Starting school is fraught with its own difficulties, but moving to Key Stage 2 has felt almost worse. Settling in time is over and now the *@&% has really got real.
The first day at school is a huge milestone in every family’s life – full of hopes and fears, anxieties and tears. Much of the stress lies in the fear of the unknown.
With that factor behind us, we face a new challenge this term as we move into Year 3: the fear of the known.
- Homework – now with added homework.
- Maths – now with calculators and all the trickier times tables (8×7 anyone?).
- Literacy – now with adverbs and fat books.
- Teachers – now less cuddly, more demanding.
- Standards – now stricter.
- Expectations of independence – now scarily high. Trusting the child to relay vital information and bring the right kit.
- Friends – now with preconceived ideas and existing bonds.
Of all these, it’s the last two I’m worried about the most. I know this may seem mad – obviously I care about my son’s academic progress and I don’t want him to struggle, but I trust the school to do its teaching job here and see this as something I can help with.
Independence is something I obviously want my son to develop further, and I can help by checking his kit every day and using the school’s other information sources to find out important stuff for myself. But I feel sad that he might get told off for forgetting a reply slip or his football boots, or for getting his homework wrong because he misunderstood what was expected. I hope the process will be gradual and the teachers lenient.
But friends? That is completely out of my control. Our classes have been mixed up this year, so while my son has a few familiar faces in his class, the others he knows less well. So far, my son has had no trouble making friends and luckily three of them are in his class. But I am afraid of the combination of existing impressions and friendship groups and the fact the children are older – and potentially a bit meaner.
It’s not even full-scale bullying I’m thinking of, as I am fairly confident that the school will be quite tough on such behaviour (please don’t tell me this is just wishful thinking).
It’s the off-hand slights, the casual exclusions, the football not passed that I fear.
All things that are part of growing up, of growing a tougher skin, of gaining resilience.
But if I could learn them for him, if I could be his skin, I would. He’s seven now. But he’s only seven. He’s still my baby.
I feel your worry. My girl has just started year three. We do drop off and pickup in the playground. I’ve never even met her teacher. So weird.
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Eek! Speaking as someone who’s had the pleasure of seeing kids pass into year 3 three times over, I feel it’s still a gradual progression – the teachers are gradually becoming more hands-off and expecting more independence, but the jump from year 2 to year 3 is no more than the jump from year 1 to year 2. They certainly won’t get in trouble for one incident of forgetting things, although there might be a discussion if they repeatedly forget them.
My daughter was put into a different class in year 3 too and it did take a while for her to be included – I remember all the new classmates didn’t invite her to their parties, and all of the old ones had forgotten her so didn’t invite her either! Now she’s in year 5, I doubt she can even remember who was in her class in the infants and who wasn’t.
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That’s really comforting to hear – maybe it’s more of a jump for me than for him, or maybe I’m just being too dramatic / paranoid. Two weeks in, it’s going OK, I think! x
My little just started too and she is livid she has been told off for talking a number of times now. I’ve gone into full on “lets invite your friends home” mode – just so she has a base of friends. Eek – getting big now. Time to let go of the apron strings a bit (a little bit anyway). x
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Oh man, I need to do the playdate spray-gun approach too! But he has so much homework and stuff I don’t know when to fit them in! xx
Love that “He’s seven now. But he’s only seven. He’s still my baby”. They are our babies even they are 20-30.
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Oh golly, I know it. I feel almost more protective of them now they’re out in the world than when they were tiny – if that is even possible!
We’ve been going through a similar experience with Isaac these past few weeks as he moved in to Year 3. As ever, he’s coped with the transition far better than his parents have. It’s the moment of truth for us next week: the first parents’ evening (well, parents’ afternoon, really). Is it okay to neck a double scotch to calm the nerves before a 4:30 meeting with your child’s teacher?
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