleties" according to two OT evaluations. I fear the letters home from school. I want to create a successful environment for her. I know I need to be her advocate, but I'm just not sure of the best course.
I originally posted in the education forum and many there recommended Montessori. I agree this would be a good option, but our local Montessori will cost about $6,000. Money we don't really have. Another option would be a different, less expensive private kindergarten that is flexible with the age cut-off, but again that would cost money. A third option would be to homeschool. The public district said (as of right now) that if she completes an accredited kindergarten program she would be accepted into public first grade. If the teacher decides she is not appropriately placed, however, they can test her and if she does not pass they will move her back down to kinder. I've heard that schools usually want the child to test a full two grade levels ahead in order to accelerate them. So, we could go to all this trouble and spend all that money only to have her put back in kindergarten if she doesn't test at a 2nd grade level!
So, my questions are:
*should I get her privately tested now to determine if she should truly be accelerated to kindergarten next year? If so, how do I go about doing that?
*what are your experiences with early admission vs. skipping a grade later on intellectually and socially?
*what are you experiences with going the private kinder or homeschool route and getting into a public first grade?
*if anyone is also dealing with an mild SPD child, what are your experiences accelerating or skipping your child? Specifically socially/behaviorally?
*any other ideas/suggestions?
Thanks in advance!!!