To Send or Hold Back…..

This week’s hot controversial topic on several a current affairs shows, is knowing when to send your children to school! Should we send our children to school as the very youngest child (at 4 and a half) or hold them back a year so they are a year older?? As a teacher and a mum, I couldn’t resist but to right a blog on this topic that is very dear to my heart and to give my two cents worth!

Is 4 and a half too young to start full time school? How long is a piece of string? There are so many variables when it comes to children and their readiness for school. As a mum of three children who are all born in the second half of the school birthday calendar year, they will always be on the younger side compared to their peers, with my middle child being born on the 30th of June…the absolute baby of the class! when I fell pregnant and realised when their birthday would be, it didn’t really phase me too much, I was more happy that none of them had to spend another year at home and they would start school like we all did the year they turned 5. Ask me now though and my opinion is some what different!

I believe age is just a number. No matter how old you are, depending on what you’ve been exposed to will depend on your level of knowledge, understanding, maturity and readiness. Genetics play a part in the physical side of growth and cognitively sometimes we are lucky to be born a genius or the complete opposite. And then there is simplicities or complexities of one’s personality which would make no difference to what order a child is – oldest or youngest!

When watching 60 minutes on Sunday night and listening to the reasoning behind why those parents held their children back, I could understand their concerns and reasoning, but I was most impressed with the mother of twins who were 4 and a half when starting prep say “let them be!” When the reporter asked “do we as parents wrap our kids up in cotton wool too much?” she simple and honestly answered “yes we do!” I really loved how she kept it real!

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