Friday 28 April 2017

School days, here we come - how children and parents have a lot to learn

Like many parents, we found out this past week about Ethan's primary school place and we were fortunate to get our first choice. So that's it, in a week our little boy turns four and in less than five months time, he starts school.

Full time education.
Wearing a uniform and everything.
Bringing home homework.
Making new friends.

A whole new adventure for him - and for us. So much for him to learn - and so much for us.

I've written before about how the journey to become mum doesn't end once your baby is born; we are always in a state of learning, with every new stage offering up something new to learn or know or do. I think this is what really keeps us on our toes and feeling like we haven't quite 'got it' just yet - or as soon as we think we have, something comes along and makes us feel completely out of our depth again. Sometimes, parenting feels like one big numbers game, always counting down to or up to the next stage.

We pick up lots of new skills as a mum or dad, and sometimes we can feel like master of none, and the start of school days seems to add a few more into the mix. I wonder how long it will be until Ethan knows more maths answers than I do? Or how many times I rely on Google for answers. I mean, my geography isn't great, I need a calculator or Excel to do simple sums and it's been a long while since I had to swot up on dates with historical significance (although this was one of my stronger subjects).

I think Ethan is ready for the next stage. He's been in preschool since he was eight months old and they do so much for him that there's no doubt they have helped him in so many ways, from social skills and emotional intelligence to recognising letters, counting numbers, writing his name and so many other things besides. He gains so much from preschool and is already used to the full days so I don't think the transition for him will be too difficult.

Although, he will be away from the familiar setting of the nursery, having to wear a uniform rather than his superhero or animal themed clothes and none of his friends will be going to the same school...

I think that I may find it a little harder, on that first day we go through the school gates, his shoes shining and me no doubt holding back a tear or two.

I am excited for him and for everything this new stage has in store. Thankfully, we have a couple of induction days way in advance of the term starting to actually find out more about school life and what this next stage will entail.

In someways, I feel like I'll be going back to school. 'How to be a parent to a primary school child'. Best take my notepad, and an apple for Miss...


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