Heres another article from Kathy Walker on school readiness.
If you are umming and ahhing about whether your child will cope or not, think about this- Do you want them to cope, or do you want them to excel?
An extra year can make all the difference.
My DS is right around the same time of year. I could have sent him this year at 4.5 but we chose not to and I'm so glad we didn't. Instead he goes to pre school and it has really built on his social, listening and focusing skills. For the first term he fidgeted alot, and lacked focus. At pre school they are preparing him without the pressure of school.
JMHO but except in rare circumstances I don't think it's beneficial to send them early and agree with CMF - I would rather my child excel after an extra year rather than just cope.
The other thing is that the national curriculum starts in nsw in 2014, so that's another reason to wait IMO!
I remember all too well being 1-2 years younger than my peers all through school, especially hard when I was 16 in yr 12 and only 17 at Uni. Even if my DD seems ready at 4.5, for me the decision is about making sure she won't suffer socially in the later years.
DD1 is always the youngest in her grade - she is born the last week of June (30th June is the cut off in QLD). She was 4.6 when she started Prep.
I'm sure it is an individual thing.
DD1 has coped brilliantly. Or to borrow a phrase from a PP, she is excelling. Her behaviour is and always has been exemplary. From Prep there has never been any question over her ability to sit quietly, listen, follow direction etc. She is an excellent reader and speller (she is 7yr and tested at 10.5yr ability) and she is in the top reading group and spelling group in her class, and that is a class of Yr2/3 composite. She is average at math, but math is not her thing she has no time for it Takes up too much reading time.
Socially, as she is in a Year 2/3 class she started the year at 6.5yrs and there were children in her class that were 8.5yrs. She has made some lovely friends (new to the school this year) and that is across both grades. She is quiet, but she is naturally quiet, that isn't just at school, it is at dancing and swimming etc as well.
I'm not worried about the later years? DD1 will turn 17 in June of Year 12, sure half of her year will turn 18 in the later half of the year, but half of her year won't as well. It isn't like she will be in minority.
Good luck with your decision. I can absolutely understand parents being hesitant. I just wanted to give you an example being they can be the youngest in the class and excel.
Last edited by Pina Colada; 11-08-2012 at 06:36.
I'm a NSW kindy teacher and these are the questions I always ask parents:
1. Don't worry about them being academically ready, are they emotionally ready and mature enough to handle school?
2. What are their self help skills like? Can they put on and take off jumpers/jackets etc, blow their own nose, manage their belongings, even simple things like opening food packaging and poppas.
3. Can they manage being away from you for long periods of time?
4. Do they interact easily with other children or do they tend to sit back and watch? Are they able to manage conflict?
5. Can they handle not being a winner in games or do they become a screaming mess if they don't get their own way?
6. Kindy is quite demanding these days, are they able to sit and listen for reasonable periods of time then follow instructions?
These usually give you a good idea as to whether a child is ready or not. Keep in mind repeating is not ideal as they can miss out on programs such as Reading Recovery in Year 1 (if the school offers it). Also they establish such strong friendships in the first year it can be heartbreaking for a little one to have to start that process all over again.
To the PP who mentioned Best Start this is a tool that teachers use as a starting point when developing our teaching program. It gives us an individual point of reference for each child so we gain a clear understanding as to what skills they are bringing to school with them. It's not something to stress about! I've heard of parents having their pre-kinder children tutored to be ready for Best Start which is crazy!!! It's not a test to compare kids it's the start of the teaching/learning cycle.
I would suggest finding out about your school's transition program and put her into that. We quite often have children who complete transition and then the parents decide to keep them home for another year.
Sorry that was long but I hope it helps in some way
Personally I would try to get her into a preschool program first, I think there are a lot of expectations placed on kindy kids and a preschool can ease her into the group experience without as much pressure.
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