By Elizabeth Monzonis

With the new school year fast approaching, many children have already completed pre-kindergarten and are ready to move on to the next level. It is now time for their parents to decide whether their kids should go straight into Elementary School or continue onto Kindergarten in a preschool. Many preschools emphasize the importance of children receiving individualized attention during this stage of a child’s life, and therefore, have extended their curriculum to include kindergarten.

These preschools have interactive classrooms and allow for spontaneous play, something that is no longer available when children start first grade. When is a five year old child ready to enter into elementary school? That is a question that every parent needs to answer individually since each child matures differently. In elementary school, children need to get out of their car on the curb and walk to class alone every morning, which can cause stress and confusion. In contrast, children in preschool can be walked in by their parents and dropped off directly in their respective classrooms. Lunch in elementary school is in a large cafeteria, where potentially hundreds of students gather to eat. In preschool, children eat among their small group of classmates and the teacher helps students with their lunches and provides a status report to their parents. As a result, preschools provide a safer and more comfortable environment for many children who aren’t ready to continue to elementary school. At the age of five, a child needs to feel safe and confident, and it’s up to each parent to determine the best environment for their child to thrive and continue to grow.

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