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so many questions about deferring... is no-one eager to start child early???

(14 Posts)
mali2010 Wed 05-Jan-11 14:25:37

There are so many posts here by parents of August babies worrying that their child will be behind in school... are there no parents of Sep or Oct babies worried that their child will enter reception aged ALMOST 5 and then just do a bit of ABC and learning colours etc? aren't you worried your child will be bored?

i remember already being able to read and do simple maths when i started primary and i was so bored and hated it. My daughter was born in October and I really don't want her to go through the same experience as me lest it puts her off school for many years. I think the local state primaries at least have a Jan intake which I could do for her, but all the private pre-prep schools only have Sep entry, so I face the choice of sending her to an average state primary aged 4 years 3 months, or waiting till she is 4 years 11 months and pay 15k a year (London!!) for her to paint and learn the ABC at a private school which she will probably be able to do anyway.

Is it not common in this country for parents to want to send their children to school a year early? If she is ready for it from a developmental standpoint, could you ask a private school to consider her at 3 years 11 months for reception?

indiechick Wed 05-Jan-11 14:28:16

I think 3 is a bit early, but they've just changed things where I live and there will no longer be Sep and Jan intakes, just Sep intakes and I for one and delighted. My dd2 will be 4.6 and if she's anything like her older sister will be very ready to start in the Sep.

indiechick Wed 05-Jan-11 14:28:47

am delighted even. Perhaps I should have gone to school earlier!

CaptainNancy Wed 05-Jan-11 14:31:32

Many academically orientated independent schools work a year ahead of state maintained sector (ie in nursery do R work)- have a look at your local independents to see if this is the case.

Children who are developmentally ahead will enjoy that type of environment.

There's nothing wrong with actually doing some formal learning at home too whilst waiting to start school.

jobhuntersrus Wed 05-Jan-11 14:39:44

as far as I am aware there is not an option for children to start state school early. They start the sept before they turn 5 and have never heard of anyone staring earlier. Will be interested to see if anyone has any further info.

My ds is 4yrs 3mths currently and not due to start until september by which time he will be almost 5. In some ways I feel he is ready now. He can count, recognise numerals and letters and has great pencil control. He is becoming bored at preschool sometimes. However in terms of socail and emotional development I think he isn't ready and am gl;ad he has another 6mths plus to grow up /mature etc.

Bramshott Wed 05-Jan-11 14:40:01

I guess because we already start formal schooling in this country a good couple of years ahead of most of the rest of Europe.

CaptainNancy Wed 05-Jan-11 14:59:43

jobhunter- I didn't start early, but I went directly into infant2 (Y1) at 4.8 as I had already covered all of infant 1 at home prior to starting school.

loves2cycle Wed 05-Jan-11 15:54:42

I wouldn't worry mali about this at all. The first year of school is about so much more than just the work - there is all the socialising stuff and adapting to the very different type of classroom environment.

In Ireland most children start school at 5, not 4 and some are well into their 5th year, so nearly 6 when they start. They also take the reception curriculum and spread it out over 2 full school years so children are then even further 'behind' if you like. But the OECD reports still place many countries with slower paces than the UK, ahead in terms of literacy.

I think if you send them to school early, they miss the opportunity to play and that is far more developmentally appropriate at 3 and 4 than ABC's and adding up. They learn these things more quickly if they have the basic playing (which gives them incidental learning) and gross motor development stuff that they get in a nursery where they can physically move around more, than in a classroom.

You do need a good nursery or pre-school though - that would be where I'd place my efforts if I was you - if you get a good one which develops a love of exploration and fun learning then she'll be much better set up for the 'sitting at a desk' type learning that goes on in school.

cory Wed 05-Jan-11 16:09:32

Afraid the thought never occurred to me. I was reading nearly 2 years before I started school, wasn't really a problem. The one problem I had was that I was socially immature: don't suppose that would have been helped by starting earlier.

I don't remember every being bored. Academic learning, though I loved it, was such a small part of all the exciting things I learned: sports and crafts and basic DIY and drawing and cooking and baking and swimming and riding a bike and sewing and knitting and knowing the names of plants and animals and how to find my way around the local neighbourhood. Anyone who gets bored if they can't be doing the three Rs must have a very narrow conception of learning.

sali81 Wed 05-Jan-11 21:25:16

My ds went to school when he was 4 1/2, he started at reception and after 5 months went to year 1. I deliberately didn't send him to nursery and before he went, didn't even know his letters or numbers I do not regret making that decision, because I spent those precious 4 years getting to know him better. Missing out school since age 3 has not affected him in the least he is well above the average at school. Same with dd, children grow up too fast and you miss those times when they were small and were not expected to perform up to par.

pointythings Wed 05-Jan-11 21:39:34

I went to a Montessory primary and was a fluent reader and pretty good in maths too - they dealt with it, gave me suitable work all the way through (including stuff from secondary school for Yr6) - so there are schools that handle this.

A good primary (state or otherwise) will assess their Reception children and give them work and/or play that suits them, push on the ones that are ready and support the ones that need it. That's certainyl been my experience with my DDs (state) - they were picked up quickly as mature and ready to learn and were never held back. I don't see the need to start early, as long as you can cater for your DC at home in terms of what they want to learn, a good school should fit in with that.

Clary Wed 05-Jan-11 22:37:56

I wouldn't expect for one minute you will be able to send her to state primary in January.

That intake is for children who turn 5 that school year.

My experience (working as TA in a class of autumn borns) is that they are massively challenged (if teacher is any good) and will make huge progress if they are interested.

Some of the kids in that class (they were all 5 when I was there) were reading Magic Key and writing complete sentences etc. (not all tho I hasten to add!)

midnightmunchies Thu 06-Jan-11 21:47:28

My daughter's birthday is in October. We were had initially put her down for the local state school, but when it became clear she was reading and writing, of her own accord, early for her age and she appeared to be bored at nursery, we decided to look at local private schools. The school she is now at asked to have her for an assessment day and then suggested she start in reception straight away. So in the end she did the last half term of the summer term in reception and went straight into year one at the time she should have gone into reception. It was a difficult decision to put her a year ahead of herself, but I don't regret it for a minute - she is still one of the top in her class and is thriving.

signet Thu 06-Jan-11 22:16:57

DD turned 5 a few weeks into term and was already reading. I wouldn't have put her into school early though, there is much more to reception class than reading/writing and a good school will meet the needs of each child regardless of their age/ability upon starting in reception. DS1 was an October birthday and the same applied to him. Nursery was more than enough up until then. Of course DS2 was only just 4 when he started reception and I have to keep reminding myself that no, he's not really behind compared to where his brother/sister were, he's just nearly a year younger!

I don't think there's any need to rush/push a child into school earlier. Unless of course your child is a little bugger in which case starting full time school early is always a good option grin

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