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DD really likes school.....me however.....

(14 Posts)
peppasmyfriend Wed 10-Oct-12 21:30:15

Wondering if anyone else is feeling like this....I am so so happy that DD is mostly happy at school (in reception)...I was very worried that she wasnt going to like it,but she comes home every day with tales of how things have been, things they have done, incidents that have happened (good and bad!)..She has had a few tears on occassion if she's fallen, or someone has been mean..However, i cant help but feel that i no longer have a great deal of input into her daily life, the school is ok, the teachers are lovely (but they cant possibly see everything that happens during the day).....We spend years trying to teach our children how to be kind, have good manners, share etc etc, but then they go to school and everything seems to go out of the window!, and the kids with the biggest influence seem to be the ones who misbehave. I am starting to see that school is not about how clever, or not you are, but how well you "fit in"...She is also so exhausted when she comes home,mentally, emotionally and physically.. i feel that the days or weeks are too long at 4. School seem to get the best of her now, and we just get the bits that are leftover...

Tgger Wed 10-Oct-12 21:53:58

Yep, you hand them over once they start school. Reception is tricky, it's a watershed for kids and parents. If it's any comfort Y1 is better, well I've found it easier. DS is thriving in the school environment, he has energy at the end of the day, the expectations are clearer (probably having been in school a year has helped this), he is more mature and independent and there is less silly/bad behaviour from other memebers of the class. Hang on in there! You can see why some Montessories (abroad mostly) do classes of 3-6 year olds. 4 is still very young.

numbum Wed 10-Oct-12 22:14:04

I agree with Tgger. Reception is a bit pants to be honest! Both of mine got fed up with the 'learning through play' pretty quickly and I can completely see why there are so many upset parents/play fights/children getting in to trouble in reception. Fast forward to year 1 and my DD (as did my DS) is completely thriving with the routine, more structured learning

As I say 'school broke them'! But you get used to their changed personalities and the fact that you aren't the one and only in their lives

(sneaky hugs x)

peppasmyfriend Thu 11-Oct-12 08:34:40

Thanks, guess I'll just have to grin and bear it, but I kinda like her personality just the way it is!..oh well roll on half term, Christmas, Easter.......good to know it can get better though. I think she actually likes structure and so much 'playtime' is a bit daunting, and gives far more opportunity for bad behaviour I'm hearing!!

TwiggysGoneOnHolidayByMistake Thu 11-Oct-12 09:10:31

I feel exactly the same. My DS is 5 but it's still way too much time at school for someone so little and I hate it. I wish he could go 3 days a week and keep thinking about asking to do this. Try not to worry about the other kids though - there will always be lots of different groups and different personalities and a child nearly always fits in somewhere.

Catsdontcare Thu 11-Oct-12 09:13:01

Yeah even though ds1 is in yr3 I still feel it kind of sucks. On the upside I love the school holidays.

PastSellByDate Thu 11-Oct-12 09:46:04

Hi peppasmyfriend

I think Tgger has it right - we do 'hand them over' when they start reception - and our daily contact with what they're doing starts to reduce.

My advice is that if you don't like what you see in your daughter's behavior - say something.

For example my DD1 suddenly started threatening DD2 with 'you're not invited to my party' every time they had a disagreement when she was in Y1. It turned out that in her class the children would suddenly all strive to be best friends so they would get invited to parties, after that they'd return to normal behavior. One of the ways to control people in the run up to a party was to say 'if you don't play my game, you're not invited to my party' - which is dreadful really. So I discussed this with my DDs (because eventually same thing happened with DD2) - and we made a point of inviting those children who 1) have been good friends the whole year through or 2) have invited her to their parties. I explained that a good friend doesn't insist you do as they say and doesn't threaten you.

I think you should do 3 things:

1) Always discuss the day. At first you may only find out what she had for school dinner and maybe that it rained and they couldn't go out to play - but eventually your DD will get used to discussing her day and you'll get more information.

2) Try and attend sessions in reception. Usually parents can join in a lot of activities, especially reading mornings, maths activities, workshops, field trips, etc... Usually workplaces are reasonably flexible about this kind of involvement as long as you clearly indicate how the time will be made up. I would put in extra hours, so I could spend Friday mornings on time off in lieu and be able to come to reading morning when my DDs were in KS1 or go on a field trip.

3) If you feel the issue is you don't understand what's going on at school - make a point of going to any meetings, definitely go to parent/ teacher meetings and ask questions at pick-up/ drop-off times.

Your DD is still your little girl, but she's also at school now and will be doing new things, learning new things and meeting new people. It will change her personality, but not necessarily for the worst. If you don't like how she's behaving - say so. If you really like one of her friends and how they behave - say so. You can steer her still - encourage her to think through whether it is worth playing with that mean girl who calls her names, etc... It can take time, and perseverance - but you can develop the kind of relationship where she comes to tell you her troubles and you give your advice gently and supportively (which ultimately is the kind of relationship any Mum would want with their DD).

They can't be ours forever, but we can help shape what they become.

expansivegirth Thu 11-Oct-12 10:14:41

I felt the same way as you OP, and deferred for a term and then organised part time for the rest of reception (3 days a week spring term, four days for summer term). it worked brilliantly for us (I'm a SAHM so made no difference to me). I also volunteered in the school, so I know the other parents and kids and the teacher, go along on school trips etc feel i know what is going on. Year One is now full time: personally, I feel full time is still too much for five/six year olds, but they are definitely much better equipped to cope now.

Saracen Thu 11-Oct-12 13:11:56

If you decide you really don't like the way things are going, you might consider giving school a miss altogether for a few years.

You say your dd is mostly happy there, but perhaps you can learn from the positives about her school experience and find alternative ways to meet her needs. For example, if the main thing she likes about school is seeing lots of children and doing things away from you on a regular basis, you might send her to an afterschool club for a couple of hours three or four afternoons a week. If she likes PE you might try a sports club of some sort. If she likes sitting down and doing structured learning then you could do that with her at home, or take her to some highly structured out-of-school class.

School is a "package deal"; you more or less have to accept the whole package if you are going to use school. Some things you and your daughter will like and some you won't. However, few of the things which children enjoy at school are only obtainable at school. If you don't like the school "package" overall, then you could take her out and see whether you can assemble a package yourself which will seem more appealing.

peppasmyfriend Thu 11-Oct-12 14:05:21

PAST - thanks for the suggestions...We already do quite a few of those things, and we've already been in to school a few times for various sessions (the school are pretty good at this), but well worth trying some of your other ideas too
ESPANSIVE -please can i ask - did your little one start school with the others and then you took them out or did you just defer from day 1, and how did the school view that, were they helpful?.. they are so small, and i know they" get used to it", but id rather it evolved to full time. I dont think 4 year olds should have to cope....
SARACEN - thankyou - definately food for thought..x

Tgger Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:23

I feel very lucky my kids have Autumn birthdays so both will be/ were nearly 5 when starting. I think if they were younger I would have gone for part time, although there's a lot of play it's a long time to be following rules, being with 29the others etc

N0tinmylife Thu 11-Oct-12 17:29:21

I felt similar to you OP, it is a big step in their lives and it really brings home how much they are growing away from you. My DS is 5, so I have no choice but to send him full time, but I know at his school you can choose to send them part time if they are under 5 and the law doesn't say they have to go at all until they are 5, so you have some options. I have often thought over the last few weeks that it must be really tough on the younger ones. There is a huge difference between just 4, and 5!

expansivegirth Thu 11-Oct-12 18:09:31

I arranged to defer in July. The head was absolutely fine about it, encouraging even (she actually said she was surprised more parents didn't do it). She is a very lovely lady and was happy for mine to continue part time for the rest of the year.
I am not sure if you are allowed to defer once you have started (though I can't see why not). Why don't you post the question under a new topic and see if one of the admissions experts has the answer. I'd say call your LEA, but ours actively discourages parents to defer so you might not get a very straight answer from them.
I am sure children learn to cope if they go to school early - but why cope when they can wait until they are ready and then go (if that is an option for the parents)? I'd suggest deferring only if part time isn't available, as a three day week would be a fantastic compromise.
BTW you may get some guff about your child missing out on work (really there is not much to miss in reception apart from play, any actual learning you can teach them at home, reading, bit of writing, counting. it's pretty basic). some people will throw you the 'friendship group' argument - but in my experience friendship groups are fluid at this age. Anyway, a little boy just started in the Year One class and seems to have settled in just fine. Kids change schools/enter out of normal admission points all the time.
I would have continued part time into Year One and up to Year Three if the school would have let me. Sadly, they did not.

peppasmyfriend Thu 11-Oct-12 18:48:11

Thanks expansive, thats a great help. I will look into it. X

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