The Kindergarten Debate

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My son is turning the big five this year. My first born will be a whole hand old. Five years old means kindergarten. Well I thought it did. The popular term for college athletes of red-shirt is now a term for kindergartens. I was becoming anxious over the literal age to start my son’s elementary years. As Kindergarten registration loomed I couldn’t help but think, is this year to send him? How would I decide on the kindergarten debate?

My son is full of energy, loves playing with other children, learning about space and dinosaurs. He also at times has a hard time staying on task and listening to, well anyone some days. When he has a bad day, it is a bad day. His birthday falls at the end of May and will fall in the first week of summer break in the school calendar year. As I read through different online mom groups and parenting articles, I saw quite an overwhelming response for the age of six in the great kindergarten debate.

My anxiety of making this ever important decision was spiraling. His birthday is a good four months ahead of our school district cut off date but that gap felt so small. I never thought I would be debating my May baby’s school future. There were three reasons that stood out to me when I was thinking about this decision; academics, maturity, and and another year of childhood. I wrote these three reasons down and decided to answer each reason for my son.

The Gift of Childhood

This one came with many mixed emotions. Am I really shortening his childhood by having him start kindergarten at five years old? He would still be eighteen when he would start college. I think of all the fun I had with classmates in the grades above me and below me. We were all friends. We helped each other and learned from each other along the way. We didn’t play attention too much to age. There will always be someone getting to experience something first that can help their friends know what to expect. If anything I think starting him in school will help him find his friends. I think of my husband who still talks almost daily with many of his elementary friends.

Academics

I talked to my mom friends that sent kindergartens before me. One of the biggest points in the kindergarten debate is that kindergarten has changed a bit in the almost thirty years since I have been a student. My son is starting to read at four and asks how to spell. He does word searches with sight words. He loves anything math or building with blocks. His teachers have all said that is very smart and have no concerns about academics.

Maturity

This was the one that I went back and forth about. It is the most common reason to wait. He has had a preschool year and pre-k daycare. On his good days, he is good. He is ready to tackle school work, listen and be a good student. Then there will be one bad day, that makes everyone question is he ready? Then I think I had many questions how he would do in preschool. My son has shown so much growth each year that my husband and I feel he is ready.

I spoke with his teachers and friends with recent kindergartens who gave their feedback. As his parents, it is our decision to make. We decided to register for kindergarten this year. I look forward to seeing my son start his school journey. I hope he learns to love school and I know my husband and I will help each step of the way!

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Nicole was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She graduated with her bachelors in nursing from the University of Toledo in 2009. In 2012, she moved to Columbus for a big city, single girl life, but as life would have it, started dating her husband six months later and the rest is history. She joined the motherhood club in May 2016 with the birth of son Austin and welcomed daughter Madelyn in July 2019. When not keeping up with her two kids, she works full time. On weekends, a favorite activity is getting together with friends that have multiple kids and enjoying the chaos of three year olds and babies, while attempting to watch a whole football game without tears or reminding a kid to share. Nicole’s top three ways for self-care are a quick run in her neighborhood, a glass of wine, and retail therapy. She considers brunch the best meal of the day with a mission to find the best places for french toast in Columbus.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks! We have two boys with summer birthdays and sent and will be sending at 5. I had all the same concerns mostly about maturity. They will find their way and be fine regardless of what we decide.

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