10 Things I’ve Learned About My Child Starting School

Learned About My Child Starting School: Mummy and Elsie in the school playground on her first day

Considering that I’ve been dreading the whole Starting School transition since Elsie was born, I can’t quite believe that we’ve already got three weeks of primary school behind us.

It was as emotional as I feared it would be, but also strangely brilliant too.

There were a lot of tears and wobbles from all of us. With a whole lot of wonderful moments thrown in for good measure. So as part of my Starting School Series, I thought it useful to collate everything I’ve Learned About My Child Starting School.

10 Things I’ve Learned About My Child Starting School

Kids Have No Concept Of Time

Kids have absolutely no concept of time. Ok, so we already knew this, but never before has this fact been more heightened than when trying to leave the house for school.

There is sod all point in relying on them to move any quicker. Regardless of how high-pitched or shrill your voice gets. There’s no point in assuming that they’ll do anything you ask them to do. Whether it be the first, second, thrid, forteen-billionth time. They will not have grasped overnight that it was OK to late for pre-school and toddler sensory, but not for school.

Nope. It’s up to you to wake up on time, keep your cool and be pretty darn organised when it comes to getting out of the door on time for actual school.

You Need To Be Organised

This sounds a bit obvious, doesn’t it? But unless you’ve been a Nanny or a school teacher, or have done this whole starting school thing before, you won’t quite believe just how blooming organised one has to be in order to leave the house on time…or simply survive each school term.

My mind was blown in the first week…and I’m an ex-nanny who happens to be pretty organised. Keeping track of school uniform, kits, clubs, the new schedules, events, and reminders for the next six weeks! There was so much to get your head around. Now I can totally see why some people employ Nannies to deal with everything because being a child’s PA it’s a full-time job!

Learned About My Child Starting School: Elsie's school hangers with days of the week

The Post-School Tantrums

They’ve been so well behaved all day at school. Their little brains taking in their new surroundings and expectations. That by the time they come home they just want to let all of those emotions go. And what lucky person gets the full force of those emotion, why you of course.

It was so overwhelming for both of us on so many levels.

Three weeks in and I’m learning to manage her post-school tantrums a little better. Lots of hugs, snacks at the school date, an abundance of patience and some chill out time, all help towards keeping them calm.

But most days she still needs a really good cry over something trivial. Like a squashed ice lolly or how tired her legs were or the fact that her little sister had breathed near her. Joy.

Their Social Calendar Explodes

I kid you not, we have five birthday parties already booked in for the next three weekends. Five. I’m all for her making lots of friends, but at this rate I’m going to have to get a weekend job at The Entertainer in order to cover the costs of all the birthday gifts I’m going to have to shell out for during the school year.

The Random Worries

You’ll find yourself worrying about the most random things whilst they’re at school…

Who will help them choose and carry their lunch?
What if they stand there on their own all day?
Will they be OK getting undressed and then dressed again for P.E.?
Who will pick them up if they fall over?
What happens if they get lost in the school grounds?
What if they need a poo?

All perfectly normal worries and fears. But nothing a good cry won’t solve, before cracking on with that to-do list in peace to take your mind off your precious little one being stuck on the school toilet having done a poo waiting for you to come and wipe it. Ohh…!

The School Uniform Woes

You’ll fret over them losing their immaculate and precious brand new school uniform.

Well, it cost a blooming fortune and you spent a considerable amount of time labeling everything so that it doesn’t get lost. But it’s only a matter of time before she comes home wearing Rosie from Hedgehogs t-shirt and Rosie’s wearing Bertie from Badger’s jumper and he’s wearing Rupert from Armadillo’s shorts and so on…Agh! The OCD in me can’t handle it already.

The PTA Mean Business

My mum was on the PTA when I was little, so naturally following in her footsteps, I signed up and went along to their first meeting of the year. Five minutes in and I realised that I may have been a bit too keen. They mean business.

The PTA of course is a crucial and amazing aspect to the running of a school, but they are fiercely committed.

They Will Tell You Zilch About Their Day

What did you do today? Nothing.
What did you eat today? Nothing.
Did you go to the toilet? No.
Did you play with anyone? No.
Did you have a good day? Yeah….No…

The after school chats will be riveting. In the first few days, you’ll be torturing yourself that they are absolutely miserable all day long and have stood alone, staring at the gates until your return. Which is probably far from the truth.

They’ll pick their moments to give you little insights to their day as and when they are ready they’ll tell you little snippets that will either reassure you or just add to your already anxious state. Triffic.

Learned About My Child Starting School: the girls hugging before school

Will You Be My Friend?

Your little one isn’t the only one having to make new friends. You are too.

In amongst the starting school nerves and unfamiliarity of it all, you’ll be looking around wondering if anyone wants to be your friend too? Having been a nanny I know how much it can help school life and the kids if you’ve got a good circle of school mum friends to fall back on help you keep on track with everything. But actually making those friends is another added anxiety to an already nerve-wracking experience.

So I’ve RSVP’d to the school mum drinks in a few weeks in order to make some new school mum buds. Hopefully, I won’t make a tit of myself after a few too many glasses of wine and then be forever known as that odd lush of a mother who cried and kept asking everyone to be her friend…fingers crossed hey.

It’s Going To Be OK

In all honesty, I’m amazed at how well Elsie has been starting school.

All of those fears and worries that I tortured myself with over the summer holidays were lifted by the end of the first day. They are so ready for new adventures and new experiences and we are so lucky to have such brilliant and safe places for our children to grow and bloom.

Of course, there will be more sad days. There will be bumps and bruises and anxiety fuelled outbursts. I can’t think about all the serious stuff too much, or I’ll never stop crying. But I’m thinking of the positives and embracing all of the wonderful things that come with starting school. Plus I can’t wait for that magical moment where she comes home and read to us one day soon. Oh and that first parent’s evening where we can learn that she has actually done something this term and not nothing.

What have you learned about your child starting school?

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