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Ds starting school part time after Christmas - nervous but ready! I think! Both me and him!!(8 Posts)
Some of you will remember my agonising over when to start ds at school. He is a summer-born and we looked into starting him in the year below or going in after Christmas or Easter.
After seeing the educational psychologist (who works with looked after children) and talking to an attachment specialist, plus my thinking and researching about this a lot we have decided what to do!
My dh and I have decided that in our situation it feels right for ds to go to big school, reception year, after Christmas, part-time (very much on a if I do not feel like taking him I won't!) basis.
He is under 5 so does not need to be there at all but we feel he is ready and it would benefit him as one of his needs is to make friends.
So he will be attending about half of reception year, nothing for first term (except a couple of taster mornings next month) part-time (half-time) for second term and full-time (with more of the if I do not feel like taking him I won't!) for the third term.
In terms of keeping him home it will depend how he is coping, if he is tired etc.
I have found this all very hard and stressful.
I am someone who hates formal education and especially for young kids (please, no offence to teachers at all, I just do like formal education or going to school too early!).
I realised part of my situation was grieving that this being at home stage was coming to an end. I;d had 4 plus years with dd before school (although I worked part-time and she was in nursery part-time, and only 6 or so months with ds; it will be over 8 by the time he actually goes.
I was very tearful for a day or so, and at times I was conflicted what was right! I do feel it 100% (as much as any decision can be 100%) right to have kept him home for first term but I do now feel a real sense of peace about him going to big school.
I am not really posting for advice on my/our decision, as I do feel dh and I have made it now, and are talking to ds about big school. He seems fine, has settled well at home and will have his big sis at the school.
However, I just felt I wanted to share what was right for us.
I would also welcome any comments on how to get him 'ready' for school. He already attends preschool, which is a session of three hours about three times a week. He is managing that well, enjoys it quite a lot but is still anxious about my being late to collect him/not collecting him etc. I have been late (7 minutes) once!
As you can tell, this is what we feel is right for us and I would totally support others who sent their summer-born children earlier if they felt it was right, ditto for later and for adopted or birth children.
It has been a strain and knowing what is happening and planned seems right for us all now.
Thank you for your support in the past on this.
You know your ds and you know what is best for him. It sounds like you have really thought this through. It will be lovely for him to meet friends and get involved in all the lovely play activities they do in reception.
I don't feel like we did anything in particular to get LO ready for school. We talked about it a lot and we also had a little visit to the school where the head teacher gave us a little tour.
You may be doing this already, but doing some phonics work with your ds might be helpful. Our LO (in reception) has already completed the alphabet and is forming words. I know when you said getting him 'ready' you probably meant more emotionally than academically but thought I would throw it in there.
I have a summer born (mid July), he is very slow at picking things up, is very quick to announce to his teacher (and me at home) that he just CAN'T DO IT and stamp his feet in a very toddler style way that my September born just wouldn't have done when he started Reception. It's taken a while but slowly and surely he is getting there and is starting to blend words and get himself changed for PE etc.
He has always been fine when it comes to getting along with the other children, playing, joining in, singing or doing creative activities.
My only concern would be a stop/start approach to things, if he likes routines and is concerned when he doesn't know what to expect.
I was adopted but don't think I can comment on my experiences as they are in the dim and distant past!
I can only speak with experience of settling DS at nursery and school and every child is different.
I agree with Wild about routines, certainly DS wouldn't at that age have liked the "we go unless I don't want to" approach he always wanted to know exactly what the plans were. So I would decide exactly what part-time means - every morning, every other day for a full day etc and tell him thats whats happening so he is clear. Obviously I'm not saying if he isn't coping that you can't change things but I would have a fixed plan in place.
And as you have already discovered - don't ever be late! DS was a gibbering wreck if I was ever late. He wouldn't even be anxiously looking for me if I wasn't late.
On the other hand there is nothing quite like watching their face light up when they spot you, is there?
My youngest is a Summer born and started school this week as you know. They are only going part-time and I sent him to school because he wanted to go. I have only had my boys home for 2 months. He also will only go to school if he wants to. But every morning this week he has got up and asked to go to school. He asked me today if he can stay for lunch next week. I will talk to his teacher and see if he is ready.
The school has also agreed that if he behind at the end of this year they will allow him to do another year in Reception. I don't know if I will use that though.
To get him ready I visited the school a number of times. I also borrowed some books for their library etc so we needed to take them back to the school. We also did painting, play dough, threading activities etc. Things that are structured and give him a sense of achievement and he knows he can do when at school. We read a lot of books and showed him different parts of the books and how to read it properly eg. the pages turn to the left, the front cover...
I will agree with KEW - On Wednesday there was nothing like watching their face light up when they saw me and on Friday I had my oldest run up and hugged me.
The perfume thing as they leave has become a tradition and I watched on Friday as my youngest smelt his sleeve as I walked out of the classroom.
What has been just as important is when we get home the re connection activities we have done. Wednesday- shaving cream, Thursday - they painted my finger nails and yesterday we played hide and seek. But our hide and seek s kisses and cuddles when you find the person hiding.
Sorry for the long post...
Blossom, please do not say sorry for your long post, it is wonderful! Truly lovely.
Lots of ideas here and I will consider those things, very helpful.
Jameme, yes, he can go to the toilet himself, recognise his name or a label, knows his belongings and cam dress himself and put on his shoes. The areas he struggles with are being around other kids and taking his turn. He can get frustrated and did used to say, often, he could not do things! But he seems a lot better now at persevering!
Thanks excitedmtb he does know the school building quite well as DD (10) is at the school and I still walk her to school and pick her up on most days (she goes in with someone else when ds is at preschool) so about 7 times a week he is in the future school building, walking past his future classroom.
TheWildRumpyPumpus and Kewsorry that was badly worded when I said ...very much on a if I do not feel like taking him I won't!. What I should have said is that if I feel he needs a break and cannot cope then I would not have a problem with keeping him home. I would not want him making that decision as he may find it all too easy to say he may not want to go! And he may get into the idea he can decide when to go in or not. At the moment he often says he is very pleased he is not going to preschool (on the days he does not go), but once there he seems to like it.
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