AD – We are coming to end of July and the end of the school year. My eldest is coming to the end of Year 1 and I simply can’t believe it. I can still remember her first day of reception. She looked so adorable in her summer dress with her fringe (she had at the time). She went in without a peep and really never looked back. The day she started school was lovely.
I worried about her of course. I went back to work after maternity leave soon after and remember many tearful times, as I missed her and was scared about the impact of me working and school. My little baby in school! It felt unreal. But she was fine. I was fine. It was a new routine and I loved dropping her off and picking her up from school.
I do wish there was a few things I already knew about school before she started; a few tips and tricks I have picked up over the last year or two. I’ll let you into this to give you a head start.
– There is no need to worry. They are fine and really do play all day long. Really!! Reception is just nursery with a bit more learning. They don’t always know they are learning either. I volunteered in reception last year and it opened my eyes to how much fun they do have.
– You will forget things; a lot of things and it can be a little stressful. Have a scheduler or calendar to track what is going on at school and what you need to remember. Homework, reading, inset days, performances, parent’s evening, bring a cardboard box in, bring food in, upload to their online journal….it is a big list!
– Make friends with a Mum who is organised or join the class WhatsApp group. It helps, as both remind you of what is coming up, if you are scatty like me. I have my neighbour, who is way more organised than me!
– You are likely to become a school Mum. I just wanted to see exactly what my little girl was getting up to, so volunteered for this and that. I’ve not gone as far as the PTA though!
– They will wreck their uniform and shoes, so it really is important to be prepared and buy good quality uniform, where possible. Very have a fantastic range of shoes to choose from, including Kickers, Clarkes and Lelli Kelly. I’m a firm believer in choosing a good quality pair of shoes, even if you pay a little more. My eldest has only had one pair per year for the last two. Buying two or three cheaper shoes a year? It’s pretty much the same price! We chose a patent shoe and they have lasted so well for her. Very also have school uniform sorted with their back to school range. If you can try to avoid the specific school uniform shops, as they are pricey! I had no choice with my eldest’s cardigan and pinafore but skirts, could go elsewhere. Make sure you get enough, as they will lose them. My eldest had a couple of cardigans, two pinafores and a shirt for everyday.
– They may not be as tired as you expect! I’d heard all these reports of exhausted children being asleep by 6pm. Parents struggling to get them up in the morning. I was expected a very tired child and maybe some earlier bedtimes? Nope, she was fine and took school totally in her stride!!
– Be prepared for them wanting to start after school clubs and there will be a lot of leaflets coming home. Have a good think and try not to pick more than one or two. One it is pricey and two, they may find it a little much doing so many after school. Even though I didn’t find my eldest was more tired, she does have reading to do and likes her chill time.
Sending your kids to school for the first time is sad. It’s the end of an era; their time at home as babies but they cope and you cope. I missed my eldest and I worried a lot but I needn’t have. She was fine and is now thriving; ready to go into Year 2.
I’m sure the tissues will still be ready though!!
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.