thread: Holding children back = new trend

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Mar 2008
    Sunny QLD!

    Holding children back = new trend

    I went to a Open Day at a private school today. As DD should be starting Prep 2010 so we are starting to look around.

    I was talking with the Prep teacher (or one of) and i asked her about the April cut off and how it will affect her as she turns 5 in March. She started with, "the trend these days is to hold the child back a year, keeping them at home for another year then starting them when they are 6"...

    "the trend?" i cant get past that statement....

    I went on to ask more question's, as DD's Kinder teacher and i think she will be well and truly ready, and the teacher at this school said they do evaluation's at the end of this year, as to whether she would be ready. Which is fine, but i just got to thinking.

    DD started 4 YO kinder when she was 3, turned 4 during first term. Her kindy teacher's didnt even notice a difference between her and the older children, as she was the only one who was 3 going on 4, not 4 going on 5. And so i had just presumed if she was to continue developing at the rate she has, then there would be no question as to whether she starts prep in 2010.

    But the way inwhich this prep teacher was talking was if, that it wouldnt matter if she appeared to be ready, they would most likely prefer to hold her back due to the "trend"!

    Now i have never been one to follow trends, and i am not going to start now.

    Why would i want to keep my daughter either, at home or at kinder again, where she will be bored and then possibly regress???!!! argh

    Anyway, i just really wanted to know some more, either thought's experience etc etc from other's who have been here. Being she is my first, this is all new to me.


  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber & MPM

    Feb 2007

    You as her mum will know better than anyone if she is ready to start school next year or not. The whole reason April is the cut-off is because obviously it has been proven that most children within that age range are ready! How frustrating to hear someone say that to you! But I guess she's saying it because she probably sees a lot of preppies who really aren't ready to be there either IYKWIM. But as I said, you would know better than anyone if she's ready or not and it definitely sounds like she's ready

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Nov 2006
    Western Sydney

    I know that my nephew and the son of a friend of mine were kept back as both their parents and preschool teachers felt that they were not behaviourally ready to go to school.

    This was in contrast to my brother that went to kindergarten at 4.

    Interestingly enough both of them are now showing signs of behavioural issues (one ADD, one Aspergers).

    Its hard to know whether they will be emotionally able to cope, which is probably why people err on the side of caution.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    A trend is a trend and nothing more. If you know she is fully ready to start next year then start her - most of the 'trend' is borne out of some sort of social thing that has nothing to do with children themselves or how ready they are or not. The 'trend' for those going go the convent school in my town is to hold them back a year too. But if you really want to send her to this school next year and go against the trend she is going to have to cope with making friends with older children etc and in some cases she will be a full 12mths younger than some of her peers. In my experience that side of things doesn't really matter much in the long run and I have often had a quiet chuckle at some parents IRL who say in April that they really wished they had of sent them to school instead of keeping them home because they are dead bored at preschool and are playing up etc.

  5. #5
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    I hear ya DS turned 3 in March, which puts him as the last child in his class to start Kinder. He will probably be on of the youngest in his class. But y'know what he was ready, he was probably more ready than some of the other kids. And as I was told its not about education, as that is something they learn *at* school, but moreso its about social skills and the ability to understand tasks, group activities and the biggest one how to say no to another child. These are things they look for (well here in Vic anyway) to see if a child is school ready. However, if for some reason when he is assessed at the end of this year, it shows that he is not ready I will cope with that. I've been told by heaps of people I should hold him back due to his age, and whilst we've thought about it often especially when it comes to coping with VCE emotionally, we will probably send him through as he is. For us I think it would be cruel to hold him back without reason.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jun 2005

    As someone who as meet your DD I would say she is deffinatly ready for school next year..In some ways I think oyur dd is more mature then mine..deffinatly more well behaved...

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Jul 2007

    I was one of the youngest in my year level at school and cause me no issues apart from when i started uni I couldnt go to lots of O WEEK activities as i was under age.

    So thats not really a reason just me trying to prove a point. If a child is ready to start school let them

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Apr 2008

    Let me tell you that the youngest child in my kindy class last year was the most mature out of the lot and also the smartest. He was an all round kid and would have suffered if he had been made to stay back a year before starting school.

    Age is just a number at that age. A four year old can have more maturity than a six year old. If you think that DD is ready you send her hun. Bollox to that teacher who said it is a "trend".

    In fact if she wants to look at "trends" then she would see that more and more children are going to school at the younger end of the scale.

    GL with your decision.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Jan 2008
    In a land of bubbles and trouble

    Oh, this is my bug to bear at the moment!

    My son 01/02/03 baby - we sent him to school last year for kindy after preschool the year before - he was one of the youngest boys in his class (only 1 younger than him)!!! We have had issues with him settling in (apparently), but they have dissipated now. But I thought that was what kindy/prep was for .... silly me ... settling in etc.

    However, IMO only - the reasons I think they thought he was "unsettled" was because more was expected of him compared to the rest of the boys in the class - being in some cases a full 12 months older than him!

    Well, my daughter has just turned 4 on 09/04 and is in preschool. No issues - she is doing everything she should be doing and enjoys it, separates easily etc. However, my SIL has kept her son back who turned 5 in January - so my daughter and her cousin who is 15 months older than my DD will be starting school at the same time - what the???

    So yes - it is hard to make the decision as a parent without second guessing.

    I am very thankful though that there are 7 April babies in DD's preschool this year!!!! but most of them like my DD are subsequent kiddies and not firsts IYKWIM.

    My DD is little too - I am sick of the comments about holding her back - size doesnt matter - she knows more now than her brother did before he went to school!

    Luckily Zander is a September baby and I wont have to worry about this.

    It frustrates me I suppose cos I am a May baby and when I went to school the cut off was 30/06 - and my hubby is a Feb baby also so we were "young ones" too.

    I think the Dept of Ed should look at this again as 12 months between the ages of kids in any one class can be ALOT ....

    Ok, thanks for letting me get that off my chest

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Add ~clover~ on Facebook

    Sep 2007

    I'm trying to make this decision now. DD2 is turning 4 soon. Since the cut off is July here, she could start next year. I had planned right from the start to start her next year, but now I'm not so sure.
    She's not at the level DD1 was before school. She is still having problems with her speech. But then my neice is only a few months older & they aren't too far apart. They do seem to be pretty even with everything they do, except their speech.
    We are starting with a speech therapist soon, & they will do an assessment here to see if she is ready at the end of the year, but I'm not sure I want to wait that long to find out. Its so hard to know whats best.
    DD1 turned 5 in April the year she started & was fine.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Mar 2008
    Sunny QLD!

    LOL Von - darls you will see, she too can have her moments.

    Guys, thats exactly my point. I do believe she will be well and truly ready come 2010. As it is, she has NO problem stepping into an unfamiliar sceneiro and just going "hi kids, my name is *insert name here*, can i play too?" , or she just goes up to a group and starts joining in. She also get's along with all ages, it doesnt matter what age, she is not deterred. Younger child, teenager, adult, elderly .. she just like's to communicate and socialise.

    And as for her maturity, she definately display's a higher maturity than other's at her kinder. Take for example the day when in the bathroom one of the boys had put poo on the floor and neither teacher had seen it. I happened to be there as we were doing a cake for her bday with her kindy friends. Anyhow, ALL of the girls were standing around the poo going "eeewwww yuk oh its poo ewwwww"... DD heard the comotion and went to investigate. She walked up, pushed through the group, looked..yep saw it was infact poo, she went into the bathroom, got some paper, came back, wiped it up, promptly flushed it down the toilet..went and washed her hands and came back and said to the girls, "there its done, now lets go play"

    Her teacher and i just stood there, stunned...and laughed. She is just such a 'mothering' kind of role i suppose, but it displays her maturity.

    Although, she can have her share of a tanty, and look like a right royal prat when she wants.... but that i put down the fact she is so independant, and mature for her age, yet she still does have the mind of a 4 year old and often cant understand why she cant do something, or why we need to help her etc etc...

    The only thing i am watching atm WRT her starting to primary next year, is her ability to tke direction. 85% she is good at home or when we are out (so with us), she will do what we ask. But there is a % when i have to repeat myself more times than i can count which drives me insane. But yet, when i spoke to her kindy teacher on thursday, i asked her does she do what you ask etc etc and apparently she is exceptionally receptive when it comes to instruction. She has no problems helping when they ask her to do something. The one thing she was doing was no wanting to sit still when they would have a story, however, she said in term 2 she is ALOT better so she isnt concerned.

    So, i will watch that but by what i know of her, and see and what her kindy teacher thinks is that she will be ready.

    I just couldnt believe, that from a school whose fee's for prep are just under 4k, that they would prefer we follow trend's, WRT to our children. This to me is just rediculous seeing as the whole and ONLY reason i was even contemplating paying the amount of fee's this school cost's, was for the betterment of her education from word go. And even then, thats because i know her, she learns and picks up things so quickly, that she often gets easily distracted. So i really want to ensure i send her to the best place.

    I am now thinking though i will look at the other public schools in the area, as i sure as hell will not subdue her to trends before she is even old enough to be affected by these herself (peer preassure etc)...

    I have also thought about the whole issue of she will be the youngest in all her years, and how this may affect her, BUT..... i cant help but come back to the fact i KNOW if i keep her home next year it would do her more damage. As it is, i am considering putting her into 1 day of child care, not for me, but for her. She is used to going to CC 3 days a week, and since kinder started we took her out of CC (we also moved), but we thought kinder would be more involved mentally so thought it best she do her 2 days there and that would be enough. But i am finding, everything she is doing at kinder is all she was doing at CC anyhow, actually she was doing more at CC (learning how to write).... so, i am finding on her days off, she is playing up more than she used too. So, seeing as i have taken on this new job, i said to DF yesterday, maybe i should put her and her brother in to CC.


    I am just stunned about this trend stuff... but then really, its neive of me to be stunned lol

    Thanks for your thoughts etc guys its definately all alot to go over.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Oct 2006
    Melbourne, Victoria

    Papillon, my DD was born in Jan 03 and she started Prep last year and was one of the youngest in her class. I was concerned a little too as she never went to a traditional kinder, just did 2 full days of a kinder program at day care. Her carer said she was ready, I felt she was ready so off she went! She loved school, but took a bit longer than the other kids to pick things up, most of the other kids were already 6. She is now in Grade 1 and doing extremely well at school, at the level she should be and is surpassing the level she should be on for her reading which was one of the things she struggled with.

    I work at a university and do some work with psychologists and primary school teachers. There is great school readiness guide which looks at what areas indicate when a child is ready for school. I can't recall if its a DEECD (Dep of Education and Early Childhood Development in Victoria) guide but you could just google "school readiness" and I'm sure there will be plenty to choose from.

    Or some teachers on BB might be able to give you more advice?

    Good luck!

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    I am born in May, and in my day (lol) the cut of was June. So I started prep at 4, turning 5.

    I never saw A problem with this, neither did anyone else - the cut off is the cut off!

    The only time it was an issue was in high school, where I had my peer group , most of whom were older (I was the 3rd youngest in the year level) and they were as such allowed more social freedoms than my parents allowed me - parties, sleepovers, etc...I was by no means restriced or sheltered or what have you, but there were many times when I wasnt allowed to go to an event due to my age.
    And then when I finished year 12, I was still 17 - didnt turn 18 til the following may - so had the same problems that Feeb referred to lol
    All of which was a PITA for me at the time.

    I was more than ready to go to school though, and would certainly hope that if my mum had been told what you were, then she would have sent me anyway!

    I would be asking this school where the "trend" is coming from - is it a school policy? Something that they themselves endorse to institute? Or is it more a general trend in parents and parenting that she is observing and commenting on?

    From the sounds of it your DD is well and truly ready to head off to school and will do very well there - I wouldn't keep Charlotte out of school for an extra year unless she was very certianly NOT ready, which would be plainly obvious.

    Oh, have any other schools you've visited mentioned this 'trend'? I would ask them also when you visit.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Oct 2006
    Sydney NSW

    This is one of my pet peeves Pap!! The cut off date to start school in NSW is the end of July, fine I think many June/July kids aren't ready and should be held back- sadly in some areas (the area I teach in particularly) .its become the trend to keep them back from much earlier like March. IMO this is STUPID unless there are REALLY REALLY significant reasons for doing so.
    In my Kindergarten class this year 2 of the children turned 6 in FEBRUARY! 4 of the kids were still 4 and other were turning 6 , this means these "younger" children suffer cause of "trends". I admit the little boy who will be 5 i mid May, is prob a bit immature and may have been better held back but this is exacerbated by these much older kids.
    I have to confess I am keeping DS back (20th May) because he is a boy and because it will be better for him at the end of his schooling to be that bit more mature (and as his sister helpfully points out so he can legally drink at schoolies LOL)
    I think an April cut off should mean just that- born before that- come to school, born after- wait.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    Your son has a great birthday MM lol

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Its so confusing, in QLD DD1 who turns 5 in June, would be expected to be going to prep this year. Her birthday is mid-June and she would be by far the youngest... the cut off age in QLD is 30th June.

    In NSW, its unusual for kids her age to be in kindy, most of them would start this pre-grade 1 year next year if they were DD1's age.

    She's going to an independant school which is an alternative to homeschooling and is doing Kindy part-time until she is ready to move forward. She will be allowed to do kindy over 2 years if its needed or to start grade 1 next year if she's ready. There are only 18 students in the school Kindy - grade 6. For us, this is the perfect way to go, because there is flexibility and we move forwards according to how DD1 is going. There are 4 kindy kids at her school, 2 are turning 5 in the next few weeks and 2 are turning 6 in the next few weeks. So there is almost a year difference, but they are all going along at the same pace atm. There is 1 grade 1 who turned 6 early in the year who sometimes participates with the kindys but its all good.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Follow Pandora On Twitter

    Jan 2005

    i was born 8 days after the cut off, so I had to get kept back whether they wanted to or not, even though I could easily have started school a year earlier academically, i think socially it was a good decision.

    I think the teacher you spoke to just picked the wrong words.

  18. #18

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    Watching this with interest. Whilst there is no issue with DD1 as she is a June baby, bubs is an April baby so I have choice. The silly thing is if she was born a few days later there would be no choice.

    I have been chatting to the local mums with older kids and others who work in the children services area. The general feeling I get is that there is a trend down here is to hold back. Talking to the mums that have been in that position it seem that there has not been any major problem in doing so, if anything those who chose to send early have tended to regret that decision.

    The team leader at DD1's childcare centre wishes that the cutoff was based on calendar year and there was no choice. At the moment with the cutoff in place there is often a very large age gap between the youngest and the eldest. She errs on the side of caution and recommends holding back.

    It is doing my head in and I don't have to make a decision for awhile yet.