Kindergarten: How Do You Know When Your Child Is Ready?

We’re delaying Kindergarten…

Last fall, I read an article by Galit Breen that made me feel better about the decision my husband and I made to delay our daughter’s start date for Kindergarten.

Galit, a former educator, put a voice to many of my concerns and her piece helped to strengthen my conviction that we were making the right decision for our daughter.

And life continued on.

When we made our choice, our daughter was a delayed talker and rather reserved. In social settings, she tended to hang back and wait before joining in a group.

She attends preschool two days a week and she is now truly thriving. So much so that in recent weeks, we’ve begun to question our decision to hold her back.

She will turn five at the end of May.

Most five year olds are ready, I know that.

Academically, I have no doubt that she’ll thrive and I’ve seen amazing growth in her across the board.

But her social-emotional maturity level still concerns me.

While she’s incredibly bright (if I do say so myself), I can’t help but think that an extra year of preschool could help her immensely.

But, on the other hand, I have worried that if I hold her back a year, she will be unchallenged, if not in Kindergarten, then in subsequent years.

And which is worse?

And what impact will our decision have on her self-esteem?

So, I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about this and my husband and I have talked about it until we’ve only made things murkier.

Last night, we decided we would move forward and enroll her for the fall.

Okay, maybe not…

Then, never one to stop poking the bear, today I read Is My 4.9 Year Old Ready for Kindergarten: To red-shirt or not-to-red-shirt and I am more conflicted than ever.

Laura Counts, the author of the piece, also faced the difficult choice of sending her daughter “on schedule” or holding her back. She chose the former and now regrets it.

Her experience has left me questioning our decision yet again.

Counts closes her piece with:

I no longer see the “gift of time” as the precious creation of over-anxious parents. I cringe at the idea that her self-image is being influenced by something as accidental as her birth date. And as I ponder the slog that lies ahead of her, I can’t help but want her to have a bit more time to be immature.

And again, I’m back at square one.

Now we’re just not sure…

This is one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make as Katie’s parents.

And I worry we’ll make a mistake that will stay with her for years to come.

If you had to face this decision or are in the process of making this choice now, I’d love to hear your story.

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