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Green Sage

Anyone else facing first year of school, with a background of Covid19 next year?

Come, join this thread, let everyone know how you are going.

 

Im in Melbourne, my second son is going into prep.

There are a few issues. We haven’t had any Transition sessions yet. There will be 4 next term, and they think 2 will just be remote sessions, pre recorded videos, etc. 

I can’t buy uniform yet because the uniform shop is on school grounds and even when school goes back next term, parents aren’t allowed on school grounds. So parents will have to do mail orders and hope sizing is ok.

DS and his cohort have missed a LOT of 4YO kinder. Some kids in DS’s kinder class have missed almost 3 terms. So they won’t be as prepared for school as they should be. 

I’m lucky, my other son is going into grade 1 next year, so we are familiar with the school already and I have spare uniform. But I am unlucky cause my son has a few special needs and without some good transition, day 1 could quite possibly be a complete disaster, with possible meltdown or refusal, and me being unable to leave him. 

I feel sorry for the first time school parents that are trying to navigate all this remotely. 

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Pooks_

We are also in Melbourne, DD is also at a council kinder and she’s also the second child! I hear you! I am hoping things will get better by the end of term and some things will loosen up. My older child is autistic and DD has anxiety and a few other quirks, so I’ve got some similar concerns. Term one is going to be hard.

I’ve heard that schools are preparing to treat term 1 of prep as basically kinder, while adjusting the kids to being at school. Can you have a chat to the schools inclusion/wellbeing head, they’ll help work out a plan. Do you have an early intervention worker? Preschool field officer? Now is a good time to kick off those conversations and get some strategies in place. Get them to make up a social story with photos/ a video you can play at home, organise a meet and greet with his teacher, zoom with the teacher.

Term 1 I often pick DS up early either before or after lunch break (usually depending on the heat) so he has more recovery time. 

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Green Sage

All good advice Pooks, thanks.

The school is pretty good. They are going to distribute social stories for everyone to read to their kids, plus an extra “meet your teacher” social story later on. They are very good with their videos and online stuff now. They have already asked for feedback from any parents with kids with special needs (I’ll do that this weekend) And I’ll definitely be asking about a few extra school visits if necessary. Even if it’s after hours. 
They do half days for the first week of school. And 4 day weeks for the first 5 weeks. As well as staggered lunch and recess to give the preps the entire playground to themselves. So it will be a gradual start for him anyway. 

Im fairly sure he will be OK. But, my son can be very unpredictable in what he is and isn’t OK with. And if he doesn’t like the teacher, or make friends quickly, it will be hard for him.

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Kallie88

Melbourne here too, but its my eldest so I have nfi what I'm doing either 😅 she's missed 2 terms of kinder, I'm leaning towards sending her for term 4 just so she can get used to it all again. mind, i haven't even enrolled her yet *(its our local zoned so that shouldn't be an actual issue) because every time i've tried to print the form it's stuffed up and now i have no ink left. Waiting for big w to deliver more

Edited by Kallie88
*to the school not the kinder
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Mooples

My eldest is off to school next year in Melbourne too. It’s pretty obvious all the Melbourne parents are the ones freaking out with so little kinder this year. He is at the elc of the school he will go to so is at least familiar with the grounds And has a fair few friends going up with him but I’m really hoping transition goes ahead next term. 

I think during term 2 when the school was open for everyone the uniform shop was open by appointment only. Hopefully that happens again, I don’t want to have to guess. 

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Green Sage
29 minutes ago, Kallie88 said:

Melbourne here too, but its my eldest so I have nfi what I'm doing either 😅 she's missed 2 terms of kinder, I'm leaning towards sending her for term 4 just so she can get used to it all again. mind, i haven't even enrolled her yet (its our local zoned so that shouldn't be an actual issue) because every time i've tried to print the form it's stuffed up and now i have no ink left. Waiting for big w to deliver more

Sending her for term 4 is a good idea. They just announced that it’s going to be free I think, like the other terms have been. And she may make a friend that’s going to the same school. Kinder teachers also pass on a statement to the school about how the child is going.

my son doesn’t have any kinder friends going to his school. Another challenge. Oh well, he won’t be the only one. 

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Pooks_

They’re definitely going to put even more energy than normal just on making the kids feel settled.

DS still has the little pink teddy “Cupcake” we got him from Kmart for $3 the summer before he started school, he was filled up with my love and kept in his bag’s front pocket for whenever he needed it. The whole class knew about  Cupcake. He has offered it to DD and she’s like, yeah nah 😂

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Pooks_

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Edited by Pooks_
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PuddingPlease

My youngest starts next year, her older sister was in prep this year, like others little one has missed most of her kinder year.

Their school is doing weekly online orientation groups for pre-preps which has been pretty cute, it's a bit tough because she remembers the extensive orientation sessions that her sister had last year but hopefully they can do a couple of sessions in term 4.

She has really enjoyed having her own online sessions to participate in, most kids are pretty good at finding the positive I think.  

Edited by PuddingPlease

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blueskies12

I'm actually feeling like I need counselling to send my child off to school next year. I am finding the thought of it really hard. My son has asd.

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PrincessPeach

My youngest is off next year & is more than looking forward to it, We are Qld, so the shut down hasn’t been as long/hard as you guys in Victoria, but still things have had to be done differently & I’m glad he isn’t my first to go for to school. 

No orientation days & the only way I can buy uniforms is because as a current parent I can order them online to be delivered to my other child’s classroom (no hand-me-downs, both are the same size).

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Kattikat

My eldest will start prep next year and we're in Melbourne, so yeah pretty much NFI what I'm doing! We didn't get to do any tours do have no idea of we've picked the right school and we haven't heard anything about transitions. I guess everyone here is in the same boat and schools will be prepared for the fact that next year is going to have to look pretty different to normal years. Right 😬?

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Sara.xoxo

I’m another lockdown Melbourne mum. My DS has been to kinder during lockdown (I’m a nurse) but I’m really anxious about prep next year. The kinder have offered a redo of 4 yo kinder citing social reasons and maturity but I’m not sure. Do I send DS to prep next year when he will be 5 or wait another year? 
Any words of wisdom from experienced parents? 
 

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Green Sage
5 hours ago, Sara.xoxo said:

I’m another lockdown Melbourne mum. My DS has been to kinder during lockdown (I’m a nurse) but I’m really anxious about prep next year. The kinder have offered a redo of 4 yo kinder citing social reasons and maturity but I’m not sure. Do I send DS to prep next year when he will be 5 or wait another year? 
Any words of wisdom from experienced parents? 
 

I’m against holding kids back in general, so ignore my advice if you have a genuine need to hold your child back. It’s a very personal decision.

but, I would think, of all the years, next year would be a good one to send them to school, because ALL the kids will be behind. It may be a good opportunity to have a slow start. The teachers, surely, will not be expecting much. 

a lot can happen in a term too. And this is the problem in Victoria, you have to make the school decision too early. 

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Green Sage
On 17/09/2020 at 9:20 PM, blueskies12 said:

I'm actually feeling like I need counselling to send my child off to school next year. I am finding the thought of it really hard. My son has asd.

Do you have a psych? For your son? Or yourself? Counselling is probably a really good idea, for you both. I keep meaning to make some Psych appointments for my son and ourselves  in term 4 too. Just for general advice and strategies. Might ring them today.

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Zippypeaks
10 hours ago, Sara.xoxo said:

I’m another lockdown Melbourne mum. My DS has been to kinder during lockdown (I’m a nurse) but I’m really anxious about prep next year. The kinder have offered a redo of 4 yo kinder citing social reasons and maturity but I’m not sure. Do I send DS to prep next year when he will be 5 or wait another year? 
Any words of wisdom from experienced parents? 
 

FWIW, I'm a lockdown Melb mum too, my child is March born and did 4yo kinder this year (turned 4 this year). We've decided to repeat 4yo, being at the younger end of the cohort and having missed more days than attended is what drove our decision. Academically very ready, but has socially regressed thanks to this year. Kinder teachers were supportive of whatever we decided and application for a repeated year was very easy (unlike typical years where it is very difficult).

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Hands Up

Our second starts next year (first started this year). We are in NSW so COVID impact is very different. The school isn’t doing the orientation sessions they would normally do but DS2 is one of those calm, confident kids who isn’t ruffled by anything really (unlike his older brother). We’re assuming he will transition easily from preschool to kindergarten, helped by the fact that preschool is onsite. 
I will need to buy uniforms but won’t even think about that until January as both my kids grow in big bursts and he hasn’t had a leap in months. 
 

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blueskies12
12 hours ago, Green Sage said:

Do you have a psych? For your son? Or yourself? Counselling is probably a really good idea, for you both. I keep meaning to make some Psych appointments for my son and ourselves  in term 4 too. Just for general advice and strategies. Might ring them today.

Thank you. I do have a psych for me. I will make some appointments in Term 4. Thank you for posting.

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Fossy

Our son will be starting foundation in Vic, he has attended kinder this whole year so is more than ready for a change.

He has siblings already at the school so he’s excited to join them, he has quite a few kids he knows that will be in his class so he’s looking forward to that. We’ve been talking a lot about it, his excitement is very cute.

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rosie28

My son is in foundation this year (Vic) and all the prep teachers have been doing extra training, preparing to treat term 1 as basically kinder. It’s very play based anyway but they’re preparing for kids who haven’t had an ideal transition/kinder year. Foundation is very nurturing. My nephew starts next year and I think they’ll all be ok. 

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Green Sage

well, primary school has confirmed they cant do on site orientation for preps next year. So they are going ahead with their planned online transition program.

I have emailled them asking them specifically to not skip DS's kinder when they do kinder visits (because he is the only one from that kinder, they would have skipped it)  fingers crossed they do a visit and can at least see him in that environment and chat to his kinder teachers.

I am just grateful that DS is already familiar with the school because of my older son.  

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Kiwi Bicycle
20 minutes ago, Green Sage said:

well, primary school has confirmed they cant do on site orientation for preps next year. So they are going ahead with their planned online transition program.

I have emailled them asking them specifically to not skip DS's kinder when they do kinder visits (because he is the only one from that kinder, they would have skipped it)  fingers crossed they do a visit and can at least see him in that environment and chat to his kinder teachers.

I am just grateful that DS is already familiar with the school because of my older son.  

I wondering if in school transistions would happen. No way would parents be able to walk the child into the classroom, sign them in and out and lurk if their child is distressed. I had visions of kids being passed over at the office door and parents having to walk away. I guess all you have to hope is that by next year restrictions are relaxed to allow parents on school grounds again or I have visions of a lot of crying and holding their parents leg happening. ( I am talking about Metro Melbourne here. I hope the other states are working in a more normal mode).

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Pooks_

At kinder and school, my separation-anxiety kids have been met out the front by teachers and brought inside. A couple of times a special friend or extra teacher has been brought to help. Staggered start times would help with this. There are ways. 

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magic_marker

Im Vic Metro. I haven't enrolled my 2nd yet. Familiar with the school because of older child there. I'M the one that has seperation anxiety, not them. 

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