Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Kindergarten Question- Part 2

Welcome back to our discussion on kindergarten. If you're just joining us you may want to go and read Part 1.

Back? Ok! Here we go...

I think that it is also worth some time to talk about 'redshirting' for physical size or sports reasons. Liz's article points to another where some parents are holding their kids back for an advantage in sports-presumably to be bigger, faster, stronger in high school athletics, and possibly get more attention from college recruiters and have a better chance at a college scholarship. In my opinion and in my experience this would be the wrong reason to hold your kid back. If there are millions of kids playing Little League this year and only a hand full of professional teams only a small percentage of kids will ever make it to the 'show'. The same follows for any professional sport. Like the ad says, "There are thousands of student athletes, and most of them go pro in something other than their sport." Regardless of training most people have to find another avenue to 'make it' in this world that doesn't involve getting paid to run, shoot a 3 pointer, tackle someone, or throw someone out at home plate.

The basic physical maturity of a child can however play a part in the equation. In general we know that boys tend to mature later than girls. When our daughter was in middle school many of the girls she was around were a year older than her and at that age means breast development, pubic hair, and hips. I remember what she told me that the girls were saying and looking at at that age, and I can just imagine what was going on in the boys locker room. It crossed my mind that if a boy starts K at 4 he would be 13 at the start of his freshman year of high school. For some this is not yet the start of puberty and they would be in a locker room with boys that are potentially 18 and 19 years old, and well into their physical transformation into men. Would my kid be the one picked on for having "less" physical development? I won't ever know because there are certainly other factors involved. I can't tell you that this factor never crossed my mind. It did, and I am convinced that being 14 in that scenario is better than 13-physically and mentally.

Don't forget to come back for more discussion! Coming up are observations of kindergarten students this year, what a day looks like in a K classroom, the Parent Factor, and my non-professional tips for determining if your kid is ready for kindergarten.

3 comments:

Soliloquy said...

It was advised that we hold our 5 1/2 year old back from starting private Christian school. We couldn't imagine starting Kindergarten at 6 1/2 - that seemed so late!

We started her - but then she wasn't ready for 1st grade.....

We ended up homeschooling and she has caught up. Some kids are later bloomers than others.

That said, I'd choose for my kid to be older than younger in any classroom. It can make a huge difference in confidence if you're child is more than ready as opposed to not quite ready....

Just my 2¢. :o)

A Mom Two Boys said...

This gives me a headache to even think about. Kindergarten? I'm procrastinating on preschool! Ahhh! Lucky for me, Dylan is a March baby, so we're safe there. Zach is August, so he'll have to wait until he's 5, almost 6, which is totally okay by me. For now.
:0)

Amy in Ohio said...

A lot to think about. I have a June baby - what does that mean? She'll start the September after she turns five right?