Calling Scottish mums - should my 4.5 year old start P1 in August?

(137 Posts)
septembersong Mon 10-Jan-11 21:44:03

DS1 was 4 on 11 Dec, and is due to start school in August. But I feel reluctant to send him as he will be one of the youngest. He goes to nursery 3 days a week while I'm working, and they say he is ready to go, no issues on the development front. It is just me, for some reason I would prefer to send him older than younger. But maybe holding him back wouldn't be the right thing for him? Interested in the thoughts of other mums with experience of this dilemma, especially those in Scotland, as I think the norm is to start at 4 down south, which is different to here.

trixymalixy Mon 10-Jan-11 21:49:22

I'm having the same dilemma. DS will be 4 at the end of the month. Nursery say there is no reason to defer school as he is ready.

I just think he is very sensitive and would cope better being one of the eldest in the class rather than the youngest.

eviscerateyourmemory Mon 10-Jan-11 21:54:17

A lot of parents do defer, especially with boys, IME.
Its difficult. I think that the social things can be more of an issue than the academic, especially when they are older, and it might mean your DS being exposed to things at a younger age than if he was in the year below.
Im having the same dilemma at the moment, and I dont know what to do.

trixymalixy Mon 10-Jan-11 21:56:44

It's funny, everything I have read online says it is better to defer, but everyone I speak to in real life looks aghast at me when I mention it.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 10-Jan-11 21:56:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MollysChambers Mon 10-Jan-11 21:57:21

I chose to defer my daughter although nursery said they had no concerns about her enrolling.

She is now P3.

No regrets whatsoever. You can't get those pre-school years back.

She's confident and outgoing and will be that little bit older going on to Secondary and leaving school.

I agonised over it but now it just seems such a no-brainer.

Waswondering Mon 10-Jan-11 22:05:07

I was deferred (due to school change).

My parents never regretted it - I'm a Jan birthday. It meant that I was among the older ones in my year, so I did my S Grades at 16, Highers at 17. I was early to learn to drive in my year - I wasn't the last, thus I wasn't playing catch up with my peers. I left school after S6 at 18 (not 17.5 which I would have been if I hadn't been held back) and went to uni - but I had friends at uni who weren't deferred and who had elected to leave school at the end of S5, so were 16yo freshers!!

I've not had to make the deferral decision with my own dc as their birthdays are either side of the summer, so it's not an issue - but I did feel that ds took a wee while to adjust to school, and he started at 4.11 ...

I do have various friends who have deferred and none have regretted it at all, as in the early years they have more stamina and further up have an age advantage.

Good luck with what you decide - can you apply for both school and nursery and see how it goes between now and the summer??

Waswondering Mon 10-Jan-11 22:07:13

(PS Dd enters P1 in August ... filled out the forms today. Oh my!)

carolscotland Mon 10-Jan-11 22:08:30

I know of several families who have deferred for various reasons and NONE have regretted it. I also know of families who wish that they had deferred. But before you make the final decision you need to check if you will get funding for an additional nursery year. There is no obligation on your council to do this, although most will.

Bookswapper Mon 10-Jan-11 22:12:04

In my council area in Scotland, my son was not entitled to defer and have another year of council funded nursery. No money for it anymore. He was November born.

So, I sent him to school to avoid the disruption of his pre-school year being spent somewhere new. Not a lot of choice there. Check you have choices before you start getting worked up about this.

CommanderDrool Mon 10-Jan-11 22:12:21

Dd2 will start school in august at 4.5 years. I'm not going to defer her as she is already trying to teach herself to read.

One argument against deferring is that nurseries sometimes end up with very bored/ boisterous five year old boys in the run up to summer holidays.

In dd1's year there are boys turning 7 before a classmate turns 6!

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 10-Jan-11 22:14:45

I second what book swapper said, it is not as easy to defer these days, a friend is doing it and has to pay!

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 10-Jan-11 22:15:50

Having said that I have a march birthday and started school at 4.4 and definitely suffered from always being the youngest!

Waswondering Mon 10-Jan-11 22:18:25

My LA will allow you to defer if birthday is after 16 August ... so some will!

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 10-Jan-11 22:20:51

Edinburgh seem very reluctant to do it.

AgentProvocateur Mon 10-Jan-11 22:22:48

Defer. I'm on my phone and not good at typing on it but I did post a long thoughtful post about a year (or maybe 2 years) ago, giving my friends' experience. You'll be able to search for it if you want.

trixymalixy Mon 10-Jan-11 22:26:21

I don't care if I have to pay for an extra year of nursery without any funding. I just want my DS to be mature enough at each stage in his education and at the moment I just don't think he's ready to go.

FiveOrangePips Mon 10-Jan-11 22:38:26

Three boys that I know of in ds's class of 25 have deferred entry, (there might be more, they are the ones I know of) - all had been told their children were fine, no concerns from nursery. I have never met anyone who regrets it, though I have friends who regret not deferring.

It is hard and I think most agonised over the decision, but I do think it is the right thing to do generally, only you can know what is right for your ds. Where I am there was no problem with the deferral - we have dropping school/nursery rolls here.

YourCallIsImportant Mon 10-Jan-11 22:39:12

I registered my DS today for starting in August, he'll turn 5 at the end of August so no worries there, however my b'day is in January and I was the youngest in my class in primary school and boy did I feel it.

I know of a couple of mums who are holding their boys back till next year because they're not 4 till Feb. One said she didn't feel right registering him when he was still only 3.

celtiethree Mon 10-Jan-11 22:50:34

Hi, ds 2 is feb birthday and I did not defer. I would say though that there are about 10 children in his class with birthdays from end of dec to feb so he is with his peers. I have no regrets, academically he is fine, he is also physically taller than many of his older class mates. Ds3 is end of nov birthday due to start next aug, again I will not defer.

That said I know many parents who have deferred and do not regret it.

celtiethree Mon 10-Jan-11 22:54:24

Also I understand that many councils will not quibble about deferring any child with birthdays after dec 31 but are more difficult with aug to dec birthdays and will not pay for nursery place for those deferrals.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 11-Jan-11 08:07:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Euphemia Tue 11-Jan-11 09:33:32

If you don't think your DC is ready, defer them.

As a primary teacher I don't have a lot of experience with P1, but from what I have seen, boys in particular can struggle with being expected to sit down, listen, write, etc., and many show less maturity than girls the same age. Research has shown that boys are not physically developed enough to sit in a chair, hold a pencil, etc.

The boys I've known who have deferred have benefited from it, in extra maturity and being ready for school. It's certainly not going to hold them back.

Chrysanthemum5 Tue 11-Jan-11 09:44:02

Hi
DS is a late september birthday and is one of the youngest boys in his year as most December and all Jan/Feb boys have been deferred. It's not been a problem for DS but his attention span was shorter than the other children and it took him a while to get used to sitting etc. Fortunately the school accepted that P1 is about adjusting to school so he was given time.

So, I think it depends on the school, and how they handle younger children. Also, how tall is your DS compared to other children? My DN is a Feb girl but was not deferred, and she is very small compared to her classmates. She has always found it upsetting to be last picked for sports etc. because of her size.

CommanderDrool Tue 11-Jan-11 09:50:40

My DD2 is also physically small buti don't think she will cope with another year of nursery. She is desperate to read is already writing simple words and can count to 50. She compares herself to her older sister all the time and pushes herself very hard.

That said, she gets tired very quickly, is small and sensitive.

But I think I'll have to send her.

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