In situations where parents are allowed to keep their child in play-based learning for another year, most are choosing to move them up into formal education.
While still very much the minority, a slowly-increasing number of Aussie parents are choosing to wait until their child has reached the oldest age they are allowed to start.
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There have been many studies into what is the best decision. Some studies suggest delaying is academically beneficial when they look at the performance averages in late primary years.
Other studies have found there's no difference by late high school, and others still say that one choice or the other can be detrimental.
Wherever parents have a choice however, what matters most is making the right choice for your child, and ensuring they have all the academic and emotional support they need through all stages of their schooling.
Most importantly, ensure they're emotionally ready for the experience of school.
- Can they concentrate for 20 minutes at a time?
- Can they look after themselves through the day (with regards to dressing, eating and going to the toilet)?
- Can they make their needs known to the school staff (preferably at the appropriate times)?
- Can they keep track of their possessions such as their hat, jumper, lunch box and pencil case?
- Can they co-exist with other students and make friends?
If the answers are yes then they should be ready to start.