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  1. #1
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    Default starting school- the choice between being the youngest child or oldest child?

    Just wondering people's experiences either way / good and bad.

    DS is due to start school next year (2013) but he only makes the cutoff by 4 days. Academically I think he's doing quite ok but I worry about the emotional stuff... for example today when I picked him up from daycare (he's enrolled in Qld Govt kindy program 3 days / week) he was sitting in the middle of the floor howling because he was having trouble putting on his shoes and socks (staff were adamant he knows how to put his shoes on / insisting he asks for help before they help him).

    So my question is has anyone been in a similar situation where they had to choose between sending them to school the youngest child or keeping them home?

  2. #2
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    I think in general, they say that the older kids find it easier. It makes sense... they've had a whole year extra to get these things down pat, they've had a whole year to learn to pull themselves together a little more, and they've had a whole year extra to develop their various skills.

    THe downside I see to my daughter being one of the oldest (she missed the cut-off by 25 days), is that she's going to turn 18 in year 12. She'll legally be an adult and I worry that any me trying to tell her what to do will result in, "I'm an adult, I don't have to do that..." blah blah, or spending her time drinking or whatever instead of making sure she does well academically.

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    I was the youngest and loved it. Can't imagine being in high school at 18! I think it totally depends on the individual child though xx

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    We made the cut off by 17 days and he is the 3rd youngest in the class. While he was socially ready, academically he is far from it and you can notice the difference between the kids. Most of the class is at least a good 8mths older than the last few kids born late may/june.

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    Hi op!

    I was one if the youngest in my year and really wish that I had started later. I was only four at the time.

    Gymbaroo run a school readiness program if that's something you feel might help ds prepare for school.

    You will have doubts no matter what but that's what makes you a good parent. You want to do what's best for your child.

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    It's hard isn't it. My son will be 5 this November but hes quite immature for his age so I'll be equally as worried about him. Some 4.5 year olds will be super ready... Some not so much.. I guess that's the nature of school

    ***Happy to be a Mummy & Daddy of ONE! :-) ***
    Last edited by Happy2be3; 30-04-2012 at 20:04.

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    My son is 4 in may so can start school next year BUT I will be holding him back I'd prefer to know he is ready in every way and I don't believe he is right now.

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    Hi there, it is a hard decision and will depend on each individual child, but here are some things that helped me make the decision:
    1. Don't sweat the academic side of things- as I have been reminded by teachers, that is what school is for. Social and behavioural maturity can be more important.
    2. Is your child socially aware and able to do what they are told the majority of the time? Children are expected to be able to behave appropriately at school, even at Kindy, as I have found out.
    3. Is your child big or small in size? Sounds strange, but if you have a big child, they could look 'too big' if they start a year later.
    4. Don't believe the hype that it is best to hold boys back just because they are boys.
    5. Is your child keen to learn? If so, they are more likely to flourish.
    6. Does your child have good motor skills good? eg using scissors, holding a pencil and so on.
    Just a few suggestions that helped me. My DS2 is born in March and he'll be starting next year aged 4 and 11 months. All the best whatever you decide

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    I was always the youngest in my class and never had any problems. Academically I was way ahead throughout primary school, and it never caused any social/emotional problems. I also appreciate that I was relatively young when I finished school...I would have hated to still be at school at 18.

    It depends so much on your child though. Maybe talk to his teachers at childcare, the teachers at the school where he'll be going and to him. That's all I can think of that might help you make your decision...decide how ready he is based on what you know, what he thinks and what the professionals think.

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    Hands down ... make him the oldest rather than the youngest.

    We were faced with this decision last year and I found it extremely traumatic and difficult. But, in retrospect I can see clearly now and it's so simple. My ds was academically much more than ready for school, but socially he was struggling. He was finding it just that little bit harder to do things like put his jacket on before going outside (without being asked heaps of times), putting his clothes/shoes/etc on with minimal help, choosing what activity to do if faced with multiple options, etc.

    He's in his 2nd year of Kinder and will start school next year at just age 6. He's so much more confident & social this year and I'm 100% sure we made the right decision.

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