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End of January birthday


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#1 NATPR

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

My daughter turns 4 at the end of January 2014.

There are no issues at all with her and just because SO many people are holding back I am thinking of doing this and if so, I need to defer her 4YO  kinder a year (We are in Victoria).  To obtain another year of funded kinder she needs to have at least 1-2 issues going on to be able to repeat, so I cant really decide at the end of kinder as she will be in the send her on to school group.

Am I silly to do this?


I think the biggest issue in my head is that she will turn 5 the minute she starts school and there will be a majority on the older side.  As she goes into further grades.  It does concern me that if she cannot handle things friendship wise, it will impact her learning.  Academically, I really dont care. We do a lot of things at home to encourage a love of learning, she has great communication and 'toddler knowledge' (did I just come up with a new saying lol).

Her brother was a July baby, so there was no issue.  He started school at 5.5 and it was so great.  He was ready to go and had been 5 for half a year before starting.  

What would be your advise for a  January girl and a mum that just wants to make 100% sure her baby is ready??

#2 Etta

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

My DS turned 5 when he started school. I thought about keeping him back but there was no reason to, and he is doing really well. As it was he found kinder boring, and I don't think it would have been great for him to do it a year later.

Our 4yo kinder teacher said they only recommend holding them back if there are (I think) 2 out of the 5 indicators that they aren't doing well on. And he was doing well on all of them.

#3 DrFeral

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

I would send.  I have sent two kids born early in the year and one less than a month from the cutoff (DS usually has his birthay in the first week of school, DD several months later).  It was a good decision for us.  I find they only learn friendship skills by practicising these and they weren't just going to get that sort of practice at home with me.  The funny thing is by the end of year 2 it is really hard to spot the difference between the older and younger students maturity-wise as the young kids do kind of catch up.

#4 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

Its probably a bit early to decide. MY DD1 turned 4 on Dec 29 and started school in the first week of Feb, we had doubts but felt it was the right thing for her to go. She is the youngest in her class but she was so ready for school, she needed to be pushed and challenged. And has excelled at school. She is very shy but has also had a friendship group and fitted in, she has a variety of friends and has really started to grow in confidence in the last couple of years.

I wouldnt consider holding my kids back unless there was a actual reason for this.  I dont think any kid is 100% ready for school but kids adapt and manage it all a lot better than the parents some of the time.

#5 cinnabubble

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

I'll be sending my daughter who turns five in March 2015 to school in 2015. There's really no reason not to.

#6 Puffin

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

QUOTE (LeSm @ 26/02/2013, 01:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would send.  I have sent two kids born early in the year and one less than a month from the cutoff (DS usually has his birthay in the first week of school, DD several months later).  It was a good decision for us.  I find they only learn friendship skills by practicising these and they weren't just going to get that sort of practice at home with me.  The funny thing is by the end of year 2 it is really hard to spot the difference between the older and younger students maturity-wise as the young kids do kind of catch up.



My experience is almost identical to this.
Didn't hold any of my Feb born children back and they are going great. They were tired to begin with, but then so was my other one who was a July baby, so started school at 5.5yrs - I think generally, all FYOS kids are tired during these early weeks of school.

#7 My-3-Pinks

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

DD1 wasn't quite 5 (Mid February birthday) when she started Prep (in Victoria) and has thrived at school.  Yes, she is younger than some of her friends but academically she is ahead in a lot of areas.  

Speak with her Kinder teachers (if she goes to 3 year old) and see what they think.  I wasn't sure if I should send DD1 at the time as it was so hard deciding while still very young and she also had some language issues.  By the time she got to 4 year old kinder and within the first couple of months her teacher was quite confident DD1 would be fine to attend school.

So glad I sent her when I did as she would have been very bored.  I know a lot of parents hold their kids back because 'they'll be smarter' than the other kids if they are older but this isn't the case.  It of course depends on the child though.

#8 Monket

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

I would send her.  DS is a February babe and turned 5 a couple of weeks after starting.  He is loving school and is certainly not the youngest in the class.  The majority of kids in the class are February babies.  DD turns 5 in April and started prep this year, she is absolutely thriving at school.  DD attended kindy last year and wasnt that thrilled about it but this year, she is doing great!  I wouldn't hold back unless there are developmental issues, I think it could put your daughter as a disadvantage rather than provide any advantages.

#9 delboy

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

My twins have Jan birthdays and began school this year just following their 5th birthday.
Academically I had no worries, socially I worried a bit but I discussed with their kinder teacher who was sure they should go and this confirmed it for me.
I don't believe in holding kids back "just because" there needs to be a reason. One of my friends has held her daughter back and already 2 months in to her second time at 4 year old kinder she is bored and beginning to be disruptive in the class.
My girls have been fine and are loving school. Socially I am still not sure but it is hard to tell as they tend to rely on each other rather than make new friends. That will change in time.
My three year old is a late Jan baby and has just started 3 year old kinder, I can already tell there is no way I will be holding her back!
I think she should go to 4 year old kinder and then you can get advice from her teacher.
Good luck

#10 Bam1

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

You have to make the decision on your child not what other parents have decided will be best for their child. Its is a bummer though if your child is ready but will still be one of the youngest my DS will go when he is 4.5 (June birth) and will most likely be the youngest boy as most boys are held back until they turn 5. But I've found with all my other kids who started at 4.5, they cope well and have really gained a lot from starting school instead of another year at preschool.

#11 Schmig

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

My DD just turned 4 at the end of Jan this year and this discussions is very topical with people I know. To be honest I am starting to get a bit tired of people in VIC wanting to keep their perfectly normal kids back for no other reason than the fact that apparently everyone is doing it. There is a cut off date and your child, like mine is well within it. I really think that unless there is a developmental reason for doing it you should send her. Someone's child has to be the youngest and people keeping their kids back is just making someone else's kid the youngest. (I should know I was the youngest in my year level).

Sorry it is not meant to be an aggressive post I am just overwhelmed by the number of people I know doing this with kids who are  above average intelligence and very  outgoing.

If your child has behavioural issues, is extremely shy or has learning difficulties then that is a totally different story. But you can always send her to 3 year old kinder for 2 years. Just send her and see how she goes. Mine is loving it and will easily be ready for school.

#12 Kemismum

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

Im in NSW so its slightly different but I sent my March born DS just before he turned 5, 20% of his year strangely were turning 5 in March ( all boys ) as well..... despite pre-school telling me to hold him back because he would be the youngest. He really stepped up to the mark at school. We have had hiccups but overall he is now in year 2 and doing fine.

My DD will turn 5 in April. Preschool said hold back because she is young. School said they were amazed she was younger and would fit right in, that we would be crazy to hold her back. They felt the prescool were financially motivated in their advice. There were atleast 8 or 9 kids who were turning 5 this year.  In the end we held her back due to a unresolved medical issue and 4 weeks in I keep threatening to send her into the FYOS rooms at school drop off as she is driving me batty.... I am very concerned that she will be bored next year as preschool are extending her to FYOS stuff. If it werent for the medical issue she would have been at school this year.

What I find crazy is that there are kids only 10 months younger than my DS in FYOS this year....

You really need to make the decision based on your child alone. I personally wouldnt hold a January kids back unless there were significant issues.

#13 lynneyours

Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

OP - DD2's birthday is March 5th and we're in VIC.  So she will start school at 4 and 10.5 months!  It seems very young to me, but she is a second child, and is very outgoing, confident and quite bright so I can see no reason to hold her back.  Unless it is recommended that she be held back, she'll be going when scheduled.  

It does infuriate me  rant.gif  that she will be measured against her peers in Prep who could be MORE than a whole year older than her, because parents just hold their kids back for no reason.  rant.gif

I think they should bring the whole country into line - start ALL kids who turn 5 before June 30 one year and the kids who turn 5 after that the next.  ALL kids.  If they are not ready, the school can determine that and do remedial work or have them repeat.  

I actually like the way New Zealand do it (this is hearsay - didn't go to school in this system).  All kids start the day they turn 5, or the next school day after that if in holidays etc.  They stay in the first grade (J1) until they're used to school then move up.  They could be there a week or a month.  They do this for the first 3 "grades" and then move up yearly with their peer group.  So they could progress through the first 3 grades in a few months or many months.

#14 barrington

Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

I'm really not understanding why you are considering starting her at 6, rather than 5?  Shouldn't the default be that children start at 4.5 to 5.5 if there are no medical/social reasons to start later?

FWIW, my child will be 4 when she starts Prep next year.  I haven't given it a second thought.

#15 Sentient Puddle

Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE
To be honest I am starting to get a bit tired of people in VIC wanting to keep their perfectly normal kids back for no other reason than the fact that apparently everyone is doing it. There is a cut off date and your child, like mine is well within it
To be honest - I am starting to get a bit tired of people having an opinion about my child that in no way impacts on yours.  There is an April cutoff in Vic and any child starting during the time they are allowed are going "on time".  Not early or late.  All those children are going on time.  And for the record - all the primary schools in this area want their Preps 5 turning 6 in the year they start school not 4 turning 5.  That is the advice we were given - so that is the advice we followed.  You need to do what is right for your child after consulting with the Prep teachers, school and kinder.

#16 mards

Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:28 PM

My kids are both Dec and Jan bubs and they went to Kinder when they turned 5.. They are doing well - and we have no issues - i think its funny that they are in classes with kids that are a FULL year older than them..

Also I saw a friend the other day who's DD turned 5 in Jan and I asked her how she was going in Kindy - and she said we decided NOT to let her go as I wanted her to spend another year with HER before starting school - as SHE wasn't ready to let her go....

mmmmmmm I find it a bit strange - but each to her own. -

Edited by mards, 26 February 2013 - 03:28 PM.


#17 Kreme

Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:35 PM

I honestly think that you would only have this concern in Victoria. In the rest of Australia the majority people would send a January born child unless the child had specific medical or developmental issues.

I am in NSW and my kids attend a large public primary school in a high socioeconomic area. I have a child in Year 1 and one in FYOS. The oldest child I can recall from last year was a boy who turned 6 in March. He has a medical condition and can miss school at times. So far this year all the birthdays have been 5 year olds.

But I can't answer whether the popularity of holding back in Victoria has made it truly difficult for "younger" kids or if it is all perception.

I think you have to base it on your child and the opinions of experts. And then you have to be strong enough to ignore the views of other parents.

Good luck  original.gif

ETA: I forgot to mention my own DS who turned 5 at the very end of December. He is doing brilliantly at school and really loves it.

Edited by kreme, 26 February 2013 - 03:37 PM.


#18 sammyv

Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE
I actually like the way New Zealand do it (this is hearsay - didn't go to school in this system). All kids start the day they turn 5, or the next school day after that if in holidays etc. They stay in the first grade (J1) until they're used to school then move up. They could be there a week or a month. They do this for the first 3 "grades" and then move up yearly with their peer group. So they could progress through the first 3 grades in a few months or many months.

It is slightly different, they start on their 5th birthday, at the end of the year if they started in term 1 or 2 they go up if they start in term 3 or 4 they stay in grade 1.  But if they are ready to up and started in term 3 or 4 they do and if they are not ready to go up and started in term 1 or 2 they stay in grade 1.



#19 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:00 PM

QUOTE (lynnemine @ 26/02/2013, 03:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think they should bring the whole country into line - start ALL kids who turn 5 before June 30 one year and the kids who turn 5 after that the next.  ALL kids.  If they are not ready, the school can determine that and do remedial work or have them repeat.


I wonder whether this will have to be a consideration with the new national curriculum because otherwise you will have kids that vary a couple years in age in the same grade across Aus.

#20 Heather11

Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

QUOTE
I wonder whether this will have to be a consideration with the new national curriculum because otherwise you will have kids that vary a couple years in age in the same grade across Aus.


Only if it was changing to end of April  I would say.

SA starts its 'single intake start date' for school next year.  The cutoff is end of April.  I can't see them starting with this date only to change it in a couple of years.

#21 Bam1

Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE (barrington @ 26/02/2013, 03:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm really not understanding why you are considering starting her at 6, rather than 5?  Shouldn't the default be that children start at 4.5 to 5.5 if there are no medical/social reasons to start later?

FWIW, my child will be 4 when she starts Prep next year.  I haven't given it a second thought.


You would be surprised then at the amount of people who do hold their children back, there is an age range of 20 months in my DD's kindy class with no special needs children.

#22 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

QUOTE (Heather11 @ 26/02/2013, 05:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Only if it was changing to end of April  I would say.

SA starts its 'single intake start date' for school next year.  The cutoff is end of April.  I can't see them starting with this date only to change it in a couple of years.


Same as Tas, single intake date. They have to turn 4 before Dec 31st and they start the next Feb in Kinder.

#23 Hunch

Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

My DD has just started Prep in Vic. She turned 5 in September so we didn't really have an option, but TBH I think she really could have benefitted from an extra year at pre school and home ( no special needs that we know of, just such a huge adjustment).  DS is not 3 yet and is March born, I am undecided on him, leaning towards deferring.It is a hard decision and doesn't simply come down to ' send them when they are eligible'.
FWIW I believe Australia has one of the earliest school starting ages in the world which I find interesting... Also the literature my council send out in regards to enrolling in kinder/ per school makes a big statement advising parents of children born Jan to April ( April cut off) to consider deferring school entry.  No wonder it keeps me up at night!
Sorry OP, no good advice but I understand the dilemma.  DD has so far been invited to 3 parties from school friends - all turning 6.  
Best wishes with your decision.

#24 Julie3Girls

Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

From my experience, all my girls were more than ready to start school around their 5th birthday. I wouldn't even think of holding back a child who had turned 5 in jan unless there was a specific reason.

With regards to the cutoff, I don't have a problem with the cutoff being slightly flexible. Fact is, some kids might be ready to start school, other kids might not be, and I think starting kids who aren't ready is likely to be more detrimental, not only to themselves, but to other kids in the classroom.  
My preference would be a standard of starting school if you are 5, with the option to start a year earlier if their birthday is in the first couple of months.

#25 NATPR

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:20 PM

Thank you so much for all of your replies.

I do understand the frustration of everyone holding their kids back and this is the biggest issue really.

If no one was doing it, I would not give it a second thought.  It seems that every second person in Victoria with a child born Dec-Mar are holding back.  When I sent my son to school this year, there are so many 6 year olds.

It really makes it hard, even though I am trying to base my decision on my daughter alone, I feel I am beng influenced by everyone else.  She will be with children who are 6 already and I feel that later on something might happen and I will kick myself I didnt give her the extra year.

Then I read everyone's comments and think how stupid I sound and I should just go forward without reservation with her. I dont have any reason under the sun, except the one I mentioned.  The only other reason I guess I feel this way are all the 'what if's' in the future that I think she may handle better if she was another year older.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to reply.  I thought all the comments gave me a good insight, based on your experiences and really appreciate it.




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