Kindergarten Cut-Off Birthdays: Push Ahead or Hold Back? (page 2)

Kindergarten Cut-Off Birthdays: Push Ahead or Hold Back?

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Updated on Feb 4, 2013

What Does This Mean for Parents?

So how should this research impact your choice regarding whether to push your child ahead or hold him back? “If a child is academically ready, and socially on track, that child should be ready for kindergarten and do well in the classroom setting and with the work,” Fitch says. “If a child seems to be behind his/her peers socially, then parents should strongly consider if the child may do better with another year of pre-k to mature.”

But what if parents are still not sure about whether their kids are more or less mature than their peers, or whether they can handle the level of work that they’ll be getting? Here are a couple of tips you can use to figure out where your child would fit in the best:

  • Make sure that your child is ready. Check to see if your little one is able to meet the recommendations listed above—especially the ability to communicate his needs, follow directions with multiple steps, and write his name.
  • Get feedback from your child’s preschool teachers. After all, they’ve spent hours each day watching your child interact with his peers and struggle with new concepts. A teacher might be able to identify some of your child’s strengths and weaknesses that you may not have thought of. Perhaps more importantly, your child’s teacher has seen at least dozens, if not hundreds, of children the same age as your little guy—which means that she can let you know where he falls on the spectrum.
  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician. Describe some of the reasons why you think your child should be pushed ahead and some reasons why you think he should be held back. Assuming that your pediatrician is an expert in child development, she should be able to give you some guidance on whether your child is ready for kindergarten or could use another year to mature.
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