How To Determine The Best Age To Start Kindergarten
Table of Contents
- Why is Preschool Important?
- Things to Check Before You Take Your Kids to Kindergarten
Every child is unique and different when it comes to their abilities and capacities to adjust to a social environment. This is exactly what you should be considering before signing up for school admission for your little one! While you wonder about the best age to start kindergarten for your child, we have come up with a few points of consideration before you make a decision!
We know your kid has learned all the basics of pre-school, which may make you think that he/she is prepared to take on the new journey of kindergarten! However, the case might be a little different. Since toddlers are learning and adapting to various sets of skills during this period, they might find it difficult to adjust to the home-to-school transition. Their behavior at home alone cannot determine their readiness to start kindergarten.
Why is Preschool Important?
According to the MHRD, three years old is the ideal age to begin pre-school in India. A new concept has been observed in parents who delay the enrollment of their kids in formal schooling past the prescribed cut-off age. This is called “redshirting” or “academic redshirting”. Parents who feel their kids might be a better fit in the classroom might, ‘redshirt’ them a year later and enroll the following year. There is no concrete evidence that it increases academic efficiency in kids. However, it has been observed that kids who had been redshirted at kindergarten had better social skills in the later grades than their younger peers. In addition to that, they were also seen to have greater cognitive learning capacity than their peers. So, here lies the importance of kindergarten.
Different nations have different kindergarten entry requirements. For instance, in the U.S., it is five years plus for some kindergarten schools. Toddlers develop various skills between the ages of 3 and 6 years, the progress of which should be observed by you.
Things to Check Before You Take Your Kids to Kindergarten
If you are a parent of a toddler who is preparing to start kindergarten soon, check whether your child has developed these 5 skills :
Gross Motor Skills
These involve physical activity skills such as balance, catching/grasping a ball, jumping, jumping on one foot, etc.
Fine Motor Skills
These involve small muscle movements such as holding a pencil or a crayon, turning pages of a book, etc., which enhances hand-eye coordination.
Observe your children when they are happy or sad. Are they able to express their emotions to determine the best age to start preschool? While going to kindergarten, they will be required to converse with other children and teachers, which will involve them expressing themselves clearly.
A child with good social skills will be able to interact with other students and teachers well. Your child should be able to initiate a conversation (could be a simple hello!) or reply when asked something.
This involves your child’s learning capacity and his/her ability to understand things. He/she should be able to retain basic information to engage well in class. The attention span of children also plays a major role in the success of their home-to-school transition.
Once you have identified and observed these skills in your child, you can look for schools that are just right for your child’s needs and abilities. Yes! Your choice of school must be made according to your child’s developmental and adaptable abilities. Your child should not feel pressured to perform any activity. As we said in the very beginning, every child is unique in their skin. The school environment is very different from that at home. It is highly possible that your child may recite all the alphabet from A-Z in front of his/her grandparents but can become numb doing the same in front of the teacher. This could be an indication that your child might not be ready for school. And there’s no need to panic over it! Let your kid take time to brush up on all the skills.
The initial step into formal education is generally seen as kindergarten. That is probably why children who start nursery school are expected to have-
- Conversational skill
- Ability to focus
- Ability to follow instructions
- Knowledge of basic alphabets, numbers, shapes, colors, etc.
The best age to start preschool in India is 3 years. But to be prepared for school, your child might require a little more time. Toddlerhood is a time when kids indulge in more group-play activities than individual ones. They want to engage in cooperative games where they may share resources and have fun together. Some kids take time to adjust to group play, while others mingle with their peers in an instant!
How and when you decide to send your kids to kindergarten completely depends on your child’s developmental progress. Age is just a number! To meet the best age requirements for kindergarten, he or she must reach a particular degree of socioeconomic development. If you push them to attend school even when they are not ready to do so, it might hamper their future academic and social growth in school. If you feel they could be a great fit next year, redshirt them for this year and watch them bloom next year!