Today was a big day for my no.1 boy although he didn’t know it. An email popped into my inbox confirming his schools place and all i could think of was
YAY roll on September how can my baby be going to school already?
He will be 4 years old and 2 weeks when he starts, possibly the very youngest in his class.
People ask me if i am worried. I guess i could be.
He can’t count above 10, he has only recently learnt to draw a circle, he can’t sit still, he can’t get himself dressed or put his own shoes on, he seems to have perfected the skill of selective hearing and the only letter he can consistently recognise is an X (a pretty cool letter to be fair).
I have wondered if we should spend the next few months trying to get him up to scratch, so that he is not so far behind all of his classmates. But pushing him on things which he doesn’t yet have the capacity for, only leaves us all feeling more frustrated.
So i wonder if we should stop focusing on all the things he can’t do and think about all the things he can.
He can ride his balance bike like a pro, he can climb, he can dive bomb into the pool, he can chat to anyone, he can make the most amazing customisations for his cars using lego and play-doh, he can run about for HOURS without even the slightest breather.
Life is fun and care free, for us all
(when he is not being incredibly irritating).
But in less than five months things get a little more serious. Our lazy days are numbered as every morning will be about getting up and out of the house early.
All the time we have with him will be at the weekends and school holidays where the swimming pools and parks are packed to the brim.
The parents evenings won’t just be about looking through rubbish artwork and laughing at his funny quirks. People will start talking about all the areas in which he is lacking.
I don’t want to think about that just yet. I don’t want him to think about it either.
So perhaps we should spend the next few months just enjoying everything that is good about being 3.
At being 3, he rocks.
**************P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)
Oh and he is the best three-year-old ever! Well him and little T that is ;) We’ve also recieved both an email and snail mail about Little T’s official place at the school in the village. We haven’t really decided yet that she is going. I’m told we can actually decide really late? And that you can even decide whether you want them to go just half the day, or three days a week? Like F, T will probably be one of the youngest (she’s turning 4 on the 26th of August). Ooo, it’s happening so fast, isn’t it? That’s why my husband is a bit hesitant to send her. He said once she’s in, that’s it! Decisions, decisions.
Ahh even younger! It feel like its suddenly really creeping up on us!
I think here they start 1/2 days for a few weeks and then go full time.I kind of want him to just do the same as everyone else as i want to make sure he fits in socially.
I guess we will have to see how he gets on though as going everyday will definitely be a shock to the system x
I had the same worries. Sonny was 4 and a few days when he started but it’s amazing how quickly they adapt and learn.
Luca will be 4 and a day come September and once again I’m questioning if he’s ready? He will be, as will yours. He’ll continue amazing you in so many ways because that’s just what they do :)
Enjoy these last few months of quiet weekdays though. That was the biggest shock to my system. Weekend and half-term crowds *shudder*
Thanks so much Mark that’s incredibly reassuring to know :)
I absolutely hate school holidays now because all of our groups stop and everything else is just swarming. The quiet days is what i will miss most!
Awww what a lovely way at looking at things, he’s very lucky to have you as a parent. Tia’s birthday is 27th August so she’ll be the youngest too. I must admit it does worry me, even now. X
Awww thank you Kelly :)
Tia will be just fine too, and you know what in a lot of ways i am glad he is not a September born – NO idea what i would do with him for another whole year at home ;)
Haha! Was he on time? Tia was two weeks early and was meant to be a september baby x
Just 3 days early so he was always going to be starting school early really. I didn’t plan it that way though – honest! x
It’s suddenly hit me since Wednesday what a huge change it is going to be in September. I know Harry is ready in many ways (he is outgoing, confident and asks to go to “school” on weekends and holidays) but in other ways he too feels too young (he is small, has some trouble with several sounds). I am really hoping for a lovely Spring and Summer to make the most of the time we have left, like you say, once September comes it will be down to weekends.
I definitely going to enjoy all the time we have before z has to go to school properly. Before all the structures mornings have to start! I was always the youngest in my class (late August) but I never knew it so i never felt any different to anyone else. Your little boy sounds like he has an amazing personality and I’m sure that’ll help him loads if he ever feels a bit unsure.
Thank you Tas, very sweet of you to say and i’m sure you are right! x
Ah lovely post Katie. You definitely have the right attitude to celebrate what your child can do right now and not worry about September. First term of reception is just playing anyway :) x
Oh Katie, I feel the same about Annie too! And I just keep thinking that the other two were so much further on than she is now – she tells everyone she wants to be a butterfly when she grows up. Dear help the P1 teacher! But you are right – it’s about celebrating the things they can do. I think that’s the same at every stage too. Such a lovely post xx
That is just too cute – i think she is too young to be told that being a butterfly is not going to happen ;)
My twins start in September too, but they will be 4 years and 10 months. At the moment they attend pre-school which is within the school building they will attend in September.
I appreciate your apprehension. I’ve spent so much time thinking about school etc.. I’ve heard from lots of people, that if you are in doubt it is much easier to send them and see how they get on and if they’re not ready you’ll soon know, them you can take them out until the next year. Is he at pre-school at the moment? Maybe his pre-school teacher will be able to advise you if they think he is ready.
Yep he is at pre-school and he loves it! I don’t want to delay his entry as i don’t want him to miss out making friends etc but like you say i will have to see how he gets on. In a lot of ways i think it will do him good!
Yeah I bet he’ll be grand. Hard not to worry though. I def heard it’s better to send them early rather than too late, then nothing can be done. He’ll do fine. :0)
Forgot to say – my two are a pair of eejits and still can’t put in their coats (selective hearing) or shoes (pure laziness) either and they’re a lot older than your little boy! ;0)
Aw, does seem really young when I compare him to N who’s 4 months younger but compares well in what they can both do (N can only recognise one letter – N, unsurprisingly, and similarly anything past 10 doesn’t exist!). But as others have said, they adjust pretty well, and just think of the additional year of any childcare you’ve saved by having a late in the school year child!
This is a really great post. LP starts nursery in September and a year later she will start school – At 4 and less than a week old! She will definitely be one of the very youngest in her class too.
Even now I think about the things that LP can’t do compared to her friends – LP can only count to three and not consistently, her vocabulary is growing and she learns new words every day. She can’t pull her trousers up or down by herself, can’t wipe her own bum although is potty trained through the day. She still doesn’t use cutlery for every meal and prefers to use her hands.
When I think about these things I quickly try and forget about them. The years before school starts are about play – Learning through play but not enforced learning. I’m not the kind of person to sit and try and get her to learn the alphabet, I’d rather count the steps up the slide as she climbs up them or point out the colours of passing cars.
School is definitely for learning and they have their whole school journey to learn and be taught by people who are paid to teach them. We’re here to be their Mummy, the love them, play with them, feed them and do all that other stuff. The next 5 months for me will be all about playing, laughing and enjoying my Little Pickle before she starts nursery. I think yours should be the same – Enjoy your little man and watch him rock at being 3 x
This is exactly how i feel Donna and exactly what i do.
F learnt to count because he wanted to know how many cars he had, I’ve never pushed anything. To be fair he’s just so active and not really into sitting and learning just yet. I’m sure that will change but i just want him to enjoy himself before he enters such a big stage of his life x
No sensible advice at all I’m afraid, just the belief that my son will have to be at least 36 before I can accept that he’s old enough for school x
Dylan will be in the same place in a years time. He will turn three this August and start school next year as one of the youngest. I know that academically he will be fine as that is his strong point (and by that I mean he is OBSESSED with letters enough that I often hide things with writing on), but he struggles with climbing, he isn’t physical, he gets worn out easily and more than that he is my baby! I know they will be fine, I know I was fine and I am an August baby too so enjoy the summer x
It’s so funny how they are all so different – see F is so physical and just not into anything that really involves sitting, our worries are the opposite!They are still so young though and changing all the time so sure they will both adjust and be just fine! x
That’s such a healthy attitude. A good friend of mine taught reception for years and when I was worried about all the things my daughter couldn’t do as she started school, she said that far too many parents pushed their kids more than they needed to before they start school. They understand the youngest will need some help.
I’m kind of lucky in that both of mine are winter babies, so they are a bit older when they start. My youngest is only just starting nursery this autumn, and my daughter is going up to juniors (so we had an email and letter too).. My boy is definitely ready for nursery now.
Thank you Carin! My youngest will be smack bang in the middle of the year which is probably perfect. Hope your boy enjoys nursery – sure he will x
This is such an emotional post I think the school thing is for every parent! Not only the responsibility of getting the right school but for me I feel like they are so diddy! I’m so fortunate my Harry was born in September. I get to hold on to him for another year by which time he will hopefully be ready. 4 is so little! But I went to school at 4 & loved it! Of course your son rocks, you all do Lizzie XO
I had a strict policy of not preparing my child for school. He didn’t need to write his name – it’s all bloody PIN numbers these days any way. Who needs to read when you can ask Siri?
I figured as long as he could use the loo without help and get his coat on and off he’d bee fine. He was. At first I did panic as there were lots of kids who could already read. And aren’t their parents ready to share this info. It makes diddly squat difference in the grand scheme. School is all about positives, stickers for good listening. Really selective hearing suddenly only applies at home. Reception is mostly about play, learning to write your name and learning to line up, sit still for 10 minutes. I wasn’t prepared for how tired he would be or that school teaches the basics of reading – the rest is up to you and that can be bloody hard work at first but after a bit it is wonderful. I wasn’t prepared for how amazing watching your child learning to read is.
Have a wonderful next few months – do as much as you can while it’s cheap for under fives and outside of school holidays.
Sorry a right old essay.
Thanks Gemma that is such a thoughtful and reassuring comment! I think you had just the right attitude and its good to know that they are not expected to be able to do everything be reception! x
I am both dreading and looking forward to my two little ones starting school. It’s lovely at first, Reception is a lovely year for them to make new friends and get in ‘school mode’ – routine of class assemblies and everything. Watching them in their first nativity and on football teams and everything is amazing. But then you do have the other side of it – My Emily (10) is in her last year and is doing her SATs. I’m too old to have done SATs at this young age, we did them at 14. Anyway, the pressure on her is immense. I don’t think that they should be measured and pitted against each other at any age. I tell my kids they can be whatever they want to be – the sky is the limit, and as long as they are happy then I am proud – no matter what. Enjoy these pre-school years – I know how fast it has gone with Em – trying my best to enjoy every minute with my two little ones. Even if they do my head in a lot! Great post xxx
Thanks Kerrie – the thought of exams and all that pressure is horrible. I totally agree with you in that all i want is for my boys to be happy and aside from that i don’t really care what they do. Hope Emily gets though it all ok (and you do too!) x
Love this! Kids are very resilient!
Awww, I share every one of your worries and irritations. We’re in the same boat, with my little man turning 4 just weeks before he starts school. At least he got the place we wanted though! Glad you did too. xxx
What a lovely attitude to things. I’m glad you are focusing on the positives. I’m sure there will be other parents and kids in the same sitution and i’m sure he will get along in school just fine when he gets there. I hope he enjoys the rest of his time being three, and you too! Lovely post and great photo =D xx
It seems strange that CK is just a few weeks younger and yet gets a full year more at home with me. I know they have to make the cut off point somewhere but it’s so hard when they’re so young. He sounds like a pretty cool kid to me – I’ve always said that being brave, kind and funny far outweighs academic achievements and he sounds like all of those … everything else, he can learn in time. I’m an August baby and I think it’s made me pretty feisty :-)
Gosh, that is really young! In Scotland they have to be 4 by end of Feb to start school the following Aug, so at least 4 and a half by the time they start. B will be 5 in Nov, so somewhere in the middle of her classmates. I have no worries that she is ready academically, but I worry about her socially – she can be quite shy and the thought of leaving her to her own devices in a playground terrifies me!! Like you we are enjoying the last few months before the next exciting but scary chapter starts! X
My older son is going to be one of the youngest in his year group too, so I share your concerns on that front. It sounds like the little dude has nothing to worry about though (and neither does mine – I hope!) Can’t believe it’s all just five months away; enjoying the time together before the serious stuff starts is an absolute must. :-)
Now who’s making who cry? **sniff** xxx
Totally agree with your attitude, and yay for concentrating on him being an awesome three-year-old. My youngest will also be one of the youngest in her class when she starts school (in three years time!) but it’s something I’ve already thought about – isn’t that crazy? Thanks for reminding me what’s important. Enjoy the next few months – hope you get to the park and pool loads during school hours! x
A lovely post Katie and I agree with everything you said. Mads doesn’t go for another year but I am already dreading it in some ways and looking forward to it in others. We are going through the incredibly irritating/meltdown stage here at the moment and it is bloody tiring, yet at the same time she is my baby and I am not ready for her to go to school. Or having to go to soft play on weekends. Shudder.
Cut off dates are such a funny arbitrary construct when you think about them aren’t they. My Kitty is only 4 or 5 weeks younger, and yet won’t start for another year – it seems to very random when they sound at such a similar stage. I’d enjoy your time while you have it – he’s a bright little boy and he’s got the rest of his life for school and work – now is the time for playing!
Gosh he looks so young, I’d forgotten how wee they are at 3 going on 4. Looking back I can see from the stuff my son brought home that Reception is more a continuation of Nursery but with longer days. The hard part is for you, though by September he’ll be almost half a year on and look more like a schoolboy. Also, he seems such a confident and happy little guy, he’ll probably just slot in and the teachers will all fall in love with him.Think of all the friendships you’re going to make too at the school gate! (Don’t tell them you write a Blog called Hurrah for Gin on the first day though) x
Ahhh Katie I can imagine how you must feel. It does suddenly change everything and get really serious doesn’t it? Buba will be the same 4 years and three weeks old when he starts school next september too. I can’t imagine not being able to go do things as a family until it’s school holidays or weekends when it’s busy everywhere else. I don’t want my two to ever grow up but I know I will have to accept it someday soon. I love that you concentrate on what he can do instead of what he can’t. People put a lot of pressure on the littlest ones bless them. Lovely lovely post. Enjoy every moment for the next few months.
I can’t imagine how big this must feel for you!!! Its great that he has no idea about it, as you said, why should he? He can carry on being awesome, rocking around……not that this will stop when he starts school mind you! If we stay where we are Arthur will go to school where Mark teaches (it starts from Nursery right the way through secondary) i’ve seen those kids they’re all mental so don’t worry (or, i’m sorry, not sure which is the response you want there!!!)
Bless his little heart. He looks far too diddy to be going to school :( But you’re doing the right thing, embracing all the wonderful things about being 3 and carefree. I wouldn’t worry about trying to teach him anything before he goes, they will only undo and start afresh anyway. He will be like a completely clean sponge, ready and waiting :)
The system in Scotland is different so my boy will be 5 and a half when hetarts primary school in August and I have lots of these worries! But as a teacher I know he’ll be fine, teachers understand the needs of little ones. And I think it’s not productive to force letters and numbers before children are ready, it should happen organically. I believe the best we can do for our kids is help social skills by playing together and build confidence for the challenges ahead. Your boy will be great:)
Such a lovely post. We have the opposite problem, O will be one of the oldest in his year and I sometimes worry he’ll be “ready” for school before he’s due to start.
I completely understand the freedom to do whatever with your day and not worry about timing, it’s one of the reasons I love my day off!
Gorgeous pic of your fab boy xx
I think you can actually apply for them to go the year after in some areas, my friend is doing it, but then he might surprise you and be more than ready. I think we might keep Cherry off till she’s seven, or even later as we’ve been talking about home education but again I think I will see how she seems nearer the time. It scares me so much as it’s such a large part of the week not to see them for, but then if they love it then I guess there are benefits! x
Oh reading you article was making me cry don’t you know that you don’t have to send him to school. Keep him home and carry on having your lovely times letting him learn at his own pace. my eldest is 8 now and we are still at home. I wont put my children into a place where they are going to be looking for the things they are lacking. We look at life as in all the things they achieve and love. My children love life and love learning, they love socialising and they love to be at home as a family. I won’t swap that for anything.
Thanks Keeli, I know we could keep him home for a bit longer but the school he is going to is just down the road and fabulous so i think deep down he will be fine. I don’t want him to miss out socially by putting him in later, as that’s one of the things i am most worried about. I think it’s just because i still have the same group of friends from when i was 5 y/o so like to think he might do the same :)
Glad to know your children are so happy home schooled though x
my eldest will be 4 and 8 weeks when he starts.
they seem too small, don’t they?
I have a mid-August birthday, and was the youngest in my class a long, long time ago. Had I been born on my due date, I’d have been in the following year group.
it didn’t make a difference, at all. One of my closest school friends was very early in September, almost a year older than me. I took to education and was top of the class more often than not.
Don’t worry, the tiddlers will be fine.
(laughing at myself now – “don’t worry”… if I figure out how not to, I’ll let you know! I’m already anxious about it too)
Ha ha thank you – easy to say isn’t it!
You are right though i am sure they will be just fine – he loves pre-school, i think its just the fact it will be everyday that will be the biggest adjustment x
it’s already every day for us, but only 3 hours. I’ve tried talking to him about how from September he’ll be in reception class and all day and having his lunch in school but he just laughs and thinks I’m being silly.
Lovely post and I too am excited and nervous for my 4 year old (although he will be 5 the Jan after starting) beginning his official education! I agree we shouldn’t rush them, they are children and should go at their own pace and I’m sure the early years support just that! x
Definitely let him enjoy being three. My mini diva (4 going on 14) also starts in September and I’m trying very hard not to push her too hard. My niece (a 31st August baby) started nearly three years ago now and is doing brilliantly in Year 2,