My Son’s First Half Term at School & I Hate That He Gets Homework
My son has now completed his first half term at school. It really is such a massive, massive change. He’s gone from 4 mornings per week at pre school, to 8 weeks off during the summer holidays, to straight into full days, five days per week (his school didn’t have a settling in period). It was a huge shock for him and for me.
At first he loved it, the novelty of something new and exciting. He would come out of the classroom everyday bubbling over with the activities he had done and the children he had played with. I was thrilled for him, even if I did miss him.
Then we hit a glitch. Unfortunately he got into a difficult situation with another child. The child kept hitting and kicking him, then my son retaliated and they got into a fight. I never envisaged this would happen when my son was 4! In his teens maybe, but in reception, no. Perhaps I was naive. After several trips to the school to try and get to the bottom of things, it would seem that the other boy unfortunately has difficulties and has been hitting multiple children in the school. My son just happens to be the only one to stand up to him and hit back. A tricky situation. The child is now being monitored and his parents are involved with the school, but unfortunately he has hit Logan several times since – the last time only last week.
This really knocked his confidence at school. He started having nightmares, getting upset about going to school in the morning and as his mother I found this really hard. I could totally understand why he was getting upset and not wanting to go. But I also thought it was my role as a parent to encourage him to go to school. The advice to give him on how to handle the situation was difficult too. One day I literally had to push him through the classroom door and he kept running out again. In the end the teacher had to block the doorway so he couldn’t run out again and kindly told me to leave. I had to walk away as he cried. I honestly felt like I had betrayed him a bit, although I knew it was what I needed to do.
He turned a corner when he made a good friend at school who he now tells me he plays with everyday, which was a real blessing. Slowly, but surely I saw his confidence coming back. He began to enjoy school again and the nightmares have reduced. He still tells me he would prefer to be at home with me, but he no longer gets upset and has gone from hating phonics to doing really well at them. For which I’m really proud.
Tiredness has been another issue for us. By the time he comes from from school, he is often shattered. Some days he just takes himself up to his room and has some quiet time playing Lego or with his toys. Other days he just asks to sit a while and watch some TV.
Which is why I really hate homework. He is 5, as he is the oldest in his class most of his peers are 4. They have enough to take into consideration just coming to terms with starting school. The homework isn’t huge at the moment, just phonics and writing practise. Some weeks 3 sheets for the weekend, the worst week 6. Which meant homework on both days. After half term we will have reading, which we have been advised to do daily. I love reading so I am really supportive of it and really want my children to love it too. But do they really need homework at this age? Is it best not to be let them play, relax and adjust? Studies have shown that homework as this age makes little different to their education, so why do schools insist on doing it?
I think that one of the hard things for the teachers is that the ratios of children to adult are so high. A teacher and a teaching assistant to 30 4 and 5 year olds just seems crazy to me and I have no idea how they do it.
I guess school was always going to be a learning curve for both of us. This is his first time at school and my first time as a parent with a child at school. We will both have to do the best we can. I will try my best to support the school and his learning as I think that’s the right thing to do, but equally if I think he’s just too exhausted for homework I will not be forcing it either. How do you approach it?