I should be able to write a post telling you not to worry about your child starting school (like this one): After all this is my fourth time. It was always going to be hard letting go of my very last baby as it was a difficult decision to decide to have no more children (see previous post).
All those fears about starting school are generally irrational – of course your child will eat, go to the toilet and make friends – why wouldn’t they. That in fact they are no different to the other children starting.
Sometimes I can listen to others who tell me my son is also no different: I hope they are right. I hope my fears too are irrational. A good friend reassured me that I’m actually in a better place because there are children starting school who struggle with toileting, for example, but that my son will receive extra support. Of course I’m crazy to think that he will just go to the toilet, get off and walk round half naked – because there will be someone there stopping him wont there. If he wets himself, that’s okay as I’m sending him in with spare clothes.
The other kids will see what a lovely lad he is. That when he gets to the point where he wants to bite there will be someone there to stop him. I’ve ordered him a chewy toy – and the school they will hopefully encourage him to use it – no of course they will. That the other children will take into consideration his difficulties – that aren’t so physically obvious, as they will see that he has 1:1 support. He already has friends going too – even if they aren’t in the same class. And his big brother will be there at playtime.
That worst case scenario he doesn’t eat at school – but guess what it’s not that long he’s there and he can eat at home. But he has his monkey lunch box, and his old 1:1 there at lunchtime, she knows him, and what he does and doesn’t like. The school have offered that if he can’t cope with all the stimulation he can move to a quiet room.
That when he is anxious the school will deal with it and help. That the VERY worst case scenario is he doesn’t HAVE to go. He’s not 5 until April. Plus there’s always home schooling.
He cannot hold a pen properly, and is just mark making – but am sure he wont be the only one. He recognises his name and is coming along so well. So he wont be able to achieve all the many wonderful things that his brother did at this age (see our letter learning journey), but guess what, for him he will achieve so much.
I must forget my experience of my oldest starting school – with the teachers telling him he was evil, made to sit under a table with no shoes on sobbing – this isn’t that school, there are not those teachers, and he has support.
But why oh why does it feel like 2 hours a day is going to be a lifetime. And as he spends more time at school it will free up more time for me to find more ways to help him. He is hyper-mobile in his hands – and I need to find ways to help him strengthen them, to move his hands across his body to reach across for things (instead of swapping hands). To help him count past 3 (counting to 3 was a huge milestone).
How are you feeling about moving up to school?