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choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

  • 1.  choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-04-2017 09:07 PM
    what harm could be done by waiting? What harm could be done by pushing for early attendance?

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    S. Baugh
    Salt Lake City UT
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  • 2.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-06-2017 08:35 AM
    It depends on her skills. Is she curious and eager to learn? How does she interact with other children? Does she have a basic knowledge of pre math and literacy skills? Does she self-regulate? If so, she's probably ok to start.

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    Amy Latta
    Lead NC PreK Teacher
    "All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost." --J.R.R. Tolkien
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  • 3.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-06-2017 08:46 AM
    I agree with Amy, if the child demonstrates readiness skills then the child would be okay. If the child didn't demonstrate the readiness skill then that child would probably benefit with more time to develop.

    Children develop at different rates so it should be based on each child.

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    Luci Barnes
    Lead Teacher
    Child Development Center
    Wilmington, NC
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  • 4.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 09:46 AM
    With 50 years of experience behind me, both in classrooms teaching early childhood education and in teacher education, here <g class="gr_ gr_3912 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="3912" data-gr-id="3912">is</g> my thoughts on the question posed in this discussion.

    What struck me first was that all the participants in this discussion are using the word "readiness" in their responses. What does that mean today? Today, in many, if not most kindergartens, it means the ability to sit still and participate in lesson after lesson that is presented to the entire class. It is asking children to have self-discipline and advanced fine motordevelopment - able to write full sentences and learn to read short books by the end of the year. It means that the child must be at the far end of the continuum (advanced) on social emotional development as well as in all other developmental domains. If you suspect that your child will be struggling in the kindergarten model (that is in your school district and if it looks like what I described above) in your school district, then waiting a year or finding an alternative to the public school option might be the way to go. We are sending messages to many typically developing children through our developmentally inappropriate expectations that they are failing, that they cannot do what they should be able to do. Of course, there will always be some children at the far end of the continuum in all developmental domains who are capable of doing whatever is thrown at them but they are small in number.

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    Nora Krieger
    Highland Park NJ
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  • 5.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-09-2017 10:19 AM
    There are a lot of unknown variables in this scenario. What's the alternative for her? Is she at home with a caregiver, parent, siblings, free to play and explore outside the home? Is she at a childcare center, bored or flourishing?

    The parents first need to get on the same page, resolving their split on this issue. If she was my child, and I had the choice to stay home and care for her, that is the decision I'd make.

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    Mary Russell
    Journeys Out Yonder
    Boulder CO
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  • 6.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-06-2017 05:56 PM
    Obviously, every child is different, so he short answer is to carefully evaluate the child's strengths, weaknesses, skills, and interests.  That having been said, however, in general I a, a proponent for waiting. There are very few children who are gifted in every area of their development, and it is a mistake to think that one area of development is more or less important than the others.  It is easier to challenge a very bright child in his/her area of strength while supporting growth in areas of weakness if the child is one of the older children in the group. Also, it is important to think about the future. The child who is the youngest in his/her kindergarten class will be the youngest in his/her high school class.  An extra year of maturity could be extremely helpful dealing with all of the pressures of being a teenager!

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    Linda Crisalli
    Kirkland WA
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  • 7.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 09:27 AM
    HI, I've never heard that any parent was sorry they waited, but have heard from many who were sorry they didn't.
     
    C.King





  • 8.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-06-2017 08:22 PM
    As a preschool director, i have haf this question come up many times. Is the child socially/emotionally at the age of development? If so, I say send them. Academics can be taught. If not, another year will do them justice. I have talked to many Kindergarten teachers and they say it is easier to teach acafemics not social emotional aspects.

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    Brooke Hastings
    Kendallville IN
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  • 9.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 06:57 AM
    We all know it is of course a case by case decision, however, I would recommend keeping the child in preschool the additional year if your program allows.  I have never had a parent come to me and regret holding a child back. I have had parents tell me the regretted sending their child the first year they were eligible. This has come in parents of my former students as well as other parents I have asked this question.  Most often an extra year of social development is extremely helpful. Preschool has a bit more flexibility to develop individual plans for each children than a typical public school. I would recommend finding out the school the child will be attending. I am sure you are familiar with your local school and which ones are able to provide adequate services for a child who is advanced or delayed in some form of development.

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    Monica
    Wooster OH
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  • 10.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 09:29 AM
    I was one of the youngest children in my grade and I also did my masters thesis on age within the grade as one of the components, so this has long interested me.
    First, the effects on boys are generally more severe in the early years, and as a generality, they usually benefit most from not being pushed along
    Girls usually can sit still for longer and hold a pencil without as much difficulty in the younger grades, so in the early years, it's not often as difficult for them to go ahead.
    As has been said, social/emotional development is really important to this decision.
    Think of where this child is in birth order - oldest, somewhere in the middle, youngest, only?  If she's not the only or the oldest, it may be easier for her to fit in with older classmates because she's so used to it already.  It's somewhat harder, especially around puberty, for an only or oldest child  to be the last to go through all of the changes.
    If the child is from a sports oriented family, it may be difficult for the youngest child on the team with sports teams often organized by grade.  And if the local leagues are by age, what will be the social implications for a child in a different grade from most teammates?
    Then look at the intellectual development. A truly fast learner will be held back and stymied by having to wait another year.  A child of somewhat average intellectual abilities may thrive being kept back that extra year.
    This is never a 1 size fits all solution.  Best of luck with the decision.

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    Ellen Cogan
    Hilltop Early Childhood Services
    Member, NYS Master Cadre of Pyramid Model Trainers
    EHS/Child Care Partnership Implementation Planner
    Hartsdale, NY
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  • 11.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 03:09 PM
    This thread makes me think of a related issue we have happening here. We have a girl who is age eligible for kindergarten. She is smart enough to do the work, but emotionally, she is definitely not ready. Her home life is rather chaotic to the point we felt it necessary for make a Child Protective Services call for neglect (but we were told the amount of *material* possessions in her room was great! and that there was no problem :(  Whole different thread). Some schools start here next week, but mom has not gathered the necessary documents to enroll her child in elementary school and seems in no rush to get them, or even looked into which school she would go to. Mom says, with a shrug, "well, she's just going to have to start late".

    Have any of you kept a student who really should be in kindergarten, but for the parents' inaction, they don't get enrolled? I know mom's going to keep bringing her to us, like nothing has changed, but we have to consider where to put her. We could definitely make the argument that she needs a little while longer to get the social-emotional part together, but that's not the honest reason why she would be here.

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    Monée Kidd-Pruitt
    Kidd's Preschool Enrichment Center
    Cleveland OH
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  • 12.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 02:24 PM

    One must consider the cutoff start date for Kindergarten in their state. I am totally against starting children early. I have experienced this first hand with my now 2 of 3 grown children. They were fall birthdays and the cutoff in Michigan was December 1. A well-known psychologist and friend said to me, "your children are smart, focused, self-regulated, and can interact well, but…give them emotional development time. It is around 3rd grade when we see the early starters, or/and pushed children start to falter, especially boys. "

    As an educator, I have shared this advice repeatedly. Always, yes always, parents have come back and thanked me. By the way, we did receive some static by NOT sending them to school by educated family members.  We have NO regrets about enjoying their lives as preschoolers a bit longer.

    As a now college professor, I again see those children who were early kindergarten starters often falter in their first year of college. I ask all my students when their birthdays are and I am always shocked how the younger college students struggle adjusting. AGAIN-emotional development comes into play.  David Elkind's views in his book the Hurried Child offers a variety of perspectives…about NOT sending children early to kindergarten.



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    Mary C. Belknap, PhD
    Early Childhood/Teacher Education Consultant,
    Professor
    Spring Arbor University and State of Michigan
    Jackson Michigan USA
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  • 13.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-07-2017 03:22 PM
    ​I am feeling quite ambivalent about this thread.......the red-shirting decision is not new and I recognize that the reality is that teachers and parents have children's best interests in mind when giving children the extra year. But as a profession, shouldn't we be advocating for more developmentally appropriate kindergarten (and primary grades) rather than actively promoting the "extra year before kindergarten". I still remember a meeting with my daughter's kindergarten teacher more than 25 years ago when I complained about the kindergarten workload (her stack of worksheets) and the teacher conceded  "She is actually more ready developmentally/socially than most in her class but she has trouble with the phonics". When I pointed out "she's only 5" the teacher was quick to say that most of the children in class were already 6. So instead of meeting the needs of the children, kindergartens, even back then,  expected children to conform to developmentally inappropriate expectations......and parents, sometimes reluctantly, held them back that extra year. It seems to be getting worse with every year and yet we continually ignore the warnings of the experts about this rush to formal direct instruction.  Looking at the big picture, we're just having kids start school later, and instead of it being first grade (which is when formal instruction should begin anyway), we've drastically changed what "kindergarten" is supposed to be (Froebel).  There are some states who are making advances in recognizing the importance of transforming K-3 and changing their practice to reflect a more "intellectual" approach rather than an "academic" approach (Fromberg), but it concerns me tremendously to see justification for an extra year rather than a stronger effort at reflecting on what kindergarten should really be.

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    Joan Rocchetta
    Southold NY
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  • 14.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-08-2017 10:02 AM
    I think Joan makes a great point. One of my children, whose birthdate was near the district's cutoff for kindergarten, could have entered either K or 1 and I chose to enter him in Kindergarten for his social and emotional development, even though his academic skills were good. It was definitely the right decision. But now I'm realizing one of my other children, who was also "ready" academically but well within the target age group, was fine in kindergarten but emotionally had a rough time in first grade - he was simply too young to sit at a desk all day - he was really miserable for months. Another child did well and was happy in each year. Couldn't we base kindergarten "readiness" on the individual child, rather than age? Or failing that, simply raise the age for kindergarten to six rather than five. Five is really very young to start so much academics, as K involves nowadays, esp. with most K's lasting a full day. This is an important issue for us to think and talk about!

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    Abigail Connors
    Piscataway NJ
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  • 15.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-08-2017 10:28 AM
    As a former child care teacher/administrator and current ECE teacher educator, I think Nora and Joan make very important points that as a field ECE is unwilling to address.  Rather than having conversations with parents about whether or not a child is "ready" for kindergarten, we should be having discussions about how we help schools be ready for the children!  That may mean that we have difficult discussions with school corporations or even state leaders about appropriate standards for kindergartners.  Until the field of ECE is ready to push back on kindergarten expectations, we will continue having the same discussion about whether or not children are "ready".  As a field and not a profession, there are very diverse ideas being shared, and we need to develop one voice with a single message about what is best for ALL children.  We shouldn't be addressing children's needs on a case by case basis, rather we should be pushing for kindergarten to be more appropriate for children!

    I have a grandson with a summer birthday.  He lives in Indiana where children are not LEGALLY required to be in school until age 7, yet many children enroll in kindergarten at age 5 or 6.  This child was read to daily by his parents and was both emotionally and academically ready to enter kindergarten when he turned 5, but Mom insisted that he not enter until he was six.  By second grade they were sending him to a third grade classroom for both Language Arts and Math.  This is where he should have been in the first place, but now he was being singled out to move forward, which did result in some issues with friendships.  Holding back is NOT always in the best interest of the child, but because the mother had heard so many issues about boys, she could not hear that he was ready.  We harm children because we are willing to allow schools to dictate what children should be able to do.

    For those of you who may not be aware of NAEYC's Power to the Profession, I encourage you to check it out!  There needs to be a professional voice that legislators and leaders will listen to when it comes to ECE.

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    Linda Taylor
    Muncie IN
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  • 16.  RE: choosing to attend kindergarten this year or wait another year? This child is born on the last day possible to register this year and I wonder if there's really any harm in waiting another year. Her parents are divided on this question.

    Posted 08-09-2017 12:48 AM
    What a great discussion!   Fast forward to when that child will be 16-- imagine being the oldest in your peer circle or being the youngest--imagine the pressures on being the youngest all your life…this is not about being the smartest, it is about supporting our children's social-emotional development, the foundation of all learning.

     There is NO harm in waiting to start kindergarten until a child is 6, even 7.  The challenge from a family standpoint is financial, and from the teachers having to differentiate the curriculum for those children that are barely 5 to those that are mature 6 year olds. The school should be ready for the child, not the other way around.

    And Imagine one more element-- if Head Start supported subsidizing another year of prek for children.  Just imagine how that could change the landscape.  What in the world is the hurry? Let our children explore and enjoy their very brief early years.

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    For the Children,
    Ginny Harmelink
    ECE Department Chair
    Pima Community College
    Tucson AZ
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