Saturday, 22 July 2017

Things You Need To Know About Your Child's First Year At School

First Day of Reception
The first day feels like a big deal, but at most schools they're only in for half a day so by the time you've had a cry and a cup of tea it'll be time to pick them up. You'll be fine.

The first time doing something without your child feels unspeakably weird and might make you weep in public. (For me it was my first visit to the library without Eleanor - she normally pressed the buttons on the self service machine *sob*)

Book bags are very easy to get muddled. A keyring will help your little one find theirs.

Other parents are invaluable. Make friends, join Facebook groups (or set one up) - seriously, you don't know yet just how much they'll help you out!

Iron-on name tags don't stick onto labels properly. I learnt that the hard way.

If it's due to rain, always leave extra time to get to school. Especially if you're walking and your child has an umbrella. It'll take twice as long.

You will find 'artwork' in the book bag almost daily. Don't be too sentimental about it or you'll get overrun. Take a photo if you must, then sneak it into the recycling.

Seeing your child with their best friend will make your heart skip a beat.

Expect them to be exhausted by the end of the first half term. That's the hardest one by far. Once you've done that one you'll feel like a pro school parent.

Hairspray removes pen marks. Put something absorbent underneath, spray liberally and rub with tissue until you've got as much out as possible. It doesn't always get the whole stain out but it'll make it look a lot better. (You're welcome.)

If you want a good seat at Harvest Festival or nativity, get there early!

Don't buy cheap school shoes. They really are a false economy.

Don't ask, 'how was your day?' Or, 'what did you do today?' The answers to these questions are 'OK' and 'nothing' respectively. Try asking specific questions like, 'what did you do in numeracy today?' Or just wait till bedtime. They'll tell you everything the moment you reach for the light switch.

Make sure your craft cupboard is well stocked for the numerous crafty homeworks you will be subjected to, or for making last minute costumes.

Don't be afraid to talk to the teacher if something's up - it helps them to know what's going on.

Be organised. Get important dates - deadlines, special events, birthday parties - on the calendar and check that calendar regularly. Your life is about to get a whole lot busier.

Try not to compare your child to their classmates. They're all different. Just focus on their individual progress.

You'll view the holidays with a mixture of relief and dread. It'll be fine. And then it'll be over far too soon.

You'll get to the end of the year, look at your child, think back to the child who you waved off on the first day, and barely believe they're the same person. They will develop so much, and you'll be so proud.

But whatever happens, they'll still be your little one - and they'll still be themselves. Just a new version of themselves.

(Rainy) last day in Reception!

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