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1. When do kids usually go to kindergarten?

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It’s usually around the age of five or six that children (and parents) will be preparing to go to kindergarten, though some might accept children as young as the age of four. There are less set rules on when your child should go to kindergarten – or if they should go at all depending on the laws in your area – and some parents might be thinking whether or not to take their child.

2. Reasons you shouldn’t take them to kindergarten: bullying

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Bullying is something a lot of people associate with older schoolchildren, particularly in high school, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen at any age – young kids can always be difficult, after all. If your child is actually being bullied at kindergarten, it can often be the best option not to send them. If they haven’t started yet, you might consider whether they have personality factors or learning difficulties you think would make them susceptible to teasing from other children who don’t understand.

3. The unhealthy food and obesity risks

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There’s no doubt schools at any age have a reputation for less than healthy meals most of the time. Though there have been developments in offering healthier meals in schools, at the end of the day, it might be better to keep your child out of kindergarten and feed them a healthy home cooked meal everyday with homeschooling, if you’re in a position to do so!

4. The ‘social’ aspect might not be the right kind

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A lot of people consider going to school compared to homeschooling key in letting a child develop social skills and being around other people. Especially at such a young age when the child is still developing those social skills, people think kindergarten is the right way to go about it. But it’s not so much about the social aspect itself, but the type of socializing your child is getting. If they’re socializing with children they don’t like, or being influenced in the wrong way, it might not be the right thing.

5. Too much information/not enough time

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There is a lot of pressure on teachers and school systems these days, no matter your age. With kindergartens, it might be that a young child is being given too much information to process in a strict time-limited school day, and not even time to sort it out. For some children, this can be overwhelming, depending on their own ability to process information.

6. Is it more like a prison?

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This may sound a bit harsh, but if schooling is mandatory, within a set period where you’re not allowed to travel out of the building (or even the classroom) and you have one authority figure telling you what to do, some children may respond to this more as a forced ‘prison-like’ environment that can influence how comfortable or happy they feel.

7. Your child might not learn best in that environment

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Children always learn in different ways. Some children are best suited for classroom environments, and some are not, but all too often we put too much focus on the kids who misbehave in class as being ‘naughty’ rather than just not fitting well with that sort or learning environment. If this is the case for your child, it won’t help to make them continue to attend.

8. Is it the right type of learning?

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Just like some kids don’t take well to classroom environments, some may also not be able to thrive with a particular set of learning or examinations. If the kindergarten has a certain system for taking tests, being awarded grades or anything to decide whether a kid has made a ‘good’ grade or a ‘bad’ one, this could be based on a system that doesn’t play to their strengths (like multiple choice questions where you have a percentage of getting it right even if you guess!).

9. Your child isn’t ready

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Only you can know as a parent whether your child is ready for kindergarten or not, and you may be feeling pressure from the advised age range that children usually attend kindergarten, or maybe your friends’ children are all ready to go and you don’t feel the same. Your child simply might not be ready for it, in which case it’s not a good idea to push it on them.

10. Your child isn’t potty trained

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Children learn at different rates when they’re growing, and there’s always a chance your child isn’t potty training as quickly as you’d hoped, or just having a lot of accidents. If this is the case when it comes time for kindergarten, this isn’t going to be the best situation for them. They’re likely to have accidents in class which will cause confusion, embarrassment and a difficult learning situation for them.

11. They still need a lot of help with everyday tasks

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Teachers are there to help support the children in their classroom, especially when they’re still at a young age, but there are certain things where a line has to be drawn, or they would expect a child to already know when they start kindergarten. If your child is a little behind and still needs a lot of focused help with everyday things, it’s going to disrupt their learning experience, and they might also not get the help they need.

12. Your child isn’t very good at listening

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Sometimes it’s not your child’s fault if they get distracted – if they’re not listening, it doesn’t always mean they’re being stubborn or naughty. They might have a very short attention span that you’re still working on, so if they don’t fully listen to you at the moment, they’re going to struggle to listen to their teacher and follow what they’re saying.

13. They can’t follow two-step directions

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Two step directions/instructions are key in a growing child’s learning. This is when you switch from telling them one simple thing to do, to combining two different instructions that they need to follow (like “finish eating and then take your plate to the kitchen”). In kindergarten, children are going to be thrown a lot of instructions that are more than one step.

14. They struggle to be separated from you

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There comes a point when your child naturally has to learn to be away from you for a short time, as they can’t be attached by the hip for the rest of their life! But this process has to happen naturally and forcing it when they’re not ready to be separated from you could result in them being more distressed than actually learning anything in the classroom.

15. And they’ve never been separated from you before

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It’s much better to consider their first school group at a time when they’ve had lots of occasions of being separated from you before, so that they’re used to it. You definitely don’t want their very first time of being separated from you to be when you’re dropping them off at kindergarten. You need time to practice with them of what it’s like to be away from you.

16. They can’t communicate too well

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Your child may be at a stage where they’re still struggling to communicate. As a parent, it’s easier to understand when you’re used to their way of communicating, but is a teacher going to understand what they need? This is a particular problem if they can’t communicate their basic needs very well, like when they’re uncomfortable or they need the toilet.

17. They’re too shy to express to other people

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To have a comfortable learning environment, your child needs to be open to expressing themselves to their teacher, and telling them when they need something. If your child completely closes off from anyone who isn’t you, or who they don’t know very well, it’s going to affect their learning experience, as well as mean they’re not ready to communicate their needs in a situation where they definitely need to!

18. They don’t work well in a group

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Let’s be honest – most adults these days would admit that they don’t work very well in a group! Lots of people would rather work alone from home than be forced into ‘team bonding’ or difficult co-workers. So the same can be said for a child. Sometimes, children just don’t work (or play) well with others, which means they might not take very well to kindergarten.

19. They might also not work well one-to-one

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Your child may also still be struggling with being able to communicate or develop friendships with anyone at all, even one-on-one with another child. It’s going to be important for them to make a bond with other children and to make friends at school, so if they’re not at the stage they can do that yet, it’s a sign they shouldn’t be taken there.

20. Consider their birthday

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Some children have their birthday fall right inside, or outside, the age requirement month or date start for school, which can either leave them a year older than everyone else in the class, or a year younger. If you feel like you can get away with waiting an extra year before they start because of the age difference, it might be worth doing that if they’re not ready!

21. They get overwhelmed very easily

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Being overwhelmed is something even most adults can have a hard time dealing with, so it can be even worse for a child who might not fully understand what’s going on. If your child gets overwhelmed very easily, then having a huge change in sending them to kindergarten might actually backfire – and they’re not going to learn anything feeling like that.

22. The schedule just doesn’t work for them

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Young children often operate on their own battery levels, and while you can do your best to get a better sleep and wake routine for your growing child, it just doesn’t work for some kids in terms of the start/finish time. Some kindergartens can start very early in the morning, which might not go happily with your child’s schedule or body clock. This will just mean they’re more tired or won’t be able to focus.

23. The schedule doesn’t work for you, either

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A lot of parents can struggle to find, or organize, learning around their own work schedules and when they can pick their child up. At the end of the day, kindergarten needs to work for your schedule, too. If it’s only going to cause problems – and expense – to take them to kindergarten at a set time, compared to you being able to homeschool them more easily, for example, it might not be the best choice.

24. You’ve had other huge changes

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Children are going to get overwhelmed from too many huge changes at once. If you’ve had any other big changes going on in your life at the moment – like completely relocating, having two parents split up, or maybe even the arrival of a new baby – then it may not be the best idea to throw a whole new school and environment into the mix as well!

25. Your child might need more rest than others

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This could be down to different reasons, such as them perhaps having a health condition that makes them more tired than other kids their age. Most kindergartens will have a set nap time, but it might be that your child usually needs more rests throughout the day than the school’s schedule will allow. This will cause an issue for your child, for many reasons – including health!

26. They’re too young

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Contrary to what some people might think, making your child go to kindergarten as soon as possible doesn’t necessarily mean they have a better chance, more time and a more advanced learning in the long run. It might be that your child is simply too young, so making them go to kindergarten earlier than usually expected might not benefit them.

27. They can’t sit still

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You’ll have a definite idea of whether you can sit down with your child at a table and accomplish anything! Do they immediately leap out of the chair to go and play with something? Do they have trouble concentrating for too long sat in place when you’re reading them a story? None of this is going to bode well in a classroom environment when they need to sit down and listen.

28. They do things ‘their way’

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It might not be so much about them not being able to do things, and more about them wanting to do things their own way. School environments will have set instructions and a set way of things that need to be done. Your child might only want to do things their own way, which might go against the teacher’s instructions – even if they’re still trying to accomplish the set task.

29. They might already know too much

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Some children do learn more quickly than others, and it might be that your child has learned a huge deal through your general activities at home and your efforts as a parent to teach them a lot more at home. So it might be that the set curriculum for their first kindergarten class is actually a lot of stuff they already know – in which case, it’ll be a waste of time for them!

30. It can be considered a ‘glorified daycare’

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At the end of the day, kindergarten – while marketed as preschool and a key system of educational learning – can often be no more than just a place to send your child when they need care during the day, just with a few educational aspects thrown in. If you think that your child at kindergarten is basically just you paying for someone to watch your child, you might be better saving money and homeschooling them!

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