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How do I advocate for my child to enter kindergarten early?


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NWmom_04 April 8, 2009


My son has an October birthday - which has him starting almost 2 years from now! He is super bright and has been cognitively ready for school since the age of 2! He is socially bored over stimulated by the other kids in a daycare environment where not enough energy is spent on focused learning activities. He thrives when he is learning. He is pre-reading, early math skills, counts to 90, and backwards, knows all of his colors/shapes etc, is starting to spell words and writes very well. He is just SO READY for school! As his mom I know this in my heart of hearts - but I keep getting the "our policy is..." I'm sorry but one size fits most is not going to work for every student. When I was in school we had gifted and accelerated programs. Now the only specialized programs I can find are for special needs & remedial students. I agree these programs are needed - but not in dropping all programs for students who need an extra challenge! Any advise is appreciated. Opening Doors :)

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mspossible April 8, 2009


Dear NWmom,
I had the same dilema with my daughter, now 8. It was difficult but we were successful gaining entry into the early enrollment program at age 4. However, I will be honest with you, it had it's drawbacks. Although she was more than capable of keeping up with the kndr. curriculum, she lacked the maturity to truley engage fully with her classmates. Most of the kids were 6 yrs. old and we found that there was a vast difference in the ways that the older kids played, related, competed, even resolved conflict, etc. My child was always abit of an outcast and it hurt her feelings. We eventually removed her from the early erollment program. The next year when she returned to kndr. as a 5/6 yr old, it made a huge difference! She is now 8, top of her class and one of the most well liked and popular girls in her school - even winning the Good Citizen Award twice this year. This fall she will be starting at a privite school and is already enrolled in the gifted & talented program. If you still feel that it would be best for your child to be enrolled early you need to request that she be formally tested by her local school. Ask the principal directly. You may also want to get letters of recommendations from her pre-k teachers as well to back you up. In our state (IN), a child is required to know /memorize their name, addresss, phone, alphabet and count up to twenty. Check the requirements in your area. Whatever you decide, I am sure it will be right for your kid. Good Luck!

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NWmom_04 April 8, 2009


Thank you! This is helpful! I feel like 6 months ago I was okay with waiting - but he has grown/matured socially so much in the last 6 months that I think about another year and half in the same environment and I am bored for him! Getting the backup letters of recommendation & having him tested or talking with the principal directly are excellent tools. I will post back to tell how it goes. And thank you! :)

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mspossible April 8, 2009


Hey NWmom,
Another option. If the local school will not comply with your request to have your son tested for early entry, check with privite schools to do the testing. When we ran into problems with the public school we had our child tested at both the Montessori and local Kumon Academies. Between the recommendations from her pediatrician, pre-k teacher and the test results from both Montessori/Kumon schools our public schools had no choice but to atleast offer us the opportunity to test. If you truly believe that your son is ready for kndr. then I say go-for-it. No one knows your child like you do. Take care and let me know how it works out.

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healthy11 April 8, 2009


There have been several past discussions of people who have found themselves in similar situations, and some have gotten private testing done, but the public schools still will not make any exceptions. In those cases, if you have the means, you might want to consider enrolling in a private school, such as Montessori, which may not use the same "birthday cutoff" guidelines. Then, after your son completes Kindergarten/1st grade, he could probably re-enter the public system without them basing it on his age.
Many public schools still do offer gifted programming, but often it doesn't start until 3rd grade....The other option is that there are some "gifted only" schools, and my son attended one that was accredited by www.nais.org You might see if any are located near you. You might also like to join Greatschools Gifted Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11537

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Lizzy04 April 10, 2009


Thank you for this response, it has helped me with the decision to let my daughter not enter K until next year. She will be 5 yrs. on 9/25, she can read on a kindergarten level, write her long name , knows all her letters & numbers etc... I am trying to find out more about the VPK program in Sarasota FL and when do they attend?

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healthy11 April 10, 2009


Lizzy04, it might be better to start a new discussion, and categorize your question locally for Sarasota, or even better, call your local school district and ask them directly.

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sunshinemomma April 13, 2009


is homeschooling an option for the next year? they have tons of homeschooling resources at the library. then once he is of age he can be tested. i mean he is only 2 i wouldn't rush it to much. even in most preschools there will be free play time. i know in IL they have schools called Quest and Goddard that are my academically focused. Goddard takes every young children not sure if you have them by you but they are a little pricey.



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