We are one week in to Year Three and I thought I’d recap on what’s happened so far. It’s been a big change for my 7 year old Monkey son. He’d had the same teacher for two years, and had got very used to her, and the routine of that classroom. He’s not a child who copes well with change and I was really worried about how he’d cope with a new class, a new teacher, new TA and a different daily routine.
Well one week in to Year Three and it’s a case of so far, so good really. It’s all gone much better than I could have hoped for. Over the school holidays I didn’t mention school at all unless my son brought the subject up. I left getting everything sorted for the school year until the very last minute and we did his summer homework the day before he went back to school.
We’ve definitely had issues on the sleeping front. For about two weeks before school started my duvet thief returned, most nights. If I asked him what the problem was, was something worrying him, the answer would be no. But I’m pretty sure it was him feeling a bit anxious about the new school year.
His new teacher, Miss W has big shoes to fill, as my son adored Miss P and she really seemed to understand him and his ways. All I’d got out of Monkey before the new term, was that Miss W was strict. How would this all pan out I wondered.
So we got to last Wednesday, and although my son was running out the door to get to school, it wasn’t as traumatic as days gone by. We got to his new class and he walked right in without any hesitation or upset. You have no idea of the relief I felt at that moment. Phew, this might be ok.
Of course, day two and the first following Monday are always the pain barriers here, so I was under no illusion that we’d cracked things. Day two saw him go back to bed a number of times but he did get up and dressed in the end. One week in to Year Three and he’s volunteered more information about what he’s doing in class, lunchtime and play times than, I think, I’ve ever had before. Then he drops more nuggets of information in at random points in the evening, it’s really been rather wonderful.
Of course, he’s already moaning about the writing, maths and reading. Nothing really changes there. I’m still waiting for his school reading book and diary to come home. I did mention it to his teacher on Monday, and still it didn’t come home that night.
Apparently he thinks Miss W is ok, but obviously not as nice as Miss P (his words not mine), but that’s a start.
The joy that is Spellings list came home on Friday, a list of ten words and a week to learn them in, no change from last year. But how I would love for him to just sit down and get on with them, rather than create merry hell about them every day. I don’t believe in homework at the weekends, so we’ve never worked on spellings then. On Monday’s he has to copy down each word, then on every other day, he has to look at the word, cover it up and write it down. I’ve tried getting him to write sentences containing each word, that worked quite well last year, but we’ll have to work up to that again this year I think. Writing is just not my thing Mummy! Don’t I know it.
In Maths he’s learning numbers up to 1000 now. I can see fun times ahead with that.
The biggest thing in the last week has been school swimming lessons. I knew they were coming, but thought they would start after Easter. The first day in Year Three he came home with a letter telling us swimming would start on Monday of this week and he’d have to have a swimming hat. I would love nothing more than for my son to be a confident swimmer. It’s a life skill I didn’t learn until my mid 40’s and I really don’t want that to be the case for my son. But if you’ve followed my blog for a few years you will know that we tried and failed with swimming lessons. I cried as I wrote the email cancelling his stage 2 lessons. It was a disaster and I’ve never been able to get him to have lessons since.
Whilst he hated the lessons, he clearly isn’t afraid of the water. As demonstrated on our last trip to Spain where he would jump in (with armbands) at the 2.3m deep end without a backwards glance. He can actually swim, with his own rather unique style, but he readily admits that he prefers armbands, as they make it easy.
So we talked about school swimming lessons, and it didn’t go well. He wasn’t going to go, he wouldn’t join in, he wouldn’t even get changed, he said. Great, we aren’t even a week in and already we’ve got tears and frustration. Ok, well let’s at least get you a swimming hat. He wanted a blue hat, when I went to the school office, they didn’t have blue, I bought red. Oh Mummy, that’s fab I love red. Phew, one obstacle dealt with, as he paraded round the living room with his new headgear on.
We sorted out his swimming bag, labelled everything he would need and waited for Monday. We’d had a really hectic weekend, so there was no time to worry or think about school until Monday morning. I’m not going swimming, tell Miss W I am not going, I am not going to join in, tears and everything.
So he walked into class, not so happy and I had my first conversation with Miss W. Explained his swimming lesson history and his fears. I honestly had no idea how the day would go.
I certainly wasn’t expecting him to run out of class, with a huge smile, telling me he loves school swimming lessons. In my head, I was thinking, you little bugger, I’ve been worried sick all day! But I’m obviously thrilled, thrilled that he joined in, went on his front and back, showed the swimming teacher his stroke. Turns out it’s a teacher I know from my own swimming lessons, which he seems to like. Now of course, this new-found love of swimming lessons may totally have been forgotten by next Monday. But at least it’s all looking promising and he hasn’t lost anything.
Next hurdle, today there is a class Talent Show where the children show each other what they are good at. I’ve suggested he takes in one of his Lego models that he’s created, or some of his Steam Train things. But no, I’m not showing them anything. You win some, you lose some, and you learn which battles to fight.
One week in to Year Three and we’re now paying for school meals. I think it’s a good thing for him to do at school and although I’m not sure how much he eats every day, it’s certainly helped getting him to eat a few different things at home. He came home on the first day, to tell me his best friend G is having packed lunches this year. It means they don’t sit together at lunchtime. I was waiting for the ‘I’m not going to have school dinners if G isn’t’ protest, but it didn’t come. He brushed it off and told me he’d sat with other people from his class. That shows a confidence that wouldn’t have been there a year ago. He even ate a bit of sweetcorn on a pizza on Monday when L told him he wouldn’t taste it! Sweetcorn! He hasn’t eaten that since he was three.
Spending wise, I’m buying six weeks worth of school meals at a time based on £2.25 per day. One swimming hat at £1, a set of six swimming lessons £6 and a school trip for next week at £14. It’s been a rather costly start to Year Three so far.
One week in to Year Three and overall I think we’re doing ok.