Research indicates that kindergarten readiness and success beyond the primary grades increases when children are older as they enter kindergarten. As Cannon and Lipscomb* have stated in their research, “Students who are older when they enter kindergarten have better elementary math and reading scores . . . These effects appear to persist into eighth grade, albeit with smaller magnitudes.”
Starting kindergarten at an older age allows children to further develop their social and emotional skills and be ready to actively engage
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in academics. Because of the increasing academic demands placed on kindergarten students, there is less time to nurture social and emotional skills. Deficiencies in these areas tend to inhibit learning in younger kindergarten students, which causes them to fall behind academically. Durlak** and his colleagues state, “Emotions can facilitate or impede children’s academic engagement, work ethic, commitment, and ultimate school success.” By the time these same students enter first grade, they are more likely to be considered for retention, receive interventions, or be referred for special education testing.
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*Cannon, J. S., and S. Lipscomb. 2008. Changing the Kindergarten Cutoff Date: Effects on California Students and Schools. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California. http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp (accessed July 29, 2013).
**Durlak, J. A., R. P. Weissberg, A. B. Dymnicki, and K. B. Schellinger. 2011. “The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions.” Child Development 82 (1): 405–32.