With Kindergarten registration just around the corner (at least around here), I know there are many families struggling with the question: “Should I enroll my child in Kindergarten for next fall?”
Having a child with a late summer birthday, I worried very early on about how I would answer that same question. The cut-off in our district is September 1st, and his birthday is a week before that. Should I enroll him as a brand new five year old, being the youngest in his class? Or should I give him an extra year (also known as “redshirting”) and have him start Kindergarten having just turned six?
There are so many opinions on this topic. Some think that enrolling them younger will force them to keep up with their peers or makes no difference at all, while others believe the younger, immature students struggle academically and socially in an environment that they are just not ready for.
Kindergarten where we live is not like the Kindergarten I went to in the 80s. It’s a full day, lots of sitting still and actual learning. No nap time, only 30 mins of recess. Kindergarten is the new first grade.
Based on the title of this post (or if you’re a long-time PGM reader), you know that my husband and I did choose to hold our son back based on conversations with his Pre-K teachers, and friends and family that worked in the public school system.
And I would do it again in a heartbeat.
At five, he was probably academically ready, but not mature enough to handle a 7 hour school day. So he started Kindergarten as a six year old (the oldest in his class), and he is doing very well at our local public school (which was another thing I worried about…more on that here.) He’s a natural-born leader, and thrives in an environment where he can be a helper.
I realize all children are different, and I am fortunate to even have a choice in the matter. For many, the decision is made for them because their school district won’t allow it, or the financial burden of paying for another year of daycare is too great. As always, you do what’s best for your child and family.