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August born, practical advice wanted

(51 Posts)
nutterbutsquash Wed 15-Dec-10 10:51:08

My ds is 2 and I have spent the last 2 years agonising over the fact that as an august boy born in a family with few members over 5' 6" he is going to have some challenges at school. He is an extremely happy boy but my concerns over his schooling are taking over somewhat, even though it's relatively far away.
On top of this, I have just discovered that I am pregnant again, due date mid august 2011. I should be feeling delighted but instead feel only guilt and disappointment that I have failed to give another one of my children the best start in life.
I have read the threads and know that it's not always so set in stone but the exceptions seem to be girls, taller children and those that are exceptionally bright.
What I would really like is some practical advice on what I can do to lessen the impact of their birth month on their lives. Sorry for the lenght of this, feeling pretty emotional at the moment.

cory Wed 15-Dec-10 11:13:36

Really, I think you need to step back from this and give yourself a break. It is easy to blow things out of proportion when you are pregnant and hormonal. #

The truth is that we are none us able to give our children the best possible start in life: there will always be something that is less than ideal in the circumstances of any one child. Some people can afford better schooling, some people can offer exciting trips abroad, some people can give their children better health than others.

The trick is to tuck the guilt away neatly and focus on the positive. If you are able to give your child the impression that life is full of exciting things to learn, then you are providing an immense advantage that many children never get. That's my practical advice. Be bright and interested.

And fwiw I would give anything to be in your position and have a healthy short August-born child. But I still think the best I can do, in my situation is to be bright and interested.

maxpower Wed 15-Dec-10 11:18:37

it sounds to me as if your DS will be just fine - he has the most important thing in the world - a parent who cares enough about how he'll do at school to be worrying for years in advance! FWIW my DD(4) is a July baby. No-one in my family is tall, yet she's the tallest child at nursery (growing out of 5-6 yr old clothes at the moment). You can't know now what your DS will be like by the time he's old enough for school so just give him lots of love, encouragement and support to explore the world around him in the menatime.

gramercy Wed 15-Dec-10 11:43:21

I was in a state like you. I had an August-born ds, then dd was born early on August 30th. Several people commiserated with me instead of offering congratulations!

You know, it did matter at first. In Reception my two were just babies - and to compound the matter we, too, are a family of short-arses!

However, I would say that in academic terms by Year 2 age is less relevant. My dd is now in Year 3 and, of course, the youngest in the year. She also has to have special lessons... because she is so far ahead of the others.

I would say that if your child is sporty, there is some disadvantage in being younger and smaller than the rest of their year. But I think that this year the England football team was in fact more weighted towards summer birthdays, so that theory goes out of the window.

nutterbutsquash Wed 15-Dec-10 13:55:46

Thanks so much for your encouraging words which mean so much to me. I definately think those pregnancy hormones have a lot to answer for!

thisisyesterday Wed 15-Dec-10 13:57:20

you have a long time til he starts school, but you know you can defer and start him in year 1 don't you?

so if when the time comes you really don't feel he is ready for school then you can keep him out ad he can stay in nursery for an extra year, or you could home educate

chakalala Wed 15-Dec-10 14:01:03

my son is the oldest in his Yr 2 class/group with a Sept 2 birthday. I thought he would be miles ahead of the other but oh no, he is in the middle range. He says the brightest in his whole year group is a girl with a Aug 27 birthday! So, all kids are different, just love them and let them be.

granted Wed 15-Dec-10 16:07:27

My middle DD is an end of August birthday, and absolutely tiny - but loves it. Her older sister who's one of the eldest in her class has always been bored because it was too easy - my middle DD loves it because it's always been that bit more stretching for her. She's in year 4 now, and still the smallest in her year, but in the top groups now. Being the youngest has been nothing but an advantage for her.

Unlike you I prayed she would be an August baby (she was late and was not due to be induced till September) - I think there's nothing worse than being the oldest in your class - little to challenge you, easily frustrated - much harder. And much, much worse for the parents - another whole year of paying extortionate nursery fees rather than free school education, not starting school until they're that much older - hard for you and v boring for them. By the time all of mine started school, they were desperate to go - for my oldest, she was beyond bored hanging round and not starting nursery class at school till she was nearly 4, reception till she was nearly 5.

For the record, my DS is a summer baby too - not quite August, but as a summer born, he's settling in nicely too and I've not found it any disadvantage yet.

Summer babies have the best of it, definitely!

Relax, and enjoy your pregnancy.

polarfox Wed 15-Dec-10 16:23:34

My little boy has August birthday (30th!!!!) so I know where you are coming from...
He was such a baby at school; he used to fall asleep in the afternoon in class (teacher let him, she didnt mind), he got into more trouble (less mature!!), couldnt find uniform for him to fit (!!), they didnt start him reading and writing till after Christmas(so he was behind before they even started!!!), he used to cling to me every morning like nursery children do (still a baby!!!) etc.
By the end of reception I regretted not keeping him back at home..

However, he is 8 now and has caught up with all the others at year4 (started catching up in year2), there is nothing to disadvantage him or distinguish him than the rest (there are "older" boys in his class smaller than him) so all the angst was unfounded..

Of course, even knowing that, I am now panicking (years in advance!!) about him being the youngest in secondary............

WilfShelf Wed 15-Dec-10 16:30:26

Currently you can't defer, you can only delay - in other words if you hold him back a year he still has to start in year 1. And you have to be careful currently - the birth rate is rising and there is much more pressure on class sizes so you need to check the school will hold the place open for you until year 1.

I have an august born due to start school next year. The closer it gets, the easier the idea becomes, but I'm sure there will be challenges. Interestingly, DS2 is a September baby and is also finding it difficult as others have said - he is intellectually able, emotionally immature and one of the tallest in class. Stands out like a sore thumb in some respects and madly attention seeking. I think the differences will even out in next couple of years though...

ElbowFan Wed 15-Dec-10 16:49:52

Do yourself a favour - Google ' famous people born in August' and teehn just to see what it brings up 'famous short people'

There is more to life than height and birth term - enjoy being pregnant, enjoy your children as children and teach then to become adults you are proud to know.

They will always cause you worry, but can be such fun to grow up with!!! Try to enjoy what you have rather than worry about what might be...

Eglu Wed 15-Dec-10 16:53:27

Practiccal advice - move to Scotland grin

My August born DS is in the middle of the ages groups for his year, as they run from March to February.

Only joking, I'm sure your son will be just fine.

Kewcumber Wed 15-Dec-10 16:57:06

we have a lot of august childrne in DS's reception calss and whilst they do seem a bit more babyish than some of the others, I can;t say they are having noticably more problmes than any other birthdy a children. IME its the childrne who look/act much older who seem more out of place.

acebaby Wed 15-Dec-10 17:52:40

he'll be fine smile. DS1, who is a July born, small for his age boy, settled in no problem. He is in year 1 now and ahead of his classmates for maths and reading <boastful Mum emoticon>. He did get very tired in reception, and seemed a lot less socially sophisticated than his classmates. However, his school (like any good school) is skilled at dealing with these sorts of issues. The differences are a lot less obvious now - although he is still the smallest

thisisyesterday Wed 15-Dec-10 18:01:12

defer simply means to put off, or postpone- ie, put off starting school until the next year!

which the OP would be doing. and yes, as I said in my first post, he would go straight into year 1 if she were to do that.

WilfShelf Wed 15-Dec-10 22:22:23

alright, alright TIY, just being a pedant helpful grin. You are right, you did.

cumbria81 Thu 16-Dec-10 13:21:39

Really - you're overthinking it.

If (IF) it's a problem, it will only be so for a year or so and then he will have caught up.

FWIW, I am an August baby, as is my sister, dad, cousin and nephew. All of us have done very well academically. I am not sure I buy into this theory that summer babies do less well.

gramercy Thu 16-Dec-10 14:15:17

One disadvantage I've found is that sex education is foisted on them a bit early (big difference between a nearly 12-year-old girl and a not-quite-11-year-old boy).

And also, so I'm told, it's difficult to get a part-time job in Waitrose if you're younger in the year because they all get snapped up by the September-borns! (Obviously thinking ahead here!)

jackstarlightstarbright Thu 16-Dec-10 14:55:52

gramercy - thinking further ahead there's the passing the driving test right of passage. Last to get the L plates and driving lessons.

This year is (apparently) grim. The driving age goes up to 18 in Jan. So the Autumn borns have got their provisionals. All the spring and summer borns have to wait until 2012.

It also means that from now on Uni bound summer borns may leave home before they have had a chance to learn to drive. (middle class angst - I know).

gramercy Thu 16-Dec-10 15:31:52

Afford to run a car along with fees of £9K?! Russian-oligarch angst in the future, methinks!

webwiz Thu 16-Dec-10 15:37:26

Thats a myth jackstarlightstarbright - DD2 has her test booked for feb and she will still be 17.

WilfShelf Thu 16-Dec-10 15:47:27

cumbria, although particular people will of course do well whenever they are born, there is well-researched evidence that as a whole, august born babies do worse in educational outcomes. There are a couple of long threads from a while back with links to the reports...

lljkk Thu 16-Dec-10 15:52:05

Statisically, social background of child's family is much more important to their future success than birthday or height.

The smallest child (a boy) in DS's year 6 is also the eldest (and richest), about middle ability from what I can pick up. The tallest child (a girl with November birthday, possibly from the poorest family) has complicated SN, and is not the top of the class at all. There are always lots of funny exceptions to statistics.

jackstarlightstarbright Thu 16-Dec-10 15:58:10

Webwiz - it was a 'school gate' story blush. I did just google it and came up with a long list of driving schools stating it was just a myth. (Not surprising given they'll suffer if it ever happens).

webwiz Thu 16-Dec-10 16:02:41

Don't worry jackstarlight I have heard it at the school gate as well but DD2 is a summer born and would have been affected if it was realsmile

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