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Does anyone have a child going into Junior Infants this September?

(21 Posts)
MayFayner Tue 28-Jan-20 11:38:01

And if so, what age are they?

DS2 is just turning 4 now and he’s due to start school this September. I got the offer of a place from the school this week but now I’m having a wobble, because I can’t imagine him being ready. He has a speech issue too.

But then I feel if I wait another year he’ll be 5y7m going in- is that pushing it?

He actually has another year of ecce to go so we have both options open.

Anyone else in the same boat?

OP’s posts: |
PiedImperial Tue 28-Jan-20 11:45:00

Hi OP, my DS2 (now 11 years old, May birthday) had a severe speech delay,

When he started pre school he couldn't really talk at all, or even understand what was being said to him.

But in that year and in the reception year, he came on leaps and bounds and, with the help of speech therapy, now you wouldn't know at all. He didn't seem to struggle at all at school when he started, but we did have a very supportive school at the time.

I worried like anything before he started, though, so I do sympathise. Can you go and talk to the school, and see what support they can offer?

MayFayner Tue 28-Jan-20 11:52:48

Hi pied thanks for that, I’m going back and forth on this one all the time so it’s great to hear from someone who has been through it.

On the one hand I think that the school environment might help his speech because his peers’ speech will be clearer, as opposed to him staying in the Montessori classroom for another year where some children are as young as 2.5.

On the other hand I worry that if his classmates in school can’t understand him that will affect him socially.

OP’s posts: |
inwood Tue 28-Jan-20 12:00:20

I'm in England so I know our systems are different but DTs are August born and were very prem so should technically be in the year below. They started school reception here, a few days after their fourth birthday,

In hindsight I wish we have fought to keep them back as they are struggling, no SEN as far as we are aware and have been screened for dyslexia etc but if tye were in the year below they would be at the top of the class but now they are floundering somewhere above the bottom.

I'd put him in at 5y 7mo without shadow of a doubt.

Cacacoisfarraige Tue 28-Jan-20 12:11:25

My son turned 5 last week and will start JI in September at 5y8m

Academically he was ready last year but I felt that he was getting another year in preschool and most of his peers would be older as a result.

Dd1 started at 4 10 months and ds 1 and 5 10 months two years later. Ds had sensory processing issues and SLT issues so we did intensive Ot and SLT for that year. It’s helped him enormously and he wasn’t missing school times for appointments. His confidence improved dramatically during the year before school too

My DS2 is doing Montessori for his second pre-school year and loves learning about space , map reading etc. and having a lovely time

My ds1 had a late November birthday so only disadvantage is being different age groups for some extra curricular Stuff to his friends sometimes but ds 2 being January won’t have that problem.

Young kids need movement, which they often don’t have in JI. Also you have the teenage years where you’d rather them be the oldest than the youngest.

Cacacoisfarraige Tue 28-Jan-20 12:15:45

It depends on the child.
Is he confident ?
Can he sit quietly for 20-30 minutes and concentrate
Can he follow directions
Is he easily distracted.
How are his fine motor and gross motor skills.
What does the SLT report say ?

MayFayner Tue 28-Jan-20 13:22:10

Thank you all so much this is really helping. I’m starting to think that I’d probably be mad to send him in Sept especially as he still has another ecce year to go.

coisfarriage I’m still waiting for the SLT report 😐 I took him to the drop-in last Spring, he got his assessment on 5th Dec. Then he had to go back for a second assessment a week later so that his speech could be recorded. I’m still waiting for the actual report from that.

OP’s posts: |
Cacacoisfarraige Tue 28-Jan-20 13:39:20

The SLT reports can be really helpful.

I was torn with ds1 as DH was insisting he started at 4y 9m - I'd an OT assessment which noted some things (code strength which impacted his ability to sit still and more importantly his resilience /self esteem). He had sensory issues too and we worked on them.

All my research showed regrets by parents sending too young. I have never read about parents regret waiting a year

My youngest turned 5 last week and the poor teachers smile when he starts (his swimming teachers words wink

Montessori is designed to be appropriate for all ages but in my sons preschool there is 4 ecce classes so they try to group roughly by age

some of his friends went to school last year but he's happy enough.

PiedImperial Tue 28-Jan-20 13:50:43

Hi OP, I think I would wait until I had the SLT report and then go and see the school to discuss it. Maybe they could have him in for an afternoon or something in the summer term to see how he does(?)

Could you also talk to one of the speech therapists about it all and get their thoughts?

At the end of the day you know your child the best, though, so if you're really not sure then yes, have a serious think about delaying him.

ILikTheBred Tue 28-Jan-20 14:47:19

I’d second chatting to the school about it - a lot depends on the school environment itself and the age profile of the class - if your son will be on the younger end of the class it may make sense to wait; if most of the kids will be younger than him maybe less so.

Re the school environment: I sent two of my sons at 4yrs 8 months - I was a bit worried about younger one as he was quite immature however I suspected he might enjoy JI more than Montessori as the teacher is quite relaxed and there was more variety than in the preschool, which was quite a strict old-style Montessori. This has actually proven to be the case, as my son has come on leaps and bounds since starting school.

MayFayner Tue 28-Jan-20 15:03:40

If he stays in Montessori for another year it will be his third year there, as he started at 2.6. I guess that’s why I imagined he’d be moving on this September. But maybe it’s no bad thing.

Hopefully the SLT report comes in soon 🤞

That’s interesting cois I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone regretting waiting either.

pied I think the school will just recommended waiting if I’m not sure. There seems to be a push towards starting after 5 now, even though most schools allow children to start from 4y3m onwards.

OP’s posts: |
Lipperfromchipper Tue 28-Jan-20 15:08:38

Asa teacher and a parent I would wait for the SLT report before any decisions are made, I have never seen anyone regret holding on to them OP. My DS Starting in sept and he will be 5 starting. There’s no way on earth he was ready sept just gone!! On the other hand my DD was 4yr 5 months and very much ready!! Even though now sometimes I have niggles and wonder should I have held on to her??

The ONLY other option would be to start him and see how he gets on and then hold him back to repeat JNR INF again if you and the teachers felt it necessary...but I say that with a lot of hesitation.

Drbrowns Tue 28-Jan-20 15:13:06

I’d definitely wait. My ds will be 5 in March and starting junior infants in September. He’ll be 5.6 then. The last few months he has come on so much in confidence. I’d always planned to send him at 5 and a half but seeing the difference since this time last year has really shown me it was the right decision. With the 2 free years preschool most are 5 and over or very close to 5 starting now so if you send him this September he’ll be one of the youngest in his class, and if he has a language delay, with going from ratio of 1 to 11 in preschool, to 1 to up to 30, could have a hard time getting teachers attention or find it difficult to have the confidence to deal with the social and emotional aspect of school.

Cacacoisfarraige Tue 28-Jan-20 15:28:59

Most experts don't recommend repeating a year as the child will feel left behind and unless they are addressing a specific issue they don't recommend (used to listen to Dr David Carey on Sean Montcrieff)

id also bear in mind that schools will often do what's best for the school in terms of pupil numbers and teacher numbers.

I'd ask the preschool about his friends, will they be moving.

Remember you can change your mind - I told school in July that he wouldn't be starting that September.

Some schools especially oversubscribed schools are putting minimum age limits too

Lipperfromchipper Tue 28-Jan-20 15:37:46

@Cacacoisfarraige I agree I am not a fan of repeating (that is why I said hesitantly) however we had a child stay back last year for many reasons and she thrived...but like I say I would be hesitant it doesn’t seem to happen that much any more.

DramaAlpaca Tue 28-Jan-20 15:39:07

I think you might regret sending him in September but you absolutely won't regret keeping him back a year.

My friend had this very dilemma with her February born child. After much deliberation she chose to keep him back and send him the following September and she says it's the best thing she ever did for him.

We are very lucky in Ireland to have this flexibility. It's generally far better to be one of the oldest in a class rather than the youngest.

MayFayner Tue 28-Jan-20 16:50:01

You’re right drama. You are all right. I’m glad to hear of others going in at 5.6/7/8. DS1 is in junior infants this year (August born- there’s 18mo between them) and I have scoured the birthday list for his class to compare their ages. Most of them turned 5 within 6 months of starting, ie between the June and the Dec. So I wasn’t sure what was happening with the Spring-borns. Maybe they’re all in the other JI classes?🤔

cois That’s part of it- I had wanted him to move up with the others in his Montessori. There will be a few others going to the same school this year. But what can you do.

Thank you everyone, this has really helped me think. Of course I have my mother on the other side saying “He’ll be GRAND!” But she’s old-school 😂

OP’s posts: |
Cacacoisfarraige Tue 28-Jan-20 17:18:53

My daughter went to school at 4 9 months. The youngest In her class struggled (she wanted to start school with her friends) and the teacher wanted her to repeat first class.

She didn’t repeat but her mum said her confidence has been affected by struggling in class.
Every 2 years there are big steps and she struggled in first class. It’s a big step up for kids from SI. The extra hour in school is another factor. Again another big jump in 3rd and 5th classes.

Cacacoisfarraige Tue 28-Jan-20 17:22:05

The new ECCE rules seem to be leading kids to start school if they turn 5 by 31 December after starting school. Otherwise spend another year in school.

SparkyBlue Tue 28-Jan-20 19:56:17

My DS is an August baby and starting this September age 5. I am dreading it as he is hyper and wants to do his own thing all the time in Montessori .

chartreuse Tue 28-Jan-20 21:47:44

Mine are older now but I kept them back and they all started at five and a half. It's is far better to be the oldest in the class, particularly when they get to secondary. My friend is a primary school principal and she always recommends to wait until over 5 particularly for boys.

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