how to know if dc is 'school ready'/ should i delay?

(39 Posts)
Tortycat Sun 10-Jun-18 23:02:08

Ds1 turns 4 mid july and is due to start school in sept. However the head has (begrudgingly) allowed us to apply for a place in reception next year instead as i didnt feel he was ready for school. However he's come on a lot in the last month and I'm now in a dilemma about when he should start. i still think he seems very young compared to other school starters, but wondered how other children are managing to get some context.

a) He's very shy - struggles with a larger group (eg 5 kids), though much more confident with only 1 other child. At parties he will generally cling to me rather than join in.
b) only recently toilet trained for wees, and still demands a nappy for poos. if i dont give him one he ends up witholding and getting constipated so i havent pushed it too much yet
c) still naps most days (wont go to bed but will nod off in the car or on the sofa while I'm getting his younger brother down).

Development wise he's doing fine eg can count to 20, knows alphabet etc.

What helped you feel your dc was/is ready for school?
in hindsight, do you regret sending your summer born dc early or feel this was best?

OP’s posts: |
crunchtime Sun 10-Jun-18 23:08:15

My son is an August birthday and I was convinced that he wasn't ready. His pre school also felt he wasn't ready. However he would have missed reception altogether if we'd deferred. So we went ahead. We made an arrangement with school where h e had a couple of afternoons off a week. He blossomed and soon wanted to stay all day every day.

He's 14 now and super bright and on the oxbridge path at his school.
The only thing I would say is that in primary he was emotionally young and found some of the rough and tumble hard.

Zodlebud Mon 11-Jun-18 06:38:16

I have an end of August baby and a start of September baby. The September one has struggled far more being the oldest in the year than the August one ever has being the youngest. September one is bored and can do everything.

August one never had any problems academically. She did have shortfalls in motor skills though - pencil grip, hopping, skipping, not great at toileting (but definitely trying!!!!). School were fab. They are totally used to it and I found Reception a really great year for catching up with their peers.

There are some great reasons for deferring e.g. premature babies who should have been in a different school year, developmental delay, suspected SEN etc.

I would talk to school about your concerns and how they can help him if he is not held back a year. I think you might be surprised by the support and flexibility they can offer e.g. early pick ups if needed.

BareBelliedSneetch Mon 11-Jun-18 06:49:09

My August DS couldn't sit in the carpet for stories without flopping all over the other children. He consistently left the nursery group at preschool to play with the younger children instead of doing the nursery activity. He displayed behaviours that at nursery would be admonished with someone saying "gentle hands" or similar and him being distracted and taken away from the situation, but at school would have been punished with removal of break or golden time or whatever (i.e., stuff you expect a 3 yr old to do, but encourage them not to, but you'd expect a 5 yr old to know better)

He knew his basic letter sounds, could blended Cvc words, do simple adding up and takin away.

Academically he was more than school ready. Emotionally he really wasn't.

So we chose to defer him.

JellyMouldJnr Mon 11-Jun-18 06:57:07

Both of mine were July birthdays. DD was definitely ready to go to school. DS I was unsure about emotionally, but he did fine.
However, if your DS is not fully toilet trained and regularly napping in the afternoons that sounds like deferring might be appropriate to me.

pinkhorse Mon 11-Jun-18 07:03:46

I thought if you defer a child then they start a year later but miss reception and start in year 1?

elQuintoConyo Mon 11-Jun-18 07:12:03

Let him start this year, he will be fine. It is a school, they are qualified and can cope with the littlies in the class. He won't be left behind.

I would try and sort out asap the poos and the napping.


AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Mon 11-Jun-18 07:14:19

Look ar the research on summer-borns. You'd be mad not to defer him if you can, otherwise statistically he'll be at a disadvantage right through his education.

meditrina Mon 11-Jun-18 07:18:36

But do you still have a place for this year? Once you stated your intention to reapply next year and the head of one school, which is its own admission authority, has agreed to admit to reception out of normal age group, the place would have been reallocated.

ShoppingOnesSelfFit Mon 11-Jun-18 07:20:43

I have 3 very late summer borns, eldest not emotionally ready but it would have been a huge mistake to defer.

I ummed and aaahed and wondered in the foundation and key stage 1 whether I'd done the right thing but I now know I did.

All started on time and are above average academically.

I don't know if statistics are skewed.

2 peers in my eldest class are both August and are one of brightest in their year.

It's a really rough decision and only you know your child.

Good luck .

Kidssendingmenuts Mon 11-Jun-18 07:23:42

You have just described my son perfectly before he started and he is a July baby too. We didn't get the option of missing a year and I'm glad we didn't. He has come on leaps and bounds, it took a few months for the crying to stop and him make friends but now he loves going. Please done defer him a year, reception is the year they make their friendships and learn all the skills they need for year one. He will love it x

Groovee Mon 11-Jun-18 07:25:57

I'm in Scotland and dd is now 18. I deferred her starting school until she was 5. Never regretted it. It allowed her a year to grow socially and emotionally. She found transferring to high school pretty straight forward and coped well with just 1 person in her class from primary.

She's always been bright but that wasn't enough to make me think she was ready for school.

She's never been keen on going away to uni but she was accepted to a uni away from home and now she is excited for her move. I definitely do not regret deferring her starting school but my friends who have children a year younger do.

PatriciaHolm Mon 11-Jun-18 08:32:11

I'd be very tempted to stick to the deferral to be honest. Also, as previously mentioned, are you sure this is a decision you can still change? Once the admissions authority have granted the deferral, they should have given the place for this year to someone else. They shouldn't be holding on to a place for you at this stage if they have officially agreed to deferral (and you have accepted).

Tortycat Mon 11-Jun-18 08:35:25

thanks all. yes we still have the option as the head gave us the half term break to decide but i have to decide today. in a dilemma as our sons preschool may not have room for him to stay on and he's recently managed to toilet train for wees so I'm now less sure than i was. seems issues either way and i just cant decide...

OP’s posts: |
BottleOfJameson Mon 11-Jun-18 09:33:05

Personally I would defer him. Statistically there's an advantage being older rather than younger and it seems he'll be at an added disadvantage if he still needs to nap and isn't confident going to the toilet independently.

Kidssendingmenuts Mon 11-Jun-18 10:42:49

Regarding the toilet and poos as well. My son will only poo in a nappy and is terrified of the toilet (but will wee in one) but he still goes to school. He just waits till after school to have one that's all. It's something we are working on but it's a slow process and he is nearly 5 xx

Chipsandchicken Mon 11-Jun-18 10:56:59

Ds2 is end of August baby. I was in the same situation this time last year. I started him in reception and it was absolutely the correct thing to do for him. He has done amazing at school, academically and emotionally/ socially. He has so many friends and has already met all of his elg. Eldest ds is September born so eldest and has struggled all through his academic years. It's totally dependant on the child. I can honestly say I'm shocked at just how well he has settled in to school life, he loves it. Saying that though I have friends with children nearly a year older than him in his class that are still struggling with the basics of sitting still & listening etc

Childrenofthesun Mon 11-Jun-18 11:05:01

Your son sounds quite bright. They change so much throughout the first year that I think he would cope. Sounds like he might be way ahead of the following year's cohort.

The shyness wouldn't bother me - both my DC are exceptionally shy but managed fine. The only thing that would be a concern is the toileting but he sounds as if he's well on the way with that now. They expect some accidents in the first year. My DD has been toilet trained since two and she's still had a couple because she didn't want to leave the activity she was doing to go to the toilet.

Tiredofit Mon 11-Jun-18 15:36:57

I think it's a huge advantage to be a year older going to secondary. It does depend on the child but my third is going this year and is the oldest of the three at transition and the most ready.

BubblesBuddy Mon 11-Jun-18 17:33:31

I would love research on the advantages of delaying and being in the “wrong” year when compared to everyone else in the correct year. Someone will always be the youngest. If the delayed children take exams with greater maturity, how much of an advantage is this? It must surely follow that a disadvantage must become an advantage that might impinge on the ability of others, who have not been deferred, to get competitive degree places, for example.

BubblesBuddy Mon 11-Jun-18 17:39:58

Forgot to add: I would also like to know how old the research is into the disadvantage of summer borns. When mine went to school, summer borns started after Easter. The term in which they were 5. There was such a clamour about only having one term in YR (and sometimes half of that was part time) because those children were disadvantaged. They clearly were. They were not in school. Now, children start in September and teaching is available to them in the same way it is for older children. For a whole year. So now we don’t want that! I too think it’s rather overplayed and harks back to after Easter starts when children hardly got a YR.

Tortycat Mon 11-Jun-18 20:21:29

bubbles tbh i dont know the research well. but i think recent studies point to summer borns being disadvantaged all the way through, also sports wise and mental health wise ie more likely to be (mis) diagnosed with adhd. by sending my son late i dont want to disadvantage others, but I'd be mad to want him to be disasvantaged. I'd be in favour of age adjusting all marks up to a level so no one is worse off. although that wouldn't fix the issue of lack of confidence stemming from doing worse in class work. I'd also be happier if school years were feb - march as in Scotland, then at least the youngest are at least 4.5 when they start. I'm guessing you have autumn/winter/ spring born dc??

OP’s posts: |
BottleOfJameson Mon 11-Jun-18 20:27:04

Also ignore anyone talking about the "wrong year". The cut off for the year is arbitrary if the cut off month was different he would be in the year below anyway.

Zaidacapetown Mon 11-Jun-18 20:57:24

I love this post! August baby here as well and its such a concern esp with the articles out there. Are they ready, do they know this can they recognise their name etc.
Its so much stress! I guess I wont know.if DS is ready until he goes! Good luck all summer born mummies.

PandaPieForTea Mon 11-Jun-18 21:00:11

We have a September born DD, due in August. She seemed as ready for school as the children who moved on to school in the year above her, and more ready than

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