What I wish I had known my kid was going to school Babycare

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Will your child start school soon?

I know how you feel! My youngest child went to school last September and I led her to the gate in her oversized dress and shiny shoes, desperately trying not to make it clear how hard I was trying not to cry.

Predictably, once she went in and we left the playground, I did.

Your child entering school is a very steep learning curve for your child and, it turns out, for you as a parent.

And we learned a lot, even if, as it turned out, she would spend a unpredictably amount actually less time in school than we previously thought.

While the new school year might be a little different this time around, some things about starting elementary school will remain relevant to your child forever.

I wish I had known my child was going to school

Your child goes to school - the playground
  • Always bring a snack to pick up or they’ll bite your hands off. Even if you live two streets away from the school (we live two streets away from the school).
  • Make sure you take that correct Pick-up snack: If you don’t, they’ll let you know … aloud.
  • It ALWAYS rains on the school run. It is a universally accepted truth that even after a warm day with not a single cloud in the sky, something will pour down on it. Every day. Take a coat.
  • Your child’s class is always the last at pick-up time. Picking up your child after a day at school is lovely on Christmas morning, but your child’s class will always be last. What are you doing in there ?!
  • Don’t even try to ask how her day is. They won’t tell you. Also, don’t come up with 50 alternative clever questions to find out. They won’t tell you. You are exhausted. And so, after a week of trying to figure out how your day was. Your best hope is to gather facts from other people’s children through the school’s What’s App group. PS – all they ever eat for lunch is jacket potatoes (You can also read my post Spy kids and the secrets of the school day)
  • It takes a village … to decipher the confusingly cryptic school emails. There are many of them.
  • The gradual start to school is long – and a bit disappointing The first day of school is such a BIG DEAL … then you pick them up an hour later. Oh. At some point, in the distant future, they’ll do a full week and then it’ll be halfway. At this point, you need a break from the complicated logistics of different pick-up times.
  • You will likely do something wrong. There is so much STUFF when it comes to school, from forms to reading records and books to uniform and forest school. So it is inevitable that you will get something wrong. Everyone does it, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Do not worry.
  • The blues after school is real. And you will know about them. If you have snacks, have dinner early, don’t be afraid to turn on the TV. You are tired. You are tired. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
  • Everyone cries at some point. You will likely cry the first time you drop it off. But everyone will be too busy not to cry to notice. Be warned that the first ones are also magically emotional (I’ve never sobbed in a Christmas play or class meeting. It’s the sound of children singing).
  • The child-free time is incredible. If it’s your youngest child starting school, the time is just as wonderful as you can imagine. But it’s okay not to change the world right away. And it’s okay to spend time doing nothing, you deserve it.
  • Starting school may not be as bad as you think it is for her or you. Even if they hated going to kindergarten, they might love school (this happened to us, I was scared of it – read my post on ten things that scare me before going to school – but it was fine). There will always be days when they don’t want to go to school. Just like there are always days when you don’t want to work …
  • Expect the unexpected. When my youngest boy started elementary school last September, no one predicted that a third of the school year would be spent on teaching in a global pandemic. What’s next? Who knows. I am afraid to think.
  • Nobody ever knows what day is forest school. And what exactly are you doing there again ?!

You can also read my post on 13 thoughts on parenting in a pandemic and follow me on Instagram Gill_Crawshaw

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