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Delaying school entry for prem baby, but...(12 Posts)
I feel ridiculous asking this but here goes:
My son was born 4 months early, at the end of August. He's developmentally behind in all areas according to the health visitor, pre-school etc.
We're planning to delay his school entry by a year, in accordance with government guidance (the details of this are another thread altogether). It's a no-brainer to me.
However, although his language isn't great, he's soaking up information like a sponge. He's taught himself (with minimal input from us or pre-school so far) the whole alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours - even number bonds (!!).
I know that there are many aspects to development & that he is behind in lots of these areas. But if he's able to do/know these things at the age of (just) 3, are we doing him a disservice to delay his school entry?
Any advice from teachers/those who've experienced similar would be great!
You are not delaying him, just putting him in his 'real' year group. I would look at it like that.
I am a Primary school teacher and mother of August born boy.
Another year to work on fine and gross motor skills could be really beneficial. Those are more 'obvious' things that will make him feel less able.
e.g. If he can't do colouring / writing as well as peers, or can't kick a ball as well, or balance on play equipment.
DS has a good friend in his class who was similar - due early Oct born mid August (in fact their due dates were a day apart their birthdays are 2 months apart)
Firstly it was easy to do (allowed because he is in his real year group if born at due date) and secondly its clear to everyone it was the right decision
Social and emotional development as well as speech are so important
I would continue with the plan of him going in the academic year he was born in. Letters, numbers etc are pretty common to know from ages 2+ so I don’t think you will be holding him back.
Thanks all. I'm pretty sure it's right to keep him back but wanted a sanity check!
Completely agree. I have a prem baby, born in Oct thankfully not August. If she was August I’d definitely have deferred her. She’s academically really bright but struggled with social skills (temper management mainly...) and motor skills. TBH in reception those are more important than academics!
If he’s interested in letters, numbers etc then great but a good pre school should be able to develop those interests if he wants.
Hello OP.....I'm guessing that your DS was born similarly prematurely to mine (mine is a 24 weeker). I would definitely delay your boy's school start. My boy is now 13 but was similar to yours at that age. He started school very bright, but as time went on he found managing socially and emotionally more and more difficult, which is very common in such early prems. I'm not saying that this will happen to your DS, but it is something to be very aware of, especially as he was born into the wrong school year.
Why in earth would holding a child back be doing them any sort of academic disservice?
You're not actually delaying his entry to school you're putting him in the correct year group for his due date (which is the most relevant date for development). If he had been born in September would you be trying to move him forward a year.
For what it's worth my eldest is summer born (not prem.) and academically very advanced but socially and emotionally a bit behind. I think he'd be better being the eldest rather than the youngest despite being ahead academically. The social and emotional aspect is so important and an extra year of play is so beneficial.
My eldest DD was 11 weeks prem. She had fine motor skills issues and problems with her bladder but we decided to go ahead (and not delay her school entry.). However her social skills were fine and she had already made a ton of friends at nursery and we wanted her to keep with her cohort. We decided though to look for a school that would be happy to consider her starting part time (at the time, it was much more difficult to find a school that would do this) but we managed it and chose a small school. It was the best thing for her and although very tired, it worked. She is now 12 and is at a grammar school having passed her 11+. We discussed with her paediatrician first, who said it was important to focus on her achievements so far and look at her capacity to learn rather than what she could not do currently. Just to put an alternative view, i know it is a very difficult decision.
Kids develop through play. In other countries they wouldn't start formal education until 7. You will be giving your DS an extra year of development through play. I know 2 families who have delayed their prem twins. They were also July and August born so would have been youngest in their intake. Both mums are really happy and confident with their decisions.
You're giving your son the best chance at achieving academically rather than struggling from the start.