H has now completed two full weeks at school. We are no longer in back to school mode, so I thought it might be handy to make a note of things we’ve found out since she started.
• some children may find it harder than others to settle and it’s horrible for the parent. You don’t know how your child gets on once they’re through the doors, but a traumatic drop off can make a horrible day for you. If your child is friends with another, why not try to arrange to meet up with them at drop off time so they’re walking in together? It may be they’re getting to the playground and feel quite intimidated by it.
• you will be bombarded with letters. At BritMums I got a Personal Planner and ordered it to start from September so I can log everything school-wise in it to keep organised. It’s a different kind of calendar to our everyday one, as I can make notes about school dinners so I know how many weeks we’ve paid for, and make sure all important days are properly logged. I’m finding the Personal Planner a big help. I’ll write more about it soon and will have a giveaway so you can win one as well.
• If your school is anything like ours, your child’s PE kit will stay in school until half term. Oh the horror! I asked H if she folded her kit when she puts it away to be told “I just push it in the bag, that’s okay isn’t it?” – I’m making a mental note to teach her how to fold things a bit better! *dreads half term*
• Your child will probably tell you absolutely nothing about school. This is normal. We are only finding out about what she’s done via other parents (and vice versa). H is finally starting to tell me some things which is nice. Bear in mind they’re using a lot of brain power at the moment with learning – they’ll find it tiring, and probably won’t want to talk about their day (much as we do when we’ve had a hard day at work). It’ll happen.
• The only thing which gets H out of her uniform at the end of the day is to tell her she can watch Lazytown if she gets changed. This may be bad parenting but it works. I get to do some work while she watches too, so it’s win-win. Except Cartoonito have changed their schedules. Damn you.
• I now know why people give their uniforms a wash before wearing. H’s cardigans and sweatshirts are red – and we have the red fluff balls on all our clothes.
• Buttons. Bravo you lucky parents whose uniform is adorned with zips, take pity on us buttoned ones! Never before has a buttonhole felt so difficult to someone so small – and there’s the peer pressure of PE and doing it without asking for help. I’m considering sewing some buttonholes and buttons on fabric for her to sit playing with. I realise this may be the dullest toy ever though.
• Books. You will be bombarded with books, lots of phonics. Lots of stories. If you’re really lucky your books won’t have words in them so you’re describing the pictures. They exhausted me! Fortunately we’re on words now, but as a parent I can see we didn’t talk about pictures in books as much as we could have. Reading words and not looking at what else is going on in the book is easy to do when you’re busy. Take five or ten minutes to stop and read and talk about the book – even if it’s only six pages. We’d read five or six books and get through them in that time – we’ve slowed right down. Everything is slowing right down.
• There will be songs your child sings that you don’t know. YouTube is usually your friend.
• You can never have too much uniform. Already one pair of tights has a hole.
• If your child is starting reception, you’ll be like most of us and grumble about the long settling in and short hours. Actually having come out of it, it made sense why they do it – everyone does it (it’s not like some kids stay longer and others are sent home – everyone goes home at the same time). Now the first full week is over she’s less tired than she was (but still tired). After school clubs won’t be offered for the first term as they like children to settle in first – I’m hoping for a couple after Christmas when I’m sure she’ll be ready.
• Bumps in the playground. Yesterday H came home with a big graze on her knee after a boy pushed her over. We have some wipes and plasters ready in a first aid kit so patched it up and it’s healing now. In fact you may need all sorts – check you’ve got the basics in anyway, as in, antiseptic wipes, plasters and bandages – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately we have a super new First Aid Kit so we’ll be fine!
• Don’t forget vitamins. For ALL the family!
Boots have put together a Back to School chart with loads of handy hints from other bloggers – you may want to have a read and get prepared now, especially if your child is set to start next September. Nursery has taught us some of these things, but it doesn’t hurt to have another read and there are many things I’d never thought about before now.
We were sent a first aid kit from Boots for this post, but all content is mine.