Starting School – No big deal here…

Monkey started school!!

His first day was on Friday and as he walked out of class after the two and half hour session he turned to me and asked why it was so short and could he go back…plllleaaaasseee? Well I will take that as resounding success. Ask me in two weeks time when he’s been there full time and realises its five days a week non negotiable. And I will let you know if he’s still loving it. I’m not really sure what I was expecting? In my head, on social media and in various discussions it was deemed a big thing. Now don’t get me wrong it is a big deal, because its the next phase in his life. But for me its no where near as big a deal as leaving my tiny little baby in childcare at the age of six months!

starting-school

I have already written a letter to him about leaving nursery about how proud I am of our little boy. Even if he does delight in pushing my buttons and generally having a smart comment come back for everything. Anyway it got me thinking about my first impression of school and whether things have changed. The other children at the school did not seem to be any more upset by the whole experience than Monkey did. If anything the majority were really excited, a few looked a little quiet but there was no screaming or hanging onto their mothers skirts. I have a vague memory of this, whether it was me or another child under the table crying inconsolably on the first day of school I can’t quite remember. That definitely wasn’t going on, on Friday.

I was a little emotional in as far as this is our next step, a new phase and he looked so cute in his uniform, but I felt no need to shed a tear. I was also incredibly proud at the same time, Monkey just took it all in his stride. So why the difference? Whats changed in the last thirty years? I have a couple of ideas and don’t want to alienate anyone here but generally due to the cost of living nowadays both parents work, either through necessity or choice. The older generation would probably argue at this point that we live in a ‘want it now society’ (yes I would probably agree) and that in fact if we scaled back our consumerist lifestyles that actually one parent could stay at home quite easily. Maybe but thats for another post. The only friends I have where one parent doesn’t technically work  (i.e. in a 9-5 job – because lets face it parenthood is a job 24, 7) home school their kids. So drawing a comparison all the children I know that started school in Sept have been in childcare one way or another. I’m wondering if this has helped with the transition?

Even if we ignore conventional ‘baby’ childcare, with the introduction of free hours most children now attend a preschool prior to going to school. Many are attached to the school that the child will attend. Which means they are use to the environment, seeing the older children playing in the playground and maybe even wearing the same uniform.

When I started I am pretty sure before the day I satrted I had never took a step into a classroom. Whereas Monkey has been to his for story time twice, once with me in the same room and once without me. He was also invited to the Summers sports day, fete and a teddy bears picnic. So even though he didn’t attend the preschool he was use to the environment. Therefore when he went there for real, in his little uniform it was just an extension of his previous trips. His teacher even came for a home visit, that definitely didn’t happen thirty years ago. Now I know none of this happens by accident and that the process has been tested time and time again and developed by people who understand and have experience in the way kids minds work a lot better than I do (even my own).

SO thinking about it, why am I surprised it wasn’t such a big deal? I think we as parents actually run the risk of making a bigger deal of it than it is. By passing our emotions onto our little ones we can create more issues than we solve. For example Monkey did have a few sleepless nights before starting school, about making new friends and leaving his old ones behind at nursery. I was the one talking to him about making new friends. He’s four. He doesn’t have the capacity to understand that he makes friends easily – which he does, even on ghost trains (who would have thought it). To him I was creating a scary situation that he hadn’t thought about. I saw it as a positive as he’s such a social little thing, but he’s no comprehension of that at the moment. Meaning all I did was add in another dimension, duh!

Anyway that was our first day at school experience. He’s already looking forward to going again this week and is eagerly asking when he will be allowed to stay all day and eat there. Fingers crossed his positivity continues. If your little ones have started this year too I hope they have settled quickly, I would love to hear about your experiences below.

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46 Comments

  1. Coombe Mill
    September 13, 2016 / 6:42 am

    Sounds like you have made all the best preparations for school and it has paid off handsomely. Well done on a successful start. #twinklytuesday

  2. September 13, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Fantastic that he enjoyed his first day! Some parents really do make it sound as if they are waving their first born off to war on the first day of school!

    #twinklytuesday

  3. September 14, 2016 / 5:07 am

    I think (like a lot of things) we blow things up out of perspective and get carried by the general thought of what other people are doing. I agree that leaving a baby is much worse. By school age, my friends are ready for their kids to go into full time education! Mine is still too little, but we’ll see in 3 years time… #BloggerClubUK

  4. Hooks and Dragons
    September 14, 2016 / 5:19 am

    An interesting post. I agree that some parents can transfer their anxieties about starting school on to their kids subconsciously. I dont recall my boys being worried, but as you pointed out they went to the pre school ajoining the school so knew it and their classmates well before starting. #Bloggerclubuk

  5. September 14, 2016 / 5:55 am

    This is lovely – it sounds like you are taking it all in your stride and I have to agree, I’d be far more anxious about leaving baby in nursery rather than my 5 year old starting school – of course it’s a huge milestone but they adapt to things so much better the older they get. Thanks for hosting chick xx #BloggerClubUK

  6. September 14, 2016 / 6:44 am

    Ahh glad it all went smoothly. I agree, preschool/nursery makes a huge difference as children are so used to being away from their parents in a group of peers nowadays. It was a huge Mummy Milestone Moment when mine started BIG School but like you said, the kids just take it in their stride! 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  7. September 14, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Kids are incredibly resilient and take to new things much easier than we do and I think a lot of the drama over starting school is more down to us not wanting to let go of that phase. So glad he’s settling on well. Thanks for hosing #bloggerclubuk

  8. September 14, 2016 / 8:46 am

    It’s nice to hear that it doesn’t have to be a big scary ordeal! You sound like you’ve got this down Mumma! I was the kid that clasped on to my Mother’s ankles as she tried to leave me at school. I’m not sure why as I’m sure I always enjoyed it eventually. Kids can be so resilient and impressive! #bloggerclubuk

  9. September 14, 2016 / 9:02 am

    I think you’re right, we do sometimes make more of it than it is. It’s easy for me to say as a teacher but I do think there are more induction opportunities out there these days than when I attended school as a pupil. Like you say, I think our biggest thing was leaving them in nursery at just 6 months old.
    Potty Adventures
    #BloggerClubUK

  10. September 14, 2016 / 9:02 am

    My Middle one started also last week, he was with all his friends from pre school and we had been going up for two years with his brother. He was happy to go in. We have tears at the moment which is hard, but i have been told they go as soon as he is in the classroom. Its the realisation its all day xx #bloggerclubuk

  11. September 14, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Ahh I’m so glad it all went well! Our first day didn’t go as well, Eva was absolutely distraught at having to go to school and cried, kicked and screamed until the teacher picked her up and carried her in! Thankfully she has gone in every day just fine since, it was just those first day nerves. It’s been a huge change for us as she only ever did 15 hours at pre-school, so to go every day has been a major shock and she is absolutely wiped out!! #BloggerClubUK

  12. September 14, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Great that he’s settling in so quickly without any issues. Fingers crossed it continues, sounds like he’s prepared and ready. #BloggerClubUK

  13. Mainy - myrealfairy
    September 14, 2016 / 10:39 am

    It’s great when they settle and take it in their stride, I find it’s me who is the one who’s left in an emotional mess when the boys take on something new. I doubt that will ever change!:)

    mainy

    #bloggerclubuk

  14. September 14, 2016 / 11:29 am

    It is such a big step…more for us moms probably than for the kiddos. It gets eaasier with each kid I think. I was a mess with my first… with the next kid I wasa like Buh-Byeeeeee!

    #BloggerUKclub

  15. alisonlonghurst
    September 14, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Ah yes, a really good post. I absolutely agree with you, that parents’ anxieties rub off on their children. It is the next, natural stage for the child and they do, as you say, take it in their stride, so there is no reason for the parents not to. Social media gives parents the perfect place to voice their worries and upset about their child starting school. The problem is, this then creates concerns in others where there is no need. I think it’s the snowball effect and the worries magnify and a bit of perspective is lost. Your post voices the reality. Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  16. Sarah
    September 14, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Ah fab!!! I’m so glad it went smoothly for you all!! It sounds like you’ve all done it really well #bloggerclubuk

  17. September 14, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    It’s such a relief when it goes well isn’t it? Glad you’ve had a great first week. I was so nervous last year but Z seems to have made good friends and is loving year 1…so far 🙂

  18. September 14, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Sounds like it went really well! You’re right though, it’s a milestone but it shouldn’t be a ‘big deal’. Definitely children being in childcare from a young age plays a part with them adapting well. But kids also like being with other kids. My daughter is only 19 months but I always try to not make a fuss over things otherwise she is more likely to worry about them. It was really hard putting her in nursery but by being all smiley about it, she transitioned to it so well. I imagine school is the same. Hope next week goes well!

    #BloggerClubUK

  19. September 14, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    Yaaay Monkey! Well done. Youngest has just started pre-school and she has been at home with me since she was born so I was expecting tears but no! I think it just highlights she was ready for it. Also they are so on the ball about settling them in nowadays with a week of short sessions, gradually building up 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  20. Kat
    September 14, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    Ah I’m so glad he enjoyed his first session! My daughter loved her first year of school, she’s not so sure now she’s in year one with having more work and less play, explaining to her that is the way of the world didn’t go down to well. So many kids seem to be used to a classroom or playgroup setting now which I think helps the transition so much! #bloggerclubuk

  21. September 14, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    So nice to read such a positive post about their child going to school. Mini R won’t go to school for two years yet but he will go to pre-school next September which will hopefully prepare him as it did your Monkey. Thanks for hosting #BliggerClubUk xx

  22. September 14, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    Lovely post, I am really hoping that nursery will be a big help with the transition when my son starts next year x #BloggerClubUK

  23. September 14, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    I think pre school makes a difference too. Glad to hear it went well. It is a big step for kids but it is also one for us too as we know that they are entering a new phase of their lives. BloggerclubUK

  24. September 14, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    Aaaw I’m glad your little one settled in so quickly. My daughter was the same. She was ready to go, and when the time came, she loved it! I think you’re right that there is a lot more done to make the transition smoother these days (visits beforehand and trial days). I have to admit I was emotional, though! #BloggerClubUk

  25. September 14, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    I think it’s very important that we try to avoid giving our fears and worries to our children. Even when we don’t say anything, they pick up on our emotions. I always think about this when we have a doctor’s visit. Espicailly when I know vaccines are coming. I feel worried that it will hurt my baby but I try to push those feelings away and focus on making Peachy happy instead. The last time I managed to do such a good job that I disctracted her with a toy and she didn’t even notice the needle. No crying at all. Clearly the pain isn’t as bad as I’m perceiving it to be. #BloggerClubUK

  26. September 14, 2016 / 3:13 pm

    I’m glad it all went ok! I definitely agree that you can pass on your own emotions on.

    I’m glad it’s a while before I have to worry about it all. Although I know time will fly by!

    #BloggerClubUK

  27. September 14, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    So pleased to hear Monkey went to school happily and that there were no problems. I would say being in childcare definitely helps, Leo has just started play school for 15 hours a week and hopefully by next September he will be ready for school and take to it as well as Monkey xx #BloggerClubUK

  28. September 14, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Sounds like there’s been lots of preparation before the big day to make it such a success. Well done Monkey! I’m sure when the time comes for my two to go I’ll be much more nervous and scared than they are! #BloggerclubUK

  29. September 14, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Yey, I’m glad it was such a good start. Let’s hope it continues #BloggerCluUK

  30. organisedjo
    September 14, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    Glad to hear the first days went well. I agree that I think with the introduction of our children being in nursery before school really helps with the transition to school. I certainly feel it made a difference for my two. #PicknMix

  31. Ordinary Hopes
    September 14, 2016 / 11:07 pm

    I was reminded on Facebook today that my son started 6 years ago. Two days before he started I discovered that none of the equipment he needed had been ordered (he has multiple disabilities) and it was the start of a very stressful time. For me. I made sure that my son remained blissfully unaware of the difficulties whilst I chased around madly and made sure things were in place. #BloggerClubUK

  32. mackenzieglanville
    September 14, 2016 / 11:58 pm

    My youngest started last year and all in all it went really well. I am glad you are all taking in your stride, I agree the more stressed we are they pick up on that for sure #bloggerclubUK

  33. September 15, 2016 / 9:49 am

    This will be us next year and I’m already a bit sad about it. I know my girls absorb my emotions so I’m trying to get my head around it all so I don’t make it a bigger deal than it is.
    #BloggerClubUK

  34. Petite Library
    September 15, 2016 / 11:42 am

    Really liked this. A refreshing take on the classic back to school post 🙂 #BloggersClubUK Happy to be back linking up this week!

  35. September 15, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    I’m so glad first school experiences was a success for both of you. I’m sure the secret is in the preparation and generally children today have some experience of their school before they start for real. When I started I was traumatized by the whole thing and wouldn’t take off my coat for months.
    #BloggerClubUK

  36. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    September 15, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    A home visit? Wow. We don’t get anything like that here. Sounds like he is taking everything in his stride. My son cried at every single drop off all through preschool and reception but was always fine within a minute of me leaving and I used to have to drag him out of there on a night because he didn’t want to leave! Hope next week goes well for him x
    #BloggerClubUK

  37. September 16, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Long may his love for education continue. #BloggerClubUK

  38. Absolute
    September 17, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    Yes yes YES! You deserve a medal for writing this. Honestly we all want to be conscientious parents and look after our children’s’ emotional and mental well being but jeez do we have a habit in western society of ‘over parenting’ and creating issues we don’t need to! Of course starting school IS a big deal and but similarly it’s really only as big a deal as you make it and to be honest, how one’s child reacts mainly depends on their own personality. My girls took to it like ducks to water, not a tear. My son clung to me and bawled his eyes out. Luck of the draw and all that. Great post my dear. #bloggerclubuk

  39. September 17, 2016 / 6:15 pm

    Yes yes YES! You deserve a medal for writing this. Honestly we all want to be conscientious parents and look after our children’s’ emotional and mental well being but jeez do we have a habit in western society of ‘over parenting’ and creating issues we don’t need to! Of course starting school IS a big deal and but similarly it’s really only as big a deal as you make it and to be honest, how one’s child reacts mainly depends on their own personality. My girls took to it like ducks to water, not a tear. My son clung to me and bawled his eyes out. Luck of the draw and all that. Great post my dear. #bloggerclubuk

  40. September 17, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    I often think that parents worry more than the kids themselves, as we can see all the things that might go wrong. Glad things have turned out well so far. Kara was the last of our three to start – her first day was Wednesday – and she has come back with a beaming smile every day so far. 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  41. September 18, 2016 / 10:45 am

    So lovely to read that your little one has settled in well – my little girl started nursery a couple of weeks ago and took to it straight away, to my shock! I think we do build it up into more of a big deal than it is, but there are so many distraction and entertainment at nursery/pre-school that they love it 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam great to have you x

  42. September 18, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Always great to read a positive first day experience! This will be us next year and while I’m already dreading it, in another year he will be that much older and I’m sure, really ready for it. Me however, I’m not so sure! We shall see! 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  43. September 27, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    What a great start – ours has been a bit bumpier unfortunately. After bouncing in to school on her first day, we made it to the top of the waiting list for one of our preferences (having got none in April) on day three. Quick paperwork and she started the new school two days later… so two first days in a week! Not the way I wanted to do it. Thankfully she’s starting to settle now but I’m a bit sad it wasn’t as straightforward for either of us.

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