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Only two weeks into being a 4 year old and starting school in September

(66 Posts)
VilootShesCute Sun 17-Apr-16 12:06:52

Hi. Does anyone else have a very very young one starting school in September? If so did you consider delaying or waiting a year? I don't know what to do as dc is so young and I feel slightly pressured by school and really want stories from other parents so I can weigh it all up.
I know every child is different but my child will only be two weeks over 3! Sob.

spanieleyes Sun 17-Apr-16 12:11:33

My youngest has an August 16th birthday so was just over 4 and 2 weeks when he started. He loved it! To be fair, he probably spent the first term playing in the water area with a bit of learning thrown in, but he was eager to go every day ( and as he has Aspergers, new experiences were not something he enjoyed!) and disliked the holidays! He had been to nursery/playgroup since he was 2 ( although part time) and was tired the first couple of terms but soon settled in. Try not to worry!

Helenluvsrob Sun 17-Apr-16 12:15:30

My eldest started school at 4yrs and 4 weeks nearly 20yrs ago

I was the mother dragging her out kicking and screaming after the settling in half days. The only thing she didn't get was why she couldn't stay all day like the older ones for the 1st 2 weeks. It was more than fine and she didn't struggle at all.

You do have the option of delaying but September is ages away. They grow up loads in 6 months. Stop worrying until you know there is something to worry about. In mumsnetty hugs to you. ( she is fiercely academic and to be in the year below would ha been not good for her )

fuctifino Sun 17-Apr-16 12:20:40

I have a mid August child, she was more than ready to start school.
It was probably helped that she disliked nursery and also had an older sister at the school.
I would say she struggled socially because she really wasn't keen on playing with other children and early years was a lot of playing.
She blossomed in year 1 when there was more structure.
Funnily enough, her set of friend's are also the youngest in the year.

melonribena Sun 17-Apr-16 12:21:11

My ds will be 4years and 3 weeks when he starts in September. I know he'll be fine. The schools are used to young ones and will support them.

I'm just making sure he can

Get dressed and u dressed pretty much independently,
Wipe his own bottom

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Apr-16 12:24:40

DS has a mid-August birthday but seemed to have grown out of pre-school and was ready for something new. He's pretty bright so hasn't struggled with the academics but the fine motor skills side has been more of a challenge - he's still behind in that aspect in Y2, with very poor handwriting.

Mishaps Sun 17-Apr-16 12:26:27

My DD has an August birthday. It was a millstone round her neck throughout her schooling - she was never going to be an early reader, and the contrast between her and her peers was enormous and soul-destroying for her. It had a huge negative impact on her confidence and attitude to school.

VilootShesCute Sun 17-Apr-16 12:32:32

Thank you all. The bottom wiping is the sort of thing I hadn't even thought about! That's why I need practical advice! Ds is older and was ready, and dd was severely disabled so she was always going to be cared for in a proper way from a very specialist school but this time round I really don't know what to do. Thanks for the hugs helen. Seems I need them...confused

sportinguista Sun 17-Apr-16 13:15:33

My DS is mid August and my DSS end of August, they both were fine and DSS has Aspergers. The teachers had a good handle on which were the very young ones and when DS struggled with some aspects due to maturity they put in place help. Fast forward three years and DS has leapfrogged many of his older classmates academically and is thriving. DSS is now nearly 19 and is doing a degree so I think it hasn't affected his chances. We all worry, it's one of the biggest events in our children's lives and we so want it to be good. Hope it all goes well.

redspottydress Sun 17-Apr-16 13:20:17

You need to consider more than just YR. The new curriculum puts huge pressure on children and teachers. Comparing to previous years is not really possible as it will not be the same.

anotherdayanothersquabble Sun 17-Apr-16 13:25:14

DS1 is a small, anxious but very bright August 14th birthday. He is in year 7 now. There have been a few occasions where I have thought he would be better off in the year below despite the fact that he copes well academically. He has friends and is OK but I still think another year at home would have benefited him.

VilootShesCute Sun 17-Apr-16 13:27:22

Yes the pressure and expectations of such young children seem scary. Even if they love and nurture her in this reception and in year one she'll still be expected to perform at the level her class mates are as the years go on and that may be more emotionally buggering if she struggles than keeping her back a year at the beginning. She's not a genius or overly clever (sorry dd) but that is not to say she won't thrive or pick up when she starts. Aaargh I hate these sorts of decisions and I really appreciate everyone's input so far.

tiggytape Sun 17-Apr-16 13:32:01

In answer to your question about delaying:
You have the automatic option to delay entry to reception if you want to (but not for the whole year - only for a term or two)
To do this, you accept the school place when it is offered and then tell the school that your child won't be starting until January or Easter or whenever you choose. Your child will need to start by the summer term though in order that the school place remains reserved for them and is not offered to anyone else. This option is completely down to parental choice and, if you decide to do this, the school may not like it but has no option but to accept it and cannot give your place to anyone else.

If you want to defer for even longer and have your child start in reception rather than Year 1 in Sept 2017, then this is not just down to parental choice and requires agreement with the school and local authority. Your reasons will be listened to and considered but it is not guaranteed they will agree. Most LAs in fact only agree if you produce evidence from a medical or other professional working with your child to explain why their needs can only be met in this way.

That said, it is tempting to view reception classes as being choc full of very articulate and very mature 5 year olds with birthdays before Christmas - but this won't be the case. There will be other children who have only just turned 4. There will be children with speech or other delays that place them a year or more behind some of their peers. There will be children with as yet undiagnosed speech, hearing and additional needs. There will be children who have never been to nursery or even been apart from their parents before. All of this is normal and reception class is geared up to meet the needs of a very broad range of maturity and abilities.

VilootShesCute Sun 17-Apr-16 13:39:51

That's great help tiggy thank you.

SometimesItRains Sun 17-Apr-16 13:39:59

ds1 is a December birthday and he struggled in reception. He has two friends who are August borns and they thrived. I don't think a late born will automatically struggle or an early born automatically do well, it really depends on the child. Now DS1 is in Yr1 he is loving school - I think the added structure of yr1 helps him.

MoonHare Sun 17-Apr-16 18:52:02

My oldest Dd is Aug 24th. She was ready at 4 to start and is bright and socially adept. However she is now y3 and while she doesn't struggle each year I think how she was at the same time the year before and contemplate that had she been 8 days younger she would have been at this stage then iyswim. She would have had the benefits of that if we could have delayed her starting. With hind sight, If it were an option to start reception a year later I absolutely would. Most of her class are pre xmas birthdays her confidence is not what it was prior to starting school.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-16 19:01:57

As a reception teacher I've taught children with 31st August birthdays who were very ready and able and children with early September birthdays who weren't. It's down to the individual child not their birthday. You know your child best.

poocatcherchampion Sun 17-Apr-16 19:08:30

My dd is 4 and a couple of weeks now. She is ready for school in all ways except that she still naps in the afternoon 3 or 4 days a week.

So that will be interesting!!

Dd2 is late august so that too will be interesting next year although she will probably be ready.

soitis Sun 17-Apr-16 19:10:35

My son is the youngest in his year of 90 pupils (3 classes). He is now in p2 and had always loved school and settled really well.

My biggest gripe was that throughout P1 during every parent/teacher interview his teacher always discussed his immaturity -he is almost a year younger than some in the class but she never acknowledged this or reassured me rather suggesting that it was my fault.

Thankfully he has a different teacher now who recognises he is young (and a boy ) and while he struggles with his hand writing etc he is doing really well and ' gets stuff' quicker than most. Such a relief as the picture the last teacher painted just wasn't my DS!

So-they will find their way and take some comments lightly!!

JOEYDOESNTSHAREFOOD Sun 17-Apr-16 19:14:19

My eldest was an August 31st-er. Never once occurred to me to hold her back and it's never been an issue. Teachers recognise that she's 'young' and have adapted accordingly.

Pengweng Sun 17-Apr-16 19:26:43

My DTs will be 4 and 4 weeks when they start this September. They are most definately ready though. I would have delayed them if i thought they weren't ready but i think they will thrive with the older children pushing them to do/try more.

froggers1 Sun 17-Apr-16 19:28:20

My daughter is an April baby..4 th birthday today..she does 19 hrs of playgroup now and gets very tired. I am thinking if collecting her at lunchtime on Thursday and Friday at least until Xmas. My son was like an energy bunny and got stuck in with ease from the beginning..they are all different and I think you have to do what you think is best for your child.

anotherdayanothersquabble Sun 17-Apr-16 19:31:44

It is all individual but the broad spectrum research shows that the disadvantage of being young in the year follows people right through to university.

alwaysalaughtobehad Sun 17-Apr-16 20:38:47

My children are 1 and 3 and share a birthday on August 26th. As a primary teacher I have been fretting about this quite a bit, but I've compensated by not sending DS to a really formal nursery, he still naps when needed in the pm, lots of time with me.. Tiggytape great explanation on how children in the class have so many different needs. I'm hoping if he's very tired in the first term I can take him home at lunchtime some days. It's not legal for them to attedn school till they are 5 whatever the school say. Our little ones will also have their strengths and weaknesses and I am definitely going to be reminding any teacher who forgets how young he is. I met a French lady who told me in France it is seen as a GOOD thing to have a child young in year as they are challenged not bored in the main- I keep thinking of that!!

simpson Sun 17-Apr-16 21:27:17

DS is 31st August birthday (born 3 weeks early) and started reception at 4yrs and 10 days.

Imo there was (and still is and he is in yr6) and big difference in maturity between him and some of his much older peers (not helped by the fact that he is a titch! )

He struggled at the beginning with the long days and would be so tired he would scream (was never a screamy kid unlike his sibling!) and was in bed by 6.15/6.30 every day.

He found the academic stuff hard at the beginning (imo he was just not ready) but gave everything a go and by Easter of reception everything was slotting into place for him (ie in reading, writing, maths). Friendships he never had a problem with smile

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