Is Your Five-Year-Old Ready for Full-Day Kindergarten?

CascadeNewLogoBy Kathryn Hickok

The Oregon State Senate is considering a bill that would lower Oregon’s compulsory, full-time school age from seven to five. Senate Bill 321 was heard in the Education Committee on March 5.

Most children start at least a half-day Kindergarten as five-year-olds, but not every five-year-old is ready for full-time school. According to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics, about six percent of five-to-six-year-olds nationwide are not enrolled in school. These children may need a little more time to be ready for a formal classroom setting.

Children are unique, and maturing at different rates is normal. Temperament, emotional maturity, life experiences, and family situations also can affect a child’s classroom readiness. Parents are in a better position to determine a young child’s abilities than an arbitrary standard set by state law.

Some opponents of SB 321 point out that there would be no protections for children who are not ready for a traditional classroom at five years of age. Their parents currently have the option to let them grow up a little first. This bill removes parental discretion.

Forcing children to start school too early for them can have long-lasting consequences. They may view themselves as failures, think they don’t like school, or find themselves playing a demoralizing game of catch-up with their classroom peers.

Parents, rather than state legislators, should decide when their preschool-aged kids are ready for full-time school.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland at Cascade Policy Institute.


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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Government Overreach, Government Regulation, Individual Responsiblity, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon Government, Oregon Senate, State Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    It should be optional for parents. I would also like to see those all but the poor pay for the extra half day of kindergarten if they so choose to go with full day kindergarten. And the state funding for full day kindergarten should be phased so it can be done with the growth in state general revenue funds occurring through existing, unchanged tax systems/rates.

  • raysipple

    Hence, if you are not a skillful essay writer then earning high grades turns into a time-taking, backbreaking,and sometimes next-to-impossible challenge. Use proper essay writing services to improve study performance and cope with the workload up to the mark. It is like browsing the Web in search of information or consulting senior students.Keep up with the times.

  • Max

    The sooner some union thug can start brainwashing your kid the better off we all will be…so start em at 4 if you have to.

  • james

    The Oregon State Senate is considering a charge that would bring down Oregon’s mandatory, full-time school age from seven to five. Senate Bill 321 was heard in the Education Committee on March. Most youngsters begin no less than a half-day Kindergarten as five-year-olds, however not at regular intervals old is prepared for full-time school. As per a late report by the National Center for Education Statistics, around six percent of five-to-six-year-olds across the nation are not selected in school. These kids may require somewhat more time to be prepared for a formal classroom setting.

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