1. “He hits the age requirement perfectly so I know it’s best because that’s what the schools accept.”

No. Just no. The age requirement now is that the child must turn five before August 1 in order to begin Kindergarten. This doesn’t mean that you have to start your child. You have the option to do daycare for another year or find a non-public preschool. But starting in Kindergarten with the intention of doing two years of Kindergarten is not an option anymore; schools will fight you on it and they have to. So don’t even try.

If you ask me, the age requirement should be five by March 1 of the year that children will begin school in August…that’s six months difference from what the requirement is now. The issue actually lies within maturity.

And for those of you saying your child is definitely ready maturity-wise too…guess what? Those issues usually don’t show up until around 2nd grade or after. Do you know how much kids learn from other kids on the playground now? You can’t be there to protect him from that information. Another year of growing is a must. And don’t even get me started on middle school. As a middle school teacher, I could tell you within a day which kids are younger than all the other kids and were started too early. How about driving? When the others kids are turning 16 and your kid has another 9 months to go, how will that feel? How about turning 18 when your kid is already in college?

Not once have I ever met a parent who regretted waiting a year, but I meet parents all the time who regret starting their child in Kindergarten too early.

            So my hope is that I have helped you understand the benefits of holding your kid just one more year. The requirements of Kindergarten are not always openly expressed to parents. The amount of time kids are expected to be in “learning mode” is enormous. And if you did make the decision to send your child but are still kind of hesitant, it’s not too late. School has not started yet and even if Kindergarten roundup already happened, you have time to change your mind. So do it.

            On a personal note, my youngest will be one of the oldest in his class this coming year. He will begin Kindergarten in August. Asher turned SIX on May 5th. There was never a question, my husband and I always knew we would wait until he was six. We are thrilled we decided to wait. You just can’t put a price on having that one more year of true childhood before the pressures of school begin. Happy pre-school graduation Asher! And have a blast in Kindergarten this year! We know you are ready!

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.