The first three weeks of school were pretty hideous. Miss NHM was on her knees by each weekend (as were Mr NHM and I! lol). She only had two half days on the Monday and Tuesday and then straight in to full time. By the first weekend she was absolutely exhausted and very difficult to handle and this didn’t really improve until the October half term!
There is so much to take in during the first few weeks of school. A new routine and quite long days if your little one isn’t used to nursery or pre-school full time. I have no idea who children who haven’t been to nursery manage to cope! As a result I made a point of trying to keep our weekends as low key as possible but I’m not sure even this helped!
I still believe that 4 and 5 years old is too early to start school.
I missed Miss NHM terribly for the first month. We’ve been used to having her home by a certain time and I missed her dreadfully on Fridays which were our day together. It’s been a bit of a wrench to not have her home on Thursday’s and Friday’s and I am really cherishing the time that we have together as a family. It was also a bit of a shock of the lack of feedback that you get on your child’s day at school. You literally get NOTHING from the teacher. You are completely reliant on what your child tells you about what they have been doing at school and Miss NHM was very close lipped for the first few weeks. I found this to be really hard at first.
It also took a while to get “used” to the school run. At nursery we had some flexibility as to when we dropped Miss NHM off in the mornings, but there is no such luxury with school. (If you ever get a chance to read the policies on school attendance, it’s quite a scary read!!!!)
I was quite (and still am!) horrified with the puddings that the children have for lunch and Miss NHM took great delight in saying that she had “red band” for lunch or “yellow band”. It tooks us AGES to work out exactly what she was eating for lunch but now she’s much better at telling us what she ate, rather than the colour band of the meal she had! lol.
Miss NHM has been busy learning her phonics and learning lots of songs to go with these phonics. She randomly started singing different songs and has started to try to teach us some of these songs.
During October Miss NHM’s reading has really taken off. This has been absolutely wonderful to watch. Seeing her ability to understand words and books has been fascinating and very rewarding. Her school uses the Oxford Reading Tree and I had been warned of the “Biff and Chip” books but never really understood what the warning was for. I now COMPLETELY understand! lol.
We also had our first parents evening. You literally have 10 minutes to discuss your child’s learning. If you need more, you need to book a meeting with the teacher after school. I was really pleased to see that Miss NHM has settled in well but I was surprised to see how much is expected of her with regards to her words and numbers.
We had our first half term and it was a necessity! We had some quality time as a family which was really needed. I didn’t realise how much school would impact our time as a family, especially with Mr NHM working shifts. We used to have every other Friday together as a family but now we only have two weekends a month together as a family so family time has become far more precious.
We had our first Curriculum evening at the beginning of November. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as no one had actually explained what a Curriculum evening is! Basically, it’s an evening for the teachers to explain what they plan to teach the children over the following academic year. It was a really interesting evening and I’m so glad we went along. It also went some way to explaining how and why school was structured in the way it was for the first 6 weeks. Although it would have been very useful to know this during the first six weeks!
In November we started to get homework in earnest! I passionately disagree that children should have any homework before 8 years old. They go to school to learn and the time out of school should be quality family time.
However, our school doesn’t seem to agree with this and Miss NHM already has a library book, a reading book, phonics cards and a scrapbook to record pictures of phonics in!!!! Trying to fit this in, around my work, Mr NHM’s schedule and Miss NHM’s tiredness has been quite challenging. We have resorted to reading her book first thing in the morning because she’s too tired in the evening.
In November we also experienced our first “proper” bullying incident. Some of the children in Miss NHM’s class started to call her names. Miss NHM was quiet when she came home from school that day and didn’t really say much until bed time where she suddenly told us what had happened and sobbed and sobbed. She cried herself to sleep that night.
It was absolutely heart breaking. I know little children can be horrible to each other and all that rubbish about “sticks and stones breaking your bones but names will never hurt you” but it doesn’t mean anything when other children have made your child so upset. The school have been fairly good about it and it hasn’t happened since, but with all the focus on anti-bullying in schools doesn’t mean that it doesn’t actually happen!
I hadn’t expected any bullying at this age but maybe I’m just naive. I also suddenly had to be a “proper” grown up and after Miss NHM had finally gone to sleep I think I sobbed more than she did. There is nothing so heart breaking as to when your child is upset and you can’t do much about it. Neither Mr NHM nor I have really experienced this before and it was a bit of a shock.
I have also been subjected to some playground politics. It’s quite weird when your child starts school, you suddenly go back to school yourself! I hadn’t quite anticipated this! I’ve been quite fascinated to see the little cliques between the parents in the playground.
Miss NHM had her first school photograph taken and we are waiting to see what the final copy looks like! lol.
We are very much looking forward to having two weeks off at Christmas together as a family!!
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