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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Should she stay or should she go (to kindergarten): Part 2

February 13, 2007

Thanks to everyone who commented online and offline to me about our kindergarten decision. It's comforting to know that other parents struggle with a similar decision. And after reading your comments and talking with friends, I'm even more convinced that it really is an "it depends on the child" decision (those kind drive new-ish moms like me crazy!).

Anyways, Anna is going. This fall. To kindergarten. On the bus. Yikes.

The more we thought about it, and talked with her preschool teacher, and talked with people who know her, the more we knew that she would start kindergarten this fall. Plus there's a HUGE advantage that we didn't have when Molly, our older daughter, started last fall... now we know the school, we know the teachers, we know the principal, and thanks to our neighborhood, we know lots of the kids. So, she's going. This fall. To kindergarten. On the bus. (Did I already say that?!)

For those interested in reading more about waiting a year, here are some other resources — something from Education World about how school performance is affected by starting kindergarten late, a portal sort of page from Hoagie's Gifted that contains lots of jumps to readings on the topic, and some research in review published by the NAEYC called Opportunity Deferred or Opportunity Taken. I hope those are helpful to you!


My daughter just started school this year and is having a wonderful time. The first few weeks were difficult due to the time away from mom and dad. My nephew is just 6 months younger than my daughter and was not ready for kindergarten. My sister-in-law and brother had countless arguments on what would be best for their child. As it turns out, they decided to wait a year and place him in preschool for another year. Currently, they are pleased with their decision and see that their son is doing well at preschool. They are convinced that putting him in kindergarten before he was ready would definitely hurt him in the long run.

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"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person ..." —

Carl Sagan