Summer boy starting primary school when he’s only just turned 4

(46 Posts)
charliebell30 Sun 01-Sep-19 21:37:38

My son turned four at the end of June. He has been in pre school for nearly two years and loves it. I was going to leave him there another year but I have decided to start him at school this year now.
I think he may be bored of it now and ready for more. He doesn’t really enjoy phonics at preschool. He’s a bright boy. I am just really worried about making the right choice for him! My eldest son is a summer boy and I’m just frightened of making the same mistakes again by starting him too soon. Any help would be appreciated

OP’s posts: |
TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 01-Sep-19 21:41:41

A friend's child turned 4 at the end of August and started school about three days later. Absolutely lapped it up and hasn't looked back - now going into Year 2 and absolutely thriving.

moreismore Sun 01-Sep-19 21:43:21

I think this depends more on the child than the age. I’m sure you’ve made the right decision-you know him best.

scunner Sun 01-Sep-19 21:44:24

I would keep him at Pre-school. There is no need to start primary school so young. We are the only country in Europe where children start school this early. I am a retired teacher and a mum and grandmother.
There is no advantage to starting Reception having just turned four.

Mrscog Sun 01-Sep-19 21:57:15


‘There is no advantage to starting Reception having just turned four.‘

Really? So I should keep my 4.3 year old who’s reading, adding numbers up to 100 and doing fractions in nursery another year?

Op I’m sure he’ll be fine, he’ll be older than some in his class, and it’s a play based year. Unless a child was a behind 4 year old I wouldn’t consider keeping them back.

avocadoincident Sun 01-Sep-19 21:59:25

Try it and see then take him out if it doesn't feel right.

You are the parent and you can choose.

Presumably he knows he's going and has new shoes and bits and bobs. You'll have been getting him prepared mentally. So go with it then review at Christmas.

Bluddyhateful Sun 01-Sep-19 22:05:12

I have a summer born boy and know how you feel. Actually those first few years were fine. Academically I never expected him to be top of the class but he has done very well and excels in some subjects. Socially he needed a bit of extra help, but that could also be his personality.


m00rfarm Sun 01-Sep-19 22:07:57

Mine was August child and was fine.

NormHonal Sun 01-Sep-19 22:09:06

Mine was bright and fine 🤷‍♀️

FamilyOfAliens Sun 01-Sep-19 22:10:09

There is no advantage to starting Reception having just turned four.

Don’t you mean “no benefit”?

Can’t believe you’re an ex-teacher.

scunner Sun 01-Sep-19 22:39:20

FamilyOfAliens, I can’t believe you can be quite so rude.

Tiredmum100 Sun 01-Sep-19 22:40:14

Where I live children start school full time (08.45-15.00) the term before their 4 th birthday, so both my dc went full time at 3. They're both doing well. Up to you but my experiences have only been positive

Zebrasinpyjamas Sun 01-Sep-19 22:52:33

I'd consider your dc's social skills as part of the decision making. Lots of people will tell you my DC did X and it was good/bad with no reasoning -its not that relevant to you really. Think about your dc and their characteristics.

The things my summer born son gets frustrated with are strength/size related eg. that he's not as fast at running as the much taller/older friends in his year. Plus he struggles a bit socially (he still plays imaginative games unlike some of his class). He's been fine but not stellar academically. He wouldn't even draw/do colouring a year ago though so he came from a low base at the start of reception. I'm worried about the step up to y1 academics but am overall happy with my decision not to delay him to start reception at compulsory school age. This is mainly due to him having a large cohort of friends who went from the local preschool to primary school together and he wouldn't understand why he wouldn't have done the same thing at the same time.

Ivestoppedreadingthenews Sun 01-Sep-19 22:54:05

I’ve taught reception. It’s a very rare summer born boy (as in I’ve never met one!) who wouldn’t benefit from an extra year before starting school.

Rugbymumof2 Sun 01-Sep-19 23:01:32

Myself and 2 of my 3 siblings were july/Aug and my youngest will be 4yrs and 4 weeks when starting next week and to be honest after 3 yrs of nursery is more than ready for school.

I had the option to delay starting until after Christmas but TBH I think that's more of a disadvantage as the other children would have had 3 months to form friendship groups and settle down to the school routine.
I don't think missing a whole year would help at all, if they are on the younger side socially then it would be worse coming into school after such a long delay.

popehilarious Sun 01-Sep-19 23:04:56

Out of interest what about school is hardest for the youngest children?
Does being in nursery/pre-school beforehand help?

I agree some children who are barely out of age 3 don't seem ready, but I have no experience of Reception (which I assume is largely play-based?)

popehilarious Sun 01-Sep-19 23:06:24

OP what 'mistakes' do you think you made with your eldest?

scunner Sun 01-Sep-19 23:08:36

Ivestoppedreadingthenews, glad to see someone agrees with me!
It is usually those in the profession who think children are coming into Reception too early.

tastylancs Sun 01-Sep-19 23:17:51

I think it's an incredibly hard choice. I struggled with it for my DS July born, ended up sending him to school rather than delay a year. Socially he was well ahead, confident, talkative etc but academically well behind. He's now about to go into year 3 and still academically a year behind. But I do think he would have been bored with younger children. Still don't know if I made the right decision!

Rugbymumof2 Sun 01-Sep-19 23:17:54

@popehilarious I think having been in a nursery or pre-school setting does help as there is a structure/routine very much like in Reception, which as you suggest is largely play based.

My DD's nursery ran small group phonics and numeracy sessions and a p.e type activity twice a week.
Apart from those structured sessions it is mostly play for the first year.

Any child going into school from a mainly home environment would find it difficult at first, regardless of age.

amy1008 Mon 02-Sep-19 07:40:11

My daughter and several other girls in preschool started to challenge the teachers during their last couple of weeks there. The teachers said it was because they were bored, like big fish in a small pond.
My daughter turned 4 in May and she only spend one year in preschool. I can't imagine what would happen if I kept her there for another year.

Jly72 Mon 02-Sep-19 08:07:36

There is still alot of sitting on the carpet listening to the teacher learning phonics, being put the sad face when they can't sit without wiggling. They can still play outside but are still expected to sit and write and complete the days allocated tasks.

charliebell30 Mon 02-Sep-19 08:08:17

My eldest son started in the welsh system at 3 1/2. He struggled with everything and had to redo reception at another school. He has never liked school work since but is fine socially. My boys are very different. My 4 year old loves learning and is great socially. He’s of a quiet disposition

OP’s posts: |
MMmomDD Mon 02-Sep-19 08:30:36

Absolutely no reason to send a summer born to school, if you can delay.
I am a parent of a kid who is bright and academically flying. Now in senior school.
But both her and her other friends who are summer born - irrespective of academic performance - are different from their more confident older peers.
It started off that way - and hasn’t changed.
And I think for boys it’s worse - difference in physical size matters even more.
If I had a choice - i’d have kept her back. And yes - she was reading and counting back then in the nursery too. So what...
Kids - 4yos don’t get ‘bored’ in the nursery. Most kids around the world don’t sit at a school desk in that age. Kids play and learn at that age and nursery is the best place for that.
You say he doesn’t enjoy phonics - why force him to sit through phonics tuition where he can be a kid for a bit longer and get more mature and ready for it....
What is the rush???

GrandmaSharksDentures Mon 02-Sep-19 08:47:24

I was quite adamant that I wanted to keep my late Aug boy at nursery for an extra year. I spoke to his nursery teachers (qualified pre-school teachers) about my plans & they were confident that he would do well at school in the "correct" year.

After much thinking I decided to start him in the "correct" year rather than delaying him and he has thrived.
However, he is tall & physically strong (so not the smallest by a long shot) and socially very confident.
I think you can only make the decision based on YOUR child - take advice from professionals who know the system and know your child.
Just be aware that some secondary schools still insist on children being in their "correct" year on entry so there maybe a risk of being forced to miss a year later on (this did influence me I must admit)

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