Well my eldest started school last September and time has just been whisked away from us since then. I feel dreadfully sad in one way that I hardly get to spend any time with him now but also incredibly happy that he is loving school and has settled in so well.

He is a really bright little boy but.. he is a little boy! I am totally not one for categorising boys and girls into their gender roles at all but this article thinks boys and girls do learn differently. I know he has never really been one for sittiing and concentrating for very long and I really don’t believe in forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to. I have to admit though, to feeling a little concerned when I heard about his friends who could do this and that. You can’t help sometimes comparing your child to her/his peers even from when they are tiny babies but as his teacher said “every child has their own learning journey”.

When he started school he could write his name, count to 20 and recognise a handful of other sounds. Since then he has learnt lots and is now putting the words together and has grasped the basics of reading and counting. His concentration is much improved too. I have noticed though he is motivated mainly (only!) by activities that he has an interest in and/or have a practical use. He is still much more interested in playing, which I think is only right for a (just) 5 year old. They spend enough of their life in education and interestingly children in many European countries, who do just as well (if not better) long term, don’t start their full time schooling till much later (six or seven years). I read this article about when the right time to start school is, with interest.

I spent a couple of sessions volunteering in the classroom; decorating biscuits for Diwali and listening to children read/practice their words. It was really lovely to see Ethan interacting with the other children. I felt so proud and happy to see him sitting with his little friends, putting his hand up and answering the questions. He looks popular with the other children – boys and girls alike – and happy and comfortable. We chose the school in part because boys do equally as well as girls (as opposed to girls achievement being higher as is the national average). I’m not sure what exactly this school does to make the difference but hopefully this will be the case for him.


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12 Responses to And then he started school!

  1. […] I have to say there were times I didn’t think I would see the day but, Ethan who is 7, has read his first […]

  2. pinkoddy says:

    Glad he is settling in well. Least half term is just around the corner so you can catch up with him then. 20 sounds very impressive to count to when just starting school and my boys are very gd at maths. My oldest goes to a single sex school because I believe boys and girls learn differently.

    • louisejedwards says:

      Thanks for the lovely comment. x Yes looking forward to half term. You are right they learn very differently. We only have private single sex schools around us, but see how things are when he gets to that age. Had a look at your blog btw and following you on twitter now so hope to chat again. x

      • pinkoddy says:

        Thank you and am following you back on Twitter also.
        Mine’s a grammar school :o) as you say long way to go yet. Look forward to chatting again soon x

  3. Emma @mummymummymum says:

    My eldest started school last September too. I try not to talk to the other mums about which books and words their children have 🙂 I know my little boy is doing well, and is happy so thats all that matters. I do miss having him around all day though!

    • louisejedwards says:

      That is a very good idea Emma! Yes, I miss mine too – all part of them growing up. ((sobs)) xx

  4. Mummy Whisperer says:

    Sounds like he’s doing brilliantly!

  5. louisejedwards says:

    So pleased your oldest is settling in. The most important thing is that they enjoy it at this age. I know what you mean about not having that control over what they are doing though the teacher should keep you posted. Good for him being a maths whizz – i think the numbers stuff is more fun for them too! xx

  6. susankmann says:

    Up here we got with the school in our catchment area. Ours seems as good as any others. My oldest has settled in well and is a whizz at maths, he’s loving it. I on the other hand still find it difficult not having the same control over what he is doing as previously. I’m pleased your boy is settling in well x

  7. Alexander Residence says:

    I read this with loads of interest, my girl started in reception in September too. She’s reading reluctantly and I have been reading up and realising its mainly the UK that pushes them so early. if it was up to her she would be drawing and playing all day. I’m trying hard to keep it fun.
    I wish i had a chance to go in an visit, so far we haven’t been invited, would love to be a fly on the wall!
    Glad we met on twitter, site looks lovely 🙂

    • louisejedwards says:

      Thanks Penny. Totally agree it should all be about fun at this age, you don’t want to put them off and they are still so little!

      The teacher was really appreciative of the extra help tbh and it was nice to see him in that environment. I have had a Enhanced CRB (police check) done for something else and I think that helped. You could speak to the Head and/or teacher though, I’m sure parent helpers would be really welcomed!

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