"It's a complicated decision but you need to look at whether your child's needs and your own circumstances as a caregiver come together in a way that says, 'Yes, I'm tipping the scales toward making the decision to hold my child back,' " says Dr. McNamara.

Benjamin Kleiman, born in late November, will be only three years old when he starts kindergarten next fall. "I think there's a lot of growing and thriving that will happen in junior kindergarten. In most states, a child must reach the age of 5 for public school, but the birth date can range from June 1 to December 31. The first question to ask is whether your kid is academically and socially ready for kindergarten. "I think holding your kid back, if you have the resources, is potentially not a bad idea.". Typically in Ontario, children with late birthdays attend school with their peers born in the same calendar year. As well, academic research in the United States, such as a 2006 study from the University of California at Santa Barbara, has shown that grade-school children who were the oldest outscored their younger classmates on standardized math and science tests by as much as 9 per cent – although that gap fades as students get older – and new studies, including one from North Carolina State University, suggest that younger kindergarteners are more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities such as ADHD. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter . Many additional factors go into a child’s school readiness and success in school than their age upon entry into kindergarten.”. "Would you rather have a question mark raised and a diagnostic done earlier or later?". New provincial rules coming in September threaten to alter the child-care landscape. A 2007 study from the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that exposure to more mature kindergarten classmates raises test scores up to eight years after kindergarten, so being younger may be beneficial.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. “If a child seems to be behind his/her peers socially, then parents should strongly consider if the child may do better with another year of pre-k to mature.”.

Some parents looking to give their children an advantage may have been influenced by the fact that the majority of Canada's elite hockey players were born in the first few months of the year, making them typically the oldest and strongest coming up the junior ranks – as noted by Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book, Outliers. "I didn't want them to be the youngest," says Ms. Bouman. But Janette Pelletier, a child development expert at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, argued that holding children back is not good advice for parents. Charles Pascal, a professor of human development and applied psychology at OISE (the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), says that one of the benefits of having children in kindergarten earlier is that if there is a developmental issue, it is more likely to be identified early, allowing parents and educators to take action earlier. This article was published more than 4 years ago. But if your child is born right at the cutoff date, you may be wondering whether it’s best for him to be the oldest or the youngest in his class.

So how should this research impact your choice regarding whether to push your child ahead or hold him back? The TDSB data shows the achievement gap among children with late birthdays is still evident in Grade 3 standardized test scores, and there is some gap in the Grade 6 scores.

This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. But what if parents are still not sure about whether their kids are more or less mature than their peers, or whether they can handle the level of work that they’ll be getting? "Because their birth date made them span the year change, I felt that they should be in a different cohort. “Studies that have been done are usually small studies,” says Fitch. Prof. McNamara acknowledged that the academic, social and physical differences in the early years of schooling diminish as children move through the grades. A fifth of young children who have late birthdays are lacking in the emotional and physical maturity they need to succeed in senior kindergarten, according to figures released by the TDSB last month. “Because states have different kindergarten age cut-off dates, it is difficult for educators and researchers to make a determination. The data comes as families are registering for kindergarten, raising questions on whether holding some children back will give them an advantage. EDUCATION: MORE FROM THE GLOBE'S CAROLINE ALPHONSO. The public board's education director is reminding principals to tell parents that children born in October, November and December have a choice as to when their children start school.

Three-year-old Benjamin Kleiman – shown with his mother, Amy Lazar Kleiman – was born in November, so he’ll be much younger than the other children when he begins junior kindergarten in the fall. Other skills that are helpful, but not completely necessary, for kindergarten readiness include recognizing both capital and lowercase letters; drawing circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles and labeling them verbally; coloring and cutting accurately; and writing a child's first name. We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. We enable strictly necessary cookies to give you the best possible experience on Education.com. "Then, you have to have the conversation with the school and whether the school board will allow this and support your decision to do it.". To be ready for kindergarten, your little one should also be proficient in basic life skills, such as putting on a jacket and zipping it, taking off a backpack, and hanging up a coat on a hook. Studies are mixed on the practise of postponing entrance into school.

If she wants to, she could hold him back another year – part of a new message the head of Canada's largest board is telling principals.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. "Parents often miss the early markers for all sorts of things," says Dr. Pascal, who advised the Ontario government on implementing full-day learning for four- and-five-year-olds. Benjamin is outgoing and should thrive, but Ms. Lazar Kleiman is concerned that he could get lost in a large class of up to 30 students. Copyright © 2020 Education.com, Inc, a division of IXL Learning • All Rights Reserved. Kristin Fitch, author of Parenting without a Paddle: Navigating the Waters of Parenthoodand CEO of ZiggityZoom.com gives several skills that your child should have in order to function well in a kindergarten classroom. Read our, I'm a print subscriber, link to my account, Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. What could we do to improve Education.com? You’ve probably heard conflicting views from well-meaning friends and relatives, but in the end, it’s your choice to make.

In the end, they decided to register their son for kindergarten this coming fall. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. For instance, when it comes to sports education, the youngest may be the smallest and their co-ordination behind their classmates, so they'd get passed over on things like sports teams. © Copyright 2020 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. Twins Keenan Ash, left, and William Kees Bouman started Grade 1 at Rawlinson Community School at age 5 1/2 . Your child is right before or after the cut-off age for kindergarten, and you’re faced with a big decision—do you push him ahead, so that he’s the youngest in his class? “If a child is academically ready, and socially on track, that child should be ready for kindergarten and do well in the classroom setting and with the work,” Fitch says. To find out the cut-off date in your state, visit … His other child was born in November, but in that case, Prof. McNamara enrolled him in school with peers born in the same calendar year. Warning - you are about to disable cookies.

351 King Street East, Suite 1600, Toronto, ON Canada, M5A 0N1, Parents resort to pulling special-needs children from resource-starved schools, Teachers do their homework on how to teach sex ed, Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. This article was published more than 3 years ago. However, many parents are unaware that province's Education Act states that children who turn six after the first day of school can wait another year. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues? That means: Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Since they were born in December, several weeks ahead of their January due date, their mother, Majero Bouman, initially wanted to not only delay their starting school, but for them to be in a different age group when they did start. Some information in it may no longer be current. If there are needs that centre on social, academic and emotional growth, and even physical growth, and they feel their child could benefit from another year in those areas, then they should consider holding their child back. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. So if you’re thinking about “redshirting” your child, consider a preschool in your area with a reputation for excellence. Beginning in the 2014–2015 school year, all students entering kindergarten must in the first 30 days of school undergo a developmental screening. Competition among school boards for qualified second-language teachers is fierce, and at times desperate.

Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter . In addition, students who are age 4 by April 16 can be granted an age waiver for early entrance to kindergarten if they are deemed gifted and talented, and approved by the school principal.

But if they think their child is mature and ready for school and they would be bored at home, then it's a great choice to send their child off to school. We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. A Toronto-area community’s frictions over shifting demographics are playing out in microcosm in the region’s overcrowded schools. Some information in it may no longer be current. To switch between accounts click on the account below. "In some cases, the gap is completely reduced by Grade 2, and in other research, the gap is still there but much lessened. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. "They were capable of handling it, so I think it worked out fine, but had they been in a class of 30 students, it might have been very different.

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