I can’t believe we’ve arrived at the October half term holiday. Where has that time gone?! Just seven weeks ago my wife and I were gibbering nervous wrecks wondering how on earth our little girl would cope going from two days of nursery to full time education. There was also concern over how we would manage with a huge change of routine. We’ve been so comfortable in the last couple of years and all that was going to change. Panic!
We attended iBears first parents evening last week and it gave me the idea for this post. How would I sum up the last six weeks of this whole new world? You’re singing now yeah? It’s ok, let it go……
Anyway here it is – my review of our school journey so far.
Prior to school our weekly routine was Grandma and Grandad Monday, Nana Tuesday, Nursery Wednesday, Nursery Thursday and Mammy Friday. Feeling left out I decided Saturday was my day. It wasn’t really, it was anyones. But to me and iBear it was mine. So there.
This whole schedule has had to change but thankfully we managed to sort it all out without any stress. Mammy has Mondays and Fridays free so pick up and drop offs were easy those days. Nanas does the pick up Tuesday, Grandma/ Granddad the Wednesday and I’ve started working from home on a Thursday
so that’s my day (as well as Saturday, I’m not giving that title up). We’re very lucky we have Grandparents who are more than happy to lend a hand, I know some who aren’t as lucky for a variety of reasons. School is only a five minute walk away, thankfully, so we haven’t had to deal with road rage etc and there’s a couple of kids that live nearby so we’ve managed to strike up relationships already.
One big change in routine has been iBears bedtime. She’s always been a good sleeper and goes down pretty much straight away (thank you Mr tempting fate) but she can be quite an early riser so we decided to bring her bedtime forward from 8pm to 7:30pm with the view of being in bed reading stories around 7:15pm. As both my wife and I work until around 6pm this has meant our early evenings have become a little rushed which isn’t ideal but most importantly it’s giving iBear the best chance of good night sleep.
iBears attitude to school
Quite simply, she’s nailing it. Right from day one there hasn’t been a single complaint from her about going into school every day. She loves it and you can tell. She didn’t even look back on her very first day as she marched in proclaiming loudly – “this is it!”. We on the other hand spent the first week gibbering nervous wrecks (you can probably sense a pattern). She loves the fact there’s a boy in her class that walks the same way to school and can be found most days calling his name and giving him hugs. The hug back ratio is about 4:1 in iBears favour but that doesn’t stop her. One of the best things to hear on the drop off is when we arrive in the playground another kid shouts her name and bounces over to her. That feeling of acceptance is lovely. There’s also girl who lives a couple of doors away who’s now in her last year of primary school who’s kind of taken iBear under her wing and we hear stories of them playing together when all the kids end up outside.
The homework was introduced really early on and has been consisting of a comprehension type reading book, a library book and a jotter full of letters and colouring in. I HATED homework when I was at school although my memory only goes back to secondary school on that score. So far iBear enjoys her homework and she gives it all a good go with enthusiasm. We’ve got a white board and magnetic letters and use this to supplement it and she seems to be happy with it all. There has been a couple of weeks we’ve got to the day before it’s supposed to be handed in and had to organise a quick session. So it’s a parents “must try harder” mark against this topic.
I’m hopeless with names. So much so that when we eventually get her class photo I’ll be putting little post-it notes all over it until I know which kid is which. It’s far too early to see any blossoming friendships and one of our fears was that because iBear was new into the school and with 20 out of the 28 strong class coming through the school nursery she would find it hard to fit in. There seems to be a good atmosphere around the yard during drop off and after a barrage of questions from us she eventually namedrops a few kids here and there so we’re getting there. Being a sensitive soul the last couple of weeks she’s had a little cry about how she misses her school friends and we had a bit of drama the other day when she got upset because “no one in the whole school wanted to play with her”….. After much consoling it turned out she was actually playing with four of her class mates and “whole school” ended up being one or two of the others.
School website and general parent information
As I’m sure is the case with most parents, getting your child to tell you what has happened during a school day is nigh on impossible. Thankfully, the school does an excellent job with its newsletters and website in telling people what has been going on over the weeks. I saw recently that they’d been on a mini trip outside to collect leaves and investigate all things Autumn and when I mentioned this to iBear the other day she looked at me as if to say “well of course we did, how could you not know that”. She gets more like her mother every day…..
Having a daughter that’s a fussy eater
has meant we were always going to be worried that she wouldn’t eat much at school. This hasn’t, however, presented a problem at all. Despite the fact she forgets what’s she had each day she never complains about being starving by tea time and crucially has all of a sudden started trying the odd new thing here and there. Only today the penny dropped that her recent love of marmalade had come from the fact she’s made some bread at school (thanks again website) which ended up having the orange spread over it.
Tiredness and emotional strain
iBear’s been shattered this last week and it’s been a bit of a slog to be honest. The constant early morning wake ups and the long school days have taken their toll and she’s been a bit of a handful. It’s been nothing major in the whole scheme of things but when your Daughter looks at you with a total lack of interest whilst you’re explaining the importance of such complicated tasks as flushing the toilet or not hanging the coats up on the middle of the sitting room floor tempers can get a little frayed. She (we) needs this holiday and hopefully it’ll give her batteries a good recharge.
There’s also been a bit of a concern with a change in her toilet habits. Up until a few days ago she’d never go to the toilet very often but now she’s developed this fear of wetting herself and is going every time she thinks she’s ‘getting the feeling’. We’ve since found out a couple of her class mates have had accidents recently and it seems to have given her this fear. We’ve briefly mentioned this to her Teacher and have even got her checked out at the doctors but it seems it’s all psychological. Fingers crossed it’s just a by-product of her tiredness. We shall see.
Everyone said iBear would change when she started school and most said a lot of that might be negative in terms of attitude etc but so far I’ve loved how she has reacted to this new period of her life. She never ceases to amaze me with the things she does and I’m already so proud of her with the standard of things like reading and writing I’m seeing. Keep it going kiddo – you’re the best!