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In my state this is a giant debate. Currently, parents can send children to kindergarten as long as they are 5 by December 31st. I believe that the cut off should be by the first day of school that the child needs to be 5. I currently work with children who just turned 5 close to the cut off and they are developmentally and social not ready for kindergarten. Although there will always be that handful of children who are mature and ready early but I have found the majority of children who are close to this cut off are not ready. I also know many now adults who were put into kindergarten a year late and their parents say that it was the best thing for them. Being in kindergarten requires students to not only be academically ready but socially and emotionally ready. Just because your child is of age according to your state's cut off date does not mean that they are ready so putting them in a year late will actually improve their quality of schooling because they will be ready.
I agree, I am both a parent and a teacher. My son has a birthdate of 12/24 and we did not hold him back. He was ready. Many people have not been positive with us about this decision. My son scored a perfect score on his 3rd grade ELA and a near perfect score on the math. He is a pain in the rear like every other child in the world. I have many friends out of state, who have had to hold their kids back because their birthdates are post Sept. 1, and they hate it, and feel it has been a negative. To be honest, one family the child would not have been ready, so I think it was a good choice. But I know of three families who were forced to keep their children back, and they have been miserable because of it. By the way, the bully in my son's class, was held back. So...what does that say! I think for some, they should stay back, but it should always be the parents decision. And I am not sure what edge people are talking about. If a child is ready for school, they need no edge.
I as a secondary teacher, and this is not necesarily in my professional realm of experience. However, as a parent, we chose to hold my son in preschool for one more year. I would agree that a certain level of maturity is necessary before a student is able to go to school. We didn't think he was ready to be on task for such a long period.
As it happened, the year he started kinder was also the first year our district began all-day kindergarten. I wasn't worried about any separation anxiety as he'd been in daycare since he was 8 weeks old.
It turned out that he has done well in school, but at times he was bored because he already knew what was going on in class. Every now and then he'd get teased for being older too.
We did the best we could in fostering a desire in him for an education--our number one goal. We never considered competition for grades with his classmates. But we also never considered that he would do less well so he didn't look like a nerd.
We must have done something right because his dream is to be a doctor.
I am not certain that I fully understand your argument but I agree with the point that the developmental milestones of becoming an socially and emotionally balanced person do need major attention when we are dealing with young children. I think a key problems we see with young children today who appear to be so much more angry and aggressive is that they have had a steady parade of different caregivers from very early on in day cares. Rather than creating a sort of homeroom in which children of various ages interact, in America the usual model is that we isolate our babies, our 1 year olds, our 1 1/2 year olds, our 2 year olds etc. Thus they do not have the REAL WORLD ability to learn from others who have greater social and emotional skill than they do. They learn only survival of the fittest and to aggressively seek to get what they want. They also tend to be moved from the group according to age and into another room as they age out. To little people this is abandonment as they are asked to adjust to a new set of surrogate siblings where the pecking order is already established. By the time a child who has been in the best run day cares in the country reaches age 5 how many people has he or she been asked to bond with as a caregiver? Has there been a chance to deeply bond with any ONE and develop trust? Not in the models I have observed. We have in many ways, in the last 20 years, moved more and more to a system that maintains infants and toddlers lives by meeting their physical needs but so few children have the benefit of deeply bonding with a caregiver who is there through thick and thin and meets their emotional needs. Instead the workers are devalued in our society and most cannot get a full time job which the big childcare franchises want to avoid so they don't have to pay benefits. We are seeming to replicate the old baby monkey experiments with the wire frame wrapped in a soft covering but have provided enough comfort and sustenance to keep them alive but at what cost to their social and emotional well-being? I am not advocating for non-working women but I am saying siblings need to be with siblings and need a caregiver who is someone they receive not just their physical need met by, but their social and emotional needs as well. Someone who loves them and shapes them. Someone deeply invested in them as unique little people.
Thank you for your wise advice. My grandchild is being denied enrollment in pre-K. His birthday falls one day late for enrollment in Wisconsin. Now this problem will follow further, to qualify he will have to be tested and test top 10% level. Further, next year if he qualifies he will probably be repeating this class twice, reasoning this again.
All of these problems started by his premature birth., his enrollment in early head start has hurt him instead of helping. He had a speech problem and now this is considered special ed here in Wisconsin. His educational development passed all tests for headstart, but not enough to enroll in pre-K. My grandson was delighted and thrilled ready to start pre-school. After visiting his classroom we found out that this is impossible. Spoke with the school psyc. at length, explaining this cause. Excuise is a broken leg, and unable to call or test him. Adding to this problem, she remarked on other people frustration on denial., and our child enrollment without her permission
This situation adressed and suggested private pre-k. When we spoke with the teacher, her reply was "shock why its only one day."
thanks and if you have any advice please post.
Thank you for your wise advice. My grandchild is being denied enrollment in pre-K. His birthday falls one day late for enrollment in Wisconsin. Now this problem will follow further, to qualify he will have to be tested and test top 10% level. further, next year if he qualifies he will probably be repeating this class twice, reasoning this again.
All of these problems started by his premature birth., his enrollment in early head start has hurt him instead of helping. He had a speech problem and now this is considered special ed here in Wisconsin. His educational development passed all tests for headstart, but not enough to enroll in pre-K. My grandson was delighted and thrilled ready to start pre-school. After visiting his classroom we found out that this is impossible. Spoke with the school psychologist and her excuise is a broken leg, and unable to call or test him
In Milwaukee, WI all day K4 has become the norm and when done well eliminates much of that issue by giving parents information on which to make the decision to repeat the 4 year old program. We also have 1/2 day 3 year old programs which I, as a 3rd grade teacher, know very little about except that it is structured an a much more nurturing, cooperative, calm, and brain stimulating manner than the average daycare in our community which seem to produce aggressive, angry, anti-social children.
However, children who are younger very often are the ones who are struggling at such a severe level by third grade that we are grasping at straws trying to help them. They frequently do not qualify for Special Needs. Failure has become so normal that deep effort and willingness to struggle are often not present. Parents have over ridden the opinions of teachers who advised an added chance to gain needed academic, social, and emotional skills was needed. Instead, they are pushed on in Kindergarten, again in 1st grade, in second grade and then when the rubber really hits the road in third grade we are stuck with trying all sorts of interventions that only partially are able to change the circumstances. When parent's opinion is able to trump the teacher's opinion which is founded on a Masters degrees and years of experience, it appears as though the only recourse may be legislative, with a later allowed start age. Age is not the only or even the best predictor of success. The old familiar rock and a hard place.
Although success and social interaction varies from child to child I believe starting school at a later age is beneficial to all children. Finland, top education in the world according to the last assessment, doesn't start their children until they are 7 years old. I believe this, small class size and not micromanaging the students are huge contributors to their success.
My two boys attended kindergarten in Japan with English as the language of instruction. There were no uniforms, it was all play oriented and now, after three years, we can sing Beatles songs together.
All so many factors depend on the environmental learning situations that enhance a childs development.
IE: Babies 2010 documentary. ETC.
All in all, when ever my Sept.30 th. son asked me why I kept him back a year, I reminded him that he loved he loved his little boy games when was still so young. He still pretended to be a horse and bounce around on his hands & knees. Wish such love a for the horse, I knew he was not ready for formal schooling. regards,ss