Should You Delay Kindergarten?
If you’ve been thinking about delaying your preschooler’s start in Kindergarten by a year, you’re not alone. I feel lucky that my kids are January and February babies – nowhere near our school district’s September 1 cut-off. But for kids with late spring and summer birthdays, the trend has become more and more common, especially for boys. But is it a smart practice? They don’t think so in NYC where my sister’s kids attend school. They’ve banned the practice of allowing parents to arbitrarily delay their children’s start in Kindergarten. And now a couple of neuroscientists have done the research showing that the practice may do more harm than good. As they put it, “Brain development cannot be put on pause.” The kids who are having the issues that tend to cause their parents to hold them back are the ones who can actually benefit the most from what school has to offer, and they can do it at a time when their brain is developing faster than it ever will again. They compared kids with the same abilities and maturity in their pre-K years and found that those whose Kindergarten start was delayed actually performed worse overall in the end, were less motivated, and less likely to achieve their full potential.
If you are as fascinated by this as I am, you can read more about it in their op-ed in the New York Times here. I’m glad it’s a dilemma I won’t likely have to face, but if it’s one you’ve considered tell us what do you think of this study or share your experience here.
- E-family news: Getting Ready for Kindergarten – What to Expect