Taking dd out 1 afternoon/week

(150 Posts)
LalaDipsey Thu 02-Jan-14 17:29:52

I had forgotten, during the endless last term, how beautifully happy and loving and happy dd (4) is! School has turned her into a tantrumming screaming nightmare a lot of the time as she has been shattered . We don't do any other after school or weekend activities so I don't have those to stop. What I would really like to do is pick her up at lunchtime on a Wednesday for the next term until she legally has to be there the following term (July birthday).
I feel that I know my dd best and she is just sooo young for 8.45-3.15 5 days a week.
What do you reckon my chances are of getting the hm to agree??!!

lapetitesiren Thu 02-Jan-14 21:44:04

School is provided on a one size fits all basis and common sense says some will be more ready than others to cope. Uk starts formal education much younger than other countries( eg france). Other children won' t care and it' s not an age where they can' t slip in and out of the group. My daughter went mornings only the first term in a school where everyone else was full time- but she still needed a rest.ask the school.

Ragwort Thu 02-Jan-14 21:49:10

lalouche - I would have loved to have a child with less energy grin - I am the laziest parent ever. I just don't believe that the 'majority' of 4 year olds are wrecked after a day at school - I can accept that some are, but from my personal experience most 4 year olds can cope easily with school, if they are getting enough sleep at night.

lalouche Thu 02-Jan-14 21:49:23

smile Speaking of amazement, I'm amazed that there are parents out there who think it is their parenting that is responsible for some entirely arbitrary aspect of their child's character, such as energy levels or state of health. That said, if ragwort has to ask why a reception child might be knackered after school, then he/she can't have been anywhere near a reception class in many years, or in any case is spectacularly unaware of what goes on in one.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Thu 02-Jan-14 21:59:42

My DD is starting at a new school full time next week (August birthday). She did 2.5 days at her previous setting until Christmas. If she struggles too much with tiredness (she gets very irritable and tantrummy), I will be keeping her off on Fridays. But will see how it goes for a few weeks I think.

lalouche Thu 02-Jan-14 22:01:07

Well, there are 90 children in dd's year. It's a friendly school and I've probably spoken to most of the parents. And by the end of the first term of reception, they were definitely all knackered. Perhaps not as knackered as the ops child, but bad enough. A sceptical face at the idea of a 4yo being tired after a reception day is an extraordinary thing to write if you have a child who has recently gone through it. They honestly were unphased by the noise, the new rules, the countless new faces and complexities of making friends, the total independence expected re clothing and toileting compared to nursery, the learning to read business, the sitting on the carpet in silence,the school lunch hall and playground full of big kids, the whole school assemblies? They were never even a teeny bit overwrought and exhausted by the sheer barrage of new expectations and demands? You are a lucky parent indeed.

unlucky83 Thu 02-Jan-14 22:05:04

Both of mine were fine - you said what time your DD went to bed - but what time does she get up? Do you have to wake her up?
When they were very young if they had gone to bed at their normal time I wouldn't wake them up in the mornings....I thought they were either tired out or were sickening for something ...probably did it twice for both for them, going in for 9.30am at the latest - still would think twice about waking my 6 nearly 7 yo up in the morning but now because I would think she might be ill ...
(for some reason mine are incredibly healthy - few stomach upsets (in the holidays!) / colds etc - poor DD1 bemoans the fact she only had 3 days off during her whole primary school time - DD2 off more mainly cos she got chicken pox (DD1 had it preschool) ...
I think if they wake up on their own they can make it through the day..

heather1 Thu 02-Jan-14 22:11:41

LalaDisney, I hope you get your flexible schooling agreed with the school. I moved from Uk to a country where children start school much later than in Uk and then don't spend so much time there e.g. Home for lunch every day, half days Wednesday and only morning school for 2 days a week.
At the end of term I suddenly realised Ds wasn't shattered, didn't have excema and no more ear infections and he was much happier. He is a November birthday.
Good luck.

CaterpillarCara Thu 02-Jan-14 22:17:36

My children both went for half days for quite a lot of reception. The school was very open to it, and a number of children did so. Only one of them was a PFB!

Depends on the school, it was one of the (many) reasons we chose ours. One child was ready for full-time school by Christmas, one by February half-term.

Princessdeb Thu 02-Jan-14 22:26:57

Dear OP,

My DD is an August baby and until she was halfway through year two she would often fall asleep on Friday afternoons in the classroom. She went to bed early 7pm, had no regular out of school activities and we tried to keep term time weekends quiet, she just lacked the stamina to get through the week. We were lucky that the school never made an issue of it. She started the first term in reception doing half days and then went full time after that but it took a long time to build up the necessary stamina. I can well believe your DC is struggling. You know her best so take advantage of the flexibility you have until she turns five and negotiate a solution that works for her.

Slippersandacuppa Thu 02-Jan-14 22:33:35

I did it with DS1 for a bit. He'd get so tired that the teacher suggested he stayed off on several occasions. I thought about it all and went to talk to the head. They were reluctant to stick to anything formal but said that I could take him out for an afternoon on an ad hoc basis if it fitted in with what the class was doing. It didn't affect attendance records at all as they just marked him down as 'educated offsite'.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 02-Jan-14 22:34:33

No, I would not do this. Certainly your battles with the twins at bedtime shouldn't come into it.

ilovesmurfs Thu 02-Jan-14 22:44:07

My ds3went part time in reception until after the easter holidays, he did four days a week, havigm wedmesdaysoff. The school were fine with it, he was just too tired to go five days.

Flexi schooling is legaly an option, you need to speak to the head teacher.

CocktailQueen Thu 02-Jan-14 22:48:27

Steamingnit - how condescending!

The op did not mention battles with twins, just the fact that they had to go to bed before her dd. you try putting 3 kids to bed every night!!

Op - my DS was knackered and beastly fir most or reception, sadly. I really really wanted the option to keep him off school part time but our school would not allow it. Yanbu. Speak to your class teacher or ht and ask if dd can go tp. I think you'd be justified. Reception is exhausting - esp. Xmas term.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 02-Jan-14 22:55:20

I thought she mentioned the twins a few times?
I don't think they should be a factor tbh.

BackforGood Fri 03-Jan-14 00:35:11

Over 20 yrs ago, my nieces school actively encouraged all the parents to collect their child at lunchtime 1 or two days a week for the first half of the year. I thought it was a fantastic idea - slightly gentler start to school with 1 or 2 afternoons per week not attending. Bonus was that there would always be a smaller group in the afternoons as well, so teacher would get round everyone without having to do as much 'classroom managing' of tired little children who were getting upset or cross for one reason or another, so the time spent in school in afternoons was better for everyone.
However if your school don't operate that system (and, to be fair, I've never heard of it since), then your dd is likely to want to know why she has to go home each Wednesday when her friends get to stay and play. I don't think you will be doing her any favours at all, and it's feasible she'll be upset at missing out on things.
It's a fact that all, or at least the vast majority of children are tired in the Autumn Term - there's a lot of adjusting to new things and learning new things to be done, they are at the youngest they will be for that school year, and it's always the longest term - it's the 15 weeks that make it difficult, before you add all the excitement of Christmas. You'll find that things settle in the Spring Term and she'll probably blossom.

Saracen Fri 03-Jan-14 00:35:11

Lala, you could ask the school's permission to keep your daughter off school for one afternoon a week. If you feel very strongly about it, you could even go so far as to tell them that this is what you plan to do and that you hope they will support you in doing so but you plan to give it a try regardless.

Aside from labelling you as a troublesome parent, there is nothing they can do to prevent you from taking your daughter out of school whenever you like for the rest of this year. You cannot be fined for the nonattendance of a child who is below compulsory school age. Compulsory school age starts in the term following the child's fifth birthday, so for your daughter that is next September.

I've had a few friends who have done this. Admittedly they are part of my bolshie home ed (or home ed wannabe) crowd, and they share your apparently unusual view that a child's parent really does know what the child needs.

By the way, does your daughter seem to be getting a lot out of school? If school doesn't seem to be benefiting her and if reducing her hours doesn't help, you might consider taking her out altogether for a while and trying again when she is a bit older and has more energy. IMO school would really have to be delivering some pretty impressive benefits to outweigh the disadvantage of transforming a child from a happy and loving little girl into a tantrumming screaming nightmare. Most other children in this country do start school at the age of four, some more successfully than others, but that doesn't make it the best age for your daughter to start.

Fennec Fri 03-Jan-14 00:36:00

Our school has something called Golden Time every Friday afternoon after lunchtime onwards. Basically a couple of hours where all kids are allowed free roam of all classrooms mixing with all year groups, where they can do crafts, reading, or play.

(Unfortunate that this session is named after something to do with airplane crash fatality timelines ... but that's another matter).

Recently touring the prospective junior school, head explained that Friday afternoons for teachers are spent 'lesson planning' so they can save time at the weekends at home.
Coincidence much!

Anyway, point being, Reception is presented as 'learning through play' and apart from a bit of Phonics, it really isn't so tough. I speak as someone who equally struggled letting my youngest go (summer born starter age 4). I can't see how it's any different to Nursery for the first year at Infant School, but establishing a routine is good for them and ultimately, with the current school place shortage that's set to worsen the next few years, your main consideration is whether or not your chosen school will even have a space for your late starter. My eldest waited 12 months on the list before a space became available...

Tableforfour Fri 03-Jan-14 06:51:22

Perhaps your daughter could go to bed before the twins? I've got a reception child and an 18 month old, he toddles around her room while she has her story etc then goes to bed after, as his bedtime is less important as he can catch up with daytime naps. I appreciate that is more challenging with twins!

Pumpkin567 Fri 03-Jan-14 07:02:24

I'm also going to say they are all tired. My September born was struggling. We kept things very low key, no after school activities, very few play dates that term.
We do an early night on a wednesday, very early 6.00. It makes a big difference to Thursday and Friday.
I've also allowed more TV and lots more reading, I think they need to sit and recharge a lot more in the Autumn term.

meditrina Fri 03-Jan-14 07:17:49

I don't think this is going to help.

It's not enough to solve the tiredness issue, but is enough to disrupt her socially at school.

I think a better start point might be a discussion with her teacher about tiredness - find out about the rhythmn of the school day and opportunities for quieter times.

It might also be worth seeing, if you are determined to ask for a part time schedule, to find out what alterations would have least impact (including socially). A couple of later starts might be preferable to missing a whole afternoon.

450fromPaddington Fri 03-Jan-14 07:22:18

laladipsey - irrespective of whether what you suggest is the best idea or not, I think you sound like an impressive parent. From your posts on this thread I see you have a four year old and two two year olds and are a single parent. You must be extraordinarily busy and yet you still have the mental energy to sit back and reflect on the bigger picture that is your daughters life and are trying to think creatively about how to make things work best. Your three children are so lucky to have you. It's difficult to write this sort of thing without sounding patronising but at the risk of sounding so, Well Done!

Jaynebxl Fri 03-Jan-14 07:39:32

I'd do it. Talk to the school. Our school actively encourages parents to keep tired reception children home sometimes and children are encouraged to do however many half days the teacher and parent feel they need im a week. I think this is brilliant.

Reception is totally different from nursery amd is more tiring. Lots of children struggle especially in the first term and there are no medals for pushing them.

And one afternoon doing something different at a different pace can make the whole week so much more manageable.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 03-Jan-14 07:40:50

As your daughter isn't legally required to have a full time education until she is five then it would be reasonable to request a half day a week off school. However, what will you do if she is still tired and tantrummy after the age of five? She might have got used to the idea of having half a day a week off school by then and struggle to mindset and why it suddenly needs to stop. On the other hand she might not want to go home early every Wednesday when her friends are staying to do fun stuff.

What time does she wake in the mornings? Could she stay in bed a little longer?
When's oh say that your dd is falling asleep in school, is this something that the teacher has told you? If the teacher thinks that your dd is more tired than the other children then she might agree that it's a good idea to keep your dd off school for half a day a week.

What do you intend to do on the half a day at home? Will your dd be going to bed early?

I don't think it's totally unreasonable to be concerned about your daughters flagging energy levels, but I'm not convinced that keeping her home for half a day every week is a good idea. This half term is very short whereas the last one was much longer and lots of children were tired by the end of it. See how she goes over a shorter term.

redskyatnight Fri 03-Jan-14 07:42:04

I would wait to see how she does next term before asking to take her out tbh.
The autumn term is always the worst - it's so long, the weather is awful, it gets dark, and there are lots of Christmas activities going on which are exciting but tiring. This is the first year that my DS hasn't been shattered by the end of this term - and he's now in Year 5.

I would also think about what your DD will be missing - maybe Wednesday is the day they always do cooking for example. Will she find it odd to be leaving before everyone else (my children would ask "why" incessantly)? I'd also think about what you would do on Wednesdays instead - is it just flop at home?

cheminotte Fri 03-Jan-14 07:54:22

I have 2 summer born DSs . Autumn term for Ds1 has always been awful and reception was worst . School quickly suggested part time hours for him which wasnot very feasible due to my work but we agreed I could keep him at home on my day off (Weds) if I felt he needed a break. I did this a few times in the autumn term, a bit less in the Spring term and only once in the Summer term but it definitely helped. He was also frequently in bed at 6pm before his baby.brother

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