Summer holidays started yesterday and we are all so relieved. Daniel goes to grade 10 next year, Rebeka to grade 4 and Sofia to grade 2. Grade 1 is a very, very big deal. I totally underestimated the effect it would have on my girlie. Last children are always the baby of the family and I know Gary and I baby her far too much. She is a fairly quiet little soul and sensitive as well. She is strong and determined and won't give in easily but at the same time has a heart that breaks at the smallest prod.
It is actually quite hard to reprimand her and those eyes just fill with tears ans she is genuinely upset. Now I know it sounds like she is manipulating me but she really does get very sad if anyone speaks to her in a harsh or loud voice. My home is pretty calm and I hardly ever shout at my kids. Gary and I are not loud people and fortunately yelling or shouting is not part of our family. Enter the grade 1 teacher Mrs H. An extrovert with black hair and lots of make up and a very, very loud voice that often yells. Think Cruella de Vil, scary!
The irony is that she is fun and fabulous and all the kids adore her and I really like her too but Sofia took enormous strain in the first part of the year. The shouting totally freaked her out as well as the abrupt manner Mrs H sometimes has. She is not one of those mommy nurturing kind of teachers and would probably be great at an older level. Then I think one of Sofia's other stressors was the worry of where to be, when and what to bring and what to wear and remember. Its a big school and all of a sudden they need to know that at a certain time they must be on the field in their sports clothes etc. I helped her in the first 2 terms by being at the school and walking her down to sports. Its hard to let go, to have to watch them toughen up. Being a state school means even less molly coddling and greater independence.
BUT, my girl has coped and has matured so much and become so much more independent. I am incredibly proud of her and pleased that her stomach aches seems to be far less. We did OT the first term (STILL no pencil grip but we have accepted that) and I did play therapy the last 2 terms to help her deal with anxiety and worry that the Loebenberg genes seem to pass on.
For those of you with grade one's next year, good luck. Sometimes the kid we think will fly struggles and the the opposite is true too. Be patient and get help and support if you need. Parenting is all about equipping our kids with ways to cope on their own. Don't compare your child's work to others, they learn at different levels and all catch up eventually. Find their sparkly bits and focus on those rather than obsessing over their weaker areas. If you feel overwhelmed get some help, most schools have remedial for those weaker areas. Pack their bags the night before, read the letters so you don't forget to send stuff and add them stress. Make sure they know your mobile number. If you have an issue with the teacher do not be aggressive or defensive or blind to your child's faults. (I had an awesome meeting with the teacher when I almost took Sofia out her class) Baby them in the beginning if need be but know when to step back. Do your bit for the school, what you put in is really what you get out. Enjoy it, it flies by and you will both survive even if the reading will be so boring to listen to you will drool and nap sporadically at each homework session. Enjoy your little person with their gummy gaps and massive front teeth that is leaving your nest. So proud of you my Trixie-Bix!
How cute is this! So much to bring and remember for a little 6 year old person.