Why I Support Tennessee’s Kindergarten Cut Off Date Proposal

My last article discussed the proposal that Tennessee government will be voting on in the next couple of weeks. The proposal suggests moving up the cut off date for the birthdays of children who will be entering kindergarten next year.

The current date is the last day of September. The new date would be the first day of September. This means that kindergarten children would be required to be one month older to enter kindergarten.

In my last article I began talking about why I hope that the proposal passes. My first reason was a personal reason. As of the current date, my daughter can begin kindergarten next year. If the date is changed she will not be eligible. The change of the cut off will make my decision for me and I will not have to worry about making the right one.

Another reason that I feel this proposal is a good idea is from a professional stand point. I teach kindergarten. More and more demands are being placed upon teachers and students. Kindergarten children now no longer have an opportunity to learn social or developmental skills in kindergarten. They are thrown straight into academics. These children are expected to read and write by the end of the year. They must also add and subtract.

At one point in time children learned to identify letters and numbers in kindergarten. A child entering kindergarten without knowing the letters of the alphabet and numbers at least one through ten is considered behind. Of course these are not prerequisites. However, these children typically have a harder time keeping up in class and doing as well as classmates who already possessed the skills when they came.

Therefore I think that perhaps it does take an older child with more maturity to handle the load that the state and country now places on kindergarten children. The extra time can do nothing but help.

Why not vote for a proposal that allows children to remain children for an extra month?

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