This is an interesting study, and gives quite a well rounded view.
It's actually very rare to have an 18 month age gap and as a parent who also happens to be a primary school teacher, I am glad I got the choice to keep 2 of my kids home another year as opposed to other states where I wouldn't have had a choice. The fact remains that still only a very small percentage of parents keep their child home another year, vast majority of parents send their child to school the year they are eligible to start.
Usually the children who are held back have parents who are educated and wealthy. Childcare costs is a major contributing factor and obviously wealthier people can afford daycare fees for another year.
There are several reasons why European, especially the Scandinavian countries are trouncing us education wise. They don't do standardised testing like NAPLAN, instead favouring in class assessment by teachers (which I completely agree with). They start later in age, they have shorter days, and they have generally less pressure to perform which it turn, makes them perform better.
The sad thing is that most younger teachers subscribe to the Finnish/Dutch approach to learning but they are bound by Dept of Education rules on curriculum etc.
This is purely anecdotal for our school, but fairly accurate as I have a lot of school involvement, and most of the younger kids are from the low SES families, while the higher SES/educated families hold their kids back.
Before people get upset that I'm saying only the 'ferals' send their kids early - I'm not. I'm just saying for *our* school that a high proportion of the early intake kids are from low SES families.
Research also shows zero positive effect until Year 10-12
Tasmania wants to start kids at 4.5 it's just going through now.
Dd and ds will be 4 turning 5 for school so I guess I have to wait and see how we go. Both kids goto childcare etc. I make sure I pay for extra help etc
Dd is more than ready she got told she could start already!! But I don't think her impulsiveness is etc like cracking the shuts etc
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