Although Kindergarten is not compulsory in many states, most families choose to start their child’s formal education in this setting. Kindergarten is thought by most professional educators to lay the foundation for a child’s educational experience. It is believed that how a child is exposed to letters and their sounds, numbers and patterns, and other early academics will determine if they are successful in learning to read. The only question that seems to arise is at what age a child should begin this formal training.
The majority of school districts have strictly enforced policies about the age a child must be when they enter Kindergarten. This specific age requirement differs throughout the United States. In some districts a child must be five years old by July 1 of the year they are planning to enter school. Other places set a September 1 deadline. The latest date is typically December 1, meaning that students in those school districts may be 4 years old through the first several months of Kindergarten, if their birthday is late in the year.
These birth date recommendations are just that; each family determines if their child is ready to start attending school. With Kindergarten now a full day program in many cities across the United States, the program may be too rigorous for some children even if they have already celebrated their fifth birthday.
The family must determine when the time is right for their child. Here are 9 questions you may want to discuss before you send your child to Kindergarten
- Do they recognize letters and numbers from 1-10?
- Can they recite the alphabet?
- Do they read along with you when you share a favorite book?
- Are they able to print their first name?
- Are they excited about the prospect of going to school?
- Do they have a sibling already attending school?
- Have they spent time in a preschool where academics were emphasized?
- Can they focus their attention on guided and direct instruction for ten to fifteen minutes?
- Are they able to spend six to seven hours a day away from you without becoming upset?
Connie Ragen Green is a speaker and writer living in southern California. Visit her at http://www.SmallBusinessUnMarketing.com