One day you become pregnant and all you worry about is bringing to life a healthy little human being that you will love more than you ever thought possible.
Then for the next 4 to 5 years after his birth you will worry about lots of things like what he eats and at what time he poops, you will make sure you provide a minimum stimulation from Little Einstein, playing Peekaboo to singing out loud all the Nursery Rhymes in the book.
But there is one thing almost guaranteed, you will start thinking of his start at school only late, like only when you are due to fill in THE application, the one that will get him into that fab school round the corner. The one only few minutes walk from your house, only to discover just few months before that you are not in the catchment area. That’s when you start questioning “What’s a catchment area? Why do school have one? What is going to happen of my baby if we don’t get the gold ticket?!”.
And that is only the beginning. Once you are done with the school place there is all the rest to think about: school politics, curriculum, day trips, your involvement with the school, to which level, the school fairs, the school fundraising events, the stories of bullying, the neverending list of invites to birthday parties that your child wouldn’t miss for anything in the world…
It doesn’t end and the truth is that until you are right in the thick of it you don’t know much about it.
When Elliott started, last September it was a shock. I felt like I walked in a world totally strange to me. Was it because I was French and not used to the British education system? Was it because the last time I had to deal with Primary school was just before I left it myself, nearly 30 years ago? I felt overwhelmed and constantly trying to catchup with what was happening. Most of the time I relied on one of the mums who knew how rubbish I was and nicely reminded me all the important things I needed to bring or think of. I earnt my Rubbish Mother badge with flying colours.
I can’t help thinking that should I have read Sarah’s book last year I would have been more aware and ready for it all.
Sarah Ebner, Editor of The Times education blog The School Gate wrote The Starting School Survival Guide telling you everything you need to know when your child starts Primary School. Of course this year I am no longer a total novice, there are lots of things I have learnt the hard way, but I still have learnt new things reading this book.
What I love about it, is that it covers everything from how the school system works, preparing yourself and your child for his first day, dealing with cliques at school, the actual learning and lots of other things.
I personally recommend this book even if like me you are not totally new to Primary School, but I would highly recommend it as early as possible before your child starts. Not only it will answer questions you may have but it will also highlight bits you didn’t even consider. Sarah writes in a very clear and easy to read manner making the experience very enjoyable too.
Buy The Starting School Survival Guide at Amazon RRP £10.99