Come this September my little boy will be starting school. I still can’t believe how fast the time has flown by the last four years. It still blows me away how young they start school in the UK. We are a few years older in the USA and part of me thinks he is so ready to start and part of me thinks he is still so much a baby. Deep down, I know he will be fine. He will love it and it’s a new adventure for us all.
We are here in the states with my side of the family, taking an extra long summer vacation and making it a big one to remember before he starts school. There are things I have been putting into place to help prepare him for school.
Recently, we have cut out his midday nap. This was so hard for the both of us, as B is a huge lover of his sleep and MM still naps so this was the time I got everything done. But I knew it would be better for him to last all day in school if he wasn’t still taking two hour naps during the day. I am grateful we made it four years with long midday naps with B and I really hope MM follows suit as I know not all children go that long needing one and still sleeping at night too.
We also went uniform shopping together for his shoes, p.e. outfit, pants and a few other bits to get him excited about his new school and wearing a uniform. I find when you involve kids with change they don’t get as upset over it. B is the kind of child that really likes to be involved and likes to think he has a choice over new things. I got the list of things we needed to buy from the school and to get an idea where to start I asked around Facebook mommy groups where the best price and quality of uniforms were sold. We made a day of it, going out to lunch then taking him to M&S to get his school uniform. It also made the day special for me to see my first born trying on school uniforms.
I have been pinnning Bento lunches on pinterest for ideas for his packed lunch. I think making a creative and fun lunch gives the kids something to look forward to at lunch time and a nice surprise. There are so many amazing lunch ideas, check these out.
We have been working on numbers, letters, and writing his name this summer while on vacation so he has a basic foundation to start school with. He loves learning and some of the amazing ipad apps have really helped him with reading too. While I don’t like to plug my children into electronics very often I think it’s good for him to sit quietly for a little bit each day, have time to concentrate on something to learn as he will be doing, come September, all day long. This tests his concentration skills and teaches him to focus for little bursts of time, I think that can really help prepare him for school. Of course, we only do it when he is interested and enjoying it. We would never push him too hard at such a young age as all kids are at different levels at this age we were told when they start school.
B’s school isn’t close enough for us to walk to so I have a few kids’ fun and educational cds for the car ride each morning where B and his sister can sing and dance along for our commute. I think our car ride home from school will probably be filled with chatter from B and what he has been doing at school all day. This is one of the things I look forward to the most. I still have memories of doing this as a child myself in my mother’s car on the way home from school.
We talk a lot about how he is going to be in big boy school and no longer in nursery anymore so he is emotionally prepared to start school. B is a sensitive soul so if we warn him ahead of time of anything big changing he is usually pretty good with it. But if we don’t, he can get quite upset not knowing what’s going on or why. Some parents say don’t talk about it too much but I think it depends on your child and if they need that extra time to comprehend such a change. Either way, I know he will adapt fine, kids are resilient to change.
I can’t say all this about me and preparing for my son to start school in my own head is much harder. It’s letting my baby go. Letting someone else to be in control of his asthma, allergies, and littler quirks that I know how to take care of. It’s hard to give that control over to a stranger that will be a huge part of his daily life. I have so many worries, and concerns outside of him doing well with his new school. It’s more the unknown as I am an expat American and trying to fit into an English school life as a mom (mum). I wonder will that help or hender me in fitting in with the moms and getting involved with the teachers and school more. I like to think I will be a huge part of school life once MM starts too. I think I will be the nervous one come the first day of school not him.
Do you have any tips or advice for my son starting school? Would love to hear them…comment below. Or join in the twitter fun using #tipsandtricks.