Tuesday, 19 November 2013

School Worries

Nate is 2 and a quarter and this time next year I will have chosen his school. He will be one of the youngest in his year and I have started to worry whether he will be 'ready' for school. It is something I have worried about since he was tiny, there were children that will be in his year at school that were walking/eating solids/sleeping through the night before he was even born. Many people have told me there is nothing to worry about however, I'm still concerned about putting a young child in such a formal learning setting where results are all that matters.

Now schools are cracking down on term time holidays, whatever they are for, I am even more concerned. At four, I'm sure Nate will learn more outside of the classroom than inside. I don't mean generally but in the case of a one on one trip to a museum over sitting in a classroom with various different abilities and one teacher (and possibly a Teaching Assistant) he would be far better off in the former situation. However, with the new rules I would not be granted the ability to take my son out in term time for a day, and there maybe school holidays but many of these places are full at these times.

Many of my apprehensions over school are possibly down to my own experience. I was able to read when half of the class couldn't, so I was sat next to someone who couldn't read and who was actively encouraged to just copy my work. That benefitted neither of us, I didn't get the extra work that would have academically stretched me and they didn't get the help they desperately needed. I'm not a Tiger mum but I do want the best for my son and I don't want him to stagnate and my biggest worry is he will not be in the academic middle but somewhere in one of the extremes. Or maybe my biggest worry is he will be so small and not emotionally ready for school.

 Whatever my true worry is, I know I feel uneasy with a (my) four year old being in full time education.


  1. I really believe that we start children too early in this country. The Finnish model works incredibly well. They don't start until the age of 7. I think that the reason we don't, is partly to do with social expectations. Knowing all this, I specifically planned my LO's birth to coincide with the Winter Term to give her the best chance, within the current UK system! However, that doesn't help you. What will help your child is how you prepare them for starting school and support them once they have. Having worked as a teacher, I have seen the difference parental support has made to children. It makes such a difference! Also, if you feel your child is not ready to start, when the system expects, I believe it's possible to delay your child's start until they're five. You'd have to be prepared to stick to your guns though, as I think others would try and persuade you to do otherwise!

    1. We planned Nate's birth month but for very different reasons. We're all Summer babies here, I remember enjoying my birthday and it always being warm (dodgy memory obviously) and totally forgot what it was like to be one of the youngest in a class.
      At the minute I'm wavering between being totally against him starting at 4 and wanting to give it a try. It surprises me how much of a difference there is between being one of the oldest and the youngest even at Sixth Form level.