"school is the worst thing in the world"

(25 Posts)
lambethma Sun 19-Jan-14 20:27:14

reception was fine, DD was happy, everything was hunky dory.
since Oct half term year one has been awful.
Everyday sees DD in some sort of 'avoiding going to school' situation, distracted, tearful, pleading, miserable. Friday evenings my old child is delivered home, happy, playful, relaxed, Sunday evening this new, sad, depressed year 1 child takes up residence for the next week.
I have talked to her teacher (who is lovely), I have talked to DD extensively. OH is NHS OT and anything private or Steinery is out of the question financially. Home schooling would kill me. Lump it?? What can I do??????? How can i mediate this bloody horrible situation it's breaking my heart.

TheGreatHunt Sun 19-Jan-14 20:29:41

What has the teacher said? What has your daughter said?

Can you change schools?

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 19-Jan-14 20:32:22

can she give you any clues about what it is that she is worrying about or doesn't like?

tiggytape Sun 19-Jan-14 21:12:42

Year 1 can be a shock to the system at schools that go straight into formal learning from a play based reception (we had it again with DS in Year 3 when they lost afternoon playtime - he always mourned the reception class format I think!)

But if it is serious reluctance and she is depressed at the prospect from Sunday onwards then that cannot be ignored. Have you stressed to the teacher how seriously unhappy DD is? There may be things they can do such as giving her a task on Monday to look forward to when she comes in, giving you a weekly summary so that you can talk to her in advance about what they will be doing (and enthuse her about what she might like), find her a buddy if it is a friendship problem and keep a closer eye on her through the day.

It is still early days and holidays can unsettle them all over again but it is worth making sure the school know that things are not good so they can do some more to support her.

NinjaPenguin Sun 19-Jan-14 21:49:33

Is it hating it, or is it more being scared/stressed out about it?

Huitre Sun 19-Jan-14 22:31:51

DD has always liked school and mostly wanted to go, but she did find the transition to Y1 quite tough anyway and it was fully halfway through the year before she really got the hang of it all. I really sympathise with you. I had this with nursery when DD was three and would start fretting (sobbing) about having to go several days before it was due to happen. In hindsight, I wish I had just taken her out as she didn't really have to go, I just misguidedly thought she'd get something out of it. As you can't take a Y1 child out, I'd suggest talking to her teacher about it to get some insight into what she finds so hard.

twofalls Sun 19-Jan-14 22:43:59

What has she said is the problem? Big hugs as my dd1 often struggles with school and we have been through some tough times. Getting her to talk and keep talking has really helped but it took a while to get to the bottom of it.

Have you had friends back for play dates? It can help you see how they interact.

MidniteScribbler Mon 20-Jan-14 05:17:10

You need to find out exactly what the problem is. Is she having problems making friends? Is she being bullied? Does she feel unable to do the work and is avoiding it? Unless you can determine why she feels this way, then it's hard to address it. Talk to her, talk to the teacher again, and even approach other staff or people in her life. Is there a faculty member she does like (PE teacher, music teacher, librarian?)? Sometimes children will open up more to a different staff member. How is she doing academically? Ruling out issues such as dyslexia, hearing problems, eyesight issues is also important as that could be impacting her.

bebanjo Mon 20-Jan-14 17:15:22

Hi, sorry your littel one is having such a rubbish time.
I wonder why you think home education would kill you?
Do you know much about it or anyone that does it?

Ferguson Mon 20-Jan-14 18:16:28

There usually IS a reason for things, even though a child might not know what it is, or couldn't explain if she did know.

As a retired TA, I would reiterate everything MidniteScribbler has said.

Would there be any possibility you could go into school as a 'parent helper', ideally in DD's class, or even in another class so you could observe her at playtime, lunchtime, etc?

Do you know any of the other families? Maybe an older child could 'buddy' her. Is there a TA attached to the class? TAs are sometimes in a position to be more aware of how children are feeling emotionally, and can often give subtle support.

Were there any subjects/activities that she particularly liked, or didn't like, during reception? I knew a child who cried because he couldn't cut out with scissors, while other children were happy to give it a go; the most unlikely details can unsettle a sensitive child.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 20-Jan-14 18:21:07

Hello OP.

Just wondering if you knew anything about H.ed and wondered why you think it would kill you?
It seems like a good idea to me, but also its a shame to dismiss it if you haven't considered it in any depth.

souperb Mon 20-Jan-14 22:12:28

We had a school-hating DS and I was at times tempted by Home Ed (and still am), but I really felt that I would prefer to do Home Ed as a result of a "positive choice" - because of the benefits, rather than because school was going so badly. I would try to work out what the issue is first. Does the teacher engage with the issue? Does he/she accept there is a problem, or are they unbothered by it or DD is fine and compliant once in school?

lambethma Tue 21-Jan-14 08:20:25

Thanks everyone. OP here again.
I have spoken to DD's teacher twice, she is a very kind and understanding woman, and DD really likes her. She just reiterates that some children find the move to year 1 tricky. DD isn't being bullied and she does have a friend in the class, although a number of the kids are quite full on and in her face and she doesn't really know how to deal with that (although they haven't changed since reception - and it wasn't a problem then). I think the main problem is that DD is a v physical and imaginative child and formal learning isn't her thing. She says it's boring… but I think she doesn't have the words to describe how crushing it is. I've been to help in school on numerous occasions but I think I made it worse. DD is v quiet and compliant in class according to her teacher (she's the opposite at home). We chose this school because it has a creative approach to the curriculum, so I can't see that going to one of the more traditional local schools (which we'd never get into anyway, lambeth is horribly oversubscribed) would help, the teaching there seemed much more formal, with rules like "sit up straight" laminated in year 1 classes.
(I am not the right person to home school, I have looked into it, and I have enough self-awareness to know that it wouldn't work for us for numerous reasons). Thanks for your support.

AmberLeaf Tue 21-Jan-14 08:26:23

I don't have much advice to add and others have given good advice already. Just wanted to say that all three of my boys found the transition to year 1 hard going. The change from the play based foundation stage was a bit of a shock to them but by spring term they were much more settled.

lambethma Tue 21-Jan-14 08:27:09

Midnitescribbler - I did wonder about dyslexia - she absolutely refuses to read at home, even though she loves stories and likes writing (backwards a lot, but apparently a lot of them do that)... but apparently she is completely on track with her reading at school, and I feel I'm looking for a 'magic' solution that will make it all make sense….
twofalls thanks for the hugs
ninja - it's hate I think - she's really angry about having to go…..

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 21-Jan-14 10:48:00

I know you have spoken to her teacher but I would perhaps send a note in to the SENCO and just ask for some advice. We had issues where IN school things were fine but OUT of school was horrific. SENCO and teacher were really surprised when I spoke to them but I asked for general advice as they obvious have a lot of experience of children and they have been really helpful and are also giving her some ELSA sessions now they know more about her. ELSA is emotional literacy support so should help her deal with her emotions better, learn how to communicate what she is worrying about etc.

katalex Tue 21-Jan-14 10:50:09

Have you tried talking to the family liaison officer at school? When my dd was having similar issues I made an appointment to talk about it with the flo and she scheduled some play therapy sessions every day for two weeks. Amongst other things, she got dd to draw pictures of what makes her happy and what makes her sad. Maybe that would help to work out what is worrying your dd so much about school. I hope you get to the bottom of this. It's heartbreaking when you see them so upset and don't know how to help them.

lambethma Tue 21-Jan-14 11:07:28

Thanks nonickname and katalex I did talk to the inclusion manager at school and she had some time with a counsellor last term which she used to enjoy - drawing and talking from what I could gather. I think it's stopped now. Out of school behaviour is occasionally strange (except at weekends and playdates when she seems her old self), she had a tantrum last week like a 2 year old that went on for nearly an hour….

starlight1234 Tue 21-Jan-14 11:13:28

My Ds struggled with transition to whatever...he said to me once...Mum when I was in reception I wanted to be in nursery, then when I was in year 1 I wanted to be in reception and now in year two I want to be in year 1...Its not right is it...He just doesn't find moving easily...and has only recently stopped running across the playground..

My Ds was stuggling with year 1 ..I thought he was stuggling with the change turns out he was been bullied.Also despite been compliant he stopped writing after Christmas for 3 weeks as he was finding the step up so hard...

The compliant quiet child and school loud child at home is not that unusual ...Many of his friends are the same...

horrible for both of you though... How is she when she is at school and you have left....I remember at the beginning lots of girls crying in the queue before they went in but were happily chatting once mum was out of site?

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 21-Jan-14 12:15:32

I think I would speak to the inclusion manager again then and say that there are still problems. You don't want them to think they have resolved the issue when it is still ongoing.

NynaevesSister Tue 21-Jan-14 12:24:34

Just because she is on target for reading doesn't mean she isn't dyslexic. It took a full assessment of DS to figure out that he actually had a language problem. He just doesn't understand what is being said and instead would drift off into a movie in his head as he was bored. So finding out about the dyslexia was a huge help as his natural aptitudes were hiding it in other areas. He is now in a language therapy program at school and is making huge strides. He still doesn't want to go to school! But it is no longer boring him to distraction.

We are also in Lambeth. PM me if you'd like to know more about the specific referrals and help we got. Might help you to know what you should/can ask for.

We're at a more formal school, but no laminated signs to sit up straight though!

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 21-Jan-14 13:58:07

I agree re the dyslexia - my DD1 shows quite a few signs of dyslexia but she is way beyond the reading level they would expect. Things aren't always as you would expect with splds.

lambethma Tue 21-Jan-14 17:44:10

mynaevessister and nonicknames thanks for the info re dyslexia - have PMd. And what is splds please??

lambethma Tue 21-Jan-14 17:49:31

starlight DD has said exactly the same - she wants to be little…. growing up is horrible. ( I can see her point).

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 21-Jan-14 20:20:59

spld - specific learning difficulty.

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