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How long do you leave it before re-thinking (reception)?

(12 Posts)
hellymelly Sat 10-Sep-11 23:22:52

just read the thread about the first week at school,and feel very sad as it all seemed to have gone well for most,but my dd has hated it. My gut feeling is that she isn't ready emotionally,certainly not for full time anyway.She is four and a quarter.
Trouble is that there is a complicated history,DD1 was very happy in reception,but was so unhappy in year one that she was diagnosed with severe anxiety and had to be taken out of school sad .We have home educated for the past nine months. I felt she was ready to try again,so we chose a different school,and she has started there in year two with her little sister in reception.Both girls have been helped by having each other there.DD1 is doing well and had a good week,but is definitely shored up by having dd2 there as well (they are very very close). The head isn't at all flexible and wants them both full time asap,even though the ed-psych has suggested a gentle intro.She won't agree to Dd2 being part time for a couple of terms,which I think would help her adjust. Am really worried about having another sad little girl,last year was hideously stressful for the whole family and has left a mark on DD2 who did lose her sister for a while as she was too unhappy to even play.
How long is usual to "settle in"? DD1 was so happy it wasn't an issue until the terrible time in year one,when we were advised that she would settle and she just got into a terrible state,I wish we'd taken her out earlier. I don't want to panic though,as maybe this is normal for week one? She did until one each day but was too tired and slightly off colour yesterday.She is saying that she is bored and that it isn't fun,and is generally not herself,crying herself to sleep and very very clingy. I feel terrible!

chocaholic73 Sun 11-Sep-11 09:14:38

Very normal - there are lots of children who take a long time to settle into Reception. Talk to the teacher - she can keep an eye on her and may be get a more settled child to "look after her". Little girls, in particular, love doing this at this sort of age. Are you sure she isn't picking up on your (understandable) anxieties - you may be giving out negative vibes without realising and, also, she was obviously aware that her sister was very unhappy so maybe her expectations aren't very high. She needs time to settle into the school routine - there are a lot of tired, wishing it was still the holidays, kids all over the country of all sorts of ages at the moment. It is unlikely that the teacher is going at full speed atm, more like just letting them settle in with their classmates. For you, I really think communication with the teacher is important. You do have to want this for your daughter - if you are half hearted about it she is going to know - and it will not succeed. Good luck.

moomaa Sun 11-Sep-11 09:25:23

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the first week at school thread at the moment as I think lots of parents are so relieved if it did go well that they want to tell people.

My little boy wet the bed after his first day, says lots of kids at school are crying a bit and wetting their pants at school and a few have been told off. Parents are just not so keen to go shouting it out if their kids are taking a while to settle.

I know a fair few people whose children have taken a while to settle at school, one you wouldn't have predicted as such a confident boy but after good support from the school slowly got happier with going but it did take all year. Another who is still struggling into year 2, he's just one of the youngest plus a bit young for his age too iYSWIM and it's just been hard for him. Again, has improved over time though. I agree choca - it's normal and the teacher should be working with you to put support in place.

bebanjo Sun 11-Sep-11 21:12:46

sorry to here lo having a bad time.
IMO children start school to young in this country, some just aren't ready.

2to3 Sun 11-Sep-11 21:20:52

I agree with bebanjo - sounds like your first daughter's experience was very extreme if she was so upset by it she wouldn't even play. I home educated for a year and a half to save DTs having that kind of experience, and although it was very hard at times doing something "nobody else" did (as it turned out we did manage to meet others in the same position and ended up really enjoying the relaxed nature of a home ed life style), I have never regretted keeping DTs back until they were ready for school both socially, emotionally and developmentally. They just started now aged six and a half and are thriving.

You know your kids best - make the decision you feel will suit them and your family best right now. Education Otherwise or one of the other Home Ed groups might be able to support you. Good luck.

hellymelly Sun 11-Sep-11 21:23:00

I don't think she is picking up on my negativity,I didn't feel particularly negative,although i can't say that I really want this for my daughter either.I want it if she is enjoying it,but I certainly wouldn't put her through a whole year of being unhappy,I just don't see the point of that at 4. I'm reassured though that you think its normal for the first week. She used to really be excited about starting,and happily stayed in the old school's reception class when we had meetings with the head over dd1. But my elder was so terribly unhappy that it really worried her and she wasn't keen to start,she was scared and she still is. I will talk to her teacher this week.They are meant to be giving extra support to the girls because of what happened, but the head hasn't been madly supportive,she is very bothered that the girls aren't staring full time right away. DD2's teacher seems nice and kind but we haven't had much chance to talk with her about it as we've been picking the girls up early and they like you to talk at pick up time but not drop off (which I understand).

hellymelly Sun 11-Sep-11 21:32:16

Thanks 2to3. I have really liked home-ed,and we've met some lovely children,but there is only one other girl nearby who is dds age and they are already great friends.She wants to meet more children so we decided to try school again.She is six and half now and does seem much more "ready" .even though she was really happy in reception she wasn't full time and that was part of her finding year one so hard.Yes she was in a truly awful state.In an adult it would have looked like a breakdown.She cried herself to sleep every night and hid in the house in the mornings.She didn't want to talk,couldn't make any sort of choice or decision,she developed a nervous tic,it was horrendous.And she had been super outgoing and friendly. She was scared of her new teacher and was being picked on a bit,and it all escalated.So awful for us all and a huge thing for my smaller daughter who had to watch her sobbing every morning and all through bedtime. Given that I really want to make sure that we don't leave it drag on if dd2 seems not up to school yet. I would be happy to have her back at home but I don't know if the school would keep her place,and I think DD1 would be more anxious without her. Although so far she is happy and really liking it thank heaven!

racingheart Sun 11-Sep-11 21:48:59

Please don't take this as criticism, because it sounds like you've done a brilliant job of meeting DD1s needs. but could it be that your own anxiety is showing through and that DD2 is picking up on it. If you are really confident in saying how nice the new school is and asking about all the things she does there, so you know her routine and can chat about it, maybe she'll feel better. She will have picked up on her big sister's huge anxiety when she was younger, so maybe needs extra reassurance about this school.

They are shattered at that age. Must say, at our school they weren't allowed to go full time until the term they turned five, which was right, physically and academically, for my twins as they were summer born. But socially it was difficult with the summer borns getting called 'babies' and kept out of the inside clique (yep, even in reception!) so there are mixed blessings to staggering the start.

hellymelly Sun 11-Sep-11 22:12:47

I am anxious that it works out for DD1 as I think she will gain a lot from having a new positive experience of school, and a wider social circle. My anxiety about dd2 was more that I had a niggling feeling before the start of term that I might be pushing her slighty,when she wasn't quite ready,as I thought both of them would be happier starting together. I have been very upbeat around the girls (I loved my primary school so have talked about that etc) but children do have radar so she may be picking up that I'm worried without me being aware of it. I agree with no full time before five.That is what we did with DD1 and I think its much better. Old school was happy with that,this school isn't which is a shame.

Greythorne Sun 11-Sep-11 22:44:38

Don't jump to conclusions too quickly.
Dd1 took three weeks to settle. Those first weeks at school, supPorting her, reassuring her, bribing her (!) were the hardest period for us as a family since becoming parents.
It was very hard for me to hold my nerve, I really wanted to pull her out.

But we got through it. And now DD1 loves school.

So, don't panic or jump to conclusions just yet.

Hope it works out. Give it some time.

Beamur Sun 11-Sep-11 22:48:36

My DD has started reception and is not yet 5, but our LA (Calderdale) does not require under 5's to be full time, it is an option to be part time. At the moment DD is going 4 days and will go full time either after Christmas or maybe Easter. I'm reserving judgement to see how tired she gets doing 4 days.
In your position I would press to reduce the days to less than 5, but wait a few weeks - or at least until half term before you make any decisions.

hellymelly Sun 11-Sep-11 23:38:23

I would just make excuses and not send her in on days here and there,as the head is completely adamant that she has to be full time,but i think its more that she would cope well with two mornings a week,rather than nearly full weeks. We will give it a few weeks, as I can see that things may change, but looking at her today and how scared she was about going in again tomorrow I am thinking she would be better off at home for another year and growing up a little bit. Is it a local authority issue then? Here it seems to be up to the individual school (Wales).

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