Daniel's birthday is December 30th. In most of the 50 states, that would set him to start kindergarten at 5 1/2. In Hawaii, though, the cut-off to start kindergarten is turning 5 by December 31st. It was a perfect place for us to be stationed when Daniel was 4 1/2 because he was more than ready to start then.
I wanted to start him in a little Christian school, but they held to the standard of turning 5 by August and would not hear of making an exception. This was very disappointing, especially when they gave me the very condescending "You'll see. Next year he will be bigger, stronger, faster." speech, sure that I was just a naive parent who didn't really know what was best for her kid. But while it maybe true that some (maybe even most) kids are more ready to start at 5-5 1/2, Daniel already was big and strong and fast. He was plenty mature physically and emotionally, and already advanced academically. He ended up dis-liking kindergarten at the public school and I feel it would have been different in the private school setting if only they had been willing to consider it.
After a disappointing year of kindergarten at the public school, we brought him home to homeschool for the 1st grade. Then I found out about a private school for gifted students and he went there for the summer session in a combined 2nd/3rd grade class. Since the school was more than we could justify spending for the regular school year, I was hoping that maybe he could try the public school again and that the gifted program would keep him from being bored. I had thought this would fix what he didn't like about kindergarten. His teacher at the private school advised me that she didn't think this would be enough though. She believed that he should skip 2nd grade altogether. This meant we were back to homeschool because I was not naive. I knew that he was not ready for a 3rd grade public school classroom at 6 years old.
For homeschool that year, we started a 3rd grade curriculum and I knew that we had made the right choice because he barely blinked at any of the work. He hardly ever needed any help with math or spelling. He liked reading, poetry and art. He loved the Science curriculum and would beg to do it first and do extra. He did need a little help in Social Studies, and while he understood all the grammar concepts, he hated writing. Homeschool was good for him because it let him excel at his strengths and get extra support for the subjects that he did not excel at.
I'll be honest though, with my husband deployed for the second half of this school year, it was not an easy one for me.