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Summer Borns in Year 1

(23 Posts)
longestlurkerever Fri 01-Jul-16 10:32:12

I have followed the press interest about Summer born children and how they are disadvantaged compared to children who are born earlier in the year and wrestled with whether dd1 (August 2011) was ready for reception. In the end, after exploring various options like flexi-schooling, I sent her.

She enjoys school, has made friends and has learned a lot. However, even now I have reservations as to whether I made the right decision to send her so young. She's exhausted this term and her behaviour has dipped. I don't feel like she's made progress in reading and writing since Easter due to this. 'We've worked hard together on her reading but it's a slog tbh and we just don't seem to have enough time to do all the things I'd like to do with her like bike riding, swimming, days out etc that I would have been doing if she was still at nursery part time.

Today I got her school report and she got "expected" against everything. On the one hand this is good, obviously, as she is clearly not falling behind. On the other hand, it puts her in that middle category of kids that do not raise any concerns but who can fail to reach their full potential. I have high hopes for my dd and can't help but feel she'd be exceeding expectations if she was a bit older and ready to apply herself a bit better.

School are always telling me how capable and articulate she is, and how challenging but rewarding she is to teach (she's a stubborn monkey, with some hyper-active behaviour traits - I've posted about them before). I don't want to let her down. I have heard year 1 is a big step up from reception. Is she ready? I don't suppose there's much I can do about it if she's not, as she'd be heartbroken not to move up with her class, but I still wonder if flexi-schooling might have suited her, and whether I should have pushed for it. And is there anything I can do over the Summer to help her transition without wearing her out?

DataColour Fri 01-Jul-16 10:52:54

My DD sounds like yours! Expect she is getting to the end of Year 1 now. She is August born. She got exceeding for 14 out of 17 categories in Reception, but I feel like her progress has slowed down in Year 1. I think it'll all be "expected" this year rather than anything exceeding (except her reading).
Year 1 is hard for a summer born I think. My DD is very resistant to any intervention at home, and there's not much I can do with her to help her as she doesn't like doing more "work" outside home as she is so stubborn.
Like you I wish she was 2 weeks younger, so she's be in the year below and flying through.
My DS who's in year 2, is Nov born and finds school work so easy and easily gets everything exceeding without any effort.
I hope things get easier for our DDs as they move up the school years!

bojorojo Fri 01-Jul-16 11:32:16

I think it is worth saying that children do not necessarily learn in perfect increments of achievement. They plateau, their achievement can rise sharply and they can go backwards. Do rest assured that the Y1 teacher will know how to handle the move from Reception to Y1. You do need to be positive and a good teacher will enthuse the children to learn and do their best. You will need to crack on with the reading though or she will fall behind and then it becomes a lot more difficult to catch up. You also need to instill a love of learning. School should not seem to be a drag at this age. It should be exciting and something new. Can you get enthusiastic about the topics they are studying and take her see things that complement school? Has the local library got books that you can read to her? It does not all have to be about a child reading to you every night. A love of literature is always helpful.

I am the Mum of 2 summer borns - neither of whom were ever tired. They had boundless energy and enthusiasm. Do not regret your decision. Your children are at the end of a long year. They can all get a bit ratty and snappy. They now have the holidays to recoup. It really will get easier and chidren do respond to great teaching in school and enthusiasm from home. My children always thought they were the same as others in the class. They never saw themselves as different or less worthy of a place in the class. No-one would ever have known they were late summer born. I found Y1 perfectly fine. In fact, one of the best years - no SATS! Good luck - but do not worry and don't beat yourselves up for your decisons. It will be fine.

longestlurkerever Fri 01-Jul-16 11:47:06

Thanks for your advice. She does like learning - her report is scattered with references to her enthusiasm for learning. It isn't always that directable though!

Maybe I just need to chill out, but even your assertion that "you do need to crack on with the reading though or she'll fall behind" is the kind of thing I worry about. She loves being read to and she can read around level 6-7 of the Oxford Reading Tree scheme if that means anything? But it can be a real slog to get her to properly attempt it- constantly needing to bring her attention back to the page and stop her randomly guessing. It's better at the weekends or first thing in the morning, which is what makes me think she's tired.

I'd love to take her to see things. We're in London and there's so much to see and do - but I also feel like her life is a bit of a whirlwind and maybe I try and do too much. I do work and she'll need to go to holiday club a couple of days a week over the holiday - but she'll be doing a variety of things like forest school, drama club and outings, as well as 3 days a week at home with me, dh or a grandma.

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 11:52:21

I think it's fine. I have a summer born child in reception, going into year 1. He is a bit behind what his siblings were at this stage but perfectly good for the class average. We will just work a little extra with him over the summer to make sure he stays at the level he is or ahead rather than slip back. But that's what I would do even if he was ahead tbh ( and will do with elder child)

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 11:53:39

Oh and one thing that's helped I think is mine often still takes a nap over the weekend and sometimes a midweek one after school. Means he isn't so tired each day

mouldycheesefan Fri 01-Jul-16 11:56:43

She is doing fine, relax!
We do all our reading and homework before school mine are not interested after school. It works for us. 5 mins per day is all you need.
I wouldn't be concerned in your position.

mouldycheesefan Fri 01-Jul-16 11:58:37

Also, year one is similar to reception till Xmas then they start to adjust it gradually so the kids don't really notice a bit less playing a bit more "work". They still get lots of free play time and do lovely projects it's a great year lots of fun.

tiggytwig Fri 01-Jul-16 12:05:23

I wouldn't worry really as all children are different. My DD was born mid August and is just finishing Yr1. She has great enthusiam to learn learn new things and has been getting exceding in all areas where as my DS who is in Yr6 is just average in english areas but exceding in maths and DS was born in March. I don't think that DS is average really in english in that he really didn't like his Yr6 teacher and when DS did his SATS he did say he found them really easy. But going back in that you DD being summer born I really would worry / panic.

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 12:51:52

Mouldy - that's not quite accurate of all schools. Ds1 is in year 1 now and he has had full on work since September. Yes 'projects' but they involve a lot of research, writing and work on child's behalf here. They have homework every night in for the next day. Homework and reading takes us 30-45 mins each night, no way 5 mins in the morning

irvineoneohone Fri 01-Jul-16 13:09:49

Artandco, keep your post to G&T board, maybe?
No point of scaring parents of normal state school children. My ds had hardly any homework in yr1 in normal state school.

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 13:17:59

Itv- What? Regardless of if any child is average/ below average/ gifted/ special needs, they get homework every night and cannot play most the day in year 1 at our school. I'm just saying it's different everywhere, and don't expect year 1 to be a continuation of reception as it isn't at many.

JoandMax Fri 01-Jul-16 13:29:45

I have a summer born at a non-UK private school. He's just finished year 3 and my youngest year 1.

Both had a gradual introduction so it very much felt like an extension of reception. Neither had homework every night, that would be too much for my eldest even now! They get it weekly so we tend to do it first thing on a weekend morning, they both need to chill out and play after school.

Year 1 was tough on my eldest for social reasons, I think he was a little overwhelmed at times navigating friendships etc Academically he was definitely average or just below.

But we saw a huge jump in year 2, everything suddenly seemed to click and he matured overnight and is now in top sets etc

I would just let her enjoy the holidays, try and keep up with reading, just 10 minutes a few times a week is plenty.

irvineoneohone Fri 01-Jul-16 13:30:56

The school you send your dcs to... are they very competitive selective school, Artandco? I assume so from your previous posts.

I've never heard state school YR1 children getting homework that takes 30~40 minutes a night every night, in RL or on MN.

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 13:40:30

No it is not a selective school

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 13:42:21

For example Ds1 has a child with quite severe learning disabilities in his class. I know his parents well. He still gets 30+ mins of homework every night, just adjusted for his ability.

irvineoneohone Fri 01-Jul-16 14:01:14

i'm sure your dcs can cope well, since they were reading 20+ books a day since age of 3. But I think it's still not a norm.

Artandco Fri 01-Jul-16 14:04:43


mouldycheesefan Fri 01-Jul-16 14:10:52

Art and co, I didn't say they play all day I said they have plenty of free play time.
Our school has no homework whatsoever in year one . you can listen to your child read for a few mins per day that's all they expect.
It's an outstanding school,with excellent results. 5-6 year olds do not need half hour homework per day.

Op I don't think art and cos school is the norm!

JoandMax Fri 01-Jul-16 14:35:16

That does sound an unusual school though Art, certainly I've never heard of that in the state system and only ever for very pushy private schools.....

There should absolutely be plenty of free time to play in year 1, they are only 5!!! It also helps them learn, one of mine learnt their times tables using Lego without me realising

Op - your DD is doing great, honestly. Just carry on with all the things you are, going to museums and into London is a brilliant learning experience

mouldycheesefan Fri 01-Jul-16 14:39:30

Op if you are concerned that they maybe have excessive homework in year One just ask how much they get. You will,probably find none or just a few mins per week is the answer.
All project work is done in school and in a fun way. " researching" is looking at books, going on a trip, listening to old people, maybe using basic pc skills, looking at pictures etc. For example, my children did life in the old days in year one, they visited a museum, they had a try at washing clothes with a mangle, that sort of thing, all fun.

TeenAndTween Fri 01-Jul-16 16:15:01

OP. We still do DD's reading first thing in the morning as she's tired after a day at school - she is in y6 and off to Secondary next term ...

Reading is a marathon not a sprint. Some of the struggling readers in yR/y1 have become the best ones in y5/y6.

Over the summer, chill out. If you feel like it, get her to write a diary to keep writing skills up, and do cooking or whatever to keep maths skills up. Do the 'Big Friendly Read' from the library. Try not to worry.

bojorojo Fri 01-Jul-16 18:14:44

My earlier comment about cracking on with reading was not meant to worry you but insisting on X number of minutes each day is counter productive for some children. So go back to basics and enjoy books together. All of this will help and there are some great suggestions above. Helping with reading can be done in so many ways. I used to get out Library books and ask DD to have a go at the easier bits. We read together. Read to her. Introduce new words and expand her vocabulary. Every little helps as they say.

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