The Walking Bus or my first job as a school volunteer…

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Today I became a vital part of a “walking bus”. I wore a high visibility jacket and walked with a group of 5 noisy but adorable little girls who were allocated to me. It was my first job as a school volunteer.

I walked with my little group leaving behind my distraught little boy who could not understand why mum was with him yet not with him. It is hard in such a little mind to understand that mummy is not paying attention to you, yet she is holding five little hands of little friends (yes I managed that!) and giving them her full attention.

He coped well enough until it was time we returned to the school and I had to leave.
Let’s just say it didn’t break just his heart…

It must be PE Day…

Here is the traditional back to front uniform shorts generally appearing after a lesson of PE in Reception. Elliott did it, Victor is keeping the tradition going!

Victor’s first day at BIG school

Dear Victor,

Today is your first day at school. Big school.

 

We have dropped you off and watched you walk with eagerness and excitment into your new classroom and I am slightly relieved that you haven’t hugged your teacher screaming in her ear “TEACHER!!” like you have been doing the last couple of time we saw her.

If I could bottle up the fizz that’s going inside you just because you are GOING TO SCHOOL I would make sure I serve you some when in a few years time, no doubt, you will give me some “dooon’t want to gooo to schooool today…”.

I am your mum, I am used to your exuberance and I love it. I just hope no one will ever remove this skill away from you by knocking your confidence.

School is a big thing for you and if I am being honest even I am surprised by how much this means to you.

This morning resembled a Christmas morning here. You came in our room at 5.50 am jumping up and down, chanting “I am going to school today!!“. Your patience has been amazing in the last week. It has been a real teaser for you to take your brother every day to school when you couldn’t stay but so desperately wanted to…

And now here we are. On a new road, a new adventure. One that will shape you, imprint memories; some good, some great and some not that good but let’s hope these will be far and few.

Watching you walk into your classroom with that oversized PE bag hanging down of you was a painful moment for me. You are my last baby and you are growing…

My darling, I can not tell you exactly how proud I am and how you amaze me. You will thrive on your new journey and your dad and I will watch, support and accompany you the best way we can.

Have fun for many years to come.

I love you,

Maman xxx

First day in Year 1

My gorgeous big boy is back at school today. First day in Year 1.
The new shoes have been excitedly pulled out of the box and he has repeated a million times last night that he would now be a “year 1“!

I am on my own with Victor who doesn’t start before next Tuesday and I am missing one. I am already counting the hours until I go to pick him up, hug him and hear all about what the day has been like. Well, what he will happily tell me because no doubt, they will have done nothing

The Starting School Survival Guide – Sarah Ebner

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

Eye test

My beautiful boy had his first eye test on Saturday.

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When I received the results of his school check up announcing that he was “borderline” with his vision I kind of assumed that he was probably not great with his letters at that stage anyway.The test took place a couple of weeks only after starting in reception and I had never noticed anything that could mean he might have problems with his vision.

I had planned to take him to the optician but you know what it is like? If it doesn’t seem urgent as such then it can wait a little longer. And then there was Christmas. And life with all its “must do” things that got in the way.

A few days ago though we all sat down to read books and when Elliott struggled to read letters he knows very well and confused a “d” for a “a” or a “m” for a “n” both Craig and I looked at each other realising that this had definitely moved up on the priority list.

So today was the first check up and I was very impressed by how mature my son is! He was very calm and answered all the questions he was asked amazingly well. Not that I assumed he wouldn’t more that I still see him as my baby, a little boy who needs mummy to talk on his behalf, but no, not any longer.

Anyway it seems that we have to go back next week for an “eye drop” test to get better results as it seems from what we saw today that it is likely that he will need glasses being long sighted. Fingers crossed the results will look better than today and the reason they are not great is more due to lack of attention and being bored during the test…

I have become my child’s PA

Since E started school I feel like I have started a new job.

There hasn’t been a day I haven’t needed:

  • To make sure forms are filled in, signed and returned
  • Important dates are religiously entered in the family calendar
  • Photos are ordered on time
  • Money is given every Friday for Flapjack Friday
  • Make sure raffle tickets are being sold for the Christmas Fair
  • Reports are sent to the class rep for Focus group
  • Not forget to return books borrowed on Wednesdays
  • Full PE kit is returned on the first day back at school after a break
  • Make sure the fridge is full of the appropriate lunchbox stuff
  • Newsletters are read every Friday to make sure new dates and stuff to bring or do are added to the calendar and in the form of a reminder in the iphone (or running the risk to forget to do any of the above and to compromise my child’s credibility)

I am sure all my mum had to do was to make sure we were dressed appropriately, on time for school and food was ready to be eaten.

This is a full time job and I only have one in school yet, what is it going to be like next year? How am I going to cope with the amount of planning and organising for two kids, a business, a house… I need a PA myself!

Mister Bump

I am not sure I should be worried but E seems to be coming home with stickers telling me he’s been brave or bumped his head a little too often for my liking…
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Living with a school boy…

Elliott has started school a couple of weeks ago and we are officially living with a school boy now.

It is amazing how he has adapted to his new life. Even putting on a uniform in the morning doesn’t prove to be challenging at all, which is considered a major achievement in this house. Elliott has been very picky about his own clothes for a while now and I secretly was hoping that the whole new outfit would get his approval, which it did!

One thing he is requesting firmly though is to have a lunch box and not school dinner. Apparently it isn’t good. As for me I am thinking school dinner is far too messy. Out of four white polo shirts only ONE is now wearable… This is going to cost us a fortune if he doesn’t learn to eat with the least mess possible. So today we are trying the lunch box which hopefully will make a difference to polo shirts as well as to my phobia of stains… He was so happy to carry his lunch box this morning!

I am surprisingly very excited about everything new he is learning. I say surprisingly because I thought that I would find the whole homework process tedious. Not that he has a lot of homework yet. Ask me again when the homework takes hours of our evenings and chunks of my sanity away. Anyway, right now it is fun.

I love watching him run to his friends in the playground before he has to line up. He looks so happy and carefree and I hope that this is the way it will stay all his school years.

I am little bit heartbroken by the fact that my two boys now have to be seperated. I know it is for the best but seeing that Victor really misses his brother really makes my heart sink.

So here we are, at the beginning of a whole new life. One that’s very exciting yet a little bit scary but they are both so ready for it. It might just be me who is a little nervous to be left behind…

When should your child start pre-school? (vlog)