Transition to Kindergarten Parent Guides: Will My Child Benefit From an Extra Year of Kindergarten?
Michigan allows a child who is five years old on or before December 1 to sign up for kindergarten.
Kindergarten is a one-school-year program before first grade.
Starting kindergarten may be a time of concern for some families and teachers.
If you are thinking about sending your child to developmental kindergarten, you should know these things:
- Developmental kindergarten is intended to provide children who are not ready an extra year of schooling.
- Children who attend developmental kindergarten and then go on to kindergarten have school records that indicate they were retained.
- It is not true that holding your child back will help him/her socially or academically or to have success in sports.
- In fact, research shows that children who attended developmental kindergarten and then kindergarten have no long-term gains.
- Children who attended two years of kindergarten may have lower self-esteem and are 30 percent more likely to drop out of high school.
- Age does not matter in an appropriate kindergarten.
- Kindergarten should be ready to support all children.
- School success differences between the oldest and youngest children in a class tend to disappear by third grade.
- Teachers and parents tend to hold back the youngest children.
Advice to families:
- Become familiar with the kindergartens in your area. Are the staff members ready to meet the needs of ALL children?
- Find out why families are holding their children back.
- Keep the future in mind. How old will your child be in middle school? At what grade will he/she be old enough to drive? At what age will your child graduate from high school?
Reprinted with the permission of the Michigan Department of Education. © 2001-2007 State of Michigan
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