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Did anyone deliberately wait until their child was five before sending them to school?

37 replies

tubismybub · 22/02/2007 14:54

Ds will have only just turned four when he starts school (it's a long way off yet)and I am considering not sending him until I'm legally obliged to do so at five. It's not that I don't think he'll be able to cope he's big for his age and a confident little chap who's quite independant really.

I just loathe the fact that in this country our children start school so early. I personally don't see any long term benefit from it and think that 6/7 years would be more approriate.

i'm sure my friends and family will be horrified if I make this choice. So has anyone else?

OP posts:
themoon66 · 22/02/2007 14:57

DD had her 5th birthday on her first week at school, so was seen as a late starter.

DS turned 4 a week before he started school, so was seen as a very early starter.

DD struggles academically and always has. DS is in top 5% at his secondary school and predicted to get straight As at GCSE this summer.

Dunno if either has anything to do with the age they started school.

FiachraFrogakaDave · 22/02/2007 15:00

My DS1 will be starting in September just after his 4th birthday. i was thinking about keeping him out till next year, but to be honest he is starting to get bored in nursery and needs some more stimulation.
I work on the basis that it's easy to keep him back a year later on if he needs to.

Ceolas · 22/02/2007 15:02

I did, but we're in Scotland so slightly different. She was 4 on the last possible day to enter that August.

We just waited til the next year.

I am so glad we did. She is very confident and has had no trouble making friends or coping with the workload.

I have seen 'young' children really struggle (as a teacher myself).

Ladymuck · 22/02/2007 15:03

I do know people who have done so, but they have opted for private schools where their lo can be a year behind, starting in reception. Some private schools now have this option for July and August borns (who then become the oldest in year).

In the state system your lo would go straight into Year 1. You would miss out on the usual admission process and would only to be able to get a place if there was a vacancy as class sizes are limited.

Bear in mind that reception year is a fairly gentle start to school (it included an afternoon nap for some in ds's class!). You have to weigh up the difference between being able to choose your school and having a reception year to a cold start in Year 1 of a school which may not be your first choice. The latter may be fine if your child is naturally able and you have been able to complete the Foundation Stage stuff.

Ceolas · 22/02/2007 15:05

Thankfully we never had any of the 'choosing your school' stuff either. Don't know if that's a factor for you?

Piffle · 22/02/2007 15:06

ds was very bright, very big and strong but starting at age 4 felt
dd will be starting at 4yrs 11 mths so not quite such an issue for her although she has minor sn needs and is small for her age, but she is going to a very small intimate school where she will be very well looked after.
Ds was enrolled in a lions den.

NadineBaggott · 22/02/2007 15:08

None of mine went to nursery, pre-school, whatever (well ds2 did for a little while but that was because I was one of the people running it so he had no choice!)

Lilymaid · 22/02/2007 15:10

No, but my DS1 (now at university) didn't start school until he was 5 because at that time the local authority did not fund places until the term after the child's 5th birthday. This had no bad effect on him - a straight As guy - and he had more time in playgroup playing spacemen on the climbing frame.

bundle · 22/02/2007 15:11

I think it's hard for them to start later than the children who will become their friends to be honest. dd1 went in the january when she'd just turned 4.5, as did half her class. it took the "later" starters some time to catch up (socially as well as workwise) and now her school has one intake in Sept.

MrsGoranVisnjic · 22/02/2007 15:17

if you sent him at 5 though he'll go straight into year 1 missing out reception .. personally I thnk that's too harsh

can you not find a school that has a split intake by birthdate .. ours do Sept and Jan intakes and I know of one that does an April intake too

MrsPhilipGlenister · 22/02/2007 15:19

No, DS1 and DS2 are both amongst the youngest in their years, and they seem to manage fine.

It would have been a nightmare to have DS2 at home for another year, actually - he's so bumptious, he really needed to start school when he did!

IntergalacticDave · 22/02/2007 15:20

I've never thought about it tbh (DS1 is a Dec baby and DS2 will be one of the oldest in his year, as he's 6th Spet)

However, I do think I'd consider it if one of them was July/August birthdays.

A lot of it would depend on the child and the school though tbh, but there is a big difference between a child who's just 4 and a child who's just 5 in terms of maturity, stamina etc.

I agree that children start too early over here (although it can't come soon enough for me )

Ladymuck · 22/02/2007 15:20

Ceolas - in this nick of London there isn't necessariliy a wide choice of schools, but if you start in Year 1 then you can only get a school that no-one else wanted, and there are usually reasons as to why they didn't want it! You may not be able to choose the school of your dreams, but you do have a chance to avoid the school of your nightmares...

tubismybub · 22/02/2007 15:22

Hmmm, I didn't think about the fact that he will miss reception and go straight to year one figured he would start reception at 5 and just be a year behind.

Thanks for the responses it's food for thought. Hate our school system I really do.

OP posts:
tubismybub · 22/02/2007 15:23

Good point about school choices to, that would be a big factor.

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suedonim · 22/02/2007 15:44

All mine were five when they started school, ds1 being five on the actual day he began. The Scottish system has children starting a bit older than in England and ime, that's a good thing. I know so many teachers who think putting children into school so early (esp boys) does them no favours.

bobsyouruncle · 22/02/2007 15:55

My dd is 5 in November & could start school this August but I plan to keep her back until next August when she'll be nearly 6. I'm in Scotland though. She's not very confident, and her special friends at nursery are all starting school when she does as they're a bit younger than her.

lemonaid · 22/02/2007 16:03

What about home edding? Do a really thorough job of horrifying your friends and family while you're about it...

tubismybub · 22/02/2007 16:28


he's only 20months so I could spend the next 3 years really winding them up about home ed!

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Ladymuck · 22/02/2007 20:22

Well it is probably a little early to decide yet imo. He may well be very ready for school at 4 - it is hard to tell at this age, as they change so much over the next few years! I was in a soft play section of my local gym where mums of child who was just 2 were tutting and saying loudly how the signs were clear that only children from 2-6 could use the facility. I pointed out that mine were 3 and 5 and that to my knowledge all the others were defintely 5 and under!

In a year or two you can go round the local schools and see what reception involves and whether there is a delayed start. If you have a January start for example, together with phasing in on half days then your ds may not start full days until around this point in the academic year anyway.

Smithagain · 22/02/2007 21:21

I seriously considered it when DD1 was about your son's age, but by the time she was 3, it was obvious that she would be ready to move on to school at the normal age. She is the youngest but one in her class and easily the shortest, but she's having a whale of a time. If she'd had to stay at home for another year, I would really have struggled to give her the input she needed.

The fact that she would have to miss Reception was also a big issue for me. I thought it would be hard to go into school when everyone has already had a year getting used to things and making friends.

So yes, think about it, but don't assume that he won't be ready.

astronomer · 23/02/2007 09:02

had no choice as DS has a birthday early september so by the time they had faffed about with gentle introduction his birthday had come and gone and he was already five.

He would have been much better with an August birthday as no hope of switching year groups

Chocolate1000 · 06/03/2007 23:36

I thought about this for DD and dismissed it as most of her friends from nursery would be going up so she'd have been cooling her heels in the nursery whilst they were in 'big school'. I sent her in the January intake at 4.5 years through gritted teeth but it turned out ok.

cat64 · 06/03/2007 23:47

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

catASTROPHE · 06/03/2007 23:50

I have no experience of this - my kids are too little, but will likely start school in Australia at 5 1/2 or 6.

Just supporting you though - I totally agree kids start too early here and will HE mine rather than send them, if we are still here. Actually, may HE anyway

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