Taking dd out 1 afternoon/week(150 Posts)
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??!!
I doubt it very much. When you enrol them your child is expected to attend as all other children.
To be honest, DD was also shattered after the first term, we didn't do anything, only during Spring term she started to cope better and I actually found getting her into gymnastic seemed to give her a release for all the energy she couldn't release at school.
They are always shattered after school. You sound a bit PFB tbh. I have a late August child and he is 16 and always shattered.
You can't do that. Your PFB remarks about knowing her best and she's 'soooo young' are really irrelevant: she's at school now and has to attend like every other shattered tiny person.
A girl in my DD's class goes home at lunchtime on Wednesday's so it is possible, depends how flexible the school is I guess.
I think it's worth asking, or at least having a chat with the teacher to see if anything else could be done to help with the tiredness. I'm sure the tiredness will affect her at school as well as at home, so hopefully they'll be keen to help for everyone's benefit.
Flexi-schooling is a legal option in this country. If that's what you feel is best for your child it's definitely worth a chat with the head. Some head teachers are more open to it than others. If you pop over to the home ed topic I think there are some flexi-schoolers in there who would be able to give you tips on how best to broach the subject with the school.
I think you need to be very careful about thinking you always know best. If all the other kids are there full time then I think so does you child. What next - they are too tired to do their homework!
BTW - the 16 year old is tired for different reasons to a 4/5 year old. And dont get me started on the mood swings and secrecy....
I was told if my child was too tired , just keep then off on the Friday. Before she turned 5, obviously.
I don't think I'm pfb, and saying what about all the other 'tiny shattered people' won't help me and dd will it! I thought I'd posted in education not aibu?!
I am a single mother with 2 year old twins also and quite frankly I am not prepared to do another term like the one we have just had. Telling her to 'get on with it' will not help with her falling asleep at school will it?
By saying I know her best I mean that I have lived with her on a daily basis now for 4.5years and I feel that I am picking up an exhausted child every day who is too tired to cope. This is also making me struggle with 3 children as they set each other off.
I am trying to think what is best for her. We have stuck a whole term out and I thought this may be a solution to try and get her through this term the happy sunny girl I know she is, but who I lost about the end of September.
You are sounding a little over dramatic - 'happy, sunny girl who you have now lost'. All of us generally have lived with our kids for 4.5 years btw.
Perhaps you need to consider home ed?
Can't see that one afternoon is going to make much difference. See what she's like in the next couple of weeks and then take her out completely if she's still struggling and you feel it won't improve.
Oh don't listen to them OP. PFB indeed! You should explore flexischooling. As you say she's not five yet so I wouldn't expect the school to be too hard on attendance. Calling in sick a couple of days a term isn't a bad thing.
You know your DD best and if you think it will help her then ask the school if its an option.
I wish I had done it for Ds last year and I hardly think losing a half day a week will destroy her future academic success!
Birdybears idea of Fridays off sounds great.
Do it if you feel it's the right thing. It won't make one iota of difference to her academic future and she doesn't legally need to be in school full time.
I volunteer in a year R class and the teacher doesn't care at all if parents decide their dc are too tired to come to school occasionally. She thinks it's a good idea for them to have the odd lie in/afternoon off. She's very sensible
I'd do it. My DS has an Autumn birthday so not possible for me (he's in Y1 now anyway)
That said, IME the Autumn term is the worst - everything is so new, and the term is so long - there is so much expected of them I think and it really takes its toll, throw in all the excitement about Christmas and it can all get fragile (and as I said, that is with an Autumn born).
The Spring term is much shorter and things might seem so much calmer now. Jan to Feb half term isn't long and then before you know it Easter is on it's way. I really think the worst is out of the way, but if you have a HT who is open to the idea then I can't see it would do any harm. My DS would love flexi schooling, he frankly couldn't give a stuff what he'd miss out on!
It sounds eminently sensible. My eldest had Fri afternoon off from 12 throughout the reception year, my middle son finished at 12 everyday for first term and three days a week for the second. It worked well for them. They did little of academic value in the afternoons and they got sufficient social interaction with the time in school they did have. Year 4 and 1 now and don't regret it!
How will one afternoon make a difference?
This next half a term is only five weeks, so maybe just keep sending her ft and by the thord or fourth week if you think she could do with a duvet day, just keep her off.
Thank for all those with helpful messages. I think I will go and speak to her teacher next week and then the HT. the reason I would rather have planned absence than react to extreme tiredness is that she could then possibly use tiredness to miss school if she didn't want to go in, and I would rather we all knew where we were at. Also, I want to avoid the tiredness, rather than react to it and hopefully have a better term. Thanks
My DCs had optional ½ days on Fridays for the autumn & spring terms and then had to be at school the full week in the summer term. Another local independent school had ½ days on Wednesdays
What time does she normally go to bed OP? My ds struggled in his first term at school and bringing bedtime forward helped massively. I also agree that the autumn term is the hardest.
Hope you find this term goes more smoothly.
I am genuinely amazed at the number of children who seem to be 'tired' after a normal school day - surely most children go to some sort of pre-school or nursery before starting full time education, it's not as if they are lounging around at home all day before starting school are they?
As Wire says, how is one afternoon going to make any difference - are you sure your DD is going to bed at the right time?
Sorry to be blunt, but you do sound very PFB about her; and would she want to be the child who is 'different' - who gets to go home every Wednesday lunch time? At age 4 children are hardly likely to be sitting in straight rows doing times tables etc all day are they, there is bound to be plenty of built in 'play' time.
And yet, ragwort, the fact is that they are! I'm sure you labour under the delusion that your stellar parenting was what gave your 4 yo their energy, but those of us on planet earth can see that reception is very different to nursery and that a majority of 4 yos are in fact wrecked after a school day, even if the odd few do fine.
You may be genuinely amazed. You may be blessed with children with boundless energy who sail through life and school. bully for you.
I am not trying to be pfb. She was falling asleep at school ffs. She goes to bed 6.45/7.
She went to preschool 3 days a week. This she was fine with. If I had a choice she would be going to school 4 days a week for the next term as I think she would cope with that,
I don't know what's supposed to be so bloody pfb about trying to stop your child being so tired they are tantrummy, falling asleep at school and beside themselves with tiredness.
And no, she can't goto bed earlier as I have 2 year twins to get to bed too and I get them to bed for 6.30/6.45 so I get 15 minutes on my own with dd to read her a story and put her to bed.
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.
lalouche - I would have loved to have a child with less energy - 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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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'.
No, I would not do this. Certainly your battles with the twins at bedtime shouldn't come into it.
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.
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.
I thought she mentioned the twins a few times?
I don't think they should be a factor tbh.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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
I have two summer-born DDs and remember the sheer exhaustion of the first term in Reception vividly. In our case, it was solved by a seriously early bed-time (earlier than the twins if necessary?). Also, the spring term is, as someone else said, MUCH shorter and less intense than the dog days of the Christmas term when everything is hyped up and confusing. You may find it sorts itself out.
Personally, I'd have the conversation about flexi-schooling, but hang on till half term and see how she gets on. Prioritise sleep, even if it means having story-time earlier in the day or something. You WILL get your lovely DD back, honestly, she hasn't gone for good!
I don't quite understand how an afternoon off school helps with tiredness unless they are going to sleep for that afternoon. I think you need to look at other solutions like bed time and what it's like when she gets home from school.
It would be unfortunate if she felt left out because everyone else was doing something fun at school and she was being taken home early when she'd rather stay. That doesn't necessarily make resting the wrong thing for her.
My seven year old is more tired than most kids her age. Sometimes she has to miss out on fun stuff in order to keep on an even keel. In the summertime the neighbour kids are out playing long after she is in bed. When we meet friends for swimming, we generally leave before the others; experience has taught me that stopping before the meltdown is best. I know she does mind mssing the fun, but that is life. She is happier overall for being well rested. After all, a chronically overtired child is missing out on fun too, in a different way: she's ratty with her friends and frustrated with her toys, and feels the whole world is against her.
This is a decision which a parent has to make based on what she knows of her own child.
LalaDipsey you need to speak to the head if you feel that one afternoon a week will make a difference and they may agree to mark your child as being educated off site.
I'm shocked by ExcuseTypos's post as all schools are subject to strict attendance requirements (98%) and regular absenses can bring down the full wrath of OFSTED so not something schools can encourage/condone in the present political climate.
Many schools did have staggered entry with reception children attending half days initially but this now has implications on funding as the law gives parents the right to full time education from the beginning of the school year the child will turn 5. It seems those parents who want their child in school early shout louder and the government listen (after all school is free childcare ).
When parents acquired the right to full time education from the September when the pupil is 4, they also acquired (for the first time) the right to defer to any point in the Reception year. So not just about getting 'em in full time early. More about parental choice (within yearR) about when to start, though starting full time is important to families where both parents work - after all, doesn't everyone want the new pupil beginning well? Not in a part-time pattern they won't have had before, won't have again and may require unfamiliar temporary childcare just when they are coping with a lot new at school too.
There is also a right to request part-time, but unlike deferring this can be refused.
Unfortunately that is no longer possible, mrz. Last year DfE decreed that the code for off-site education is not to be used where the school has agreed for a child to be educated at home by the parent part-time. In such a case the child must be marked absent (with leave, presumably). This does make it an unattractive proposition for schools, who are now between a rock and a hard place and may feel unable to condone time off even when they know it is what the child needs.
My dd only attended part time until she had to be in school.I wouldn't say the school were particularly happy, the HT gave me dire warnings how I was damagin
My dd only attended part time until she had to be in school.I wouldn't say the school were particularly happy, the HT gave me dire warnings how I was damaging her education, but I had the backing of the LEA (dd has a statement so part time attendance saved them money) so the school sucked it up.
I have no idea how her attendance or non attendance was marked, I assumed that she was marked on her attendance on the agreed days, if she was marked on full time attendance then her 50% (and initially less) attendance drew no action anyway
The warnings from the HT proved meaningless and based on the experience of another child as it was dd left EYFS more able than her peers.
Just out if interest, what time does your dd get to bed and if she is a good sleeper?
Children do get very tired at school, even in year 6 their performance and concentration trails off in the afternoon and by Friday afternoon they're very ready for 2 days off.
but Mr Gove thinks parents want 51 weeks until 6pm
LaLaDipsey - have you looked at your dd's diet to see of there are things you could do to boost her energy levels?
Maybe she needs more protein and complex carbs than she is currently getting? I don't know what she has for breakfast or lunch, but maybe you need to cut back on foods that give a quick burst of energy that goes as quickly as it arrives, letting her energy levels crash (might contribute to sleepiness in the afternoon).
Is she drinking enough water during the school day? I believe I've read that not drinking enough can cause energy levels to dip.
Of course, you might already be doing all this - in which case my apologies.
Hmm thought I'd posted this link already but it doesn't seem to have appeared. While schools do now count attendance for under 5s there is still no legal sanction for them to actually go every day and it appears that the reception, or at least the under 5s, are counted separately from the rest of the school figures.
You can do this until she starts year 1. I've taught Reception children who had Wed PM at home all year as that's what they do in some places abroad.
You should do it for these last 2 terms while you have the chance.
Legally your dc does not have to attend until the term she is 5, so you are perfectly entitled to keep your dd off school one / two / three etc afternoons a week until she reaches the statutory school age. The HT might not like it, but frankly, there is nothing he can do about it.
When my ds started school, the head of reception was clear that if a parent felt their dc needed to go part time until statutory schooling age, that was absolutely fine.
My end-of-Aug-born DD was very tired after school (still is now 8 years old). I would give her tea at 4pm and bath at 5pm and bed at 6pm. Instead she gets up early in the morning around 5:30 so we get to do things together like some games or reading before school.
It did not occur to me to take time off school and I would have been tempted. However my DD has loved the school and did not want to miss anything. It do miss her during the school terms but she is happy and learning, so..
I'm December born and I'm ready for bed by 6pm on school nights
I would talk to the teacher about it and try and see what she thinks. It may be that in school she is really happy and most of the time not too tired, and it is just when she is home that she is knackered and still getting into the swing of things.
It may be that next term she copes better, it might be worth waiting two or three weeks to see.
My DD came home at lunchtime on Wednesdays until Christmas as that was the 'norm' at her school (it was optional, some children stayed and did relaxed play), BUT that was firstly 17 years ago and secondly an independent school. It definitely helped her a lot though, she just came home and relaxed and restored her energy for the last two days of the week.
Speak to the school n do it. 1 afternoon may not be a lot but may make a hell of a difference to ur lo.
Ignore the other people, I'm sure if ur lo did feel left out or different to the others u would reassess the situation.
My LG is no where near school age but I think I would like her to do reception part time as I only work part n would like to do day trips n outgoings with her which are educational but too busy on a weekend. N also do child initated learning at home.
Also I as an adult I am a napper n find it odd we make children work/ go so long without a nap.
I am speaking as someone who sent my child to school part time for the whole of reception. It made zero negative impact on his education and on his social life and caused zero disruption according to 1) his teacher and 2) .
My son went part time three days a week until the term after he turned five (the summer term). He was able to do this with the agreement of the head because attendance statistics for those under five do not count towards the OFSTED required attendance statistics.
I was able to send him part time for the summer term also as it was the last year in which a child could be flexi-schooled and have it 1) marked as educated off site (so did not affect attendance statistics) and 2) it was mid term so did not affect funding. Again the head saw no problem with this, and nor did I. I wish that this were still in place, and regret the way flexi-schooling has been muscled out by the requirement that the child is now marked as absent.
It's true my son was not the only child to be exhausted at the end of a three or four day week. But that is not a reason to keep him in an exhausting system. If anything, it's a good reason to reform the system. I felt keeping him in school full time under these circumstances was counter productive. Also I wanted to spend time with him as I feel that four is ludicrously young to put a child into compulsory education. We didn't do school work on our days off; we just had fun, or had day trips or played or went to classes or hung around the house.
Your head might not mind if you point out that 1) you do not think that it is in your child's best interest to stay in school full time 2) you say you will send him full time the term after he turns five 3) offer to review the situation if the school feels he is 'falling behind' 4) point out it will not affect the school's attendance statistics and 5) say you will not advertise it in case they are worried lots of parents will want to do the same (in my experience, lots of parents won't as it is quite hard to be flexible with days if you are a working mother or father). Also 6) let the school choose the times that your son is absent (e.g. two afternoons a week rather than one school day, in case they do literacy and numeracy in the mornings).
I hope you get the outcome that you want.
That 2) in the first line, should have said 'me'!
Wow you really have been given a hard time by some.
Absolutely, reduce her hours until she is 5. They are a long time at school and missing an afternoon or a day is really not going to affect her social development - as some have strangely suggested.
The school setting is hugely different to nursery or pre school. There are completely different expectations of the children once they start school.
For me to have a formal rather than a flexible agreement with school means there would be less chance of your daughter thinking she can have a day off if she is tired once she goes up to Year 1. Although I think as long as it is explained to her that when she is 4 she doesn't have to be there everyday but once she is 5 she does have to be this shouldn't really be a problem.
I absolutely think you are right in your thinking about what is best for your daughter and I'm sorry you have been given such a hard time on here. I know I'd rather have a parent who was able to look at my individual needs rather than just fitting into the system.
Wow thanks for your replies.
Dd wakes between 7&8. I wake her at 8 on a school day if she's not up but leave her if it's not school. Occasionally she will sleep til 8.30 at a weekend but it is hard for her to lie-in once the twins are up & about. They tend to wake about 7 and I can keep them quiet for about half an hour.
After school she does nothing! She's really tired and just wants to go on the sofa under a blanket and have a snack and watch tv.
On a Wednesday afternoon it would just be quiet. Not school. I think the suggestions to see which times off school would suit best are good ones. I thought Wednesday as it's midweek and might re-charge her for the last two days but you're right - this could mean she misses something.
I see that this upcoming term is shorter and the last term was
seemingly unending long and hectic with Christmas. Seeing her now I wish this had occurred to me earlier. I'm going to try it rather than see how this term goes I think. As a couple have pointed out there's not too much longer I'll have the option to do that for and whilst she may manage this term better as it's shorted I'd still rather prevent than cure.
I think that sounds very sensible. Good luck - one would hope that school would be encouraged by a parent that actually wants to spend more time with their child!
Move to Scotland! I've always thought the English school hours are a bit sadistic. Here at aged 4 children attend school nursery for 2.5 hours per day(unless in private nursery). At age 5 school hours are 8.50am-2.40pm with half days on a Friday until age 7 when they are in until 3.15pm with half days on a Friday.
No way would ds have coped with full days at age 4, he was still napping most days! I've read lots of posts like yours complaining of exhausted reception age children, i personally think 4 is just too young for full time education and can't see any benefit to it (other than childcare for working parents).
In Scotland here too - both my DDs started school at 4 ...not 5 until Feb - and as I said before both were fine...
DD1 did go full time nursery from 3 months so it wasn't a big deal for her but I was a SAHM for DD2 -she went from 2.5hrs Nursery to school at from 4yr 6months...no problems (but like I said I wouldn't wake either of them in the morning!)
And DD1 had half days for the first month , DD2 for the first 2 weeks....
Most of them are knackered. It's a big change and a busy term with christmas and nativity plays etc.
I'd see how she goes for a few weeks with this term. It's generally calmer for them and they're used to it. Taking her out now for an afternoon will confuse her more when it stops.
Well sorry, I honestly think it's a really daft idea. Her classmates are going to notice this, and they're going to resent it - or at least think it's weird. That's obviously going to feed into the way they interact with her - what, I would imagine they will think, is so special about her that she gets to go home on Wednesday afternoons? As Martin Crane observed - children can be so kind... Of course we don't base every decision on what peer group pressure might be, but some consequences are so obvious and avoidable at the same time that it's silly not to take them into account. She's going to miss out.
When you go on holiday and she's eight, you're going to remember how nice it is having her around all day without the stress of school run. When she's 16, you'll miss the 12 year old who used to tell and ask you things. And so it goes on. Sometimes in parenting you have to accept you've moved on to the next stage, and embrace what's different about it and cope with what's difficult about it.
If you genuinely feel that the day is too long and she can't cope with school, I think you have to wait until she's older to send her. But an afternoon off for r&r is just going to annoy and irritate, and frankly it seems like unnecessary mollycoddling.
She doesn't do nothing at school. Reception isn't a laugh that a child can miss willy nilly. She's learning social skills, the school routine, forming relationships with her teacher and classmates, phonics, etc. not to mention she's learning that even if she's a bit tired some days or a bit bored, school is important.
I don't see how one afternoon can make a difference. If you honestly believe she's doing nothing at school then how will doing nothing at home change that?
Quick reply - at no point have I said she does nothing at school!! On the contrary I believe she is so tired because she is DOING. Learning, interacting, exploring, running etc etc. it's because she's doing school stuff that's she's tired!! And she's made 2-3 good friends who I very much doubt are going to dump her if she leaves early once a week! And if the others don't think it's fair I don't care. I care about my dd. as someone said earlier school is presented as a one fits all and it's not fitting dd quite right at the moment!
Did you see my questions/suggestions about her diet, LaLa?
Are you actually allowed to withdraw her? I assumed that you could delay until 5 but if she started before then then she would be treated the same as a 5 year old IYSWIM
I don't think the idea is unreasonable and I don't think you are being PFB.
I say that as a very laid back (parenting-wise) mother of five DCs.
Fact is, kids start formal schooling way too young. 4 years old is still a baby!
I did some work in a school for experience (I work with younger children in my main job). I was with reception and my job was to help the children who needed a bit more help.
I had a table full of kids who found it hard to stay awake during the day.
Poor little buggers. By 2pm they were incapable of doing anything other than staring into space.
Having said all that I don't think the school will buy it and I am not sure one afternoon a week is going to make that much difference to her.
Yes, sorry I forgot to reply to that. She eats a pretty good, balanced diet. Lots of fruit, veg, protein , pasta, yoghurts etc. there's not a lot I can do to make her diet better but I do wonder about whether she drinks enough at school - I have no idea . I know they have water bottles
as they come home on a Friday for me to clean - joy! but whether or not they're encouraged to drink I don't know.
Wrt are you allowed - I don't know. Partly why I posted. Loads of people seem to think it's ok before 5 so I'm hoping it is. If not I will just have to call her in sick from time to time but I would rather it was discussed and agreed.
The problem is that it could be socially damaging for your dd.
Other children will take not of who is treated differently and unfortunately not all children will react well and your dd could suffer from exclusion by others since she may be perceived as being different/weaker/favoured by teacher etc.
At 4? No way - they aren't 13! They would barely notice! Proof of the pudding being in the many cases on this very thread where this arrangement has worked well.
I think they often do tend to notice to be honest, certainly in my experience. You have to do what you think is right for your child and yes speak to the teachers and see what they think but at some point children just have to get used to it. Sounds harsh but as I see it she has done the worst term, the first one, the longest one, the hardest one for them to cope with and she is now a bit older so she may actually find it ok now.
I would also look at the possibility that the tantrums might be for other reasons. Quite a few children this age will have tantrums because they are trying to process things they have experienced at school, trying to deal with a child being nasty, trying to deal with not having many friends or being uncertain of something, trying to deal with being away from mummy, trying to deal with younger siblings getting time with mummy that they aren't and so on. It might not be just from tiredness and would need addressing in a different way, through talking to them, building confidence, reassurance etc.
They do notice.
A few years ago I had a child with global delay due to start in my reception class. The nursery teacher didn't think she could cope with full time school so reluctantly mum agreed to her remaining on nursery hours.
When we had carpet sessions the other children would tell her she was in the wrong room and needed to go to nursery. I'm not sure I ever convinced then she was part of the class.
oh that is sad Mrz - poor child must have really struggled to fit in.
She wasn't really aware so it didn't upset her but a child without her problems might find it difficult.
I'm not suggesting that will happen with the OPs child just answering the idea that 4 year olds won't notice.
They absolutely will notice. Whether you care or not is a different thing, but I think it would be silly to think they won't.
Hello lala! Hope all's well with you, I am certain that the school my children attend would be fully supportive of your plan and would expect that your dds teacher can see for herself the difference in your dd from Monday morning to Friday afternoon if she is getting so tired.
I think your idea sounds like a good one - you know her best and have already covered that she cannot do any less after school.
My dd has a January birthday and was utterly shattered, we were putting her to bed by 6.30 to get up at 7 with no Afterschool activities, it didn't last that long, by y1 she was fine and able to cope with Rainbows and swim lessons etc.
just give it a go and if it doesn't work resume full time.
really, socially it made ZERO difference, at least in our case. The kids actually didn't notice. Or if they did notice they never mentioned it. Or didn't care.
My son was not short of friends.
BTW: The teacher's reaction to my request was: "Why wouldn't a child benefit from spending more time with her mother at such a young age!"
She was a lovely teacher.
It didnt cause any issues for ds3 goign part tiem, he actualy ended up part time in year one as well due to ilness. He wa and still is inyr 4 a very popular boy, it certainly didnt affect him socially at all.
The school were fine about it.
I am on your side here O. P. Don't listen to those saying you are being PFB. I would take her out of school for as many afternoons as you feel necessary. I wish I had done that with my youngest DD. She was the youngest in her class and was exhausted at the end of every day. She really needed to only go part-time for at least 2 terms but I was told I would be doing her a disservice. I think that was rubbish. She is now in Year 6 and doing well but doesn't love school even although she has friends and likes her teacher. That first year was sooo hard for her it has coloured her view of school. Do what you think right and ignore all those saying you are being PFB.
My dd really struggles with tiredness in year R. She sometimes slept at school. My thoughts if your dd is like mine:
- 6.45/7 is too late for bed, my dd was going at 7 before school, we moved it to 5 or as early as we could get everything done and this made a big difference.
- A big sleep on Saturday afternoon helped a lot too.
- My dd loved being at school and would have been distraught at not doing what others did.
She is a summer born, she needs her sleep. She was regularly napping before she started school. I wish that she could have started at Easter alongside all the other summer borns. I know legally I could have started her at Easter but I wouldn't want her to follow a different path to her peers.
If you think you'll get a good reception go see the teachers. Otherwise just keep her off when she needs it. Being that tired is like being ill IMO.
She doesn't legally have to be there until September if she is July birthday.
I would do it, possibly for more than 1 half day if you can. I have 3 children, first wasn't tired starting school, 2nd was shattered and still is quite tired age 7, and 3rd hasn't been too bad. Children are different,do what suits yours.
As a teacher, I would say that being out of school one or two afternoons at that age will not affect her academically or socially at all. In fact if she is less tired she will learn more at school and find school social life easier too.
Just to clarify the legal position, under the Admissions Code (paragraph 2.16b) you can request that your child attends part time until she reaches compulsory school age. The wording in the Code is not clear as to whether or not the school can refuse but correspondence I have had with the DfE indicates that their intention is that the school must comply with your wishes.
We did 2 afternoons off with July born DS for 1st 2 terms of reception. Worked well for him. No problems with other children.
Why not take a chance and try it if she is so tired? Was same problem for my DS but much improved stamina now he is 5.
I have a summer born and am researching my options for him starting school when the time comes. There is a Facebook group which is full of very useful info as to your legal rights re flexible schooling, start dates etc - i's called Flexible School Admissions for Summer Borns if you want to search for it on FB. And I don't think you are being remotely PFB but are looking to get the best for your child within an imperfect system. good luck!
My child attended reception half days until Easter when he was 5. He wasn't coping with the long days. We slowly introduced afternoons and he was fine with that. Teachers felt he wasn't coping, and encouraged us to take him out. Some purists would say they should have insisted he stay and be unhappy. Why????. He was so happy with school as a result of shorter days, settled well in the classroom environment, and went in every morning cheerfully.
Friday afternoon is often golden time, so the best bit of the week, so perhaps Wednesday is a better afternoon to have off.
My daughter went fulltime at age, and although on the surface she coped, she was dreadful after school. Because she had no obvious difficulties with school I went with the herd...I wish I hadn't, she was so frazzled by it.
When I was that age, school was only until lunchtime. In Ireland Reception and Yr 1 children only stay until lunchtime. They aren't the worse educated for it in the longrun
Friend always took her daughter out for whole of Friday in reception till age/5 worked for them.
I would speak to them, no harm in asking.
My dd is much older and involved in an activity that includes many dc throughout the nation travelling during school time on a weekly basis. All these dc are allowed at least the afternoon off school.
It is up to the HT and all schools are different.
Tou know your dd best, I say go for it.
My DS is a May baby. When he started Reception, doing 8.30am-3.15pm, he would be absolutely shattered after school. He would just sit slumped watching TV until tea time (I don't think he ate too much school lunch which probably didn't help energy levels either). Have you checked how much being eaten? And I agree not enough water won't help... and I sometimes think schools don't actively encourage too much water... as this equals too many toilet visits.
School was a total shock. He'd previously been to nursery 4 mornings a week, but 5 full days is way different. We had to start doing everything earlier, tea at 4.45pm, bath at 5.45pm and in bed, lights out by 6.30pm. It worked fine for us. He's now 7 (longer school day 8.30-4pm) and still needs his sleep, he is in bed and lights out by 7.30pm. He does no clubs after school. He just wants to come home, do his homework and play. Autumn term is a long one, with huge excitement at the end. It's also dark in the mornings and dark in the evenings. By the end of last term DS was completely worn out and even though asleep just after 7.30pm each evening, I was having to wake at 7am to get ready for school. Children are all different, and I'd just do what you think is right. If I'd known back then what I know now, I'd have tried to send him to school a year later (he was only just out of nappies before 4th birthday!), or I'd have tried to plan a September birth!
Hi hilly great help thanks everyone. I've made an appointment to talk to her teacher tomorrow after school so will report back how the initial chat goes before going to the HT. It's so reassuring to hear others have done it and it has helped. I now only with I had thought of this back in October!
I also agree that I'd take her out sometimes. I flexi-schooled my daughter for years and not only did she not suffer academically but she actually improved. Most HTs won't know much about flexi-schooling though (mine hadn't even heard of it) so you'll have to make sure that they know the details (yes it is legal, no they don't need the LEA's permission, no they don't have to provide schoolwork etc.)
I'masecret: rules on flexi-schooling sadly changed. No longer marked as educated off site which means absences count against total attendance figures for school. This doesn't make it appealling to head-teachers. Also funding rules changed: local authorities can now (as far as I remember) fund a part-time place (which is how they would view flexi schooling) part-time. Again, not very appealling to head-teachers. So although flexi-schooling is a legal option, it feels as if it's more or less by name only.
Pulling kids out under the age of five is fine as doesn't have any impact on funding or statistics (which are not reported to LEA until child turns five i.e. legal school age.
I took my 5yo out for one afternoon a week to do forest school.
Sent letter informing heasy. He never replied and months later didn't care when approached.
I thought flexi rules guidance was withdrawn again. Home ed boards will know.
"I thought flexi rules guidance was withdrawn again." No, DfE initially said that flexischooling was no longer allowed, and later backpedalled to say that is allowed but must be coded as absent rather than educated off site.
As tepidcuppa says, this provides a major disincentive for schools to allow it.
Flexi-schooling CAN still be coded as educated offsite, provided that certain criteria are now met.
Really? The March 2013 clarification from the DfE says "schools should not mark a pupil as attending school, using the attendance code B for off-site education activity, unless the school is responsible for supervising the off-site education, and can ensure the safety and the welfare of the pupil off-site."
And when asked in June 2013 what the DfE's policy on flexi-schooling was, Liz Truss' entire statement in response was "Flexi-schooling is a combination of attendance at school and home education. Schools may enter into flexi-schooling arrangements provided they correctly mark children as absent in attendance registers when they are being educated at home."
That seems clear to me. If there is a way round it, I'd be interested to know.
Saracen, the key there is the word unless. That was the criteria I was referring to. My school continued to mark DD as Code B because they agreed to be responsible for supervising her education (I kept them up to date with what we did and we sometimes did school work anyway).
OK, glad it worked out for you Twiglet!
We did this with summer born (late June) DD - just asked the HT (she's always around the school gates in the morning), I said DD was really worn out and she said Friday afternoon was the most sensible time to miss, so DH would take her out every Friday at 12. Really no big deal at all - was only in her office 5 mins and all was sorted. DD was happy, heaps of friends, well on track with phonics etc and the transition was fine when she went back to FT at Easter.
DS is actually even younger in his year (late August) but is much more dependent on routine than DD was, and is due to a speech disorder quite behind in some ways and sometimes misbehaves - so I wouldn't do the same for him because it would I think do more harm than good. Whereas with DD I had none of those worries. So totally depends on the child IMO
Well, DD teacher was a bit surprised at first but once what I was asking sunk in she was on board. In fact, the more we spoke the more she came round and started saying things like 'yes, your dd is particularly tired and gets very emotional when she is tired' and 'she throws herself into everything which is contributing towards her being tired' and she ended up agreeing it made sense for her to have Wednesday afternoons off, increasing this to Friday afternoons too if necessary. I now have an appointment with the HT on Tuesday to ask him but today the teacher told me she'd had a quick word already and thought it would be ok. I hope so, dd has done Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at school this week (Tuesday off due to an ear infection) and she is really tired today.
Brilliant news OP, I know lots of flexi home schoolers and part time alternative educators, seems to work well. FWIW, my September born DD was so shattered her reception autumn term that she was in bed at 6:30pm and started wetting the bed for the first time in 2 years from sleeping so deeply, it is tiring!
Really OP? Imagine the chaos in the class if every parent did that?
I didn't know parents were allowed to pick and choose when their children went to school/
We have had problems with a US family who think it's OK to take their kids off for Thanksgiving Day or to go to the cinema - whatever next?
Perhaps I'll say that I won't be in class on a Monday morning as I'd like to do my shopping when the shops were quieter.
Have you read the whole thread Babymummy or are you just chipping in at the end? How old are your dc?
I'm replying to the original post but as often happens on MN by the time I get around to getting on here, the thread has probably grown out of all proportion and bears no resemblance to the actual headline that attracted me in the first place
Fantastic result, I bet that's a weight off your shoulders. I hope your dd soon picks up and you enjoy your free time together.
You sound perfectly reasonable to me...my son is in reception and a few summer born children in his class were going at lunchtime some days with the teachers blessing. Better to be at school 80 per cent and cope than being shattered....
Scottish pupils must be more hardy cos this sort of thing has never gone on in any school I've ever worked in.
Ds2 was very very tired at the end if term. We did nothing but sleep, ear and watch tv during the holidays.
EVERY Reception mum I have spoken to in the last 3 days said the same.
I think you are reading too much into it.
babymummy Scotland doesn't have YR so these issues aren't as relevant there. it is completely different system, so it would make perfect sense that it doesn't happen in your school.
I can sympathise re tired kids but the whole thing sounds like a logistical nightmare for teachers trying to remember which children attend on which days etc
Thta great op, my boys school was flexible like this as a well, it benefits the pupils and the school.
babymummyin Scotland parents have the advantage of being able to defer young school age children, meaning you dotn have may just four year olds starting school and a struggling with full time schooling.
Unfortunately the system in england is not as flexible amd we have no option to defer entry. Thankfully many schools recognize this can cause problems and are happy to work with parents, paerticlulary as many of these children are only four years old and as such dont legally have to be in full time education.
It benefits the children and the teachers, as having tired, grumpy children in class isn't a conductive learning experience for anyone.
Great news OP! I hope it has the desired result.
I see you've had some progress OP, but I just wanted to chip in and respond to all the nay-sayers.
This isn't molly-coddling, its called flexi-schooling and I know of several children just in our local area who have done this successfully whilst in the first years of primary.
I am considering approaching our school about the possibility of a day flexi schooled at home for my Precious Third Born who is 4 in May, has slight speech delay and seems too young for full time formal ed.
I can sympathise re tired kids but the whole thing sounds like a logistical nightmare for teachers trying to remember which children attend on which days etc
It's not. Teachers don't need to remember who's in and who's not! They only have to educate the child on the days they are at school. It's not their responsibility to keep the child up to date with what they miss and what the child does at home is up to the parent. None of my DD's teachers were inconvenienced by our flexi-schooling at all. People who know nothing about it automatically assume that it'll too difficult but it's easy for everyone when done properly.
I am glad you had a positive response from the teacher, Lala, and hope things go well with the head.
BabyMummy29, if OP was in Scotland, her DD would not even be in school; she would still be in nursery - so every day would be a half day!
That's great news Lala. She's only tiny and has years of school to go to. Enjoy your afternoons with her. Missing a bit of reception won't hurt a bit despite some what some over reacting posters said above.
Update - I met with the HT today and he was more than happy to agree for dd to finish at lunchtime on a Weds and Friday, to be reviewed just before Easter. I am thrilled and really think this is the right thing for her
Excellent news. Good for you.
So are parents responsible for teaching their kids what they miss on "flexi-schooling" days?
If teachers just teach children who turn up on whichever days they choose, then it would be hard to remember who learned what on each day.
So glad we don't have this carry-on in Scotland
Flexi schooling is an option. But needs to be discussed with the school, etc
Until 5th birthday part time is also an option, but again needs to be arranged with the individual school. It is normally from the start of the year, but it may well be an option even after starting ft I guess. You'd need to ask school.
However, pt at the school I work at, for those new starters til their fifth birthday is mornings only. There is no options to arrange so many full days, and just one half day for example.
Babymummy29 - she's 4! The teacher has confirmed she may miss some colouring, painting or Lego which they are more than ok about If she is ever likely to miss anything important they will let me know and we can change her half day on that occasion. To be honest with you if I, her teacher and the head teacher think it's the right thing for her you can stay smug up in Scotland that you don't have 'This carry on' except oh! You do cos yours don't start til 5!!!
Sorry for being "smug" LalaDipsey but I don't get your point. you don't have 'This carry on' except oh! You do cos yours don't start til 5!!!
What exactly does that mean - we do or don't have the "carry on"?
We don't have flexible schooling and children don't all start when they're 5 - the intake is from March 1st of one year till 28th February of the following so children can be anything from 4 and a half to 5 and a half.
I'm in Scotland - both my DDs are February so 4.5 when they started school ....both no problems being full time ...
Same age as your DD now Lala...but if the teacher and HT have agreed, nothing more to say ...
Actually one less pupil is probably no problem for the teacher - easier if anything- and probably the school will still get the same amount of funding so they aren't losing anything...
I would have seen how she got on this term rather than disrupt her routine and possibly confuse her for 3 short months ...when you have just her used to the idea for the last 4 months - unless this means she will be part time until next Sept?
actually flexi schooling is an.option in scotland as well. each request has to be looked at on an individual basis ans can be allowed at the discretion of the ht.
just because you havent come across it baby doesnt mean it doesnt happen in scotland.
i home educated my eldest two and then had a flexi school arrangement for a year before they started school full time aged 9 and 6. they did fine, it wasnt a problem and are now both doing well at high school. ds1 had a glowing report from parents eve tonight, in yr 10 and expected to get top grades, so not attendin
so not attending school.full time until age 9 clearly hasnt been a problem.
Fabulous news Lala! I am really glad everyone has agreed to this arrangement and you are happy with it.
It hasn't been heard of in any schools I've ever worked in.
Sorry - forgot to add -Probably because, as children don't start until they're at least 4 and a half, they are better able to cope with a full day of school.
Surely 'part-time schooling' is a more appropriate term than 'flexi-schooling', if the whole point is that the child is too tired to be educated, though? Unless we're doing the whole 'go for it, OP, she will learn more in one afternoon on the sofa than in a whole term at school' thing.
Hi, well for example this afternoon she did some rest, watched some tv, did some playing, ate some food, did some phonics and some spellings but she is no way as tired as she would normally be on a Wednesday. So far, so good.
I'm a bit late to this thread, but this is what I did with dd. Her birthday is 30 August.
I just turned up every day at 12 when she was in reception and took her home. The end. The teacher said it was quite all right and although there were some mutterings from the head I carried on all year.
I would have preferred not to send her at all but it is an oversubscribed primary school and I had to bag her a place.
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