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Readers Respond: Is it a Good Idea?

Responses: 33

By

Updated February 08, 2011

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!

Gifted Vs. Aspie

I can tell you the difference as I have one of each. Hold them back skip them ahead the social skills of an Aspie will always be ackward. As for handwriting, my Aspie (13) has pretty good print and great cursive I thought until my gifted 4 year old insisted that I teach him cursive, his ability to copy the examples and persistence in making them perfect drives adults nuts. His social skills are great, he will talk and play with kids twice his age, aspie is comfortable with special needs kids, and kids half his age. Gifted 4 year old reading at 2nd grade level, and doing 2 digit addition and subtraction in the traditional way. 8th grade Aspie reading at 4th grade level and creating new ways to do math. You should see him cancel things in an equation so that he can do the math in his head. He often loosed his teachers and looses credit for not showing his work even though he gets the right answer and stated that "I didn't do any work, I just know the answer"
—Guest Heidi

Worth it to Wait

As a GATE teacher, I've observed gifted students who are too young at different grade levels. They tend to be confused about what is being asked of them, even though they can it. I have also observed lack of confidence. As an early - entry gifted student myself, I began having these kinds of difficulties when I began middle school, with all of the responsibility that comes with it. It can't be assumed that gifted students just know how to solve life problems if they haven't been given time to develop the tools needed. My daughter is in preschool but reads & comprehends at the third grade level, but she won't be following mommy's footsteps. School is where she will learn how to socialize with peers, be responsible, be a good citizen, and of course learn. Hopefully, her teachers will challenge her. I suggest, instead of early - entry into kindergarten, which has an unsure outcome, finding unique opportunities for these children experience and grow from outside of school.
—Guest Emily

There's A Lot To Consider

My husband and I fostered a child when there was some family troubles and his mother no longer wanted to take care of him. We began to learn that at four, he was a brilliant little boy and learned quicker than a lot of the children I worked with. When he visited a family who wanted to adopt him, we decided that he would officially become our son. It wasn't only because we loved him, but also because he was so gifted and we had the means to make sure he got all the opportunities that he deserved, such as an early schooling program and making sure he had the option to test into first grade. He's five now and he'll be starting first grade in the fall. We were worried about the emotion and social issues, but Archer has adapted incredibly well so far and we know he'll exceed that anything he tries. And if we hit some bumps along the road, we'll work through them as a family. I think it all depends on the child. We know our son can adapt to a lot of situations, so we're confident in him.
—Guest Atticus

I Started Kindergarten Early cont.

At the behinning of kindergarten I read at a second grade level (I learned to read at 2 years old), at the end I read at a sixth grade level. By the time I was next tested for reading level in second grade, I read at a high school level. When tested again in fourth grade, I read at a post-high school level. I never "leveled out" like people say will happen. I've been in advanced math classes since first grade, and I asked my mom "What's 20 yimes 15" (I don't remember what the actual numbers were) to fugure out how many bristles were on a square hairbrush before I had been taught about multiplication. I have never had any issues with moving ahead, and, in fact, I'm glad it happened. It depends on the child, but it could work out amazingly. I just wanted to share that it doesn't always lead to resentment or depression or things like that and is sometimes the best option. Thanks for reading!
—Guest Katie

I started Kindergarten early

I started Kindergarten a year early. I'm now 15 and a junior in high school (I turn 16 in December). I have a 4.0 GPA and I have no trouble fitting in with the juniors and seniors and get along with the freshmen and sophomores as well. I don't care that I can't drive yet, honestly. In fact, I wouldn't have a car anyway and I don't have time for a job to pay for one or for car insurance. I'm physically as mature as the other students in my class. In fact, everybody is surprised when I tell them I'm only 15. I play volleyball and basketball and do musical theatre. I hold a pencil sort of weird, but I have neat handwriting (my teachers have said so, it's not just my opinion). I am academically ahead of most people in my grade. I score in the 99th percentile in state testing. cont in next post
—Guest Katie

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

Teacher

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

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