Starting School

@pinklilly (3446)
Australia
January 31, 2007 10:09pm CST
What are your thoughts on the right age to start school should a child be held back. Here in Australia state Victoria Pre school /kindergarden is attended at about age 4-5 and then followed by primary school 1st year prep at age 5-6 then followed by grade 1,2,3 etc High school starts at age 12-13 year 7 through to year 12 at age 17-18 I know each Child develops at their own rate but if their age allows them to continue at school should they or hold them back a year? I will explain my concern My son has just turned 4(31st Jan) and is illegible to start Kindergarden and is currently attending how ever I have the delema will he be ready for school next year. allot of the other children are already 4 turning 5 this year and I feel he will be left behind by the age barrier. But I really don't want to keep him back as I think he will be o.k and he loves playing with Older children and is a quick learner etc. I know it all comes down to the individual child but I just feel so streesed about the situation... Then I also consider the fact if he gets to say 16 and wants to drop out or do a trade or something at least he will have that extra year... I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts and experiences on starting school It's driving me crazy thinking about it all...
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4 responses
@ossie16d (11834)
• Australia
16 Feb 07
They are standardishing the starting age for all states here in Australia pinklilly. Part of the reason for this is because in Victoria they could start school much younger than in other states, but when the parents moved for some reason, a child who turned 5 in June could actually be in a class with others who were up to 2 years older. Our son was born in December, so the age wasn't an issue at all for us or him. However one of the boys that started school the same year as our son was not coping at all, so he was held back a year. That did him the world of good actually and he did very well even in his later years of schooling. In later years, one of our son's mates at school turned 5 on 30th June, which meant he actually started school the same year as our son. When the finished Year 12 and went off the University was the real problem, as this other young man wasn't mature enough to cope with the pressures put on him. He was younger than the others, couldn't legally go to the Pub and so tended to be left out unless he broke the law of course. His parents were very strict, which did not help matters at all. On the other hand another mate of our sons had his birthday in March, but he hadled the transition with ease so it does depend on the maturity of the child. Also some states are now bringing in legislation that a child has to reach a certain Year at school before they can leave, rather than an aged based leaving age. I do not like the new idea at all, because there will be some children at school simply because they have to be there and do a certain year. This means that they are not at all interested in learning, can be disruptive to other students and the teachers. Suggest that you put him in kindergarden and if the teachers there think he is not ready, they will tell you if he should be kept back for another year. If you think he is ready, then why deny him the opportunity to learn, but first talk to him about it. If it does seem once he starts that he is unhappy, talk to him as well as his teacher and see if there is a coping problem. It is a troubling time for everyone, but in Australia you can legally keep them out of school until they turn 6. It is more about maturity for age than about the actual age they should start school as far as I am concerned. Good luck pinklilly and I accept that this is a troubling time for you while you weigh up the pros and cons. :)
@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
22 Feb 07
My main delema is that if he is not ready I have to decide by the end of term 2 so as to defer him but I don't want to I would like him to do 2 years of kinder but they said that I wouldn't be able too for funding reasons and then he would not be garrenteed a spot int the kindergarden and that is what is really getting at me.. I want him to do this year at kinder and maybe next year too or at least do two years of prep maybe... I don't want to pull him out and then him have nothing, it is litually driving me insane trying to make the right decision... It hurts me to think he will be laughed at by others because he is younger or a little slower because of his age.... Everyday it is on my mind and it is annoying as the school and kinders don't seem to help...
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I live in the US, and in my school district your child has to be 5 by August 31st to start school. My son turned 5 September 20th, so he missed the cut off by less then a month, at first i was thinking of putting him in a private kindergarten this year and then start him in first grade next year, but then I thought about it and I am glad i didn't because his maturity level was not there for him to start kindergaten this year. So yes he will be older then the other kids in his class, but i think he will get more out of school though. I think the schools do put an age limit for a reason, i think you should just go with the flow and see how it works out. if he is bored later on with his studies because he knows them all maybe you can move him up a grade.
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@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
7 Feb 07
o.k Thank you for your personal input it has helped. They just make it so hard here they already ahd moved the cut off date back from July to may and even if they moved it back to Jan he would be fine... I just worry over the smallest thing althrough it is his lfe and education really... ahh as you say Go with the flow and see how things go... I just feel I'm under pressure about making the right disscision....
• United States
1 Feb 07
Here in the states the kids can't start pre-school until 3 yrs old. They go until they are 5 years old. Then it's off to kindergarden. They have to be five before Sept 1 of the school year. It's just the way it is around here. If they don't turn 5 until after september 1st. They have to wait until the next year. It should depend on the child. If they are ready I say let them go and if they don't do well just hold them back to repeat the class. That's just my feeling.
@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
1 Feb 07
Thank you very much for your response.... Your school years seems to start very different to ours here in Oz but it is really great to know. We have 4 terms in a year which begins at the end of Jan then ends just before Christmas in Dec. The age cut to start school that year here is turn 5 by the end of May.... Thanks for you input :)
• United States
14 Feb 07
What are the cut off dates in Australia? I don't know how the school year works for you guys since your seasons are the opposite of ours (I was wondering how it works for you guys). Here in the US school goes usually from the end of August or the first week of September until the beginning of June (sometimes later). Cutoff dates are usually around beginning to mid September. At our school it was Sept. 30. Our son missed that by 1 day (his birthday is Oct 1). So he isn't in kindergarten this year. Our oldest turned 5 at the end of June (2 1/2 months before school started) and did great in Kindergarten. She is one of the smartest kids in her class (she got straight As last term--she's in 1st grade now) and was reading at a 2nd grade level by the end of the school year and hadn't turned 6 yet. She is also one of the smallest in her class. But the youngest is a girl that just turned 6 at the end of Sept--about 3 1/2 weeks after school started. It all depends on the child. I think, even if my son had been eligible this school year for Kindergarten I would not have sent him. He just was not ready for school and would have been one of the very youngest in his class. If it had been my daughter in the same predicament I would have had no problem sending her because she was so ready to go.
@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
15 Feb 07
The age cut off is now the end of April the school year begins End of January through to December. for example a child will need to have turned 5 by April 30 2008 to be elligable to start school(Prep)in 2008 Jan trhough to Dec... Thanks for your explaination of your schooling it is very different to ours it's feels strange to imagine.
• United States
15 Feb 07
That seems like a really late cut-off date. It would be like us having a December cut-off for a September start date (which I recently learned is how they do it in some states). If my kids was close to the cut off in that case I might hold them back because they might be a lot younger then their classmates. If we had a cut-off like that my middle daughter would be eligible for Kindergarten this year (which is the same as your prep you are talking about) since she will be 5 in Nov. She would be almost a year younger then some of the kids in her class. I would probably hold her back then because I don't think she would be ready. She is supposed to be starting preschool this fall.
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@pinklilly (3446)
• Australia
22 Feb 07
Thanks for a little more added information it does help...