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Starting NSW school at 4.5years old? Rss

I have a very bright 3.5 year old (doesn't everyone?). However, I am a teacher and do know that she is achieving well above her age level. She reads (not just recites) level 3 PM readers used in Kindergarten, knows all her numbers to 20(including the recognition of the numerals), can sequence these numbers, knows all sounds, has very advanced language (loves to make up stories etc, can write (not copy) her first and last name etc etc. She also colours in in the lines, cuts, pastes etc and pays attention for long periods of time in preschool. Now, I haven't spent a lot of time teaching her this either as I work full time (out of necessity - please don't judge). So....my issue is, while I know she will be ready to attend Kinder in 2010 academically and socially (she separates happily and is very independent), many parents are holding back their February, March, April etc birthday children from the year before. This means she will be starting Kinder up to 15 months younger than these children! (You would think I would know what to do here, having taught Kinder, wouldn't you?) If I hold her back to 2011 when she will also be 5.5, I think she will be obnoxious and will need a special program to keep her interested. All her friends at preschool are already 4, by the way, and she orders the younger ones around! My colleagues are mixed in their opinions as to whether to send early. Is there anyone out there who has advice on what they did with their bright, young child? I don't mean to sound show offish here - I'm not!!! I am seriously worried about the best option for her so she enjoys school. Thanks everyone who read this long post all the way to the end!!!!

Sharyn,NSW

Hi Sharyn

No-one has responded to you yet so I thought I'd give my opinion (as in what I would do if I was in your situation - I have a 2yr old so have not had experience with this issue yet).

Your daughter sounds like she will be well and truly ready for school in 2010. I would send her then. If it doesn't work out for whatever reason, (i'm supposing??) she could repeat Kindy. If you think she is socially ready as well, I wouldn't think age would be an issue here either.

Best wishes for your decision.
Personally, having taught Kindergarten myself for 11 years, I would never send my child if they had not turn 5 at the strat of the school year. Luckily for us, our son was born in September, so he will be 5.5 when he starts.

Academically, your daughter seems ready, but it is the social interaction that may be a problem. I know that you said socially she has no problems seperating and is independent, but I had a child in my class, who was top of the class, completely independent, but had so many proiblems with the other children as he did not know how to socialise and was extremely immature. Your daughter might not be like this, but in my expereince, I have seen this occur lots of times.

All schools should be catering to the needs of the child and this may be the top question on your list when selecting a school for her.

Good luck
Hi

My DD turns three next year so I've not yet faced this issue however I thought a child had to turn five or be turning five by a certain time in order to be able to be enrolled at school??
Hi,
I'm in NZ so not totally sure of the rules but over here a child can't start school till they are 5.

I was a gifted child and was put up a year when I was 5.It was ok but kinda hard being the youngest in the class.If my dd turned out the same I would be more inclined to keep her in the right year but have extra work she could do at home to help her.

I am better at maths and english so did lots of extra exams and things like that for those subjects, which I did enjoy by the way (I was such a geek lol).

Just watch her if she starts playing up at school because that means that the work is too easy and she is bored (I remember getting sent out of class for being naughty alot before I got moved up!)

Hi BriannaJade,

Wow you have the same prob as me....
i live in SA so not sure what the rules are in your state. My daughters birthday is in August and the school system here is they have to be 5 before they start school. In the public system they do four term intakes and in the private system they can do anywhere from 1 to four intakes a year.

My problem is DD is going to a private school that does 1 intake. So when I approached the school (my son is already attending) about what to do they did a school readiness test when she was 4.5. she is extremely bright for her age and her emotional quotation (EQ) according to a child psychologist at the time was that of a 7 year old.

HOWEVER here we are 12 months later and FINALLY made the decision to wait.....she starts school in 2009 and will be 5.5, she is so ready but we made this decission for several reasons.

1 I had another baby at the beginning of this year and I didn't want her to feel "pushed out the nest"

2 I wanted her to be with kids her own age

3 she can always get bumped up later in her schooling if it is needed

4 there are always going to be smart average and below average kids in any class so really it didn't matter in the end.

I could keep going so PM if you need more info, but definitely wait if you think you can hold her out.

sorry about the essay
Zoe

Mum of three amazing people

Thanks for all of your advice so far. In NSW children need to turn 5 by 30th July to start. Brianna turns 5 on June 16, so is within guidelines. As far as socially ready goes, besides being independent she makes friends easily. eg the other day in Woolies she went up to a 4 year old girl and commented that she also had a Dora doll at home. They started talking and by the time we met her again in another aisle, they were friends, stopping to chat again. All her friends are 4 and she refers to the 2.5 years olds as babies. If I hold her back I fear she will have nothing in common with the younger kids and find friend making difficult. I am leaning towards sending her as she still has another year to go to improve socially, although I think she is fine in this regard. Also, I was a July 21 bday and didn't feel as though I was too young. I will also get an educational psychologists assessment at 4 I think, just to be sure. Thanks all.

Sharyn,NSW

Hi, I realise this post is quite old but I'm now in a similar predicament. My son is a May baby we live in nsw and he is gifted. Id love to know what road you went down.
Hi there, I am also going through the same situation. I had decided that I would be sending DD to school only after she is 5 but recently I had a talk with my friend at Toronto who told me that her son, who is the same age as DD, has started going to a school there (http://www.sunnybrookschool.com). She said that going to school has really bought about a lot of difference in her son, in a good way. She advised me to start sending DD to school as well. And that has made me really confused, do you think I should start sending DD to school?
Yeah, every mother thinks their kid is bright, and he probably is. I know some mothers working at www.australianessays.org/thesis/ that think that their kid will be the next Einstien. I hope that is true, and they get their dream.
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