I have just finished buying and labeling all the school uniform and P.E kit. Yes there is for me 2.5 days (at time of typing) left till it is back to school. I confess I am one of those Mum’s who doesn’t look forward to them going back, it is not just the morning pack lunch run, it’s the extra stresses it can bring usually for Bex.
This year Oscar starts secondary school, so now he is all kitted out for a more grown up school. Moving up does seem to have a sudden jump from being quite relaxed with very little homework to really quite strict with quite a lot of homework. You get ‘red flags’ if you forget to bring books etc, for late homework or being late.
Bex last year went the whole year with no red flags (very unusual) but Oscar is far more like me and well sometimes a little disorganised. So to counteract this I will encourage him (somehow) to be more organised. I will have a copy of his timetable on the pinboard and will get him to check it the night before to organise what he needs for the next day. I have a ‘cubby’ hole for him in the under stair cupboard, Bex has one too. This is a space to put any books that they are not using and any homework sheets or projects to be done.
They all have homework diaries, this scheme works to a certain extent but personally I think they should be taught to use it in a more organised way (yes me!). For instance they get given homework on 6th so they are told write it down for that day but it due for 2 weeks time. To me it is more logical to put it in on the day it’s due too so you can look ahead and know that when it has to be in by. Somehow Bex has managed to survive on the system they are taught so hopefully Oscar will too. Maybe I will get him to pencil it in when it’s due!!!
As a Mum who also worries, I will fully prepare myself for Oscar not thinking it is that wonderful on day one. Secondary school is so much bigger than primary. It is noisy when it is switch over time for lessons, breaks and lunchtime is very different too. Suddenly from being the oldest class you are suddenly the ‘little ones again’ and the big ones are now adult size big that it can be a little daunting.
But as a grown up, I also know that you do survive it. I am not the parent who tells my children that school days are the best days of your life. Some children totally love school and are chomping at the bit to get back but mine well given the choice would stay at home and when I was at school I was totally with them on that too. So I don’t total stress when my two say school is boring etc as despite all of that they both do really very well (much better than me!).
So top tips from me for surviving going back to school:
Make a space that school things are kept for each child. With that I mean books, homework as this can easily get mixed up with other things
Make an extra timetable and have it pinned up in the house somewhere or blu tacked on the inside of their wardrobe door. Just somewhere that it can be seen but also by you when they are starting out.
Encourage homework to be done sooner rather than later. It so easy for them to say ‘It not due till such and such’ but then the next day you get more and suddenly you are left with a pile and a weekend of homework. Trust me been there done that and it is no fun.
Know when P.E days are. At Bex and Oscar’s school they have timetable over two weeks which means depending on which week it can be different days. But have a rough idea means you won’t have P.E kit panics or worse still forgetting it!!!
If there is a problem at school do talk to them. I have had mixed reactions to problems Bex has had at different schools but as far as I am concerned as a parent when they are at school, the school is looking after their welfare and if I think that something is happening and they are not doing that then you will find me sat in the headmistress office or phoning in. After all they are being paid to care for and teach your child they also want your child to be happy. Most good teachers and head teachers would rather you spoke to them about any problems but by the same token know when you need to go in rather than every tiny thing or we would be there all the time I am sure 🙂
As it doesn’t seem long since Bex and Oz started in infants my top tip for when they first start their school journey has to be a shoe tip for school shoes and plimsols that Bex and Oscar’s reception teacher told us and that is:
Draw a half a smiley face in one shoe on the inside and the other half in the other shoe, once placed together they make a complete smiley face so easy for the children to get the shoe on the correct foot. Plus will make them smile too 🙂 mine always had really wild hair!!!
Also if you have a couple of hours to spare to help out at school it can really give you a good insight into the working of school life and usually appreciated too!!!
And finally most importantly plan a nice relaxed first weekend once school has started 🙂 and look forward to half term in October!
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