It's that time of year again......

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
It's that time of year again......
3
Tue, 01-05-2010 - 7:22pm

Time to start thinking about preschool or registering for kindergarten. Time is just flying by. What made me realize it was a parent in the office asking about the kindergarten tours.

Are you going to be sending your 4 or 5 year old to preschool in August/September or will he/she be heading to kindergarten?

What is the norm in your area? Do kids start kindergarten at 4 if they have an early fall birthday? Or are they held back a year?




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 10:15am

In my area, schools and preschools (and even day cares) have tours starting in January for the sessions starting in August. Then starting in February you can pick up registration materials usually to be turned in by the beginning of March. The "best" schools tend to fill up fast and that makes people nervous and they end up rushing to get their forms in as quick as possible. We are lucky in that we have a lot of good schools both public and private. What is funny though is that the difference between what people consider a good school and the "best" school is usually something small and varies depending upon who you talk to.

What is the norm in your area? Do kids start kindergarten at 4 if they have an early fall birthday? Or are they held back a year? This varies with the individual families. Most of the people I know look at their child and make the determination that way. A few at our school though will start a child as soon as he is eligible even if that isn't the best thing for the child. They have a fear that others will think there is something wrong if they don't start their child as soon as possible. Of course we have the opposite where they keep their child home that extra year because they want to gain what they believe to be an academic advantage. I don't get either of those reasons. There are a lot of factors that determine whether your child is ready for kindergarten at 4 or if you should wait until they are 5 and you need to look at the whole picture. Academically my nephew was ready at 4 but he needed that extra year to gain more confidence and mature socially. His little sister is starting next fall at 4 because all the pieces are there. Heck she could start tomorrow and she'd do well.




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
Mon, 01-25-2010 - 2:55pm

My little one just turned 4 this month and she'll be home again with me this coming school year. She'll start K in the fall of 2011.

The cutoff here is 5 by September 1st, but you can apply for early admission if their birthday falls before December 31st. Our oldest (8) has a mid-September birthday, but we were in no rush to send her off and she didn't start K until she was almost 6.

Some families send their kids early and some wait the extra year. There really isn't a trend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-09-2004
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 11:40am

Hello, I am new here and have an almost 5.5 year old. I thought I'd chime in on this subject. My daughter Giulia was 5 in October. Cutoff in our school system is September 1. If I really wanted to I probably could have gotten her into kindergarten this year. Academically, her teachers last year thought she was ready. I decided to wait another year though because I would rather have her be the oldest than the youngest in the class. That extra year of maturity really does make a difference.

My siblings are twins and their birthday was September 16. Our school system back then also cut off at September 1. The kindergarten teacher and principal of the school at the time urged my parents to keep them back for one more year due to maturity issues, and they chose to ignore them and put them in kindergarten anyway. Very long story short, both of them grew up with both maturity problems (which they still have at 26 years old), and academic problems, which resulted in my brother being left back not once but twice. He didn't get out of high school until he was over 19. He had a terrible time of it emotionally.

After witnessing that in my family I chose to wait the extra year. I know there is no proof that putting them into kindergarten that year was the cause of my siblings' problems or whether or not keeping them an extra year would have made a difference in their development. But I decided not to risk it at all.

My daughter is the oldest in her preschool class, and also the most mature, according to the teachers, and they feel that she is both academically and emotionally ready for kindergarten. I have spoken to a lot of the parents of her classmates, and many of them are deciding to wait the extra year, and even more than that in some cases, to give their children that extra year of maturity as well. I really do think it is the right decision.

Giulia is having some fear and anxiety about going to kindergarten though, since it will be a new school, new teachers and new friends. It will also be a full day rather than a half. Any tips from BTDTs on making the transition?

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