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summer born son

(47 Posts)
tiredandhungryalways Sun 15-Nov-15 15:06:02

Hi hoping someone can advise me I am very stressed! My 3 year old is currently in nursery part time from half 8 till half 11 he has never been in any sort of childcare and settled in well struggled a little bit but enjoys it and looks forward to going. He is August born and was a preemie his due date wasn't until October 1st. The nursery teacher have told me he works well in small groups but is difficult in larger groups. He has a slight speech delay but nothing serious and the surestart lady works in nursery and has spent some time with him and has said he is improving. He is extremely shy does not do well in New situations needs a lot of time to adjust to new people and settings it has taken him over a month to initiate a conversation with any teacher for example. I am in the process of makig an application for delay his start to reception which I think will be accepted but am also applying for a school place- I have been told I must do both. Now my worry is if I get a place in the school I want to accept it as it is already hugely over subscribed there are new homes being built near the school so his chances of being accepted next year reduce. It is a fantastic school and finally my question is it worth sending him a bit earlier than I hoped for a good school or is it better to wait a year and risk him going to a not so good school? He may genuinely be ready by next year I don't know but at the moment I am hugely doubtful thank you for reading xxxxx

KohINoorPencil Sun 15-Nov-15 15:46:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiredandhungryalways Sun 15-Nov-15 16:28:31

Thank you so much for your reply I feel similarly, don't really want to take the risk either. Will just have to try super hard with him at home I guess wish me luck

KohINoorPencil Sun 15-Nov-15 18:06:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiredandhungryalways Sun 15-Nov-15 18:37:46

Kohl the way you put it sounds so simple and makes me wonder why am worrying! He can do some of what you mentioned which is positive. Will start working on the things he struggles with x

Imperialleather2 Sun 15-Nov-15 21:25:57

My ds is August born also having been born prem. He has just gone into year 1. It's really hard when they first start but after a year and bit I can see the gap is closing between him and his peers both academically and emotionally.

Take the place and it will be fine.

MMmomKK Sun 15-Nov-15 21:55:51

Many people here would tell you that they have an August-born children and they eventually adjust well at school.

However, all research shows that summer born children as a group have a much harder time and do less well than their peers. And now that it seems that England, finally recognised that fact and is allowing the parents to make their own decision, there is NO reason to choose a harder path for your child.
And, especially, given that he was premature, so he is not just a regular summer born...

It makes a bit difference, when a child starts school and is confident around his peers and adults. Older kids in the class are often those children. The quieter summer kids don't quite catch up, not completely. So, in my opinion, a chance (!) Of not getting a particular school is not a reason to send a child to school before he is ready.

My nephew is similar to your son. A preemie born in August. Struggled on and off through primary - both academically and socially. Now he is off to secondary and still not caught up socially. He is smaller than other children, and is still much less mature.

Dd1 is almost a summer child (end of May). She is in Y4 and is nearly top in her year academically. But if I had a do-over, I'd definetely held her back. She was/is always on the quieter side; has fewer friends; rarely volunteers for anything at would put her in front of an audience (school productions, school council); worse in sports than most of her classmates. Generally still less confident. And her August-born best friend is the same.

So - if I were you, I' look at my son and see what's best for him now. And school lottery would sort itself out somehow!

tiredandhungryalways Mon 16-Nov-15 07:29:49

Mom k everything you have said is exactly how I think my son will behave shy holding back etc but I m also hoping what imperial lather is saying may apply to us.guess as another poster said will only know what I should have done in hindsight. Applications come out today as well! Yesterday was the perfect example he went to a football group and sat in his dad's lap the entire time! Would not engage with anyone at all which makes me think it's just too soon x

prh47bridge Mon 16-Nov-15 09:25:10

However, all research shows that summer born children as a group have a much harder time and do less well than their peers

That is true but unfortunately there is also some research which shows that holding these children back a year does not help and may make things worse. I am not saying this research is right as it is only one study but it may be that we need a more complex solution than any that are currently on offer.

And now that it seems that England, finally recognised that fact and is allowing the parents to make their own decision

I'm afraid this is wrong. The government has said it is going to change the Admissions Code but it has not done so as yet. They haven't even got as far as putting a draft out for comment. The current situation is that parents can request that their child enters outside the normal year group but the admission authority (the LA or the school depending on the type of school) has the final say.

MadameChauchat Mon 16-Nov-15 13:18:58

I too have an August boy, who is in year 6 now and doing very well. However, reception and year 1 were quite a struggle, he just seemed not to be ready to learn to read and write and wanted to go back to nursery!
Have you seen the other school? If it really is a very bad school, for me that would certainly be a reason to send him to the good one. If the difference between the two schools is not too big, I think I would hold him back a year. Good luck!

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Nov-15 13:56:49

A lot of what you say isn't specific to being a summer born though. You are just attributing it.

FWIW, I have a spring born DC and she's got the following problems too
* works well in small groups but is difficult in larger groups.
* a slight speech delay (DD is under SALT since 2yo, and is transferred to the SALT lady at school. They will help your DS in small group, don't worry about this one).
* extremely shy does not do well in New situations needs a lot of time to adjust to new people and settings it has taken him over a month to initiate a conversation with any teacher for example. (my DD is good with new person in small group, but not good with new situations and large groups. It's her personality and I don't think another year will change it).

The list from KohINoorPencil is right.

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Nov-15 13:59:57

I will also add start teaching him to put on and off his clothes for PE. DD1 couldn't do it because we didn't know she needed to get change for PE. Should have been obvious if we have thought about that! Took us a month after starting school to crack that one. But it helps with mornings. Have a look at school uniforms and see what you need to teach. DD is doing buttons and socks. I've got her a zipped pinafore so that one is easy.

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Nov-15 14:01:25

Oh and recognise his name on a name tag label. You can buy iron on labels with little animals on them and I know a parent did that. I got ones with red letters. (From easy2name, there's a mumsnet code). This is so he can find his clothes and shoes back for PE.

BathshebaDarkstone Mon 16-Nov-15 14:01:53

I also have an August born son, he's in reception and seems to cope fine. He's doing very well with phonics and has started reading. I think regardless of birthday, different children are ready at different ages.

tiredandhungryalways Mon 16-Nov-15 17:28:28

Thank you for all your replies, I will definitely start teaching him what you mentioned head, he is learning to do bits for himself but progress is slow. To answr your question yes there is a huge difference between the good school and not so good. I am hoping the gap will close as he gets older so it doesn't impact grades etc too much. Bathseba I hope your right x

MMmomKK Mon 16-Nov-15 22:12:31

Prh47 - maybe we are talking about different things. There is a lot of research saying that delaying the start of school for the summer born kids by a year is truly beneficial. The recent one I saw from the U.S. (where parents can hold back Apr-Aug kids) said that letting these kids enter school later increased their attainment at age 11 and decreased behavioural issues and ADHD.

"Delaying" in this case mean holding kids back a year, NOT delaying the start and joining chronological age group class.

I thought OP mentioned that she was also applying to defer her son's school entry. Who knows - she may be in a LEA that would allow her to hold him back a year - given that the tide is going that way.

In her place I would be having serious conversations with the LEA. And if holding back a year is a possibility - than I fully stand by my previous post - the child will greatly benefit.

I think it is short-sighted looking at the immediate goal of getting a particular school. A well adjusted confident child would do better in a "just ok" school, than a "child who started school before he is ready" in a great school.

Karoleann Tue 17-Nov-15 07:04:08

My July birthday DS really struggled at school for the first few years. His speech wasn't great, he was emotionally and socially quite immature and he really struggled to settle in. He developed a stammer too which I think had something to do with school.
It was a good couple of years before he started enjoying school although academically he was fine and he could do all the things he should be able to do before starting school (getting dressed etc).

Unless you are in a grammar school area where it may affect 11+ I would just hold him back a year and keep him at nursery. I can't see any downside.

prh47bridge Tue 17-Nov-15 07:21:58

I can't see any downside

As the Admissions Code stands the OP can request that her son is admitted to Reception a year late but it is the admission authority's decision. Many will refuse all requests unless there is evidence of significantly delayed development. Also, as another poster discovered recently, if a child is accepted into Reception a year late there is no guarantee that secondary schools will keep them in the same year group, leaving the child having to miss either Y6 or Y7 completely.

This will change if and when the government makes the changes it has announced to the Admissions Code but the current code will apply for 2016/7 entry.

Santaschiefelf Thu 26-Nov-15 15:46:58

My son was also prem, born in July & due in October. I'm so worried about him starting school next year. My LEA does not have a good record of accepting requests to start reception a year later and appear to be taking no notice of a potential change in the law. They informed me that I need to discuss matter with HT of my preferred school as their opinion is taken into account. I met HT of my nearest school (which I thought would be my first choice) who said on no account would they ever agree to this & I need to stop worrying because they are not worried angry.
I'm not sure what to do now. DS can do almost none of that list above despite significant effort from home & nursery. He has never used a toilet let alone being able to take himself alone at appropriate time & clean himself up. Bribery/encouragement /peer pressure have no effect. There are a no of things that worry me about school other than toilet issue. I just can't see him being ready to learn to read/write even in 10 months time. Despite going to nursery for almost 18 months now he still can't recognise his name or even first letter, can't keep pen/pencil on a page never mind in lines, can't count anything, has no idea about colours. I guess there are many 3 year olds who can't do these things but quite a few of them are starting to, even some that are a fair bit younger. He loves other kids & isn't desperately shy however he doesn't get social cues at all & tends to jump into others games at inappropriate moments & get right in their faces being quite irritating(he doesn't mean to be) & copying what they say/trying to join in. Behaviourally I think he will be ok, if everyone else is sitting on the carpet then he will follow however if anyone asked him what was said I don't think he would have a clue. He struggles to answer even very simple questions. I'm concerned that once he realises he is being forced to learn to read/write & finds it difficult he will completely refuse & may become a school refuser. I'm also concerned that he will be a target for the other kids as is quite small & easily pushed around(& doesn't cry or tell anyone, just seems to accept it) & doesn't seem to be anywhere near as confident or articulate as many of them. He went to a 4th birthday recently & he spent most of the time running after the other kids & trying to join in but not quite managing. He was also pushed in front of/out of way many times. Can't believe how bossy & over confident many of them are, it was heartbreaking.
There are 2 other schools that he is likely to get into from where we live. Neither are as impressive or have as good results but are smaller & feel a bit more nurturing. I'm drawn towards the one that has mixed year group classes in case he really struggles so can repeat some of work without it being really obvious or incase he ends up starting in year 1 (although feel this would be a mistake).
People keep telling me he will be fine but then I keep hearing how more & more is expected & tests are increasing & young kids are under more pressure than ever. I just feel really frustrated that he is being forced into this position.

Santaschiefelf Thu 26-Nov-15 15:50:56

Oops sorry didn't realise that was so long & had hardly any paragraphs. Thanks to anyone who actually got to the end!

tiredandhungryalways Thu 26-Nov-15 16:53:22

Santaschief this may be terrible advice but my local council is similar to yours and I am thinking if they decline my application and I definitely decide to defer hom to just wait and not do anything with the hope the law goes through by time he is ready for school? Risky but desperate times in my case. I know what you mean about people saying font stress etc it's just not that easy. My son also from what I have seen can get pushed about it really is the worst thing x good luck whatever you decide and do try to get doctors health visitors any professionals to write letters etc show they are supporting you

HeadDreamer Thu 26-Nov-15 17:08:22

But that's the thing. They change a lot in these early years and it's so hard to make an informed decision this early.

Despite going to nursery for almost 18 months now he still can't recognise his name or even first letter, can't keep pen/pencil on a page never mind in lines, can't count anything, has no idea about colours.

I assume he's about 3 and a half now? A lot of boys will be potty trained when they are over 3. So that's not late.

My DD1 was March born and I don't think she can recognise her name until closer to 4. She's a late speaker and was referred to SALT because she wasn't speaking at 2. She can't really use a pen until she started YR. They taught her at school. She still struggles with numbers. She can say 1-10 very very quickly. When she started YR, she can't reliably tell you, say how many pens on the table, when there are over 3 items. I'm fairly sure when she's 3.5yo, she can do only 1 and 2. She's however ok with colours.

There are some children who are very advanced. I saw a 3.5yo girl reading with her mum at gymnastic. She can write her name, told her mum there were 6 giraffes in the book they were looking at. But I don't think that's the norm.

I think you are worrying too much and attributing too much to them being summer born. There will be many children the same as yours.

HeadDreamer Thu 26-Nov-15 17:10:26

Just to give you some perspective, she's in YR. The school is only now doing 1 more and 1 less for numbers 1-10. And also starting to recognise 10-15. We are drilling her on 1 more and 1 less up to 10 at home.

BondJayneBond Thu 26-Nov-15 17:14:22

tired wouldn't that plan only work if the change to the law is retrospective? i.e. if they said that this law only applied for 4 yr olds who would be due to start reception from September 2017 onwards, keeping him at home wouldn't be any use to you from that point of view if your DS is due to start in September 2016?

I do sympathise with your concerns though. DS1 is August born and premature and we had concerns about how ready he'd be to start school just after his 4th birthday. He started Reception in September and was struggling with it so much that the school moved him down into the nursery class. He's coping much better now - emotionally and behaviourally he fits in much better in the nursery class. But he goes to a private school which currently allows for a lot more flexibility in this area than state schools.

tiredandhungryalways Thu 26-Nov-15 18:50:26

Bond if it becomes law before September 2016 than I think there are no issues but if it becomes law for September 2017 my thinking is it's possible to argue with lea that it's unfair to force a child into year one because of the timing of the law? Not sure just guessing tbh

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