By: Anita Ede
Many children are being held back a year before they enter the 1st grade. Teachers feel that student's who aren't 6 or going to be 6 years of age soon do not possess the academic, and social skills that other kindergarteners do. Teachers and parents feel another year in kindergarten will help their student or child mature and develop more fully. Gender also plays a role in delaying children from going on to the 1st grade. Males are thought to be less mature, and not as academically ready as some of the females. Parents of 5 year old kindergarteners who feel that their children do not possess academic skills such as, writing, and counting that are essential for a successful kindergartener will most likely hold their children back.
There are advantages and disadvantages to delaying a child. The major advantage to holding back children is that they have more time to develop literacy and social skills. A study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that, " 73 percent of kindergarten students who were about to turn 6 at the beginning of the school year were able to identify letters by name, associate sounds with letters, and read easy sight words, as compared to only 56 percent of their 5 year-old counterparts. (Zill, Loomis & West, 1997)." This shows that older kindergarten students have an advantage in learning to read over the younger children. Also children's social skills can be affected by the age difference. Children that are closer to 6 than 5 are able to engage in cooperative behavior, and are less likely to argue with teachers. Older children are also found to have more positive feelings towards teachers, and develop wonderful leadership qualities. They also are given more responsibilities in the classroom.
There can also be many disadvantages to delaying a child. Studies found by Stipek & Bylert, (2001), said that even though older children...