1. “He’s just so smart. He’ll be bored in preschool for another year. Even though he’s only four (or barely five), I know he’s ready. The teacher tells me how smart he is.”

Your child is smart, of that I have no doubt. But knowing the alphabet is not enough. Even beginning to read is not enough. Can your child sit still for the amount of time expected of him in Kindergarten now? Can he really concentrate that long? More importantly, should he be expected to? Does he understand how to relate to other kids or teachers yet? The answer to all of these is likely a big fat “NO”…even if you believe they are yes. You may believe your child can handle school, but Kindergarten requirements are an awful lot different than they used to be. Let your kid be a kid and give him another year to mature.

Six months to a year makes a big difference for kids of this age. Whether or not your child is smart is not a question. Children feeling overwhelmed, over-tired, or completely out of their comfort zones often leads to them shutting down. Then we begin a whole other issue…the rest of the kids are ready to move on to another lesson but the younger ones aren’t. They start to fall behind and the issue continues to escalate. They get more and more behind. Before you know it, your child is in second grade and teachers are unable to get him caught up with limited resources. It’s time to hold him back a grade and the other kids don’t understand. Your child doesn’t understand. This all could have likely been avoided by giving him one more year to mature before throwing him into instruction he wasn’t ready for.

Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys, Hudson and Asher. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at www.jeremyandbailey.com. Additionally, a new book written for families to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression is now available. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is available at www.jeremyandbailey.com as well. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2019. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.