What is the ideal age for a child to start schooling?

Anne - posted on 02/06/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a toddler who will be 3.3 years old this coming June. I am planning on enrolling her in Nursery class this June. Her classmates would be like 3.6 to 4.5 years old. Will my child be at a disadvantage because of her age? Will she be able to participate and compete, if needed, with her classmates? My worry is that she'll be the underdog in class.

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Laura - posted on 02/28/2009

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I can't call myself an expert of early childhood education.  But I have several years of experience teaching preschool(nursery) and pre-kindergarten. 



The main purpose of preschool (for ages 3-4) is to provide the children a social interaction and to enhance on their academics.  I have seen so many benefits to children that attend preschool even it's a half a day.  I believe full day is better.  But whatever it is best for family situation. 



I would highly suggest children attend pre-kindergarten (for ages 4-5).  They receive the steps they need to prepare for kindergarten. 



I believe that children with a couple of months difference, you really don't see a huge gap.  And it's ok to repeat preschool or pre-kindergarten.  It's actually the best time to repeat, instead in other grades. 



It's best to talk your child's soon-to-be teacher and let them know your concerns.



The most of all... Children at ages 3-5 years old are most interested in colors, numbers, langauge and much more.  It a great time to introduce those things because of thier interested. 



I really hope I have help you.  Best of luck!  Your not the only mom second guess if you child is ready. 

Somaiya - posted on 02/17/2009

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It depends on your child, it is more about developing social skills along with learning other than competing. In my class, I used to see some younger kids easily excelling over older kids in the same grade, just because they were more naturally talented.
You might want to go and look around at different types of classes and take your daughter along and see what she thinks about it. Good luck.

Shannon - posted on 02/07/2009

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A 3 month difference should not be that noticeable. What kind of program were you thinking of enrolling her, ie. Waldorf, Montessori, head-start. Because depending on the classroom structure, it might not be as easy.

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Kristy - posted on 03/02/2009

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All children are different and learn at different levels no matter the age. Once she gets use to her surroundings she with do fine.

Wynta - posted on 03/01/2009

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Hi, my youngest started school when she was 2.5. I thought she was too young, but she told me that she wanted to wear a uniform and do homework. I was very concerned. She is one of the youngest in her class and she is small, but she holds her own socially and academically. I think she was able to transition so well because of her teachers and the loving nature of the school. Good luck!!!

Marty - posted on 02/23/2009

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When I read this, I thought oh! oh!  I know the answer!  the answer is: "It depends!" 



Every child is different, just like every classroom is different.  You know her well and I agree with Somaiya.  Go look at diferent classes and programs and match them to your child's personality. 



Good luck!  I bet you will be able to find a great, nurturing match for her!

Andrea - posted on 02/11/2009

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I agree that it depends on the type of program and the staff expectations. I have a mixed 3 and 4 year old program in a public school. The kids range from "typical" kids, some of whom are five by this time of year, to developmentally delayed three year olds, some of whom are more like toddlers and twos. It works because we know what to expect from each age of child and adjust our activities and interactions accordingly. If it were my child I would want to know how staff is educated as to what is appropriate for different developmental stages, how classroom activies are adjusted to meet the needs of all children, and how the younger students are supported socially as they interact with the older students.

Shannon - posted on 02/10/2009

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Well, I figured Ms. Seno used "compete" for a lack of better word meaning to fit in well.

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