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Young Families: The Youngest Kindergarteners Don't Have It Made
Source: ABC News Radio

Catherine Yeulet/Thinkstock

(COLUMBIA, Mo.) -- A University of Missouri researcher has confirmed what many parents have feared for a long time: the younger a child is in kindergarten, the bigger the disadvantage.

In fact, Francis Huang, assistant professor in the MU College of Education, goes as far to say that the youngest kids are up to five times more likely to be left back in kindergarten than the oldest students.

This is not only demeaning to the child but also creates a financial burden for parents and school districts, according to Huang.

He doesn’t question previous studies that show developmental differences between the oldest and youngest kindergarten students. Clearly, certain kids are at an advantage when they “have as much as 20 percent more life experience than their younger classmates,” Huang says.

However, unless there is a compelling reason to hold a child back, such as academic struggles, Huang believes that schools should make the extra effort to help younger children proceed normally through kindergarten rather than having them repeat another year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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