The first day of 'big school' is a huge stepping stone in a child's life and although very exciting, it can sometimes be a bit of an anxious time for children (and parents too). With this in mind, we asked Ladybird mum Jen to let us know how her and her son Noah are getting on as they prepare for the big day.
My little boy is starting school this September. It only feels like yesterday that a midwife handed me a wrinkled red bundle and announced that we had a baby boy and yet here we are, uniform pressed, PE kit packed, impossibly large school shoes bought and ready for the big day.
Like many parents, I recorded all of Noah’s first milestones, photographing and faithfully documenting his first laugh, new teeth, attempts at eating, walking and talking. But unlike all of these other first steps, starting school feels a little scary. I’m a working mum and my son and I are both used to childcare settings and providers, but school somehow feels like a huge new chapter and one that we are being very brave about, but both still feel a little trepidation.
So I searched online for articles offering advice on preparing your child for school and picked up a few tips on the way. Noah chose his new lunchbox (Castles and Knights – much excitement), we’ve met up with some of the children who will be in his new class over the holidays, we have walked the route to school and looked at the front gates (nervous butterflies) and we have read lots of lovely stories about school such as Topsy and Tim Start School.
Some of the best advice I received was from the headmistress of Noah’s new school who said that the best thing we could do was lots of drawing (to improve pencil grip), putting on and taking off coat and shoes independently (to aid confidence for arrival in the classroom and changing for PE), to eat with a knife and fork (to improve dexterity) and to make sure my child is confident at using the toilet and washing hands. All of this makes sense when you consider that your child will be one of perhaps 30 in class and the more they can do for themselves, the more time they will have to do much more fun things.
So whilst we haven’t yet got to grips with phonics or counting past ten, I know that this will all come in good time. We have focused instead on doing the things that Noah really enjoys and is already good at: digging in the garden, building huge towers out of Lego, playing with water and dressing up. And in the words of my son ‘school is going to be just great, but we’ll always have the weekends’.
Thanks for the lovely post Jen. We wish Noah all the best for a great start to school!
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Win Win Win!
We've got three bundles of Ladybird books and flashcards to give away, including Topsy and Tim Start School, Start School with Topsy and Tim: Wipe Clean First Numbers and Ladybird I'm Ready for Phonics: Flashcards.
To be in with a chance of winning, just let us know your own first day of school memories by leaving a comment below and we’ll pick three winners. Enter by midnight 15th September 2014. Three winners will be selected at random and notified by19th September 2014. Full T&Cs here.
UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who left a comment, it has been wonderful to read your memories! Winners have been selected and notified.
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