It’s difficult isn’t it? All these decisions that as a parent we are forced to make even if we don’t want too. One of the biggest decisions we make is about our children’s education. Each type of education has their advantages over the other and each one works for whomever chooses it. Because that is it isn’t it? We have the choice.
Jack is my eldest but he is also my baby. Born at the end of August we applied for his school when he was 3! Let’s take a minute to let that sink in…..3 years of age I had to send off the form to state which primary school I wanted him to attend. Seems crazy to think he was so young. I wanted to send him to school it was a choice that was relatively easy for me. Our local school was lovely and within catchment so knew he would get in without a doubt. But there was this inking telling me not to send him.
Summer born children in 2012 had very little options when it came to applying for schools. We could either send them just after their 4th (I still can’t believe how young!) birthday or delay a year and they start in Year 1. Oh how I wanted to delay his year! It would mean he would miss the whole foundation stage which in my eyes is one of the most vital years of school life. For our Jack he had made this friendship circle of around 3 different boys (whom to this day are still best friends) and to take him away from them for a year seemed wrong. He would have joined them again in Year 1 so what was the point.
First year of Education
His first year was so hard on him. He came home and although he was so eager to learn he was just so tired. He would have phonics to complete each week not just saying the sounds but also writing them. On top of phonics he would also have reading too! Jack would then come home with these books with no words in and he had to tell the story by looking at the pictures. He was happy to do so until about 4 months later when all his friends had words and he often questioned why he didn’t. Eventually he had books with words and he loved them.
His teacher came to me around January and pulled me to one side. It is probably worth noting Jack is left handed. His teacher explained that Jack was struggling with his letter formations and would it be okay for them to give him extra support. Straight away I said yes! Give him all the support he needs. It was better to have it all now than struggle later down the line was my thinking. His wrists when in foundation stage were not as mature as his peers which meant he struggled to physically hold a pencil in the correct way for long periods. Jack struggled with his writing! It took Jack 3 years of having extra support to catch up and he still struggles with his writing.
It just so happens towards the end of Jacks first year of school the government agreed to allow summer born children to delay a year and still start school in foundation stage. This is a major milestone in allowing summer born children to catch up with their peers. My middle boy is a September born (more about him in another post!) and the difference is immense!
Would you have delayed your child if you could?