Why delaying kindergarten can be hard
The end of August rolls around, and that means going back to school. October is here, and the school year has officially started. At the end of it all, though, the age-old school woes of annoying homework, packed lunches, the stress of losing friends and over-scheduling are still lingering on the minds of many children. Not to mention the uncertainty of how schools might define “low performing” and “highly capable” in the future.
If you’re considering delaying your child’s enrollment in kindergarten for a few years, the decision to make may depend on whether you and your partner agree. Just like when I began educating my son about the differences between arts and crafts and math and science when he was young, I have been hoping that my future children would also understand that a gap year at age seven or eight is normal and okay.
It can be hard for people to accept that your son or daughter will spend a few years getting “stuck” in school before beginning a new chapter of life with a fuller social set-up and a much larger academic load. Some people blame a lack of “attention to detail” or a “lack of work ethic.” I know what you’re thinking: “Why should any of us worry if our children don’t like school as much as we do?” Actually, that’s not true. My children don’t like school, but their teachers treat them with respect, and we give them guidance and support. They also love school, but the books and their teachers are boring to them, and they absolutely hate all the tests and tests and tests.
They are children, so they’re not going to gain a ton of knowledge. Maybe some basic skills that they’ll need later in life. But they’re not going to learn calculus. They are not going to learn how to engineer. Not all children are wired the same way.
There is no right way or wrong way for your child to be at school. Maybe some children just have naturally gregarious personalities that lead them to spend a lot of time focused on the surrounding environment rather than actually learning what they’re supposed to be learning. Maybe some kids just have a totally different interest, and other kids just like music or acting or art. Maybe they spend more time playing than learning.
There are many reasons to delay kindergarten, and some of them have to do with the way you view your child. Do you worry about the state of a child’s social skills and their ability to make friends? Do you worry about the workload and their workload even before they start school? It may feel so natural at first, but as your child starts to struggle with homework and their friends, the notion of deferring to later becomes a very difficult choice. I know how hard it is to convince yourself to not over-do it, but over-parenting is a valid concern, and if you truly want your child to succeed, you must do whatever it takes to keep them focused.