Saturday, 23 March 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013." via Che and Fidel

Jack: He is usually high-energy not able to be still, so it's lovely to see him sitting quietly contemplating.
Harry: Incoming tide at Brunswick Heads. 
Charlie: Sand and water are two of his favourite things.
Oscar: Learning to balance on whatever he can find.

Harry started primary school this year, but the other day I made the agonising decision to pull him out at the end of this term. Five full days of school just seems to be having a negative impact on my four year old boy. School, like an incoming tide, was swallowing him up.

I hope I've made the right decision - my gut says it is. Have you delayed formal schooling for your child - is four too young to start primary school?


  1. I didn't even know you could delay or change the start date of primary school. I have a lot to learn about education in Queensland it seems. Four is young though, I imagine it depends on the child. You know him better than anyone, follow your gut. ALso, completely missed your comment a while back offering the kitchen. Thank you so much for the offer, really generous of you.

  2. Hi Caroline,

    Your portraits of your lovely boys are awesome this week - I really love the light in the third one ;-)

    I've heard there are changes to the school system in Queensland this year but regardless of where you live there always seems to be that issue of whether you send or hold back a child when their birthday is on the age cut-off of the school year. No doubt you would have made the right decision for your boy - go with your gut :-). As you say, you've given it a go and decided it was too early. In NSW they can start full-time when they are 4 as long as they turn 5 before July. My eldest son would have turned 5 in May but we held him back in Sydney - I didn't think he was ready and also didn't want him to be in a year where other boys were almost 18 months older than him because the norm there was to hold boys back. Maybe not an issue for Kinder but down the track I worried about a 14 year old being in a class with 16 year old boys. As it turned out, holding him back fitted in perfectly with the school system in Tasmania where they start later. My little boys are 4 and they started Kindy this year (they will be 5 in August) but it's only 15 hours a week (at this school they go 2 days one week and 3 days the next) and they are utterly tired by the end of the 3-day week. They start full-time school next year when they are already 5 (turning 6) and If we were still in NSW they would also be starting school next year. They would not have coped with full-time school this year. Having said all that, 30 years ago I started full-time school when I was 4, turning 5, in NSW and coped fine but everyone the same age did the same. It's different these days and it's a personal choice depending on the child. Agh! Apologies for the essay!!

    Mel x

  3. I think four is too young. I held my daughter back and she turned 18 at the very end of year 12 (December baby) and I think it was a great decision. She was better equipped and more mature to deal with situations. Jarvis is only 15 months and I will do the same with him.
    Children, sometimes just need to be children. But I always think the parents know their children the best and it should be up to them to make the final decision.

  4. Yes, my Ol boy turned 6 at the beginning of March, I started him this year, I just knew in my heart that he was not ready for school last year, socially in particular. It is the best thing I have ever done for that little boy, our rough year last year took its toll on him and I'm glad he had some time to recover, bit even without our dramas, I still believe sending him to school would have been the absolute wrong decision for him. I think you will be really happy with your decision. Here it seems to becoming the norm to wait till kids are turning 6, there are far fewer 4 year olds than ever.
    Look at it this way, your Harry has had a fabulous orientation to school!

  5. beautiful pictures of your boys

  6. We are going to hold Toddler C back.
    He is a May and so would be young for his year.
    We are thinking he will do one year of kindy at his child care, another year of kindy at our local C&K and then he will start prep when he is 5.5 instead of 4.5.
    I just think that 4.5 is too young for real school...they are still just babies!

    Did you see the 60 Minutes segment? I think it was from last week?
    I am sure you can find it on the was just saying that having 4 year olds and almost 6 year olds in the same classroom was too big of a gap and that if you felt your child wasn't quite ready for school then the best thing you can do for them is to hold them back.