The Grade One Blues

Man, I had forgotten how hard the first two months are of Grade One. The sheer exhaustion of being in school all day long leaves them cranky, explosive, and so, so tired at the end of the day.

Poor Little Miss Sunshine can barely function – she comes skipping out of school each day, cheerfully hugging me and telling me school was, “GREAT!”, and then, within 10 minutes, she’s a blubbering mass who can barely make it home. Once there, she’s snappish and mean and every single thing is the “worst thing ever” or the “hardest thing ever” or the “meanest thing ever,” and oh Lord, am I ever counting the seconds to bedtime. GAH.

Yesterday at pickup this happened:

Her, bursting into tears three minutes after telling me she had a GREAT! day at school: I’m so sad!

Me: What’s wrong, honey?

Her: They [meaning her sick brother and sister] got to stay home, and I had to go to school!

Me: Well, they also had to feel terrible all day. And I thought you liked school?

Her: No, it is HORRIBLE. I hate school!

[A group of spirited young boys runs past us…]

Her, sobbing: And why are those boys RUNNING?

Me: I’m pretty sure they are playing some sort of tag.


Me: Good thing they didn’t ask you to play, then.


Me: That’s lucky then, isn’t it?

Her: Now you are just being FARTASTIC.

Me: What’s that now?


Me: Ooooooookay.

Her: I want to be home RIGHT NOW!

[Collapses on the ground wailing.]

Me: So do I, honey, so do I.

Eventually I dragged her to the car and we made it home, where I offered her a snack (met with hysterics), tried to help her with her homework (met with wails about how it’s all just TOO MUCH and NOT FAIR), and even attempted piano practice (which ended with her being sent upstairs for jammies a whole half hour early).

Holy Hannah, Grade Two cannot come soon enough.

12 thoughts on “The Grade One Blues

  1. B.G. was the same way last year. She went from a very laid-back teacher in SK to a teacher who seemed to rule with an iron fist in grade one. Quite the adjustment! It took months for B.G. to stop saying how much she missed her SK teacher. We also had some behaviour issues as she adjusted to the new reality.

    Only nine more months to go! 🙂

  2. Oh no. In Grade Two is just gets worse. More homework. As you’ve already seen from my blog. Forget the homework, according to research it’s not helping anyway – other than reading.

    The adjustment is rough, as I’m sure you remember. Our Little Man would go to bed at 7:30 pm most nights after starting Grade One. He’s adjusted to that part of it, but Grade Two homework expectations are kicking my . . . Or, they were, until I (and he) stopped doing them. Cheeky me.

  3. Uh oh. Grade one is rough for us Moms too. Although I can’t help, but find all the drama a tad amusing as well, but that’s just me. Oh and a pro-tip it does not help the situation at all if you let them know you find it even the slightest bit funny. Or so I’ve heard 🙂

  4. Oh no…poor thing…poor both of you. It’s kind of funny to read about though (sorry, that’s fartastic of me to say). I second the wine suggestion!

  5. Grade one is tough.. they are exhausted at end of day. Mine both needed at least an hour of total “down time” (read: tv, video games) b4 they could function appropriately.

    as for homework, our board (Catholic) has a 10 minute x grade recommendation and our school has followed that to the letter. this means a grade 1 student should have no more than 10 mins of homework. I have found this to be awesome. homework has NEVER been an issue around this house & for that I am grateful. I wish all schools would do the same… kids need time to just be kids after school.

  6. I was facing homework tears with my grade 6 girl this afternoon. The difficulties just seem to evolve as they get older, and never really go away. Best of luck, it sure isn’t easy.

  7. Ugh. Angus used to take the bus home in grade one, so I missed the bouncing-out-of-school part and got him after he’d sat on the bus JUST long enough to realize how mightily tired and pissed he was, which was AWESOME. On the other hand, ‘fartastic’ is a really epic addition to the family vocabulary, so there’s that. Hang in there, LMS!

  8. smothermother

    Add being dropped off at before school at 7:15 and picked up at 5:30! The jellybean has been doing OK, but the weekends seems to be when he comes undone and acts up. seriously thinking of getting a second car, except for the whole having to pay for it thing.

  9. Our first grader likes school but wants homework (so not like her brother!). And she doesn’t like lunch because it’s too loud. This from the girl who screams louder than anyone else in this house, so…?

    Hope your little one gets settled soon…

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