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Readers Respond: Is it a Good Idea?

Responses: 28


Some people strongly believe that gifted kids should start kindergarten early, before they turn five. Others believe, just as strongly, that gifted kids should wait. Which group do you belong to? Did your child start school early, but you wish you'd waited? Or did you wait but wish you hadn't? Did your child start early and you're glad she did? Or did you wait and end up sorry? Tell us about your child and your experiences. Tell us what you think!

Early entry worked for us.

Our daughter who is a Sept baby..she missed the cut off by 14 days. She already knew her letters, uppers and lowers, sounds they all made, numbers, and started adding things herself. We encouraged but never pushed. When it came to kindergarten we knew she had to go. She was wanting to know everything from addition to subtraction, reading, and all the questions and reasoning of a much older child. We sat they the conference with the teacher stating how she would be the last to drive in her class, the last to mature, the last to date..but she was way above the over the children, needed more then what she was given in class. Her teacher was excellent and did what she could to challenge her while still giving the other children what they needed also. In the last conference of the year we were told that she would easily make it in first grade..and it was said that she could figure out third grade if needed. I am wondering if some home schooling wouldn't help the boredom at school.
—Guest Kaydeesmom

Ready for Early Entry

I will believe and feel that if the mommy and the child are ready , hey have him start early. I have a 2 year old son and since he was 1 and a half he knew his Alphabet, he knows his sounds and he spells words and reads lots of them,colors ,shapes , he is a really quick learning i cant be a much prouder mommy that i am at this moment. He knows so much from kids that he is been around and they are four and up to 5 years old. And it would of have been amazing if he can even start school right now just because how far ahead he is, but i know will be impossible. --Mimzy
—Guest Maritza

my kids and grandson

All 3 of my children were not tested for gifted until around 2nd grade. They went through school in either gifted, advanced or IB classes. My son chose to take the dual enrollment route and graduated with AA from high school. Always left choices to kids throughout school and they are now either in college or just graduated. My oldest daughter has a son around 18 months old and he may be blowing all of them out of the water. He can do simple puzzles, identify colors etc but still is not talking much.
—Guest 3kidsincollege


I am homeschooling both boys. As a public school teacher, I will not put my children through the ignorant red tape that are the public schools.
—Guest Momoftwoboys

any idea?

my 2 @ 11 mos twin kids can read alphabets,identify colors,shapes, and even solve puzzle....but they still can't fluently speak or construct sentences...is it good for them to enter in school at early age for socialization purposes?
—Guest jy

what's the life benefit being ahead?

Pros: -none that I can think of. Some people think kids will be less bored in school if they skip a grade, but really advanced kids will be bored even after they skip a grade because they are so advanced. Cons: -lack of social maturity -Physically slower development relative to peers. -academically advanced people aren't necessarily happier in life.
—Guest Ed

It was me.

My older sister and I both began kindergarten just before we turned 4. I was a September baby and she an October. My mother believed that since we already read at a second grade level and spoke in complete sentences that we could thrive in a schoolroom. I went through kindergarten without any problems, and then the first grade, skipping second and going into third. In fifth grade I was placed in an 8th grade algebra class and a seventh grade language arts. I moved from 8th grade into high school at age 12. I was in all AP classes and the gifted program and graduated with a 3.3 in December of the year I turned 16. Pretty promising right? I wasn't allowed to enroll into any colleges in my state, so I didn't. After high school, I got a job at a fire station. I am now 21, with two kids, an EMT, without a college education. The system doesn't actually believe in gifted kids. Treated a gifted kid as such won't help him in the long run. If he wants to succeed, he will.
—Guest Devorah

let them start early

I agree I'm a father of 4 kids I and all mykids haave later birthdays my oldest had a lil trouble.ajusting to K but has done excellent in 1st grade this year he is the 3rd youngest child in his class and he was on.princles scholer list on his first report card. All his friends are older but he,s totally on par or above most his friends athletically and socially I'M VERY GLAD we didn't start him late or hold him back. When itcomes to your kids try to do what's best for them remember it,s their lives to.....
—Guest daboyz57

Don't do it!

I see many people in here that are so happy about their child starting school early. What many parents are not thinking about is that school is also supposed to be fun too. Kids are supposed to be kids. My oldest, when tested for Pre K, tested at a 2nd grade level. He started kindergarten at 4.5 was in all of the advanced classes through elementary and middle school on the honor roll every semester. He just graduated high school with a 1.5 GPA, but he scored a 29 on his ACT. A stone wall hit once he hit high school. He was immature, socially awkward and physically outsized. He was unable to play any sport because he was not physically or mentally as strong as the other boys. He did not hang out with the kids in his class because he was immature. He currently hangs out with kids that are juniors in high school. High School was not fun for him, he did not have anything in common with the kids in his grade and all because he was “gifted” as a child and started school early.
—Guest Confused Dad

I wished I could Early entry...

We are "unoffically" homeschooling, with official homeschooling programs leveled at K and 1st grade my daughters gotten through the math K program meant for a year in almost 3 months she is 3.5, is almost done with all the science, social studies and writing better than half the kids. We're gonna have to homeschoold because they won't test her in. but if shes is almost complete at 3.5 and starting up on fist grade stuff already...how bored is she gonna be at 6 because her late birthday means they will make her wait a year later than 5. This is ridiculous to me. Since she could clearly do it by 4.5...I think kids should be tested into K. despite what there ages are. Most people due to her size, smarts etc. assume shes 5 already. and always gasp " are you kidding me she's only 3?"
—Guest Wishing I could Early Entry

Early Kindergarten Entrance

My son missed the cutoff in our county by 27 days. Our state requires an option for children who are "highly-abled" to test in. He took his test in April, and we waited for three months for his letter. He was accepted and will start school in a little more than a month. It was a long process, but I'm really glad that we did it. He's reading at a first/second-grade level and doing multiplication/fractions. I think that parents who think their children are ready should have them tested. We are our children's first teachers, and we know when they're ready. My best friend has a son who is two weeks older than mine, but still missed the cutoff by our state's guidelines. She opted not to have him tested, but it's because she knows he's not ready. Every child is different, but there's no reason to hold a child back if they are ready and eager to go.
—Guest backusjenn

really listen to what is best for them

While every parent thinks their child is gifted to some degree, it is difficult to determine true giftedness. Many things need to be taken into account and weighed equally. These things could include but not limited to maturity, social development with peers, can they work well with others or are they individualist, are they team players, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary development, and basic understanding of a given passage. Its great when kids can read on a high level, but what tends to lack is the grade level understanding of what was read. If chidlren enter kindergarten and are truly gifted, skipping a grade is possible and may be more age appropriate. But, should be determined by gifted personell that has worked with the child (of course with parent input). Accelerated education is coming and children can graduate at 15 wheather they are ready or not. Sometimes what we ask for is not what a child needs. What are their best interest?
—Guest guest teacher

It will depend on the child

My youngest brother and I would have benefited from going to school early. We were alike in that we were reading, doing math, and even riding bikes without training wheels before we started kindergarten (how's that for motor ability!). When we got to school we were bored bored bored bored bored. Every year from K-3 teachers recommended to my mother that we be moved up. My mother wouldn't do it. By 4th grade, we'd lost all interest in school. Unlike my brother, I hated the people in my grades--they were all stupid and slow and drooling immature fools. My friends were always a grade or two ahead of me. I took the GED the summer before my senior year, and aced it. The college where I took the test called me in to talk to me about attending college in the fall--with all my friends. So I did. It was stupid to hold me back. I hated school until I went to college because I was so bored all the time. My brother hated school, too, until he went to college.

Arbitrary cutoff date

I hate this argument that the oldest child is always the leader. I went to Kindergarten early, at age 4, and later skipped 2nd grade. Best thing that could have ever happened to me. Even being 2 grades ahead, I qualified for the Talented and Gifted program, took honors and AP courses in high school and received several scholarships for college. I have 2 daughters who both have late birthdays - 1 in October and 1 in December. Thankfully, I found a private school that allowed my 4 year old to be tested for K. From the very 1st month, she was put with the advanced group because she was already reading at a 1st grade level. She did have some emotional maturity issues but by working together with her teacher, there are ZERO issues now. In fact, she often corrects her classmates for inappropriate behavior.
—Guest Mom Advocate for the Gifted

Mom knows best

I wish that the school would listen to the parents, we are suposed to be our childs first and best teacher. My son made the cut off (by 15 days) but was not ready. I wanted to wait another year, but the school told me that Kinder was optional and if we did not send him this year they would put him in 1st grade the next year. Our district had just started full day kinder, and he was falling asleep in school. We had to get a special permit, and drive to another school to get him part day instruction. He has been on the edge, and falling behind ever since in 3rd grade they wanted to hold him back, we said no for social reasons. He is now in 5th grade, and advanced in math and just below grade level in reading. He has had full time summer school every summer ( home school when the school budget was cut)
—Guest Heidi

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