Delaying kindergarten

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
When a child hasn't developed as fast as their peers, either socially or academically, it may be suggested that they wait another year, before starting kindergarten. Such debates most often arise with those who are the youngest in their class, or barely meet the required age to start. Today, it's thought that most children will catch up with their peers within a few years, if given extra help in their weaker subjects. Also bear in mind, there can be long-term consequences to delaying kindergarten. Girls tend to feel more out of place later in school, when they're older than their classmates; so do very tall children. Before making any decisions, try to get more detailed information from the child's preschool caregivers. Be sure to rule out any physical conditions like poor hearing or eyesight, that could be interfering with learning. You might consult a school psychologist to get an objective opinion. If you still feel your child isn't ready, find out if your school district offers alternatives, like a 'transitional kindergarten.' Another option is having them repeat a year in preschool. Preferably, they should attend a different preschool, so they can be exposed to new material, instead of just rehashing the previous year.

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