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Summer babies and school

(16 Posts)
TeaCakeLiterature Wed 25-Jan-17 13:20:48

After reading a few threads I thought it would be interesting to see whether people had any advice / ideas on how to best prepare a summer child for school.

Our son was born in August so will likely be the youngest (or one of!) in his year, starting school at 4 years old.

With the ever increasing rigour in Early Years and Key Stage 1 there is such a demand on children at such a young age (which as an educator myself I hate!) - but nevertheless it's there and it's a reality.

So - those with more experience - have you (intentionally or not!) done anything to help your Summer Baby to not stand out as behind and struggle.
I am NOT asking how to produce a genius or push my child to reach standards he's not capable of...but I'm asking if there's anything useful and fun etc that may help him not struggle to meet those demands and be flagged as a cause for intervention at such a precious and young age.

Please no negativity!!

TanteJeanne Wed 25-Jan-17 13:43:56

My younger DS was summer born. I helped him prepare for school by getting used to separating from me for longer periods; making sure he could go to the loo and clean up on his own; making sure he could get dressed and undressed for PE.

TanteJeanne Wed 25-Jan-17 13:45:29

Also helped to cultivate friendships/ familiarity with other children who would be there, and took him to the school buildings and playground as much as possible.

JournosAreLazy Wed 25-Jan-17 13:49:13

My baby was born at the start of July and I still can't figure out if she will be the eldest in her year or one of the youngest! What's the cut off?

Deadsouls Wed 25-Jan-17 13:51:11

No I have done nothing and they (9 and 6), have developed at their own pace. In the end, for us it's more been to do with temperament than 'summer-born'.

arista Wed 25-Jan-17 14:14:14

My end of August son did perfectly fine now 9. The only thing I noticed was the oldest in the reception class at that time seemed to be more mature in the way they talked but that's it. My youngest in his class is above average at school so I think you will be amazed how kids cope. I got another born end of July only 2 right now but I don't have no worries about starting nursery or school. I think making them independent and teach them how to play nicely is all they need to know. Reading to them give them an interest in reading and may be phonics if you want to do a bit more but I never did phonics with my kids. We did talk about door numbers while walking.

TeaCakeLiterature Wed 25-Jan-17 18:35:51

Thank you for your replies! That's reassuring! I've heard a few people say how their child has been labelled as underachieving as they don't hit certain tick boxes and so worried he'd be at a disadvantage.

Journosarelazy - the cut off is normally the end of August unless you hold them back a year so they're older.

I'm an end of July baby myself and I was the youngest in my class. Didn't make any difference at secondary school level, but at primary I definitely felt like I was behind some of the other children and had very low confidence because of that. But the recent changes to education have raised the bar so so much that 'interventions' are being put in place so much sooner. I wish kids would be allowed to just be kids.
I hated reading a thread on here about the 5year old being kept in to do Maths at breaks and not being able to play...I don't want that for my son just because he doesn't hit the 'expected standard' yet. There's no real sense of developing at their own pace anymore 😞

smilingsarahb Wed 25-Jan-17 18:49:37

I did t do anything different to get my autumn and summer born children ready for school. I do think being able to get dressed and be used to listening to a story for 10 mins are useful skills though. My son has been fine, someone has to be youngest. However he is just a normal boy (not above average) so for the first few years he was towards the bottom of everything and his particular school made him feel bad. The gap really narrowed by the end of year 4.

MarzipanPiggy Wed 25-Jan-17 21:03:28

For us the key thing was (is) working on social skills. Simple things like learning to join in games that others are playing rather than always wanting to decide on the activity. She's a bit less mature than some others in this respect but luckily school are very focused on helping with social interaction. Academically there are no issues, although again it's helpful that comparison with peers is actively discouraged.

Biking007 Wed 25-Jan-17 21:13:34

My Youngest DD is end of August birthday and in year1 at moment. She has struggled with the social and emotional aspect of school. She was also very tired after school in foundation with challenging behaviour because of it. so even though she needed to build her social skills I didn't push it or enroll her in any after school activities until this year. Slowly we have done a couple of after school play dates, swimming lessons etc this year and she is gaining confidence. Ironically academically she is flying along with no issues.

Naty1 Thu 26-Jan-17 16:17:35

I agree with PP the challenge is behaviour and emotional development.
I did teach dd (early june) phonics. At 3.5 before starting school. She got so tired at preschool i didnt want her being exhausted and getting behind. So she was blending some words before starting.
School seem to be taking it almost too slowly with reading as everyone is going the same pace no matter if they are reading or not.
Writing: dd couldnt before starting. And still cant, so is probably quite behind. But this is more her and her temperament.
Socially its a struggle. Another 6m older child said dd was naughty. And she has been excluded from party invites. This is again more about her but she doesnt yet have the same stamina and resilience. She has behaved much worse after starting pe this term so is clearly tired.

MissSueFlay Thu 26-Jan-17 16:29:12

DD is a mid-June baby and is in Reception. She was in nursery full-time from the age of 9 months, so she did have pretty good social skills and confidence levels going into school. Physically she was absolutely shattered for the first half-term, she was asking to go to bed at 6.30pm and I was waking her at 7am, she even went back to afternoon naps at the weekend. Her behaviour out of school was awful, proper angry meltdowns - the fall-out from holding it together all day at school (and after-school club 3 days a week), learning new rules and routines etc. We were very relaxed about it all, and after the first half term things settled a bit.
Some of her classmates were turning 5 almost as soon as school started, so they have a good 9 months on her, and you can tell in their stamina and communication levels. A friend who teaches Reception & Yr1 says it pretty much evens out by Yr2.
My birthday is Aug 28 and I don't recall being left behind in my class or anything like that.

theothersideoftheworld Thu 26-Jan-17 16:36:34

My ds is August and started reception this year. I didn't really prepare him in a particular way, he went to an excellent pre school so already knew phonics etc.
What I do do though is to boost his confidence. He is not aware he's the youngest , I tell him what a fast runner, good hopper he is etc. My friend used to say in front of him 'he's so tiny and cute' until I asked her to stop!
He's reading and writing well, but if I ask him if he wants to do any reading and he says no, then I don't make him. I don't show him any of the anxieties I had about him being the youngest, and hopefully it's working!

ruthb33 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:21:43

It obviously varies for every child but it might also be worth having a look on Fb for the flexible school admissions for summer born group.

There's massive variation by county in terms of how easy it is to do, but there is the ability to have a summer born start school the term after they're 5 (i.e. Autumn term) and go into reception rather than y1. It obviously won't be appropriate for every child but thought I'd mention....

savagehk Thu 26-Jan-17 18:26:22

We've not got a summer baby but on looking around schools for his Sept 2017 start i was surprised how little "formal" learning there is. Most schools seem to treat nursery and reception similarly and "proper" school starts at year 1

Carnabyqueen Thu 26-Jan-17 19:46:19

That's true. Reception really is an extended year of nursery. My DD2 was born 31st August and despite that and having severe speech delays and autism, managed fine and didn't even need any additional support until year 1 by which the she was aged 5+.

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