To be worried sick about son starting school to young!

(104 Posts)
madmacbrock Thu 04-Apr-13 22:32:27

I appear to be on my own with this.
My son was born on the 29th Aug, and i am dreading school time (his is only 19mths) This is not down to me 'wanting to keep him to myself a bit longer' but all the research i have read that suggests summerborn children (espesially boys) do not do as well as those born in the autumn. He will be smaller than the others, less developed emotionally, physically and mentally. I remeber the summerborn boys from my school years and they were all 'outsiders'
I realise he could start a year later, rather than a few days after his 4th birthday but would go to 1st year rather than reception, that has issues socially! and also seems pointless as he will still be 'behind' all the way through to high school. does anyone know of anyway round this?
I am concidering moving country to a place where the stupid rule doesnt apply or even lying about his DOB, is that fraud? everyone i speak to thinks im over reacting and that the system has been in place for years and he'll cope! Is it wrong of me to want my child to at least have the opportunity to thrive rather than to just cope and get by? confused

Trazzletoes Thu 04-Apr-13 22:36:52

It seems a little odd to be that stressed about it.

I know plenty of people (including boys) with late August birthdays. Yes, the first couple of years were comparatively more difficult but, in my experience, (and no doubt someone will have a scientific study to disprove this) they did the same as everyone else through senior school.

Was your DS planned and born at term? Because if he was then yes, YABU.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 22:40:02

FWIW my three went to a three form entry school, all children were in a class according to birth.

The Summer babies, predominantly boys stormed the 11+ every year (and still do).

Do they not do 'rising 5' intake in January anymore?

And lets be serious for a second. The school year has to start and end somewhere. Even if, hypothetically, all babies were born in the same month, some would still be more capable than others.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Apr-13 22:40:59

Both my ds's are late August borns, and I remember worrying about this too when they were small. But they are both now in the top sets at secondary school and are doing well academically. It is not a given that August borns will automatically be disadvantaged.

YANBU to worry, it's perfectly understandable, but you do need to put it into perspective. The system has been in place for years and he will cope. Think about it, you don't go around everyday life able to identify who were the children that were ff from birth, or didn't walk until they were 20 months, or who were the youngest in their year.

Lovelygoldboots Thu 04-Apr-13 22:42:49

Yanbu to worry. My son was just four when he started in reception and not ready for school. Have you thought about starting him after Christmas. I know two families who did this with summer boys and they kept them in playgroup longer. The first term in reception is exhausting for littlies that aren't ready.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 04-Apr-13 22:42:54

Yanbu. I was scared about it too. My DD was born late July...so a month older than your son.

She's 8 now and FINE! She did have a few issues after the move from infants into Juniors but that has all gone...she's JUST caught up academically though.

She was the last to learn to read in her class bless her...now she is in the top 10% for reading and spelling.

It evens out and your DS won't be the only young one....teachers are all used to it...they know how to deal.

havingamadmoment Thu 04-Apr-13 22:43:02

I was born end of August and had no problems. I have a daughter who is August born who will start in September,if I don't feel she's ready I will take her back out. I really wouldn't spend time worrying.

YANatallU IMO.

I think the early school start is madness, personally.
I know lots and lots of children do absolutely fine, but there ought to be some flexibility.

Having said that, I think you need to give yourself a bit more time to see how he develops. He'll likely not be the only August born child in his year.

What does him having been planned or not got to do with anything? confused

The rest of Europe have age 6 as standard school starting age (Switzerland 7) and the evidence is strongly weighted against early formal education.

Changebagsandgladrags Thu 04-Apr-13 22:44:47

I share your fear. DS1 is now in year 2, he's still behind, but not as much as he was. He still gets upset because one girl in his class is oh so amazingly clever. But she has a September birthday, if she wasn't top of the class I'd be worried as a parent.

Unfortunately, it seems the disadvantage continues all the way through their school years. There was some study about summer burns and Oxford.

However, there are some advantages. In sports, I generally competed against my year group, they were older, mostly. But one I started competing in age group eg under 15s, I had a bit of an advantage. I was used to competing with bigger and better, but the autumn kids were used to competing with younger kids...

I have 5 DCs, three with Nov/Dec birthdays and 2 in July/Aug and honestly, it doesn't seem to have made/be making much difference.
Also, (and Im not 100% certain on the exact rules, but you could easily find out) children don't have to start school at the "usual" time. You can wait until the term after they actually turn five iirc, or something like that, it's later on anyway, so rather than being 4 in August and starting school the next week, your DS could wait a while and go later on.
It is more daunting since they did away with the January intake I think, my DD is 11 in August and started school in January after she was 5, but the system they have now, it would have been the September. That said, all of my DCs went to nursery for 15 hours a week from being 3 or 4 (depending on an available place) and were fine with the transition because they started at the school their nursery was attached to and moved up with all their friends through an integrated "Foundation Stage"
When the time approaches, have a look and see if your local school have this integrated approach to the early years at school maybe, and find out exactly when your son must start school, rather than conventionally would start school iyswim, and bear in mind it is a long way off, relatively speaking, he will grow and develop and come on so much from 19 months to being 5, you will be amazed, really.
If all else fails, look into Home Schooling - it is a last resort or measure of desperation for some families, but for others it's their first choice, and there's no harm looking into it - just try and remember, you need to decide what is best for your son not on your own anxieties and memories and fears. I don't mean that in a nasty way, but are you prehaps transferring your worries to your boy a bit? How was your own experience of school?

catkind Thu 04-Apr-13 22:49:24

Don't stress it yet. Perhaps he'll be one of those kids who are reading at 3 and queuing at the school doors at 4. My son's September 13 entry, and has friends who are Sept 14 entry who are much more ready than him. If you still think he's not ready when it comes to it, defer a term or two, or ask to stay on half days or something. And remember reception isn't the heavy academic business it was when we were at school (or me anyway - perhaps you're younger!), it's much more play based now.

captainbarnacle Thu 04-Apr-13 22:49:25

My son is 23rd Aug, in yr2 and top of his class in reading at the moment. Yes, the trend is that they are behind, but that doesn't mean they all will be.

Whatdoiknowanyway Thu 04-Apr-13 22:50:12

Move to Scotland, the cut off is Jan/Feb

JudithOfThePascha Thu 04-Apr-13 22:51:50

What research have you read? is it focused on YR? Because ai dont think beyond Y1/2 there's much evidence if a disadvantage. Anecdotally, I know my friends who teach in YR and Y2 say that by the time they reach Y2, it makes no difference. YR teachers work to the early years curriculum, so younger ones are usually well catered for. In fact, in DS's school I would say they are more well-suited to cater for younger ones, like my own DS, than the older ones. But that's not necessarily the case, of course. Wait until nearer the time and then speak to your proposed school about your concerns.

I promise I mean this kindly, but I don't think it's usual to be quite so worried about this when he's only 19 months old. Are you a worrier by nature? I know I am and sometimes issues like this can get me down. You do sound very stressed. Perhaps have a think if anything else could be getting you down at the mo?

FannyFifer Thu 04-Apr-13 22:52:16

So just turning 5 in the August? That's quite average for starting school I thought?

Dd could start school next year.
will be 4 in the February so 4 and a half starting but I will be keeping her to the following year as think that's very young.

Myliferocks Thu 04-Apr-13 22:58:18

Reception teachers are used to children being just 4 when they start school.
I've got an end of July born DS and a middle of August born DD.
It completely depends on the individual child as to how they cope and get on being a summer born child at school.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Apr-13 23:01:25

I agree with Judith that reception classes are often much better suited to the younger children in the year than they are the older ones.

I wouldn't recommend holding a child back from starting at the same time as all the other children in a reception class though. In my experience (as a TA in reception) children that have started in the January when all the others started in September have been done no favours by it, and can be disadvantaged by it quite often. You have to remember that there is a huge variation in children even when they are all exactly the same age, and plenty of children do longer days at nursery than they do at school. If its too tiring for them, keep them off for the odd day here and there, don't hold them back.

madmacbrock Thu 04-Apr-13 23:03:55

Thank you for your replies, some have really helped but prehaps i came accross a little erratic, im just really trying to make sure that my son has the best start and it seems to me that this is something that could possibly go against him, it might not, but isnt it my job to at least find out options. I actually had a very good experience with school, im no genius but i certainly diddnt struggle, im oct, my sis (july) and dh(june) did. they are just 2 examples of many.
As i say my DS is 19mts, he started walking at 9mths can say sentances of 3 sometimes 4 words and can even count to 10 so im not worried about his development (proud mum smile) if im honest im not overconcerned about how he'll cope with primary but more concerned with the knock on effect of high school when things get a bit tougher! AIstillBU?

Sommink Thu 04-Apr-13 23:04:13

Why do September children have to be top of the class changebags?

My friend was an august baby. She got a scholarship to St Andrews and now works in nuclear physics. So made no difference to her learning.

Have you thought about a January start? Gives you and him a little more time together and a little more time to grow. I wouldn't worry to much. There are some children in DD's reception class that had naps for the first term or two if the needed it (TBH I think some still do now if they are feeling rundown etc). Classroom just had some beanbags in the corner so they could go lie down if they were tired!!!!!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 04-Apr-13 23:06:10

Yes YABU still. By the time they get to 9 or so, it evens out.

Trills Thu 04-Apr-13 23:06:15

YABVU to be "dreading" it so many years in advance.

You don't know what he will be like in a few years time.

Much as I am in priciple much more in favour of a later formal school start, I do think who well an individual child does is impossible to predict.
I just wish there was a bit more flexibility... glad to be living in Scotland

He is very young just now, OP, wait and see. Chances are, he'll be fine.

AWwwww mad calm your self grin - high school is a LONG way off and a concerned, interested parent(s) who help out and take notice and read and "do stuff" and see there's enough food and sleep and not too much electronic crap and so on are a much better help than being born in whatever month could ever be.
Buy him a microscope and a telescope and a chemistry set, and a book called "Backyard Ballistics" and anything else you can find that looks interesting (not all at once and not yet obviously grin) and let him out to make stuff and break stuff and blow stuff up and grow stuff and launch rockets and BE and he will be fine, I promise!
It must be true because Pom Bear Said So <nods wisely>

ParadiseChick Thu 04-Apr-13 23:09:56

This is why I prefer the Scottish system, an extra year means an extra year at nursery, starting p1 a year later. Not missing reception then joining kids with the same age range, just a year later.

Fudgemallowdelight Thu 04-Apr-13 23:12:30

Was your DS planned and born at term? Because if he was then yes, YABU.

What does this mean Trazzletoes?

youarewinning Thu 04-Apr-13 23:15:15

My DS is late August born.

He's way behind in literacy and way ahead in numeracy.

He's on SEN register as possible learning difficulty in relation to writing skills.

That's about him though and his abilty - not to do with birth date.

He's proof the birthdate doesn't make a difference necessarily. He wasn't socially ready for school but I feel the staggered starts (1/2 day etc) don't help them with this. Having poorer social skills and also having to make friends in less time is a little counterproductive!

ohtobecleo Thu 04-Apr-13 23:16:18

I have a DS born on 30th August. He's just started Secondary and in top set in most subjects. I will say however that I think that summer babies are (generally) a little behind in maturity. My DS had no problem keeping up with the class academically but he has always been smaller than the rest of his class and at least 6 months behind in maturity. But considering that his 2 best friends in primary were early September babies (so a whole year older than him) he did really well to keep up.

Ultimately it depends on the child. I wouldn't worry too much at this stage about something you can't really do anything about. There will be many hurdles along the way and his DOB is just one. Just enjoy him smile.

formicaqueen Thu 04-Apr-13 23:25:20

My DS is summer born and in reception. He is doing very well academically but just gets more exhausted then the older bigger kids.

I think reading and developing a love of reading can be central to thriving at school.

We also had a part time timetable for quite a while.

Trazzletoes Thu 04-Apr-13 23:29:06

It means that the OP is unreasonable to be worried sick about this and dreading it if she chose to ttc a baby that was reasonably likely to be born in August.

EnidRollins Thu 04-Apr-13 23:32:22

My ds is EXACTLY the same age as yours was when starting school. He's now 9, and top of his class. Seriously, you've nothing to worry about. It might seem tiny when they start but they don't suffer in any way. He's the very youngest in the entire Upper Juniors but still in the top groups where some are 10 and literally a whole year older.
Don't worry so much, he'll be fine. smile

noblegiraffe Thu 04-Apr-13 23:33:40

See how you feel in a year. My August baby will be starting reception in September at just turned 4 and I think he's ready for it, he'd be completely bored if he had to stay at pre school another year.

Don't be silly trazzle I have 5 DCs and desperately wanted a September baby (nothing to do with school start dates) and missed all five times! It's hardly an exact science hmm

FannyFifer Thu 04-Apr-13 23:38:12

Does no one else find that really sad about the bean bags & the children having a nap, jings if they need a nap at school then really they are to young to be there. hmm

balia Thu 04-Apr-13 23:40:41

YANBU to be protective of your little one - DS was born in March but prem, and so was a tiny dot. I was horrified by the idea of school - I still carried him around on my hip like a toddler! I couldn't imagine him being able to cope with mealtimes or playtimes with all those huge giant kids. But he thrived - he struggled physically with being very tired/not wanting to go on and off for the first year - but mentally he was ready and he's among the brightest in his class now (year 1). And it forced me (and DH who was way worse than me) to deal with some of the 'babying' issues.

Also, don't forget that just like all kids are different, schools are too - go check them out, it might make you feel more relaxed. Plus kids make huge leaps in development at all sorts of times.

Now, don't take this the wrong way - are there other things you perhaps feel more strongly about than other people? Is it possible you might be over-reacting to this for any other reason (depression/anxiety etc)? Because considering lying about his b'day/moving is a bit extreme, and you sound like a generally rational and sensible person.

BackforGood Thu 04-Apr-13 23:40:51

Yes, YABU. From your boast, your ds is certainly reaching all developmental milestones, and is advanced over "average". It is pretty likely he will continue in that vein throughout his school years too. There is a statistical correlation between younger (Summer Born) children and those who aren't ready to start school the Sept after they are 4, but the influence of the home is MASSIVE. Even going with the correlation, it evens out before they get to secondary school.
Enjoy your ds now - don't hit him with negative vibes about how he will do poorly at school because of his birthdate - or that might become a self fulfilling prophesy.

madmacbrock Thu 04-Apr-13 23:46:35

Ds was planned Trazzletoes, he was actually planned for over 5 years and choose to be concieved in december and was ironically born a week early. Im not really sure i can be classed as Unreasonable on those grounds.
It is however nice to hear about other DC who are summerborn and doing well and thanks pombear you are def on my wavelength.

stressyBessy22 Fri 05-Apr-13 00:00:41

it is not correct to say it evens out by secondary school.there is still a statistically significant difference at gcse

madmacbrock Fri 05-Apr-13 00:03:29

I have to also say that Im not crazy or depressed, im not a helicopter parent i let him make mistakes, i wasnt boasting either just trying to stress that his development is not causing my concern, if you must know he has never once slept through and enjoys biting the dogs ears! It is just that I seem to keep comming across this research and it alarms me that people just sit back and accept that prehaphs there child may not do as well as they could. Maybe Ds will grow up to be a vet or a toilet cleaner i dont really care either way I just want to ensure that he gets the same chances as everybody else smile

99problems Fri 05-Apr-13 00:04:23

I was really concerned about this, ds is born late June and has speech and lang delays and is generally 'immature'. He's currently in reception and will be on an IEP (individual education plan) by the end of the year, meaning he will get lots of support hopefully in Yr 1. Whether this is due to his summer birthday I'm not sure.

My ds is also massive for his age (99th percentile, aged 6-7 clothes and tallest in class!), I call him my gentle giant lol. But the teacher and speech therapist have said to me it's easy to forget he's a summer born and expect more of him based on his height.

My ds is behind in literacy - can't read/write yet and many of his peers, particularly girls can. BUT in my experience working in schools this is standard despite age, teachers sometimes need different approaches in their teaching to boys and girls imo.

I think the trick is to get them simply enjoying what they are learning about, so instead of pushing my ds to read, atm at home we are focusing on me getting him interested in books, choosing fantastic stories and bringing them to life. I made alphabet cookies, we play lots of online games for phonics etc... And the teacher said he's come on faster than she intially expected.

Good luck OP, I am sure your ds will be fine, this time last year I felt the same as you. Make sure you establish a good relationship with teacher too, I meet with ds' once a term to catch up on where he's at and what we can reinforce at home. Also best advice is don't panic if/when talking to other parents saying their kid can do xyz, ok my ds can't spell 'cat' but he can build fantastic things, is fearless in parks/monkey bars etc and is a bright kid.

Pancakeflipper Fri 05-Apr-13 00:07:11

Stop worrying about it now. One of my siblings is a 31st Aug baby. No Jan starts for our Primary. And they are very successf and renown in their career. They are totally barmy but brilliant.

Pancakeflipper Fri 05-Apr-13 00:09:09

I have noticed its often noticeable during KS1 the birthday difference. But during juniors it lessens and by secondary- they are defined by what they are good at.

SquirrelNuts Fri 05-Apr-13 00:13:34

YANBU i was born late in the school year and did better than all of my jan/feb born friends. But with DS ive been dreading it since it dawned on me he'd be just be 4.1 i find out in 7 days time what school hes got into, ( which im very nervous about as theres only 1 school i want him to go to) im still unsure whether to send him to school or keep him in nursery.

Our daughter is 28th August. She loves school. She gets to be with friends, constant stimulus [Mummy sometimes has to do house jobs], has nice dinners, meets lovely grown ups, does teacm sports, gets to go on trips. Her teacher was very aware of her young age [youngest in the school...] and supported her adn us accordingly,

She is now in year 1 and is still a happy bunny and at all milestones.

Totally normal to worry, we did but don;t feel it will automatically be dreadful

podgymumma Fri 05-Apr-13 00:43:52

He's 19 months.

How do you know he's going to be smaller than the others, less developed emotionally, physically and mentally confused

piprabbit Fri 05-Apr-13 00:55:44

There are so many variables that you really can't assume that his birth date will have a negative impact on him.

Some children will not have attended nursery, they will be learning to cope with the social skills and rules.
Some children will not speak English at home, they will have their own struggles.
Some children will have issues around food, or toilets, or doing up their own coats.
Other children will have disabilities (that may not even have been diagnosed).
Your DS might hit the ground running, love the school, adore his teacher and thrive.

Put this to the back of your mind for another year or so and just enjoy him. There will be plenty of time to look at your options a bit closer to when you apply and when you've had a chance to visit local schools and talk about your concerns with them.

Booyhoo Fri 05-Apr-13 01:07:24

i worry about this too.

I'm in NI and the cut off is the 1st of july. my ds is an end of may baby and at almost four still has quite unclear speech and is far more immature than his brother was at that age (never mind stage of education). he is due to start primary in september and although i can choose to hold him back for another year, he has already been at the feeder nursery for a year and will be moving up with all his classmates so i dont want to make him feel different by being the only one leaving 'school' (nursery) and then not doing anything for a year. there is no reception class just p1. i think i'll send him to school as planned and if any problems arise i'll deal with them as and when. the p1 teacher and TA are fantastic (ds1 went there too) so i have no doubts taht tehy will be on top of any issues.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Fri 05-Apr-13 01:11:48

Yanbu my eldest two are aug and july born. They were not ready for school just after they turned four and its one of the reasons we chose to home educate for a while.

They started school aged 9 and 6 in yr 5 and yr2. They are now in yr9 and yr6 and doimg brilliantly, ds1 is predicted a's for gcse and ds2 has been.put in for higher level sats. But they werent ready at age 4.

You could wait smd let him.start after easter or send him on a part time basis for a while until he is 5.

Ds is late August and he started reception just 4 days after he turned 4 there was him and another boys with the same birthday. The head said she keeps a close eye on the late summer born children as they can sometimes struggle to keep up. He and his little friend did really well, he loved it even though he was exhausted at the end of each day, he managed to keep up all the way through to High school and was still 17 when he went off to Uni. Don't worry too much the teachers are used to having all ages, and know that some are only just old enough to go to school.

Trazzletoes Fri 05-Apr-13 06:05:58

OP. I was just saying (before you clarified that you actually were not worried sick) that if it were something that concerned you that much, it would be unreasonable to be SO concerned about a characteristic (date of birth) that you could easily have given him a reasonable chance of not having by not ttc that month.

But you have since clarified that you aren't as terrified as your OP makes out. So my comment turned out to be irrelevant.

Trazzletoes Fri 05-Apr-13 06:15:17

Oh pombear of course it's not an exact science! But I don't think I'm being silly...

Date of birth is the one thing in childbirth that there is a small degree of control over and HAD it been as important as the OP had initially suggested, I was saying that it would have made more sense not to ttc that month. Presumably she wasn't aiming for an exact date in September, but if you are due at the start of October, there is a chance of an August baby, of course, but significantly less than if you are due in the first week of September.

But as per my last post, that is irrelevant now.

We never planned our children or even looked at when the birthdays would be, Ds 1 wasn't due till mid September but has a late August birthday.
I think having a healthy baby is more important that what day they are born on.
OP if your child is only 19months there is plenty of time to make sure he is ready for school. He can go to preschool, nursery, and make sure to do lots of reading and give him opportunities to use pencils and crayons. Do anything you can to help him, that's all you can do.

Beatrixpotty Fri 05-Apr-13 06:59:12

I understand why you are worried,it's something we have thought about too and there are articles that come out from time to time about how summer babies don't do as well as older ones.My son is also born at the end of August.Never crossed my mind when TTC though.Had an ELCS and everyone was telling me to move it September but I didn't want to tempt fate by even asking !
As he's got older,I worry less and less.He's starting school in September.He's at pre-school 4 days a week and most of his friends are the older kids born in the winter-it hasn't held him back socially at all.He's grown out of playgroups etc and if he had another year at home I think he'd get bored.I've no concerns about him being ready for school..As for how well he does at school,well,I'll help him as much as I can but they do things at their own pace and I'm not going to force it to make up for being young.It's just one of those things.

blueballoon79 Fri 05-Apr-13 07:13:24

I think you're worrying far too much about something that's not even happened yet.

In terms of coping well at school academically my DS had a lot more going against him than yours- he's disabled, his father died and he comes from a single parent family with a mother who has depression.

However he's doing absolutely fine at school. He works hard, does well at what he does and does a lot of extra curricular activities and has a broad range of friends.

I on the other hand was September born, came from a stable family, was extremely academic and always breezed through my exams with A's, yet suffered a life time of bullying, social exclusion and was very unhappy at school.

Nobody could have predicted either of those scenarios.

Please don't waste your time worrying about things that haven't happened as as your son grows he'll give you enough to worry about that has or is happening! That's children for you- a never ending source of worry!

weegiemum Fri 05-Apr-13 07:26:33

YANBU to worry. I did my MEd thesis on secondary transition and younger boys really do struggle.

I'm in Scotland and its arranged differently here, it's done by calendar year, roughly, so no child starts before 4y5m and there's an option to defer (proper deferral, not just missing reception) for dc born dec-march. Meant my 2 feb born children started school at 5y6m, my November born at 4y9m (which seemed really young!!)

There's quite a lot you can do to help - top one I found is really encourage sleep, even a nap after school. Good diet! Consider extended part time in first couple of half-terms. Helping with organisation -at secondary, younger boys are more likely to forget homework, books, equipment so getting into a bag-packing habit (this was my intervention that I researched!) can make a huge difference.

We had been looking into moving to London but in the end decided to stay in Glasgow as none of ne boroughs we contacted were prepared to keep our children in the school year they were currently in, the 2 oldest would have been automatically skipped up a year. Plus there would have been no bilingual support for Gaelic speakers. So we stayed put.

sashh Fri 05-Apr-13 07:56:47

Let me just phone my cousin and say those 10 A grade GCSEs (this was before A*) and 3 A grade A Levels are not really hers. As for her degree and successful career....

Then I'll call my niece and tell her to stop doing so well on her degree and to scrap her GCSEs and A Level too.

sweetkitty Fri 05-Apr-13 08:16:15

Was just going to say nice to Scotland, as weegie mum has said the youngest they go is 4y6m, if thru are Jan/Feb born you can defer and loads of parents do. They then get another full year at nursery and start with the P1 intake next year.

LIZS Fri 05-Apr-13 08:18:05

Worry about it in 2 1/2 years' time

katiecubs Fri 05-Apr-13 08:20:00

DS is an August baby and when he starts school he will be in a class with similar ages peers as they have 4 classes per year - roughly jun-aug will be his class so teaching is more appropriate to their level. Find out how it works at the school he is going to, I'm sure they have measured in place.

crashdoll Fri 05-Apr-13 08:52:55

YABU to be 'worried sick' about a 19 month old starting school in 2.5 years time. Sorry to be harsh but really, focus on the here and now.

waterrat Fri 05-Apr-13 09:01:10

my little brother is a late august birth - always the youngest in class - now he is an adult and is extremely succesful - he has a masters and a senior civil servant in the fast stream (means they think you are one of the brightest and pick you out from the rest of staff to push you faster/ give you better jobs) - he's always worked really hard even when not being the 'best' academically.

Have you heard of the expression dont carry sticks for bridges you will never cross? Why dont you wait and worry about it if it actually becomes a problem? X

Badvoc Fri 05-Apr-13 09:10:22

Yanbu but ime summer born dc and particularly boys do level out by puberty.
My ds1 is a summer born and - I won't lie to you - has struggled both socially and academically but is now doing well. (He is now year 5)
Just keep in mind your ds may need some extra help (of course it entirely possible he may not) and work on self care before he starts reception...eg: being able to dress and undress himself, wipe his own bottom, take his shoes in and off etc.
It sounds silly, but if he can do all that independently he will be more able to spend his time learning through Kay in reception instead of being taught those skills.

TheCraicDealer Fri 05-Apr-13 09:16:51

I realise he could start a year later, rather than a few days after his 4th birthday but would go to 1st year rather than reception, that has issues socially

Why can't he start reception the September after he turns 5? Are you allowed to do that?

Bobyan Fri 05-Apr-13 09:21:02

I remeber the summerborn boys from my school years and they were all 'outsiders'
And
I am concidering moving country to a place where the stupid rule doesnt apply

Frankly you sound unpleasant and your spelling makes me think that your DOB had little effect on your spelling.

50shadesofvomit Fri 05-Apr-13 09:26:08

Yanbu to worry. My experience is that there is a huge difference between September-August borns for the first couple of years of school (and girls generally seem much more school ready than boys) but it evens out by age 7 or so.

Ds1 was born end of March and Ds2 was born end of August. Both struggled academically for the first 2 years of school but in y2 (third year of schooling) they made huge progress. Ds1 went from bottom table to top table in less than a term and ds2 is rising up the tables too. Top table changed from almost all girls to a mixture of sexes and birthdays.

LIZS Fri 05-Apr-13 09:33:52

no craic you can't except in very exceptional circumstances .

stressyBessy22 Fri 05-Apr-13 09:40:17

some schools will start children who have never been to school before, in reception.We have an American army base nearby and so this happens quite a lot.The schools I have been associated with start them in reception and try and cover 2 years and they join Y2 the following September.

JudithOfThePascha Fri 05-Apr-13 10:08:26

That's the problem, though, Stressy - at some point the school is forced to put them in their 'correct' year and the potential for social and emotional disadvantages in much higher, IMHO. I know there are extreme circumstances where this might be the preferable option, but I believe this is rarely a good option for a child.

weegiemum Fri 05-Apr-13 10:13:12

There are measureable differences until GCSE level - I'm off to try to find those references!!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Fri 05-Apr-13 10:22:31

YANBU to worry a bit naturally but having worked in reception for first time last year, you get all types of abilities and sizes which do not always match their month of birth.
Reception in this country is a lot of child lead play for a large part of the day, the formal learning is very child friendly.
He is still a baby ATM, by the time he is four you will see that he is more independent.

Moominsarehippos Fri 05-Apr-13 10:28:34

DS is a summer baby too. He started school at the 'normal' time and is top of his year. He is a little immature compared to some of the other kids (mainly those with older siblings, so that's probably an issue), but he's fine.

You are looking at the tiny boy now - wait until he's been to nursery and is closer to school start time. He won't be your baby any more!

ChunkyPickle Fri 05-Apr-13 10:34:47

When DS was that age I was worried too (August born) - he seemed so little and fragile, and had never been away from me for long

Then he started a playgroup/childminder so I could get back to doing some work and absolutely loved it - enjoyed his time, never a tear, spoke about other boys and girls and asked to go at weekends!

Now he's 2.5, he's been going to nursery for nearly a year and I have no worries at all about his ability to cope when he goes to school next year. Your perspective totally changes as they grow up a little bit!

PurpleRayne Fri 05-Apr-13 10:37:06

You are right to have concerns, news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7234578.stm

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 05-Apr-13 10:38:05

I have a September born dd and she is not by any means an academic genius. grin
but I love her anyway.

MTSgroupie Fri 05-Apr-13 10:50:05

Mine was a 'summer baby' and started school in the January intake aged 4 and a half years old. I thought that all LEA's do late intakes for the younger kids?

Not that it made a difference. Mine had been going to a nursery for a few years so going to 'big' school had little impact on him

flossymuldoon Fri 05-Apr-13 10:57:38

My sons birthday is 9th September.
Part of me is gutted that he has to wait an extra year as he's one of those kids that if he isn't kept interested he gets bored, and then naughty. I have a hunch that he's going to bored rigid for his final year at nursery. Also, his best friends all have July/Aug birthdays so will all be going to school this year and leaving him behind.
On the other hand, i know i'll be traumatised when he's no longer a baby and goes to big school so am happy to delay the blubbing for another year.

musicmaiden Fri 05-Apr-13 12:06:39

My DS is 27th August and starts school in September. He also has speech delay and is emotionally immature. I have been a bit worried about the school issue for a while despite knowing lots of summer-borns (including my DH) who are among the smartest and most successful folk I know.

I would honestly say wait and see, as your DS is still so young. The summer-born thing might turn out to be an issue, but on the other hand, it might very well be temporary or unnoticeable from the first day. You should just go on YOUR child, not others – his personality and his capabilities. And trust that a decent school and teacher will help with anything that may arise. Most of all, do not treat is as a given that he will suffer in some way.

Remember, child-rearing is such a long game, we tend to obsess over things that in a few months' or years' time more than likely become forgotten, or at least assimilated.

My DS is a 29th August baby so another young one. He was absolutely fine and so ready for school.

Don't forget, one your DS is in pre-school and the nearer reception year gets they will really gear him up for it and he will be really excited for it.

It's worse for us parents than the kids but seriously, he is only 19 months old, don't waste his toddlerhood worrying about the inevitable.

elliejjtiny Fri 05-Apr-13 12:33:37

My DS1 is a July baby and he coped with starting school far better than DS2 who was born in April. My DC4 is due in July and my friend has a baby who was born at the beginning of september. There is a huge difference between them now (friend's baby wears the same size clothes as my 2 year old, my baby weighs less than 2lb) but when they go to school in 4.5 years the difference will have got a lot smaller.

LBilling Fri 05-Apr-13 13:17:38

My son is 4 on 26th August and will go to school in September. I am a primary school teacher so have had lots of experience with summer born children. We had lots of fertility problems so I was just grateful to have a baby and had no chance of 'choosing' a birth month (he was due in September anyway).

Yes, you do mostly notice the summer born children but not always. It very much depends on the child. It is mostly social and emotional issues - more needy when tired, hurt etc. Find it harder to dress and undress, go to the toilet etc. All of this is dealt with by experienced staff. There will also be children who are at the same development stage but are older - everyone is different. I have thought lots about it and think I would rather he went in September than was born a week later and had to wait another year. In my experience it's actually harder to stimulate and progress the older children (Sept to Dec birthdays) than manage the neediness of the younger ones.

You can do things to help, encourage a good diet, a good breakfast, an early bed time, teach your child to dress and undress, go to the toilet unaided, use the free 15 hours of childcare (I am constantly amazed that people don't do this!), stimulate your child with books, outings, the world around you.

And in my experience by Year 3 you cannot tell who is summer born and who isn't. I once taught August born (premature) twins in Year 2 who were top of the class in everything. Their mother deserved the credit for this.

QueenCadbury Fri 05-Apr-13 13:43:12

I haven't had a chance to read all the posts but I genuinely can't understand some of your concerns. I can understand you worrying that he may not be emotionally ready (dc1 and 2 are sept/oct and were totally ready in the fact that they were bored as they'd been stuck in preschool for 2 whole years) but there is not a lot you can do to ensure he has the same chance as everyone else. You could argue that if he starts school a year later then he hasn't been given the same chance as everyone else. All kids develop at different ages and have different abilities and with the right support at home there's no reason why he should struggle academically. Reception is pretty much just an extension of nursery anyway with focus on play and all the early years development stuff. The systemis what it is and whatever you do he is always going to be the youngest and there are always going to be statistics saying that he'll be disadvantaged but they are just numbers and your ds could just as easily not be a statistic.

bananasontoast Fri 05-Apr-13 17:20:55

You are right about the research. I have a summer born son too and I also want him to have the opportunity to thrive not just be able to cope. The admissions system has become inflexible after the Sir Jim Rose Report. The new admissions code was meant to be less prescriptive to allow for flexiblilty, but local authority's have gone the other way rather than use common sense.

Compulsory School Age as defined by Section 8 of the Education Act 1996. A person begins to be of compulsory school age when he attains the age of five.

Reception Class as defined by Section 142 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. An entry class to primary schools providing education suitable for children aged five and any children who are under of over five years old whom it is expedient to educate with pupils of that age.

As reception class is primarily defined as a class for 5 year olds, you would be completely within your rights to request that your son starts school at age 5 in Reception.

Check out the google group"Flexible School Admissions for Summer Borns" and the Facebook group with the same name.

It can and has been done. It can be a long process though, so if that's what you feel is right for your son, don't leave it to the last minute. As far as I can remember, for those that has been successful - it has taken around 2 years to get there. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do.

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:11:57

I don't think you're being unreasonable for worrying a little. Kids do all develop at different stages though and they'll be some kids Dec born who may not be able to absorb things the way your DC will. I wouldn't fret too much. You could help by finding out the curriculum and helping your DC along by covering some of the things in a fun way. My girls are 3.4 and they can hold a pencil, kind of draw a circle, know their ABCs and 1-20. They are desperate to read but that'll come when it's ready to. I wouldn't push your DC past this and wouldn't do anything he doesn't enjoy. Maybe he's doing all this and more but many kids get to primary school and can't do ANY of this. If your DC does struggle, there are plenty of things the teacher and you can do to help so don't worry X

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:14:48

Just to put your mind at ease further, my DDs were 7 weeks prem and within a year had caught up in every aspect with 'the norm'.

Lara2 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:17:07

OP, don't worry - I have been a Year R teacher for many years and I'm used to very little, young children in school. It certainly isn't just about them coping, but making sure they're happy, settled, confident and making progress that is appropriate for them. I have twins in my class this year, their birthday is 30th August; at the start of the year you would have picked them out as being younger, but not now. They are all the things I mentioned above and I'm actually more worried about some of my older children's progress!
You say your DS is only 19mths, you need to take a deep breath and enjoy every moment of now with him. School will happen and as long as you're calm and positive for him I'm surevitbwill all go smoothly. flowers

I am concidering moving country to a place where the stupid rule doesnt apply or even lying about his DOB, is that fraud?

For real? shock

dixiechick1975 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:23:42

Some private schools may be more flexible if that is an option for you op?

Not without problems though as he would be switched into correct year if you move into state.

I know there are a couple of children out of year at dd's school (private) inc a mid august birthday.

cece Fri 05-Apr-13 19:24:17

My Summer born D thrived in Reception.

My Autumn born DS1 had a really bad year and struggled with all the play based learning in Recpetion. His behaviour was very poor. Funnily enough as soon as he was in Y1 this improved and has continued to do so with each subsequent year.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 05-Apr-13 19:25:03

Firstly, my sister is a late night 31st August baby, and she has done just fine!

Secondly, if you have the money private schools are sometimes more flexible about holding children back/putting them forward a year.

Thirdly, in theory the advantage of having him go straight into your 1 would be that you could cover the reception work 1on1 with him fairly easily, so that he would be at the same stage as the others at school (not behind) and at this age they are very adaptable socially.

Which is all why there's no point worrying just yet, try and relax and wait and see where you are in a few years time.

shewhowines Fri 05-Apr-13 19:25:04

IME my Aug DS was absolutely fine in reception because it is mainly play based learning. He had a harder time in Yr 1 because they were expected to sit at their desks and learn for quite long periods of time. It was then his age showed and he really hated year 1. After that he was fine.

So don't worry about starting in reception he will be fine. In fact, it is probably the brighter older ones who are most likely to be disadvantaged as they are the ones "held back" from the more formal learning they are ready for.

sarahtigh Fri 05-Apr-13 20:09:44

YANBU to be a bit worried as the evidence does suggest that in England where cut off point is 31st august that summer borns do marginally less well there was a recent survey that shown this even in oxbridge entrants that this was true

the is a general average there will be plenty that do fine by siter born end of august did great though she took 2 years to learn to read and within 6 months after that had completely finished whole reading scheme she has MA and academically has done the best in family

unfortunately so many schools have stopped staggered intakes I start at easter as april birthday

LiegeAndLief Fri 05-Apr-13 20:31:31

I read a very interesting article a while ago (sadly no link) reporting a meta analysis of academic success. It concluded that by far the most important factor in a child's academic success was his parents' level of education. This was compared to the month of birth, socioecomic factors, OFSTED grading of school.

It has made me worry a lot less about my prem August born ds!

PurpleStorm Fri 05-Apr-13 20:46:46

YANBU to worry, especially given that the various research on August babies suggests they do slightly less well.

I worry about this too for my DS (also 19 months) - he was born in mid-August, but 6 weeks premature, so if he'd been full term, he'd be starting school a year later IYSWIM.

But given how inflexible the schools admissions are regarding the cut off point, there's not really any choice in the matter. I'd be surprised if lying about his DOB would work out as well.

I guess the best thing to do is focus on how to prepare your DS for school and how to best support his learning and development.

sarahtigh Fri 05-Apr-13 21:57:10

oxbridge reference was BBC news 27 february 2013 in politics section

so yes it makes a difference but as liegeandlief said other things are bigger factors a september birthday is not going to compensate for uninterested parents never doing homework etc

in scotland your DS would be 4 yrs 11months and 2-3 weeks when he started school as generally school year starts 15th-20th august, the youngest child in his class would have a birthdate of 28/29th feb so be almost 4 1/2 though they may defer

in scotland if you defer you stay in that year group until you leave school unlike England where at some point you will have to move up a year

jellybeans Fri 05-Apr-13 22:08:55

My twins were early and scraped the year above! They were literally just 4 and were fine although took a while to settle.

funkybuddah Fri 05-Apr-13 22:13:07

My nephew is late August, one of the brightest kids in his year. Best friends dd shares your DS birthday, again very bright and doing just fine.

They dont have to be at school until the term after they are 5 so you could wait until yr 1 but then he would be even more behind.

reception year is very laid back IMO and just like pre school

reluctantmover Fri 05-Apr-13 22:13:17

Sorry if this has already been said but could I correct someone's assertion that the rest of Europe has the standard of 6 or 7 for starting school, this is incorrect.

In many other countries in Europe, children can start at school between the age of 2 and 3, it might be 6 for compulsory schooling but they can and many do take up the offer of free schooling for several years before. It's normal in schools in these countries for children to sleep for an hour or so in the middle of the day, if they are under 5 years old. In many of these countries, children can stay part time but in fact many go full time.

piprabbit Fri 05-Apr-13 22:17:55

We had to show our DCs birth certificates to the school before they started. And prove we lived in our house. It wasn't a problem or a big deal at all, but then again we didn't have anything to hide.

reluctantmover, in which European country do children start school between 2 and 3??

OP, I hope you find some reassurance in all the positive stories on here. Do what is right for YOUR child - all the anecdotes in the world do not data make grin.

reluctantmover Fri 05-Apr-13 22:54:34

Spain, France, Belgium, peuter is more and more common in Netherlands, probably many other countries too, Germany, Italy etc etc, all can start before the age of 5, take a look here, I think you'll find England/Wales are quite late in starting school in comparison to many children in the rest of the EU.
eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/facts_and_figures/education_structures_EN.pdf

reluctantmover Fri 05-Apr-13 22:59:01

95% of 3 year olds go to school in France, according to wikipedia.
fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole_maternelle

Germany starts Kindergarten aged 3.
3 years of preschool education.
Schoolage is 6 - sometimes 7. There is an assessment to ascertain 'school maturity', in an acknowledgement that children mature at different rates.

Don't get me wrong - when I was wee (in Germany), you were considered not ready for school if you still had all your baby teeth grin - I am not sure what dentition has to do with educational maturity hmm.
I went to nursery in the States, aged 3, they had an experimental preschool class, mixing 5 and 6 year olds. This was in the 70s, admittedly.

In your link, Primary Education starts aged 6 in all countries, preschool education 2-3.

I am not sure what the rush is all about, not just wrt to starting school, but also leaving school: a lot of teenagers could do with another year or 2 to mature and figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
And as our kids are all going to work until they are 85, I really don't see why we should endeaver putting them through school as quickly as possible... wink

Sorry, most countries: aged 5 in Ireland and the Netherlands.
7 in Poland shock. And Lithuania.

Intersting read. Thanks for the link.

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 05-Apr-13 23:08:18

I think 4 is too young for many. I've one early October born, who's sailed through most everything and one mid July, who's had difficulties. While many will cope that young, some will not. You just have to be really communicative with the school about your concerns.

My July born has SN too and has been pretty down about himself in school recently. He's started in a self esteem group with the learning mentors at school and has been way more positive since. They've really supported him in school and it's made a huge difference.

reluctantmover Fri 05-Apr-13 23:12:41

Go into any maternelle in France and you'll see there is a curriculum and it is indeed a school, with a head teacher, with class teachers, where most children attend every day, where the children attend in the same way as children further up the school in the élementaire" (primary) classes or in the same way as the nearby "élementaire". You are not going to see much difference in real terms between Reception class in England and moyenne section / grande section of a maternelle in France, there are certainly far more common points than points which separate these systems. Brits who move to France are often at first quite shocked to find school can start before the age of 3 there.

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