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  1. #1
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    Default 4yo kinder - Vic - What would you do?

    A bit of background: My DS will be 4 in under 2 weeks. We started him in a 4 yo kinder group this year.
    He has been attending childcare since before he turned 2. When looking at kinder, one of his regular carers - with many years experience - commented that he was "definitely ready" last year.
    He has been looking forward to kinder for well over 6 months, he is always so excited to go (literally shakes with excitement each morning) and was coming home so happy.

    I asked his teacher recently, how he was settling in...and my world has come crashing down. She set up a meeting time with her...

    First of all, she highlighted he was doing Everything that is Developmentally appropriate for his age, that he's very enthusiastic and she can see he loves it..........BUT Then said he requires alot of extra support to do basic tasks - like remembering to put his lunch box away before joining the group on the mat, or leaves the mat before he is supposed too.

    They have said they should be able to follow a 3-step instruction. E.g. "Put your drink bottle away, find your hat, and come and sit on the mat" but quite often my DS will leave out one step.

    She said THEY prefer the children to be 4 turning 5 when attending, not 3 turning 4 because they need so much extra support to get through, and she worries that they will struggle in prep the following year. She never directly said it, but has hinted that we should pull him out and start him again next year.

    When i walked out, i felt like it was alot of generic "we prefer the 4 turning 5 because they're easier" kind of thing. That its easier for them if he isnt there because he takes up an extra few mins here and there.

    I Will say here, i have worked in childcare before DS for many years, i have my diploma, and know how frustrating it *can* be when theres a child who requires the extra direction.

    She said to leave it, think about it, talk it over with my partner, and that theres no real rush to decide, but that the longer we do leave it the more settled he will be. Just knowing his personality, I know if we pulled him out he would be CRUSHED and we would probably have a really hard time getting him to start next year. He loves it so much and is already talking about the other children, and telling me all about his day with excitement when i pick him up.

    Today in passing i asked how his day was...and she made a point of making a bit of a face and said "well.....he is still having trouble with instructions...so...you know...." and left it at that.

    Another concern i have, is he has wet his pants 3 times already this year. I know he is one who gets busy and side tracked... But twice, the staff havent picked it up. Today when i put him into the car, his clothes had almost completely dried, but he smelt like dry urine
    I WAS really happy with our choice in kindergarten, and really excited about him going, but now im actually quite sad and annoyed over it.

    I feel awful. I dont know if i should keep him in, and work on things, which i have been trying to do since our talk - a week ago... If i pull him out he will be crushed emotionally....But if i keep him in and he ends up NOT being ready for prep next year - then what? We are ONLY a month into the first term though... and alot can happen in a year. He generally is a very cluey kid. He just get side tracked very easily.

    What would you do??

  2. #2
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    Default 4yo kinder - Vic - What would you do?

    It so hard with kids who are at the cut off (so to speak). My ds is 4 in April and we have sent him to 4 yr old kinder this year (did 3 yr old kinder last year at the same place) but will be repeating him next yr but sending him to a different kinder. Developmentally he is ready but we think it will be more beneficial for him to have that extra yr. Do you think this could be an option for you?

    ETA: Ds is currently in a NSW kinder but will be going to a vic kinder next year, not sure if that makes the process easier.
    Last edited by Happymum2; 03-03-2015 at 07:51.

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    And I would also be saying to the kinder teacher that it's only been a month, please give my child enough time to settle in! When starting my ds last year, they said that it usually takes a term for them to settle into the routine. He is there to learn these things, they are there to help teach him.

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    I would suggest doing 2 years of 4yr old kindy if you are concerned about being ready for prep.

    Also it's never okay to have kids in soiled clothing and not change them, I'd bring that up with them.

    Perhaps even look into a different kindergarten.

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    If you are thinking of repeating I'd start discussing it with kinder now. From what I've been told it's quite difficult to get 2 years of funded kindy in vic and involves a lot of paperwork.

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    We were in the exact position as you OP, the kinder teacher approached me in the first week of March saying she didn't think DD was ready and that we should defer, I was also gutted and thought to myself gosh give her a chance.

    She was VERY socially ready, would run off happily at drop off, even though half of the 5 year olds clung to their mums legs, but as you mentioned she also had trouble with tasks and needed a lot of encouragement and reminding.

    The teacher was worried that they wouldn't have the time to constantly talk her through every task and she'd be left behind so to speak.

    I also asked about doing 2 years of four year old kinder if at the end of the year she wasn't ready for school and she explained that was very difficult in Victoria.
    to get an extra funded year you would need 2 professionals such as the teacher and psychologist/ speech therapist/ occupational therapist etc to put it in writing otherwise you wouldn't be funded and up for a few thousand dollars.

    It was a very difficult decision and we waited until 2nd term until we decided to defer her, and honestly it was the best decision we ever made. She's now about to turn 7 and in grade 1 and thriving academically. I really think she would've struggled in the long run if we didn't hold her back.

    A lot of mums have also said to me that you'll never regret holding them back, but if you don't and they get to school and have a hard time you may regret sending them too early.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies! I have no idea which way to go, she did highlight it would be quite a task for a second funded year at kinder, which i understand....She's said she will be getting some information for me about it. Im just so confused.

    I agree that having a child left in soiled clothes is unacceptable.

    Added: I spoke to his childcare educator today, and asked how he follows instructions etc...she said shes never had a problem, he always listens, and completes tasks that she asks.. She's said she will keep an eye out and make notes today on how he goes...but she was actually shocked by the conversation.
    Last edited by shadowangel0205; 03-03-2015 at 10:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel0205 View Post
    Thanks for the replies! I have no idea which way to go, she did highlight it would be quite a task for a second funded year at kinder, which i understand....She's said she will be getting some information for me about it. Im just so confused.

    I agree that having a child left in soiled clothes is unacceptable.

    Added: I spoke to his childcare educator today, and asked how he follows instructions etc...she said shes never had a problem, he always listens, and completes tasks that she asks.. She's said she will keep an eye out and make notes today on how he goes...but she was actually shocked by the conversation.
    I agree, it's the hardest decision. That's why it took us months to decide.

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    What a hard situation for you. Is there a cut off time where you need to decide? Or could you give it another month to see if he improves with following instructions and if not then pull him out and look for other alternatives? Like Montisori or a child care where he'll be in the same room as 4 year olds? You may have to sell it to your ds as moving to a different "kindy" for reason xyz. Good luck with it all

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    i THINK she said we needed to know by the end of term 2.


 

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