To send ds part time in reception?

(121 Posts)

Ds should be starting this September. He will be 4 and 2 months, and I suppose because he was six weeks prem in some ways I still think of him as being less than that (crazy but true).

Although I think he will cope academically I'm worried about how tired he will be. I know they are all tired and I know that some children go to nursery full time from a very young age. However, I think school is very different because there are so many additional expectations and a level of independence which is not expected at nursery.
Ds has never been great sleep wise. Generally the more tired he is the less he sleeps. He will not nod off for a little nap in the classroom. More likely he will become extremely tearful and emotional or aggressive and hyper.
He will then be told off which will upset him further.
I do have some concerns about his emotional maturity but generally I think he will be ok...provided he's not so exhausted that he doesn't know what to do with himself.

I cannot see the benefit of making him "cope" with a full week when that is at best what he will be doing, coping and hanging on by the skin of his teeth. He won't concentrate well so I'm not sure what value it will be to him. I'm hoping he will be able to go mornings only for the first term. The mornings are when they do the bulk of their learning, he could stop for lunch as it would be social and then come home. Some of the energy he uses is nervous energy (quite an anxious child) so by January it will be familiar to him and he will be better placed to attend full time. I am concerned that if he starts too early it will put him off.

Has anyone done similar with their child? I'd rather not delay him until January but if the school say no to part time I will consider it. All the children are in mornings only for one week but that's it. Then full time. I didn't know whether to take a flexi schooling approach (I am a teacher) whereby the school could mark ds as educated off site in the afternoon and we could do something calm and undemanding in the afternoon (Library, phonics, puzzles).
I have visited reception in the afternoon. It is manic. It is the opposite of calm. If ds is tired and overwhelmed he will meltdown. Am I doing the right thing going for part time?

Oblomov Sun 26-May-13 09:36:29

All the mums of summer borns say that or our school looks after the young ones, not just a little bit, but a huge amount.

I haven't met the teacher yet, believe it is a male teacher but not sure. It was last year but they may have moved things round again I guess.
Ds would be going in to a reception and year 1 mix. So he will be nearly two whole years younger than the eldest in the class.

If ds starts and is ready and wants to go full time I wouldn't stop him! I'm being very positive about school with him.

knackeredmother Sun 26-May-13 09:45:00

Trust your instincts, don't listen to anyone else. You know what is right for your son.

Saski Sun 26-May-13 09:53:43

I think it's insane how early kids are shipped off to reception in this country - I would keep mine home til as late as possible.

I was fortunate in that my kids were relatively old for the year (my oldest son is THE oldest, and my youngest one of the oldest) - which might not be great for them academically - but some kids are still wobbly toddlers!

Smartiepants79 Sun 26-May-13 10:18:15

The problem with deferring for a year in England is that he would not get a reception year at all.
He would go straight into year 1. They have to stay with their peer group. Children do not get kept back a year unless there are some very serious special needs or background issues.

CalicoRose Sun 26-May-13 10:19:55

Have you got any UK data to say that ADHD is more often diagnosed in summer borns?

In this country (unlike the US which is very different) it's very hard to get a diagnosis of ADHD even if you do have it....

It's certainly not common to get a diagnosis without years of extreme stress and anxiety and problems.

Alligatorpie Sun 26-May-13 10:24:53

I teach kindergarten (not in the UK) and I would not want one part time student in my class. All children are tired when they start school, and in the first few weeks of class we have quiet time with a story, soft music and students lying on cushions after lunch. This continues as long as the class need it, (sometimes until Christmas), although I have colleagues who do this all year.

What if you need to talk to the teacher - will you interrupt her teaching or supervising the children to do it? I often have several projects on the go at once, we might spend 15 minutes after math to continue with a writing / colouring project we started in the morning, you dc would miss that completion time. It would also mean you child might consistently miss library, computer class or PE if they were scheduled at a time he would not be there.

If I have planned a (say) language arts class and the students are hyper or unable to focus, I will take them outside instead. That means the LA lesson is taught at a different time. With a K class, you just go with it and I would worry that one student is missing a lot of curriculum. It would also mean he would need a lot of one on one attention to make up the lessons. Time a teacher can fit in if it is a one off absence, but frustrating if it is a daily occurance. Also, you might find it is disruptive for the other children to have someone coming and going at different times. Aos, what would you about assemblies? Buddy classses? Field trips? These are all important aspects of building a classroom community.

If you have the option of deferring his entry, I strongly encourage you to do that, if you truly feel that full time is not an option for him.

I know it is hard to send you pfb to school. Despite being in the same school as my dd, I still struggled with it. But I really believe part time is not the solution.

Good luck.

Alligatorpie Sun 26-May-13 10:28:13

Also - bfing and typing on ipad- not a good combo.

Casey Sun 26-May-13 10:29:33

Ds1's yr2 teacher told me that when he daughter was this age, she would pick her up to take her home for lunch then she'd have a nap. The she took her back into school just in time for afternoon play at 2.30 followed by story time. The dear child was oblivious to the fact that she was missing part of the school day!

See this is my issue with reception. On one hand people say oh it's very relaxed, they don't learn much etc but then on the other people say they'll really miss out if they don't go.

I think I will have to see what the school say and what ds is like come September.

Saski Sun 26-May-13 11:48:42

Reception is important for kids who don't have a stimulating home environment.

scottishmummy Sun 26-May-13 11:52:51

I think the posts are predominately your anxiety,your anticipation and stress
your ds snt first kid go school at 4yo and there will be other youngsters too
you need to think about regulating your response and not making this a big deal

I know that scottishmunmy. I know he won't be the only one. But he's the only one I'm worried about!

5madthings Sun 26-May-13 11:58:26

i sent ds3 part time until easter in reception. it was fine, he didnt miss out.

ds4 is march born he went full time straight away as he wanted to and was ready for it but i do give him the odd day off if he is too tired for school.

scottishmummy Sun 26-May-13 12:05:10

you need to be calm,upbeat and positive about school to support son.not a stress bunny
look he's not first youngster,he won't be last you need to reign this in and be more stoic
being a parent is about letting them becoming increasing independent and doing big stuff.you need to support this,not get all angsty.

fuzzpig Sun 26-May-13 12:05:57

My June baby only did half days on Friday for the first 2 terms in reception. It was our choice, I simply went to the HT (she stands at the gate every morning so very approachable/informal smile) and said I was a bit concerned about her getting tired (she found nursery very tiring) and would it be ok to just pick her up at 12 on one day a week. No problem whatsoever. It was HT who suggested Fridays as she knew that there wouldn't be phonics/numeracy during the session she would miss.

She is in yr1 now and has always done brilliantly both socially and in her school work so it didn't cause any problems IMO. I never considered doing this more than once a week though.

DS will be 4 on 30th August! Nursery (attached to school) have said they recommend a very slow start with lots of half days, he has a significant speech delay (although he is improving). I'm actually concerned this will make it worse particularly socially, as I know some of the other children call him a baby because he doesn't speak properly. There is a parent induction meeting after half term though so hopefully we will get more information then.

fuzzpig Sun 26-May-13 12:07:27

BTW we only started doing half days on Fridays after she had been at school for a while (ie once we knew there was an issue with tiredness, rather than anticipating one that may not have occurred IYSWIM)

lljkk Sun 26-May-13 12:14:34

I don't think you can decide this until you try it. I would try sending him full time and see how it goes.

lottieandmia Sun 26-May-13 12:26:33

I have this problem too - dd3 is not in nursery full time - she goes 3 days a week but will start full time school in September and will have to get used to a 8.30 - 3.30 day Monday to Friday from the outset and I am worried about how tired she'll be. Even though she was 4 in April she still gets very tired in the afternoons and her behaviour seems to get very challenging and she can't be reasoned with at these times. I am a bit worried what she will be like when I pick her up tbh. My other children were not napping much after the age of 3.5 really.

HotheadPaisan Sun 26-May-13 13:01:36

DS1 was half-time for most of YR, he said he wanted to go FT towards the end of the year so he did. He has ASD and I regret sending him at all to pre-school, he just wasn't ready and it was awful. In a ideal world I would do 2/3rds school and a 1/3rd at home for him.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 26-May-13 16:04:24

Ask the school what sort of things they do in the afternoons to see if you are happy with him missing those. If you don't mind him missing out on getting to know the afternoon routines and are ok with him feeling a bit like he doesn't know what's going on when everyone else does when he does start doing afternoons, then that's your decision.

Academically it will make very little difference. Socially and emotionally, it might. You have o think about the areas that concern you most.

Samu2 Sun 26-May-13 16:46:31

My four year old should be going up full time in sept as well.

I say should because they have to do three weeks of half days then there is a meeting between the teachers and parents to decide whether or not they feel the child is ready for full time school.

I think this is a great idea but my 4 year old is ready for full time school for sure.

JerseySpud Sun 26-May-13 16:54:23

personally i think yab a tad u

He will miss out on so much, friend making, play time etc in reception if he is part time and will stand out if he is the only part timer.

JerseySpud Sun 26-May-13 16:55:06

and my youngest is a June baby and small for her age.

pooka Sun 26-May-13 17:06:13

Our lea still offers sept/jan starts but when dd was reception age they either started in sept or in jan depending upon age - dd has July irtheay, so was a January starter. I am thankful for this, because I would it be happy with a just 4 year old starting school.

Luckily ds1 and ds2 are early September birthdays. Ds1 started on his 5th birthday and ds2 will be 5 and a week (1st sept birthday). Ds1 would have been lost emotionally although fine academically if he'd started just after his 4th birthday. The extra time at home/preschool was invaluable.

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