Sunday, 8 September 2013

And Year 2 begins...

Back to school, for us, like most, has now happened. Mini started getting worked up about 3-4 days before, as I started to pull together all the various bits of new school kit ready for naming etc.

My content, playful, mostly happy child of the Summer has mutated into a grumpy, angry, defiant boy again. The boy who couldn't stop talking about anything and everything has become tight-lipped about everything that occurs between 9am and 3pm.
Over the holidays, my little man gradually got better and better about going to bed; we heard less of the nightmares, less of the remonstrations about bedtime and fewer excuses to stay up. Now? Back to bedtime struggles, and not enough sleep.

Everything we do has become a battle again.

I know the phrase 'don't sweat the small stuff'. At times this becomes our mantra. So we're letting some battles go and we've introduced the use of consequences again. After posting for help on The Adoption Social, we've taken Sally Donovan's advice and each time Mini hurts either myself, the NC or Dollop he has to do a chore/household job...with us, and we provide a narrative as we do it together. Knowing that there is a consequence doesn't seem to prevent Mini hitting out (yet) but it is isolating the incident and we're moving on quicker than before, plus it's helping to get some of those jobs done!

I won't lie and say the summer holidays were perfect...we had our moments. And as usual, after the really good days, we had the bad ones. But for the most part it was much better than previous years and we had some really nice times and hopefully made some great memories. This though makes it all the more clear that it's during term time that Mini's difficulties come to the fore. Is it being at school? Is it being somewhere other than home?

Without a doubt, this school is not right for Mini, and this transition hasn't been well-managed - elements of it yes, but others no. And I'm afraid a clash of personalities with the Headteacher hasn't helped. I can't carry on fighting this woman who is more interested in raising attendance than looking after the pupils who ARE at school, who is more interested in improving academic skills instead of caring about emotional well-being. And whilst I know that school is about academic learning, surely if the children feel cared about, important, special, safe and listened to, then their ability to learn will be better too? Ah, but what do I know, I'm just a paranoid mum!

It's only been two days so far, and I'm dreading (let alone how Mini's feeling) the rest of the year. I'm not letting on to Mini of course. And with all this awful feeling I'm also caring for Dollop who has shingles! Yes, very rare for a child to get, and coincided nicely with the start of pre-school and the end of the broken leg saga!

How has back to school been for your children?


  1. My 9 yr old son who loves school suddenly got a bad episode of his IBS the first week into his new term and were now dealing with him trying to cope with the possibility of him not being able/ or allowed to go to the toliet quickly enough! Spare clothing in cool bag so friends comment on bag on what the content is,.is helping him cope. Letter to teaches, New teacher who hasn't yet managed to understand my son is hopeful he will be allowed to go when he asks! Time will tell. Change is always difficult.

    1. Change is very very difficult. Unfortunately not all schools have staff that are willing to even try to understand :-( I hope your son manages OK x

  2. Have you thought about homeschooling? At home he feels safe and perhaps that is what he needs right now. His behavior now is showing you (I think) that he feels unsafe at school.lots of info and easy to find others doing it. It might be the school....but it may also just be that being at home with a secure base is the best thing. I've been homeschooling for the past year and I love it. It's a whole different lifestyle and yes hard work at times. Kinnda like the holiday with learning thrown in and the learning can be done in a fun way. It's legal, you just have to de-register your child. You don't have to be a teacher and there are different styles and approaches. Some do buy a curriculum some are more child led. It's what works for you and your child. There are loads of us out there and with the internet finding each other is easier.If you go onto yahoo a lot of groups can be found there. Type in home schooling and the area you live. People worry about socialization but we've made loads of friends and my daughter is learning in the real world and relating to people of all ages. When else in life other than school do we spend all day with people exactly the same age as us? You know your child best and how he learns best. Learning is meant to be fun. A child wants to learn to roll, to stand, to talk, to walk and eat. Often they go to school and the desire to learn is squashed out of them. I sound like I'm really against school and actually I'm not. I just prefer this choice and many parents don't realize they don't have to send kids to school. You do have to educate them but how you do this is up to you and your not tested or anything. No stats! Lots do go onto do GCSE and do well (self motivated learners). Unis like them because of this. Honestly look into . I used to tut tut the idea but then read up up about it and changed my mind. it may not be for you but it's worth at least considering.

    1. Hi Caroline, thanks for commenting. Actually yes we have considered home-education. And towards the end of the Summer holidays I joined several groups/forums/FB pages and networks, some of whom are the local groups, and I'm still doing lots and lots of reading. I also have the number of our council's local Home-Ed advisor so I can learn more. And one of our contributor's (over on The Adoption Social) has written a great piece about Home Education. I'd like to think I could discuss it further with her too.
      It's something that until we had such a good summer I didn't think I'd be able to manage - but I am giving it serious thought.
      However, I can't discount school altogether. And want, I think, to give another school a chance to offer Mini what he needs. If changing doesn't work out, then yes, I'll be giving it even more thought.

  3. Katie has also morphed into a grumpy little madam since school restarted. I think it's tough getting back into the routine and it's tiring having to behave all day again. I hope you're able to sort the school issues out. Several of my friends with adopted children are having issues with school and their children currently. Some are changing schools due to unsupportive teachers and other staff. I hope things improve xxx

    1. Thanks Gem. This is one that I don't think we can get over. We've totally lost faith in the leadership of this school, as well as the teachers.

      But yes, I agree, it is tough getting back into the routine of school...though I'm not sure it *should* be as tough as we're all finding it...