School is boring…apparently

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When I got home last night I asked Ellie my usual, very simple, question. ‘What did you do today then?’ Ellie’s response was the one that I now regularly hear in relation to school, ‘boring stuff’. Normally, I simply have a wry smile to myself, shrug off the fact that I genuinely have no idea when and how she learned that word, and I let it go. Yesterday however was different.

Yesterday, I’d received a call from school saying that in the process of making crispie cakes Ellie had had an accident. Yes, you read that right – she’d made crispie cakes – that couldn’t possibly be classed as boring could it?! I found myself unable to resist the urge to tackle this boring shenanigans once and for all, and so I continued our conversation with a gentle nudge:

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Me: Like what boring stuff?

Ellie: Learning oa in my phonics group and words that have oa in them. I had to write a sentence with an oa word in it. Words like boat and road. [Ellie quickly grabbed a pen and paper to show me her writing.] I did so well I got to bring the doggy home for the night (see below the dog which suddenly appeared).

I duly acknowledged the dog (as well as Ellie’s big smile) and without prompting, Ellie then continued.

Ellie: Oh and I made a mobile. I get to take it home tomorrow so you can see.

Me: What else?

Ellie: We made crispie cakes, and I did some other stuff – I played mums and dads with some of my friends.

My eagle eye then spotted another key sign of fun at school – a pen stained dress and scruffy hair!

I pressed on further although intuitively avoided the historically sensitive subject of the hair:

Me: and you’ve got pen down your dress – how did that happen?

Ellie: I don’t know, I don’t remember.

Me: Well that doesn’t sound at all boring

Ellie: It’s hard work.

I just managed to hold back my guffaw of laughter, but hey presto maybe we were getting somewhere. Maybe she doesn’t mean boring, maybe she means she has to concentrate (although that being a problem in reception is a bit of a worry). With steely determination I decided to move to a direct challenge.

Me: So Ellie, what does boring mean?

Ellie: You have to do stuff that is a bit boring

Me: It means you have to do something that isn’t interesting

Ellie: (nodding) yep

At that point, I can only assume that Ellie sensed my impending win in the conversation and she clearly decided she’d had enough. She wandered off and changed the subject to what more she might have to eat. 

As I write this I do of course realise that Ellie’s sharp exit from our conversation means I failed to provide that final winning line of ‘so there you are Ellie, school isn’t boring’. This means that whilst there is quite frankly overwhelming evidence to contradict Ellie’s assertion that school is boring, I think that Ellie might not yet have totally accepted my view. Is it me, or have I been foiled again by a 5 year old.
To be continued…

13 thoughts on “School is boring…apparently

  1. Cat Bancroft

    Love it, so true! You get so much more from Ellie than I do from Charlotte about school though!

  2. MishMashMamma

    Actually, you got quite a lot from her! I usually get the ‘can’t remember’ line from my kids, but funnily enough they always remember what they ate for lunch and pudding! 🙂

    1. Sharon Smyth

      I’ve given up asking Ellie about lunch because it’s too depressing – she’s always eaten everything except the vegetables!
      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. Linz

    None of my 3 can ever tell me what they’ve been doing all day – apart from a very generic “numeracy” or “literacy”’d think they were only there for 10 minutes not 6.5 hours!

  4. Tori Wel

    This is all so true. Grace is similar, she uses the word ‘fine’! Although we have quite a long commute and I usually manage to get more out of her with some open questions! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo xx

    1. Sharon Smyth

      My pleasure to #PoCoLo and thanks for reading.
      It’s so nice to hear that Ellie isn’t the only one who doesn’t do anything at school. 🙂

  5. Amy Ransom

    Brilliant. My 3 year old already tells me she did ‘nothing’ at nursery. The crazy hair, filthy clothes and mud-stained face suggest otherwise. I remember telling my mum the same right up until I was 18 probably. So, what I’ve got from your post is the importance of persevering and perhaps asking one more question to get just a bit more information.

    My 3 year old also has the word ‘boring’ in her vocabulary and I wonder where she learned it/what she thinks it means. Crikey, if they think life’s boring now, wait until they’re mothers!

    (Popping over from Blow Your Own Bloghorn – shamefully late!)


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