Are Today's Kindergartens Anti-Boy? (page 2)

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Updated on Aug 5, 2013

This practice of starting school a year later—called kindergarten red-shirtingmay be a better solution for some boys. Give that boy an extra year to be a kid before he has to undertake the academic grind of 21st-century kindergarten. That extra year may prevent him from deciding, very early, that school isn't for him.

The key to success in kindergarten is to do the right thing at the right time. Imagine a farmer in Iowa. The farmer may have the best seed corn in the world, and the best farmland – but if the crop is planted during a January blizzard, the result likely will be a failure. Expecting a 5-year-old boy to sit still and be quiet for hours on end may, for some boys, be similar to planting that crop in January. It’s not developmentally appropriate. The end result, too often, is a boy who hates school and everything that reminds him of school.

If you're not 100% sure what is best for your son, I suggest that you give him an extra year of childhood. That could mean staying in preschool for another year, or paying for a private kindergarten that is truly a kindergarten, and doesn't present first grade curriculum. Doing something earlier doesn't mean that you do it better. It may mean that you do it less well, in the long run.

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