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...to start my son at primary age 4.5 or 5.5?

(12 Posts)
molfingus Thu 29-Sep-11 19:44:12

..............advice required. My conundrum is that I have a son who will be three in March next year. In Scotland all those whose birthdays fall until end Feb will start school in August of that same year. My little guy is 10th March and so should wait until the following year. I have, up until now, esp with boys, always felt it was better to wait until they were 5.5; head start an all that. However, as I watch him develop and play with his older sister (4.5) I am thinking by the time he starts primary (just under 3 yrs from now) he will be bored. He is a very bright little boy, loves counting, numbers and letters. can count and knows all numbers up to 20 as well as knowing full alphabet. Is able to pick letters out everywhere. (I didn't initiate this just encouraged him as he started to ask about them) He is also very physically able, but is at the same time very sensitive and can be very needy emotionally. So do I push for him to start nursery (pre-school) as soon as he hits 3 and start him at primary at 4.5 or do I wait let him start nursery at 3.5, start school at 5.5 and risk him being under challenged?

thejaffacakesareonme Thu 29-Sep-11 19:51:42

Many people with kids with January or February birthdays choose to defer the date when they start school so your son could be more than a year younger than some of the kids in his class. I heard at the weekend that a girl with an October birthday is the youngest in her year in a year group of 40, which indicates to me that anyone with a kid with a November or December birthday deferred them. If it were me, I'd try to look for other challenges for him in the pre-school year and send him at 5.5.

handsomeharry Thu 29-Sep-11 19:58:33

In the local authority I am in, the end of February is the cut off date and so your DS wouldn't be old enough to start school if he has a March birthday.

Loopymumsy Thu 29-Sep-11 20:10:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

handsomeharry Thu 29-Sep-11 20:19:17

That's basically what I was saying too - your DS wouldn't get a place if he has a March birthday.

Maryz Thu 29-Sep-11 20:30:39

Wait and see. You may not have a choice, and if you have your choice may change over time. It is far to soon to even be worrying about this.

molfingus Thu 29-Sep-11 20:36:57

....thanks guys ( I am told that if I 'pushed' it would be a possibility to have him a year early. But to be honest when I read your replies i am having a moment of clarity. Yes he will be bored (pre-school) but I think as pointed out by thejaffacakesareonme I need to find ways to challenge him. Any suggestions welcome? Loopymumsy; I agree with you and am thinking my boy will benefit more if he is 5.5 and that is my ultimate aim. Just need to keep him entertained and challenged until then...yikes!

CecilyP Thu 29-Sep-11 20:52:46

Your chances of getting your DS into school at 4.5 are actually quite slight if your LA is anything like mine. A friend with a DD born in the early hours of 1 March tried; her daughter was assessed (not sure who by) and a place refused. As others have said, with many parents holding January and February birthdays back, your DS is unlikely to be the youngest in P1 or in the final term at nursery, for that matter. Also most LAs have fixed dates and rules for starting nursery and are highly unlikely to bend them just because a child's birthday falls a few days after the start date.

crazycarol Thu 29-Sep-11 23:00:08

From experience you are VERY unlikely to get a place to start early, although if you applied to an independant / private school they have a bit more flexibility but your child would be assessed for admission with kids almost a full year older and expected to be of similar ability / potential.

givemeavodka Fri 30-Sep-11 10:46:38

From experience as I have 2 boys, i think it may be best to start at 4.5 rather than 5.5. my youngest is currenty in reception year and started in September aged 4.3 months. He and his classmates are doing fine. t

Whats great is they all start together they are all in the same boat so to speak and friendships are made and the social side of school is so important for them, thats what the reception year is about. Obviously with some learning through play.

Its your decision Im sure you will do what you think is right.

Ophuchi Fri 30-Sep-11 11:13:40

Hi Molfingus, I have a March-born girl who will turn 2 next year and already we can see that she's a smart little cookie.

We have the same situation as you here, where you can apply to have bright March-borns start a year young. However, it is not something I would consider for my daughter as - especially when she gets to high school - I'd like her to have the social and physical advantage of being older in the year.

I had the double whammy of being young in the year and a late developer and feel that I'd have probably been better suited to the year below despite doing very well academically.

I've never known anyone to regret deferring (even though it's not deferring in your case.) Hope that helps.

Mumleigh Fri 30-Sep-11 11:47:42

Your DS sounds a lot like mine. He was doing all the things you describe at a similar age.
He started school just before his 5th birthday ( October baby). He his not bored at all.
His school assess and informally stream all the children and they work at different levels.
There are three or four other children in his class all at a similar level or higher which is great because they spur each other on and compete with one another to finish challenges set by the teacher.
I really think that my son benefited socially and emotionally from being at pre school until he was 5 even though he was probably ready for reception at 4.

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