I have a 5-year-old and we're in the USA. He had been to preschool when he was 3.5 years old for 1.5 years.

Now at 5 years 4 months, he is able to read the sentences, write words, do almost 2nd grade math. He loves doing math, additions, subtraction, etc., and he does it fast. Now reading the books.

Because of the job, we moved to a different place and had a travel. Now after the dust settled, we wanted to put him in Kindergarten or 1st grade. But since it's almost the end of the academic year, no school is willing to enroll him. There is one school that is okay to enroll him now, but it's for pre-schooling. As we have no other option, we are planning to enroll him there, instead of keeping him home.

However, we are very concerned that he might not learn anything new and or not enjoy his schooling, as they will be teaching ABCs and 123s, and will be sitting with kids younger than his age. He always likes to go to school.

Is it okay or might it back-fire? Or better to wait and put him in proper class? Would his development slow down?

  • 2
    You might want to include the country, if applicable.
    – Joe
    Mar 16, 2015 at 17:51
  • 1
    Its in America.
    – Kevin Rave
    Mar 16, 2015 at 18:25
  • 1
    Consider a Montessori school with pre-school and/or elementary programs. Kids of multiple ages will be together, and work on different levels. That should provide a enriched environment, and come September he can start in public school in the right age group if you so desire (remember class age is also about social and emotional maturity, not just academic skills).
    – Ida
    Mar 17, 2015 at 22:25
  • lol "...were in the USA..." "You might want to include the country..." Jun 29, 2020 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


It's hard to answer without having a lot of detailed knowledge of the classes that really even you probably don't have, but I doubt it would be a net negative to enroll him in a pre-school, as long as it's with some age-equivalent children. You don't say enough detail about that; is it mixed 3.5-5.5 year olds? Or is it all 3 year olds?

Even if he is intellectually ahead of his classmates, there are lots of other things that he should be learning at that age: social, physical, emotional development all needs to occur (probably even more than book learning). Being in a group of similar children will help this (especially if they will then go to the next grade with him).

If the only option is a class of 3 year olds, that might be more difficult for him; I would tend to try and avoid that situation. If there are some 4.5+ year olds there, I think that would be reasonably okay; a year or more gap between the other children and your child would be difficult, though. In that case I might try and work on things at home, but aggressively find him other kids to play with on a very regular (once a day or close to it) basis.

On a side note, I would caution you against enrolling him a grade ahead next year. Studies have repeatedly shown that children get better life outcomes when they are kept at their age grade level rather than skipped ahead, even if they are intellectually ready; emotional, physical, and social maturity is somewhat linked to actual age, and being the smallest and least mature in your class is very difficult. (I know; I was skipped ahead past Kindergarten, in a similar situation - reading sentences and such at 4.) There are plenty of ways to continue intellectual development without skipping ahead.

  • Out of 15, I guess 2 (including him), are 5 years old. Rest of them are between 3 and 4
    – Kevin Rave
    Mar 16, 2015 at 18:26
  • Assuming 'between 3 and 4' means 'are between 3y0months and 4y11months', then that seems like at least an okay situation, though a few more his age would be better. (If you have 2 five year olds and 13 three year olds, that's a bit different.)
    – Joe
    Mar 16, 2015 at 19:26
  • Sorry to be nitpicky, but "studies have shown' just begs for citation to be added. I'm not doubting you, but in a case like this it's really important to back it up with an actual study.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 16, 2015 at 20:43
  • 1
    Also, given the context (that it's near the end of a school year and they're considering kindergarden now) it might be adviseable to apply for 1st grade for the next school year. But that depeneds on the child's mental and social maturity, as you pointed out.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 16, 2015 at 20:45
  • In the US, a child born in 12/2014 (the age they suggest) would in most circumstances be enrolled in kindergarten the year they are going to turn six. This is not true in all states, and I would generally say enroll in whatever grade is normal for the age level in that location.
    – Joe
    Mar 16, 2015 at 20:46

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