- Stay organised
From the moment your child becomes an ‘official’ pupil at your chosen (or should I say allocated in some cases) school, you’ll be flooded with communications via email, text, app, smoke signal, hieroglyphics, post and more about all kinds of weird and wonderful things – so you need somewhere to log it all.
If you’re tech-savvy this might be on your phone, if you’re old-school (read archaic) like me you’ll need a diary to transfer all the dates and info into.
2. Prepared your kids
Whether your child went to preschool or not, there’s a lot you can do to help them be independent and self-sufficient in the months leading up to starting school. Encourage them to put their own shoes and socks on, zip up their coats and master how to get all those fingers in the right holes in a glove!
3. Uniform – buy loads and label it!
Trust me you will need more than you think! Cardigans and jumpers go missing on day one, drink bottles disappear never to be seen again, and someone else’s kid will come out wearing a coat suspiciously like the one you just bought….of course, it’s all accidental but the moral of the story is label it all and have backups.
4. Homework supplies
Not immediately but during their first term at school you will undoubtedly require some coloured pencils and other bits of stationery at home for their ‘homework’ – get organised now and have paper, pens, pencils and glue on stand-by.
5. Don’t panic!
I promise you, you will be more panicked on their first day at school than they will be. They might cry when you drop them off (that’s totally normal, hell – they might even cry every day for the first term) but as soon as you’re back’s turned they’ll be right as rain and off playing with their classmates. Promise!
6. Avoid burnout
It can be tempting to want to fill the last day before starting school with fun activities to take your kid’s (and your) mind off the impending milestone, however, don’t overdo it. The first day at school can be tiring for both parent and child mentally and so a well-rested, well-prepared child is going to stand you both in good stead for a successful first day.
and by food I mean snacks! You’ve never seen hunger like post-school hunger. It’s another level. Start as you mean to go on and don’t overload them with treats otherwise you’ll be setting the bar for the next 16 years! Have a good supply of their favourite healthy snacks and the odd treat for a Friday seems to work well!
8. Finally, relax!
It’s true what they say, the days are long but the years are short. And they sure are when you’re working in 6-week blocks. One minute they’re singing the phonic song (don’t worry you’ll know it off by heart soon) and then next they’re choosing which colour year 6 leavers jumper they want. Be the chilled mum, don’t let it phase you, starting school and the early years is about learning to love education so let them be silly, and make mistakes but most of all be there for them and enjoy every second of it!