The day has finally arrived, my first baby boy starting his first day of school. I never really understood all the emotional social media posts and mums crying at the school gates, until now. It only seems like yesterday that Rocco was born, and the transition of him growing into a little person who can not only talk but have an opinion, hold an argument and make you laugh all at the same time is a proud moment for any parent. I’ve not shed a tear, because I am not sad in any way, I am happy for Rocco’s new chapter and he’s ready to dive in feet first. I am looking forward to starting our new routine and watching him grow into a confident little school boy.
Even though he’s only been at school two weeks, the preparation in the run up to these first two week has been a big challenge. This milestone is the ultimate test in getting organised. Here are a few things I did in the run up to Rocco’s first school week;
Meet the Teachers
Attending school open days to learn about the school, their values, meet the teachers and visit the school grounds. It was a great eye opener to see where Rocco would be spending his time learning to read, write and play with his new friends.
Most newsletters are all on email now so I file them into a ‘school’ folder so if I am busy during the day I open and read them on a evening to note down any important events. There can be so many to digest so I trash the ones not applicable and flag the ones I need to keep.
Invest in a fun school calendar to mark down term times, events and kids parties. I purchased one from Get Personal online which showcases personalised fun designs for each month so we can track and stay ahead of what we have coming up.
Join a local social media networking group. I am part of a group on Facebook and we all regularly post and share anything from Park & Play dates to where is the best place is to buy school uniform
Dress to impress
We practised with Rocco taking off and putting his own uniform on himself so he can do it independently when I am not there. After a few successful attempts, he will not even let me help him! I made sure Rocco had 3-4 items of each garment and 5 pairs of socks and vests. I have labelled everything with his name on, even down to his shoes and socks. Be prepared for most of them to go missing! We have a school uniform supplier who design all the logo garments, but I also shopped at my local supermarket for generic items, such as trousers and shirts.
Walk the Line
New school shoes and PE trainers need to be comfortable rather than stylish. I am not a huge fan of Clarks but they have recently brought out some really cool designs. Their Start-Rite shoes (which I used to wear as a little girl) are measured in length and width so that children wear shoes that fit them perfectly. I also bought Rocco’s trainers from Clarks rather than fashionable ones from the more upmarket shops, and made sure they had Velcro straps as he can’t tie laces just yet.
Keep them wrapped up in Winter in hooded, quilted coats and wellies for rainy and cold days. Hats, scarves and gloves can easily be lost so I will be making sure they are not only labelled but my mum used to sew a stitch into the cuffs and collar so I didn’t lose them, I might try this little trick too! It was hard trying to find a warm school coat in August as most of the shops didn’t have stock in. River Island had a great selection for both boys and girls, so we were lucky to find a fitted black padded coat with a fur hood.
Whether your kids are on packed lunches or school dinners, they need a substantial and balanced diet. Its so hard trying to get any of my kids to eat fruit and veg every day without bribing them with a treat, but some schools are strict on what they eat within school hours. With packed lunches they are only allowed to take water, no chocolate or crisps. Rocco takes a piece of fruit of his choice and a bottle of water for his morning snack, but is then on school dinners at lunch time. One of the main things that has changed since I was at school was school dinners, as they are all done online on Live Kitchen. Rocco and I sit down every Sunday and pick what he wants for school dinner from the online menu, so that he feels involved in the process and more likely to eat it!
I must admit, I haven’t attended every single parent coffee morning, or got involved in the latest what’s app group, as I am just far too busy. As long I have all the curriculum term dates and events in my diary, that will do. I’ve seen mum’s panicking because they didn’t get a whats app about a kids party….we’re two weeks in, relax!! Children will make friends organically, they will be spending a lot of time together so its inevitably going to happen. Its enough stress getting them in to school and picking them up on time, never mind torturing yourself for not attending the latest play date.
The preparation can be overwhelming, but once you know they have everything they need, they start their first day everything seemed to slip into place. Rocco and all his classmates all seemed very keen to start, no tears, no tantrums, just happy little souls looking forward to a new adventure, and lots of happy Mummy’s!
Whether your new to your child starting primary school, high school, or university, its a proud moment so enjoy every second.