by Yucky Mummy contributor Melissa Loughlin
My baby is all grown up. She starts school in only a few months and we’ve had a little glimpse of what life will be like with a kid going to big school at her kindy orientation during the past couple of weeks. How will we all cope? How are we all going to get out of the house every day? Will she walk to school or will I have to push her in the pram still? Will she be able to cope with attending school every day when she only does one day of pre-school a week now? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself lately.
The great thing about all this is that Lucy is actually really excited about school and loves the idea, which makes it all the easier for me to cope too. She didn’t know a single person going to her “big school” but has already made a friend in orientation. Thank goodness. At least I can be satisfied in the knowledge that she’s not some social leper that nobody will talk to.
The orientation program is great. Four weeks in a row, one-and-a-half hours on a Thursday morning. The kids go into the kindergarten rooms with kindergarten teachers and do craft, some colouring-in, tracing, singing and eat a packed recess. Us parents leave them behind and go to another room to hear all about how to help with their speech, literacy and numeracy, do a child protection course and learn how to be a classroom helper. Then we pick them up and say “see you next week”. Easy. There are no tears, no separation anxiety (well, not in our family anyway) and it’s a great little insight into what school life will be like next year for the kids.
After walking to and from school in the first week (it’s a 10-minute walk), Lucy was extremely tired and even had a sleep when we got home. She’s not used to walking and avoids it any chance she can. (She got out of walking yesterday as it was raining and my dad gave us a lift.)
There’s a lot to get ready between now and the time she starts school in late January. There’s uniforms to buy – summer, winter, sport, hat, apron (yes, the girls at her school wear an apron!), shoes, socks, jacket and schoolbag. I also want her to be up to speed with the alphabet, so she can be comfortable with the work when she starts, as there’ll be so many other things for her to cope with.
And what about me? Will I be able to cope? How will I go having to help with homework and reading every night? Getting uniforms washed and ironed? Actually making it school before the bell? Dealing with just one bored lonely three-year-old at home by myself? The tiredness and foul moods of the five-year-old when she gets home school? God help me!
But then of course there are all the positives of sending your child to school. She is being introduced to a whole new world of things that you have nothing to do with. She’ll make new friends of her own, be responsible for handling tuckshop money, become more independent, learn to read and write, and even get a religious education (it is a Catholic school after all). I can also go out during the day with just one child (a bliss I haven’t known for the past three years) and actually spend a lot of time alone with little Charlotte (we have very rarely had any time together without Lucy since she’s been born). That will be nice.
So here’s looking forward to next year, hoping that we all cope with the changes as a family when our big girl starts big school.
Lucy has now had her first big day at school. Check out her story here:
Posted in School |