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  1. #1
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    Default Age of starting school

    My dd turned 4 in January and currently attends a community based preschool for 3 days a week. We plan to start her in school next year (we are in nsw, so she will start kindergarten at the local primary school).

    She loves preschool at the moment and is very excited to start big school next year.

    However, lately I have noticed that alot of parents are holding their children back a year so in her music class that she goes to once a week there are kids who have already turned five which means they will be turning six at the beginning of school.

    My worry is that at this age there can be such a huge difference in kids a year apart. I know with my dd she can make huge leaps in what she can do etc in just a matter of months. I am concerned that with all the older kids she will get left a bit behind. As it is in music I was amazed at what some of the other kids are able to do and their level of confidence compared with my dd.

    At a school readiness session I went to one of the teachers mentioned that most parents now are opting to delay starting school as much as possible so that when they are doing the hsc they are more mature and therefore do better.

    I'm not sure what to do.... Send her next year as planned or wait another year. Does anyone have any experience in this?

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    Each kid is different. The cut off for the states are different too, with qld being 31july compared to 30 Apr in Victoria. In qld it's hard to hold your kids back. You need the pre school to write a letter to the education board and or an assessment by a professional. I think that's ridiculous.

    But in theory I do agree with holding emotionally and socially immature kids back. Its far better for them long term.

    wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.

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    ThenThereWereThree  (30-04-2015)

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    Children must start school in the year they turn six. Technically they're not holding them back. It's better for the child to be confident socially and emotionally before they go to school. The more prepared your child is for school the better they will cope.
    If a child is in kindy who's 4 turning 5 they will be constantly competing/catching up with the children that are 5 turning 6.
    I'm not saying don't send your child just giving you insight

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    Yes I have found the trend at the moment is to hold them back, and IMO those kids do so much better than the younger ones.
    Having said that, your child being January, is kind of in the middle of most kids ages. If she went next year there would still be kids younger than her, and older.
    If she went the following year, she would definitely be the oldest, sometimes by 18 months.
    It really depends on the child. One of my DS1's friends was a January baby who had turned 6, and he actually had some issues socially as all the other kids were too immature for his level and they "annoyed" him.
    Other kids though really need that extra year to mature.

    I'm usually of the opinion to hold them back, but January/February is tricky. Personally I would have sent my kids if they were born in those months. Have you spoken to the preschool teachers about her readiness?

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    Being a teacher I was inclined to hold DD back, so I asked the preschool to make the call. They said to definitely send. I'm glad as our eldest was bored stupid and hated kindergarten, whereas DD is actually learning something but not being left behind and is excited by school. Social, emotional (particularly resilience/persistence) are important also along with self-help skills. I actually feel bad that we didn't send our eldest the year previous but he would have been the youngest in the class and I felt that people would have thought we were being a bit presumptuous.

    I have taught children though who should have started the following year as they've struggled emotionally.
    Last edited by Little Ted; 30-04-2015 at 07:51.

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    I held my DS1 back last year, he started prep this year and is just about to turn 6 (may). Talk to the preschool teachers, they should have an idea if she will be ready. A lot of kids in DS's class were 4 turning 5 and only 1 or 2 had been kept back.
    I would think if she is born in January and developmentally normal I would send her.
    The kids in the music class may have area's that they are good at, but others that they are struggling with that you don't see.
    From what I have read the older kids do find it easier in the first few years of school, but then after that the younger kids catch up.
    My DS does get "annoyed" with some of the younger kids in his class that haven't got a good idea of personal space, but his best friend is one of the kids who is almost a full year younger than him.

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    I think it really depends on the individual child.

    If you feel she's ready, and the preschool feels she is ready, I don't see why you need to wait until the following year?

    It's a personal choice. My DS turned 4 in February, but he'll be starting school in 2017 simply because he will not be ready (he has ASD and will benefit from continuing with early intervention/preschool next year).

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    It depends on the child. Our DD is one of the youngest in her year level (she's now in year 1). There is no way I would have held her back, even though every second person asked me if I was going to. DH and I knew she was ready and her kindy teacher confirmed this. She is absolutely thriving at school and was at home there from day 1. Our friends held our Godson back and that was also the best move they could have made. It's a kid-dependant decision, not a blanket one. Go with your gut and what the kindy teachers recommend.

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    I agree that every child is very different. We didn't send DS to school until he was turning 6 because he just wasn't ready at all the year before. Even then they had to get an aid in to help him settle into school. I would definitely talk to the carers are preschool and see what they say. They're generally pretty good judges of these things.

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    It's definitely a personal call. My middle child was born in February and we didn't keep him back - he was more than ready to go and is in year 2 now and doing fine socially and academically so no regrets here.


 

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