Putting Off Kindergarten Might Be a Good Idea

ready for kindergartenThis fall 5-year-olds all over the country will be starting their kindergarten careers. My own daughter is one of those 5-year-olds, and since she has a winter/spring birthday, I'm feeling 100 percent about her ability to get in there and learn something. But other kids' birthdays are much more complicated. If your child has a summer or fall birthday, you may be considering holding him back until next year, and that could be the best decision you ever make.

Red-shirting aside (because really, if you're holding your kid back for sports, you might want to get your priorities straight), some "young" 5-year-olds may need another year to develop. But how do you know if your child is ready to ABC, or needs more less-structured time before getting on the grade school train?


Some kids are obviously ready. You know, the ones who pick out workbooks at Target to entertain themselves. But others may be on the fence. For those kids you can't quite get a read on, Dr. Heather, the Baby Shrink, offers up a checklist for your kiddo to measure kindergarten readiness. Checking your kid for readiness may seem obvious, but we can all have blinders on when it comes to our own children.

Does your child have friends he gets along with easily? If play dates are complicated, he may need to mature a bit more. Can she communicate easily and comprehend what you, and others, tell her? If she's still struggling to verbalize her wants and needs, it may be better to wait a year. You don't want to kick your kid into the classroom and create a negative experience right off the bat. There are 12 more years of this!

Of course one of the most important signs may be her enthusiasm for school. If she's reticent, don't rush her. She won't be the only 6-year-old starting kindergarten next year. Lastly, be honest with yourself. You know your kid best, and now is the time to take a good hard look at your 5-year-old and decide what's best for that little scholar.

Is your 5-year-old ready for kindergarten?

Image via US Army Africa/Flickr

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