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What age should we start school?

  1. #1
    erina320's Avatar
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    What age should we start school?

    We'll be moving to TC in a few months an I've been looking at schools for my 3 yr old. We've been toying with the idea of not enrolling her until next year to allow some time to adjust and travel. I was wondering when other Mom's enroll their little one's and if she'll be behind if we wait?

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    By TC do you mean Tung Chung? I think whether or not you enroll your daughter in school depends on so many things--but mostly her personality and what your goals are. My son was enrolled in nursery school when he was 2-years-old and started kindergarten this past autumn before he turned 3-years-old and it has be great for us. He's a very high-energy child who needs a lot of social interaction and stimulation and where we live, he wasn't able to really get that (very few children, no parks nearby etc.) so kindergarten is a really fun experience for him. He goes half-days, comes home eats lunch and takes a nap and then spends time with us (mom and dad) in the evenings. It works really well for our family--especially since I'm working outside the home and we have a 2-month-old who also needs care.

    Whether she'll be behind or not is hard to say. If she has plenty of social interaction and learning opportunities at home and with friends then she probably won't be behind. There are local families who choose not to send their children to kindergarten at all and then they just start primary 1 when they're 6-years-old. I have to say, though, that generally, the children who don't attend kindergarten at all (the ones I teach) don't adjust as easily to primary school life and can be behind in their language skills (English and Cantonese). If you're able to provide enough stimulation to help your daughter develop in key areas (numeracy, language, social skills) then she'll likely do just fine when she starts school.
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    Thank you. Yes by TC I mean Tung Chung.

    She does require a lot of attention and interaction throughout the day which becomes very fatiguing for me. I try my best to engage her with playgrounds, play dates, trips to the zoo, gymnastics and the like, but she is very shy and unsure of how to interact with other children. I don't know if school will help her or hinder her because of this.

    I will definitely enroll her in kindergarten at some point before primary school, as I hope it will ease her into the transition of being at school. I'm just not sure if it'll be this year or next.

  4. #4
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    Yes, i think it does depend on your child, circumstances and also the culture you come from. we sent our son when he was 2.5 but for just 3 mornings a week. we wanted our son in something more structured before #2 arrived (2 months later) and we wanted to him to meet new children his age since socialization is so important at this age. Being at home with me is great and I am a teacher by trade, but I felt a school environment could provide him with new experiences that I just could not. My son is high-energy and very social. But as an American we normally don't send our kids to school until 4 so this was a bit of a dilemma. In the end though, you have to think what will benefit your child the most and as a result, he loves going to school!

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    my one started at 1.5 with playgroups (mommy accompanied) 2 times a week, then "graduated" at 2.4 to pre-school 2 times a week, now at 2.8 she is attending full day (3 hours) everyday. she is shy in nature and her language is delayed so for us it was a nice opportunity for her to socialize and to develop her language skills...though as a teacher myself, I had reservations about starting so young, I can now see the benefits of it - she really enjoys school and though i can teacher her most of the stuff at home, it is easier for them to learn from their peers - even at this age.

  6. #6
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    "Let children be children" is my attitude.

    I think there is too much pressure to rush kids into formalized schooling here and we opted to keep our four year old in only a half day program. He'll start full day next Fall at age 5. Our 2.5 year old has a late birthday (November) so he'll be an extra 'year behind' others born in his year given the cutoff date.

    The US starts at five generally (though some districts have four year old kindergarten) and the UK starts at four, but educators in the UK are now looking at moving that back to as much as six. Finland starts around seven or so and does quite well on educational assessments worldwide.

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/l...cle2392738.ece
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/6925642.stm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10413402

    I agree, however, with other posts that mention the social benefit of some activities. We were lucky in that our building has a rather large playroom for children and our kids have benefited immensely from playing with other children in our own building such that the pressure to have to go to a school for socialization was diminished.

    Unfortunately, one thing to watch for is entry spots. It's simple math than when there are 30 openings and 100 kids applying for reception age 4 you'll have a much better chance at getting in compared to 5 openings and 70 kids for reception age 5.

    In the end it really comes down to your kid and how you are assessing their development. If a part-time K is too much you could also look at some formal classes like art, soccer, etc just to get them out of the house and in the presence of other children.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    rebekah is offline Registered User
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    we are with you, penguinsix. We are holding off until at least 4, probably five, and maybe even 6. We may or may not still be in Hong Kong at that time, so that's a factor, but we are not going to sweat it and cross the hurdles as we get there. We just believe in a kid being a kid for the short time they can.

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    erina320's Avatar
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    Penguinsix- I totally agree. I'm not eager to rush her off to school just yet and I'd much rather her be the oldest kid in the class considering her shy nature.

    She has been involved in various activities since she was 8 months old including Kindermusik, Little Gym and Gymnastics as well as playdates, but she does still suffer from insecurity when around other children. I'm thinking preschool twice a week for a few hours might boost her confidence, but I'm not sure. As far as everyday of the week full days... I'm the one who's not ready for that yet!

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