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#1 Lintu

Posted 02 June 2018 - 10:30 AM

Sorry everyone, I just don't know what to call this.

My just turned 4 year old is in a play based daycare centre in their 4 year old funded kinder programme. He is a typical 4 year old in his ways, but hes a smart cookie.

He recognises 10+ colours
Can recognise the letters S, M, X, I, T, A, N, D and O
He can recognise numbers up to 10, out of order, can count up to 20 without help and 40 with help.
He can recognise advanced Shapes like heart, star and house.
He can reconise his name and knows all 3 of his names when asked (but we rarely use his middle name so he often forgets)
Hes a social whiz kid. I can't keep him quiet,he loves to be around people.
He loves puzzles and playing games like connect 4, memory and snap, which I love as it shows his retention is great and he knows how to take turns fairly.
His imaginative play is on level with his age.

But at daycare is when it all goes out the window.
Ive been told he can't sit still, he goes from activity to activity frequently and struggles sitting on the mat during circle time.

They had an assessor in giving him a test for a 5 year old and he passed it (there was a cutting exercise but hes not used scissors) and that he has an immature hugh five grip on full length pencils (yet I recorded him with proper pencil hold on a paint brush 😒). The report says he has no behavioural issues at all but just can't sit still, again, me and his grandma challenged him, he sat for a good 10 minutes with me going throgh shapes, numbers, letters, colours, he even did a few sight words with me, while tired. Never once losing focus.

He turned 4 a month ago and from what the assessor gave me hes at or beyond his age in learning, but they want me to keep him back because he just can't sit still.

They had a concern about hearing sensitivity but the audiologist said he has no problems at all, so thats that out of the window.

To be honest I think he might get bored easily (I know I do) and hes not being challenged enough.

I bought academic books for him which he begs me to let him take them to daycare, he will happily get them out of his bag and sit and attempt to do them (though what happens with that and the staffs comments when I leave is a mistery)

I don't want to hold him back and find out he gets worse because he wasn't supposed to be held back, I have had this ongoing problem/fight with the centre as they have held him back in a room that has been inappropriate for his level each time because he was the youngest in the class, yet children who could hardly put sentences together, let alone count to 20 were being sent up because they were a few months older than him, and he was getting extremely frustrated because he was bored at not being challenged enough in his play or by staff and peers who were too young for him.

What would you do as both me, his dad and his grandma (who was seething that they issued a test for a 5 year old to a 4 year old mind you) are wondering what to believe. The child we see at home or the child daycare says he is.

#2 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 02 June 2018 - 10:53 AM

Children behave very differently in groups to one on one. So you will definitely see a different child. It doesn't mean either of you are wrong.

His distractability could be as a result of boredom because he is bright or it could be  immaturity.

While the skills he has are great they are all skills that can be taught.
I would be interested in what he does on open ended tasks - does he spend hours creating engineering masterpieces out of boxes and tape, intricate lego constructions etc. How is he at problem solving. When he paints/draws is it recognisable, have extensive stories attached to it.  I am not saying he SHOULD be doing any of these things but to me they give an indication of a child's cognitive development rather than letter recognition.

He's only just turned 4, what is the school cut off in your area?

What are the qualifications of his kinder staff? How long has the centre run this program? is it the type of LDC that adequately resources this program or is it just part of regular care?

As regards hearing sensitivity, it is not related so much to what sounds he can hear but how he reacts to the over load of sounds around him. I would not expect an audiologist to detect a sensory sensitivity.

As regards who to believe, it depends. Remember at school he will be one of a group just like at day care. it's not the same as being an only with 3 adults supporting you.

#3 BornToLove

Posted 02 June 2018 - 10:57 AM

FYOS is a whole different ball game to kinder in a child care setting. I know, DD’s kinder was trough her childcare. DD struggled a bit in childcare because of the lack of structure and consistency (part time staff and kids so each day was with a different group). Academically she was a lot like your son, socially she was also doing great. However she found her stride in FYOS because of the routine and predictability of a school environment.

I would talk to the school you plan to send him to. They will have more experience with the transition from childcare to school and what you and your little guy can expect. I would make my decision more on what the school has to say regarding how kids like your son do in FYOS sand beyond rather than the kinder/childcare.

#4 Lou-bags

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:02 AM

All of this ^^^ (referring to anon’s post)

Don’t be that parent who refuses to believe your child’s carers about his behavior and capabilities. You have one child, who yes does sound like he’s above average in many areas- they have seen hundreds. For the most part (if they’re good and I realize I’m lucky that my kids carers have all been amazing), they’ll be on top of where he sits compared to his peers and will be doing what they can to help him work on the things he needs help with.

Both of my kids (4 and 1) behave differently in different settings. It’s not that you’re right and their wrong, it’s that you each see him in a different environment.

Him being able to sit still for 10 min with one adult focused entirely on him is a whole different scenario to staying put on a mat for a story or whatever with 10 other children.

I’m not sure what you are after, though, it’s not clear? He’s in the right class for his age, and he seems to be doing ok? Is it just the having trouble sitting still that’s an issue?

My DS1 was the same when he started kindy. He’s a very tactile, physical boy and in a new environment he was too excited and overwhelmed to stay still for long. He’s got much better over the year. Perhaps by the end of the year he’ll be ok with that and ok to move up?

Does your DS play independently at home?

Edited by Lou-bags, 02 June 2018 - 11:07 AM.


#5 Jennifaraway

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:06 AM

As a data point, my DS sounds similar to this in many ways. At 4 he could count to 100 with help and could recognise the alphabet etc. We got his speech assessed (he had grommets eventually) and the therapist was giving him 5yo level questions. But he also has ADHD and had lots of trouble sitting still, paying attention, etc. Also the emotional regulation and attention issues that tend to go with ADHD. He could focus for ages on things he was interested in (trains!) but not very well on other things. He was MUCH better at things like puzzles, going through shapes and numbers etc when I was sitting with him. I think I got really good at keeping him on track and paying attention, without really realising. In another context like daycare he wasn't getting those reminders so didn't seem as good at it as he really was.

Obviously we had more concerns  about his attention etc than you do. And comparing him with his younger sister made it really obvious - she's super alert. But even my excellent GP said his issues could just be because he's super smart and his mind was working really fast.

We got him properly assessed by a psychologist and the results were pretty clear :D Without my prompting in the tests he really couldn't follow the instructions as well as I knew he should be able to.

We started him on Ritalin not long before he turned 5. Best thing ever. He actually stated reading by himself within a couple of weeks, and he could finish a sentence without being distracted! He started school this year reading at a year 1 or 2 level, and already able to do basic addition and subtraction. He's also calmer and more able too control his emotional reactions to things.

Anyway, maybe it's worth getting your DS assessed. Part of the test we did was an IQ test (which compared with results from other kids his age). It could be that he really just is very smart and is getting bored. But he might still not be old enough to behave like an older child so not be ready for an older age group. It's not necessarily how smart the kids are or what they know, it's also their maturity levels. If that makes sense (sorry on my phone so it's hard to reread my post).

And that was an essay! I hope it gives you something to consider anyway (even if in the end you don't think it's relevant to you).

#6 Nobodyelse

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:07 AM

Emotional maturity and intellectual maturity are two different beasts. I was much like your DS, whip smart, social, knew my name and tested two to three grades higher than my age.

But emotionally, I was four. So I did two years of kinder. It really isn't as big a deal as you are expecting. It isn't an indication of his abiltity.

#7 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:15 AM

He  is 4. He will start school next year. There is nothing to suggest he won't be ready.

What are you concerned about except that maybe your child is not as exceptional as you thought?

#8 Poppie1

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:17 AM

Emotional and social development skills i would rate as more important than academic - in reference to beginning school. I would trust the qualified early childhood educators and independent assessor, for them to approach you about this and have someone come into observe says that they have concerns and they are wanting to work with you in supporting your child.

#9 sarahec

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:17 AM

He sounds like he’s not socially ready which is the most important thing for school. How is he with taking direction, getting along with others etc.

My son recognised the entire alphabet at 2 etc all his letter sounds at 3, but he wasn’t ready for school until 5/6, his language was behind and he needed help with writing his name and cutting activities.

#10 Mmmcheese

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:22 AM

The child is going to have to sit still and listen in a group of up to 25 children with one teacher next year. So much sitting and listening, all of that other stuff doesn't really matter if you can't do the sitting and listening in a group with an adult who isn't a relative.

#11 ~J_F~

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:26 AM

One on one and with a parent is entirely different to a school setting.

Don’t dismiss what they are saying. You have 6 months to make a firm decision one way or other, a lot can change in 6 months or not much at all.

Make the decision closer to the end of the year.

#12 Lintu

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:27 AM

View PostChief Pancake Make, on 02 June 2018 - 11:15 AM, said:

He  is 4. He will start school next year. There is nothing to suggest he won't be ready.

What are you concerned about except that maybe your child is not as exceptional as you thought?

Not at all, I am after other peoples suggestions as to how to go about this, being a first time mum, who never went to school in Australia (I am originally from England, which had completely different rule sets for children going to school) I am working with daycare on this, I was pulled aside 3 weeks in to his kinder year for them to tell me he was not ready for school and that's when we started trying to work this out, with little help from them other than comments of "he still cant sit still"

Recently I have been sending him in with challenging things to do to rule out if he is bored or not, which I have received no feedback from to be able to further work with them. It's frustrating to say the least because the report he was given from the assessor said everything what I said in my OP to do with daycare.

#13 laridae

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:39 AM

View PostLintu, on 02 June 2018 - 10:30 AM, said:

I don't want to hold him back and find out he gets worse because he wasn't supposed to be held back, I have had this ongoing problem/fight with the centre as they have held him back in a room that has been inappropriate for his level each time because he was the youngest in the class, yet children who could hardly put sentences together, let alone count to 20 were being sent up because they were a few months older than him, and he was getting extremely frustrated because he was bored at not being challenged enough in his play or by staff and peers who were too young for him.
They move the oldest up because the rooms have age limits on them. It doesn’t matter if your child is a genius, they aren’t going to move them up if they aren’t old enough.
And those children that can hardly put sentences together. My daughter is one of them, she has a severe speech delay due to hearing loss. Doesn’t mean she’s not smart, in fact she can do all the those things you’ve listed your son can do except count to 40 (we are up to about 8) and obviously her conversation skills won’t be as good. She knows a lot more letters though. She’s not 4 for a couple more months.
I’m just saying, don’t judge a kid by their ability to talk (or count).

The not being able to sit still thing, my daughter is the same. She’s got a lot of energy. If I take her to classes, or activities (and I’m guessing she’s similar at daycare), she can’t sit still. Always moving, always exploring. She’s the one constantly jumping or running around like a mad thing.
At home, or one on one, she’s fine. Happy to sit, read a book, play a game, makes up endless stories with her duplo people, or whatever else she can find, her speech therapist and audiologist thinks her concentration is really good.

Her swimming and gymnastics teachers tell me she lacks concentration and doesn’t listen, so total opposite. Mind you, she still does what they want, it only looks like she’s not paying attention as she’s fidgiting and moving so much. They tell me it’s just her age and she will improve.



#14 MrsLexiK

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:46 AM

This is my experience with my oldest (who was speech delayed), in pre kinder we were told they thought he would benefit to moving up to the 3 yr old kinder room as he was showing signs of bordem. By sept that yr he had caught up with speech and was actually sitting in front of what was expected for his age. He did well going to the orientation days in the 4 yr old kinder room, and he sat concentrating on a game or activity for 30 mins. So we moved him to 4 yr old room. He could write his name, count to 100, knew all the colours (and shades) and shapes, knew the alphabet, could do basic addition, recognise some words. However at kinder he went into a shell and didn’t even talk to his teachers. The only reason we moved him up, was for acedemics he showed and wanted to learn. It seemed silly to push him forward if he wasn’t comfortable in showing his abilities. He tested brilliantly in assessment they did for acedemic stuff but he still didn’t tick all the boxes socially. We kept him back and it’s the best thing we could have done. His still shy but he participates.

Our day care kinder has bachelor kinder teacher for 4 yr old and 3 yr old rooms. It’s pretty structured. Same routine every day it’s expected the kids will be there from 9 -3, lunch boxes get bought once a week for bush kinder and for the last 6 weeks of “term”.

My sons Aunty is a kinder teacher and her son is 10 months younger then mine. His going to school next year, he can’t count like mine, doesn’t do math etc but socially he ticks all the boxes and that’s whats more important. Same as a child from mums group- his just so different socially to my son. He couldn’t write his name or recognise words but that’s what school was for to teach him that. My sons immaturity meant he wasn’t participating in activities like he would one on one. (My son has self taught himself most of that stuff and just picked it up somehow. We’ve done nothing special with him his got a great memory which I think helps). We are not worried about him being board because the school he is going to (as do most schools) work the child at their level. They expect the child to keep improving and have fortnightly year level meetings where they discuss each child and how to support them at whatever stage they are at. My DH was a big maker in the decision, he had been sent early - accedemics came naturally to him expect socially he was off and he was immature (he admits this), a more mature student could have said his the work was to easy and participated more.

#15 lost_eb-er!

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:55 AM

I guess you could turn it around and say to yourself 'what possible motive would the day care staff have for telling me this, if it's not actually the truth'?

I'm not a educational or development expert but the skills he has sound about normal for his age. With the exception of snap and connect 4, my 2 yr old can do those things and she's not exceptional for her age. I find with my kids, I often feel like they are exceptional and know things all the other kids don't know when I see the other kids in a group play setting (like daycare). But then when I see the same kids in a smaller setting (like on a 1 - 1 playdate), I realise they have pretty much the same level of skills as my kids. It's easy to be blown away but our kids skills and abilities because we constantly see them at their best.

#16 IkeaAddict

Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:59 AM

DS is a May baby and could have started school at 4 and 8 months (NSW). Academically he was well and truly ready but socially he was nowhere near ready. Yes he did get a little bored at the extra year of daycare, especially towards the end of the year but socially that extra year worked wonders!!! He started school at 5 and 8 months and has been at the top of his class, academic, ever since and has a large social group and is a popular kid. He handles the public speaking well, handles crap in the playground etc. You also need to think of the logistics. It's not just sitting in the classroom it's all the other little stuff. Like managing his lunch and recess and lunchbox. Schoolbags, homework, toilet breaks, playground issues, everything else that goes with being at school.

#17 MrsLexiK

Posted 02 June 2018 - 12:05 PM

He also needs to sit still for far longer then 10 minutes. Our kinder class starts with 10 mintues and through the year works up to an hour of Mat time “learning/activity”. Depending on the class make up really depends how long mat time can go for. If one kid won’t sit still for more then 10 mins it’s distracting to the other kids.


#18 Heather11

Posted 02 June 2018 - 12:15 PM

Has the daycare centre tried strategies to facilitate sitting still longer? A wobble cushion, fidget toy etc?

#19 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 02 June 2018 - 12:16 PM

View PostLintu, on 02 June 2018 - 11:27 AM, said:

Not at all, I am after other peoples suggestions as to how to go about this, being a first time mum, who never went to school in Australia (I am originally from England, which had completely different rule sets for children going to school) I am working with daycare on this,

Recently I have been sending him in with challenging things to do to rule out if he is bored or not, which I have received no feedback from to be able to further work with them. It's frustrating to say the least because the report he was given from the assessor said everything what I said in my OP to do with daycare.

Sending your child in with his own work to do is not "working with them".
Assuming you have qualified staff - and you said it is a funded program so there should be a bachelor trained teacher you have basically said to the staff "you have no idea, your program is so bad I am sending in my own activities.
I have been teaching sessional kindergarten in Victoria for over 30 years I have never had a parent do this, I am not surprised they are not giving you 'feedback'.
The staff do not disagree with you about what your child can or can't do. For what it's worth we have children of a similar age writing sentences and making books so your son's abilities are not atypical.
However they are saying to you we are worried about your child in a group setting due to him being unable to concentrate and sit still. This is not typical behaviour for our children.
Incidentally for them to approach you that early means they are very worried.
Instead of listening to them you are responding - "my kid can recognise 8 letters and count to 20"
And then so disrespecting them you don't even trust them to deliver his education.
i think the only answer is to move centres. The relationship has completely broken down.

#20 spartan_mum

Posted 02 June 2018 - 01:01 PM

I don’t have the same  issues but my son is starting school next year and so have started the process. One of the things they have said in the info nights is that it’s always better to hold back if you are unsure as if a child is not ready it will become even more noticeable a few years down the track with regards to maturity ie being 11 in high school when some kids will soon be turning 13. I hadnt thought of that before as it doesn’t apply to us as I have a November child but it does make sense.

They also talked about making the final decision until later. You don’t have to decide now wether to send him next year so just wait and perhaps speak to the school if you are still unsure.

Can you think about it that way? It’s not about his academic ability it is about his maturity to handle school and socialise with his peers? Holding back a child back from kindergarten is a much easier process than having a child in year six not ready for high school

#21 Future-self

Posted 02 June 2018 - 01:24 PM

View PostLintu, on 02 June 2018 - 11:27 AM, said:


Recently I have been sending him in with challenging things to do to rule out if he is bored or not, which I have received no feedback from to be able to further work with them.
Yes, you've mentioned sending him with Academic workbooks etc. TBH t's a really good thing that he's not being allowed to skip key social and emotional development activities to do workbooks by himself - it's probably a good thing that the teacher is ignoring your push there.

He's just turned 4 and as far as I can tell, there is no additional needs etc. So who was this assessor and why were they 'testing' your child in May for school readiness against 5 year old benchmarks?

ETA I also want to reassure you about being in an unfamiliar school environment because of your schooling in England. Try not to let it worry you unduly. Those of us who were schooled in Australia wouldn't recognise the schooling these days either - especially in early primary - things have changed. That's not in and of itself  problem :)

Edited by Future-self, 02 June 2018 - 01:27 PM.


#22 Nobodyelse

Posted 02 June 2018 - 01:49 PM

View PostLintu, on 02 June 2018 - 10:30 AM, said:

Sorry everyone, I just don't know what to call this.

My just turned 4 year old is in a play based daycare centre in their 4 year old funded kinder programme. He is a typical 4 year old in his ways, but hes a smart cookie.

He recognises 10+ colours
Can recognise the letters S, M, X, I, T, A, N, D and O
He can recognise numbers up to 10, out of order, can count up to 20 without help and 40 with help.
He can recognise advanced Shapes like heart, star and house.
He can reconise his name and knows all 3 of his names when asked (but we rarely use his middle name so he often forgets)
Hes a social whiz kid. I can't keep him quiet,he loves to be around people.
He loves puzzles and playing games like connect 4, memory and snap, which I love as it shows his retention is great and he knows how to take turns fairly.
His imaginative play is on level with his age.

But at daycare is when it all goes out the window.
Ive been told he can't sit still, he goes from activity to activity frequently and struggles sitting on the mat during circle time.

They had an assessor in giving him a test for a 5 year old and he passed it (there was a cutting exercise but hes not used scissors) and that he has an immature hugh five grip on full length pencils (yet I recorded him with proper pencil hold on a paint brush ). The report says he has no behavioural issues at all but just can't sit still, again, me and his grandma challenged him, he sat for a good 10 minutes with me going throgh shapes, numbers, letters, colours, he even did a few sight words with me, while tired. Never once losing focus.

He turned 4 a month ago and from what the assessor gave me hes at or beyond his age in learning, but they want me to keep him back because he just can't sit still.

They had a concern about hearing sensitivity but the audiologist said he has no problems at all, so thats that out of the window.

To be honest I think he might get bored easily (I know I do) and hes not being challenged enough.

I bought academic books for him which he begs me to let him take them to daycare, he will happily get them out of his bag and sit and attempt to do them (though what happens with that and the staffs comments when I leave is a mistery)

I don't want to hold him back and find out he gets worse because he wasn't supposed to be held back, I have had this ongoing problem/fight with the centre as they have held him back in a room that has been inappropriate for his level each time because he was the youngest in the class, yet children who could hardly put sentences together, let alone count to 20 were being sent up because they were a few months older than him, and he was getting extremely frustrated because he was bored at not being challenged enough in his play or by staff and peers who were too young for him.

What would you do as both me, his dad and his grandma (who was seething that they issued a test for a 5 year old to a 4 year old mind you) are wondering what to believe. The child we see at home or the child daycare says he is.

Not sure why you picked a play based environment for your son when you're so compelled for him to focus on academia.

And to be blunt, nothing you've mentioned really strikes me as advanced enough to warrant early school admission. He's slightly ahead in things he's memorised but nothing you have mentioned indicate anything more than the ability to remember and exposure. How is his ability to reason, his time management skills, can he follow multi step instructions without assistance.

My DS could build lego for 7-12 yos at 4 without any help from an adult. He built a giant police station that was the biggest box on the shelf. It took him two days. No one but him touched it. It was impressive and is certainly a talent and strength of his but alone it didn't make him school ready.

You need to look at the wider picture. You assuming kids who can't speak as being behind your son in ability speaks volumnes of how you are assessing his. It is far more complex than being able to recognise the shape of a heart, a star and a house (which, frankly, pretty much all 4yos can do).

#23 Paddlepop

Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:19 PM

You've got almost 8 months to go until school starts. That's heaps of time for a 4yo to grow up a lot. They seem to really mature in the final 6 months before school. I would stop worrying about it, enrol him in school to start next year, and then make a final decision about it all much closer to the time.

#24 too tired to care

Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:25 PM

My son was exactly the same, could have gone at 4 1/2 but we left him at preschool as he could not sit still and concentrate for longer than 10 minutes on any one activity at pre school. This meant he was not socially ready for school as
he would have been the naughty kid who kept getting up, moving etc and distracting all of the other children.

it was during this year we recognised that he had some sensory seeking issues so saw an OT.
The OT assessment was great. He has sensory seeking issues, due to low muscle tone and hyper mobility, and auditory processing disorder was therefore easily distracted in the preschool environment, unlike at home where it was quieter and had more one on one time.

We are working on these now so they should be sorted for school next year, or at least well on the way for him to be able to sit and participate well in class.

Trust the preschool. Your child is not the first to do all of the things you mention and he will struggle and cause issues for others if he cannot sit still. There really is no need to rush schooling, let him have another year of playing and let him mature more so he is fully ready for school. You can keep doing the extension work at home if you feel the need.

It might also be worth  getting an OT assessment to see if he has sensory seeking issues or other that could be causing the distraction and inability to sit and concentrate. just to rule it out.
If he does not have these issues then you will need to work on his skills/ concentration in the face of many children, distractions and 1 teacher to a fair number of children.

#25 Lintu

Posted 02 June 2018 - 05:14 PM

Thank you to all who have offered genuine advice and their experiences towards this. The mention of the wobble cussion or fidget toy was especially helpful and I will be asking daycare if they would be happy with him trying one. I will look in to an OT with them too.

For those who I may have offended with thing I have posted, I am extremely sorry, it was not my intention at all, I was basing it on the children that I know got moved up just because they were a couple of months older than DS.

For those saying that the audiologist would have been useless, it was reccomended by daycare as first port of call, therefore we did it. We just went with what they told us to do. If I'm a bad parent for doing as they asked and working with them, so be it.

The ones saying "good, he can't do his books" I'm not forcing the daycare to make him do them, not once did I say that. The handful of times he has asked me and taken them in its been during free play in the morning and hes been sat on the mat or at the table enthusiastically talking to his classmates about it, with a carer sat there smiling watching them (hell, if they want to photocopying the pages for use with the kids for a different task I'd say go for it!) If it was a problem they know they can tell me and I would tell him he couldn't take them.

For those of you who felt like attacking an unsure first time mother with no knowledge of Australian schooling for asking for advice thinking I was showing off and my son is 'exceptional' yeah, I never said that, I said he was a smart cookie, no where near 'exceptional', and this isn't just based of what I've seen, it's based on what his carers have told me in his time at being there. So well done you guys, you've made this mum not want to ask for advice from here ever again. *slow clap*




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