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What's the best age to start nursery?

  1. #1
    val23 is offline Registered User
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    What's the best age to start nursery?

    Hi,
    My son will be 2 yrs and 7 months in September. I was wondering at what age do people in Hong Kong start nursery. My son as of now, does not speak many words yet (about 60 perhaps).

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Valencia is offline Registered User
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    People here start playgroups at age 2. At 2 and 8 months, they can start kindergarten.

  3. #3
    val23 is offline Registered User
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    thanks valencia. just to clarify some schools have nursery, kinder 1 and 2. do you mean at 2 yrs 8 months they go to nursery or kinder 1? Isn't that kind of too young? I don't think my son will pass the rigid interviews that the schools give.

  4. #4
    Valencia is offline Registered User
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    Playgroups in nursery start at 2 years old, whereas K1 starts at 2 yrs 8 months, which is the lowest age requirement according to the HK govt. Kindergartens start their 1st term in August and 2nd term in Feb. Your son will be 2 yrs 6 month in August, which means he won't be qualified for K1 then. He may enrol in a playgroup. My cousin's son is in a similar situation and he is going to nursery instead of K1. As for interviews, they're aren't that difficult if you don't choose the really hot kindies, certainly not for nursery.

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    scr
    scr is offline Registered User
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    Just as Valencia has mentioned, my son was 2 years 5 months last august and I enrolled him in nursery. The "interview" was nothing but a chat between me and the principal while she just watched my son. My son didn't speak a word of english then as I was only talking with him in mother tongue. The principal said that's not a problem, she just wants to make sure the child has no obvious learning disabilities. As long as mother and child seem to be communicating and understanding each other they will be offered a place in the school.

    If you think your child is not ready for school yet, you can wait one more year and send him directly to K1 next year. Many people feel 2 and 1/2 is too young for a child to be going to school. But from personal experience school was the best thing to happen to my son. He took 3 weeks to settle down and cried every time I left sure..but after that he just blossomed. I can't believe the child he is now. He used to be so clingy and afraid of everyone. 2 months in school and he became so friendly and talkative and social ! Every child is different though so you can decide what's best for your son. For me other than the fact that my son was so clingy I really needed some "me" time as well. Being a housewife and having no helper part-time or otherwise putting my son in school was good for both of us. I suppose if it had turned out to be a bad decision for him I would have pulled him out of school and waited another year.

    Sorry for the looong post, hope it helped !

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    val23 is offline Registered User
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    thanks

    thanks valencia and scr.

    Btw scr, which nursery did you send your son to?
    The problem with my son is that he speaks less than 100 english words and doesn't know a word of cantonese. I'm actually thinking of a nursery that perhaps offers 3 days a week class or something but then the one I know of has mostly local students only and I don't know whether my son can communicate with them or not. But then I also want my son to learn Mandarin and at least some Cantonese so as to have the option of sending him to a local school later on.

  7. #7
    scr
    scr is offline Registered User
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    Hi Val23,
    My son attends the "Think international kindergarten and nursery" which is located in Laguna city, kowloon. They have the local curriculum and offer "international" section where they conduct classes only in english (canadian curriculum). So at this point he is exposed to no cantonese and no mandarin. Since I don't ever plan to send my son to a local school i opted for english only. He will be learning mandarin in primary school later on and maybe I can supplement those with extra classes. Being an expat, I'm more worried about what to do if we have to leave HK than him learning to speak in cantonese.
    Regarding your son being able to communicate with other kids..they learn so quickly at this young age. I could bet you that if you do decide to put him in a local school he will be speaking cantonese within no time!

    my son started school and could not speak english. Within a few months he was speaking so much english. And now it's a struggle to get him to speak in his mother tongue !

  8. #8
    Joyce is offline Registered User
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    Initially, I only wanted to send by daughter to 3 days a week to a pre-nursery (that didn't require mothers to be there). She loved going to playgroups but I knew that she would be bored if she waited for another year before going to pre-school. She was only 2 years and 3 months when she first started. The nursery was very accomodating about my request for 3 days even though it was a 5 day nursery. My daughter loved it and she went 5 days straight away. It's predominatly Cantonese with some imput of English and Mandarin. We're overseas chinese and worried that she may become English speaking only as my husband and I don't speak enough to her in Cantonese. Not only does my daughter enjoy going to her nursery, I can see vast improvements in her Cantonese too and its great to see that she has blossomed in all aspects. I used to be rather critical of parents here who push their children to nursery, especially having been brought up overseas, you would not send your child to nursery so young but I do see the benefits. Of course, it really does depend on your individual child and had my daughter been miserable, I would have taken her out straight away.

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