The age criteria for kindergarten admission in Bay Area is that the child has to be 5 years old by Sept 1st.
What if your child’s birthday is September 2nd? Bummer! Your child can only go to kindergarten in the following year! Isn’t that a disappointing loss?! There’s something called Transitional Kindergarten (TK) that is offered. But even after attending TK, the child has to attend another year of Kindergarten before going to First grade.
I hear many parents freak out about their TK-age child’s lost year and lost opportunity, especially if their child is already reading, writing, and demonstrating good mathematical skills. Often, these ambitious parents find a private school that is lenient on the cut-off age and “push” their child to Kindergarten. Whether this is the best choice is debatable.
Here are some other aspects you should think of when you decide whether to let your child go to TK or push him/her into Kindergarten.
Have you heard/read about the 5 C’s of the 21st-century skills that the world is looking for among the new generation?
Confidence, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity. If you want your child to be a leader in the 21st-century world, you need to focus on these rather than the child’s academic skills.
In that case, isn’t this TK year opportunity a blessing actually? Your child will get an extra year in the crucial phase of brain development to strengthen the 5 C’s. Please note that the human brain gets almost fully developed by age 6.
Another aspect is the advantage of being one of the older kids in the class which is a natural confidence booster. Bring younger is a great feeling for us adults. But young children always prefer to be older. So, being one of the youngest kids in the class May bring a sense of inferiority if a child is pushed into Kindergarten. Younger children are often easy targets for teasing and bullying. Also, later in the higher grades, when they do advanced placement tests and other competitive exams, having an almost a year older brain compared other to their peers will come as an advantage to your child.
So, isn’t a TK-age child actually gaining? Or do you still think it’s a loss or a waste of one year?