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Having kittens about ds starting reception in Jan

(14 Posts)
PortiaPie Sat 07-Nov-09 08:30:27

My ds will start reception in January, and I'm starting to panic over what he knows/doesn't know.

We recently returned from Australia where he attended a wonderful pre-school for two mornings a week (couldn't get any more sessions). I deliberately haven't put him into a pre-school here because I don't want to put him through too many changes before starting school. Instead, I go out and about with him and go to a couple of playgroups.

Anyway, my worry is, that he'll start in January being quite behind. He shows zero interest in colouring or attempting letters - he'll hold a pen and scribble. We've tried tracing over letters but he gets incredibly frustrated when he doesn't do it perfectly, resulting in him ripping up the paper. Because of his frustration at not being able to do things correctly first time, I've not pushed it any further. I've been very careful to go at his pace, but I worry that his confidence will take a knock in reception when he sees what most of the other children are probably already doing.

He's great with numbers and really enjoys counting, so I've done quite a bit with him on that front. We've started learning the alphabet and he recognises the first 7 letters, although this has been a painful process! He knows all his colours and shapes so that isn't a problem. I read to him every day, and his comprehension is very good. He does point to words and asks what they say, so he's interested in that respect.

He's a very social boy, makes friends easily, is kind, articulate and funny, but he's very head strong and wants to do things his way. He hates to sit at a table and eat, as he thinks there's always something more interesting going on! I think school is going to be a huge culture shock for him, trying to adjust to routines and rules. He also doesn't like to be away from me, and has limited experience of it. He seems to be ready to go to school, but also not ready, if you get my meaning. Oh, I'm dreading the whole school thing!

It was very different with my eldest ds, but they're two very different children.

Any tips to what I can do in the remaining months before he starts reception will be greatly appreciated.

mrz Sat 07-Nov-09 08:55:20

enjoy his company and don't worry he sounds like a typical boy.

sunburntats Sat 07-Nov-09 08:59:29

Nothing, dont do anything.
Is he potty trained?
Can he hold a knife and fork?
This is all that is expected of him.

He wont have to do anything but learn and play.
dont put too many expectations on him, dont pressure yourself, jsut let him enjoy his little self and discover school..... like his pears starting for the first time when the time comes.

Stop worrying.

sunburntats Sat 07-Nov-09 09:00:55

lol he sound exsactly like my boy, so i am saying all of this from experience.

mine is 6 and still wont sit through a meal, hates to be away from me but trots ok into school each day.
still not into numbers etc, but he will be.

PortiaPie Sat 07-Nov-09 09:30:19

Thanks both of you.

sunburntats - yes, he can go to the loo, although he goes in a very strange way, he strips naked and squats with his feet on the loo seat! Dh - who's a doc - says he's doing it in the way nature intended! God knows how that's going to go down at school!

Maybe I'm just stressing too much about the whole thing, probably because I've read some threads about reception wunderkind and thinking OMG, I've got to do something!

Him being so head strong is quite a worry at times. I've a feeling that he's going to be a bit of a handful for his teacher in the first couple of months.

I'll try to stop worrying about it all!

smee Sat 07-Nov-09 10:36:08

The others are right. So long as he can put his coat on and off, use the toilet and be sociable he'll be fine at school. The headstrong stuff will be sorted as he learns to mingle with his peers and teachers are expert at helping kids sort that. Honestly really forget the academic stuff unless he's interested, as you might put him off. So long as you read lots to him and encourage him to be curious about all and everything he'll thrive.

hocuspontas Sat 07-Nov-09 10:47:38

Everything sounds fine. If I was you though I would explain that stripping off for the toilet is fine at home but at school there are other children waiting to use the toilet and they might not be able to hold on very long!

thegrammerpolicesic Sat 07-Nov-09 22:11:48

He sounds fine. I would maybe, if it were me, be working on that standing and squatting on the toilet habit though grin

It would not go down well at school if there are others waiting and I'm not sure you'd want him standing on the average pee covered primary school loo seat!!?

PortiaPie Sun 08-Nov-09 06:07:09

Thank you all for your replies.

Yes, the toilet habit is a bit of a concern. I can see him skidding off a pee covered toilet, and likewise, the other children aren't going to want to sit where his feet have been! Think I need to get a star chart for the loo door to encourage him to sit. I can see him holding it all in for home time rather than conform to the status quo! The thought of any future girlfriend catching a glimpse of him on the loo is a troubling one! grin

laurz75 Sun 08-Nov-09 07:27:19


My ds started school in September, he was only just 4 and like your son wasn't the slightest interested in letters, writing etc. He was however, a very friendly boy and had excellent coordination and was very physical. Within weeks (honestly) he was writing his name, knew every letter they had worked on and was reading words!!! As well as making lots of new friends, loving the new trikes....etc. So....don't worry about it - enjoy your last few months with him having fun!

PortiaPie Sun 08-Nov-09 18:05:01

Thanks for that, Laurz75! Your son's experience certainly gives me hope!

I'm probably worrying unnecessarily, as he's a quick learner, so will probably be doing all sorts of things within a couple of weeks.

When I think about it, I'm probably more worried about how he will adjust. He's got many plus points, but he can be quite head strong and stubborn. Sitting at a table to eat (food doesn't interest him) is the most boring thing imaginable to him, and I can see trouble looming when he has to do this at school. We've been invited to stay for lunch at his intake visit, but I've declined, because I know he'll refuse to eat and won't sit still. I'd be so blush!

Most children his age will have gone through nursery, so will already know the ropes and what is expected. Ds is a bit of a free spirit and doesn't conform easily. It's either going to be a nightmare first couple of months or I'm going to be pleasantly surprised - hope it's the latter!

Danthe4th Mon 09-Nov-09 21:39:51

I would definately go for the visit, he needs to see what how lunch is served as he will be expected to sit with the others, and the toilet habit is going to be seen as very weird!!!
He might be a free spirit, nothing wrong with being an individual but most schools will hope for children to have learned basic manners.

FimbleHobbs Tue 10-Nov-09 10:04:40

Try not to worry. DS started in September and they don't do that much formal writing etc. More playing the sandpit than anything else.

They are starting to learn a few letters but not in alphabetical order. The first ones that they learn are s i p a n t at his school.

Are there any other January starters? DS has had a new girl start in his class and it sounds like shes been really welcomed in and they have been showing her this that and the other - she certainly wasn't expected to just slot in.

Re. the toilet thing I'd probably go with 'at home you can pee like x, at school you pee like y' - check if they have children's urinals and get your husband to teach him how to use them?

Ali4cotswolds Thu 12-Nov-09 17:38:07

How about speaking to the school about your concerns? Will your DS have any opportunity to go in and spend some time in his new class before starting?

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