CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Delaying Kids' School Entry? Why You Should Reconsider

save article
profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
By Anisa Arsenault, Associate Editor
Updated March 2, 2017
Hero Image

Planning on sending your August baby to school a year later than you have to? While it’s common for parents to delay the start of school for preemies or summer babies, a new study suggests they might want to reconsider.

The parental argument is that these kids won’t be mature enough to start school compared to their slightly older peers. But a University of Warwick study published in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology shows that the lag could actually cause poorer academic performance as the child gets older.

“Our study shows that delaying school entry has no effect on Year One teacher ratings of academic performance, but it is associated with poorer performance in age-standardized tests of reading, writing, mathematics and attention as the children get older,” says Professor Dieter Wolke of the University of Warwick Department of Psychology. In other words, that extra time spent at home would be better spent getting a jump on classroom learning.

Researchers followed the academic progress of 999 Bavarian children to conduct the study, comparing teacher ratings from age six (Year One) to age eight.

“We found missing one year of learning opportunities was associated with poorer average performance in standardized tests at eight years of age for both preterm and full-term children,” adds study co-author Julia Jaekel. “Future research is needed to determine the long-term effect of delayed school entry on academic achievement, but our results certainly give parents and educational providers food for thought.”

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

2 toddlers playing in sand at playground
What Is Parallel Play—and Why Is It Important for Kids?
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
Mom teaching her baby object permanence with two toys.
How and When Do Babies Develop Object Permanence?
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
asian father reading book with daughter on couch at home
25 Kids Books Under $20 That Celebrate AAPI Culture
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
sleeping newborn baby
Routine Hearing Test Could Detect Autism in Newborns, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
toys that have been inducted into the toy hall of fame
These Three Toys Were Just Inducted Into the National Toy Hall of Fame
By Stephanie Grassullo
sesame place entrance sign
Why the Incidents at Sesame Place Are So Problematic
By Jen Hayes Lee
mother and baby sitting at desk working at home during covid pandemic
Baby's Social Development Hasn't Been Affected by COVID, New Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
happy mom lifting up baby and singing to her
6 Smart Ways to Stimulate Baby's Mind
By Paula Kashtan
juneteenth children's books 2022
10 Children’s Books That Celebrate Juneteenth
By Nehal Aggarwal
colin kaepernick interacting with fans during spring football game in michigan
Colin Kaepernick’s New Kids’ Book Teaches It’s Normal to Be Different
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
mother kissing autistic son on forehead while teaching school at home
We Don’t Need Autism Awareness—We Need Autism Acceptance, Study Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
amy schumer on set of life & beth in new york city
Amy Schumer Opens Up About Son’s Possible Future Autism Spectrum Diagnosis
By Nehal Aggarwal
father holding baby at home
Babies Can Understand Visual Observations at 4 Months Old, Study Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
toddler kissing mother while reading books in bed at home
This One Thing Helps Babies Identify Close Family Relationships, Study Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
Introducing Ji-Young, Sesame Street's First Asian-American Muppet
Introducing Ji-Young, Sesame Street's First Asian-American Muppet
By Nehal Aggarwal
5 Things This Mom Wants You to Know About Having a Child With Dwarfism
5 Things This Mom Wants You to Know About Having a Child With Dwarfism
By Melissa Horvath
Illustration of Disney Princess from underrepresented countries.
Check Out These Reimagined Disney Princesses From Underrepresented Countries
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
Scene from Disney Land with colorful balloons.
Check Out Disney’s New Rainbow Collection in Honor of Pride Month
By Nehal Aggarwal
Grandfather sitting with his two grand daughters and reading a book.
16 Books That Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Culture
By Nehal Aggarwal
Illustration of a single story house with Black Lives Matter sign in front yard.
White Mom Shares How She's Striving to Raise Anti-Racist Kids
By Tamara Tucker
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List