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Too young for school?

Too young for school?           reply
27/01/2009 13:49 - Ask Mother Hen (Locality: Dublin South)
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My daughter is in fulltime childcare - montessori since May last year. She is now 3 1/2 and is doing well with the classes but is having problems with socialisation (quite shy too) when out of her familiar environment. Montessori teacher has advised me to send her to school in September 09 when she is 4 (specifically 4 and 2 months). If she continues another year in montessori, she will be bored later in the year and also will lose interest when starting school. She has been accepted into a school for 09 but the school did advise as a general rule of thumb to wait until the children are five.
My gut feeling is that she would benefit from another year. I think that she will be very young having the pressures of school and exams. The montessori teacher agrees that she will have trouble mixing in the yard for a while at least but that she has come out of her shell and will be fine in the long run. I think a year to improve her confidence when meeting other kids and developing her creative rather than academic side would benefit.
Problem is that I don´t know what the alternative is. I´ve been researching alternatives to montessori in the area and can´t seem to find anything. Do I send her to school and look for transitition year later? Do I risk leaving her in montessori for another year where I know she will get bored? I´m really torn and struggling to do what´s best for her. Both myself and my husband work and would need fulltime childcare.

Any advice would be appreciated.
PreschoolMum



re : Too young for school?           reply
27/01/2009 19:40 - Ask Mother Hen
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It’s hard to generalise on when children should start school as they all develop at different stages. However, as her parent, you know your daughter best. You have already said that your gut feeling is that she would benefit from an extra year, the following thoughts may help you to come to a decision.

At 4 years and 2 months she is still very young. There is no rush in starting school, they are there for long enough. Starting school a year later will be of great benefit to her confidence and social skills. She won’t be the “youngest” in the class and that in itself will be a confidence booster for her.

Later going to secondary school most children are going on 13 when they start. She will be just turned 12 which will have forced her to “grow up” more quickly to keep up with the others in the class who may be up to a full year older. If she doesn’t do transition she will be only 16 doing the leaving cert which is really very young to go to college etc.

She may get bored in the same montessori but is there another alternative? If she stays in the same one, there will be a whole new bunch of children so that will be different for her. You could also look at another type of preschool – perhaps even a naonra

It can be a big decision to make but in the long run your child’s self esteem and confidence are very important to her future development. Trust your gut and do what you feel is best for her.

Hope this helps




re : Too young for school?           reply
27/03/2009 00:47 - Ask Mother Hen
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hi i think 4 is fine to start but the problem is a lot of parents dont send them until 5 so you have kids who can be a year older. It´s not a problem straight away but as they get older it can be and I find they get a lot of teasing. I would try and send her to a different montessori if possible ,or, as one person suggested maybe an irish pre school which would be totally new to her. if she is a little shy maybe try her in a ballet class or irish dancing , something where everyone is starting together and very often a lot of the kids dont know each other so noone is the "new girl"



re... : Too young for school?           reply
28/03/2009 20:52 - Ask Mother Hen
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I think it all depends on the child. We can´t take a particular date or month and make a blanket decision for every child. I would imagine that alot of factors would influence the decision as well as age.



re... : Too young for school?           reply
28/01/2009 21:13 - Ask Mother Hen
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Thanks for your advice, you´ve hit the same issues I´ve been debating with myself. I´m going to go with my gut!



re... : Too young for school?           reply
10/02/2009 09:40 - Ask Mother Hen
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I agree Preschoolmum - one thing I have learned over the last two years is that my gut is usually right. I am facing the same issues as you right now. My lad is also quite shy (only just started part time creche). His birthday is May, making him 4 and 4 months when September 2011 rolls around. At the moment I feel that is too young (given his shyness) and will prob. hold him till he is 5. Having talked to a few schools and read various discussion boards, I can see that most people say the same as Mother Hen....you know your child best..and each child is different. I personally started school at 4 and felt it was too young - I know I would have felt more at home and more confident had I been just that bit older.
How about a different montessori school for your little one until they reach the age you feel comfortable with - that will stave off any feelings of boredom?

Hope all goes well



re... : Too young for school?           reply
14/02/2009 22:26 - Ask Mother Hen
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Being familiar with a number of children in this situation, it all depends on the child. Sometimes children are ready at 4 years and a months, others are not ready at 5 and a half! Whenever you choose to send your daughter, from my experience, the most important thing is to speak positively about the school and keep doing it. If you´re nervous or apprehensive about your child starting school, she/he will pick up on that and sometimes even play on it. Whatever you do, trust the school, keep positive, keep smiling and don´t worry yourself sick about when your daughter should start. Once you´ve made your decision, stick with it and be happy.



re : Too young for school?           reply
03/03/2009 11:48 - Ask Mother Hen
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hi , i have a boy who started at same age - had to repeat again , however my youngest a girl started at 4yrs & 9 mths & so far is flying it , go with your gut as i think these days kids have to go up so quickly & its unnecessary , where as the older & mature kids are starting i think it stands to them better , best of luck what ever you decide



re... : Too young for school?           reply
03/03/2009 11:00 - Ask Mother Hen
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My daughter started school at 3yrs 11months. It was the best decision we made for her. She developed new skills, interacted with a new circle of friends and grew up alot. If it does not work out she can always stay in JInfants for another year. As a parent you know what is best for your child. It has worked out well for us. Best of Luck with your decision. :)



re... : Too young for school?           reply
03/03/2009 12:08 - Ask Mother Hen
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It just goes to show that each child is different, thanks for own experiences. I had thought to hold her back but understand that doing that is made much more difficult these days.
I´m going with my instinct, while I do think she will be repeating a lot from montessori in the initial years, socially, another year can´t hurt her. We rang the school, they were lovely about it, we have a few more weeks to decide and may head up to meet with the head / teachers for a chat in the meantime.



re... : Too young for school?           reply
24/03/2009 10:54 - Ask Mother Hen
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Hi PreschoolMum. I am in the same predicament. My son turns 4 in July. Has been accepted for JI Sept 09 but the school expressed concern at his young age. I spoke to his montessori teacher who says he is more than ready for school (from a learning perspective) but she thinks he would benefit socially from another year in mont. He is very outgoing when in familiar company but at mont. he can be shy and only now is starting to gain confidence in the class.

We are divided at home, husband wants him to start school at 4 but my gut instinct is "whats the hurry". After speaking to almost every mother I can think of, I am very split. Primary school is not really my main concern. I am more worried about when he gets to secondary and doing his leaving at 16 (17 in the July). I have accepted the school place for now and also booked him into Mont for another year. I am keeping my options open for now. There is an open day for JI entrants in the school in June and I plan to make my decision then.

I have just ordered "Phonic workbooks" on Amazon for home study cause he is mad to learn. He is constantly asking to read books so he can tell me what all the letters are. And he keeps checking the clock to tell me what time it is. I can see he craves learning - so would I be holding him back by not sending him? Will he get bored by another year in Montessori? There will be 27 in the Sept class - 7 of which will be June/July/August 4´s. Some 5 year olds and I guess the majority will be 4.5. He is now playing out on the street with all the children his age and in comparison he seems to be quite mature than a lot of them (keeps telling them to stay off the road when cars are coming!!!).

Sorry for the rant but this has been the bain of my life for the past month. Good luck with your decision.




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