To Kindergarten, or To Not?

Lucky us my first born was born on September 12 so the decision about Kindergarten was made for us. The cut off date in Texas is September 1st and so he will be almost 6 before starting true Kindergarten. In the meantime, he will put in TK (Transitional Kindergarten). However, for those Parents who have kids who birthdays are June, July, August. How do you decide what to do? This can be a hard decision. So I am writing this article to help you go deeper and think bigger. As a former elementary teacher, I know the skills it takes to be successful in a classroom setting: the ability to sit in story time, or follow directions, or simply share, are all very important Kinder readiness skills.

Is she or he ready Physically? Socially? Emotionally? Intellectually? Do you want them to be the oldest in the class or the youngest? You also should consider the middle school and high school years developmentally and academically.

The gift of time. I am glad we have one more year before sending my little boy off to Kindergarten. I think he will be more successful with an extra year to work on his fine motor skills, writing letters, holding and cutting with scissors, self-confidence, and to grow socially and emotionally.

If you are stuck and very indecisive I would first start with asking your child’s PreK teacher what they think and their professional opinion. They will know a bunch of things, like language skills, social skills, and he or she follows directions. You can also observe and see and if your child can participate in conversations and games with other kids. If not, it might make sense to wait a year.

A new study from Stanford University has found that kids who delay kindergarten for a year enjoy mental health benefits that last later into childhood. Also, according to a Denmark study, “academically redshirting” your child and having a one-year delay reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent.

However, I do also believe some kids are socially, emotionally and intellectually ready for elementary school at the age of 5. Kindergarten classes have become more formal and structured, more like first grade so I think if you are on the borderline of deciding, you need to look at the bigger picture and the personality of your child. You probably already know what to do. Something else that may help is to research and check into the elementary school your child will be going to. What is the curriculum like, the expectations, the atmosphere ? Have you met with the Principal? Would your child thrive or flounder in that kind of environment right now?

I hope this article has helped you become more clear on your decision. Whatever you decide, don’t stress to much about it. With your already love and support as a parent, they will do great things. Sometimes when we overthink things it can lead to unnecessary stress. Good luck on deciding. You got this Mamma.

I found this amazing checklist you can download off the get ready to read website and it may help you with your decision. I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to comment below.


  • Claire

    I think it’s such a special connection to have with your little when you really know if they are ready or not. We are approaching this in my son’s age this year so I’m trying to monitor it closely. I do have a friend who waited to put her daughter in kindergarten, so it was interesting for me to watch her go through the process!


      Yes I agree. We have few friends who have summer birthdays and half are waiting and half are going to start this year. All depends on the situation and parents. How old is your little boy? Thanks for commenting.

What are your thoughts?