Thinking back to just three years ago, even as Little Man was born I was so against starting school at such an early age. Four is too young, they need to be children for longer, was my thought. Then as Little Miss has been getting older, I’ve seen that she is ready for more formal education. Little Miss is hyper excited! She has been asking for months now, “when is September?” She sees this start for what it is- a passage into the world of being just that bit more grown up, gaining more independence. She can hardly wait to learn to read and write. She has associated learning these skills to school and wants to learn them so much. Yet it doesn’t even cross her mind, even when we say it, that she can learn to read and write outside of school. (Not that we have ever really encouraged her.)
We are facing the end of an era in a week’s time. The pace of our lives will inevitably rev up a notch. Ant to be honest I am hyper nervous: How will we get her to school on time every morning? How will I manage it with Little Man in tow? What form of transport will I end up using- cycle (as planned) or the lazy option, the car?
I got part of her uniform already, but keep racking my brain on what else do I need to get. Will she still need the summer uniform, or can she start with the grey skirt and white shirt straight away? Do her shoes fit?
A fellow mum, the mum of Little Miss’ best friend who is going to a school close to us, but different than where we have enrolled Little Miss in, has already started organising shared pick-ups and drop-offs. She works shifts. How do working parents manage this?
The introduction day was so long ago. That went well. Yet I still feel nervous for Little Miss.
We project our fears and bad experiences onto our children. How can I avoid this? …It is very hard not to. I started a different school 4 times – in 3 different countries, with 2 different languages. Although I was always open and confident it took a toll on me.
Little Miss is also very confident, even more than I was. She is a handful at the moment, completely wanting to do her own thing all the time. She talks back or just ignores us, and repeatedly reminds us that she ‘knows everything we know’. How will she slot in? … I so hope she slots in well and finds the right friends (ones who will not move away soon, as people often do in Oxford).
Our Little Girl is so distracted during meals at the moment. How will she finish her packed lunch in the allocated time without her someone nudging her? How long will it take her to learn to eat quickly?
Starting school is a huge adjustment for any family: I just realised the other day, when my sister invited us to my nephew’s 1st birthday in mid December, that we will not be able to go. We will now be tied to school holidays. We will have to pay more expensive fees for all travel and accommodation and won’t be able to avoid crowds at zoos or museums anymore. Will we really be tidied to these obligatory times to visit family and friends for the next 14 years?
Apparently I will have more spare time. Will that compel me to fill it up? To find some form of employment?
Little Man will have me to himself for 3 whole days. He is going to love it! … I think. …but who exactly will he play with while Little Miss is in school?
Are we all really ready for this?
Have you got any hints and tips for making the school start easier on the family?