Q: Our daughter is four and will turn five in October. We hear that a lot parents are waiting a year to send their kids to school. Being that she is a late in the year baby, should we give this extra year idea some consideration? i.e. How do you know when your child is ready for school?A:
Great question, Richard. This is a tricky one. When I taught first grade, I always checked to see when children were born to see if they were older or younger than the average age of the class, usually a group of kids who were born in March through July. It is true, that at the young age of four or five, and even on up through the grades, maturity and physical and intellectual development can be significant even by a difference of a few months.
It really comes down to this: do you think your child is ready and mature enough to be in a school environment? Are they able to perform activities in groups and independently? Are they developing friendships? Are they physically a lot smaller than the other kids going on the Kindergarten? Do they enjoy school? Has the Pre-k or nursery school they are in become too easy for them? Have they intellectually outgrown it? These are the questions you should be asking yourself to see if your child is ready for the next grade. After asking yourself these questions, trust your intuition. You will be a good judge of what is right for your kid.
I hope that helps.
May 13th, 2009