Q:

Recently, you had a question from parents who were concerned about sending their bright young son to kindergarten because he was short. They wanted to hold him back a year so he would be taller when he started kindergarten. Not only did we send our short son to kindergarten, he also was one of the youngest in the class.

He was shorter than most of the other boys and even some of the girls. His father's family is short -- Grandpa was 5 feet 4 inches tall and a librarian, and his father, a lawyer, was 5 feet 7 inches. Our little boy found it easy to keep up with his taller classmates. He is now a Washington lawyer, and he is still short -- only 5 feet 6 inches tall.

I firmly believe that all kids are NOT ALIKE, and that parents should send their children to kindergarten when the children are ready. Holding our son back a year because he was short would have discouraged him from learning all the wonderful things that he had watched his older brother learn for two years. -- Short and Bright

A:

When parents can send their children to kindergarten is typically an age issue that is determined by the state or school district. Admittedly, this means that some bright children who miss the cutoff date could probably handle kindergarten easily. On the other hand, some parents have held their young children back so they will be older when they start kindergarten. This is largely because the kindergarten curriculum is now more like a first grade. Height is definitely not an issue that is related to kindergarten readiness.