It seems like yesterday you were on your phone searching for information about if your child was ready for preschool, and now it’s already time to start thinking about kindergarten. Your preschooler just made the cutoff date to start kindergarten…but should you wait a year?
Often referred to as “redshirting”, waiting another year to start kindergarten is an increasingly common act, meant to give a child more opportunity for physical, cognitive, and emotional growth before starting school.
CAN YOU WAIT?
First, it’s important to determine if you are legally able to wait another year before sending your child to kindergarten. While many states do not require kindergarten attendance, all states have an age in which your child must receive a formal education. With age requirements ranging anywhere from 5-8, children’s first experience with school is often, but not always, kindergarten.
For state specific information on what age your child must start school, head over to the NCES website.
IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR KINDERGARTEN?
Kindergartens typically have readiness standards that they expect their students to come into school with. Not having all of these skills doesn’t necessarily mean your child isn’t ready for kindergarten, but lacking in many of these skills could make it very difficult for your child to build on their education.
Important developmental skills that you preschooler may be expected to have before kindergarten include:
Fine Motor Skills
- Cutting with scissors
- Holding a pencil properly
- Rolling playdough
Gross Motor Skills
- Independent bathroom skills
- Adjusting to new situations
- Expressing their emotions using words
- Interacting well with others
- Focusing on a task for at least 5 minutes
- Speaking in fulls sentences
- Recognizing rhyming words
- Showing interest in books
- Writing most of their name
- Counting 1-10
- Identifying basic shapes
- Understanding the concept of biggest and smallest
- Arranging items by size
Maturity plays a huge role in whether or not your preschooler is ready for kindergarten. Starting kindergarten before having the maturity level for it can do more harm than good. Giving your preschooler the chance to mature for another year could make a huge difference in how well they perform in school.
WHAT WILL BE DONE INSTEAD?
If you’re thinking of waiting a year to send your child to kindergarten, it’s important to consider what activities your child will be doing instead, and if they’re as beneficial as attending kindergarten. If your child has already attended a year of preschool and you’re considering another year, think about what skills they need help building.
If you feel that your child didn’t fully benefit from their year in preschool, and you choose to enroll them for another year, then it’s important to help them gain more from their next experience. You can talk with your preschooler’s teacher about ways to improve your child’s academic experience.
Many public schools are unable to adapt to children’s unique learning styles, and if your child’s preschool doesn’t offer a style of teaching that suits your child’s needs, then they may benefit from a completely new school.
If you want to ensure your preschooler is getting a quality education, check out our article HOW TO FIND A QUALITY PRESCHOOL WITH LOVING TEACHERS.
If you’re concerned about the quality of education offered in your area, homeschooling could be a great option. If you’re interested in the idea of being in control of your preschooler’s early education, and spending your days having fun while teaching your child all about the world, check out our article “I WANT TO TEACH MY CHILD”- A GUIDE TO TEACHING YOUR PRESCHOOLER.
Starting kindergarten isn’t a one size fits all situation. There’s a lot of factors that come in to play when determining what is best for your child, but with this information you can decide if your preschooler is ready for kindergarten or if you should wait another year.