You feel like you just left the delivery room when you find you have an actual person on your hands.
Someone who has opinions and tells them to you, readily.
Someone who can hold an actual conversation.
Someone who can challenge your intellect.
And then, your child is seemingly ready for school. But at what exact age should your child begin school?
The law creates a Sept. 1 cutoff. So that means a child born on Aug. 31 is deemed ready for kindergarten, while a child born Sept. 2 is not. You cannot blame the Minnesota school system for this—there has to be a starting point sometime.
My daughter, Faith, is entering kindergarten this year. She is 4 years old but turns 5 on Sept. 9. My husband and I feel she is ready to go. Her school agreed.
Most of the reason: she wants to learn. Honestly, I’m not sure I can teach her anything more without help from an all-day teacher. She can count to 100 and has a great vocabulary that includes phrases such as “I have experienced that.” She can do simple adding and subtracting, can spell a few words and is beginning to pick up words on sight.
There are other reasons we want her to begin school now. She would be one of the older children in all-day daycare. She doesn’t take naps—which is a problem for the daycare provider when she doesn’t, and a problem at bedtime for my husband and I when she does. Also, daycare is expensive, and though she will attend a private school this year, it is much cheaper for us—even combining tuition, lunch and after-school care.
Anytime I talk about this issue with another mom, she says boys and girls are so much different, both in maturity and learning. I don’t know this to be true, because our daughter is our only child. A great forum I found online addresses a lot of these issues from a parent's standpoint.
Faith is doing well intellectually for her age, but she sometimes has difficulty sharing and following directions. She might run off to a corner and throw a tantrum because things don’t go her way. I have to be honest: I’m not sure when, exactly, I learned those skills myself. Maybe I still have problems with them.
We were all told at our child’s birth—usually from the new baby’s grandpa or grandma—that no child-raising manual will pop out along with them. No answer comes down from the clouds to tell you what you should do. You have to decide things like school-readiness on your own, for the well-being of you child and family.
We want your thoughts: Did we make the right decision? When do you think a child is ready to go to school?
Share your opinions in the comments area.