Tag Archives: kindergarten

School age debate.

School age debate.

I know this is a topic, often a spoken about, not always a positive topic, yet a topic that everyone seems to have an opinion on. So I thought that I would ‘chime in’ also as recently there was a ‘heated’ debate about it in the kindergarten playground.

I was faced with a confronting and unwelcome conversation last week by a woman that I don’t know. I was standing in the kindergarten playground chatting with other kindergarten mothers about nothing in particular when a mother that I had never met before starting making comments about our children.

See, we all have children who started kindergarten this year, and we also coincidentally have children that are turning 3 this year some boys, some girls. So when this woman passed comment that our ‘babies’ will also be going through school together, I said “that’s great will your daughter be going to kindergarten 2020?”. Not realising I had just unleashed her favourite topic!

She quickly responded with ‘no, my daughter is going 2021, why would you send your daughter early?, I mean sending a child too young has so many negative effects on them, why would you do that to her?”. I almost felt like I was being personally attacked, or that I was making a terrible decision and possibly ruining my dear daughters life.

I was taken aback – which rarely happens, and because of my silence, this woman thought it was her right to then lecture me on all the negative reasons as to why I should wait and send my daughter to kindergarten when she is 5 turning 6. You see, in her opinion sending my daughter 4 turning 5 in the May, is way too young and will undoubtedly end with teen pregnancy, under age drinking, lack of intelligence, slow learning, being left out of rep sporting teams, being easily influenced by others, difficulties with learning and socialising, and her extensive list went on. And on. And on. (Her words)

I was horrified at her response. I mean. This is the first time I’d ever met her. What a front she has to lecture anyone on their family decisions and what is best for someone else’s children. Too opinionated for my liking, that is for sure.

It really put me in a weird mindset, it made me question my husband and my decision and left me feeling quite angry and deflated. This was mind you, first thing in the morning so it played on my mind quite a lot that day. I spoke to a few friends throughout the day to vent and also get their opinions, of whom I value, and they, my friends much like myself, are of similar mindset with the school age decisions.

I also spoke to my little mans kindergarten teacher later that afternoon as this woman’s righteousness was confronting. I wanted to speak to a teacher who deals with children of varying ages on a daily basis and this teacher also, has over 13 years primary school teaching behind her. The kindergarten teacher is also of the same mindset as myself. That is, that each child is individual and ready at their own pace and in their own time.

I think I will have a better idea as to when we should start her in kindergarten once she starts preschool, however at the moment, my little miss who is not yet 3, knows her alphabet, can count to 20, dresses and undresses herself, copies and repeats her big brothers sight words, mock reads books, is extremely social, not shy, is really confident, will sit colour and draw by herself, can hold a pen or pencil with correct pen grip, will listen and take instruction and can sit through a whole movie, I think I will be ready but time will tell.

All kids are in my view, are individual and each to their own, however with this woman’s rant it got me thinking of all the negative effects that sending a child to school 5 turning 6 May encounter.

A few that really stand out to me are,
– Being an adult doing their HSC.
– Being 18, which is legal age to drink in Australia, which may mean the 18 year old who is still in high school, can and possibly will go out drinking. Is drinking whilst at school appropriate?
– Being older and holding a drivers license which at involve having other school children driving with them.
– Being older and influencing younger students mindsets.
– Wanting to ‘grow up’ too young.
– Will they get distracted or bored easily from being older?

Look, I get that this is a very personal topic, I think that either way, sending your child at 4 or 5, if you are raising your children in a way that you feel appropriate and comfortable with, your child will make the right decisions. They will know what is acceptable and hopefully make good decisions. It’s very individual based on each child differently.

I see valid points from both sides, however what I didn’t appreciate was being ‘force fed’ this woman’s opinion and how forthcoming she was with telling me how terrible I was as a parent for even considering sending my daughter to kindergarten at age 4 with her birthday in May.

What are your thoughts?

 

Tips for starting kindergarten.

Tips for starting ‘big school’
(Otherwise known as kindergarten)

My little man is starting kindergarten next year (approx 4 months away), and my ovaries are bursting with pride and sadness.

Pride because he is growing into a beautiful little man who has so many great qualities. Sad because he is growing up too fast.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between preschool and kindergarten and what he will need to learn or know before starting his big school experience.

Here are a few tips that I have come up with.

What tips do you have that makes the transition easier?

– Eat in a timely manner
Currently his preschool provides the meals and they all sit down together to eat. They serve themselves and clear their plates etc which makes getting him ready for preschool just that bit quicker. Big school they need packed lunches and I’m pretty sure the teachers don’t go around telling the children to eat, so therefore he needs to learn to eat his recess in that time frame and his lunch also within the given time frame.

They are need to know how to open and close their lunch boxes including lids and various containers along with snap lock bags and cling wrap if the school they are attending allows. Most schools are now ‘plastic free’ which means only containers with lids etc and no cling wrap or snap lock plastic bags.

– Toilet locks and going alone
At preschool there are no cubicles. They all use the bathroom together, it’s unisex and it’s open. I was recently told to teach him how to lock a cubicle behind himself for privacy. Also being able to undo their own buttons and zippers on pants if need be without an adult assisting.

– Belongings
My little guy is pretty good with not loosing things. Good to the extent that if he can’t find something his owns, he gets worried that he will be in trouble of me for loosing it. Perhaps that’s my downfall with getting him to be responsible for his own things at such an early age? They do need to be responsible for their belongings st school because even though there may be a ‘lost and found’. If a hat is left in the playground, it most likely won’t be handed in or have a teacher do the after school rounds and find all forgotten’ items.

– Sharing
Being able to share toys, pencils and other items. Knowing when to give another a turn, and when it’s their turn without having a tantrum or meltdown. I think most kids by the age of 3 have this down pat, however it is a good skill to polish up on prior to being in a larger group scenario.

– Social Skills
Being able to interact with other children and play together rather than simultaneously. I think social skills is important to know, but again these children are only 4 and 5 years old. Are we expecting too much from them? At what stage should we expect good social skills?

– Alphabet and Numbers
I recently read somewhere that children by the age of 5, should be able to count to 30 and know their alphabet? My 4 year definitely knows his alphabet but can only count to 20-25 without getting the sequence jumbled?

– Name writing
Do they need to be able to write their first and last name? Again my 4 year old can write his first name, and really quite neatly. He jumbled up our surname but it also has 6 letters in it. Is this a priority?

– Listening to instruction
Paying attention to the teachers whomever is speaking. Using listening ears and sitting quietly without being easily distracted or distracting others. Now call me silly or naive, but I would assume that most 4/5 year old can still be easily distracted? My little man can sit quietly, but not for hours on end. He will sit through a movie, start to finish but can also be distracted in a group activity. Does this mean he isn’t ready for kindergarten or will this be something that they work with him on and expect that young ones sometimes get distracted?

Can you add to my list?

Or what do you think is important?