My son just turned five and is looking forward to starting kindergarten in the fall. Several friends have asked me whether I am sending him or holding him back a year. That thought never crossed my mind! I thought all students enrolled according to the cut-offs for birthdays that the school sent out. Should I reconsider?
Some parents feel that their child will have a better chance of succeeding in school and keeping up with their peers if they wait to begin kindergarten. Typically, schools offer registration in the spring prior to the kindergarten year. Preschool teachers usually conduct some basic assessments to test for readiness. They are trained to see red flags and recognize those children who may be better off waiting. If your child’s preschool teacher recommends waiting to enroll, give this feedback some serious consideration. However, it is important to keep in mind that the months from April to August can bring a great deal of change in a five-year-old.
Think carefully about your child’s development. Consider how he gets along with kids his age in preschool, day care or in casual play. As you watch him in those situations, take note whether his behavior, interaction with others and his communication skills are similar to what other children his age are doing. If he is functioning in a way that is comparable to his age-peers, he will likely have a positive experience in kindergarten.
Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four who holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Deb has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org