Why I Sent My Summer Baby to Kindergarten

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kids wearing backpacks. kindergarten. Des Moines MomIf you have a kid who was born in the summer, you know how difficult it is to decide on when to send them to kindergarten. We have a few moms who have weighed in on the benefits of redshirting their child for kindergarten. I’m here to share why we decided to send our young 5-year-old, born in June, to kindergarten and why I don’t regret doing it (even with a year of COVID).

First, please know this is just my experience. Every single parent and child are different, so do what is best for your family. When I was researching and asking other moms about their experiences, I had a harder time finding stories about positive summer-baby-to-Kindergarten stories, which is why I wanted to share mine. Maybe it’s because moms don’t like to boast?

Well, I’m here to boast just a little bit – but not about me or my daughter, about teachers!

Teachers are there to help

When I talked to moms about the decision, the voice of one stood out to me. She had friends who are teachers and they reminded her that teachers are there for your children. It’s not all up to your child or you. If your child is falling behind, there is an entire community there at the school to build them up. This shouldn’t be something to rely on entirely but is easy to forget. My daughter’s teacher had quite the test of that when she ended the 2020 school year teaching kindergarteners on zoom.

What can your child do

I was interested in knowing what my child should know how to do before sending her to kindergarten. She could count to ten, knew her colors, said her ABCs, and could write her name. Some parents add “tie your shoes” to that list but my kids don’t really have shoelaces. There is also the social component. Is your child excited about school? Can they leave you without getting overly emotional?

There are countless resources online about this subject. I found this one at HealthyChildren.org most helpful. The content is powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The graduating seniors during COVID missed out on their milestone celebratory moment. But my mind was on my kindergartener. I vividly remember the last day of my kindergarten and it was very special. The end of my daughter’s school was very blurry and unceremonious. With this came uncertainty for us parents about the next school year. But, none of it seemed to phase our daughter.

My daughter is now in second grade and we asked her teacher how kids are doing catching up from their time learning remotely during the pandemic. This is just one teacher’s, and one classroom’s, experience but she felt the class as a whole was on pace.

If you are unsure about what to do with your summer baby, I encourage you to do your research. But most importantly, do what you think is best for your child. If you have teacher friends in your life, reach out! I bet they would be happy to answer your questions.

When did you send your summer-born child to kindergarten?

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Niki is an Iowa native who now lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Riley, and son Merritt in Johnston. She is passionate about paid leave for working parents, thrifting, and Beyonce. Niki is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Homesteaders Life Company in West Des Moines. She is also owner of Bee Thrifty, which consigns designer clothing for clients on Poshmark. Niki is a two-time graduate of Drake University with a bachelor’s in journalism (2008) and a Master’s in Communication Leadership (2015).

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