Friday, 17 April 2015

Advice for new school starters (that's YOU, the parents!)

Hardly anyone could have escaped the fact that yesterday was the day when parents of four year olds everywhere were awaiting the decision over which school their child had a place in for September.

This year was the first in the last four where I haven't been applying for a place for one of our children myself, and yet my Facebook and Twitter feeds were still chockablock full of anxious parents waiting for news.

The slightly irritable part of me wanted to shout "man up, you ninnies.  It's only a school place!" but then I remembered back to last year when I was one of those anxious waiting parents too. (I of course was all serene and cool about it and never once sent a grumpy tweet to our local council Twitter account because they were slow - ahem).

What can I say?  The madness takes over for a few days and then?  Everything returns to normal for a  while until you start looking at buying uniform and all the other inevitable stuff that happens before the start of the school year.

And, speaking of the inevitable, I feel that as I will never get to experience the joy of new primary school starters ever again, that it is my duty to impart my wisdom* onto those of you waiting in the wings.

So, here is a little guide to the first year in the style of a Friends flashback episode (i.e. With the use of some older blog posts because I'm not writing it down again).

Holiday homework for new starters

You might think that when your kids start school all that you need to do is turn up on the first day with a child in a uniform carrying a shiny new book bag.  Right?


These days it seems that teachers like to start sending homework before you have even set foot in the classroom.  Let me introduce you all to the Talking Box, my personal Nemesis.  If the thought of it wasn't bad enough then trying to fill it with only six days until the end of the school holidays wasn't my finest move.  Stress, much?

You have been warned.

School Admin

Once you have been at your chosen school for a few weeks days minutes you can be sure to discover the joys of school related admin.  It is bonkers annoying but unfortunately is totally necessary too.  I'm afraid that you have no choice but to suck it up unless you can delegate it swiftly onto an unsuspecting husband or partner.

First Nativity 

One of the most exciting parts of primary school is the school nativity - unless you have to provide a costume of course, which is totally annoying and sucks when you can barely sew a nametape onto a school jumper.  Here for your amusement I wrote about some of the nativities I've seen as a parent  - The seven ages of the School Nativity *wipes away tears*.

First School Trip

Another new experience - sending your child off on their first school trip.  Sometimes school trips can be costly which in itself is a bugbear of mine.  Sometimes though, even when a trip is a free one, you can question why the school is running it.  Here is a post about being wrong about a school trip and jumping to conclusions.  

The Class Bear

Regular readers will be aware of my love/hate relationship with our current class bear, Elvis.  The truth is I've hosted more class bear visits than I care to remember and so when DS3 got the honour of bringing him home a few months ago I decided to create an alternative entry for his diary - The class bear's first visit.

Needless to say, because I have twins it was inevitable that he visited for a second time (much to my complete horror).  His second visit was a little more wholesome, but not much ;)

The School Run

There comes a point in every school run mum's career when they realise that there are only so many hours in the day and it is impossible to remember everything.  Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  My School Run Mum Hacks might give you an idea of how I roll and how you can too, if like me, you are a totally disorganised mess in the mornings.

The Summer Holidays

Congratulations!  You've made it to the end of your first year with a school going child! You've done what feels like millions of school runs, answered piles of school related emails and sobbed your way through the first nativity, but will you feel like I always do?  10 things I won't miss about term time sums up how I feel every year, well every year until the holidays actually start and the realisation of expectation versus reality kicks in...

This guide may be lighthearted and flippant but it has made me realise a few things.  While the start of the twin's school career has been stressful at times, it has also been fun, and I have seen them grow and develop in so many new ways.  They have made me proud.

Now to look forward to next term - the start of Year 1, when I will send them back to school looking like this:

Only to have them coming home looking like this:

Anyone got any idea how to get whiteboard pen marks out of expensive school jumpers?

*  No wisdom, just my own particular brand of lunacy.


  1. Love your posts. My teen has 2 days to finish English homework & revise for a science test, I miss primary days x

    1. Thank you! We had that here too - Primary days aren't so bad I suppose ;)


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