To Register for Kindergarten or Not

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Wondering if you should register your child for Kindergarten this year or next year? If you have a child with a birthday late into the year such as January or February, you could register them this year or next. Should you wait? BTW, the practice of waiting is called “Red Shirting.”

The benefit of registering a child early is daycare savings, and the benefit of registering later are that the child is always in the older section of the class. They can cognitively grasp concepts easier because their brains are developmentally a year older than their peers.

In my twenty years of teaching parent groups, both teachers and parents who have had to make this decision report that it is almost always better to wait. A child may be ready academically such as knowing colors, numbers and maybe even reading, but socially and emotionally, may still be immature. Executive function takes a big leap during the 3-5 years and takings turns, sitting still in circle time, and refraining from hitting when frustrated, all require a certain amount of self-control. Does the child have this level of social and emotional development. If the child can do everything in the photo above, they might be ready. If not, a year can make a huge difference.

Here are some tips on starting the first day of school:

How to Get Ready for a New School Year

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Getting Ready for a New School Year

By Judy Arnall

The last days of summer are closing in and thoughts turn to the start of school when that yellow leaves appear on the neighborhood trees.  Parents often wonder how to smooth the transition from summer holidays to school.  Here are some tips to make a new school year successfully smoother:

  1. Don’t shop until the school supply list comes home.  It’s tempting to get a heads up on sales and deals, but if you buy the wrong item, your child will refuse to use it.
  2. When you shop, buy extras of the sale items.  Your child will lose things by Christmas or may want extra supplies for homework tasks at home.
  3. Get haircuts done early.  Most school photos are taken the first week and you want to avoid that just-cut look.
  4. Get the Doctor and Dentist appointments out of the way early.
  5. Photos! Don’t forget to measure and weigh your child or take a photo of them next to the same object every year.  You forget how quickly they grow.
  6. Move back bedtimes.  Change the lights out time 15 minutes per night for the two weeks before school.
  7. Pack away old school work.  Put in boxes and label.
  8. New grade.  New chores.  Celebrate the addition of another year and how capable your child has grown.
  9. The day before school officially opens, walk the halls with your child, get their timetable and map out the hallway and bathroom routes.

10.  Arrange play dates with new buddies.

11.  Draw up a homework contract.  Include stipulations that meet both your child’s and your needs and both of you can sign it.  Post on the wall for those inevitable whining moments.

12.  Separation Anxiety – handover or stay.  You must do whatever fits your parenting style.  You know your child best.

13.  After the initial sales, stock up on extra supplies, which can be marked down 80% by the end of September. Kids lose a lot of things.

14.  Clean up rooms at the end of August.  Pick up garbage, recycle old books, clothes and toys.  Assess whether new furniture needs to be purchased.

Judy Arnall is a Professional international award-winning Parenting Speaker, and Trainer, Mom of five children, and author of the best-selling, “Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery” She specializes in “Parenting the Digital Generationwww.professionalparenting.ca  (403) 714-6766  jarnall@shaw.ca

Copyright permission granted for “reproduction without permission” of this article in whole or part, if the above credit is included in its entirety.

Gearing Up for September