My 4 year old daughter desperately wants to go to "big kids" school like her big sister. She's currently in preschool now and seems to enjoy it. She's bright enough that she should pass all the educational requirements for entering kindergarten (recognize letters & numbers, count to 20, colors, etc.). She also seems to be emotionally mature enough, and holds her own with her peers and when in larger groups of children where she's the youngest participant. However, she's not old enough according to the standard guidelines.
My wife and I have been waffling back and forth on whether or not to send her to Kindergarten early. On one hand, she seems ready in every way and would thrive. On the other, I don't want her struggling or getting left out/behind because everyone else is at least 6 months older than her.
Assuming we can get her enrolled, what other factors should be taken into account when evaluating school-readiness?
In the intervening 4 years since I wrote this, here's how things ended up going. We had quite a bit of difficulty getting the requirements for early registration from the school and couldn't make the deadline, so she ended up starting school the next year after turning 5.
Socially she's thriving with a lot of friends and involved in activities. Academically she's in the school's QUEST program for gifted students.
Ultimately our daughter would have thrived whether she went early or on time.
Interestingly enough, our youngest is now 4 and we were possibly facing the same dilemma again. This time, the school administration required that we have our child take a particular battery of tests on our own dime (which I have no problem with), but can't point us to a provider -- nor are we able to find one on our own. However, we've realized that he's still got a bit of "growing up" to do yet, so waiting is definitely the best decision for him.