School starting age ??

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    Have spoken to her teachers in playschool and they strongly recommended that she start when she is five. The extra year in montessori will do her the world of good. Soccermum, its not the class size or class per se that worries me , its the school yard – looking after herself once the teacher lets them out for their breaks etc….what happens then :shock: As a quiet child i cant see her blossoming in that situation – whereas the extra year in montessori will stand to her and she should be well able for her peers and the school yard when she is five :D :D


    I received a letter from a local school inviting my dd to start school in Sept. She will be 4 and 3 mths. I think she is too young – she is academically minded but socially she wouldnt be up to the mark yet ie she wouldnt be able to stand up for herself and include herself etc. etc. She does 2 mornings a week at playschool and she will be going to Montessori in Sept. So i dont want to start her until she is 5 and 3 mths but the school principal wants as many children as she can in so she can get a new teacher 😯 Under pressure or not im not willing to let her start this early – am i wrong ? What age did other Mums start their kids in school at ??


    A mum and school principal, and was as well a bit desperate for numbers but still told me,
    she had experience of parents regretting not having kept her child a year extra at home / playschool. She never had parents regretting sending their child to school later.
    My daughter was 4 and 4months, when she started, playschool told me she was ready.
    So I sent her, academicly she was ready but a bit too young to stand for herself.
    It took her a good 6+ months to get ajusted.
    My son did start at 4 and 7 months, and the difference was massive, also he had his sister already in school.

    They both are doing well, but maybe i should have kept her a bit longer at home. I had some doubts at the begining, now I’m ok. I did start her that year because her friend from playschool was going to the same school, because I knew as well that the number of kids in her class that year was going to be low.
    They are so many factors, not only the age.



    DD started school when she was 4 and 2 months and i see a big difference in her confidence and her behaviour in a good way she wont be 5 till july and she is starting senior infants in september.


    hi beams

    i will be in the same position as you for when my ds2 starts school, but i will not be sending him to school until 5 and 3 months, this was told by me by my school of choice, they returned my application notice stating they had decided that it best to wait until 5 and 3 months..

    each case is different and most children are different, some ready emotionally some ready acedemically….

    i never heard a mother complain that they sent their child too late to school but have heard numerous people say they should not have sent them early…..

    starting school can be such a big step and huge emotional adjustment for any child, starting school even if well emotionally and acedmically, but they will face things they were not prepared for ie. the school yard, meeting 120 students or even more dashing about the place compared to when they were in preschool/montessori….the class set up contending with 28 other kids versus their smaller number being in preschool/montessori, the new system that they are encountering, the routine, the learning experience and also socialising in a new way compared to before, they are out of comfort zones and dealing with all this too, let alone mammy trying to make sure that he/she is ok…

    i would go with your gut, regardless of what pressure you feel you’re under…

    i think it’s bad form that a school would pleed for children to be sent just so they could get numbers in order to secure a teacher….i would ask them, have they thought of the emtional side of everything if that child does not adjust well and possibly have to stay back a year….this has happened in some cases, and for some children they have to repat the same work load that they had covered and therefore later on have not excelled in the learning enviornment, they switch off and are left behind…very sad…..the principal surely should be aware of this and should be wise enough to know the conciquences of this….

    rant over 😆


    I feel that the older they start the better, my ds started at 5 and 2 month and the whole independent part of school is very hard even at 5, dont forget they have to do little things themselves that the teacher in playschool did for them… ie looking after their hat and coat, lunchbox, bag, school notes, Artwork, school books and worksheets.
    My ds2 will be 4 and 11months starting, im wasnt too happy about this but think he would be too old if i kept him till 5, im sure i could send him at 3 and 11 and he would cope grand as he is a total nutter 🙄

    Im against kids going to school too young, im speaking from my own personal experience, i was 4 at the end of September and i started school 3 weeks later on my Birthday (still remember that day roaring my eyes out)
    But as a result it was in later years that i felt the pressure, i was 15 for the first 3 weeks of sixth year, did my leaving cert at 16… i turned 17 that september and i got the course place i wanted but it was in Galway, my father said i was too young to live away from home, so i started working to waste a few years but i never took up my place… something i always regret

    Scole we are lucky that the juniors are in a yard together, most schools only have 1 yard so you could have 300 or 400 hundred kids and a little 4 year old.
    Dont think its fair that a school would pleed that you send your child so young, they arent thinking of the childs best intrests but the schools… go with your gut feelings, mammy knows best xxx


    I would wait, our two children who are in school both started when they were 5 and they have done really well. I feel if we had sent them aged 4 it would have been more difficult for them. They are not the tallest kids, so if they started at 4 they would have been among the smallest in their class and they would not have been as able for reading & writing as they are. The extra year gives them a good advantage for a good start.

    There have been lots of parents saying they wish they had waited the extra year, in some cases I know parents who have taken their children out after a few weeks of school because they would not settle and decided to wait until they are 5, this is a big disruption for the kids and it probably would have been better if they had waited until they were 5.

    I also know some parents who moved their child from a gaelscoil to an English speaking school, thinking it would be easier on them to adapt as they were only 4 and they though the problem was the Irish language but this did not resolve the problems and now its too late to do anything about it as they are in their second year.

    It is a big decision, you have to take it individually based on the child and also, what your instinct tells you.



    Well, my little girl will be 4 and 5 months, and I’ll be starting her in Sept. And she is currently the smallest in her Montessori class….
    Perhaps I’m taking a chance, but I think it is the right thing for her… she is flying in Montessori, and at least she’ll have her big brother the year above her….


    chewieodie I am very similar to you, I am starting my ds at 4 and 4 months this Sept, he also has a brother a year ahead of him, I think in an ideal world I may have kept him back a year, but he has done his montossori year and he is dying to go to big school like his brother, and he would be fairly street wise and has great pencil control and loves doing work. His montossori said he was ready although they did say he is the youngest in his monstossori year going!!!


    Yeah, mine has done her year, and although quiet at times with the other kids…. she would be the one they all seem to want to be friends with…. little manipulator that she is! 😆 🙄 She is now starting to come out of herself at school.
    Now at home, she rules the roost, no doubt…. so in one way I wonder if she is too young, but she also can’t wait to join her big brother at big school… so I think to keep her back another year just wouldn’t suit her…
    Ah well, time will tell! 😕


    You have to look at each child individually, parents know their own children best and can make the best decision for them.

    Our son was quite small and not great with his speech when he was 4 so it was best for us to wait until he was 5 and then because we waited with him, we did the same with his sister.

    As long as they’re happy and getting on well, thats main thing


    My dd is very tall for her age – and she may indeed stand out in school being the tallest – but i think in my heart and soul she would do much better at 5 than 4. She is great academically, very quick and picks things up easily , very eager to learn and likes structured learning (teacher tells me alot of this from her playschool) but she is still too young emotionally. There is no way she would be able to look after herself in a school yard, mind her lunch, her hat and coat … i have the added worry of a nut allergy 🙄 Have talked DH around at this stage (he wanted her to start thinking she was ready but he wasnt thinking of the emotional side just the academic side) . I will speak to playschool on Monday and see how they feel but i am going to wait til 5 ! Thanks ladies for your thoughts x


    Beams delighted you have made your choice, i dont think you will regret it at all, they grow up so much in a year, they are better able to cope with the emotional element of big school. We have a big milestone coming up, ds1 has only realised that he will be getting a new teacher in September, he isnt happy at all as he loves his current teacher, its very hard on the young kids.
    Beams dont worry about the nuts alergy, in ds school NO NUTS of any kid, spreads, biscuits allowed at all, im sure most schools are the same

    Chewiodie i think with second children who are close in age they are more able to cope with an early school start, they see their sibling going into big school, they see the homework etc… she will be fine. My ds2 is only 2.5 and he cries EVERYDAY at the school gate roaring " me go to big school today with my thomas bag!" If i let him he would go in and believe me he would manage better then most, ds1 was so different 🙄


    you know that some schools have a strict rule where the child must be 4 in the spring before they start – my dd2 won’t be 4 until the june and altought she appears well able to handle herself we have no intention of sending her until she’s 5 and myself & dh are both happy with that.
    My nephew is a july b’day and the year he was 4 i think i’d have cried if he’d gone to school but by the following year he was well able.
    That’s not to say that some children aren’t able for it i do know others who have sent their children quite young and so far so good – i’m just thinking about the social end of things at the other end of school years and for me well i’d rather wait.
    BUT as is everything else with parenting – it’s a personal choice!


    I definately think its dependent on each child and also when their birthday falls. Four of mine had earlier birthdays so were 4yrs11mths, 4yrs6mths, 4yrs9mths,4yrs,9mths starting school and I am still happy with that decision. My last little boy will be the youngsest at 4yrs 4mths starting school. I have put so much thought into this and checking with schools/preschools etc. I did consider was he young to start preschool then school next September but weighing it all up in his case its not a straight forward age issue as I do feel he is emotionally and socially well able for preschool and school the following year.

    He is my last child so has learnt so much from his brother/sisters about the whole ‘school’ thing and leaving home in the mornings to go to school. I also childmind so he is very used to the routine of getting up early every morning, having breakfast etc. and other little children coming to our house. He has never really had me one-on-one all day at home so is not as clingy as he could have been. He is actually asking to go to school and has been doing so for a good 6mths now. He is eager to get going.

    I would do a lot of play at home and he is writting the first 2 letters of his name, counts to 10, knows his basic shapes, colours etc. Again, this is also because he loves showing off to his older brother/sisters that he ‘knows’ things too. 🙂 But he is a child that loves to learn and I feel he will only benefit from preschool in September.

    Regarding being ‘asked’ to start your child for numbers sake don’t give it a thought. Look after your own child’s needs first.

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