Are There Advantages/Disadvantages Of Being In Kindergarten Early?

Many states have certain requirements for children entering kindergarten. Generally, the most important rule is that children must be five years of age or turn five before October 1 of the school year to begin kindergarten. However, some children have later birthdays and parents really want them to start kindergarten when they are four years old and will turn five at some point in the school year. This is in contrast to letting their child start one year later when they would turn six during the school year. Many parents want their kids to go ahead and start school so they can get ahead and others simply want to stop paying for daycare. Regardless, you might be wondering if there are advantages or disadvantages to starting kindergarten early.

The advantages of starting kindergarten early include your child making new friends, learning new things, and getting a head start on his education. Many four year olds are developmentally ready to begin kindergarten and do quite well at this age. This means your child will graduate from high school and college early and be out in the workplace a year in advance!

There are disadvantages as well to allowing your child to start kindergarten early. In fact, the disadvantages might outweigh the advantages. First of all, most kids who start kindergarten early are small compared to the other students. Think about it, your four year old is starting school with kids who are almost six, so there will definitely be some size differences. This might result in your child being picked on.

Another drawback is that many four year olds simply are not emotionally or developmentally ready for kindergarten. Todays kindergarten involves academics and learning and is not just play time like it used to be. So, your child needs to be ready to learn, be able to pay attention, follow directions, and handle being at school for seven hours a day. If your child cant handle this or you arent sure that he can meet the expectations for kindergarteners today then holding off for a year might be the best plan.

Making the Decision
Like all decisions deciding when your child starts kindergarten may be a challenge especially if his birthday is right around the cutoff date. Do you let him start early or wait a year? Only you can evaluate your child to determine whether he is ready or not. Sometimes it will help if you talk to the potential kindergarten teacher to find out her opinion as well. You want the best for your child and it doesnt really matter when your child starts kindergarten as long as he is ready!

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