Kindergarten is long-awaited for some parents, and others need their kids to stay home longer for various reasons whether it be health-related or emotionally related.
Not all states require kindergarten attendance, but many children benefit from attending. Kindergarten provides children the opportunity to learn to socialize and interact with others, and to follow rules and a schedule; however, some studies have shown that children may benefit just as much from staying home with involved parents for an additional year.
It is common to have kids start school in first grade and skip kindergarten. There are many reasons for this, but sometimes parents are just not ready to send their kids off to school. To learn more reasons, read below.
Why Kids Skip Kindergarten
Kids can skip kindergarten for various reasons. New parents often question if their kid is ready for kindergarten because they have never done that before. But, kindergarten is less complicated than parents tend to think.
Really, all 5 or 6-year-olds will do is get ready for school, go to class, play with other kids, play outside on the playground, and listen to what the teacher says. Kindergarten kids will learn to socialize and learn to adapt to a schedule, which will help them adapt to 1st grade.
Kids can have their own health issues that prevent them from going to kindergarten, or a parent can have health issues so driving their kid to and from school is difficult. There can be transportation problems that prevent a parent from being able to drive their kid to and from school, and there can be schedule conflicts that make it hard to drop off and pick up their kid.
There are also issues more simple. Sometimes, parents can think their kid is too young and not ready for kindergarten, but really that is just a belief in their head. Really, their kid is ready and it is just hard for parents to see their kids grow up.
Kids can skip kindergarten and go ahead to 1st grade if they are ready for it. Kids learn faster than adults like to think, and they are much smarter than adults give them credit for at times. So, if there is a way to get your kid assessed and placed in the 1st grade without attending kindergarten then go ahead and try it. (Source)
Your child will need to have some basic skills already to build off of, and they will need to have learned how to be respectful and listen to adults. They will need to have good social intelligence and be able to socialize with other kids appropriately. So long as they can listen to a teacher, play well with other kids, and have the basic skills required to enter the 1st grade, then they are ready. You will need to talk with the school and see what the process is like for more details that your school requires.
Kindergarten is also not required in every state. And, every state offers full-day, half-day, or both options for kindergarten. In Arkansas, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin you are required to attend kindergarten. But, depending on the state, there can be exceptions to attendance. (Source)
Are There Benefits for Starting School in the 1st Grade?
Some benefits of starting school in the 1st grade and skipping kindergarten are that kids begin to learn and develop their math and language skills sooner, and they can start ahead of other children.
Being able to have good math and language skills is important, and starting early has had positive effects on children’s skills. These skills are for both physical and mental development, and it is shown that if kids start sooner, then they will be able to learn the skills and be ahead of kids their age who aren’t learning the same things. (Source)
When you start ahead, you can more easily keep that up and you can be ahead later in life too. When you graduate high school you will be younger, but that just means you will start college sooner and graduate sooner. Getting life started sooner is a big positive, and it gives you more time to get educational accomplishments and all-around development done sooner.
There are also some negatives to this, which is that kids need time to develop social skills and their physical skills. So, playing on the playground with older kids, and shortening the time kids have to learn how to behave with other kids and adults can put them at a disadvantage. Overall starting sooner is better, but some kids need the time to learn these skills.
How Can Parents Prepare for School?
Parents can prepare for school by being their kid’s first teacher. In the nuclear family, one parent works while the other stays home with young kids. The parent staying with kids who are not in school yet are able to play with their kids all day, so teaching is something they can implement.
Children learn through playing, but before kindergarten age at 4-5, parents can start to teach their kid how to write their name, how to hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, and they can begin simple math. Such as, if I have one apple, and I add another apple, how many apples do I have?
Parents can also prepare themselves for their kids to leave home. they can plan what to do during the day when they don’t have kids or have one less kid at home, and they can start to try new things. Once all kids are in school, the stay-at-home parent likes to continue staying home or they like to start/continue their career and work outside the home again.
It helps give them a sense of purpose after they are no longer needed to stay home with kids. Parents overall need to look at the stage of life their kid is in and realize that they cannot keep them home forever. Learning to be okay with change and being okay with kids leaving and going to school is important and it is a great way for parents to prepare for school.