AIBU about first day of school?(25 Posts)
Back story: BIL is getting married abroad at the end of August. We don't have passports etc as a family so in order to attend we were looking at upwards of £1500 expenditure without including spending anything while there, this is simply beyond what we can afford. After much deliberation we decided to decline invitation, at which point PIL have very kindly offered to pay for our flights and upgrade their accommodation to include us as MIL really wants us all to be there in particular. We are very grateful for this of course.
Have spoken to MIL today. She has booked flights to return late night at the end of the first week in September. It occurred to us both during the conversation that this might coincide with the start of the new school year which has thus far never been an issue but DS is due to start school this September. Places have not been allocated yet and there are no term dates available for next school year, so this is all hypothetical and therefore I'm probably being totally PFB and worrying over something that may not even be an issue BUT I have told MIL that I am concerned that DS could potentially miss his first ever day of school.
I tried to put it across as diplomatically as possible - i.e. We are extremely grateful that you have paid our way, however if there is a clash I will have to attempt to rebook tickets for an earlier date and failing that might have to bow out altogether. (She hasn't insured tickets so it will be difficult to change dates. I don't expect her to foot the bill, I would be happy to save between now and then to cover the cost and have told her this)...
She thinks I'm being unreasonable and that it's fine for him to miss a couple of days. But these aren't a standard couple of school days. I'm also doubly confused at how blasé she's being since when her other grandchild started school last year she took a day off work and drove for an hour to greet them out of school and take photos.
I know at age 4 they're going to be doing a bit of colouring in and changing best friend every five minutes for the first week of school but I do think it's a vital settling in period that I don't want him to bypass. He struggled with starting nursery and is naturally very highly strung (to put it kindly). She also thinks it would be fine for him to arrive at the airport at 10 at night then travel 4 hours home to start school the next day...
So, AIBU and too precious or should I stick to my guns? (I do realise I'm probably overreacting anyway since the whole situation is hypothetical until April )
stick to your guns. First day of school is so huge to such small people!
Bless you. Missing the first few days of reception will not be a problem, would be surprised if he was the only 1! Don't go to the wedding if you don't want to but do not worry about school attendance at such a young age.
1. You must be able to find out the day term starts. These things are planned way ahead. If a state school terms should be published just google xshire term dates 2027/18.
If a private school call and ask.
2. No way would I miss the first day of my eldest child's school unless totally unavoidable - not pub at all.
Don't worry. He'll still have his first day of school, just a different first day than the other kids. No biggie.
Look at the local authority website which publishes it's term dates 2 years in advance...then ring the school and check when reception start. Quite a few schools do home visits for the first few days so the first day of school for reception children is a few days later. A day won't matter but it is better to be there for the settling in bit as the staff spend more time on the procedures and routines during the first week so I wouldn't miss the whole week.
No way would I miss the first day of school, DD struggled to settle in & starting later than her peers would have made it worse. There's a difference between missing a few days of reception to missing the FIRST few days.
His first day of school will be his first day even if it is not everyone else's. Some schools have staggered entry for YR anyway. The LEA should already be able to supply term dates for next academic year.
Some schools have a graduated start for reception - every few days (or weeks) different kids start - it gives the teachers time to focus on the new ones. I'm not suggesting your DS's school will have this but more that it really doesn't matter if they miss the official "first day" (it might even be beneficial). They won't have "missed out" on anything and most kids in reception don't make proper friendships the first few days/weeks. Your child's special "first day" will be the first day they go to school it doesn't need to be the first day of term.
Sometimes reception start later than the other year groups so you might be okay with the dates, any chance you could check with parents at the schools you've applied for (local fb group etc?), where my kids go they get all the other years settled back and only then they bring in the reception, and it's a really slow staggered start for them too - some years they've been faffing around with half days until almost October
I wouldn't worry too much about him missing the first few days. I wouldn't take him for an early start after such a late flight though. If school has started maybe take him in the afternoon when you get back so he has a short day to start.
It would have been a major issue if my dd missed her first day. They have them all attending full days within a week. Not all schools do a slow start.
So you're looking at him missing a week at most if you go?
My ds starts reception in September.
I would go to the wedding.
It's an event that (hopefully) won't be repeated.
The first week is staggered here too.
Your ds won't know everyone is starting school a few days earlier.
He won't be missing anything other than introductions and routine.
I don't even remember my 2 other ds's first days at school
bad mum but more importantly-neither do they.
I wouldn't worry-most schools do a ridiculous 3 hours in the morning /or afternoon for a few weeks depending where you are but my ds didn't settle until the 4th week when the whole class was in for whole days. If you can miss a bit of the staggered start you would be doing your dc a favour imo!
My sons school started reception kids on the first Monday in sept with all the other school kids. 8.45-1 for 4 days then 8.45-3 on the Friday. I'd actually have been annoyed at him missing these first days as it's when they did introduction and touring round school stuff.
If it's a possibility to change flights do it as soon as possible but be prepared to foot the cost. Even though you should have been asked about dates before they were booked 🤔
It may well work out better for your DC to start a couple of days later, there are often lots of parents in the cloakroom and children crying and hanging off parents on the first few days. When he starts hopefully those children will be settled and as he has been to nursery will be familiar with what is expected compared to those who haven't.
Enjoy the wedding and holiday.
My school does staggered entry for the new starters anyway, a few children every other day for a week or two. You need to find out the arrangements for your school before making any decisions. In the situation you have described I wouldn't mind missing the first day/few days, it's not like it's a flakey reason. I am a school early years teacher too!
He really won't miss much. Seriously they usually start on a Thursday and get picked up at lunch.
Tbh it's all a non event half the time.
Go to the wedding.
There will be an induction day before the summer holidays where he will get to meet the teacher and learn where the loos are.
as above, check with the schools you have applied for.
All my local (state) schools have different set-ups. One of them delays the first day by nearly 2 weeks, and that time is used for teachers home visits.
My son started school in September and I was so excited but the first week was a total waste of time. An hour here and there in the middle of the day. Different groups of kids in at different times. My son didnt know if he was coming or going and had no clue who was in his class until the second week when they started doing the normal school day. So with hindsight I definitely wouldnt mind missing the official first "day".
Reception is the time to miss school if needed. Don't worry about it. My daughter had an eye infection and missed her first two days! It was a bummer but didn't matter after she officially started. Would have much rather been on a trip!
I wouldn't cancel or change anything until you have checked with the school what they do for reception. Our started a week later than the rest of the school and had a staggered start. So half each class Mon Tues, half weds Thurs and all Friday. So you would be back and rested from your holiday. Would be a shame to change at great expense only to find you didn't need to
It may not be an.issue. our school does phased entry so some didn't actually start till the third week of term. When you have a place find out what they do.
Go the wedding. Phased starts at school mean they are in for odd hours here and there, a morning here, an afternoon there, he won't miss anything. I think you will regret it if you don't go to the wedding.
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