School readiness is a tough assessment to make. Though we have always considered the cognitive side of development as parents, teachers or even evaluators, understanding the psychological and mental health readiness has always been hard. The study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Thomas Dee found that a one-year delay dramatically improves a child’s self-regulation abilities even into later childhood.
Here are the 3 things Stanford identified as being mindful of while making the decision.
1) Does Age Matter
Thomas Dee said, “We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent for an average child at age 11 and it virtually eliminated the probability that an average child at that age would have an ‘abnormal,’ or higher-than-normal rating for the inattentive-hyperactive behavioral measure.”
What to do?
Although most parents are choosing to delay enrolling their children to kindergarten for a year in US, according to the Stanford article, Dee suggests parents to have conversations about start time with teachers first.
2) Real World Practice
Though the study was performed with a Stanford professor, it was done in Denmark. Knowing that the kids who were studied had access to reasonably good pre-K since the study was done in Denmark, Dee also states that children in the U.S. may not be as harmed by starting kindergarten earlier if they do not have access to good pre-K.
What to do?
Start at home. Parent engagement is vital to a child’s success. Parents should be mindful of the pre-K education their children receive before making the decision to hold off enrolling their kids to kindergarten. Which is why having a conversation with their teacher before making the decision is important.
3) Focus on "Play"
The study also showed consistent results with other studies that have shown extended early childhood education, especially if it is play-based, yields better mental health development. This means your children can benefit from longer preschool experience.
What to do? Focusing on play-based learning can allow your children to be more self-regulated and mentally healthy.
It truly is difficult to make the right decision when it comes to school readiness. However, these 3 factors can help you have a better understanding on how kindergarten ready your child is.