Meetoo....we have been advised to register our children now to secure a spot at school. Unfortunately, I can't wait until summer. I would love to see how he is doing in 6 mos and reavaluate, but it seems I don't have that option.
Kindergarten registration is already going on in our area too. But, just because you register him for kindergarten now doesn't mean you actually HAVE to send him in the fall, you know? Register him so that he will have a spot, and then if you really think he isn't ready some September, just call the school and withdraw him. If you area is anything like mine, they have people moving in and out of the area all the time, and so are very used to that kind of thing.
We started DS in kindergarten at about 4 (he was in Pre-K before that). He has done fine with it. Now we are in a new school system and he has had to do Kindergarten again solely because he was still five. He is WAY beyond the other kids in terms of reading, and maths. He really should be in what you call Grade 1 in the states (he'll be six in March.)
The only thing I would say he is a little behind on is social intelligence. He has a hard time with the flippancy of young friendships. He's a very loyal soul and can't quite wrap his head around the idea of someone not being his friend one day because he llikes Spaghetti, or because he still like Thomas the Tank Engine...
I would be more worried about that than his comprehension skills. But you know your kid best.
I should have kept reading the thread before replying.
My oldest was in full day day care from the age 18 months 3 days a week and by 2 was in full day nursery (8am-4pm) five days a week. Both DH and I were working, and it was free because we taught at the upper sections of the school. This also meant that one or both of us could stop by whenever needed to see him, to have lunch, to give a much needed kiss on a bumped knee. The truth was, once he was there he LOVED it. He was anxious about going there, but by the time we actually got there he was like "later fer you, ma!"
I think enroll him to save the spot in case he IS ready, and then just say no thanks if he's not.
OTOH for 300 dollars you could buy an ANNUAL membership to an awesome science museum and create an Unschooling curriculum that would be super fun for both of you.
Thank you for all the great replies!! Here in Canada, ds will be allowed to go to school at age 4. He is very bright and loves to learn new things. He builds puzzles geared to 6yr olds, builds amazing marble racers, draws extremely well, and loves to practice letters and math. The reason he would not be ready is because he doesn't want to be away from me. I have contemplated HS and still may. In my city it is now full day kindy and I think that is ridiculous. The only school that will do part time is a private school which would cost 300$ a month. I just hope this is considered normal because he is the only child in his ps that has this problem. I have no problem holding him back....I do not want my baby to grow up and be in school full time...he is still my baby!! I get people asking if I will hold him back or keep taking him out of school everytime he says he doesn't want to go. I want to follow his lead but I need to make sure he isn't calling all the shots just because he can and not because he really doesn't like it. kwim??
In Ontario (where I am), it is a little known fact that you can register your child part time (or third time, etc).
My DS started kindergarten full time at age 5 yrs. 3 months. He was already going to pre-k fulltime since I am at WOHM. I thought, why keep him in pre-k another year when he can start kindergarten for free?! I"m glad he started b/c it allowed for earlier intervention and dx of adhd. DD will start at age 5 too. I know she will be ready! Good luck with your choice!
I started my first when he was 5 1/2 (Sept cut-off, Jan birthday). My second son started kindergarten this year, three days before his 5th birthday. He met the cut-off by a few days. I was unsure how he would do, because he is a bit unpredictable, to say the least. He is doing great, though. His teacher loves him, his behavior is great and he's picking up on the academics a lot faster than I thought he would. I'm quite pleased with my decision. He is one of the tallest kids in the class and seems just as mature, if not more mature, than the older kids. Up until very close to when he started kindergarten he didnt care about letters or letter recognition at all. He has got all of his letter recognition down, his letter sounds, and is starting to read now-5 months into kindergarten. It depends on the child, yes, and sometimes you just don't know what to expect.
Really good article on this here:
We live in a September 1st cut-off state (have to be 5 by September 1st to start kindergarden), so my son will be almost six by the time he starts (he's late September). My daughter, however, will have just turned 5 when she stars (she's a late August). I was started in kindergarden when I was 4.5 (my parents decided to send me early - partially because I tested "gifted" and partially because they were pretty poor and kindergarden was free childcare!). I have mixed feelings about having been the youngest in my class.
I just don't think you can predict now whether he will be a good fit for full time K next year. However I think half time K is a great option for any kid who does not need daycare, and it can lead to full day K or 1st grade.
Go to the grade where he is most like the other kids and will progress without struggle. Ignore the "do better" research. Of course if you hold kids back they will do better -- though they may not be particularly happy to be 18 and 19 and need a note from mommy if they have to miss school.
I have a son with a January birthday. I have accelerated him because otherwise things would be too easy socially, athletically, etc. So it goes both ways. But the thing is ... I think these things correct themselves. So even if you don't enroll him, leave it open in your mind for him to move back to his age-grade later.
Kincaid started K at 5. He turned 5 in March and Started K in August. Travis will start K 2 days after turning 5 since to continue special education services he has to start school the year he is eligible. So he will turn 5 on August 13th 2012 and start K on August 15th...
Janelle started K less than a month before she turned 6. The district we lived in at the time had a cut off of September 5th and her birthday is September 9th, so that was the first year she was eligible.
My son will be 5 in April and will be starting Kindergarten this September; he'll be almost 5.5yrs old when he starts. I'm very comfortable with this. My 2nd son is only 1yr old now but he's an October baby. He should start Kindergarten at 4 yrs old and turn five a month into it but we have already decided that we are going to wait so he'll start at 5 yrs old and turn 6 a month into it.
I taught Kindergarten for 5 years and I agree with the research that says boys should start later then girls. There are always exceptions but in general I found that most boys who were late fall babies would have benefited by waiting another year. I find this based more on social readiness than academic readiness.
Assuming you are talking about a public school, check your district policies. Our state is changing the requirement so the kids are slightly older now. DS will be about 5y2m when he starts. He is large and very verbal so I am not too concerned.
As a side note, our preschool started a "developmental kindergarten" for about six kids. The kids are mostly physically small, younger than average, and with a lower skill set. It is a pretty awesome environment. LIke the 4 year olds, they ahve class 9-3.
The cutoff for school here (on base) is Oct 1st and DS's birthday is Oct 28. In most states Kinder isn't a requirement. . .on military bases it is not required. We decided not to send him at all. Right now at the kinder, the kids are learning their numbers, letters, and playing on starfalls way to much. My DS can read chapter books, write, and do basic addition and subtraction. He'd be so bored. I'm not even sure we'll send him to first grade. . .might just enroll as a non-attending homeschooler.
Barbara: an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.
My ds turned 5 less than a month before he started kindy. So far it has turned out great for him. Academically he is doing really well and I would imagine he would be bored in pre -k. He's also in full day kindy. Socially he is a little behind. But really that is more because of his personality, he is very reserved/shy and takes quite a bit of time to warm up to people. I don't see that staying in a preschool or staying home for that matter would necessarily help with that. He is definitely very capable within the classroom as far as maturity is concerned.
DS had to be 5 by September 1st to start K, he turned 5 on August 18th. We debated an on time start or a late start (age 6). Ultimately we started him t 5 and while it has had his bumps, we are all glad he started then. He is in 2nd grade and has tons of friends, is in the top reading and math group. He is working on 3rd grade and higher material. His behavior is sometimes on the young side but part of that is his personality. He is extremely out spoken, independent thinking, and very high energy...none of which tend to be valued traits by school teachers.
Factors that helped us make the decision...
1) DS wanted to start at age 5
2) I was available to volunteer in the classroom a lot which eased the transition for him. Not all schools allow this though.
3) Very bright and would have been academically bored if we held him back
4) Lots of parental support at home to help him process social-emotional challengees as well as arrange for special therapies to help with weak fine motor skills before it became too big of a discouragement for him.
5) DS was worried about being gone all day (he had done 3 mornings a week for preschool) so he wanted a chance to practice. We signed him up for 2 weeks of an all day academic summer program. It was invaluable to him and us to see how he handled the schedule and to figure out what worked to help him succeed each day..
6) We registered for both preschool and K. That way we didn't feel pressure to make the decision when he was only 4.5yo. He changed a lot in the next 6 months and we were able to make a better decision in August. We actually waited until the day before school started to make the final decision.
DS started kindergarten (Spanish/English immersion) this past fall at 5. His turning-5 b-day was just under a month before the Sept 1 cut-off. Though there was a lot he didn't "know" at the beginning--for example, he was reluctant to do much drawing/writing before this year--he's doing very well and we're happy we sent him into K.
I'd recommend going to observe the kindergarten class (if you can), getting info about the curriculum, and talking to kindergarten parents to find out if what they're doing in K looks appropriate for YOUR kiddo--keeping in mind how much he could change in the next few months.
One tip: once you make your decision, be ready to own it! At the start of kindergarten, DH and I were annoyed that people kept commenting about how "young" DS was--he's the youngest in the class. I think this bothered us because (a) we were a little insecure and waiting to see how things would shake out and (b) we were sort of dismayed that the teacher and classroom aides jumped to conclusions about DS just because of when his birthday is. No one is going on and on about how young he is anymore. :)
Another thought: I started kindergarten (which was, of course, a very different animal in the mid-seventies) shortly before I turned 6, and perhaps it would have been better to have started earlier. Due in part to having a mother who was herself a kindergarten teacher, I could already do most everything that was happening in the class--I had learned to read very early, etc.--and it took me a long time to learn how to learn at school. For quite awhile, I would completely shut down when I encountered something I did not already know how to do. You might think about how things will go for your son if he is one of the older ones and not suitably challenged by what's happening in K. Will he be bored? If so, will he act out? Will he be overlooked and not encouraged to make progress at his own pace?
Good luck with your investigation and decision!