Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten at BASIS Charter Schools?
The BASIS Charter School Curriculum has been encouraging students to reach high standards since the first school opened in 1998. We believe that greater expectations are key to better performance and achievement. As American inventor and automotive engineer Charles Kettering observed, “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” BASIS Charter Schools compel students to achieve more than traditionally expected.
It’s critical that kindergarten students are developmentally ready for the classroom, setting them up for success every step of the way. The BASIS Charter School kindergarten program accelerates through a first grade curriculum, preparing students to take on second grade concepts by first grade. BASIS Charter School students succeed because they believe they can, and because they are prepared with the tools they need to succeed.
Social and emotional readiness
Most experts believe that social and emotional skills are the most important factors in determining whether a child is ready to start school. Around age four, children should start to build on certain behaviors that will allow them to succeed in a classroom. It’s not necessary that they show these behaviors consistently, but they should begin showing comfort in the following areas:
- Separating from their family
- Transitioning between activities
- Curiosity about the world and others
Dr. Jeni Riley, author of The Teaching of Reading, claims, “It is common to find within a kindergarten classroom a five-year range in children’s literacy-related skills and functioning.” Children start kindergarten with various experience and skills. Consequently, some children are not yet prepared for the classroom learning environment and risk falling behind.
This “readiness gap” is not an indicator of a child’s intelligence, she explains, but rather missed learning opportunities during the early years of life. Because the early learning that occurs from birth to age five is the most rapid development period in a lifetime, much of a child’s early learning begins at home, where you can influence their interests and behaviors. Reading to your child can inspire a love of reading. Asking questions at the end a story can help familiarize your child with classroom discussion. Sharing and taking turns while playing games models good sportsmanship that can improve social interaction in school.
Kindergarteners who are familiar with the alphabet and numbers when they start kindergarten may have an early advantage, but education consultant Alina Adams stresses that, “Teachers are less concerned with what children know coming in, and are more concerned if children can come in, sit down, and follow multi-step directions.”
The practice of redshirting traditionally refers to a college athlete who doesn’t compete in varsity games for a full year, thereby extending their eligibility for another year. The additional year allows the player to grow in size and skill, giving that player an advantage. The trend to “redshirt” children entering kindergarten has grown significantly in recent years—up 300% since the 1970s.
Some parents believe that older students tend to be the leaders in the classroom, and the resulting confidence and skills will snowball, giving them an advantage in life. Academic redshirting in kindergarten is most common among parents who want to help their child excel in sports, holding them back to allow them to grow physically and develop better motor skills. Many parents, particularly those whose children have summer and fall birthdays choose to put kindergarten on hold, to give them the advantage of a full year’s growth and development.
However, students are often motivated by the maturity and performance of older peers. In fact, a joint study conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College and Northwestern University concluded that “having older classmates on average improves educational outcomes, increasing test scores up to eight years after kindergarten and raising the probability of taking a college‐entry exam.”1
Age does not necessarily determine readiness, but children tend to reach developmental benchmarks around the same age. To enroll in kindergarten at a BASIS Charter School in Texas, children must be five by September 1 of the year they wish to start.
Many school districts set a minimum age requirement for attending kindergarten. Now with the growing popularity of redshirting kindergarten students, and concern over any actual benefit to a child’s readiness, some districts around the country have set a maximum age requirement to enroll in kindergarten, in order to serve the best interest of each child.
How will I know?
You know your child better than anyone. Trust your judgment, but allow them to try, and don’t be afraid to let them fail. Failure is necessary to success. According to Albert Einstein, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
BASIS Charter Schools promote achievement at every grade level. We begin instilling success strategies like organization, communication, and time management in kindergarten, on day one, to prepare students for the challenges ahead. The accelerated curriculum and collaborative community supports their future learning, so students who start the BASIS Charter School program as soon as they are ready have the greatest advantage of succeeding.
Discover the possibilities at BASIS Austin Primary! BASIS Texas Charter Schools are open enrollment, tuition-free charter schools serving grades K–12, and follow an internationally acclaimed liberal arts curriculum. The BASIS Charter School Curriculum builds foundations in language, literacy, civics, history, science, math, movement, engineering and technology, performance arts, visual arts, and music.
Want to meet experienced BASIS Charter School staff, learn more about the acclaimed BASIS Charter School Curriculum, and ask questions? Join us at an upcoming event! RSVP at BASISaustinprimary.org.
Notice of Non-Discrimination: In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act and applicable state law, BASIS* does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, gender identity or expression, or any other classification protected by law in any of its business activities, including its educational programs and activities which comply fully with the requirements of state and federal law and Title IX. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding BASIS’ non-discrimination policies: Beverly Traver, Compliance and Equity Investigator, BASIS Educational Group, LLC., 7975 N. Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, (480) 289-2088.
*As used in this policy, the term “BASIS” refers to: BASIS Educational Group, LLC, BASIS Charter Schools, Inc., BASIS Texas Charter Schools, Inc., BDC, A Public School, Inc., BBR Schools, Inc., and all affiliated entities.