Ready for kindergarten - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ready for kindergarten

When a child turns 5, it's a big milestone because, for many 5-year-olds, that's the age they start school. But a growing number of parents are choosing to keep their 5-year-olds home an extra year and send them to kindergarten when they're 6.

Cole Mork is right at home in his kindergarten classroom.  At 6 years old, he's one of the oldest kids in his class. But that's OK with him and his parents. In fact, they waited to send Cole to kindergarten until he turned 6.

His birthday is a week before the cutoff date, so he could have gone at age 5. But his mom, Darla Mork, said Cole wasn't ready.

"He couldn't sit still long enough and focus long enough to even finish coloring a picture," she said. "He didn't have any curiosity about learning, he just wanted to play."

A year later, it was different story.

"He has a real curiosity now, as before, he never asked questions," Mork said. "Now he puts letters together and asks what does that spell. I can spell this and I can spell that and he's showing an interest in learning. A year ago he didn't."

In Cole's case, his teacher says his parents made the right choice. But she adds, every child is different. What's best for Cole might not be best for another child.
But whether your child is 5 or 6 when he starts kindergarten, experts say parents need to know that kindergarten is serious business.

According to experts, kindergarten is also a very social time, so parents should also consider their child's social skills before sending them to kindergarten.  Children who have had a little more interaction with others their age seem to adjust to the school day more easily.

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