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At What Age Should Kids Start School?

May 29, 2016
Plain English Version

when to start

It is no wonder parents are confused. As if dealing with the Common Core were not enough.

When should your child start school? The great push these days is for Pre-K programs. The earlier a child starts learning, well, the earlier the child will start learning.

The idea behind this is that lower-income parents do much less teaching at home than higher-income parents do. They are less likely to read to their children. They use fewer words in conversation. The result is that kids from lower-income homes start school behind other kids.

Pre-K, in which school is started at four years of age, will make a difference. However, the jury is still out. No one knows yet if it will matter in the years to come.

Now comes another idea. The later the child starts school, the better off the child will be. This theory is based on the belief that an older child is in better control of herself. A seven-year-old is better able to focus. A four-year-old moves around and has a shorter attention span.

The question is what is the best age to begin learning? When is the child ready to learn to read and write? When will the child have the social skills to make the best of being in school?

A lot of parents are holding their children back from kindergarten for one year. They believe it is better for the child to be school-ready. Some believe that kindergarten should be for play and not for learning. It is more important to be comfortable in school than to deal with the challenges of learning at a very young age.

Source: The Washington Post October 7, 2015

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