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When do the Summer birthdays "catch up" ?

(80 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Thu 12-Sep-13 11:02:06

DD has just started Year 1 and I went into help with reading yesterday.

She is an August birthday, and although I always thought she was a bright little button, the vast majority of the class are way ahead of her!

I realise being an August birthday has a huge bearing on her education but I'm sure I read somewhere that there is an age where the younger ones catch up and the gap between the ages closes.

Am I right?


GooseyLoosey Wed 18-Sep-13 08:38:30

I have no clear answers how to mitigate the lack of expectations and the feeling that summer born children can get that they are just not as good as their peers at stuff (and once this is ingrained it is not easy).

For dd, I bang on at teachers that they must expect more of her and if she does not achieve as they expect - tell her. She is highly motivated in many ways and if she knows she should do better, she will. Monitor peoples' expectations - especially early on. They make such a difference.

Maths was a subject dd really struggled with and in the end, I got a tutor for her. Not to push her to ever greater things but to give her the confidence in a safe environment that she could do it and to allow her time and space to get her head around what she didn't understand.

I am not saying that this happens to all August borns, but I think it does happen to many. It may depend on a child's personality. Dd is naturally quiet - as a toddler, she was the type to hide behind my legs. Therefore when she went to school she presented as shy and awkward. She allowed the low expectations of her to persist by not volunteering more whereas more outgoing children would not.

mysticminstrel Tue 17-Sep-13 22:50:31

" brettgirl2 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:46:49
I'm a summer born myself. I don't believe the year 2 thing, I was average when I started but got progressively cleverer right up to a levels where I achieved nearly the same results as my ultra-cvlever November born brother"

Yup, I recognise this.

My September born brother in the year above was always, always the clever one. I was the August born in the year below - almost 2 years younger than him but only an academic year behind him.

He was always the clever one, I was always the afterthought. He kicked my arse at GCSE (though I had respectable results)

But by the time A levels rolled around my brother did very well, and the following year I did even better (i.e. top grades across the board).

I have 2 summer borns.

I'm not worried.

babasheep Tue 17-Sep-13 22:40:25

I imagine myself being in my dcs' shoes say I go to school everyday. And everyday I am told I belong to the bottom pile of my year group from age 5 or 6. How would I feel about myself by the end of year 6? We don't have third class on trains any more so why in our schools.
I read somewhere that the average age to archive Ks1 - 2bs is 7 & a half yr. Now I look back although my dc1 only got 2cs at Ks1 bearing in mind at the time she was not even 7yr old. So in fact dc1 didn't do too bad as comparing to those who got 2as or more but are over 9 -11 months older.
I am not a competitive mum but I do my best to make sure my children don't stay in bottom groups. My concern is the long term damages that may have on their self believe and attitudes to learning.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 17-Sep-13 17:27:59

It depends on the individual child, physically, emotionally, and academically. My Y6 August born DD2 is the youngest in her year, she looks about 7 - she certainly wears 7 year old clothes which are a bit big for her. But emotionally she is old beyond her years, she does a lot of performing and that helps I think. Academically she has always been one of the top 2 or 3 in her year since the day she started in reception. It probably helps that she is my 3rd child.

funnyossity Tue 17-Sep-13 15:08:05

I have a child in secondary who is about youngest in the year. It has had long term effects (I believe) because he's never had that boost of being "good" at things compared with his classmates.

Expectations through primary were low, he started off behind and and stayed there (as far as school was concerned.) Mild dyslexia has been a confounding factor too.

I did take my eye off the ball and he was in a lower reading group in upper primary than was warranted. (He kept telling me this but I thought he was over-confident as we'd worked hard to keep his self-belief up!)

Keep tabs on things is my only advice.

sheeplikessleep Tue 17-Sep-13 14:49:54

And also, how do we tally up explaining to children that there will be a difference as their friends are older than them, against the need to not create low expectations?

sheeplikessleep Tue 17-Sep-13 14:46:56

Goosey - how can we mitigate some of the potential problems then?

I am planning to start ds3 early at nursery - at 2, so he gets 2 full years before starting school. I also plan to attend a variety of toddler groups to build up his social skills and confidence. Likewise, I will try to get him recognising letters and phonics before starting school too. I hope that having two older brothers, ds3 will be used to interacting with children older than himself.

My biggest concern is that both ds1 and ds2 were speech delayed, so ds3 might be too.

I would appreciate anyone thoughts on how to try to counterbalance the summer effect! Thanks

babasheep Tue 17-Sep-13 14:45:47

I think the lack or low expectations from teachers and adults can be more a issue especially when children were separated into top middle and bottom groups from as young as age 5 or 6. As the kids only think they are good or bad at the subject/s according to the group they are allocated into. The kids don't understand the importance of their age differences. For while I had to keep going to dc1's teachers to ask to have dc1 transferred into middle group as dc was not being challenged enough in the bottom group. Since she become more confident in the subject. More damaging effect that had on her was the fact that dc believed she cannot be any good at the subject no matter how hard she try.

GooseyLoosey Tue 17-Sep-13 13:40:57

My dd is in Yr 5 and late August born. She too is average.

Being late summer born has had some negative impact which I think may have been aviodable if I had really be aware of what was happening.

When dd started school, she was the youngest in the school (by several months as luck would have it). She was also cute, blonde and fluffy. This resulted in her being the "class baby", a role which she only grew out of when she left the school. It meant that if she couldn't do something, she simpered and someone else did it for her.

Associated with this, was a general lack of expectation, which again stayed with her. Both her and her brother (15 months older) started school with the same base line level of learning. With ds the expectations were that he would pick up a certain amount in a certain time. With dd, those expectations were adjusted downwards because of her age and there never seemed to be a time when they were refocused.

I agree with the others who suggest that these threads can lull parents of late summer children into a false sense of security. Of course it is not a problem for some children, but it quite clearly is for others and an awareness of that can help mitigate some of the potential problems.

babasheep Tue 17-Sep-13 13:26:45

Only a few days ago I heard that my dc2' autumn born friend is currently reading two stages ahead of my dc but there are over nine months age gap between them. So by the time my dc2 get to the same age dc2 is very likely to be reading at least the same stage of books. However my dc2 seemed not doing as well in the school reading record. But in reality I believe dc2 is doing just as well if you take account of the true age difference.

babasheep Tue 17-Sep-13 13:00:47

I have two summer dcs. While I accept that summer born can hold them back in early years I also value them as individuals. There will be some things they are more advanced and something they more behind than others. Other children may have different family or health issues that may set them back in life. I just accept I have to support them according to their current levels of abilities and interest. My 10 yrs dc only got 2cs at Ks1 those years ago but now in year 6 my dc1 is approaching level 5. My dc2 could hardly read or spell and reluctant to speak any words by the end of reception. But by the end of year 2 dc2's reading and spelling age were nearly nine years old and talking nonstop all day. Just keep going with them with appropriate supports the young one can catch up.

Madamecastafiore Tue 17-Sep-13 10:21:15

I always thought it was around the age of 8, remember reading it but not sure where.

I am not sure it has a huge bearing, the birthday thing though.

DS is November and DD July and DD has always been far ahead of her peers academically but behind socially whereas DS is about right in terms of academics but is far ahead in terms of social skills.

Socioeconomics come into it not just what time of year they are born.

sheeplikessleep Tue 17-Sep-13 10:15:51

As a mum of a three week old, this thread has also reassured me too. The IFS report makes grim reading.

bigTillyMint Tue 17-Sep-13 09:32:23

I think there is a huge variation between children and being summer-born may show itself in different ways.

DD is summer-born, but has always been fine academically and socially. DS is spring-born and wasn't ready for formal stuff till he was about 7.

I agree, there is usually a stage where they just get it. usually around the end of Y2/Y3

Blu Tue 17-Sep-13 09:22:46

OP, please do not feel that help with reading in Yr 1 is in any way an issue.

I think the national average for learning to read is in fact 6. Not something you would learn from readong posts on MN, though!

DS is a summer born child, I thought he would be an early reader as he was an early talker, but no, wasn't really a confident reader until Yr 2. There is a stage where they suddenly 'get it'.

keepsmiling12345 Sun 15-Sep-13 21:31:57

My DC's school mixed the reception classes by age. A three class intake so my May born DD was in a class of purely April to August birthdays. I was originally against it since I thought they were making assumptions about what older class could do vs middle vs younger class but actually it worked well and they were able to differentiate academically within the classes (as other posters have said, some summer borns are academically ahead whilst some sept borns struggle on certain aspects). Classes stayed the same for reception and year 1 and then all the children were mixed up into new classes in year 2, in which intent is to have a balance of age, gender, ability, personalities etc.

brettgirl2 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:46:49

I'm a summer born myself. I don't believe the year 2 thing, I was average when I started but got progressively cleverer right up to a levels where I achieved nearly the same results as my ultra-cvlever November born brother.

BaconAndAvocado Sat 14-Sep-13 13:59:35

Feeling much happier now the general consensus seems to be Year 2. That's not far off smile

alpinemeadow Sat 14-Sep-13 08:41:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlemiss06 Sat 14-Sep-13 08:27:02

My august 31st twins had caught up by year two

hillian Sat 14-Sep-13 06:55:50

my July born year 7 got levels 5 & 6 in the SATS.

I think the difference is he didn't start school until he was 7 so he was never asked as a 4 year old to keep up with children who were nearly a whole year older. Therefore he never got used to struggling and failing.

Dancingdreamer Sat 14-Sep-13 00:49:07

The statistics that younger children in a class are disadvantaged holds true in other countries and educational cultures. This is why the Germans give parents the option of children starting education aged 7 or 8 years.

Looksgoodingravy Fri 13-Sep-13 14:33:19

Periwinkle, I agree entirely with your post.

DS is a September born and often the older children do have this added pressure not only from other children but from teachers too!

Saying that he's doing extremely well but I don't think that this is all down to him being an Autumn born, he's just very bright (biased) wink - tongue in cheek emoticon.

DiscretionGuaranteed Fri 13-Sep-13 14:06:20

I agree Suzie, it was blind luck that mine happened to be ready for it. Less lucky that they weren't ready to be reliably dry until they'd turned 5.

Suzieismyname Fri 13-Sep-13 13:19:20

Lucky you Discretion. I tried teaching DD1 letters but she wasn't interested. It took the teachers 6 months to get her to even try writing. She.just.wasn't.ready!!!

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