With school under way for another year, I’ve noticed that parents are writing about how their children are not always settling in to school – especially after being so excited before they began.
So why does this happen?
Sometimes I think a reminder of what it might be like to be “in the mind” of this child is a help to parents and teachers during this sometimes overwhelming time.
Fortunately I know how to be 5!
“I’m 5 …
I’ve been at school for about 4 weeks now.
BIG school my sister says.
So do I sometimes when I forget its name!
It’s not what I thought it might be sometimes.
My old friends are not there.
They went to a different school.
The teacher tells me to find a friend.
Who do I know?
I’ve just started school.
Here’s what I’m thinking about at the moment.
I’m in bed.
Dad read me a story and Mum kissed me goodnight.
I know I should be sleeping but here’s some stuff I want to tell you …
My weeks have been really, really busy.
I started school!
I knew it was going to be a long day.
I didn’t know it would be every day!
I heard about school for such a looooooong time from everyone mum and dad knew, the preschool, the people I play with at the park, the swimming lessons, soccer, at the doctors, and I was ready. I thought I was anyway. Mum and Dad said I was.
School is a big step, I heard someone say.
What is a big step.
I can walk up LOTS of steps.
School was a building I got taken to last year and it was a bit scary and a bit fun.
My parents said I’d be so grown up going to school.
I got a special uniform. I got new shoes.
A lunchbox, drink bottle, a bag.
In my favourite colours – blue and yellow.
I even got a hat with my school’s name on it.
I lost it today. My hat.
I don’t know where.
Mum’s a bit cross and I know now I won’t be able to play out in the playground.
You know, I really really miss preschool and being at home.
I have been told I have to go to school for 13 years.
I will be…maybe about 120 by then.
… Is this right?”
For most five-year-olds this time of their lives can be ‘overwhelming’ but taking time and understanding how it might be from the child’s perspective … parents and teachers … will help the children grow into school and all it has to offer.
I also recommend that if ‘school resistance’ by your child begins … or doesn’t end … you make time to explore why this may be occurring before seeking professional help via your school’s team of advisors. Sometimes time does help. It can also be that your 5-year-old (school starter age) is unable to express what is the matter and this will need some careful observing and noting it.
I hope that your child who just started school is going well. I also wish you the very best as a parent of a child at school. It hardly seems like anytime when you brought your baby home from hospital!