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should I delay schooling for my son

  1. #9
    spockey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Mumsy, going through heart surgery is a HUGE deal. And if don't wish to traumatise him any further, just take it easy. Lots of kids all over the world do not start school til they are 4.

    The Canadian International or the Australian International don't accept kids til they turn 4 in that year they begin school.

    The great thing about HK is that you can always find a school to suit the needs of your child (provided to have access to international schools). Whether or not your child starts school at 2.something or 3 or 4 will not affect his future. It's merely hype and as a working mother, I see it as a way to assuage my guilt. And since in general (from personal observation), in HK, the norm is to NOT have one parent stay at home, the kids are sent off to school at an earlier age.

    It's more important that at this age, he is nurtured and grows up in a warm, caring and loving environment. So many studies have shown that this is sometimes a LOT more important to the outcome when he is an adult rather than when he starts school.

    As a teacher, I can say this much - Going to school shouldn't be a traumatic experience. The negative outcomes outweigh the positive outcomes!

  2. #10
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005

    DoraT, your remarks are ignorant.
    Only in HK/Japan do children 'have' to start school by three. One of the many reasons why many people (including vast numbers of local Chinese) will not send their kids through the local system, is because of the immense pressure that the children are put under - by parents who spout the same ideas you just did. School is 3 which leads to exams at 4 is just nonsense. Playing at 3 in a structured learning environment is not so developmentally necessary that a sick child should be scarred by the experience.
    Autistic? Clearly you don't know what this work means. Same for ADHD. Not all children develop the same way at the same time, and this doesn't mean there's something wrong with them. A little child who has had constant medical monitoring is bound to have some issues with new situations.
    MAJOR HEART SURGERY. Do have any idea of what that would entail? We;re talking a bout a 3 year having their chest cut open, their ribs cut and spread, and a long recovery time.
    No doubt you feel that he should be 'sorted out' if he doesn't behave at the click of the fingers.
    The other advice given here is sympathtic, and understanding, Yours is judgemental, ill-informed and irrelevent.

    Mumsy - many educational experts believe that there is an argument to be made for boys starting a year later than girls. I'm not sure where I stand on this one, but surely the emtional well being of your son is the most important thing. His 'schooling' will be interruted with the surgery anway, so I would think it is better for him to feel secure, happy and safe. His health and happiness is more important than if he can know his alphabet by 3.5.
    I have friends with premmie babies who have kept their kids back a year and they all say that it was the best thing they ever did. At the end of 13 years of school, then university, who cares whether he started at 3 or 4?
    Just keep him happy, and the best of luck to your little one for the coming years.

  3. #11
    mumsy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hong Kong

    I would like to thank everyone for their positive and encouraging thoughts.

    It is most likely that we will defer schooling for another year, and having made this decision I feel so much better like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

    Our dilemma of whether to start school at 3yr was always about my son’s social/emotional development – whether it would help or traumatise him further - I never once thought it would make him smarter or give him a better head start. Back in our days, we just went to school when it was compulsory - I don’t even know if kindergartens existed then - and we all turned out well.

    I’m not opposed to early schooling but it should be in an environment where the child can learn/develop freely at their own pace, and not made to sit still and listen and be handed homework every day (even my friend’s 2yr old gets homework at local nursery).

    DoraT – I was surprised by the ADHD/Autism comment but no offense taken….and yes, he has very good eye contact.

    Anyway, I’ll continue to take him to Parent/Toddler playgroups and just take it slow and easy. Thanks again.

  4. #12
    PreggerC is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Hi Mumsy - when we first arrived HK I kept hearing from other parents that you 'have' to start them w/ school early blah blah blah. the truth is, no you don't have to. you do whatever is suitable for your child and for youself. my son was born Sept05 as well. he is very outgoing and has been going to 3 hr schools five days a week and loves it. but it's not for everyone - you can tell that class size for 2 and 3 year olds are a lot smaller than 4 years old - most expats still send their children to school at 4yo. your son's health sounds like a more important factor though - once they start school they start getting sick - my son started in october and has been hospitalized from gastroenteritis and gotten really bad chest cold twice. if he is going to endure a major surgery your priority should be to nurse him and make sure he is healthy and happy. most international schools that we're looking at don't start until 3 or 4. and even at 3yo, the class size is small. best of luck and really, don't worry too much about his social skills - he's been traumatized w/ strangers poking at him and 'hurting' him and it's understandable that it's difficult for him to trust. additionally, kids at 2yo are still doing parallel play, no worries if he doesn't play with other kids. he has time. Goodluck and i hope this helps.

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