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Worried DC isnt coping with school

(9 Posts)
MagicFingerGoesPop Tue 20-Sep-11 22:14:00

DC is young, well middle of the year, not August, but April baby. At home, he is shattered, misbehaving, grumpy and generally tired. All that is expected as he went straight in to full days and a natural reaction to starting reception.

But he is now saying he doesnt want to go to school , will delay everything and try every tactic to not go. He is in the same 'room' as last year (combined area for nursery and reception). He even has the same teachers around (but the 'lead' teacher is different, but all the teachers in the area are the same, iyswim?)

He will go through his homework at home (right or wrong to get homework, he has to do it, so we struggle through!) and while he was initailly enthusiastic it is more and more of a struggle every day. This may be due to ever increasing tiredness? But the thing that worries me is that once he gets down to doing it, he does it with no problems, yet the teachers remarks in his book say that he is having trouble with it and struggling. He is an anxious child and does have some traits of speech anxiety and the school should have got a letter from the SALT about this. Do you think it is because of the speech anxiety or because he doesnt want to do it or just that he is tired? They say he has trouble remembering it, but at home, he does it fine.

Should I follow up on this or let him settle some more?

I am making sure he has a snack at pickup, relaxing afternoons and weekends (Except for the homeowrk!) and earlier bedtimes with nutritious meals. What else can I do to help him?

I just dont want the homework becoming a chore and something to be feared or anxious about. I would like him to be excited about learning as he was at the start and I dont know if it is the teachers approach as she doesnt know about the speech anxiety, or maybe she does and he needs an IEP? I have no idea! I trust that the SALT has sent the letter (we got ours during the holidays and they were 'cc-ed' at the bottom) Is speech anxiety something that needs and IEP generally? I ont want him to get so anxious about having to read to the teacher that he fails to do so and then doesnt learn to read. He used to be so excited sad

The SALT discharged him after the assessment. She said that if he was changing rooms/schools then she would be more concerned but as he was in the same room he should be fine. But he just seems so unhappy atm sad

MagicFingerGoesPop Tue 20-Sep-11 22:24:27

Bump smile Should I talk to the teacher tomorrow?

anthonytrollopesrevenge Tue 20-Sep-11 22:35:29

I've no special knowledge about this I'm afraid but just wNted to say it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help your DS. I do hope he cheers up soon. Do speak to the teacher and find out if she has the salt letter and let her know your DS seems to be able to do work more easily at home than at school. My DCs got very little reception homework for which I was thankful. Your DS's teacher will be more able to help your DS the more informed she is.

Saracen Tue 20-Sep-11 22:50:29

If your little boy is shattered from the long days, works better at home with you, but is increasingly resistant to doing work at home because he is too tired after school... would it be possible to change to part-time attendance?

Then he might have the energy and interest to do a bit of work with you, which would probably be more productive than sitting at school all day NOT wanting to work. A little work at home can go a long way because of the one-to-one attention - especially one-to-one attention from someone who knows the child very well already, namely you!

I think you are right to be concerned that he'll be put off learning if things carry on as they are.

MagicFingerGoesPop Wed 21-Sep-11 14:14:13

School doesnt do part time attendance sad Havent had a chance to speak to the teacher, but will do so. He went in with tears this morning sad

AuntieMonica Wed 21-Sep-11 14:21:10

Will you be picking him later today? Or someone else?

Really, get your foot in the classroom door and talk to the teacher asap.

There is no point in putting the poor lad through this, there might be a very easy solution.

And as for homework, I'd leave it in the bag. Forget it until he's settled in a bit more easily.

IMO we put far too much emphasis, too soon, on results.

Good luck for later

Choufleur Wed 21-Sep-11 14:23:43

Forget the homework. Just tell the teacher he is not doing it til he is more used to school. Talk to his teacher.

MagicFingerGoesPop Wed 21-Sep-11 14:28:46

I will talk to the teacher on Thursday, as he has a playdate this afternoon so I wont be there. He is very excited about going over to his friends house, so I dont want to turn up and have him think I was coming to collect him away from his fun!!

What do you all say about the IEP? Should he have one, do you think? Not sure exactly what they do, but I do want some consideration taken for his anxiety. I would have thought the SENCO would have at least acknowledged the receipt of the letter by now angry

Saracen Wed 21-Sep-11 23:48:36

If you are pretty sure part-time is what he needs, you could press for it. A blanket policy should not override the needs of a very exhausted child who no longer likes school.

Some headteachers who "don't do part-time" revise their policies when faced with the choice of allowing part-time attendance or having the child removed. It is in the headteacher's power to authorise this arrangement and it won't affect the attendance figures since he can be marked "educated off-site" for the hours when he isn't at school. Some headteachers, of course, won't budge.

I have a very bolshie friend who TOLD the school that her 4yo child would be going part-time, rather than asking. They cannot take any real sanctions against you if you keep him off school whenever you want to, since your son won't reach compulsory education age until next September and so is not subject to truancy laws. In theory they could eventually take the school place away from him if you don't toe the line, but it would take a long time for them to do that. I can't say I would feel happy to do what my friend did - I'd rather take my child out of school altogether than have both of us face disapproval on a daily basis for acting against the school's wishes - but she was reasonably happy with the outcome.

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