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?

posthoc Fri 21-Jun-13 08:22:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

posthoc Fri 21-Jun-13 08:21:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

posthoc Fri 21-Jun-13 08:20:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smartiepants79 Mon 27-May-13 10:15:49

In England deferring for a year is NOT an option unless he has severe special needs.
Part time is a good solution if you are concerned and school will agree.

CombineBananaFister Sun 26-May-13 20:11:43

I think you know your child best and you seem to have thought it out with valid reasons and not just rushing into it. I don't think you seem overly anxious OR pfb about it.

In most other areas of life we anticipate potential problems and try to minimize them with forward planning but when it comes to this subject i think people can be scared of doing what they know is best for them because it's not the norm or not everyone else's doing it. So what?

Trust your instincts and if it turns out better than expected, up his hours. He has MANY years in education to make friends and catch-up BUt only 1 first time to start school and like it instead of hating it.

formicadinosaur Sun 26-May-13 19:23:53

Notyournaan - it's hard to defer for a year and start Reception the following year in England. Often a statement is needed

formicadinosaur Sun 26-May-13 19:22:15

DS now in reception. We did part time till Xmas (although no one else did) and more recently DS just has two afternoons off a week now in the last term. We also did this with my eldest now in Y6 and in the long term it makes no difference what so ever.

I do know my know child much better then a new teacher who has 25 other kids to look after. Putting my childs needs first is most important, above learning numbers to 20 or reading. The learning and social aspect is not something either of my August born sons have stuggled with though. The Reception year should really just be play - other countries don't even have 5 year olds at school!

You can by law have your child in full time, start after the term after thier 5th birthday or do reception part time. Not many schools make the parents aware about the last option.

You need to do what ever is best for your child. He needs to have a positive expereince of his new school.

I knew many parents said to me 'he'll be fine' but their children had different genetics, better stamina, didn't need so much sleep, were older and where quite a bit bigger. You are the best judge.

In your place, I would defer for a year. That way he'll start in reception in a really strong position, being a year older with more stamina, better sleep - he'll be able to take on the world. If your instincts are saying that he's borderline now, then trust yourself, and make it easy for him by letting him start when he's bigger.

Looking at my 4 yr and 4 month old DD now, there's no way I'd let her do 5 full days a week. She only stopped napping about a month ago!

FullOfChoc Sun 26-May-13 19:15:13

I kept my 4 year and 3 month old in her nursery for the autumn term, so she started in January. I would have sent her part time for spring term if I'd felt it was necessary.

It sounds like you have thought this through and you know what's best for your DS.

They have one week part time and then should be in full time. It is not long...

Yes I would probably hope for him to be full time from January.

Flobbadobs Sun 26-May-13 18:58:30

Would the school let Ds start part time and maybe look at it again at Christmas?
DD is the oldest in her year bit I did have the same worries in a way, they all look too little to be starting school at that age! grin
Don't forget that he should have a gradual admission at the start of the new school year, he may not actually do a full week straight away, it might be 2 or 3 weeks in before he stays for a full day, giving him a chance to get used to a new routine and you a chance to monitor how he is settling in.
If pushed I would say your are a wee bit U but only a smidge!

gummybear13 Sun 26-May-13 18:52:18

My little boy was 3 years and one week old the day he started at school, full time. He was fine.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sun 26-May-13 18:47:53

At age 4, the 'social' issues parents worry about are groundless. Kids would tolerate a child being off for medical or whatever reasons, at age 4 they don't notice in the way an older child would.

Beamur Sun 26-May-13 18:40:07

You're always going to get polarised opinions on this issue.
In my personal experience, part time was ideal for my DD, she missed out on very little at school, has made good friends and is now doing well. She was never teased or singled out in any way for being part time - another poster made the comment that her little boy (?) was always welcomed with open arms by the rest of the class when he attended and that was our experience too! I was happy that she got to spend just a tiny extra bit of childhood with me at home.
I think under 5 is very young, regardless of their developmental stage to be in full time education.

big he has to start sometime in reception to keep the place.

I suppose my thinking is that if he started gradually he'd be less overwhelmed and would probably cope much better.

I've noticed when tired he shakes his head from side to side a lot. Other children do comment on it. He only does it when tired and again, it's something he's always done. It's quite manic.

Yes, he's tall and fine weight wise. Fussy eater in that he will only accept certain foods but reasonable range of foods and I give him a multi vitamin. I always worry because I am diabetic and know that tiredness can be a sign but I check him fairly regularly and he's ok touch wood.

Re the tiredness I think a lot of it is nervous energy. Generally he is on the go all the time from the second he gets up until when he goes to bed. He sleeps for 13 hours a night and now sleeps through, although that has only been the last few months. I find he is easily overstimulated and the more tired he is the harder he finds it to sleep. He has been the same since he was a baby. As a baby he'd only sleep in his cot, not in the car or pram. He'd be howling and howling because he was tired but would refuse to sleep unless there was absolutely no stimulation. A bit like a budgie. Although I don't think he fits the asd profile he is in many ways what you would call a 'spirited' child.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 26-May-13 18:28:52

If you can think of other ways o combat the tiredness, my advice would be to do that rather than send him to school differently to the rest of the class.

If a more than at least three others are planning on only doing mornings for a while too, then it might not make much difference. But if your ds will be the only one, or one of two, then the disadvantages might well outweigh the advantages.

You have a point about 4 being very young to start school, but this is the system we have so it's we have to make the best of it.

Your ds is likely to be more tired than usual whenever he starts full time school, doing half a term or a term of mornings only isn't going to make that extra tiredness completely disappear.

Couldn't you just plan to do nothing in the afternoons and have quiet weekends at home for the first few weeks instead?

bigkidsdidit Sun 26-May-13 18:23:58

we've just moved to Scotland and here deferring a year is very common, particularly for boys. My DS is January, which is the equivalent of an August child in England because cutoffs are different, and I will be deferring him so that he starts at 5y8m. You get 2 yeards of preschool funding instead. It is very common and almost universally (among teachers and parents I've talked to) agreed to be much better.

It's such a shame you can't do that. If you defer a whole year would you lose the place?

I'd go part time and shove the doubters, personally!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 26-May-13 18:18:24

Have you seen the GP about his response to tiredness? It sounds quite extreme and I can see why you might worry....but really, if you're that worried about it, pop to the GP and have him checked over. Does he eat well etc? Is he a good weight?

samu that sounds like a great system. The children will have started and it should be easier to tell whether or not they will manage full time.

In not a great fan of shove them in at the deep end and then try and sort it out later.

Quite mixed responses. Obviously I don't want to hold ds back socially. He is quite a socialable little boy and quite confident. It's just the exhaustion. I cannot stress enough how much tiredness affects him. I know it does to a degree with all children but ds seems to really struggle when tired. Noticeably more so than others.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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