I started kindergarten, the first time, when I was 4 turning 5 a month later. However my aunt and uncle were told I was “immature” after the first quarter and that I should start the next year,. They pulled me and I started over the following year which made me 18 within a month of the start of my senior year.
The problem that occurred, and one that I fear for my boys, is while I may have been “immature” socially, physically I was enormous (6’4” when I stop growing), and academically I tested in the 95-99 percentile on standardized tests throughout primary and secondary schools. This lead to a host of problems rbecause in the mid 80s elementary schools didn’t have “gifted classes”.
In elementary schools every single teacher would write the agenda for the day, with page numbers and assignments for each subject. Instead of waiting for us to switch subjects, I would read the materials and complete the work within the first 90 minutes of the school day. This lead me to have plenty of time to goof around, bother other students, and get in trouble. Starting in the winter of second grade the teachers, administration and guidance counselor decided it was best if a desk was put outside in the hallway and when I finished my work, I was to go out there, sit and read. Every. Single. Day.
Imagine being 8 years old and by 10AM you have to sit in the hallway by yourself, only joining classmates for lunch, recess and extracurricular classes until school let out at 330PM. Pretty soon I was faking illness to go lay down in the nurses office rather than sit at that desk. If the nurse called for me to picked up, which only happened a couple of times because my guardians figured out I was faking, leading to playing my favorite game “pick a belt”, and they told her not to call anymore as they wouldn’t be coming.
To put it mildly, I hated school. Every day I dreaded going. I never want either of my kids to hate school, so I will never let them sacrifice academics for athletics. If they are ready academically they will start then, no sooner, no later.