Do any of you have children that started Grade Primary at age 4?

CMI1973 - posted on 09/18/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My son started school at age 5 and still struggles in some areas. We are in Nova Scotia and my daughter will start at age 4 (not turning 5 until December)and I worry that she will not excel due to being so young. She starts Pre School in 2 weeks but has no interest in trying to write her name or tracing letters or learning the Alpahabet. She can count to 20 and say the alphabet, but cannot tell you a letter or number if shown to her. My son was actually more advanced than this, but is behind on coloring and using scissors. He can read at a higher level and is great in math. I know a few younger boys that started at age 4 and all have to do extra work to keep up and are not doing well. I don't want to put my daughter in this position...but everyone says "girls are different" Thoughts?

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Jen - posted on 09/23/2012

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My youngest (a boy) started school at 4 and turned 5 in November. A lot of people told me not to send him, including his preschool teachers. They said he wasn't socially ready. He was also tiny. I sent him anyway. He wanted to go, I felt he was ready, and my husband and I were prepared to repeat the kindergarten year if we felt it was necessary. It wasn't. He's in 6th grade now and doing fine. He's the friendliest kid I know and never had trouble making friends once he started public school. He is not the most focused kid in the world, but he's 10 now and still like that - it's his personality. He is still small for his grade, and always will be, so it's just as well that he got used to it. Academically he does fine. Not amazing, but fine. I have no regrets about sending him.



Personally, I think there is an increasing bias towards "holding your kid back" so that he/she will be oldest, and parents think somehow that will make a child the best student, athlete, whatever. It's really not true. Being old may give them an edge for a little while, but ultimately a child's talents and abilities are what they are. But there's no question that some kids do NOT do well at that young age. I think the bottom line is that it should be less about your child's age and more about your child, period. The school should be able to tell you what their expectations for a kindergartener are. Does your child meet those or at least come close? Is he/she able to function well in a school-type environment (listening to the teacher, sitting still, being away from parents for several hours, etc)? If you feel she is ready, try it. If not, don't. It sounds like you still have a while to think about it. Why not give her the preschool year to see how she does and how much she matures, and then decide?

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Dayna - posted on 10/17/2012

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Wait until the end of preschool. You will be suprised how much she is going excel.

Vangie - posted on 10/01/2012

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My daughter was 4 when she started Kidnergarten and turned 5 in November. She struggled that whole year. We decided it was better for her to repeat Kidnergarten. She is 15 now and is doing very well. It was the right decision for her as we did not want her to struggle all through school.

Pamela - posted on 09/27/2012

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Each child is unique. If she is allowed to start and will turn 5 so quickly, do not worry. She is almost 5 and a few months is not that big of a deal.



WORRY is based in FEAR. Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real. Give your daughter a chance and see how it goes. If she seems bothered by it withdraw her and start her again next school term.



Do not COMPARE your child to others. That is a disservice to your child and to the other child as well. Learning should not be a competition, but rather an individual experience.

Michelle - posted on 09/27/2012

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I started my son at age 4 also, because they offered it at the daycare he was at. I also figured if he didn't do well he could just repeat kindergarten. I do have to say he excelled, and was doing grade 1 worksheets by the end of the year, so I felt I had made the right decision for him. He is now 17 and graduated, but if I could do it over I would have not put him in so early. I found he was smart enough, but had a harder time socially as he was one of the younger kids in the class all the time. I also found when he was in junior high and high school it was harder parenting, because they are introduced to things before they should be. I know it is only a year but when kids are starting to smoke, drink, and do drugs that always meant my son was introduced a year earlier. When he was in grade 12 a lot of the kids were 18 going to the bars and partying, but my son was only 16 when he started grade 12, and didn't turn 17 until January so once again he was struggling socially. Not that I am saying going to the bar, and drinking is what he should be doing all the time, but it made it more difficult for him to relate to the kids in his grade. Anyways I think that each child is unique, and just because my son had a bit of a hard time doesn't mean your child will. I just know when he was entering school I never considered how it might affect him later on in school.

Sherry - posted on 09/26/2012

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i myself started kindergarten at age 4 (my birthday is in november). i can tell you that it made school a lot more difficult for me. i was always a year younger than most of the kids in all my elementary classes and was constantly asked why. i was not socially ready for school when i started kindergarten and it affected me greatly, with negative residual effects right through to grade 10.



if you think she is ready, and is at a level where her social skills won't be a factor, then you can try her this year. repeating the grade next year won't be the end of the world if necessary.

CMI1973 - posted on 09/25/2012

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Thanks ladies,

My daughter is 3 and starting Prechool next week. We chose one that takes her 2x/ week for a full 8 hours. Like you Bonnie, my daughter doesn't like to dissapoint so maybe that is the issue, as I hear her singing away all the time to the alphabet and what not. She's very smart and loves to learn. I just can't get her interested in trying to trace letters or writing her name, pointing out the letters in the alphabet. I will definatey consider the preschool teachers imput on her abilities when it is closer to the end of the school year. She's very outgoing and won't have any issues with crying or being shy. I've just heard some heartbreaking stories about a few little guys that are 4 in Primary and struggling to read and write and I didn't want to put her through that. And to you Hanoi...it is true that children are sponges, but all children are different and if a child is behind, it sometimes has NOTHING to do with a parent preparing them....my mom was a teacher and i was always ahead in school but my older brother continuously struggled and we were brought up the same way. I was almost 6 when I started and he was 4. We both were in preschool/ daycare at age 2 and on. I do believe my daughter is ready for the most part, but feel like the more I try with her, the more she digs those stubborn heels in! She's her mother's daughter! lol So I am hoping that with other little ones around and a teacher, she will learn everything she needs to help her keep up and excel.

Marina - posted on 09/23/2012

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Well, it really depends on which year you may be holding the child back in. For example, 2nd grade is a repeat of 1st. And 3 grade, is all new material. I thought about holding my son back in 1st grade because he was struggling so much, but the school advised against it, saying that 2nd grade will repeat 1st so there's no point. I'm glad u listened. Now he is in 3rd, and is right where he needs to be

Marina - posted on 09/23/2012

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I have boy/girl twins in the 3rd grade and I have to say that boys definitely mature slower than girls. My kids started kinder at 5 and my daughter excelled from day 1. My son. However, never showed any interest. All he wanted to do was play. He didn't know the alphabet for a long time. I even went as far as to have him tested by an educational psychologist for learning disabilities. It has been a very long road. It seems he is finally on track with his reading. My daughter is still a little more advanced, but they say that's "normal" for girls. I wouldn't worry about it too much at this young age. A lot of times, they just need time to adjust to their new routine. Some kids just take longer than others. Good luck

Bonnie - posted on 09/21/2012

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Hi Cara,I am from Nova Scotia as well and my daughter is 4 right now and started school in September.My daughter went to preschool 2 days/week for 2.5 hrs each day. She loves school and she seems to be caught up or above her peers.She would not show me a number is I pointed to it,but when her teacher asked..she had no problems.Part of my daughters issue was..she did not want to feel like she was disappointing me,so she thought it was better to not say anything,then to be wrong.I am sure once your daughter gets to school,she will be fine.She will make friends and she will pick up on things really quickly.

Lee Ann - posted on 09/21/2012

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On average boys seem to mature slower than girls, both academics and socially. It seems that more and more parents are waiting an extra year to start kinder. Whether a boy or a girl it really depends on the child. I was a kinder teacher (Texas) for 7 yrs and I saw a range of readiness. One year I had a student who was 51/2, even though was one of the older kids he had a hard time adjusting. I related his diffulte b/c he had never been in a school setting. Also had both boys and girls that were sometimes the youngest, and did really well. Personal experience, we waited an extra year to start kinder. With our oldest (7) He is very smart and more than ready academically but not ready socially. He is very shy and gets upset with himself when he can't do something, has problems adjusting to new situations. His kinder year was great, very glad we waited. This year with my other son (5) we did the same thing but different reasons. He is very social and out going but has a hard time focusing, staying on task. So you really need to think about your child's personality, how they react to new situations. If they have been in daycare or preschool talk with your child's teacher and find out what they think. Good luck.

Dove - posted on 09/21/2012

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You start school at 3 and none of the kids cry... ever? My son screamed hysterically for 6 weeks straight when he started at 3..... We start preschool at 3 or 4 here too and many, many, many kids cry.

Hanoi - posted on 09/21/2012

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In my country, we have 3 years of preschool and all children begin school at 3 years old. All kids are different but I really do not understand when people said that their kids could be not prepared for school. Kids are like sponges, they learn everything around them. She will enjoy allot to go and play with other kids. Probably are the parents who are not prepare to send to school their little ones. When kids begin school at young age, they do not cry the 1st day, they understand that is a place to learn and play.

CMI1973 - posted on 09/18/2012

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Thank you....it's a little nerve-wracking knowing that this decision affects their entire academic fututre and how they feel about school. I always loved school and was ahead of most students right from the start and I believe it was because I was almost 6 when I started and the row of us that were above average all through school all had birthdays in October/ November (cut off was Oct 1st back then) So wew were only 5 for a month...so starting her at 4 years old makes me nervous considering I know 3 boys that were 4 and all are having issues.

Dove - posted on 09/18/2012

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My girls did start K at 4.5 and have always done fine. There are many others that started K at the same age that ended up doing 2 years of K. 'Generally' speaking it's easier for girls, but it totally depends on the specific kid, not the gender. Personally speaking... I'd see how she does in preschool this year before deciding if she would benefit from another year of preschool or not before moving on. My girls were READY... academically and socially and I still worried about moving them on because of their young age. If they weren't so academically and socially ready there is no way I would've moved them on when I did.

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