“To Kinder or not? That is the question…”

The passionate debate on the merits of holding children back another year before Kindergarten.

Cute pre-school boy wearing eyeglasses while learning to read from a book for children helped by a dedicated kindergarten teacher assistant

Year after year, the most difficult question parents pose is “should we apply for early entrance to kindergarten or stay put for another year?” Honestly, our answer is never the same!

Meeting hundreds of children through the years, it is always a catch-22.

Every child is different. No student will ever process or socialize in the exact manner as the classmate playing next to them.

The questions persist:

“Will age play a factor? My child is super social and very independent!…”

Not to be blatant, but YES it will!

Being the youngest will undoubtedly put your child at an extreme disadvantage. Emotional maturity plays a huge factor in being able to fend for oneself or “self-regulate if things get frustrating” as the article quotes. In simple terms – at Premier Learning Academy, we refer to this as invaluable Social-Emotional readiness. And this readiness will make or break your child’s success for the next 12 years before they head off to college…

Beginning at a 1:13 ratio at the age of 3, and continuing onto 1:15 at the age of 4, most of our little humans have not had enough time to fully adjust or raise their esteem and confidence to a healthy level. Immersed in a whopping 1:24 average Arizona Kindergarten ratio, true survival of an early kindergartener is subjective but not up to our standards.  Success is not just about being able to play and share with a friend, it is about having the confidence to raise a hand, approach an adult when you are bothered and effectively express emotions. In short, children that young are simply not ready to stand out from the rest OR stand up for themselves.  

At Premier Learning Academy, we don’t have to refer to fancy research data. We directly witness the concerning consequences of early enrollment at the preschool on a daily basis in our before and after school program. Predictably, our early kindergarteners – even the outgoing and super social ones take the longest in developing accountability for simple kinder work that they excelled at while they were with us during the previous year. Their independence regresses, and they can not seem to keep up with the organization of materials and tasks that are now required of them. The confidence they had before they graduated seemed to wither through the year. As the attached article clearly states, the achievement gap is serious and present.

Funny that some of our very honest parents say: “Well, this is a business…and holding back children another year is great for your gross income but agonizing for our wallets” :0(

Of course we understand, we are parents too! My daughters continually deplete my savings and every year that they grow older, I postpone retirement accordingly :0)

An extra year of childcare is truly a commitment, and this is why pressing pause on your little one’s journey will always and forever be an individual decision.

But it does take a village to raise a child.

And at Premier Learning Academy, the villagers advise that leaving our little caterpillars in their precious cocoon to grow and bloom for just a while longer will result in the most accomplished, confident and READY butterfly!

I recommend checking out this article for some great insight into the early kinder debate.