Things I Know : The Starting School Edition

In Queensland, the school cut-off date is June 30th. Children have to turn 5 by June 30th to be able to start Prep in that year. So technically, Nick could start prep in 2013, because he turns 5 on June 30th. However, if he had been born 10 hours later, he would not be allowed to start prep in 2013, he’d have to wait until 2014.

Prep is not compulsory. But I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t send their child to prep and sent them straight to grade 1.

I know my son can go to prep next year, but I also know he’s not ready. He would be the very youngest in the class, and as it is now, he’s still quite shy in a classroom setting and likes to take a back seat. In my opinion, 4.5 is way too young to be going to school.ย And with him being born so late, we do have the option of holding him back a year. His kindy director believes another year will do him good, and as he will then be one of the oldest, it gives him the opportunity to take a bit more of a leadership role, and it might bring him out of his shell as far as interacting with others goes. He tends to do things alongside other kids, not necessarily join in with them. That might be his age, it might just be his personality. Either way, if he excels in the next year at kindy, there’s still the possibility he could go straight into grade one and not need to do prep.

I can’t believe we got to this point so quickly. It seems like just last week he was born. I don’t know why people are so anxious to send their kids to school. I don’t want him to grow up, maybe because he’s my only child, and will always be my baby, I don’t know. I do know that we need to make the right choice here. Of course we want to give him all the tools to succeed and to enjoy school, and sending him too early may be detrimental to that.

I know that I am not upset about holding him back a year as it means I get a bit more time with him before he’s officially a school kid. It gives him a bit more time before he has to deal with home work and all the other little stresses that come with starting school. It gives him a year to mature, to be a kid without responsibilities, and it gives us all another year to come to terms with the fact that we have child starting school.

What age did your kids start school? Do you think 4.5 is too young?

Linking up with Dorothy at Singular Insane for Things I Know Friday.

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19 thoughts on “Things I Know : The Starting School Edition

  1. my nephew is an end of march baby and my sister struggled with whether or not to send him. His pre school teachers all said he was ready intellectually and so she did send him but she also discovered a little too late that he wasn’t emotionally ready. He is now in year 5 and everything has evened out but the first few years were rough. Only you know whether or not your child is ready, trust your instincts xxx

    • That’s the problem, my instinct has been all over the shop! I’m far more comfortable waiting a year than I am sending him next year. As far as I’m concerned the decisions is made! thanks for your input x

  2. I think you know what is best. As hopefulraeofsunshine said – often they are really mentally but emotionally they aren’t. And, while it may not be an issue when they are little, it will be a lot more noticeable when he is older (like high school age) and then it is too late to change anything.
    Enjoy the extra year that you have him at home and not at school – being able to travel outside of school holidays, an extra year off before homework starts, an extra year of no school lunches – enjoy the time together !
    Lotsa love, hugs and positive energy !
    Me

    • I am definitely in no hurry to start the school run/lunches/homework routine! I’m quite happy just the way we are, and wish it could stay so forever!

    • I had already scheduled this when you tweeted yesterday and I laughed out loud. very timely! I am NOT super sure he’s ready, so am very comfortable with the decision to wait a year. It won’t hurt him (or me!)

  3. If you think he’s too young just run with it. 5.5 is a good age (i think personally) because they’ve got that socialisation down just that little bit better. http://www.schoolatoz.com.au website has a lot of resources on the kids of questions you’re asking. I produce material on it from time to time. (I know what you mean about being your baby, if feel the same with my only poppet. I want her to stay a baby forever, although she now disagrees. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you for that. Will definitely go check it out! I trust the educators at his kindy to an extent, but at the end of the day everyone thinks about their numbers, too. I wish Nick would stay little for ever too!

  4. All the best with your decision. I know my brothers, both born in April, were held back a year and it was one of the best things for them ๐Ÿ™‚ Go with your gut feeling and do what is best for your son.

  5. I think you are doing the right thing. it is such a funny thing being at the cut off – my 9yo was born at 1:30 am on July 1 so missed the cut off by less than 2 hours and was so ready for school i was upset about it (we had been in sydney with different dates so did not know that would happen) in the end it worked out great for us and i am sure it will for you too! enjoy the extra time together – that’s what we did. – deb xx

    • Everyone keeps telling me that girls typically ARE ready at the younger age, boys take a bit longer. And a couple of school administrators have told me that they’ve had people who were in your position and really wanted their kids to go to school. I guess there HAS to be a cut off date, but just seems like 2 or 10 hours here or there shouldn’t be enough to make a difference!

      • Yeah. Our issue started with no places in preprep and I wanted her to have that transition year since she’d not even been to child care. I have heard boys can be better off with the later start too.

      • Can’t reply to your second comment. Weird. Anyway, was just going to say I think when I said to hubby “If he was 11 hours younger he WOULDN’T BE ALLOWED to go!” it put it in perspective for him! Nick’s had a few years of daycare/kindy so he’s ok in that sense, but definitely think pre-prep is good for them to get used to the idea of school and being away from mum.

  6. I agree with everyone else, I think you know your son best, and what you think will work for him. Thankfully I have a few more years to think about it, as my daughter is only turning two next month, though as you said, time flies and they grow up so quick! xx

  7. My son was an end of March baby in NSW and I held him back, which was the best decision I could have made. My youngest (who is only 2, lots of snuggle time for me yet!) is a late April baby so I’m already expecting to hold her back too. I keep thinking of later on when they are in high school and if they are the youngest they may miss out on events because of their age. Only you know for sure if you’re child is ready or not. It sounds like you have made the right decision. Enjoy some extra time and extra snuggles with him!

    • I will definitely enjoy having him to myself for a whole extra year! Time just goes too quickly, I’ll make the most of it all! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. All children mature at different rates and all you can do is trust your instinct. My oldest son was born in January and as our cut off is 30 April, I could have held him back a year, as was recommended by the kinder teachers. It turned out though that he was just too bright for kinder and didn’t get the point of all the “childish” stuff they did there. He was more than ready for school intellectually, even though socially and emotionally he was definitely on the young side. I knew I couldn’t provide him with the intellectual stimulation he needed at home or through other programs, so he went to school. Now in grade 4, he is so well adjusted on all levels, makes friends easily and thrives academically.

    Enjoy your extra year…

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