Too 'young' for school?

  • Article by: AIMÉE BLANCHETTE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 16, 2012 - 9:52 AM

Many parents grapple with trying to decide when a child is mature enough for kindergarten.

  • 23
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
spicebearSep. 15, 12 5:05 PM

Finnish kids start school @ age 7. Seems counter-intuitive but the Finnish system leads the world in Math & Science... Oh, BTW, the Finns have NO standardised testing either.

15
3
rudy477Sep. 15, 12 7:11 PM

As a teacher with 25 years experience teaching middle school, I can tell you that it (starting age) makes a huge difference for boys. I can go around the room during the first week of school and pick out the boys with April - August birthdays (youngest boys). It doesn't make much difference academically but they are socially immature. There's an old saying among kindergarten teachers, "You can start a boy too early but you can't start him too late".

19
6
tandabussSep. 15, 12 8:15 PM

I have a girl with a fall birthday--thought about trying to accelerate her, but in the end, did give her the gift of the extra year--and, she is a leader in her class, she does esp. well in math and in writing, she's attentive and a good listener. It's been one of the best educational decisions I ever made for one of my kids. Looking back, I wish I'd redshirted my son with a summer birthday.

13
3
aanen1Sep. 15, 12 8:41 PM

Parents send their kids to school too early because they want a free babysitter. Even kids who are 5, or barely 5, often have a hard time. There is no hard and fast rule that covers all children. They should be carefully screened when they're 5 to see if they're ready. If they can't do certain things, they wait a year. And non of this "pre-kindergarten" for those who don't make the cut. They can't go to kindergarten until they're 6 years old or until they're ready. Period. No exceptions. Starting school at 7 would be even better.

3
14
speedofloveSep. 15, 12 9:18 PM

I have an early August birthday and my parents chose to start me in Kindergarten when I was 5 (I even had a year of preschool before that). I was always the youngest kid in my class. But I also was always one of the top academic performers, usually getting the best grades in class. Now I'm 24 and have a Master's degree in electrical engineering and a great job. I can strongly say that the early start was absolutely the best choice for me, because it gave me much more of a challenge than I would have had if I had been held back a year. Plus I had that extra sense of pride that even though I was younger than everybody else, I was still doing better than them in school. When I have kids I plan on making the same choice to start them early too.

14
4
vortex100Sep. 15, 12 9:38 PM

I was very small and didn't have the social skills to start school when I was 5, so I started when I was 5-1/2 (becoming six in November) in my first year in school. That helped me a lot, and I stayed ahead of nearly everyone until I graduated from high school at age 18. Not many caught up to me, and 99% were well behind me. That was my story, but, as mentioned in the article, starting later does not guarantee anything.

6
2
wingknutSep. 15, 1210:00 PM

For the toddlers who get enrolled in high quality daycare or preschool programs, starting kindergarten at a young age shouldn't be a problem for the learning aspect, but they may be smaller physically and more prone to being bullied later on.

1
2
htwhitakerSep. 15, 1211:32 PM

My son started at 5. The performance gap was evident the first couple of years, but we found he would always catch his class by the end of each year. By 3rd grade, the gap was gone and he has been an "A" student since. This has nothing to do with kids, this is paren'ts egos and their need to see little Johnny striking out or skating around a kid that is a year younger. I know that sounds harsh, but I know 5-6 families that have openly discussed this with me. They kept their 5 year old at home so he would have a better chance at making varsity.

16
0
Thumper5316Sep. 15, 1211:39 PM

My oldest started 1st grade when he was 4. He was already reading at a 2nd grade level and knew how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Size wasn't an issue either as hes always been big. As an adult he's fine but socializing with other kids was always a challenge for him. He thought they were dumb. So, each child is different. My other two started at 5.

6
1
binky11010Sep. 16, 12 2:11 AM

It definitely depends on the child. Our daughter turned 5 in August and was very smart and seemed mature, but the pre-school teachers suggested she wait a year. I was against it, but my wife said we should listen to the teachers. So we waited and it turned out to be a great decision. Our son was almost exactly two years younger and the teachers at that time said he was ready (at barely 5) and they were right, too.

4
2

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT