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Should Your Child Repeat A School Year

by Jemma Fletcher (follow)
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Should you trust the teacher or make your own decision?

Across our platform of online mum groups, members regularly ask each other for advice and suggestions on a range of topics.

The following question proved to be very popular:

"Has anyone been recommended to have their child repeat '(age) 3 year' of kindy by their teacher? My daughter has only done 1 term (and no daycare prior) and the teacher feels she's not emotionally ready to move up yet. Please share your thoughts and experiences."

Depending on where you're located, you may be more familiar with other terms for 'kindy - kindergarten', such as preschool, reception or primary one.

If this is a dilemma you're currently facing, we hope these mum opinions and experiences assist you with your decision:

Speaking from experience – YES!

" Yes, and the best decision we ever made. Good luck with yours."

"My little one who was 4 in March was enrolled in kinder this year, but I found she was not emotionally ready and needed more confidence, so I took her out. She has done so well this year – the best thing I did for her."

"A few friends are doing this voluntarily for the same reasons. In my opinion, it's better to hold them back now and ensure they are ready and happy to move forward. It may be a better long term view to take it slowly at the start of their education rather than potentially struggle later on. Good luck."

"I didn't bother with three year old kinder, we just went straight into 4 year old kinder. However, my children have always done a couple of days at childcare due to me working so some of the social emotional issues some children can experience weren't a problem for us."

Trust the teacher

"Trust the teacher, they have the experience required to help guide you. Kinder is the best time to do this rather than struggling later on."

"My son's kinder friend repeated. He has an early year birthday and his mum found it was the best as his concentration was heaps improved (and also some medical issues sorted too which helped). If your kinder teacher has heaps of experience, I would follow their lead."

"I would take the teacher's advice."

"I think if the educator is telling you that then I think that would be the best idea because they work with kids all day and they know when they're ready, but in saying that you're the mother and you know best."

"Many families don't know their child in the care setting, a very different environment than home life! Educators have spent years researching current childhood philosophies and practices not to mention on the job training so they can assess individual children's needs. Like Julie Shutie said, families will thank you later. Good luck Mumma."

"Please take the teacher's advice as useful feedback. I wish someone had taken me aside and said that about my youngest child. Instead they told me he was ready for school when he really wasn’t and we have regretted it ever since."

"Kinda is more about maturity rather than academics so take the teachers advice. The child will benefit from this."

Trust your own judgement

"It's up to you.... you're her mother, you know what is best."

"You’re her parent, you make the ‘gut instinct’ Call lovely.. you don’t need anyone to dictate your child’s education."

" I'm choosing for my daughter to do 3 yr old kinder twice and she doesn't start till next year lol. Starting prep is too young regardless if they are ready, I want her to be 5 turning 6 when she starts school."

"Research shows that there is very little benefit to rushing kids through if they’re not emotionally/socially/developmentally ready. I would be inclined to repeat my son if that were the case. If you’re feeling unsure though, definitely request to speak to the kinder teacher in more detail and ask them to explain their reasons."

"Go with your gut feeling. One of my friends left her child in Junior kinder for 2 years then went to prep. He was great with both. My daughter was very young and should have done a second year inJjunior as her first year in senior was difficult, then she did a second year in senior. Now she is confident and happy."

Opinions from others teachers

"As a Prep teacher I can tell you no parent has ever come to me and said 'I wish I hadn't given my child a second year of kinder'. However I've had many come to me and say 'I wish I did give my child a second year!' If they're not ready, particularly socially and emotionally then give them time. All the research shows there's no harm in more time!"

"I'm a teacher too and you're better off doing it now than having her struggle later on. You can really tell the younger kids even when teaching them in grade 4. I heard a saying – you want your child to thrive not just cope. Good luck."

"I am a careers adviser in a secondary school and I have seen many kids totally disengage wih school. It's often the kids who are younger than their peers and have always struggled to keep up. It's not about academic readiness or intelligence, it's more social maturity that makes the difference. My daughter is a summer baby and I am sending her later."

"I have not had this experience, however, as a secondary teacher, I can say that it’s much better to hold them back at this stage than later in life."

"They had a speaker in at my childcare centre a few weeks back talking about school readiness. I know this is kinder you’re talking about and not school, but I would say the same principles apply. They were saying if you’re in doubt you’re much better to keep them in kinder for an extra year at this young age because otherwise you risk them playing “catch up” their whole school lives."

Have you held your child back before? Was is a good decision? Let us know!

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