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Urgent: start school Apr or Sep

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    i think that if we are still here, he would definitely be going there, thanks for the input...

    i've been here for 10 years already and have worked as a private tutor for most of that time and i still have a hard time with sending kids off to school at such a young each his own, i guess, but it seems to me to be a money grab by kindergartens rather than for the benfit of the personal opinion though...

  2. #10
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong
    I think that the early schooling of children in Hong Kong is much more complicated than to blame the kindergartens. They are there to fulfil a need many parents here have.

    Nearly 85% of first time mothers return to paid employment after their babies are born. Most babies and young children in Hong Kong are looked after by a grandmother or another relative. There is often pressure to institutionalize the children at a young age to free up these caregivers.

    As only just over 10% of households in Hong Kong actually have domestic helpers often staying at home with someone isn’t an option. Thus kindergarten is the preferred option.

    So as children grow older most enter a nursery or kindergarten. Many of these kindergartens open as early as 8:30 am and close at 6:00 pm allowing mothers to get a full day’s work in.

    Then there is the social pressure of the parents with more money who want their children to have the very best start in life and believe that this includes sending children to learn as young as they are able. I think, however, these are actually in a minority but somehow the pressure is there and many parents do bow into it and send children to school before they are ready.

    This is, of course, a difficult thing because although everyone can say that “all children are different” not so many parents are confident enough to believe in their children rather than comparing them with other children of the same age. But the truth is that children are ready to go to school at different times – and if your child isn’t ready he or she is better not going.

    I have four children and all started school at different ages. The latest to start school was my younger son who started at four and wasn’t really ready to go – yes even I was under the social pressure to send him. The earliest to start school was my younger daughter. She is a very sociable child who loves following instructions and joining in with a large group – ideal school material. She started at two and a half years old. It was ideal because, to be honest, she was getting bored with me.

    One interesting study I read from England concluded that children to better at school if they have been to a nursery or kindergarten. But not because of any academics or social skills they had learn at the pre-schools. The reason was that when children first start to enter society they tend to pick up a lot of germs and so are ill a lot. The children who go to kindergarten miss kindergarten and not school through illness whereas the children who didn’t go to kindergarten missed school.

    I don’t know if this applies in Hong Kong as we all seem to live on top of one another so much more. Maybe children are introduced to lots of germs here whether or not they go to kindergarten.


  3. #11
    Vivian is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Ma On Shan, Sha Tin, Hong Kong


    my 2.5-year daughter just began to go to the kindergarten on 1 March. I just want her to have more little friends to play with in the kindergarten, but not play with my helper all the time. Most of the time, she stays with my helper because my hubby and i work full time. Only on weekends we accompany her. And i have found she like playing with kids at her age quite much, but i can't find such kids to play with her often. And she seems afraid of meeting strange adults. she does not respond to strange people depite that they are friendly. I feel she needs to expose more to the outside world, but not always home. That's why i decide to send her to the kindergarten now. And she can handle many things by herself already. So i just give her a chance to try. If she is ok, then go on, if not. i'll wait for a few months untill this August.

    the past few days, she seemed doing well. the 1st day, my helper and i went to the kindergarten with her together. She was in the class for one hour as advised by the teacher. The first half hour she played there without any problem. but during the break when the kids went to the washroom together, she did not want to enter it and cried. So my helper stayed with her in the second half hour. The second and the third day, she stayed in class for more than one hour. Today, she stayed there for the whole morning without my helper there. The teacher told me she's doing well. Sometimes she looked for my helper, but after being comforted by the teacher, she was ok. So next Monday, the teacher will let her take the school bus to return home.

    I hope she will love going to the kindergarten because it must be more fun than staying with my helper at home. However, if it turns out she does not like it after a few weeks' try, i'll stop her to attend the class. All i want to do is to make her happy.


  4. #12
    Sandrine is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    We decided to let our daughter start school in September rather than April as we don't want to push her before she's ready. We've told both the schools already. I'm not sure how my daughter can have a nap if she goes to afternoon classes (12:30-3:30pm). Does she nap after school? That will make her sleep late and wake up late then.

  5. #13
    Esseniti is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Hong Kong
    Hi Sandrine,

    How are you doing? I'm totally agree you let your daughter start school in coming September, she may feel more comfortable to go to school starting on Spetember.
    You can let her take a short nap less then an hour then she won't sleep late ok!

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