Kindergarten Or Preschool -- Would Your Child Be Better Off Waiting A Year?

Education & Development Articles

Is your child ready for kindergarten? While your child may be age appropriate, it's possible that they may not be mentally, physically or emotionally ready for kindergarten. And if your child has a late birthday -- for instance, they were born in August, and the school deadline is September -- you may want to hold them back because they may end up being the youngest and, possibly, smallest student in their class. So how do you decide whether to send your child to kindergarten or if another year of preschool  at a place like Advantage Learning Center could be beneficial for your little one?

Holding a Child Back from Kindergarten

According to the Wall Street Journal, many parents are holding their children back from school, especially in wealthier neighborhoods where the number is approximately 27 percent. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as academic redshirting -- a reference to the practice in college of holding an athlete back a year so that they might have an advantage on the playing field. With kindergartners, the hope is that attending one more year of preschool might allow a child with a late birthday to:

  • "Catch up" to their peers if they have a late birthday. Some parents actually have their smaller children attend another year of preschool because they are thinking ahead to the day when they might be trying out for high school sports. By holding their child back, it is hoped that they may be a little bigger than or at least the same size as the students they are competing against for a spot on a sports team. 
  • Grow up mentally or emotionally. In some cases, a child may not be emotionally mature enough for school. If your child is "squirrely," for example, it's possible that another year in a preschool class could allow your kid to mature. 
  • Exceed academically. Although, experts don't always agree on whether or not holding a child back actually benefits a child academically, at least one recent study did show that older children in a grade level do seem to do better in school than the youngest ones. Still other studies have shown that children who attend school before they are developmentally ready may face more challenges than their older peers. It showed that these younger students are more likely to end up in special education and had less of a chance of attending a university or becoming a CEO.

Making the Decision

Holding a child back from kindergarten is a very personal decision. Often, what works for one child may not work for another. So your neighbor may have sent their immature-acting child to kindergarten with great success, but that does not mean that you will have the same results. So that's why it is important to:

  • Observe your child carefully. Is your child mature enough to sit still during a typical classroom lesson, and is your child toilet trained? In addition, can your child interact with other children without throwing tantrums or hitting others? Or could your child benefit from being in a small preschool setting for another year? 
  • Consider what is in the best interest of your child. Are you pushing your child to attend kindergarten because it would be easier for your work situation even though their preschool teachers have expressed concern that they may not be ready? 
  • Consider whether another year of preschool would help your child to develop academically. This is important not just during kindergarten but also later on in your child's school career. In this day of "No Child Left Behind," students are constantly having to take and pass tests. 

If you do decide to have your child attend another year of preschool instead of attending kindergarten, make sure to find one that will challenge them and keep them interested. 


12 May 2015

Learning for a Lifetime

Ever since I was a small child, I submersed myself in books. Whenever I started a new work of literature, I was instantly transported to another exciting world. Besides burying myself in books, I also actually enjoyed going to school in order to learn new things. My love affair with learning motivated me to earn four college degrees. As an adult, I still enjoy becoming educated about unfamiliar things. Thankfully, I don’t ever have to stop learning. Many colleges and universities regularly provide continuing education courses for those whose thirst for knowledge is never quenched. Regardless of whether you wish to learn how to sew, dance, or excavate ancient ruins, you can discover your passion in a continuing education class. On this blog, you will find out more about this incredible opportunity to learn for a lifetime. Enjoy!