B2S: How to Get More of an Answer than “Nothing”

As I sit here typing this, my son is peacefully asleep, hopefully dreaming sweet dreams of starting grade 1 tomorrow. I myself am sick to my stomach over it. I thought this year would be easier, since he was at the big school for prep last year. I know states all over the country are different, so for those of you not in QLD, our kids have to be turn 5 by June 30th of the year they start school. The first year they do is called “prep” and it precedes grade 1. It is sort of a transitional year between kindergarten and “big” school, even though it is at big school and they wear the uniforms.

I remember how anxious I felt on the first day last year, not knowing what room he would be in, who his teacher would be, or if any of the 4 kids he knew who were also starting would be in his class. It turned out 2 of them were, and the other 2 were right next door. I also remember the tears as I walked away from my crying child who had been led into class by a teacher who didn’t seem overly loving and caring*.

I thought this year would be different. I thought this year would be easier. But I find myself sitting here, the night before, feeling just as anxious as I did last year. I don’t even know where the grade 1 classes are. At least I will see friendly and familiar faces this year. And hopefully a few of them will even be in Nick’s class. Mostly I just hope neither of us cries. Last year The Mechanic was there to drag me away. This year he won’t be.

Emily over at Have A Laugh On Me shared great tips for those of you who are first time school mums this week and asked us what advice we would give.

I have three pieces of advice, all which were passed to me by mums last year. The first relates to lost property – always check your child’s bag while waiting at school pick-up. If something is lost, you may be able to recover it then and there. If your child is anything like my son, they won’t bother to put things back in their bags, but rather will put them on top of their bag, or leave them loose in the bag racks.

My second piece of advice will (hopefully) help you avoid getting that dreaded “Nothing” answer to your questions, like “What did you do at school today?” that Emily mentioned. The trick is quite simple, and may be something you already know to do. It took me 6 months to figure it out!

Instead of “What did you do at school today?” ask “What was your favourite thing about school today?” You can follow that up with, “What did you like the least at school today?”  Instead of, “What did you do at lunch?” ask “Did you play any fun games at lunch today?” It helps to jog their memories, and also makes them think about it a little harder than just blurting out “Nothing!” as an answer. You could also ask “Did your class go anywhere today?” It might make them remember that they went to PE, the library or music class that day.

My final piece of advice is, if you can, leave homework until the next morning. I don’t know about you, but some mornings my son is up at 5:30 am. This means we have 3 hours to kill before he has to be at school. Instead of turning on the telly (which causes drama in our house when it’s time to turn it off!), sit and them with their homework. Often they’re more refreshed after a good night’s sleep than they are when they come home from a long day in the classroom.

My bonus piece of advice – soak in every second, because they’ll be graduating high school before you know it! And make sure you fight back those tears until you are well out of sight. I hope all the kiddies going back to school this week have great teachers, a few friendly faces in their class, and lots of stories for you when you pick them up!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

 

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14 thoughts on “B2S: How to Get More of an Answer than “Nothing”

  1. Ahh I can’t say I’m looking forward to sending the girls off to school. Their first day in new rooms at daycare today is enough. I hope all goes well for you today and someone is there to give you a hug if you shed a tear. Great tips from you and Em. I will definitely keep them for when my girls start.

  2. Aww great advice! I can’t believe my little one starts school next week. Miss 15 starts back tomorrow. The homework hint is a good one if everyone is up early!

  3. Yes to the leaving homework, think we might try that occasionally this year, they are fried and tired after school. Thanks for link back lovely. And I can’t wait to see how it all goes, I hope N had a super day xxxx

  4. Great tips Aroha. The question ‘who did you play with today?’ has always worked well for us as well.
    And last year we did Bridie’s reader in the morning whilst we did her hair. I always found that was just the easier option and she was much better rested.

  5. Hope Nick has an awesome day and a fabulous year in Grade 1! We start on Thursday – with PJ back at kindy on Monday – AJ is sooooooooooooooooo excited – it is rubbing off on me and I can’t help feel excited for him to start a whole new year. LOVE the tips of how to ask questions so as to avoid the dreaded “nothing” I will be trying that this year xx

  6. What a shame the school doesn’t cover these basic things in the last weeks of school. We are heading off to prep this year but Miss 5 has met her teacher, her class room, they all did a walk to the toilets and playground. Good luck.

  7. Great advice! Mr 4 (turning 5 this year) doesn’t start prep until next year. We already do the specific questions because otherwise we get ‘I don’t know’ when we ask what he did at daycare all day.

  8. Ah, yes! These are great tips! Thanks, Aroha! It’s like pulling teeth trying to get the twinions to tell me how their day went. And while it was fine last year because our daycare centre always followed up with a brief day report. And now at pre-school…nada. Goes to show how good we had it.

  9. I love the advice to soak in every day. Considering that my boy starts Kindy on Monday, I am guessing that leaving high school will be happening much faster than I can even fathom.

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