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Help. DD has a visit to her 'big' school tomorrow.

(18 Posts)
kindlekid Sun 26-Jun-11 19:50:12

(posted this in Parenting before I realised there is a Primary school topic)

I didn't tell her yet as she is so negative about starting school that I didn't want to give her time to worry about it.

It's just for an hour to meet her new teacher and classmates.

She was in school for an enrollment day a couple of months ago and it was a disaster.

It was chaotic and noisy and it really upset her. I have spoken to the teacher and she said tomorrow will be a lot calmer but with 30 in the class I doubt it will be!

Any advice on how to deal with it?

I am going to do my best to be upbeat and positive about it but also to be sympathetic to her worries.

<gulp. I am really worried. How will I manage to be an oasis of calm?>

Rosebud05 Sun 26-Jun-11 20:03:18

I'm concerned about this too. The new starters meeting at my dd's new school is this week and I took her in myself a couple of weeks ago because I know that's exactly what it will be like.

It was nice and sunny the day we went so most of the kids were outside, though I'm worried that when it gets cooler the noise inside is going to be a problem for her.

Runoutofideas Sun 26-Jun-11 20:41:18

My dd2 took a whole year before she would go into pre-school without crying - she has her first story session at school on Weds. I'm dreading it - I think she'll scream the whole way through! Who knows, maybe she'll surprise me......

kindlekid Sun 26-Jun-11 20:43:21

It's worrying isn't it Rosebud? How does your dd feel about starting?

I feel like tomorrow will set the tone for how she feels about starting and if it doesn't go well she will worry all summer. She tends to be a worrier anyway.

She really hated the first time but the current class were in their room, then all the new starters were dropping in a for a look, there were parents everywhere and older children helping out. It was really badly managed.

Catz Sun 26-Jun-11 20:47:36

Are you sure that there will be 30 in together? For DDs the are splitting them into 2 (or maybe 3) groups for the settling in sessions.

kindlekid Sun 26-Jun-11 20:48:13

Sorry runoutofideas I cross posted with you.
My dd wasn't keen on pre-school at the start but she settled in well. Part of the problem is that she loves her pre-school so much she doesn't want to leave.

She is one of the oldest starting school too so I think there will be expectation on her to be more able for it.

You could be right - a story session sounds lovely. She might surprise you. Fingers crossed.

kindlekid Sun 26-Jun-11 20:49:38

The full class with be together tomorrow. I spoke to the teacher about it last week. I'm really dreading it.

What will I do if she panics like last time and tries to run out?

Adair Sun 26-Jun-11 20:57:53

I suggest you hold her - hand or shoulders or even carry her (I know she's 4) and then engage her in something as soon as you go inn so 'oooh dd, look there's the writing area, shall i write you a letter?' (or whatever you think will catch her attention)and take her straight there. Then when she is engaged, talk about the other children, say hello on her behalf - model it, introduce her to the teacher and other children.

You could ask her beforehand if there's something she wants to look for (the pegs to hang coats up or the toilets or if there is a water area). Then remind her when you are in that you need to look for xxx and let her lead. This would give her a focus.

If she panics and tries to run out, I'd pick her up and say sympathetically 'it's a bit noisy, isn't it? shall we look for the pegs/toilets etc?' and take her out to calm down. Then go back in to 'see what pictures are on the wall'...

Sorry a bit convoluted but hope you get the drift...

whomovedmychocolate Sun 26-Jun-11 21:05:52

My DD loathed preschool to start with but is incredibly excited about her big school visit. You'll be surprised.

sleepwouldbenice Sun 26-Jun-11 21:23:32

I know its late for tomorrow, but one thing that really helped my DD1 turn around about school was going along with friends for a couple of pick ups at school . it wasnt even her school to be. She was in tears in the car going there but once her friend had given her a quick tour of the hall , his class room and some modelling he had done it really made her realise that schools weren't some big scary place.

Could you maybe pop along a few times and watch kids come out after school?

Any other events she could do, like go to the school fair?

She also bumped into her reception teacher out of school who made a big fuss of her which was great? again if you are at the school gate she could see her more?

Kayteee Sun 26-Jun-11 23:47:12

If she really hates it, you feel uncomfortable about it and your gut tells you that she's not ready for it you can always choose to home educate. Even if it's just until you both feel she's ready. You have that a legal option and it's not uncommon these days.

Follow your 'Mum' instincts smile

mummytime Mon 27-Jun-11 05:13:48

Katyeee that is a bit of a high risk strategy. If you did it around here you might find yourself searching for school places, as your place would have gone to someone on the waiting list.

Don't panic about the chaos of the last visit. I expect today will be much calmer, Reception teachers are amazing for the way they bring calm out of chaos. I would try to make sure she is doing an activity close to the teacher or another adult (any TAs in the class?). Also do get her to be with any other children she knows. I would also suggest you leave asap, and it is not unusual to find other parents being anxious/crying outside school. I was there with my PFB, and in turn have reassured parents whose PFBs started with my 2nd and 3rd children.

I really hope today goes well.

Runoutofideas Mon 27-Jun-11 07:55:56

Do you stay with them the whole time? Our is a "drop them at the classroom and go for a cup of tea in the hall" arrangement. I'm sure I'll be able to hear dd yelling from there! She's still only 3 (Aug birthday) but at least she is familiar with school as dd1 is there already. Fingers crossed. Hope your day goes well.

kindlekid Mon 27-Jun-11 12:07:53

Hi everyone, it's over now and went better than I expected.

She was extremely nervous. We went in early so we were first in the classroom and she got to say hello to the teacher and TA when there was no one else around. At first she wouldn't look up and stayed right beside me. I didn't push her to do anything for a while - just gave her time to settle and take in her surroundings. After a while we moved around together looking at different things and eventually she felt confident enough to play at the sandbox.

Then the teacher took them out to the playground while we stayed inside. She was ok with this but I noticed that other kids were pushing her out of the way in the queue for the slide and she isn't able to stand her ground. I'm sure that will come in time.

Back inside with the teacher then while we were out in the hallway.

She left feeling much more positive about school. I think I will be able to relax and enjoy the summer now.

Thanks for all the advice and support.

Adair Mon 27-Jun-11 12:17:00

Hurrah! Well done - your calm positivity must have rubbed off.

Runoutofideas Mon 27-Jun-11 12:42:11

Great - glad it went so well.

mummytime Mon 27-Jun-11 13:56:45

Congratulations!

Maybe you need to spend a lot of the summer at the playground?

kindlekid Mon 27-Jun-11 14:08:44

Thanks!

I'm planning to get out and about a lot this summer.

DD is like me. We are both home birds who, given the choice, would spend all day in our pjs pottering about at home and I know this isn't great for her. She needs to spend more time in the the company of children her own age and get used to the rough and tumble.

Luckily we have dd2 who is a lot more outgoing and full of energy so she will make sure we are kept busy.

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