Eva has been in school for four weeks now. Four long weeks, and I can honestly say that until today, I had no idea what she did at school each day. Over the Summer, before she started, I envisioned the moment when I would pick her up from school each night, how she would run into my arms, shower me with kisses and excitedly tell me about the fun and exciting things she had done at school that day . I imagined the walk home, the way she would skip beside me, hand in hand, chattering about her day, about the friends she had made and the new things she had learned. And although I was dreading her starting school, I was actually really looking forward to that part.
So it came as quite a shock to find that actually, the reality is very different! Every night for the last four weeks she has trudged out of school, her little face sad and tired, and she has slipped her hand silently into mine and walked home, dragging her feet beside me. And for four weeks, twenty long days of school, no matter how many times, and how many ways, I have asked her how about her day, her answer is always the same, “Don’t know!”, “Can’t remember!” and “I’ve forgotten!”.
So today, I spent hours on Google, reading up on the best ways to get information out of your child, besides the use of bribery, and it turns out that there are all kinds of articles and websites where “experts” share their winning formulas on how to get your child to tell you about their day. As I made my way through them, jotting down all of those relevant to us, I thought it would be fun to use them, not only for Eva, but also for other parents to ask the same of their children. And so the idea of “After School Club” was born, a series of interviews that I will post at regular intervals on my blog, where we can share the school years through the eyes of our children and hopefully, fingers crossed, find out a little more about their day.
So week one and here we are with Eva, aged four, who tells me nothing whatsoever about school other than the fact that she hates it.
1. How would you describe school using just one word?
(I predicted this one, she tells me a hundred times a day that school is boring..)
2. Tell me about the best part of your day?
Wearing my P.E kit.
(No mention of actually doing P.E, I’m wondering whether just getting thirty children changed for P.E took up the whole of the day?!)
3. What was the hardest part of your day?
Not being able to go outside.
(When I ask her why she couldn’t go outside she doesn’t know, either it was raining or she’s just gunning for sympathy!)
4. What book did you read today? Did you enjoy it?
I didn’t read a book. I’m four, I can’t read yet! When I’m five I will be able to read all the books.
(She looks at me as though I am stupid for asking this question in the first place..)
5. Did anyone in your class do something funny?
Yes. Someone in class two did something funny. They showed their belly at us. And when they push the door they fall over but they don’t hurt themselves but they just pretend to.
(This is the most she has ever told me about school. She is sat here laughing like it was the funniest thing ever!)
6. Who did you play with today? What did you play?
Athena. We played horses.
7. What rules do you have at school? Do you think they are fair?
Don’t pick other people up in your class. It’s not really fair, I’m very strong.
(She proves just how strong she is by picking up Megan, now that takes some serious muscle!)
8. What made you smile at school today?
Playing with the big girls.
9 What was the funniest thing the teacher did today?
She did nothing funny. She’s really not funny.
(I can’t help but laugh at this, Eva is still looking at me like I’m stupid though..)
10. What new words did you learn today?
(I’m not sure if this is a new word she learned or she is just insulting me. Either way, best we move on…)
11. What did you feel proud of today?
Nothing, Cos my name isn’t on gold. I didn’t get a prize.
(The children have a traffic light system for behaviour but if you do something really special you go from green to gold and win a prize. I feel sad that Eva thinks you should only be proud of yourself for getting gold. When I tell her that she should be proud to stay on green she tells me, “Hmm maybe, but I really wanted a pencil.”)
12. Does anybody make you feel cross at school?
Well a boy was pushing me.
(Whaaat?? Who?? Why?? Let me at him!! When I ask her who she says he had a blue coat.)
13. Who is your best friend and why?
Athena. Cos when she was little she was at nursery with me.
(Athena and Eva are BFF’s, her face literally lights up when she answers this question. )
14. What did you eat for lunch today?
Erm I don’t remember now.
(She sits and thinks about it for ages as I try to jog her memory with every food stuff in the history of man…)
Hot dog and cookie! It was yummy!!
15. Tell me one cool thing you learned today?
We didn’t do anything cool. It’s boring! School. Is. Boring!!!!
(And there we are, back to square one!).
If you’d like to feature in the “After School Club” series please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I look forward to hearing what your little ones have to say about their school day!