It’s that time of year again and everyone will be handing out advice to parents whose kids are just starting school for the first time. If you are reading this then I will assume you fall in to that category. You will have been hit with information overload with everyone offering hints and tips so I will keep this brief. My top 3 tips for parents whose kids are starting school for the first time are:
- Be on time
- Be prepared
- Be organised
There, sounds easy enough doesn’t it. You could stop reading right now if that is clear enough. But if you are keen to find out more then I will go in to further detail on each one.
Be on time
For three years I dropped my child off at his childminder. I knew what time breakfast had to be served by, when teeth had to be cleaned, when we had to leave the house, how long I could spend kissing and chatting to him before I left so that I managed to get to work on time. But with school there are a few more hurdles. Taking a different route, finding somewhere to park, calculating how long it takes to walk from there to the gates, allowing enough time for volume of traffic, and then engineering it so that he is first through the door so that I can still make it to work on time.
Also, if I was a few minutes late with the childminder nothing really rested on it. It was only me it affected. I still got charged from the agreed time no matter how late I was. School is different. The doors close. If you are late it’s a trip to the school office and a withering look from the secretary. Not to mention the guilt from looking at your little one’s confused face. And then there is the late mark that’s registered on their report…..
All of which are best avoided. Trust me. Be on time.
Be prepared for the emotional and the physical aspects of school life. We are talking:
Dress-up days – where you have less than a week to prepare and sit there wondering how you can make a jungle outfit out of a tea towel and some pipe cleaners.
Crafts – where you then regret the D in Art you got in school because you thought you were never ever going to need to know how to make a papier-mache rocket (in my case).
Nativity Play – choking back the tears as you watch your little one and his class mates belt out the first verse of Little Donkey. Its only ever the first one because they are too young – and distracted – to remember the rest.
Playground bust-ups – heart breaking as they tell you they didn’t have anyone to play with because their best friend went off with someone else.
I won’t even go in to Parents Evening, School Report, Sports Day (I thought I was going to need counselling after this event), Accident Reports, Class Parties. But by now you get the picture.
This might sound like the one above but it’s not. This is about having everything ready on the Sunday for the week ahead. A fabulous parent hack idea I stole is to buy a set of plastic drawers (5 drawers). Label them Monday to Friday and then load up what’s needed for each day. Wellies, books, PE kit etc
If you haven’t already got one then buy a good diary. Write everything down! I would recommend one of these Mum’s Office – School Year Diary it’s my saviour (and I’m not paid to promote it).
Stay on top of school emails. They come thick and fast.
Set up/join the FB page for the other parents whose kids are in the same class. I was sceptical at first but it has been my lifeline. Not all the emails from the school are self-explanatory. It’s good to have other people to moan to/clarify things with.
After the first term it will be a doddle. Good Luck!
Harry’s Honest Mummy x