The whole school thing is not what I expected

(78 Posts)
Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:07:45

We are now into year 1 and I'm still feeling a bit let down by the whole primary school thing.

I thought it would be:
Lots of like minded parents
Lots of nice children
Nice walks to school, happy chats on the way home
Play dates, parties
New friends made etc

In reality it's:
Lots of small town cliques who ignore you
Some really cross kids who's behaviour is a tad worrying
A death trap getting to and from school, loads of cars, grumpy child all the way home
Had one or two play dates but dc hasn't really found a special friend yet

Dc is doing ok, reading well, I like the staff. But I guess it's just not the 'dream' I thought it would be! I always smile and chat to anyone but its not easy.

End of term blues, reality or time to look for something else??

Coldlightofday Fri 04-Apr-14 22:11:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rabbitlady Fri 04-Apr-14 22:11:50

hmm. do you know anywhere better?

Unexpected Fri 04-Apr-14 22:13:50

Why was school supposed to be a "dream"?

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:14:24

Yes it is about how do is doing hence my worry about friendships

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:15:47

There are other good local schools, it's hard as when I looked they were all very similar but it's not until you child is in that you find out the dynamics etc

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:18:07

Unexpected - I mean it wasn't what I imagined or heard from other friends who have children at primary school. Other friends seem to gather at the end of the day at local parks etc, their children have lots of play dates and there children seem happy. I'm not sure my dc is that happy

Coldlightofday Fri 04-Apr-14 22:18:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

areallady Fri 04-Apr-14 22:18:18

time to look for something else?

What do you mean...a new school? Are you in catchment for other local schools?

Polarn Fri 04-Apr-14 22:18:32

That's a shame as my reality is very like what you thought it would be... Maybe it's the area you're in?

comicsansisevil Fri 04-Apr-14 22:18:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hoppinggreen Fri 04-Apr-14 22:18:46

No idea where you got the idealised view from but the idea is for your children to get a good education and be happy there, anything else is a bonus.
Some people get lucky and they benefit too - I know I have , but I didn't necessarily expect it.

PansOnFire Fri 04-Apr-14 22:19:43

I think you need to get more insight into how your DD feels about going to the school, if she likes it and is doing well then you need to accept that school isn't the ideal that you were imagining.

It's awful when things turn out the opposite to what you would expect, with cross children and a grumpy child all the way home I'd guess that these are signs all is not well there.

mummymeister Fri 04-Apr-14 22:19:44

some kids take a really long time to settle and get into the whole school thing. one of my dc's was like this until the end of year 2. never particularly unhappy but never happy either. dc did ok in tests etc but not to potential just average. school isn't a dream. its a reality. just like a job. you work somewhere that you either do or don't have good friends and some of your work mates are odd. I think you had a fairytale image in your mind of happy dc's skipping to school and skipping out again arm in arm with best buddy. for a lot of kids this just never happens so maybe you have to relook at your expectations.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 04-Apr-14 22:23:46

School doesn't have to be miserable and horrible.

Neither does life but as you have already seen here not everyone realises this yet.

If there are others schools available it's worth investigating wether you and your dc would be happier using one of them.

Or you could make a radical lifestyle choice and home educate wink

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 04-Apr-14 22:25:16

My child really enjoys her local school, is doing really well and I love the caring ethos. I haven't found many "people like me" though - I feel quite out of place in the area we're in due to a mixture of circumstances so I get the "not fitting" feeling. I'd love her to have a group of friends that go to the park etc.

I do chat to some of the mums though and there are some nice people. But similar, not what I thought it would be.

I worry about it for other reasons when they reach secondary though - as it may not be the influences I'd ideally like for my child.

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:25:23

I guess that's the dilemma. Would another school suit dc better?? But it's not easy to just move when you have siblings to consider. I think the class is tricky and so perhaps our experience is different to other parents in the school...... My gut feeling is the school is nice but the class is challenging

bobot Fri 04-Apr-14 22:27:22

Coldlight the op does say she isn't sure her dd is happy there, that she hasn't made a special friend, etc. And school is a lifestyle choice - there are alternatives!!

I don't get the impression that this is all about you, op. I get the impression that you thought it would be brilliant for your dc, and you're not sure about the reality for your family?

There are alternatives. Visit the Home Ed board if you're considering that, or have a look at other schools, see what your options are? My ds's first school was just ok, nothing amazing - I took him out to Home Ed - he has just decided to give school another go, 18 months later (his choice) and I am so much more convinced that this school is a positive thing for him, and for our family generally. Yes, it does depend what lifestyle you want for your family, and what kind of education you want for your child. Are you in an area where alternative kinds of schools would be an option?

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:28:57

GoodnessIsThatTheTime sounds just the same school! There isn't a feeder secondary school though as rural town and they seem to go here, there and everywhere after primary.
HerrenaHarridan - that sums up my thinking, not sure I could be that radical though ;)

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:34:06

bobot - thank you. The head does support flexi schooling and my husband and I have discussed this. His concern was that as my many worry was dc Peers and friendships that flexi school might not help......I'm still keen but I see his point. Equally dh worries that when looking at other schools you don't know how the class are either. Again I see his point.....but I just want dc to be happy and I'm not really sure they are. They seem to get through the day....

scottishmummy Fri 04-Apr-14 22:35:29

Sorry but you need to disavow yourself of unrealistic expectations of all friends,jolly coffee
The reality is there are cliques,petty sniping and you need to not participate
Bottom line is you're not at school,your wean is.don't expect or project your fantasy

Jinsei Fri 04-Apr-14 22:39:13

yanbu at all. My reality is like you thought it was going to be. Why should you settle for less?

I guess the key is to understand exactly what the problem is. If it really is the school (or just the class), it might be worth moving him. However, you need to think about whether your dc's own social skills might be part of the problem. If it's possible that this is part of the problem, then moving him might not be the answer, and you'd be better off helping him to develop the right skills. Then again, it may just be that school doesn't suit your dc full stop, in which case you might want to think about home ed (though personally I'm not a huge fan).

Could you maybe talk to the teacher to get someone else's perspective on what's going on?

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 04-Apr-14 22:43:56

We wouldn't be able to move easily. The schools in the more m/c areas are oversubscribed - we would have to move house.

It's also weighed up against the pluses of actually being able to walk to school and in our case the fact its a lovely caring infant school that my daughter is enjoying.

Long term though it would have been better had we started in a better area but that wasn't possible. (redundancy at the time of looking to move. Luckily before any exchange).

It does sound like we are in similar situation! I simply don't have much similar frame of reference with the many of the other mums in the playground. It's something I think about a lot but I can't see I'm in a postion to change. It's not currently bothering my daughter so I'd not look to move for that reason.

Chocolatecookies Fri 04-Apr-14 22:49:34

Thank you Jinsei- the class are quite young, but also there are quite a few who are young with much older brothers/sisters so they often say the things my child likes are babyish......I'm not sure they are, it's just that they are age appropriate and gears if war isn't in my opinion! I think the children who might be more to dc liking are into things that dc just isn't and so they hadn't really found their place in the class.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Fri 04-Apr-14 22:51:11

I'm thankful that my DC are close together in age - because getting together with other DC round here is bloody hard if not impossible. All the families grew up round here and have no real interest in socializing outside their groups- few times we have never reciprocated and DC usually a nightmare.

The school has very caring atmosphere and my DC like most who go there look forward to going most days. The have friends in school and their education is going okay.

They do come home and have for year ratty, tired and not always pleasant to be round - though those days get less as they age.

I never expected to make friends - most parents work so drop offs are GP, childminders or harried parents. I have been bit taken by other parents attitudes at parties or school events - especially DS year which is very catty but doesn't seem to upset DC.

Moving schools is a big thing for a DC - if they were obvious unhappy, being bullied or doing very poorly then I'd say moving would be one solution. To do it on off chance next school might like up more to an ideal - seems a bit mad.

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