How Spike has reacted to starting school
Discussions,  School

Clinging, crippling shyness and resistance to everything – how Spike has reacted to starting school

For 3 years Spike has been full time in nursery. We knew from the changes that occurred within that setting that she takes time to adjust. The first week or so after moving rooms in nursery she was always clingy at drop off. So we kind of expected more of the same starting school… 

A staggered start 

Spike’s school opted for half day starts for those starting school this year. She was in 9-11.30am for 4 days, then 9-1 for 3 days and then began full time. They have a high intake of kids who come straight from home, or part time at nursery. So I kind of understand why they did this. However for us it has caused more problems. Spike was more unsettled and probably took longer to adjust because of this. She didn’t know what she was doing when she was doing it. 

Spike’s first day of school

I took Spike’s first day at school off work. I knew that she was only in 2 hours and I would spend the entire day worrying about her. So I booked it off and spent the 2 hours at home pretending to read a book… Me and T both were both there to drop her off thanks to our recent house move too. We walked to school talking to her about what she might do, went in with her and left her with her teacher. She didn’t speak while we were there. Then after my morning coffee, I went and picked her up and we came home, played and walked to the shops. All in all, Spike starting school on that first day was relatively easy. 

Starting Kids Club 

As we both work 9-5 jobs Monday to Friday, we knew Spike would need after school care. Especially since we’ve moved away from the family we did have up the road. We booked her into the after school club over the road from her school. We didn’t have chance to book her into any settling in sessions so I made a point to walk over to the club with her on her first day and introduce her to the person who would pick her up the next day. On the Wednesday I picked her up from there at 5pm like normal and explained this would be more in line with her normal school days. She was a little clingy, and cried because they gave her crumpets that first day. She was shy at first but has started to come out of her shell a bit… So all in all Kids club has been a success so far! Phew! 

The inevitable clinginess

As mentioned, we knew what would be in store at drop off because of her reactions every time she moved rooms at nursery. T is doing the school drop off as the school is round the corner from his work. For the first few weeks she’s literally clung to him like a leach as they walk into the classroom. She would barely speak to anyone and told us frequently at the start that she hadn’t made friends or talked to anyone all day. However this week she’s been better. She’s found a couple of friends at both school and kids club to play with, and yesterday she just walked into the classroom without a fuss! 

After school restraint collapse 

I had heard of after school restraint collapse and feared this would be the case for Spike. But hoped after long days at nursery having to behave it wouldn’t be as severe for us. I was wrong. I think every child goes through this and one of the things I’ve noticed Spike does most is the hysterical laughter. Spike has always got giddy when she’s tired, and laughs uncontrollably when she knows she’s done something wrong but is too tired to comprehend it. We’re having to introduce time outs to get her just to chill the heck out when it gets too much. I’m going to try and re-introduce yoga in the hopes it helps too! 

PE Breakdowns and reading tantrums

We are of course going to experience a lot of differing behaviour as Spike settles into this new school journey. We had the worst ever morning in her 4 years last week when she screamed the house down because she didn’t like her PE kit. She’s started to notice she’s the only kid her age who goes to kids club 5 days a week and she’s told me on more than one occasion that she doesn’t like it there because the older kids are too loud. And after being so excited about bringing books home from school, she didn’t like the fact I was getting her to read them! But we’re dealing with it ok I think. 

Sleeping woes 

The past few weeks have also brought about a few sleeping woes for us. Spike has never been a great sleeper and its got so bad lately. I am not sure if its from moving, starting school or a combination of all the changes she’s had to go through but something is stopping her from wanting to go to bed, and from sleeping when she’s there and its a bit like having a newborn again some nights. But a cuddle and a kiss and she’s back to sleep again thankfully. 

Starting school on the whole

To be honest, just 3 weeks in to school, she’s stopped with the tears at kids club, calmed down with the clinginess at drop off and we’ve heard her speak to other children and the teachers. So I think we’re doing ok even with the lack of sleep and the after school resistance collapse. She says she loves school and when T jokingly told her she couldn’t go today she got upset! She was so ready to learn new things that Preschool couldn’t teach her so I think her brain is loving all the new things its getting to do. Even if her body is tired from it all!