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When is a child ready for school?

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#1 pitzinoodles

Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:18 PM


I'm hoping there are some early childhood teachers, or people in the know on this.

DD is approaching 3.5 and we need to decide whether to start her in preschool next year and school the year after or delay it by 1 year.  She is an April birthday, and the cutoff is 30th April so will be either the oldest or youngest in her class depending what we choose.

She is the oldest child, so have nothing to compare with. I think she will be ok academically as she has a long concentration span can hold a pen, has a pretty good go at writing her name, likes cutting, sticking etc. I'm not sure how to judge her socially. I think she is shy/timid. If there is another kid on the play equipment, she just runs away, even if they are younger than her.

Any to tips for knowing when a child is ready for school?

Thanks original.gif

#2 ally0812

Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:23 PM

do you go to play group with her

? if so, ask the teacher-lady who runs it they will give you a good idea is she ready or not

#3 Impatientmummy

Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

I'm in the same boat with my ds, at this stage we are confident he will handle school, hes a bit shy but not so much with kids more with adults but warms up pretty quick to them. Next year we are putting him in the ready for school room at his current daycare (essentially preschool) & are going to reassess with his teachers if they think he is ready or not half way through the year, if not he will do another year of ready to school rather than having to repeat kindy as he is going private & is a lot more expensive!

#4 261071v

Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:18 PM

Not a teacher- but similar situation a few years ago with an April child with similar personality.

Delayed her entry into 3 + 4 year old kinder as:
1. was not able to ask to play with other children by herself (went and hid behind a tree)
2. would give up during Q &A time when older children talked before her (even in 4 year old kinder we had this problem)
3. didn't like to ask questions.

Our DD attended childcare from when she was 10 months old.

Our local council runs preschool readiness sessions during the year- have a chat with the council, as you may be able to get the written info.

She is now in Prep, and her instance, we know we did the right thing by her.

Our other alternatives would have been trying to get a repeat year of 4 year old kinder or sending her to PrePrep.

ETA: check out the kids in Prep at the school you plan to send her to- that's a good comparison point. Where we live, the children are held back if they are born between Jan-April.   We have also held back our March son, who is more socially able, but not quite there emotionally. I'd rather have a leader than a lost child.

Edited by 261071v, 16 August 2012 - 04:27 PM.

#5 Isolabella

Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:24 PM

You could do 4yo Kinder and then take the advice of the Kinder teacher whether to repeat 4yo Kinder when the time comes. From my experience they seem to recommend anyone Jan-April birthdates to 'hold back' (NB - 30 April Cutoff)

My Early Aug DS2 is actually the 5th youngest out of his 4yo Kinder class of 25. 15 of those children are Jan-March birthdates who were 'held back'.

I actually anticipate my Dec birthdate DD will be the youngest in her class.

ETA: They are actually recommending my already 5yo DS2 be 'held back' (So theoretically 6.5 when starting school) and they do not see any issues with getting approval or funding for another year of 4yo Kinder. We are not going to do that though.

Edited by lsolaBella, 16 August 2012 - 05:26 PM.

#6 ElevenYears

Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

I have the same issue with my daughter (May birthday, but here the cutoff is end of July).  

I'm going to put her in preschool next year, just for two days a week, and make the decision about school in 12 months time.  She can always do two years of preschool.  Realistically, she probably will.

I actually anticipate my Dec birthdate DD will be the youngest in her class.

This seems to vary from year to year and is definitely not the case around here.  In my son's FYOS, it was uncommon to have a sixth birthday in the first half of the year.  Kids turned five up until June, then started turning six after that.  My Feb born child was pretty much smack bang in the middle, age-wise.

Edited by Sevenyears, 16 August 2012 - 04:36 PM.

#7 Isolabella

Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:42 PM

In Vic (30 April cutoff)

DS1 Sept is 5th youngest in his class (only 1 'younger birthdate Jan-April - youngest child of 4 boys)

DS2 Early Aug is 5th youngest in his class (only 1 'younger' birthdate Jan-April and they are being held back for school)

So DD will most likely be youngest with a Dec birthday.

#8 261071v

Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:55 PM

I just want to say that only you really know, in your gut, at this stage as to whether she's ready to start.

There is a little boy who is ahead academically in my daughter's class, and  he only turned 5 in Feb.

On the otherhand, at our creche,  60%  of the kinder room will be repeating next year, with 50% from the year before so we've had to rejig our kinder and preschooler room, otherwise there would be minimal entry available for kinder next year.

#9 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:15 PM

OP have you looked into if it's possible to hold your child back in your state? In some states such as QLD it's hard to hold your child back. We really don't have much of a choice here, kids have to go to school the year they are eligible.
From my experience they seem to recommend anyone Jan-April birthdates to 'hold back'.

That is not my experience in QLD. There was never any suggestion to hold back my April child. The cut off in QLD is June 31st. Here children are rarely ever held back.

OP I think it's too early to make that decision yet. Start her in preschool and make the decision next year. Bit changes will happen in the next 12 months and you might find she is more than ready by next year. I think you really need to talk to an early years educator and get some advise.

#10 libbylu

Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

QUOTE (lsolaBella @ 16/08/2012, 04:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In Vic (30 April cutoff)

DS1 Sept is 5th youngest in his class (only 1 'younger birthdate Jan-April - youngest child of 4 boys)

DS2 Early Aug is 5th youngest in his class (only 1 'younger' birthdate Jan-April and they are being held back for school)

So DD will most likely be youngest with a Dec birthday.

Really?  this is nuts.  My DS has a September birthday and I reckon 40% of kids are younger than him.
His year group pretty much runs April to April. I think there was only one kid with a Jan birthday that was already 6 when school started. Their are a couple of kids, both girls, with March and April birthdays who started when they were 4 and are thriving.  Then a couple of boys with March April birthdays who started at 5 nearly 6.  At this point in the year about 50% have turned 6, but there are plenty of kids turning 6 in Oct, Nov, Dec and next Jan.

OP, with an April birthday you really do have a choice, so the best thing to do is probably send her to kinder to have the option to go early, and do a second year if you need to.  It might also be worth enquiring at the particular school you plan to send her to, to see if the trend is for kids starting early or late, as it seems to vary a bit between schools.

Edited by libbylu, 16 August 2012 - 05:27 PM.

#11 Kalota

Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:55 PM

Hi OP. I am a FYOS teacher.

It sounds like your daughter is ready for preschool, but only you and the people she interacts with can really tell whether they think she is ready or not. Every child is different.

In my Prep class this year I've got two April babies who just turned 5 in April and they are coping fine.

If she has a pretty good go at writing her name, and can cut and stick, she's already doing a lot better than where many of my students where at the beginning of the year! Not many could write their name or even hold scissors/operate a glue stick.

#12 pitzinoodles

Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:59 PM

Well it sounds like it varies a lot from state to state!

We don't have 3yo kinder here, just one year (and apparently only 1 year) of preschool.  So if I start her at 3.75 it sounds like she will have to go to school the next year or I will have to keep her at home, or find a private preschool to take her for a second year.

I like the thought of contacting the school and see what the 'norm' is, but DDs year will be the first of the once a year intake. At the moment kids start school the term after their 5th birthday.

I was hoping there would be some sort of developmental milestones or similar to guage whether the are likely to be ready, but I guess like all things parenting there is no instruction manual! biggrin.gif

#13 Heather11

Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:49 PM

I think with it being the first intake using this system that most parents will be sending their children at 4 because it has been traditional that they start on/around their 5th birthday.  They would have been assuming that they would start that year sometime.  They won't be expecting to have to hold them back for 9 months.

I think it will be a while before it becomes popular/common to hold children back in SA as it is not something that common here at the moment.

She definitely sounds ready academically and she will have a year of kindy to grow socially before she starts school.

My shy DS started in second term.  He only had a couple of real friends at kindy.  At school however he is mister popular and tells me he plays with a different group of friends each day.

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