4.02.2009

Hold Back or Push Ahead?

We, my wife and I, are currently making the decision on whether or not Grady will start kindergarten in the fall. There are several factors in play that are affecting our thoughts.

Intellectually he's very ready. He's started reading now and knows his numbers quite well. He has made some rather poignant observations about things around us, can comprehend abstract concepts and loves making up jokes. He also has a really fun scientific curiosity streak (he's taken it upon himself to see how freezing things work, he checks his little pots with plants in them every morning, etc.). He is, as every parent will tell you, smart as a whip.

Emotionally though, he may not be ready for the structure. He's a bit wild still, has a hard time staying focused on tasks at hand, has a difficult time listening to and following instructions and sometimes just wants to be contrary for being contrary's sake.

Physically, he's a very high energy little guy who will have no problems keeping up with anyone. He's fast, he's got very good eye hand coordination and he's got a pretty good arm for throwing balls.

His birthday is in July and he'll be turning five so he'd be about the right age. Our thinking is that we will hold him back a year, let him mature a little more while we keep teaching him at home and he can start kindergarten next year. I'd rather he have every opportunity to excel and feel good about himself than push him into school before he's really ready to go.

I'd be interested to hear from other parents or educators about their thoughts on when to start a child in school and how you knew it was the right or wrong time.
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