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How do you know at age 4 if a child would suit a "hot house"

(16 Posts)
TravellingToad Thu 30-Apr-15 15:21:51

We are considering many "top" schools for our two sons but as they are only 1 and 3 it is very hard to know if they will like them or not. Many of these schools feed into Harrow, Win Coll, etc (obviously only if the boys suits it, which is easier to tell aged 13!)

We aren't in the UK so are returning to the UK for school. We love the websites, and everything we have read about many of these schools but I'm concerned that many may be a 'hot house' and how on earth can you tell at age 4 or 5 if your son will thrive in a hot house or flounder?

WE may love the schools how will be know if they will suit our sons? We pour over the prospectuses, saying how amazing they look but i'm worried if you're not a certain type of boy (child) you might find it very stressful.

Can intellectual ability etc be determined so young? 3yr old is quiet, shy, thoughtful, with no signs of genius ;) but DH and I are both intelligent (is there a way to say that without sounding like an arse?) I went to a £30k a year boarding school and loved it, DH went to a failing state school and despised it.

Variousrandomthings Thu 30-Apr-15 15:29:31

Looking at the preschoolers I know I can see that some are very intelligent due to their language and mathematical ability. However there will be many a late blossomer who hasn't been hothoused and whose natural intelligence will shine through a few years down the line in juniors.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 30-Apr-15 15:37:23

They have an insatiable appetite for the subject(s) you're thinking of hot housing.
They are confident, out going and asking for work or to be taught all the time.
My dd has been sort of hot housed over the past 3 or so years, but it has come from her iyswim, not forced by us.
She knew exactly what she wanted to do from 2.5 and announced it to the family. In September she will attend the top school for her subject after competing for one of about 80 places.

butterflyballs Thu 30-Apr-15 15:46:09

I don't think you can know and I'd be wary of forcing such a huge pressure to excel academically on such very young children which you would be doing by placing them in a school which will hot house 4 year olds.

Variousrandomthings Thu 30-Apr-15 15:50:32

Personally though I would want more from a school then hot housing and status. Such a school will be extremely competitively driven and won't necessarily produce a well rounded happy child. I think you can have it all though if you choose a school with good grades and outstanding pastoral care, where they foster a strong caring inclusive ethos.

titchy Thu 30-Apr-15 15:56:26

Obviously the prospectuses and websites are going to look marvellous..... hmm

Find the shittiest state school you can, with RI ofsted and very poor results. Is any of that reflected on its website?

brusselsproutwarning Thu 30-Apr-15 15:58:13

Need to ask, what does 'hot housing' mean?

thehumanjam Thu 30-Apr-15 16:01:00

I'm not an expert but my personal view is that very few children are suited to hot-housing at a young age.

yellowdaisies Thu 30-Apr-15 16:02:31

I'm not sure you can really. But it's common to move within the independent sector at 7, when you might have a bit more idea whether the school you've picked initially suits your child.

If your DCs do turn out to be super-bright they don't necessarily need to be at a hot-housing school to do well, and could always transfer at 11 or 13 to a faster paced school if you did start them off somewhere that offers a broad and relaxed approach to learning

Hakluyt Thu 30-Apr-15 16:03:13

Easily. They wouldn't.

happygardening Thu 30-Apr-15 16:13:31

My DS2 prep was defiantly not a "hot house" and he got a place at Win Coll and SPS, just to add he didn't go to school/nursery at all till yr 1 as I don't think children need to go to school till then. He couldn't read or write when he went to school although he was already showing a talent for math he "caught up" very quickly and easily.
I don't think you have to have them in "hot house" preps to achieve entrance into schools like Win Coll. My DS2 went to a non selective country prep, everything was very relaxed, lots of time outside etc. Very bright children who are of course best suited to schools like Win Coll will do fine in a good solid prep (with a history of getting places at these type of schools) having lots of fun and just being allowed to be what they are; children, especially between yrs 2-6.

summerends Thu 30-Apr-15 16:56:59

Agree with HG, better to go for a mixed entry school with a track record of sending DCs to all types of schools but enough pupils to the ones you would like your DCs to go to if suitable for them. Such schools will be good at advising at the stage of registration and pretests. No hot housing is needed for the pretests.
'Hothousing' helps for the most academic year 8 scholarships if a DC is not super bright. However by year 7 it is usually clear if a DC is up for that sort of academic challenge.

senua Thu 30-Apr-15 19:32:11

It's probably easier to spot who wouldn't suit that sort of environment.

Are they reliably dry, can they dress themselves, can they concentrate over a period of time, can they do delayed gratification, are they socialised?

I also agree with HG. Give them a solid, stable, loving start in life and worry about academics later (eg KS1/KS2 boundary).

MMmomKK Fri 01-May-15 23:13:50

I am not sure if there is a type of child who belongs in a "hot house".
However, I don't think it's fair to consider any prep school that gets good results a "hot house".

Results and websites are just a starting point for looking at a school. I think it's also very important to visit and get a feeling of the place. You can better understand how they teach and how they deal with varying abilities.

BeaufortBelle Sat 02-May-15 15:03:14

Hmm. I don't think prospectuses are a substitute for going to the school and looking around it and then sitting outside at hometime a few times and watching the children come out.

We knew our DS was clever but he went to the local cofe primary and at 8 just flew into a very intense London Junior School which feeds into its own senior school which is regularly at the top of the league tables. He flourished.

Our DD is quieter and you would never have thought she would be Oxbridge material but quietly and gently and softly she just blossomed all on her own with nurture never stepping near a "hothouse" until 6th form because it would have crushed her.

All children are different and they all need different things to bring out the best in them.

Needmoresleep Sun 03-May-15 14:55:55

I agree. You want a school to have sufficient breadth to enable them to find their own level, neither over nor under challenging. We are towards the end of the journey. Some precocious kids have faded, some late developers have come through. The important things are self confidence, emotional intelligence and resilience. Hard to achieve if a child is outside their comfort zone.

One child's hot house is another child's stimulating and challenging environment. Look for a nice school with a broad range, certainly at Primary level.

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