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What is normal? Should we move him again or should I be concerned that he's behind?

(20 Posts)
Jep85 Mon 25-Sep-17 16:27:47

So my little boy has recently started at a prep-school nursery. We moved him there as we have recently moved from another area and didn't want him to move nursery for 1 year to then move to another school, so this minimises number of changes as he will transition to reception in the same school.
My little boy has been in full time nursery since 7 months old and has always been a very happy little boy, who has been what I would call physically quite advanced (early crawling, walking, potty Trg etc), but has always been what I would class as average in terms of academics (can you even call it that at their age, but I'm on about numbers, colours, talking etc- anything not particularly physical). basically I've never had any concerns about his development.
A few months into his time at new nursery they have now informed me that he has been moved into a 'special group' as he is behind the other children. This has obviously made me quite concerned, and I just wanted to get general opinion on what is a normal range (yes I know they are all different at pre-school age).
So basically he is 3yrs 3 months. He can can count to 10 with ease and count differing group sizes of objects. He knows all the main colours ( he does occasionally mix up blue and purple tone dependent), can recognise and select his own name from a group, and can recognise and draw squares, circles and triangles (admittedly the triangle drawing is a bit dodgy). He also speaks in 6 word plus sentences with ease and can conjoin sentences to tell a story. He will also sit still through a whole kids film or play for prolonged periods (30mins plus) with toys he's interested in (prob only about 5-10mins with a toy he's not massively interested in)I always thought was a fairly average learning level for a 3 year old, but the nursery has now got me worried. I did point out he was probably one of the youngest due to recently having turned 3 to which they told me he wasn't the youngest!!
I'm now considering moving him, as I'm not sure I'm happy with the level of academic pressure they're applying at such a young age, or is he in fact actually really behind in learning for his age and should I be more worried about his development?

Callamia Mon 25-Sep-17 16:31:35

He is entirely appropriate for his age.

I'm a psychologist who works in education (and I have a nearly 4 year old). I would have zero concerns about him. What are the school expecting? Do they follow EY framework? I think they need to be more clear with you about what areas they think your son is doing less well in.

ElizabethShaw Mon 25-Sep-17 16:34:22

I'm a nursery teacher. He sounds absolutely fine and would certainly hold his own in a normal nursery class.

PineappleScrunchie Mon 25-Sep-17 16:34:58

Sounds perfectly notmal to me but depends on their intake I guess. Have you asked what areas in particular they are worried about?

With regards to moving, my dd has been in four different settings throughout preschool and reception years and is flourishing so I wouldn't really worry about moving him if you don't think it's the right setting. They are very adaptable at that age.

Jep85 Mon 25-Sep-17 21:21:27

Thanks guys for the reassurance. They haven't really pinpointed any areas, which is one of the things that has frustrated And upset me! They told he was easily distracted in French lessons (I've got to admit at 14 I was still easily distracted in French- it just wasn't my thing). Today when I picked him up I tried to push for how he'd been over the day and got told well he's been him- he splashed in puddles when we took him for a walk in the woods despite us telling him not to. To be honest we encourage him to splash in puddles when we take him for walks, so probably our fault!
Very seriously considering moving him, the only thing putting me off is that he seems happy and has made a couple of special friends (when we moved him a couple of months ago he spent about 6 weeks crying at night about how he missed his best friend from his previous setting!)

nightshade Mon 25-Sep-17 21:30:23

French lessons?

Jep85 Mon 25-Sep-17 21:41:06

Yes, not high on my priority list at the moment (hopefully he will be better than I am 2nd languages when he's older though) but they start them in the nursery school and continue it through pre-prep and prep apparently.

calamityjam Mon 25-Sep-17 21:46:34

Distracted in French lessons? If I didn't know differently, I would assume we were discussing a teenager. He does sound like his development is spot on for his age. I would agree with pp that you should ask for specifics about which areas of the curriculum your son is behind in. Nurseries I have worked in don't usually separate toddlers into groups based on academic ability. This is only my experience though. I've also noticed that children who are quick to read, count write etc, are not necessarily the ones who go on to do well academically further down the line.

RosyPony Mon 25-Sep-17 21:51:19

This is why we aren't switching to private until DS is older as I want him to go to pre-school to play. He sounds perfectly normal to me, children learn to concentrate though play, not being forced to sit still.

I'm applying the same approach to raising my DS that I would to training a young horse, the more active you keen the body, the more the brain can grow and learn to focus.

Callamia Mon 25-Sep-17 21:51:59

It sounds a bit joyless (but I'm sure it's not all like that). I like that your son is the renegade here, maybe he can stage a revolt, and they can all start splashing in puddles!

Foreign languages in pre-school isn't that unusual is it? I guess it depends on the intake; my son's nursery speak French, Italian and Spanish with the children, but that also reflects the intake - rather than formal lessons. It's interesting to see what my poor monolingual child picks up.

retreatwhispering Mon 25-Sep-17 21:52:12

This makes me sad. At 3 my little boy was in a nursery where they spent several hours a day tramping around outside stamping in puddles, playing in the mud and so on. He sounds like a interested and sparky little boy. Completely normal.

Out2pasture Mon 25-Sep-17 21:53:50

it sounds like the pre-prep is a bit out of sync with their little people.

G1raffe Mon 25-Sep-17 21:54:09

A preschool telling them NOT to splash in puddles!?

Jep85 Mon 25-Sep-17 22:07:04

Thanks everyone, I'm glad it's not just me. Feel a bit better that I seem to have a normalish child (so difficult as I work full time so spend very little time around other kids his age, so nurserys comments are obviously a large part of the comparison of kids his age I am aware of). I've been leaving quite disheartened when picking him up. Think I'm going to start looking at some other settings in the area so at least we have our options open.

littlebird7 Mon 25-Sep-17 22:08:29

The nursery sounds absolutely awful! Really pushy and segregating children into sets at that age is damn well damaging. How can they do such a thing?
Teaching children formal French before they speak English is going to delay their speech and be confusing surely?! It is different if children learn in their home setting from bilingual parents, but to organise actual lessons at this age is bonkers.
Move him before he gets lumbered with underserved labels...it will follow him into pre prep and beyond. Keep his special friends for play dates and holidays.

insancerre Fri 06-Oct-17 18:53:43

I run a nursery and to me it's all about splashing in puddles
Not French lessons
My children are all making good progress and lots of them exceed the early learning goals when they go to school
Our school readiness is mostly climbing trees and getting messy

insancerre Fri 06-Oct-17 18:54:48

I mean they are exceeding at the end of reception
Not when they go to achool

BackforGood Mon 09-Oct-17 16:17:46

Your ds sounds absolutely normal and lovely.
The pre-prep however, is sadly perpetuating the reputation that private schooling has for not understanding child development and pushing dc into doing things they are not pre-programmed to do at 3 yrs old.

"Not splashing in puddles on a walk through the woods" hmm
How sad.

Ninjakittysmells Mon 09-Oct-17 16:48:13

Ds is at pre prep and sounds exactly like your little one. In nursery he did French, but it was renditions of head, shoulders kneees and toes and pointing out colours - it was fun! They purposefully take them to splash in puddles on rainy days too.

In short, your little one sounds perfect - but the school not so much! You can achieve the same learning goals (Ds is 5 now and speaks better French than I do) with a softer approach.

poppl Mon 09-Oct-17 16:52:22

If you’re otherwise happy with the nursery I would smile and nod and ignore, to be honest.

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