Jump to content

Starting Kindy Early or hold off

  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#26 The Old Feral

Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:54 PM

View Posteboyd, on 11 June 2014 - 07:17 PM, said:

It would be so much easier if there was two start dates. It's ridiculous that a kid that it born April 30 in 2015 can start kinder in 2015 but a kid born one day later can not. I get that there has to be a cut off but there should be some sort of flexibility rather than a strict date.

There is flexibility.  Parents of kids born between 1 Jan and 30 Apr have a choice of 2 years.  That's a pretty big window of flexibility and it has to end somewhere.

I would not send a child super early if their social skills aren't there.  Better to do what you have done with your eldest and choose a school that will support him academically while sending him at a time that is appropriate to his social and emotional development.

#27 laridae

Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:06 PM

View Posteboyd, on 11 June 2014 - 07:17 PM, said:

It would be so much easier if there was two start dates. It's ridiculous that a kid that it born April 30 in 2015 can start kinder in 2015 but a kid born one day later can not. I get that there has to be a cut off but there should be some sort of flexibility rather than a strict date.

I think you are looking at it wrong.  Anyone who sends their child before the year they turn 6 is actually sending them early.

They have to start school (prep) the year they turn 6.  So they can start a little early (the year they turn 5) if they are born 1st Jan - 30th April.  Or they can start they year they turn 6 if they are born 1st Jan - 31st Dec.

So there is a whole 4 months leeway.  But its got to end somewhere.

I think I prefer the Tas system.  Strict cut off 1st Jan, none of this will I send them or hold them back stuff (which isn't actually holding back - its deciding to send them early).

Edited by laridae, 12 June 2014 - 03:08 PM.

#28 ByJeepersMizPeeper

Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:28 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 11 June 2014 - 04:12 PM, said:

I'm finding it so confusing, and I don't want to mess it up.

It is so hard to work out isn't it! and I'm up to my 5th child and it doesn't seem to get any easier.

My DD missed the cutoff by just over a month and whilst we where reasonably happy to let her go the following year she's driving us insane (haha) and it was her Paed that actually advised us to have her tested and strongly consider early entry.  So we had the testing done, all good yep she's well and truly academically ready, her preschool teachers have also advised she's well and truly socially and ready to start school but theres always that little bit of doubt in the back of our mind if we're doing the right thing.  Everything screams yes we are but because we're sidestepping the system so to speak it doesn't feel right.  Only time will tell and I really think at the end of the day you're not going to screw their lives up that dramatically over when they start or don't start school.  

Age can be a factor but one of my boys is in a split year class and whilst he's only 9 one of the other students has just turned 12, (he's the youngest and she's the eldest, and he started on time) and they're all coping just fine.  Kids adapt and are very adaptable!

Edited by CrunchyNut, 12 June 2014 - 04:30 PM.

#29 JKTMum

Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:03 PM

I'm assuming that as Tassie has a strict Jan 1 cutoff that their first year curriculum is set up to cope with the kids who are academically/socially advanced when they start as well as the kids who really struggle in those areas.

I know in some areas here in Victoria, the Prep curriculum and expectations are set towards the older kids, those significantly younger really stand out. In our area deferment is encouraged, there are 3 year old kinder classes set up specifically aimed at those kids who are deferred from starting.

We delayed starting DD1 (March birthday). At the time we didn't know she had Aspergers, that wasn't diagnosed until she was almost 9. Having that extra time doing two years of 3 year old kinder did help her mature.

DD2 on the other hand was a July baby. She started reading at 3, was socially, emotionally and academically advanced, but being July even early entry wasn't an option for her. She has had a few good teachers over her primary school years who have extended her, but unfortunately there is no formal extension program at her primary school. She goes to secondary next year and they do have a great extension program, she will get much more out of secondary than she has at primary.

It is difficult that they have these cutoffs, but the line has to be put somewhere, it will always disadvantage someone. Would be nice if they could start in a sort of halfway class and then advance when ready to the next level, but that would be really difficult for the teachers with kids starting at all times of the year and going onto the next class again at all times of the year.

#30 cristina86

Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:40 PM


Edited by cristina86, 07 February 2015 - 03:17 PM.

#31 cristina86

Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:05 PM


Edited by cristina86, 07 February 2015 - 03:17 PM.

#32 Ritaroo

Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:08 PM

What would your child gain from going early? If they are as bright as you think, in terms of the curriculum, they will be fine with the reading, writing etc of school. I would be more inclined to see if socially and emotionally they are ready for school.

#33 Goblin Face

Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:32 PM

View PostJKTMum, on 12 June 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

I'm assuming that as Tassie has a strict Jan 1 cutoff that their first year curriculum is set up to cope with the kids who are academically/socially advanced when they start as well as the kids who really struggle in those areas.

The curriculum doesn't need to adjust for anything because very few children are not socially ready for full time school.

Children down here do one full year of part time kindergarten (4yo) at the same school as they attend FYOS.  They are socially ready because they are already there, comfortable and part of the school community. By the end of the kinder year, they are already in the school routine, familiar with the teachers etc. They have huge opportunities for settling in during the part time year. They have already made friends with other kids, they wear the uniform, they use the school facilities. All of the social settling and getting into school routines really occurs in kindergarten.  By FYOS they are ready to get into full time schooling.

I won't say holding back doesn't happen, but it is almost unheard of.  There is 1 boy in our kindergarten class with academic delays who turns 5 on 31st December and will be repeating the kindergarten year. He is the first for a number of years at our school.

All kindergartens are attached to the schools. The government provides 15 hours of kinder each week to every child. Starting school really is classed as this kindergarten year down here. And there isn't all the fuss about being ready for school like there is in other states.  It is a great system, and I think a great way of ensuring kids are ready for time school.

#34 JKTMum

Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:22 PM

In Victoria very few schools have a kinder attached. Mostly only the higher fee ELC - year 12 schools do, with a smattering of others. Even the three and four year old kinders are different in our area, the four year old centers purely run four year old groups due to numbers then cant run three year old classes, they are run separately at other venues and demand for places is high, not all kids can secure a place.

Most kinders are run by the local Councils as stand alone centers, no uniforms, often the friends they make in four year old kinder will not go off to school with them. In DD2's kinder class at the end of the year the kids split off to about 10 different schools, public, Catholic and private. Our Catholic school only had three orientation sessions of an hour each (purely in the classroom, not necessarily with the teacher they would have the following year), so many kids really had very little introduction to their teachers or the layout of the school, or how a school day runs and then had to get used to making new friends often without any familiar faces (back then kinder was only 10 hours per week mostly split between three sessions, but DD2 did two sessions of 5 hours, now they have 15 hours).

DD2 being the youngest of my three  and a sociable kid was very comfortable at school, having been around there since DS started when she was 6 months, DD1 on the other hand despite being around school for three years when she started was still very shy and unsettled with the school routine and higher class size/school size. Took her a lot longer even at almost 6 to settle in and start to learn. DS was also a shy kid but more academically focussed so did ok.

There was very little play based learning once they got to Prep, they were straight into full academics and were expected to be able to sit and listen at group time and work at their desks when required. Many kids coming from purely play based kinders (our area does Reggio for kinder) struggle to cope with the expectations of the much more structured environment of school.

I really wish they had a similar setup to Tassie in Victoria. Apart from a half day the first day they start and Wednesdays off for the first few weeks, the kids go from playbased part time in a totally different environment to fulltime 5 days per week 9-3:30 days in a much more demanding environment. I'm not surprised that a number of kids struggle with the transition.

#35 laridae

Posted 12 June 2014 - 10:16 PM

View PostJKTMum, on 12 June 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

I'm assuming that as Tassie has a strict Jan 1 cutoff that their first year curriculum is set up to cope with the kids who are academically/socially advanced when they start as well as the kids who really struggle in those areas.

I think its more to do with that 'school' actually starts for nearly every kid (though its not compulsory) the year before prep, which is kinder.  Which is part time, at the school and part of regular schooling, even though it doesn't actually count as the first year of school.  Kids attending kinder are all turning 5 that year.  So they have a year of part time school, during which advanced kids can do 'harder' stuff, and behind kids can get used to schooling.
Compulsory schooling starts in prep - nearly every kid will have been at school for a whole year before that to get used to it.

#36 JKTMum

Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:53 AM


So they have a year of part time school, during which advanced kids can do 'harder' stuff, and behind kids can get used to schooling.

Those facilities just aren't available to most Victorian kids in kinder.

DD2's kinder teachers were lovely (the same ones all my kids had in their kinder year) but they just didn't have the resources to extend DD2. They always made sure there were plenty of books in the reading corner and in the last term of kinder they set up the Home corner to be a School corner with uniform dressups, little blackboards/whiteboards and lettering charts to use, but there was no explicit academic teaching. Kinder is purely play based, in ours it was one room and a fenced yard, that was it.

They had painting, craft corner (for cutting and pasting), playdoh, water/sand tables, blocks, dolls, cars and trucks, threading activities, even stuff like microscopes and magnifying glasses all great stuff for the kids to explore but for a kid like DD2 who craved reading, writing and maths, there was very little for her to do to foster that.

There needs to be more of a flow between kinder and primary school and at the same time primary school and secondary school to cater for not just the average student, but the ones at both ends of the spectrum too.

She still enjoyed kinder, but she definitely took off once she got to school (she went into a P/1 composite which we were fortunate the school was running that year purely due to numbers) and was often working with the kids in the year above, some who were 18 months older. For maths she went into the top group in the class of three children, with one grade 1 child who was only 7 months older than her and another grade 1 child who was 19 months older than her (deferred Jan child). Once a week she would go to an extension group for an hour which was supposed to be for just more able grade 1 and 2 students, but the funding dried up for that after her first year so it was discontinued (there was a separate group for students in 3-6, again that was discontinued at the same time).

She is now in grade 6 and can't wait to get to secondary school, she is feeling very much over the primary curriculum and her teacher is struggling to give her work that can challenge her. She did a maths test the other day which only a select number of the year 6's have been chosen to do. They had 22 minutes to complete the test, she finished it in 7 minutes and got 100%. I'm not saying she is advanced in all areas, she's not,  but there are barriers to how far you can go once you reach the top of the curriculum offered. Unfortunately although our primary could cater for her maths when she was further down the year levels, once she reached the upper levels they couldn't. They don't have streamed classes and now no formal extension program (limited though it was to only one hour per week), the teachers are left to do that as best they can within each class.

I've gone off on a bit of a tangent, but I suppose I'm just pointing out that the current system (from my area of Victoria) seems to cater for the average aged, average academic, average social/emotional maturity kids and doesn't do as well to cater for the kids who for whatever reason don't fit into that neat little box.

#37 eboyd

Posted 16 June 2014 - 04:03 PM

We have decided at this stage that we will just keep him with his age group. It will mean he will start school when he is 5 1/2. I am not looking forward to the battle to get him extended that we no doubt will have (even with the school we are in, which is great). However we and the few teachers we have talked to do not think he would cope socially with school earlier than that. Thank you all for your responses. I really do appreciate the time you all took to write back. :)

Edited by eboyd, 16 June 2014 - 04:04 PM.

#38 Bearynice

Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:03 PM

It's great that you have come to a decision. I think social skills are a very important aspect to kinder and starting school.
I think he will be a good age when he starts school.

#39 eboyd

Posted 16 June 2014 - 08:22 PM

Yes, the overwhelming consensus was that as it is not usual for children to start early, in fact in VIC parents of children who are born Jan-Apr will often start their children in the year they turn 6, he would struggle to keep up socially and physically with his peers if we started him early.

It is just a different mind set that I have to get used to I guess. I grew up in NZ where you start on your 5 th birthday, no matter when in the year that is. Parents very rarely will start their children later than this, and I am pretty sure you would have to get approval to do so.

I am not saying either way is wrong or right, it's just different and I need to adjust my mind set is all :)

#40 sophiasmum

Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:54 AM

We don't have the whole kinder issue here in NSW, they either go to day care or preschool from I'm guessing around age 4. Mine always went to day care, never preschool because the hours didn't suit work, but I don't think this disadvantaged them when they started school, it's not different IMO. Is kinder compulsory where you live OP?

#41 eboyd

Posted 17 June 2014 - 02:28 PM

Kinder here is the same as pre-school. No it is not compulsory here either. It is only that there is a kinder attached to the school (which is unusual in state schools in vic) so I want him to go to that to get used to the school before he starts. My DS is very shy until he settles in so I want him to have plenty of chance to do so before formal schooling starts.

#42 Angel1977

Posted 17 June 2014 - 02:59 PM

I think you made the right decision. In my mothers group all the kids are March-April babies and all will be starting school next year (five turning six). I have quite a few friends with kids born the same year in those first few months and I don't know any sending theirs early. In our area having your child turn six is definitely the most common option.

It's weird for us as we are now in the US and DS1 will be starting FYOS in August. Being an April baby he is the perfect age. So all those I spent debating it with my mothers group was irrelevant in the end!

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Top 5 Viewed Articles

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.