The First Term At Primary School
It’s all go at the moment on the school front. You may be looking at schools to make your selections by the 15th January for any littles starting this September. If you didn’t catch Lisa’s post yesterday all about why OFSTED isn’t always everything then go and have a read of it after you’ve finished with me. I wanted to talk today about how Leo has settled in now that he’s completed the first term at primary school and has just started his second; changes I’ve noticed; how I’ve found it and how we’ve adjusted to the new changes for everyone.
I wrote a post back in September about my feelings towards him starting school. I knew he was ready and turns out that I was too. I’ve found his days at school leave me pining for 3:30 when I get to see him. I didn’t anticipate how much I would miss him.
He flew through the first term. He made friends quickly, his peers voted for him to represent their class on the school council. He was loving it. Whilst other Mums were telling me their little ones were in bed by 6:30 Leo was still full of beans and not wanting to go to bed.
Half term was a lovely break. Tayo was still in nursery so we had a few days in the week just the two of us. And then we were back before we knew it to start the second half of the term. The half that seemed to go on forever.
You’ll know if you follow me on social media or if you read my post a few weeks ago about being at hospital with Leo that during this half term he got something stuck in his ear. Nothing to do with school whatsoever but it became a bit of a tumultuous term and I think it was mainly due to his ear. I was (very) anxious about it (it took us four weeks to get an appointment to have it removed) and he had an associated irritable nose which was driving him crazy. I think that mixed with him finally starting to feel overwhelmed by tiredness and everything he was learning at school attributed to all of the mega meltdowns that ensued.
Leo is fairly emotional at the best of times. Just prior to school starting and through the first half term we had to tackle a fair few meltdowns and epic tantrums. Lots of feet stamping, lots of if ‘it’s not fair’s (I don’t even know where that came from!?) but the second half of the term it seemed amplified. He’d rush home with this weird, what seemed like ‘false’ energy, and then come bed time he’d struggle to walk up the stairs moaning and groaning.
I needed to do something to try and combat the tantrums before they started because we were both getting sick of it. I tried to put a couple of things in place. We would have a snack either on the way home or as soon as we got in. We would really talk about his day, even though he might not have any answers or remember I wanted to try and extract all of that overwhelming information he’d absorbed in the day out of his head so that it was clear. He can be a bit of a dweller and I was noticing that sometimes when we go to bed he’d start telling me all of these things from the day and that wasn’t helping him to settle. I’d then get him to try and do something relaxing, 20 minutes of sofa time to wind down and then I try to get him to help me with his dinner; cutting cucumber or another similar easy task. I found doing those things helped to counteract any overwhelming outbursts. Don’t get me wrong, these things can still go wrong but majority of the time they helped.
The week before the christmas holidays came and we were so ready for a break. Just the thought of not having to get up and be somewhere on someone else’s deadline was enough to get me through those last few days. We both needed it. I’d worked out my new routine with nursery runs and the new school run but I was so ready to take things at my own pace.
Turns out Leo was a star over the Christmas holidays, not getting overwhelmed by a house full of people, showing signs of gratitude and enjoying the odd lie in 🙂 It’s amazing what a bit of rest can do isn’t it.
Yesterday was his first day back. He was looking forward to seeing his friends and I feel a little more prepared for what the new term brings. I’m going to try and maintain my after school routines where I can and hopefully this term will run a bit smoother on the tantrum front.
How was your little one’s first term? Were you ready for them to go back for the new term? And how have you dealt with over emotional new starters? All the tips are welcome as ever!