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High Expectations Pressure Parents to Delay Kindergarten


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge:  Watching your kids grow up and learn is one of the joys of being a parent. But that joy can turn to anxiety when it's time for children to go to school. People often say that kindergarten is the new first grade. And kids in kindergarten are expected to learn to read and do basic math.

That's caused some parents to red-shirt their 5-year-olds. The expression comes from sports, where it refers to keeping a freshman off the team so they have another year to develop. When applied to kindergarten, it means not enrolling your child until he or she is six. A lot of parents do it. But is it necessary, or even a good idea? And what are most children ready to learn at the age of five?   



  • Dr. Gedeon Deak, a professor of cognitive science and human development at UCSD. He is also director of the school's cognitive development lab.

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