My Son’s First Half Term at School & I Hate Homework

Logan first day of school

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?

7 thoughts on “My Son’s First Half Term at School & I Hate Homework

  1. I think that’s the right approach. We all know our children best and they do get so tired!

  2. Glad he’s more settled now. In Finland children don’t start school until 7 I believe – the allow children just to learn through play & no homework! Their results speak for themselves ?

  3. It’s a roller coaster isn’t it. I was so relieved when Sofia made a close friend! We have a bit of a nightmare with home work. Sofia gets spellings every Friday to be learnt for Monday. Two chapter books to read plus one Maths assignment and one piece of writing to do. It is so hard to fit it all in. There have been weeks when we have not done everything as I don’t see any point in forcing Sofia to do it if she is too tired.

  4. Oh Laura this is so heartbreaking. Poor little man dealing with that other child. I’m glad it’s starting to sort itself out though. As for the homework, Ava doesn’t have that much and she’s in Year 1, though some of her friends in other schools have loads. I guess the best thing is just to chip away at it and also not leave it too close to bedtime. We used to do reading at night but Ava is just so tired it was taking forever , so I try to do it after we get in from school after a snack. xx

  5. It’s sounds like a bumpy start to the school year. I was once a teacher to 3-5 year olds and we had at least 6 staff in the room so the ration was a lot lower but then it was a private Kindergarten rather than school. It’s great Logan has made a little friend. I hope next term goes well!

  6. That all sounds really tough and you are quite right to worry about his confidence and self esteem. Part of me also thinks good for him for standing up to this boy and fighting back.
    However schools do not do anywhere nearly enough to stop bullying and bad behaviour. Remember if your child’s welfare is at risk you have the right to withdraw him immediately from the school and place him elsewhere.

  7. Oh I’m so sad for him that the other boy has been hitting him. What a horrible situation for you all to deal with. You can’t be cross with him for retaliating either though can you? My youngest will put up with things to a point but if somebody pushes her too far she’ll deck them and if I’m honest, I’d rather she did that than get pushed around because after she’s flipped on someone they’ve never picked on her again. It’s such a shame this hasn’t worked for your son though but I’m glad he is finding school a little easier now. I agree with you about the homework, we actually rarely do it. We read together every morning but if research says its harmful then I’m not going to push it on her.
    Nat.x

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