School update

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Girl crying Just a quick post to let you know how school is going for HM, our four-year-old. How shall I put this? SHE DOESN'T WANT TO GO. I don't really want her to go either. Not really an ideal situation.

Yesterday we got to the school gate just as they blew the whistle, and those eager beaver teachers were already walking the children in. Emily (7) took off and joined her queue without looking back. I got Alexandra (5) to her class and gave her a kiss, and then it was time to get HM to reception …

I don't want to go mummy.

Why sweetie?

I don't want to go mummy (tears forming).

Why sweetie?

I want to stay home all day with you (red face, nose running and floods of tears).

OK, you're only four, far too young for this school stuff anyway. And I'm feeling quite old and very sad that this stage of my life is over. A bit guilty too. So I bundled her up and took her home where I planned to do playdough all day, between baking cookies and making lego castles.

I didn't really do that.

I took her to her class and her teacher had to peel her off me. I could hear the screams as I left the school gate.

As I said, not really an ideal situation.

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37 Comments

  1. 15/09/2009 / 10:13

    Jo — this week is looking better, how about you?
    Home-ed Mum — thanks for the info, will check it out… but I really don’t think I have it in me to home school– that is such a commitment.

  2. Home-ed Mum
    13/09/2009 / 00:33

    Not all 4 year olds are ready – mine wasn’t so I decided to home educate for the 1st year and send her at 5. She’s now 12, has never been to school and is thriving academically and socially because in that 1st year, we discovered the local home ed network – what a fantastic bunch of motivated people! My daughter has more friends than I ever did in school, and is embarking on her 1st GCSE this year (biology), just because she thinks it will be fun. See http://www.education-otherwise.org for info.

  3. 12/09/2009 / 10:13

    We had a couple of days where there were tears this week too. Four is so little and it’s heart breaking seeing their little faces looking so kind of desperate isn’t it? Part of it is that they are so exhausted. By Thursday M was beside herself, so we did an early night and she was fine on Friday morning. I think you did the right thing in being firm and keeping her there, but I know it must have been so tough. I really hoe she gets a better time next week. It will come, but I do hope it’s soon for her. Here’s to good weeks for our babies next week. x

  4. 12/09/2009 / 02:03

    In Western Aust they start school between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2. Last year my son was 3 1/2 when he started Kindy and he cried every single day to the extent that they had to lock the door or he would jump the fence and run to the car park. Most days I left school sobbing and feeling like a bad mum. Now this year he loves school and has the most amazing teacher. I believe it is just an adjusting stage. Hugs to you.

  5. 10/09/2009 / 21:21

    It’s heartbreaking to have them peeled off you and our system of starting them at four is bonkers really. They are so tiny. It’s one of the reasons we are embarking on our rtw trip next year, so our youngest, who will have just turned four, will miss the first year of school. A bit drastic, I admit, but we get a holiday too!

  6. 10/09/2009 / 20:28

    I hope so too.
    And the chocolate also helped (me) and was appreciated hugely (by him and me!)

  7. 10/09/2009 / 13:22

    Sarah — Thanks! Happy to report that all went well today! HM took her teacher’s hand and went it. I hope for the same tomorrow.

  8. 10/09/2009 / 12:32

    I found this very moving. Poor you, I hope it gets better.
    Mine started today – he was fine, but I wasn’t. I’ve written about it and mentioned your post on mine.
    Thank you and cross fingers!
    Sarah

  9. 10/09/2009 / 06:41

    WCW- fab idea! I’ll take a bar with me and eat on the way home.

  10. 09/09/2009 / 22:41

    I hope it gets better for both of you, the irresponsible part of me thinks that chocolate might help. For one of you at least.

  11. 09/09/2009 / 21:58

    It’s early days, hopefully she’ll settle quickly, horrible for you though.

  12. 09/09/2009 / 21:24

    I really feel for you and your LO. My four year old joins reception in January as there is staggered intake at his school. I still don’t think he’ll be ready then. It’s heartbreaking. Hope it gets a bit easier for both of you

  13. 09/09/2009 / 19:40

    SPD — you defo had a better start than us, though I have to say the other two flew through without any hitches, everyone’s different and she’s the baby!

  14. 09/09/2009 / 17:34

    I feel like an arse now, which isn’t unusual.
    Sorry to hear that she isn’t enjoying the introduction of school, and I have no idea what to suggest, how were your other two?

  15. 09/09/2009 / 15:44

    Too2 — defo homeschool perk
    Pippa — yes, soon!
    Expat — can’t wait to read…

  16. 09/09/2009 / 14:50

    I know they get over it, but it’s so traumatizing. I remember wandering around the classroom in tears when I was four. I’m so glad that in our school (US) they take “separation” quite seriously and allow parents to stay with the children for a while. Remarkably, few children are then ever left in tears. The mothers perhaps.
    My post tomorrow isn’t in quite this wein though.

  17. 09/09/2009 / 14:37

    I am so sorry that it happened. Just think, it will soon be summer holidays again.

  18. 09/09/2009 / 14:37

    I am so glad I have never experienced that. Homeschooling does have its perks šŸ™‚ Of course when they go to school for the first time in 9th grade, you are actually ready to see them leave and they cannot wait to get away from you.
    I’m sure she will be just fine and settle in nicely.

  19. 09/09/2009 / 14:10

    Awful, awful, awful.
    I had a phase with my 2nd, in his second year at school, where I had to leave him in tears. It is just awful and goes against all maternal instinct. I hope it doesn’t last too long for you. Can you say goodbye outside the building, and have one of her sisters take her to the classroom? Maybe that would help?
    (Incidentally, when my 2nd was quizzed about why he didn’t want to go to school, the only thing he could come up with was “it’s so long”, to which the teacher replied “yes, I sometimes find it a long day too”. He didn’t find that very helpful.)

  20. 09/09/2009 / 12:35

    Angels — that would do it for me, too šŸ˜‰
    Coding — Has your baby come yet?!
    Hot Cross — thanks!
    Potty — I always thought girls were easier

  21. 09/09/2009 / 11:47

    So sorry to hear that you’re both going through that. I had 6 -8 weeks of that from Boy #1 at the beginning of last school year, it was hell (see any number of posts from that time of year). Not sure what to tell you except that it will get better and some children just find the transition from home to school harder than others. I doubt she’ll take as long as Boy #1 to get past this, btw; she’s a girl and they seem to adapt more quickly…

  22. 09/09/2009 / 11:28

    Oh god, you poor thing. I have a year to go before facing that. It’s bad enough getting the tears when dropping at playschool for a few hours. I’m sure, sure, sure it will get ever so slightly easier, day by day. Fingers crossed for you all.

  23. 09/09/2009 / 10:53

    Oh poor thing – and poor you. This is why there should be more flexibility in the school start date. Some children need an extra year and some need to go a year earlier. Making everyone do it at the same time just seems wrong.
    I hope she settles soon and that the teacher is able to help with some suggestions for getting her excited about school, instead of worrying about.

  24. 09/09/2009 / 10:47

    Tears, clinging, waking up saying, ‘I don’t want to go’. And that’s just the mum. Our four-year-old adamant about not wanting to go, especially now he’s found out crisps aren’t part of the package (for some reason he thought school lunches meant crisps every day). He starts tomorrow, and just announced he’ll hide in his wardrobe so I wouldn’t be able to find him. Might just join him. Sardines is such a great game. Good luck – hope it gets better (for both of us). More posts, please!!

  25. 09/09/2009 / 10:45

    Domestic — I’m sure you’ve heard this before, it goes quickly!
    Laura — yes, she was fine in a few minutes!
    Mwa — awe, thanks
    Maternal — yes worse for us, why do we do it?

  26. 09/09/2009 / 10:44

    I remember going through that last year. My daughter was one of the youngest in her year, only just turned 4.
    She still has to be peeled off me on occasion!
    The 3 yo starts nursery tomorrow and I expect the opposite, he is snipping at my apron strings.

  27. 09/09/2009 / 10:34

    Oh poor you – always much worse for the parent I find. My eldest has just started Year 1 and she was so nervous on the first day, clinging to me with tears welling up…it was horrible. But when I collected her she said ‘I had the best day ever Mummy’. Typical – I’d been worrying about her all day! I’m sure she’ll settle down. It always takes a while x

  28. 09/09/2009 / 10:27

    I think you make it too nice for her at home – lego, cookies, play-doh – if they get bored at home, they love going to school! šŸ˜‰

  29. 09/09/2009 / 09:56

    Ugh, the most hideous of parenting moments, it’s a physical pain to pull away isn’t it? And the thing is, you feel dreadful all day long, whereas they’ve forgotten within minutes – until tomorrow morning when they remember all over again…

  30. 09/09/2009 / 08:55

    Four is only three years away for us, so definitely very little. School’s overrated anyway…. (((hugs)))

  31. 09/09/2009 / 08:34

    Slugs – thanks, I think today will go better (fingers crossed)
    Catherine — she did settle, the teacher pulled me aside and said she was fine after a few minutes…
    Sarah — Yes, the routine thing is important, and we have this really strange starting schedule (mornings one week, afternoon enxt week, etc.(. Hopefully will be better today.

  32. 09/09/2009 / 08:19

    awww poor you and poor her. Not a nice situation. I’ve been there on both mummy side and teacher side and it’s upsetting for everyone involved. In time, it will get easier for both of you. It’s harder for the younger child as they’ve had time alone with you when the eldest was at school. When routine is in place, hopefully all will settle down *hugs*

  33. 09/09/2009 / 08:13

    I remember how this feels. Not good at all. Four year olds are still babies really. I hope she settles and you don’t spend all day worrying!

  34. 09/09/2009 / 08:12

    How awful for you both. Four is very little. Poor you and poor her. I hope it gets easier.