The right age for kindergarten is between 4 and 6 years, but it depends on a lot of factors. It is common to find parents delaying their kids for one or two years before allowing them to join kindergarten. And if you ask they will tell their genuine reasons. Some let their kids join a little earlier, and they have their genuine reasons too. The question is, when is the right time for your kid to join kindergarten? Here is the guide:
Know your state’s kindergarten entry age
Some states have a minimum and a maximum entry age to kindergarten, make sure you remain within the law when making decisions to take your kid to a kinder. Find out what the state’s rules say on entry to kindergarten or call the district’s education office for information because regulations may change over time. You can also consult with the principal of the school you are planning your kid to join for inspiration and guidance. S/he must have all the government education policies and guidelines.
Think about your kid’s education down the line
Think about how entry to kindergarten will affect your child when s/he enters older grades. Will your decision have a positive or negative impact on your kid academically? I don’t think as a parent you would like your daughter to be the youngest in class, or would you like to send your daughter or son to college before they reach the age of consent? Think about the consequences ahead before making decisions.
Consult with the preschool teacher
Let the preschool teacher assess your kid before making decisions to let your kid go to kindergarten. If they advise you to give one more year, please take heed. They know it all, the consequences and the impact to your kid’s academic journey. Trust their word because after all, they are the ones to handle your kid out there.
Every child and family is unique
Put the state’s regulations aside, in some instances, the age of a child doesn’t matter, but the qualification of a kid does. It would be best if you were not told to hold your child for a year but let his or her capabilities determine entry to the kindergarten. Take into account your kid’s socio-emotional growth before making decisions. A child should be able to express their feelings by the time they are ready for kindergarten as opposed to crying, yelling, throwing themselves to the ground etc.
Here are some of the tips you can use to assess your kid:
- How does he get along with classmates? Conversation wise, can he sit still for some minutes with others?
- Can he ask for help when s/he needs?
- Does s/he knows how to write his or her name?
- What about the alphabets?
- Can recognize letters and sounds in isolation or not?
- How high can s/he count, ten, twenty, fifty, hundred?
- Does s/he speak correctly; some kids may face a stammering problem for a long time?
- What about the vocabulary, does s/he have enough vocabulary for his or her age?
In the end, the decision you reach must be agreed upon by both parents based on the level of your child’s emotional-emotional and cognitive readiness. Letting your kid start a year early has consequences, and allowing your kid to start a year later has some effects too.
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