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Pre School Readiness

pre school readiness

My son will be 4 on august 14. He is due to start prek 8 days later. My husband and I aren't sure he's going to be ready socially and we aren't sure if we should go ahead and start him or hold him back and wait. I think he would do fine in the class work, but socially I'm not so sure, we still have a hard time sharing and tantrums are still an issue. Do you have any advice or insight into this situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated?

School readiness is a hot topic this time of year - though most parents are worried about kindergarden readiness. Typically, these questions come from the mothers of boys. The stereotype that boys are slower to mature seems accurate.

The general rule is “starting later is better”. There are local private schools that have whole classes of “Transitional Kindergarden”. These TK programs are filled with 5 year old boys (and a few girls) who are not quite ready.

In 12 years of practice, I have yet to meet a family that regretted holding their child back.

That being said - this is preK. PreK is intended access school readiness and to prepare children for kindergarden. His teachers should be adept at handing temper tantrums, sharing issues and advising you on his school placement next year.

There is little harm if he needed to repeat preK. We are friends with a family that intentionally sends their boys to kindergarden twice. This practice has served their family well.

Parents often worry about the emotional repercussions of having a child repeat a grade. These concerns are more valid for children older than kindergarden age. Repeating kindergarden or starting kindergarden late is an acceptable norm for both parents and children. It does not seem to bother the children. In fact, many enjoy being “the oldest”, one of “the taller” kids or “the first one to drive”.

Follow up - posted 7 months later - 4 month into preschool

School is actually going great. He gets along well with all the kids, hasn't gotten in ANY trouble at all and is one of his teachers favorites. The only issue we have had is him choosing which hand he wants to use. He uses both for everything. Writing, coloring, and eating. And he switch hits when we play baseball in the yard. So learning to write is a challenge, but we are working on it.

Written May 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician








gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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