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Anyone regretted holding their child back?
NSW, March boy, send him to kindergarten in 2013 or 2014?

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25 replies to this topic

#1 qwertyuiop

Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:23 AM

I have a four year old son who will turn 5 in March 2013. We're in NSW and I have the choice of sending him to primary school (kindergarten) in 2013 or 2014.

My son is at a currently enrolled (3 days a week) in a great preschool. The teachers have told me that they think he might be best of to spend another year at preschool. The main reason they give is that they think the extra year will give him extra emotional maturity. They say he cries very easily if things don't work out as expected and the extra year will give him the chance to become more resilient in a safe environment.

Academically he is fine. He enjoys learning. He is happy, social kids who loves playing with other kids. He says he's happy to go to the preschool for another year.

I've got two younger kids at home and I worry that he'll be bored next year (even though he'd go to preschool 3 days a week) and I won't be able to provide him all the stimulation that he needs as he has to share my attention and energy with his siblings. I'm worried he might play up as a result.

I've heard from many parents that they regretted sending their child early. I've also heard many parents say they have been happy with sending their child early. So far I haven't heard anyone say they've regretted sending their child late. Has anyone here regretted holding their child back? Are there any risks if I hold him back? Any advice appreciated.

#2 *Kell*

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hi OP,

My sister has 2 boys. She sent the first one to school early, and he couldn't handle the social interactions, so ended up repeating year 1.
The second she started at 5, and he has had no problems.

I have heard this MANY a time with boys, but the opposite with girls, saying they should start at 4, if possible.

I think (especially because the childcare has recommended it) you should keep him back for another year.

Or alternatively, you could speak to the principal of the primary school, and ask their opinion.

Good luck.

#3 Libertine

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:11 PM

There's a big thread on holding boys back currently going in What Do You Think?

Might be of interest to you op.


#4 Manicmum

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:11 PM

I would listen to his preschool teacher.

#5 PrincessPinkenIt

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:17 PM

My DS is a March baby, and we decided to hold him back as he was very emotional and would get very upset about a lot of things.
I do not regret it at all holding him back a year.

#6 boatiebabe

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:18 PM

I have a March DD and she went when she was 4 and 10 months. Academically she is fine, but she did struggle a little in the beginning with the more street smart 5 year old girls who could run rings around her with their emotional/social games.

She is in Year 3 now and is doing great. Academically doing well and socially she has figured out who the 'nice' girls are and hangs with them.

DS is an early July baby and I held him back (although most other states besides NSW this would not be holding back) - so that he started school when he was 5.5 years of age. The last six months at home with him before he went to school was challenging and I only had one at home. He is tearing up kindergarten and was really ready to start learning.

I know another family (neighbour) who held their boys back - one born in January (started school at 6) and one born in March (started school at 5 and 10 months). At first she was always bragging about how well they were doing compared to everyone else in their class (well der? they were significantly older) and now she is complaining non stop about how gifted her kids are and the school won't "extend" them. Basically they are average kids but are in classes with children up to 18 months younger than them, so they are bored and possibly disruptive because of it.

In saying all that I think you should take very seriously what your day care providers are telling you. But ultimately you need to make the decision about whether he is ready.

#7 Fluster

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:27 PM

I was in your son's position - had the chance to start one year or the next.  I remember very clearly discussing it with my mother and we agreed I'd start the 'next year'.  

It was a great decision - I'm not the quickest socially anyway, and I have no doubt the extra year was beneficial.

#8 Holidayromp

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:34 PM

I have for both DD1 and DD2.  Both were more than ready for school even though they were five weeks past the cutoff.  DD1 was climbing the walls, bored out of her brain at preschool and DD2 was more than ready.

You know your child and it is very individual which is why I don't understand the stupid cut off system because many child are sent to school way too early as a cheap childcare alternative when kids that are after the cut off like DD1 and DD2 have been more than ready.

#9 Heather11

Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:43 PM

Personally I would hedge my bets.  I would still enrol your DS and even do the transition visits to school.  You can always pull out before they start.

The reason I say this is because there is still 4 months before he would start.  He may very well mature and become less emotional during that time.

A term out from starting school my DS was still having major separation issues and wasn't very sociable.  He had a few close friends but didn't mix in the wider group.  In his last term of kindy (preschool equivalent) he matured dramatically. No tears at drop offs and started to make more friends.

We have had no issues with him starting school.  His report has indicated that he is a confident, mature and popular member of the class.  He is also  academically top of the class.

Technically we could of held him back a term or started him the following year not something that is the done thing in SA.

#10 unicycle

Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:08 AM

Yes, I regret having held my shy, but bright, daughter back. Maybe best would have been to skip prep, and go straight to year one the year following the being held back.
edited due to autocorrect

Edited by unicycle, 01 October 2012 - 11:16 AM.

#11 MrsDarcy

Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:42 PM

My DD is an April baby so very close to the ACT cut off.  Her preschool teacher said almost exactly the same thing about her and we held her back. The difference the extra year has made is amazing, she so much more confident and resilient. She is now raring to go for school and getting bored sometimes but I prefer that to her being overwhelmed with emotions and not being able to learn.

#12 bmieke

Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:46 PM

My DS has a June birthday. He was probably bright enough, and was quite fine socially with others, but he was still having big tantrums for me if he didn't get his own way. We held him back, and have been very happy. I was still always worried about how he would behave in Kindy, but he was never in trouble and topped his class. Academically, he just 'got it'.

He is year 1 this year and is in a 1/2 class, which has been great for him socially (to be able to interact with the year 2's).

Edited by bmieke, 30 September 2012 - 06:46 PM.

#13 millie_11

Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

DS1 was 5 in June and I held him back so he'll start Jan 13 - academically he would have been more than ready, but the development in him this year has confirmed to me that socially he'll be much better off having had that extra year at day care. I too was worried that maybe he would be bored, but he hasn't been at all - he's had a great year with his friends at day care, learnt a lot, matured a lot and is quite a different little boy to what he was at the start of the year.

I was totally torn a year or so back and did speak to the school - from what they said he would have been developmentally ready, but day care was also saying he'd benefit being held back. I know now that if I had sent him, he would have been the youngest in the class, and be with kids almost 18 months older - for that reason I'm glad I held him back.

The school also suggested sending him to the transition classes so I could hedge my bets but they also warned that he would probably get excited about going and be really disappointed if he didn't go. So in the end I didn't enrol him.

I also know of 2 March children (one boy, one girl) who weren't held back - both repeated Kindy this year and have benefited massively from being a year older.

All the best, hard decision - DS2 is a March baby and so we will have a similar decision to make with him in a couple of years, but I strongly expect we'll hold him back as with DS1.

Edited by millie_11, 01 October 2012 - 07:44 PM.

#14 EBeditor

Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

I would listen to the pre-school teachers, unless you had an overwhelming feeling that he is ready.

My son's daycare and pre-school teachers thought he'd be fine to start at 4 (also a March baby). Dh and I also agreed that he seemed ready. He is doing really well and I'm glad we decided to send him.

#15 MadamDivine

Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

im debating the same issue (though school is slightly different in SA, its changing to follow the other states in 2014 but my dd is 5 in march next year)

so i have the choice of starting her in march where she will be in reception/prep for only 3 terms then head up to year one or holding her back a term and starting halfway through the year but meaning she wont go up to year 1 the following year and will still do a full year of prep/reception, as minimum is 3 terms maximum is 6 terms of prep.

DD is very clingy, emotional youngest child who still sometimes gets upset at day care drops offs but is slowly gaining confidence. the big factor for me to hold her back is I am due for a baby exactly when she would be starting full time school in term 2 if I send her so I worry that with new baby arriving and her emotional issues as well she may see it mummy sending her off cause the baby is here...

at a loss as to what to do? Am planning on talking to her teacher at care to see what she recomends

#16 CountryBumpkin

Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:16 AM

My son was a late march baby. He cries at the drop of a hat (still does, and he's 7.5) but he's just an emotional child. We talked about holding maim back, but I'm glad we didn't, he took his time, but he he's doing really well now, he was by mid pre primary (in wa it's kindy, pre primary, year 1 etc) he was in day care twice a week and they said he may not be ready, but for me I didn't see the difference. 2 days a week in daycare, which was longer days, or 2 days a week in kindy? As his mum only you know your son that well.

#17 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:22 AM

I'm wildly swinging between starting my daughter next year or not. She will be 5 in July (NSW so right at the end of the cut off) and academically she is doing great - she's starting to read and wanting to learn so school would be great BUT we're moving to a Catholic school next year and they told me she would be the youngest by 5 months. Which just threw me as it seems like such a huge gap which even though she is behaving appropriately for her age it worries me that she will be behind the others in maturity and will struggle with that aspect simply because it is such a big difference in age.

I just don't want her to be on a back foot because of her age compared to the rest of the class and be struggling to fit in.

#18 qak

Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

I am starting DD 'early' next uear as a end April 2008 birthdate.  She is socially & emotionally ready for school.  DS started this year - as an August birthday I had no choice when to send him.

If your pre-school teachers suggest waiting another year then i would follow that suggestion unless you have some positive reasons for sending them 'early'.

#19 Angelina Ballerina

Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

My birthday is the Vic cutoff date.
It was initially decided to hold me back but it was a mistake.
Fortunately a family friend was the principal of a primary school and enrolled me midway through the prep year.

My son is also has a late April birthday and I'm pretty sure he'll fit the stereotype and will start later.

#20 kerilyntaryn

Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:27 AM

I didn't hold mine back - my boys were 4 years 1 month and 4 years 4 months when they started prep, and we 5 when they started grade 1

#21 LambChop

Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:15 AM

The teachers have told me that they think he might be best of to spend another year at preschool. The main reason they give is that they think the extra year will give him extra emotional maturity. They say he cries very easily if things don't work out as expected and the extra year will give him the chance to become more resilient in a safe environment.

Given this, I would hold him back - there is no rush, give him the time to be really ready - all that will happen if you rush him is he'll spend his life being the immature one.

#22 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

I would listen to the preschool teacher.

#23 ~Misty~

Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

Holding him back would not only give him the emotional maturity to cope better with his first year at school but will also be of benefit later on - think of the pressures of high school ...

#24 *Lena*

Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:18 PM

I would listen to the pre school teacher too. I have seen to many young kids start kinder and are not emotionally ready. It does effect there learning.

My son could go next year to. Was born 27th Feb 2008(he was due March). I am holding him back. I have seen such an improvement in the last few months in him emotionally etc but I still think another year would make him super ready. Everyone I talk to says I won't regret holding him back.

#25 Luckybee

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:23 AM

I'd hold him back too, especially seeing as though the pre-school has also recommended it.  My DD is a late March baby and I held her back a year, it is the best decision I ever made.

I've also been told by many parents with older children who held them back that the one year difference at the other end, (ie high school years) makes a huge difference, more so than when they are in infants years.

Best of luck with your decision.

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