1 (edited by Shanny 2013-09-16 18:22:12)

Topic: kindergarten cut offs

What are the ages where you live?  I grew up in NY and started kindergarten about 3 weeks before my 5th birthday and graduated when I was 17.  My younger brother has an August birthday so he started a few weeks after turning 5. We were both tested as gifted in elementary school but had very different experiences mostly based on social maturity (or lack thereof).  He was held back, I believe in the 2nd or 3rd grade.  I've lived in Texas for almost 15 years and haven't given it too much thought especially since Kate has a 12/1 birthday so nowhere near the cut off. I have 2 nieces in NY that were born the same year as Kate. O was born in April, she's a 3rd child so pretty ahead if the game in most areas (good and bad I'm sure!  Lol).  J was born 5 weeks before Kate. She is the first daughter of my brother and his wife (they've also got a 1 year old girl).  I was SHOCKED to see fb photos of J heading off to kindegarten. There has never been a child less prepared in every way, shape and form. I just feel awful that she is going to have such an uphill battle. I know finances played into it a lot. My mom paid for her to go to pre school the lest couple of years but I think it was more like a day care and not a good one. It just really made me sad and got me to thinking about how messed up the system is all around this country. She won't even be 5 until the end of October. I think my little bug is sharp as a tack, as we all feel about our kids, but I cannot imagine putting her in Kindergarten this year with A and all the other girls she's grown up with. Now of course she has children in her class who are older but that is the way it is supposed to be in Montessori. I guess I'm rambling but just wondering - are all states different, do you have to send a child on that side of the deadline?

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

Here in Ohio, they must be 5 by either Sept 30 or Aug 1st, depending on the district.  That is the only requirement.

When I was a child, growing up in IL, we had to be 5 by Dec 1st.  I have a November birthday so I started at 4, graduated high school at 17, started freshman year of college at 17.  I'm sure that date has been moved back by now, though.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

Cut off here is Sept 1st. My bday is Aug 27th. I also graduated at 17 and was in "gifted" classes. In some ways I can see how I was immature compared to some of my peers, but in other ways I was far more advanced. So I'm not sure if it was good or bad.

Re: kindergarten cut offs

I looked it up and NY is 12/1. I'm sure that is fine for a lot of children. Unfortunatley, I don't think she is one of those kids and I really wish they would/could have waited.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

In California it was 12/2. Over the last few years they have slowly been moving it up. This year it is 10/1, and next year it will be 9/1. They started a transitional kindergarten program in the public schools for the fall Bday kids. It's all kind of a mess. I think they moved it up to boost test scores....I have a sept Bday and was 4 entering k. I didn't read until the middle of 1st grade and I'm sure it's because I wasn't developmentally ready. Jack has a feb Bday which is great for him. He was so ready for k and falls slightly above on the bell curve in most things.
I hear most teachers say that kinder has the most diversity in terms of entry level...but that, everyone kind of levels out by 2nd grade. Though I have seen my share of kids not ready for k in my experiences as a preschool director.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

It's 10/15 in Maine, so I missed it by 18 days and was the oldest in my class.  Everything was easier to me than my peers and I was in the advanced classes.  I was going to keep Justin in daycare for another year, but three years of PK seems a bit much.  His due date was 6/30 and he is behind his older peers when it comes to writing & reading, but he's really sharp, has a fantastic memory, and is years beyond his peers when it comes to physical and mental abilities.  My plan is to put him in all-day K next year and be open to the idea of having him repeat if his teacher feels he's not ready for grade 1 because of reading readiness.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

Has to be 5 by Oct. 15 th of the year they start...When I started my daughter she had a June birthday and just had turned 5. She is one smart cookie but is the second youngest in her class...when I look at her classmates she has lacked in maturity. She will only be 17 when she graduates. I can't imagine starting a child even younger. In all ways she was READY for K...but in the long run not so  much.

8 (edited by mommylove 2013-09-17 03:43:47)

Re: kindergarten cut offs

All the newest research says we're putting kids in school (pre and Kinder) too soon. Our system is beyond broken and test scores (don't get me started on how lacking this way of ranking our children is) are decreasing in the face of children that are under far too much pressure with way too high of an expectation (how many 5 year olds can sit in a desk all day?!) A five year old that doesn't read isn't falling behind, he's developmentally completely normal. Kindergarten is the new first grade and these kids simply aren't ready.
Sure for many parents pushing their kids into pre and then Kinder has become a necessity due to outlandish childcare costs, but it just isn't working for the great majority of our children. We need to learn to focus less on academics in early childhood and remember we are trying to raise whole, happy, and confident little children...let them play, the reading and writing will come in due time. Age 7/8 is really when that next level of readiness and maturity comes that allows them to be open to learning in a proper, structured school environment.

I'm not pushing my kids before they are ready just so I can say look at my 5 year old that reads. First and foremost I want my kids to be happy for a lifetime and have emotional and mental wellbeing, we all learn to read and write eventually.

@Shanny. I also feel sad for your niece, she seems even less prepared than the average child and as you said this will likely be the beginning of a difficult journey through many years of schooling ahead. She'll not be ready to show her full potential and within a short time will be labeled as "falling behind" or somehow learning defficient and she may never be able to catch up and feel confident in her own abilities. How sad!

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

This is such a sore subject in our house. sad  E has a mid-August birthday, so she will be 5 and 2 weeks when she's the "right" age for kindergarten.  We're so torn already about what to do.  She's a smart kid, but we have no interest in pushing her to read, to sit in a desk, to do homework, etc.  But, at the same time, she does really well when she's the youngest kid in a group.  If she's the oldest kid, she regresses down to the level of the younger kids. So she potentially would do really well in K at 5, and not so well at 6..
What happens if you hold back your child out of K? Do they start K the next year, or would they just jump right into 1st grade? Because of age? 
One of the towns near us has an age cutoff of 4 by March 1 (of the spring before kindy), so they potentially start at 4y5mo!!!  I don't know how that works!?!

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10 (edited by Zen 2013-09-17 06:02:27)

Re: kindergarten cut offs

Shiloh's birthday is 9/23 and I had a REALLY hard time deciding what to do.  Scholastically she would do fine in kindergarten.  As far as social maturation, being with kids a little older would bring her up to speed in no time.  Public school cut-offs are 9/1 here.  She misses by 22 days.  The private school I looked at has a cut-off of 10/1.

She has a friend that's older than her by 1 year ... and one month.  This child's birthday falls on 8/31.  It kills me that this little girl will be 2 years ahead of Shiloh in school when they're practically on the same level now. 

There were 3 factors that told me to go with the flow and let her start pre-K now and kindergarten on the state's schedule.  (1) Being one of the oldest in her class she'll start off more advanced and hopefully less subject to peer pressure.  (2) In high school she'll also be the oldest and one of the first to drive so I won't have to worry about her wanting to get in cars with inexperienced drivers.  I don't know if she'll have a car but she'll be the one with the experience.  (3) Coryandamanda.  Shiloh falls right in the middle of their girls' ages.  While mentally she can keep up with A, socially she's on a par with H.  I've read the posts on A's accomplishments.  And I've seen the 3 girls together for the occasional meetup or party.  Shiloh is not in A's league.  She's going to do fine on the same school schedule as H!

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

Ours goes by the calendar year.  Jan 1- Dec 31 of 2011 will all be in Tiny's class when the time comes.

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12 (edited by palegreen 2013-09-17 07:09:59)

Re: kindergarten cut offs

August 31st in North Carolina

ETA: It was Oct 16th until they changed the law in 2009

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

This whole thing is just boggling my mind. If we were in NY, Kate would miss the cut off by 2 hours and 52 minutes?  Not that I'd want her to start early but it just seems so illogical. And each state being different seems silly too!  Kate is light years ahead of her cousin developmentally and I even cringe at the thought of her starting K this year, let alone J. Especially in a traditional classroom. We don't even have to deal with any of these worries based on her DOB and the fact that we've chosen Montessori but I still can't help but be all up in arms about this!  Can't they have some across the board kindergarten readiness testing that gets factored in with their DOB?  Like whether or not they have attended pre school?  Full or half days?  Every day or a few days a week?  Social prepardness, etc etc. Ugh

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14

Re: kindergarten cut offs

I think what you have to remember is that most parents don't think as long or as hard about these things.  Kindergarten is just "what you do".  If you remember from reading Nurture Shock, anything "tested" at this age doesn't end up mattering anyway.  The "gifted" kids at age 4.5/5 may or may not be "gifted" by the time they're 8, and vice versa.  So, there really would be no appropriate way to test kids.  And a lot of kids have been in full day, away from family, programs since they were six weeks old, they've never known any different.  In fact, for kids of a lot of our friends they've been in full day preschool and are shocked to find that kindergarten is often only a few hours.  Then they're left searching for something to fill the rest of the day. 

I think where the change really needs to come is this push toward academics.  Preschool and kindergarten should both be mostly about play, social skills, emotional understanding, getting used to being in a group, following rules, listening to non-family adults... and some about identifying the kids that are going to need extra help.  I wish it also was like other countries and that it included more opportunities for good nutrition and physical exploration...   If preK and K were about these things it wouldn't really matter if you were 4.5,5,5.5... by the end of a year or two together the teachers would have a real sense of the kids that wasn't based on age or history.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Then, by 1st grade they could start to work on beginning academic skills...

I think it's a lot like potty training.  Sure, you can do elimination communication and be "trained" from infancy.. or you could wait until your kid's 4th birthday and drop the diapers overnight.  My guess is that either way 99.99% of 4 year olds are potty trained.  If we could find a way to get anywhere near as close to having 99.99% of 8 year olds reading, we'd be doing much better with academic achievement instead of having such dismal achievement compared to much of the rest of the world.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

Exactly K&H.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

In VA, the cut-off is 9/30. E's birthday is 9/8. No way will we be sending him to Kindergarten at 4 years old. He will almost be 5, but to me, that's just too young. Here, you are supposed to notify the school board that your child is not physically/emotionally ready and you will be enrolling the following year if you want to wait. Stupid. But whatever...I guess we will do what we have to.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

I am in no hurry for school. Olivia has a mid July bday so if she started at 5 in August she would be 5 and about 1 month. If I hold her until 6 the issue is that Noah will turn 5 a few months before Olivia turns 6, so theoretically he would be 5 years 4 months when he started, and then they  would be In the same grade which I really don't want! But if I held him he would be almost 6 and a half starting school which  seems crazy. It's something we talk about but I'm not happy with any scenario.

Re: kindergarten cut offs

I'm in NC so the child has to be 5 at the time school starts.

I grew up in Canada where it looked at calendar year. There was also a Junior and Senior Kindergarten. Junior Kindergarten started at age 4, so there were kids at the age of 3 being sent to school. The school system is set up a little differently though and I would have had no issue sending Max to school at the age of three there.

Since M has a December birthday he is another two years out before starting school. I wish that was different, but more for financial reasons. The thought of two more years of daycare payments boggle my mind. OF course, knowing how ass backwards the school system is here, it's for the best that M wait until the following year.

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19 (edited by Lindsay 2013-09-17 18:23:18)

Re: kindergarten cut offs

Back in the day though when we were little kids going off to Kindergarden at late 4's and early 5's we were going to learn our colors and the Letter People...Now they are reading and writing in Kindergarden...It is crazy what Lily had to do last year..She was also 4 when school started..Turned 5 several days later...I had her enrolled in a private school to redo K this year but that fell through and she went off to 1st grade and she is already struggling almost 4 weeks in..She just turned 6 last week and is getting a spelling test every Friday of 10 words...She is beyond stressed because she wants that sticker in her bucket just like all the other kids... I am going to see how she does for this 9 weeks before I do something drastic...With the K requirement learning I think kids should be a solid 6 now before starting...Too much stress on these kids could backfire later...

I started at just turned 5 also but like I said before...I learned my colors,the letter people and how to paint,play and tie my shoes...Now they are learning to read,write and simple addition,subtraction and fractions...smh

Here in Michigan it is you have to be 5 before November 1st...Except for most private schools..it is August 1st....

Lindsay xx

Re: kindergarten cut offs

Idaho and Oregon 9/1.  As a teacher and a parent I have different opinions depending on which hat I am wearing. As a teacher I prefer them to follow the cut off - it makes a huge difference socially, emotionally, academically.  As a parent - I want Maggie to start Kindergarten next Fall at 4.5 years old.  Considering that (yes bragging for a minute) she has much better social, emotional, academic skills than the k/1 students i am currently teaching.  She would still be a head of them.  I won't do that (I don't think).

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

Our cut off in WI is September 1st.  I have an end of July birthday and started kindegarten when I was 5 and one month and did fine. My brother was born on September 2nd. He was always the oldest and the smartest in his class.  It led to lots of behavioral issues b/c he was so bored. He would have done better starting earlier.

I know NY used to have a cut off date of Jan. 1st b/c one of my friends was in the same grade as DH but was born on 12/31.  So she didn't turn 18 until after her first semester of college.

We are trying our hardest to get M into a Montessori school. We just can't afford the private Montessori schools and private Waldorf schools in our area. I don't like all the testing and the fact that 1st graders have homework now (more than reading a book at home). We are adament about getting him into Montessori charter school and sent in an application for pre-school for 2014 just to get an early date on his application so he has a better shot at the few available spots.

Re: kindergarten cut offs

We have 9/1 cutoff.  #1 is November birthday, advanced socially, emotionally and academically.   She reads, does at least a 1st grade math curriculum and knows more science than most adults.  She loves to learn, loves to do homework, etc and is very into pleasing people so she wouldn't dream of getting in trouble at school and reminds all the other kids of the rules.  (Yes, she is THAT kid).  I wish we had the choice to start her early but didn't so luckily she got into an awesome school with a gifted program.  Maybe the other kids will catch up to her over the years academically , but I doubt it given our family history.
#2, on the other hand, is the complete opposite situation all around.  She is a June birthday and a dreamer living in her own head who has a very hard time focusing.  She is also the "let me see what rules I can break and try to get away with it" kinda girl.  But I will say that I am very surprised how far she has come in a month of half day Pre-K.  She is very smart but with ADD and SPD issues it makes things very difficult for her.  We ultimately decided though that we aren't going to hold her back for Kindergarten because she very well might succeed and grow given the chance.  If not, she will just repeat K.  We think that is the best decision for our family.
Of course #3 missed the cutoff by 4 DAYS.  I wish we had the choice for him as well.  He very well might be better off waiting especially because everyone says for boys that being older is better, but I just wish we had the choice in case he follows in 1's footsteps.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

charcoaleyes - The absence of homework and testing is one of the main reasons I am committed to a Montessori education for Kate!  I am also going to try for the Charter school but if she doesn't get in in 2 years (when she completes Primary at her current school) I really don't know if I will put her in the public Montessori (or try anyway) which does have homework and testing or put her in another private Montessori school (though the one I think would work best is AMS not AMI so I am not sure how I feel about that either!). Even if she gets into the Charter I will have to make the same decision at some point because it goes up to 3rd grade.  I'd love to make the commitment to the private school for the long haul (it goes through 8th grade) but that several thousand dollars a year (even with a scholarship) would make such a difference in our lives!

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

When I was young my mom wanted me in Kindergarten at 4 bc I had practically grown up in a preschool (she was a preschool teacher). But in order to go into public KG you had to be 5. So they told her to put me in private KG instead bc if I child does that, they can go into first grade. So at 5 (turned 6 in December) I then enrolled in first grade. I was always the youngest in school and was 16-17 as a senior in high school. It was the right move for me.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

In Michigan the cutoff used to be 12/1 but they are scaling that back over the next couple of years to I think 9/1.  This makes me sad because Charles' birthday is the end of October and by the time he is old enough for school, he will have to be held back to 5 / almost 6 when he starts kindergarten.  And being an October baby myself, I started Kindergarten when I was 4, graduated high school when I was 17 and started medical school when I was 19.  I did fine.  I never felt like I was the youngest in school.  In fact, the one classmate that had been held back and was a year older than the rest of us always seemed ridiculously too old to me.  I was not the popular kid in school but that was because I was smart and fat and not because I was young. 

Michigan has also gone to full day Kindy and I do understand that it is the "new 1st grade".  I guess you can have an exception made if you feel your child is really ready.  I think I just take it too personally being an Oct baby.  But really I am open minded to it.  It is 2 years away before we even have to consider it and Charles will be a whole different person than he is today and I don't know if that person will be super ready for Kindergarten or if he will need a 2nd year of preschool

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

K&H wrote:

  If you remember from reading Nurture Shock, anything "tested" at this age doesn't end up mattering anyway.  The "gifted" kids at age 4.5/5 may or may not be "gifted" by the time they're 8, and vice versa.  So, there really would be no appropriate way to test.

I agree with this 100%. A child who excels in academics at 5 may very well dial back to a more middle-of-the-road level by 3rd-4th grade and start maturing more socially at that times, etc. IF they had been tested higher at age 5 and now were a grade ahead of what they "could/should" be, suddenly they might be struggling, and with no option to keep them back at that age, they simply continue to struggle.

My birthday is in March and when I started kindergarten, I was bored out of my mind. First grade was the same thing. My teacher in second grade, called my parents in after the second week of school and asked if they could move me to third grade - I was beyond bored and always had my work done early in the day. My parents said no. Fast forward to fifth grade, and I hit my slump. I had a terrible year and my entire year was a struggle, due to many social, emotional, and physical changes, and a teacher I hated. The rest of my school years I spent as a average student - I kept up easily with my peers, but was no longer passing them up and bored out of my mind.

The only problem I really see about situations like mine was, I completed my first 4-1/2 (kindergarten was only 6 weeks) years of school completely unstimulated and didn't have to "push" myself to be good at any of it. When that situation finally presented itself, it was a struggle for me and since I wasn't used to it, that was tough to get used to. I actually had to push myself for a good grade and it was new concept, so yes it instilled some complacency and laziness which wasn't great either!

So I guess in short, I don't have any knowledge or advice on the subject, simply my own experience. wink

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27 (edited by Zen 2013-09-19 13:21:20)

Re: kindergarten cut offs

I'm with K&H and Flowergirl on this too.  Just got the book in the mail but have not had time to read it yet.  My little one is very bright.  Advanced?  Yes.  Gifted?  Probably not.  I don't need tests to tell me this.  What I'm hoping though with her missing the cut off, is that she'll sail through kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades.  And then armed with the confidence of having established herself as successful in school, she'll work to continue and maintain high achievement levels carrying her through to her PhD!

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

My daughter's DOB is Sept. 8 and the cut off is Sept 1.  So she started kinder at 5 and 2weeks later turned 6.  She is the oldest and tallest in her class.  She is very bright and she may be bored at times, but I could not have imagined her starting earlier.  She did preschool and all, but it would have been a disaster to have started kinder just before 5.    With her prenatal drug exposure, diagnosed ADHD, and SPD, it just wouldn't have worked.  Over the last few months she has matured light years and is a completely different child.  She is doing awesome in kinder and we couldn't be prouder.  As an educator myself, I see those who start early or start on time but have summer birthdays.  They almost always struggle academically or socially, so I am a firm believer in waiting.  It can be a difficult decision, but I don't believe it hurts anyone to wait.

Re: kindergarten cut offs

It's funny, I just had this discussion with my pediatrician today.  Our daughter has a July 31st birthday and the cut off here is 8/1.  So she would literally be the youngest in the class if we started next year.  According to my ped this sets children up to be followers for their entire school career and it is better to err on the side of entering them into school too late then too early as there is such a stigma on being held back whereas, if you skip a grade, you are seen as super smart.  Besides that, I think the social implications are seem in middle and high school and while I think academically she is 'smart' enough to be in kindergarten next year, socially I don't like what I see when she is around older kids. She is way too easily coerced into being 'the baby' and into just following directions. I want her to excel in school, not just do well. Seriously though, it is a really hard decision and we second guess ourselves all the time.

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Re: kindergarten cut offs

I agree with mommylove. Our kindergarten cut off is Sept. 1st for public and private schools will bend. We will only do Montessori. Unfortunately, our local Montessori only goes to 3rd grade. Our private schools are amazing but it is not the life style I want for the twins. Our private schools is nothing but "whose grandparents have a certain last name." I grew up in our private school system and want the twins to be different. I have already applied to other CEO jobs so I can do Montessori or something similar through 12th grade.

Re: kindergarten cut offs

Here in Oregon you have to turn five before Sep 1 to attend kindergarten that year - although you can pay something like. $400 to test them in early.  To me testing a child in early - even a brilliant one - is not something I would do.  The social side is every bit as I
Portent as the academic side and being the youngest is HARD.  J has a late Aug birthday so he will technically be old enough right when he turns five but I very likely will hold him back so he doesn't have to be the very youngest in his class.