Hi everyone !
I live in Australia, and my daughter is 6 years old and about to finish year 1, and start year 2. We had a choice to delay her starting kindergarten due to her being born in January, but chose to start her early because she had such an interest in learning. We also did not have the ASD diagnosis, so we felt ok starting her at school. I do not regret her starting kindergarten last year, it helped with her diagnosis, and starting early intervention, which we might have delayed a year if she started the following year.... if all that makes sense.
However, this has made one of the youngest in her class. So we are seeing her being the baby of the year, and the relationships she forms seem to more her peers taking care of her, rather than forming friendships. I also see that the other kids are much more socially and emotionally mature than her. I feel like she would fit in a bit better with the year below, and would be more matched to their maturity. I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand being around older peers that will look after her is a good thing, on the other hand would being putting her with less mature kids be beneficial or make things worse?
Does she have friends? She didnt have any at the start of the year, then towards mid-year she formed a close friendship with one of her class mates, but now she is once again without friends at lunch times. She does go up to people at lunch times, they also have lego tables available, so she goes in to play there with others. She also goes up to people who might grab her interest... but no regular friends.
I feel like the decision to repeat or not is now, because the longer we leave it, the harder it will be.
Should I repeat her, or keep going?
I had the same choice with my daughter she is currently in year 1 and i was asked if i would want her to start the following year. She has peers that she will play with but if she doesn't get to control the scenario she will play by herself but she does not have really friends and that panics me all the time but she is settled in the class and to move her to the class below would be a bad decision as she doesn't like anyone to know that she is different to everyone else. You need to go with your gut and maybe ask your daughter in a few questions what she likes and dislikes and if she would mind moving to the lower class.
My gut is saying repeat. My dd is very social, she wants friends, and constantly wants to play with other kids, but she is currently getting alot of rejection because she is not only the baby of her grade, she turns 7 in January, while her peers are already 7 from earlier in the year, and some kids are even 8. Plus being ASD, she is also immature for her age, and has communication and sensory problems. My gut says that holding her back will place her with peers more closer to her age and maturity level. The benefit would also be that she will be a bigger girl, rather than the baby of the entire grade, which I think is affecting her relationships and independence. She sees her peers achieving more, and she gets discouraged and frustrated because she can't do it.
I have actually talked to her about it, and she is not upset about it. When I asked her, and I did ask her she asked why. So I explained that she is a bit little for her grade, and that being in the lower grade she will be a big girl and be with friends more her age. I don't think it will affect her friendships too much, the kindergarten class has only been together one year so they havent established concrete friends yet, and the school splits the classes every year anyway.
I've also spoken to her speech therapist, psychologist and OT, and they all believe it might be a good idea if she does repeat. I just feel like this will not be an option next year