Youngest Kindergarteners More Likely To Be Held Back, Says A New Study

Here’s news that may influence parents’ decision on when to enroll their tots in kindergarten: The youngest kindergarteners are about five times more likely than the oldest students to be held back, says a new study from The University of Missouri. And retention could have an impact on a child. Says study author Francis Huang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Missouri University College of Education,”Requiring children to repeat a grade…can affect children’s self-esteem and their ability to adjust in the future.”

The study also found that children who were shorter were more likely to be held back a year than taller peers with the same classroom difficulties. Kids with higher attentiveness, task persistence and eagerness to learn were less likely to repeat a grade.

While many parents opt to enroll their kids in kindergarten as soon as they can to avoid paying for another year of daycare expenses, if your tot is on the younger side then you may have to be more proactive about making sure his or her’s needs are met in the classroom. “Since older kindergarteners can have as much as 20 percent more life experience than their younger classmates, teachers need to meet students where they are developmentally and adjust instructions based on a student’s ability,” says Huang. “Studies have shown that only a small number of teachers modify classroom instruction to deal with a diverse set of students.”

From my other blog: 

On giving in to your kid’s quirks

7 ways to encourage play for kids with special needs

How to respond when people ask what’s “wrong” with your child


Photo of girls in kindergarten class via Shutterstock

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