Anyone else finding starting reception tough?(13 Posts)
Behaviour has been up and down (much more down than I'm used to) since starting school 2 weeks ago. My normally laid back little boy has been replaced by a stroppy argumentative brat. Had a whole morning of whingeing and tantrums. I feel like DS just isn't ready yet. But it feels like a no-win situation. Pulling him out would separate him from his peers and mess him up too, forcing him into formal education when he clearly isn't ready is also going to mess him him up. Argh. Short of emigrating to Sweden where they start school at a civilized age, I don't know what to do. Tell me this will pass.
"forcing him into formal education" - doesn't your school follow the EYFS? If he attended nursery there should be very little difference except a longer day
It's the sitting still, being quiet for circle time stuff (I'm guessing). Yes, they did this at nursery, but not to the same extent, and obviously with a higher staff -to-child ratio so if one of the children wasn't in the mood they could be taken on one side easily and calmed down. Ironically, so far it's been much shorter days than nursery was. I'm dreading phonics - he's mulishly stubborn and so far is just refusing point blank to look at the picture book that's come home from school. I'm already seeing a future where either I let things slide and he falls behind other children, or I push him and he just gets turned off education before he's even 5.
I'm assuming a private day nursery not a school nursery when you say higher staff ratios
Two of my dc did this in the first term, ds2 was awful last year but it did pass. Don't underestimate the tiredness, it may be shorter days than nursery but completely different & they've a lot to get used to. I had to work really hard with ds2 having special time, let some of his grumpiness wash over us and just focussing on the positive bits like friends or things outside of school. It is hard work but you can't really change tack now! The winter term is the hardest for all children anyway, get to Xmas and it will probably be a lot better. Phonics is a PITA if they won't cooperate. Ds1 barely did any of it as he was stubborn and the dts were newborns but lo and behold he's reading night and day above his age at nearly 9. Just 5 mins of phonics is absolutely fine, they say little and often because it works and it's true.
Can I come back next year and eat my words when dts are both stropping and nightmares about school!
Thanks, Accessorize. That's the sort of light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel story I need. Agree about trying to let it wash over me and just toughing it out till Christmas.
Dd3 is very strong willed too and started school last January. It wasn't easy but did get better as she got more used to things and she continues to get better now. Her reading is amazing and fortunately she always like phonics. What she doesn't like is writing but we chip away at it.
As a parent with three primary aged boys I have the following advice ....
1) Don't push the phonics books. You will turn him off very learning to read very early. Be led by how much or how little he wants to do with the phonics. Have fun and give rewards when he does read but don't pressure him. After all he is only 5 and the school will make sure he reaches the targets. There are in fact many children who arrive at my sons school in year 3, having never learnt a letter (came from abroad or have a Steiner background) and after a huge steep leap in learning are suddenly in the top/middle sets in juniors.
2) Read lots of silly and funny books to him. Develop a love and interest in books and words generally. Eventually after a few years he will desperately want to read for himself. Take him to the library so he can choose his own books to look at/read. Be led by your son.
3) He doesn't need to be in school till the term after his 5th birthday. If he is tired, keep him off or do half days. Make sure he is going to bed early each night also and make sure you have a nice relaxing positive calm start to the day. Don't let the school run get stressy. Aim to be early.
4) When he is less tired as him who he would like to have a play date with. Keep play dates short though.
Also don't pressure him with writing. If you read a lot to him, he will be take in lots of words and sentence structures anyway. I can't stress how important it is to read to your DS. Eventually your reading will transfer to his writing skills. It might take till juniors but it will happen.
Agree with all the good advice, but also it may get easier when he is full time. Ds1 was very unsettled at the start of reception and, as you say, was used to longer days at nursery. When they went full time he settled much more- I think it was the consistency of a whole day rather than a short morning and then home ( or to the cm) again.
Good luck, Im sure he will be happier soon.
Thanks for all the advice and support. I'm feeling a bit calmer in myself - nice walk, some time with the duplo, DS ate all his tea, bit of wind down TV, bath, bed, story, so evening has gone much better than late morning/early afternoon. I will definitely take on board the advice about not pushing the phonics but going at his pace. My instinct is that the single most important thing is that reading stays fun, which means letting him drive things. Fingers crossed for next week - I'm back at work, so we'll have to add breakfast club and 3 sessions of after school club into the mix (though one of my RL friends has just made the very sensible session that if after school club turns out to be too much for him on top of school a childminder might be a better option, so I'll keep an open mind on that one).
That sounds tough op, it was another hiccup for us with after school club but I'm sure you'll get through it. This is just one term, he'll be reading and writing for the rest of his life! I'm sure your instincts are spot on.
My DS is in YR1 now and a different boy to the one I collected in Reception this time last year. I used to dread collecting him as he would regularly broke down in tears over nothing. He also really missed his nursery. Yes they followed EYFS but the school experience was completely overwhelming- the sheer size of the school, the playground, the school hall for dinners. He is Summer born and looked very small in that context when he started. A book a night to read, high frequency words, a little bit of project work, it was nothing like nursery.
I think this is the longest term so it is a tough one but it definitely improved for us by Christmas.
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