parent year 7 wobble - join in here

(58 Posts)
minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 14:36:10

Anyone else having a mega wobble about Yr7? I can't believe how stressed I feel. Watching DS set off for school all trussed up in his tie (which he hates) and absolutely bent double by the massive weight of books he has to lug around because there isn't actually time for him to get to his locker between lessons.

I thought he'd be excited by his new school but he's just very subdued. It's heart breaking. Today I had a fantasy about homeschooling him, but sadly that can't work for us, as I am sole breadwinner, since DH was made redundant and hasn't found work for over 5 years.

Sorry to offload but I can't believe how emotional I feel. Found a picture of him in the sunshine on a mini dipper at the fair when he was small and got a lump in my throat.

Is anyone else feeling the same? Or has anyone felt this and can now report that all is well?

My DD had a mini wobble the 2nd day of year 7 when her younger siblings were all due to go back to their lovely, smaller, familiar, nurturing primary school five minutes away.
She was a bit moody this weekend, but went off happily enough today.
It's a big change for everyone and I think it's going to take us all a few weeks to get used to it.

Unexpected Mon 09-Sep-13 14:51:59

What books is he lugging? I thought textbooks were almost unknown these days in secondary? Both my dc only have pencil cases and workbooks, plus an academic year planner. If he has loads of books, could he visit his locker at break and lunch to take what he needs for the next part of the day.

I'm sure much of both your feelings are to do with the big change between primary and secondary. Don't let him know how you feel because that will only validate his feelings that he doesn't like school. It's very early days and I bet in just a few weeks it will be as if he has always been at this school. Let him settle in and encourage him to join some extra-curricular activities.

Kamer Mon 09-Sep-13 14:56:57

My DS started yr 7 last week very excited and a bit nervous, by day 3 he was saying high school is boring and hard work and he doesn't want to go! He is a bright, reasonably high achieving boy, and they have had virtually no homework as yet, so goodness knows what he will be like when that kicks in. He isn't unhappy as such, just a bit disillusioned. I am hoping he settles down and starts to be a bit more positive, hoping this for your DS also.

minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 15:15:04

Thanks for your replies. They do seem to have text books, and files and folders and work books and exercise books and planners and homework diaries and masses of stationery. They were also told to bring in dictionaries for French and English and a book from home to read in tutor time (whatever that is.) His backpack weighs a ton.

Unexpected - that is really good advice about keeping quiet about my feelings in case they reinforce his. I will. Thanks for the reminder.

Really hope he settles in and starts to enjoy it soon.

Unexpected Mon 09-Sep-13 15:31:56

That does sound like a lot. Again, I think once they settle in a lot of the lugging back and forth will stop. DS1 has a huge music folder but I don't see it for months. It "lives" in his locker and only bits of it come home for homework. I think once a few weeks have passed the dictionaries will mostly stay at school as well. At home, he can use the pc to check word meaning.

minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 15:54:44

True. I suggested he left more stuff at school or in his locker but he's terrified of losing or forgetting something and being told off about it.

ISingSoprano Mon 09-Sep-13 17:30:40

My children are now 18 and 15 but neither of them found year 7 an easy or happy year. Firstly, I think there is quite a lot of hype about moving up to secondary school and frankly it's a bit of an anticlimax when they finally get there. Secondly, the whole culture of secondary schools is quite different to primaries and that takes a bit of getting used to - it's a lot of change to handle. Thirdly, they may well have CAT tests and reading tests in the first few weeks. Also, friendship groups can change a LOT in year 7 - they meet lots of new people and are trying to work out who they are and where they fit in.

My advice would be as unexpected says and try not to fret about it to him. Cook some of his favourite meals, and try and do some fun stuff that he enjoys at weekends.

Takingthemickey Mon 09-Sep-13 22:10:47

Mine is having a wobbly too. One minute happy and the other overwhelmed. Am surprised at how emotional it is for me. I am sure it will all even out. We have him a phone yesterday and I was very happy to see him texting new friends.

Swanhilda Mon 09-Sep-13 22:22:14

My twins have been happy all last week, but today dd had a major hissy fit over her homework at 5.30pm. Tiredness no doubt and fear of getting things wrong. I still waiting for ds2 to explode but I don't doubt he will follow at some point. And they are at different secondaries shock It is the travelling and the admin I think that takes it out of them.
But ds2 is enjoying the actual education!!! So far.

Swanhilda Mon 09-Sep-13 22:26:33

Whenever I have a wobble I remember how exciting I found my first year of Secondary - the new friends I made, the lessons I still remember to this day, 38 years later...being asked to guess what an "osier" was has stuck with me...My drawing of an earthworm I had to iron as the paper was so crumpled, my Halloween costume that year (I was a peacock confused I'm hoping the children are going through the same variety of new experiences. 11 is quite a nice age really - no teen strops, no gang life, no spots. Still interested in making real friends not just being cool.

minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 23:07:51

It's nice to have lots of responses that sound familiar.

Takingthemickey I'm really shocked by how emotional I feel too. Not normally over emotional but I keep getting a lump in my throat and when I went to pick him up from the station today I could feel my eyes prickling.
Swanhilda same here: enjoying the actuak eductaion, just less sure of all that goes with it.

We spent all evening unpacking his bag (which weighed two stone - he weighed it on the scales!) and putting all his different subjects into different folders so he won't be lugging the entire lot to school each day. But by the time he'd finished homework it was nearly nine o'clock, and that was with me on sticky back plastic duty - he was just doing the real homework. Can't keep it up at this pace. He has to be up at 6.30 each morning.

I'm sure it will all settle down, but when? Do they get to have fun ever again? wink

minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 23:08:33

that should be actual education not actuak eductaion!

waltzingparrot Tue 10-Sep-13 00:02:23

I was feeling like you this time last year. My DS had loved primary school but clearly wasn't loving secondary. Nothing major though, just like you are finding, mine was a bit subdued, a bit flat. And in all honestly, secondary school didn't really click till the summer term!! That settled in feeling just takes longer for some than others. I have a very happy and confident year 8 student on my hands now though.

bizzey Tue 10-Sep-13 00:33:13

minidipper I wrote a post earlier for you and lost it as we went off line or something....but it does get better .

I was in the same situation as you last year and just did not know how we were going to survive it.

But I remembered some words of advice my mum gave me when I had ds 12 years ago (and she normally doesn't do "good" advice" !)

"Give it 6 weeks and you will be over the worst"

It gave me something to focus on and not think it would be neverending and it worked (nice routine sorted by 4 weeks!)
So I applied the same thought to ds's first few weeks at school....

We gave our selves to 1/2 term to get into a good regular routine and see how it goes.....by week 4 we could see a pattern in our week that was working (and what was not!)

I was honest with ds and said it was all new to me as well so we were doing it together...and it was a learning curve and I would not know all the answers all the time of what to do ,but we would do/work things out it together.

For us that worked ...

Bags ...yep they can get heavy ...nothing you can do about it apart from get good rucksack (and not huff and puff and make silly noises when you personally pick it up and hand it to him!)

Ds has happily gone back into yr 8 this year and him and his younger brother are experts at covering books in that sticky back plastic stuff.....so good in fact ..I have decided to resign !!!! grin

Hope it all goes well

minidipper Tue 10-Sep-13 08:13:01

Thanks so much. Today was better. He didn't have to be peeled out of bed moaning. And because we'd done all that work yesterday his bag was far lighter, which he was very happy about, and we made the station with 10 minutes to spare, so it felt like progress.

I like the idea of giving it until half term. That's time, as you say, to find out what works and what doesn't.

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 10-Sep-13 08:25:05

Maybe also set him small, managable goals? Like "try and get to your locker at lunch time". And when he's worked out how to time that, he could start removing stuff he doesn't need at that point ... and eventually do that at break (which is shorter) and lunch.

In other words, break big, overwhelming things into baby steps that will help him get into a routine. I can really understand the feeling of being terrified of forgetting things, given the prospect of dire things happening if he isn't equipped. But he does need to start learning how to organise himself or he'll wear himself out and that won't help his frame of mind.

And presumably you are looking with him at what subjects he has the next day, so he doesn't take everything with him every day?

Swanhilda Tue 10-Sep-13 09:44:26

I so identify with the feeling that all evening is just spent doing school stuff and then in the morning it starts all over again, relentlessly sad We had a 9pm homeworker here too.

Ds1 is in Year 9 now, and I noticed how much free time he had by the summer term, so something must have happened confused - either the homework got easier or we were trying too hard at the beginning, or 3rd explanation, we got better at doing everything!!

Swanhilda Tue 10-Sep-13 09:47:27

I mean by summer term of year 7. Ds1 came down with a stress related viral sore throat by week 5 of first term, and I can remember just thinking, thank goodness we don't have to get him off to school this morning and have the afternoon spent dealing with homework stress. We were so desperate for a break by then. But now it isn't like that at all, every day at school seems perfectly manageable. I'm even noticing how much less stressed I am by the twins going to Secondary so it must be a maternal pyschological reaction as much as their own experiences

Imolotmar41 Tue 10-Sep-13 11:25:13

Minidipper so glad you started this thread - just what I needed after my dd had tears at bedtime - she had mentioned over the weekend that she felt sad . Even though she loved the school on the open day, enrolment day and the induction day it's still been a massive shock actually going there every day. Last night she said she feels sad all the time and just wants to 'feel herself' again ... I gave her loads of cuddles and reassured her that it will getter better, to make it worse her youngest sister is starting school with her other sister next week and I think she misses the 'cosiness' of her old primary school.
Thanks for all the tips - I will keep reassuring her, cooking her fav dinners and spoiling her a bit till it gets easier ...

IslaValargeone Tue 10-Sep-13 11:27:51

We had tears last night.
I think she's doing really well as she has been home edded, but she is not finding it easy.

Tiggles Tue 10-Sep-13 12:39:23

Mine is ok in the main, but they were given a music homework to learn 'a' song to sing to the class/music teacher tomorrow. What a palaver! It took until last night before he decided on a song in case he got laughed at about his choice. He has Aspergers so panics about things anyway, but this has been horrendous. They were told to take music on a CD but we only have it on memory stick... (hopefully he has remembered to ask today if that's ok).

Most of DS's rucksack weight is down to sports kit, as he seems to have joined every sports training session possible! I don't know how long that will last, but he loves sport and would do it every day if he could.
He just looks so very small under his huge bagsad.

nicky2512 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:48:12

Feeling the same here. DD is a new year 8 (we are in Northern Ireland so that is her first year at grammar school). She seems to be coping fine but I worry a lot. We did the separate folder for each subject too but her bag still weighs a ton and she is tiny. What I have realised is that she is much more capable than I thought and she has managed to sort a few small dramas out for herself! We will be fine!

mumslife Tue 10-Sep-13 21:45:22

Little miss green can identify with you my son has aspergers too managing very well considering he had a little s++t bullying him from his primary. Still we seem to be up one minute and down ansd stressing the next sigh. Fortunately bullying seems to have been rapidly sorted out phew

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