Skipping Kindergarten?

pre school
image source: Anthea Montessori via Compfight cc

So your pre-school child stands out academically among his or her classmates. You might be thinking, maybe skip kindergarten and proceed to first grade.

At first it may seem to be the right decision. The child is academically advanced, or mature enough to mingle with older kids. Very large crayons, jumbo pencils, nursery rhymes are now boring. The kid can identify national flags, automobile brands, specific aircraft models etc. However, skipping kindergarten may pose more disadvantages in the long run. It gives an age gap which can really turn out to be bane for proper development.

First, missing out kindergarten takes out the time when learning is as good as having fun at school. This is a period where the child is learning by playing with friends. Taking him straight to first grade puts him in an environment more serious than where he should be. Once accelerated, then if the child performs poorly on first grade, demoting him might just be embarrassing for him and the parents as well.

During the primary education years, the child may do well academically but fitting in may be a struggle. He may be intimidated by his older classmates at the same time the class may also get threatened by him. The child may get hated and picked on by classmates for being too smart. Classmates may band against him and cast him out. Isolation may lead to emotional and social challenges. At the age of 7-8, his classmates could be around 9-10. This puts the child in a disadvantage in terms of physique. Classmates can easily trample him in sporting activities or may get bullied due to size difference.

When his classmates begin puberty, the great divide happens. The child may not understand what is going on with his classmates. The size gap also widens. At his current stage he will have very different interests with his classmates and again, would be left alone. His peers may tell him that his hobbies are now too childish for them and no one in his class will join him. It is like his classmates ride roller coasters now but he can only still take the merry-go round. Nobody in class watches the same films and shows as him. Seeing other kids his age enjoying what he should be at this stage in his life may bring added emotional pains.

A few years more when everybody else in his class is dating, he might be left out because parents will say that he is too young for that kind of stuff. Parents of a 15-year old girl may not be comfortable with their daughter hanging out with her 17-year old classmates along with boys of that age or even older. The child will always strive to be “cool” fit in. He could be taken advantage of by giving in to peer pressure and do things uncalled for just to prove so.

Finally, in some countries, graduate or post-graduate schooling, professional licenses and other requisites may only be taken at a certain age. Finishing too early will make the child wait on the other end of the academic life.

There are some advantages of skipping kindergarten. First, the child’s mental ability is much more stimulated because the academic challenges are more difficult. Another is the developing the skill with coping with older people. There are others but these can also be achieved even through schooling that started at the prescribed age. These benefits may be good but not worth the disadvantages it brings.

Skipping kindergarten and not accelerating to primary school is worse since no formal and structured preparatory education was given to the child. The child might behave like a nursery student in primary school. He could also be left behind when it comes to learning because his base knowledge is not at par with his class.

Skipping pre-school may spell disaster for your child. Once kindergarten is skipped the added pressures could make it difficult for the kid to maintain academic excellence. Parents may love the idea that their child may be smarter than others but at the cost of the kid going through unnecessary difficulties. Learning, growing, developing and exploring for a child is best experienced with other kids of the same age. They can learn from each other, have equal opportunities and the bonds may be stronger than if they had age gaps. We can never be sure if the kid will not be able to overcome the extra challenges of having an age gap with his peers, but we are also not sure if he could.

Kindergarten provides the foundation of the child’s social, academic and emotional development. Having a good preschool education is essential for proper growth and well-being of the person. Many of the things that the child will learn in the future may just be advancements or derivatives of what he learned in preschool. His positive and negative traits may also be founded on what he learned and experienced in kindergarten. A certain kindergarten offers quality education topped with an international school setting to help the child understand diversity and tolerance. Given the benefits of sending a child to kindergarten, skipping it may not be a very good idea.


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