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Age Requirements


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Aammons13 April 15, 2013


My son is 4 yrs old and won't turn 5 until Jan 2014. He's already been in school for 2 years and is now in Pre-school. With the age requirements of being 5 by 12/2, he doesn't qualify to start Kindergarten. I feel that having to wait an entire year just so he can start Kindergarten because of his age (when he already knows a lot) will be hindering his education. I feel like he will have to skip a grade just to be in a class that he already belongs in. Is there any way around these age restrictions???

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MagnetMom April 15, 2013


Hi Aammons13, and welcome to GreatSchools Parent Community.

It's tough having a fall or winter baby. Schools have a single cut off, and kids who just miss are often frustrated by having to wait. That said, kindergarten is not about learning alone. And boys, especially, can struggle with behavior/maturity/and size related issues.

Combine those issues with the fact that some parents are holding their summer babies back a year to gain a size and maturity advantage, and you'll soon see how students in your son's class, assuming you could get around it, would be fully 18 months older than him. California recently started to move the date up so that fewer young students enter Kinder so early.

Many people who initially are annoyed by the age cutoffs come to look at them as a gift of time. There are academic preschools and programs that will stimulate him without expecting him to be as academic as a true kindergarten program will require. Kindergarteners are responsible for so much more than they were just a few years ago. That year can mean so much.

If you are convinced the only place for your son is to start kindergarten this year, depending on your state, you're looking at at least two years of private school. Some private schools will accept kids in kinder by testing in. And states have countered the temptation to start kinder in private and switching in first by requiring an age cutoff for first grade as well. After that, entering second grade, public schools no longer check.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

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phawxbaby44 April 28, 2013


I'm not sure what state you live in, but I know in Texas there is no way of getting around it. I had the same problem with my daughter. She has been in preschool for the past 2 year and was ready, academically and emotionally ready to start kindergarten. Our cutoff is September 1st and she didn't turn 5 till October 4th. So we put her in a kindergarten prep class at a private school. I did not like having to pay for another year of that! And she is not allowed to skip a grade till 2nd grade. She is in 2nd grade now, but they learn so much each year that she could have easily skipped Kinder if allowed, but she would miss too much to skip 2nd. She is now the oldest in her class. She doesn't mind it now, but when she was younger she didn't understand why her 1 month older cousin, who she is very close with, got to go to Kinder and she had to stay in pre-k. There are some Montessori schools that let you enter Kinder early, but then you pretty much have to stay there cause if you try to transfer back to public school they will go by age and not ability. Public schools think they aren't mature enough at age 4 to enter Kinder. Sorry I can't help but I understand your frustrations.

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ADofHB April 28, 2013


I would select what is in the overall best interest of your son. Take into consideration that girls and boys are different, and boys vs other boys are different as well.

I have 2 boys. 13 years old and 9 years old. The 13 yr old born in July, and the 9 yr old born in November. Both attended pre-school up until their start in Kindergarten, and both received parental teaching and support (not relying on just a teacher, as well as summer academics).

The 13 year old started Kindergarten when he had just turned 5. He struggled maturity wise, but not academically till 4th grade. He attended public school, but had what we feel were quality teachers. He has maintained a 4.0 throughout his graded years. I must add that only a few were honors classes. He tests above well on CA STAR testing, but testing comparisons are a different topic.

The 9 year old started California's PreppieK-Kindergarten when he was 4 as a Kindergartner. We realized that he did well academically, but social and maturity wise, he was lacking. We put in him in a Kindergarten class the following year. Good decision.

From a few studies I read, either way, by around third grade or so they should be on an even playing field academically (take into account the quality of teaching and the amount of parental support). Reading daily makes a drastic difference in a childs life.

One other item to consider is their future participation in school sports. I do not mean to get away from education, but sports can be a social benefit as well. It has many benefits, as long as education comes first.

As I have found out with my now 13 year old eighth grader, who loves sports, can not make a school team because of his size and coordination. Most of his friends are 15 or turnng 15 before he will be 14. In regards to some organized sports with a cutoff date of 8/1, he will always be middle aged or the oldest, which is a good place to be.

The 9 year old is doing well in school. Academically he is above most of his male classmates, and has a lot of confidence. Very social. I feel he is in the right place, at the right time.

I feel the age restrictions are there for a reason. They need to be tightened up more, and CA is doing that, gradually.

Good luck with circumventing the cutoff date. If you want to enhance your childs education, choose a good school, check requirements and testing for advanced courses (GATE, honors, etc) in the future years. Entertain the ideas of introducing sports, music, art, outdoors, reading, reading, reading, etc. for a quality future. :)



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mdorn05 April 29, 2013


To register for kindergarten in 2013-14 your child will need to be 5 on or before October 1, 2013, and to register in 2014-15, your child will need to be 5 on or before September 1, 2014.

I saw your another post regarding Overland Elementary, so you are in LAUSD boundary. Dec 2 is no longer a cut-off date for CA, they changed it since last year.

The only way for you to bypass the cut-off date is to put son into private kindergarten and first grade. Please note that many private school in Los Angeles also have cut-off date (usually Sept 2), so you will have to find a private school that allow him to attend. Then your son can come back to register with LAUSD in grade 2.



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