- “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.