5 years old and not in kindy yet?

I have not sent my 5 year old to kindergarden yet for several reasons. I’m teaching her at home so we feel its not very necessary. We’re moving soon and we didn’t want her to go through too many changes. We feel a bit stressed out by the changes and I’m sure the little ones would be too. Kindergarden is not cheap so cost is also a factor. We’d also have to make some adjustments and special arrangements for transportation to send her. Safety is also a concern.

However, I can’t help but worry. It seems to be the norm that parents send their kids to kindergarden for at least 2 years these days. I have not heard of anyone sending their kid to kindy at 6 years anymore.

Yes, I am worried. I am worried she won’t be able to catch up with the lessons. I am also worried about the social aspect. She was very shy when she was younger, although better now. (Previously she would run to hide under the table even when my own sister came to visit) I am worried she is not being given the chance to mix around with other kids very much. She does not have any cousins or relatives her age. They’re all much older. I am worried that by the time I send her at 6, she will be the only odd one out having difficulty fitting in because all the other children already know each other, the teachers and the school and won’t be having the first day blues of the 5 year olds.

Almost everyone I meet, including the older generation, ie the grandparents of other kids express surprise (or rather shock would be the more appropriate word to use) that my girl is not in “school” yet. So am I doing the right thing?

I personally did not attend any kindergarden but of course things were different then. Have things changed so much? Is 2 years of kindergarden absolutely necessary these days or the kids will be left out? What about the poorer people who cannot afford to send their kids? Will they be behind when they enter Standard 1?

Why are parents sending their kids for 2 years of kindy nowadays? Because it is a must or because we are caving in to pressure from other parents (I do feel the pressure to send her) or is it because nowadays both parents are working so then it is a better idea to send the kid to kindy to learn and mix with other kids. However I noticed that even children with one working parent and a mum whose home like me are being sent for 2 years of preschool education these days.

I feel pressured and I feel worried. Even more worried when I read about other parents blogging about their kids first day in kindy. And their kids are younger than mine. I hope other parents can give their input on what they feel about this. Do you know of anyone who sent their child to kindy at age 6 and if so, what was their experience? Thanks.

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  1. pablopabla says:

    We don’t intend to send our girl to kindy till she is 5. 2 years should suffice. Next year, we might send her to Kindermusik – 1 hour 2 to 3 times a week. At the moment, she loves Sunday School – so, socialising is not a problem.

    Don’t fall to peer pressure. If you are able to teach her at home, it is good enough.

    But but but your kid attends Sunday school what, so no worries mah. Ok ok lah. I shall not succumb to peer pressure. I shall not succumb to peer pressure. 

  2. Ken says:

    I heard my mom boss is sending her children to kindergarden at the age of 3.
    Then, sent them to private school. They even jump class at standard 3. Jump from standard 3 to standard 5.
    I heard because the teacher found them a bit fast in learning.
    Yea…time has change…
    To me, kids nowadays are getting smarter and parents…err, more like ‘kiasu’ type liau.

    *Sorry for my bad english.*

    I’m also a kiasu parent. Thats why I wrote this post. LOL!. Errm.. whats wrong with your English?

  3. michelle says:

    It will depend on whether you are sending your child to Chinese or National primary school. If Chinese I would suggest to start early, as I heard that the syllabus is difficult even for primary 1.

    Previously I wanted to send the kids to Chinese school but I’ve abandoned the idea because by doing so, I’d have problems coaching them at home.

  4. Doris says:

    Hi MG, I sent Clayton to a mandarin class (1.5hrs) when he was 20mths, and that’s becos he’s got so much energy and we needed some devoted time to get work done in the mornings. He is enjoying it and learning alot too. Personally, you shouldn’t feel pressurised, esp when you are spending lots of quality time with your daughter – teaching and coaching her. As long as she’s not afraid of strangers and mixes well with other kids, it shouldn’t be problem. It is good to provide her some opportunities to mingle with others every now and then so that she can learn to socialise and children do learn thru play too. I do agree that if you plan to send her to a chinese school (and if you and DH don’t speak/read much mandarin) then you may like to get her started earlier.

    Just my opinion lah..

    Yes, I’m thinking of a compromise, like a once a week kind of thing on music or art or whatever just to give her a chance to have fun and socialise.

  5. clair says:

    Each child is different and you know your child best, MG so just go with what works for her. Kindy is more for developing social skills. Academics, no worries lah if you’ve been teaching her at home.

    If you’re sending her to Chinese school, then I guess you need to prepare her for the avalanche of homework, tuition and beatings (geez!) LOL.

    I’m not worried about her academics but I’m worried about BM and social skills. One year to pick up on social skills should be good enough isn’t it, I’m thinking aloud.

  6. Mae says:

    Hi MG, I am new and I thought maybe this may help. A friend of mine sent her kid to kindi at 6. Initially he had problems in std 1 esp his BM, they speak only Eng at home. But when he got to std 2, he was able to catch up with the other students. Michelle is right about the Chinese school issue. Some kindi start chinese lessons at age 4.

    Thats definitely useful infoe mae, thanks a lot. 🙂

  7. Shannon says:

    Well, I’m a beginner mom, and have no experience in this, but I personally thing that 1 year of kindy (learning) is enuf for kids.. the rest of the time, it’s the socialising with other kids that matters, so if u do provide her the chance to socialise and mingle with kids her age, whether or not she attend kindy at 5, does not matter… just my 2 cents on this topic… 😀

    Hi Shanon, welcome to my blog. The problem is she has not many opportunities to mingle with other kids loh.

  8. Tracy says:

    MG, when one of my frens told me she was sending her 4 year old kid to kindy (dat was last year), I was like ‘huh? why so early and why pressure the small kid?’. I told her I’m going to send my kid when she’s 5.

    Tell u frankly, I thought I could teach my girl too but I was so wrong. I was only able to teach her the very basics and completely different from the kindies’ way of teaching. I didn’t go to kindy too but time has changed and the methods they are using are really different from yester years.

    In my opinion, 2 years in kindy will be sufficient. I gathered dat kids who studied before (when they were 4) are just doing revised syllabuses as what my girl (who’s 5 years old) is going to study.

    I’m going to send my girl to a Chinese school too, so being one of the ‘kiasu’ mommies *blek* I’m getting my girl prepared and I made sure the kindy she goes has the Chinese subject included.

    My girl is of the shy and not so friendly type and doesn’t like to socialise except when she’s with her VERY FEW close frens whom she sees nearly every day in the apartment. Today is her 2nd day in school and when she came back, she had lots to tell me when she was in class – what the teacher taught her, what she ate, whom she made friends with, etc – I feel dat it’s a good start for her.

    As for ur question on poorer people, my younger sis (whose hubby is earning not much) sent her 2 kids to the government kindies whereby fees and books were free of charge and in which she had only to pay a little for registration fee and for accessories like pencils, colour pencils, etc.

    I don’t mean to say u are not able to coach ur girl or afford her to go to kindy but just consider the things she’s going to learn in school will be very different from what u’ll be teaching. Moreover, she gets to learn new and different things every day in school instead of u having to survey around and might be lack of ideas what to teach her. And sometimes I’m sure u’ll postpone ur time too (get what I mean?).

    Those are my opinions, no offence, okay?

    Thanks for the opinion. Of course I’m not offended. Why should I be? I agree with what you said about teaching at home. It takes a lot of commitment and time!

    Hubby had earlier told me that my teaching method should be more structured so I started teaching her English, Math and Art using textbooks. We also do Arts and Crafts, some moral studies (when we read her manners books), and now starting on Malay (I had trouble finding good books for those) and she has time on the PC which has many wonderful interactive learning sites.

    She loves all her lessons with me because it means she has my full attention during those times. I can see that she enjoys learning because she is always pleased by her own progress or each time she learns something new. She knows almost all the nursery rhymes and can sing very well too. She also reads well and is now reading Book 9B from the Peter and Jane series. 

    I am not worried about her academic progress because I believe she is learning a lot at home from personal one to one attention. What I am worried about is the fact that I am not able to give her the kind of school environment that a kindy will have to prepare her for school, as well as the interaction with peers (classmates), teachers (figures of authority), where she’d have to learn to put up her hands to ask to go to toilet or ask a question etc (those things I can’t teach her) and the chance to build her social skills (when the kids get together to put on a show for example) but I suppose or rather I hope that one year of kindy is enough to pick up on those skills or get used to the classroom environment.


  9. Cherry says:

    I attended kindergarten at 3 so that means I spent 3 years there. I am no parent but I think sending children to school early is good as it allows them to mix around with other kids and teachers. They also get to learn ABCs, 123s, singing and dancing…all the kiddy stuff. You might be able to teach your girl all these things but teachers in the kindergarten will be able to teach your girl more.

    Hey there Cherry. Long time no see! Yes, I agree with you that the teachers in kindy can teach her more plus the fact that she would have fun singing and dancing with other children instead of alone or just with her brother. Thats why I am wrote this post and wondering whether I am doing the right thing?

  10. J Leese says:

    MG, there are pros and cons pending on your child. You should be proud that you are not led by peer pressure.
    In my opinion, the cons for a child having had spent so many years in prekinder/kinder….and by the time they start school, they are mentally exhausted or bored by the things Primary one has to offer.
    A child may start to read at 3 – 4 but come 6, most of those who could read early are at par with some brighter kids.
    You know your child best but whatever it is, never allow your child to be under pressure by what is around her. Happiness is the best thing you can give a child because when they are happy, they will achieve regardless. I speak about happiness from my experience with my son (long story so I won’t go into it). I also speak of advance age being at par come a point from experience with my daughter.
    You are a great mum who does a lot of work with your children at home….if you feel at peace about it then continue to go with the flow of your own instinct.

    “Happiness is the best thing you can give a child because when they are happy, they will achieve regardless.”

    Thank you. Thank you Judy for this reminder.

  11. crazymommy says:

    Don’t worry, MG. Children can adapt very well and quickly too. Most of the time parents know very well how their children learn. If it doesn’t concern you now in terms of her attitude & progress in learning, then she will most likely be fine when she finally goes to school. The only thing I see you probably need to do is to find more social activities for your girl. What I did with Nikita when she was younger is to enrol her to some gym class. That way, she gets to see and talk to new people. And yes, don’t succumb to peer pressure. 🙂

    Yes, yes. I was thinking of some singing or speech and drama classes which is on once a week or something like that but even those will have to wait for now because we are pretty occupied with our moving.


  12. FireHorse says:

    Dun worry about what other people are doing, just do what’s best for your child. Let me share something that I regret doing until this day. I am one of those that caved and it was a bad experience for both my son and myself, more so for him. You see he wasn’t emotionally ready (double whammy being a boy, only child, plus introverted) and because I had all the fears that you have (e.g., social, academic etc) I enrolled him inspite of my gut feeling. He was so miserable, cried every single day and guess what at the end of the 2 years we still couldn’t see any benefits. We were dumb young parents, shud have taken him out after the first few months but our “kiasu” behavior prevented us from doing so. Oso very scared do the wrong thing, send wrong signal by removing him from school. i.e., if you cry everyday then no need to go to school can stay home.

    Thanks for sharing dear. Being a parent is hard eh? We worry about everything under the sun and constantly ask ourselves “Am I doing the right thing?”

  13. Jesslyn says:

    My initial plan is to send her to school when she is 6!! We did teach her at home almost everyday, she know lot of words and math as well. But now i enroll her early just becos she and her sis will “verbal fight/quarrel” at home, so in order to reduce this kind incident, I sent her to school! hahaa…also can let my MIL have some peace at home, at least in the morning la.

    One more thing, we choose the cheapest nursery too!

    Hahaha. Yes, Jesslyn, the fights drive me crazy too!

  14. pablopabla says:

    I must add here:-

    Since you are spending loads of time with her, spend your time teaching her good values. That’s parenting. That is not a teacher’s job. When your kids start schooling, you will have lesser time with them to teach such values. So, you are on the right track. As for academics, she has probably the next 10 to 20 years to succeed. But what is success? All the “A”s in the world will not automatically make one a successful, respected or loved person. At the end of the day, one’s values (honesty, politeness, humbleness, determination, hardworkingness..and the list goes on) are what other’s remember them by.

    My wife laments the fact that she has no choice but to work to supplement our needs. Otherwise, she would rather be at home to teach our daughters during their formative age. Who knows what values teachers teach to our kids?

    Treasure all the time you have with them and create an everlasting bond. It has a bearing on eternity.

    Oh, by the way, Sunday Schools are free. And they teach good values to kids. 🙂

    Thanks for reminding me to teach values as well as to treasure this time 🙂

  15. james says:

    Hmm… the wife also commented. Heh. Anyway, Jesse is 3 this year and we just started him on Kindie. I admit, part of it is kiasuness – but mostly, he’s a bit of a loner and we thought that Kindie might help him socialise, and see what life is like away from Mommy and Daddy. 🙂 And if he learns some stuff along the way, great!

    I guess theres no wrong or right and each child and situation is different.

  16. Shooi says:

    My hubby don support sending the kids too early to kindy. He thinks 2 is more than enuf coz they have a long road infront of them when it comes to school. Might as well let them enjoy it for as long as possible.

    Thats my point. Most people think that 2 years is enough these days but what about 1 year then. Is it enough or not enough anymore?

  17. mott says:

    To be honest..and I suppose many parents will throw rotten tomatoes at me..but maybe by this time, nobody will read this post..haha!!!..coz I’m soooo late!

    IMHO, some parents place too much emphasis on choosing the “RIGHT” school. I’ve always thought as long as school was clean, environment was cheerful..then kid shud be ok. But, now got montesorri, fungates, julia gabriels, smart reader..etc..etc.. To me it’s kinda ridiculous.

    MG..the most important lesson for a child is love. I can see you love your children so much and your children have grown with all your love. (I know..sure got discipline also..but still..called love). As long as you continue to love your child, give them positive energy, be creative with your teachings (which u have been!)…your daughter and son will have no problems.

    You see even if you had sent your child to the bestest kinder/preschool..it all comes to nothing when she comes home everyday and nobody is paying any attention to her. She learns from love. That is my most humble opinion.

    NOW…AIM..SHOOT..FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahah!

    “montesorri, fungates, julia gabriels, smart reader?” Oops! I’d probably choose the nearest. 😛 Terrible hor my main criteria for selecting kindy?

  18. mott says:

    hi..i just realised that you were worried abt her social skills..sorry for the above comment..abit off the mark. Haha.. oh well..if she’s shy..I feel it’s not like sending her to school early will make any diff in the world. I was a very very shy child then. Now, I’m more extrovert..becoz in my college/uni/working days, I found that it ain’t so sexy suffering in silence.

    Yah, I suppose you are right and when it comes to something like shyness, it won’t help if you push them to situations when they are not ready. I should know. I’m shy. Hehe.

  19. barney says:

    hai can i know who plays the most important role in kindi the teachers or the principal
    if teacher y?
    if principal y?
    im in big trauma

    I suppose the principal is the one who calls the shots.

  20. Winnje says:

    My daughter has similar situation like yours. She just turned 3 in Dec07. All her cousins are grown-ups while cousins around her age live in overseas. She doesn’t have friends around the neighbourhood to play and I’m sending her to a Fungates nursery to mix around but turn out that their system is too structured. She’s pleading daily not to go to nursery. While I do think that it’s early to start her off in nursery, but the education system for primary 1 is somewhat frightening and makes me kinda kiasu. Am having mixed feelings whether to just quit and send her next year.

    You are right that our Primary 1 level is somewhat frightening and we need to prepare our kids for that. However age 3 in Dec is still young so you have a bit of time. My boy who turns 4 this year is still home with me. I just sent my daughter to kindy at age 6 for the first time this year. She never attended any playschool or nursery or kindy before this. Since I am a SAHM I was able to teach her at home myself so she is not behind in lessons. I was worried about her social skills but I needn’t have. She loves kindy so I don’t have the stress of dealing with tears and fears.

  21. Kelly says:

    If I would have read this post earlier, I wouldn’t have wasted RM700 enrolment fees for choosing the nearest kindy for my XUan Xuan who is only 4-y-o this march. Xuan Xuan is also an introvert so tot of sending her to school earlier to expose her to more ppl & she would b ok. Xuan cried and cried & cried w the first pre-school, so I send her to another pre-school which is further but still w/i the area. Another RM900of enrolment fees… sometimes Xuan is good but sometimes she doesn’t feel like going to school, and tat’s the time i feel like killing myself… if there’s still mother feels tat 1 yr of pre-school is sufficient for kid so y bother to send XUan to school when she’s not ready!!! Hhhmmm If only i read this post earlier!

    Hi Kelly, don’t beat yourself over it. I am sure Xuan Xuan will eventually like her preschool. Her introvertness may also just be a passing phase. My girl is 5 going to be 6 this year and she has started her preschool this year. Of course I get a lot of strange stares and queries but I don’t care. Hahaha. She used to be such a shy girl and I was really worried about her but I needn’t have because she just loves attending kindy. I am keeping her 3 going to 4 years old brother at home with me and whenever I bring him along to the kindy to take his sister home, I am sure to get this question. “How come he is not attending kindy yet?” but I listen one ear and go out the other. Lol!

  22. hanah says:

    Hi there When i was 2 years old i was sent to kindergarden and left school at 16 because by that time i felt i have lived all my childhood life in supervised school. my husband went when he was 5 years old his mum taught him how to read and write as did mine actually not the teachers. I have a 4 yr old i have not send her yet and am teaching her at home because i do not want her to feel the same as i did and enjoy her childhood blessed yrs. so don’t worry you are the mum you know best & are not alone in giving freedom to your kids from school and socializing aspect kids are quick learners they will adjust. Plus you can teach more at home than at school because the teachers attentions are always diverted to many children. so nutritionally, physically and mentally you will be the one who will be the best support for them in their initially vital stages. any way good luck to all kids out there!

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