This time last year I was in a very similar situation to thousands of unhappy parents all around the country – I had to watch in horror as my sweet little girl left for her very first day of school. It was a difficult experience, one that give me a horrendous sense of foreboding when I think I have to live through this traumatic experience twice again in the next couple of years.
To help some other parents through what I would describe as ‘the poopiest day ever’, I’ve broken down the five stages of your child starting school…
My baby can’t be starting school. They are too little. They were only born, like, a year ago. How will they cope? How will I cope?
Nope. Not happening.
What if they hate it? What if they hate their teacher? What if their teacher hates them? What if they don’t make friends, don’t get invited to parties, don’t eat their lunch, etc, etc.
(BTW – they will eat their lunch, including all the things they refuse to eat at home).
“Let me brush your hair before we leave the house and we’ll go to the park on the way home.”
“Do your homework before dinner and you can have pudding.”
“Walk a little bit faster and we won’t have to sign the late book… AGAIN!”
Sharing the excitement of your child learning to read words for the very first time, listening to them happily chatting about their day at school. Maybe this isn’t so bad…
My child is learning, growing and happy. This school thing is okay.
There is also the acceptance that you will receive 30 emails a week about various school events, most of which require some kind of participation that you will never quite be prepared for. World Book Day costume anyone? Victorian Day? Bake sale? Arrrrrgggghhhh. Maybe I’m still working on the acceptance!
Books to help you through this difficult year
To help you through their first year (that first horrible, HORRIBLE year when your little person isn’t at home making a mess any more – I miss the mess!!!), I’ve picked out my top 5 books to survive your child’s first year at school.
Once my daughter started to enjoy reading, she was desperate to read more than just the 3 books a week from school. This collection has been perfect for keeping her supplied with appropriate, phonics based reading.
These are so handy to have. As they are only £1 per book, they are perfect for using as a reward. In Sophie’s school, each week one child from each class gets put into the ‘Gold book’ for good work or behaviour, so if Sophie was chosen I could reward her with a sticker book.
The first year at school can be quite challenging for children, so having a good bedtime routine with time to wind down and talk about their day is really important. I take 5 mins to let my daughter chat about her day and then I will read a few chapters of a Rainbow Magic Fairies book to help her switch off and settle for the night.
Your child will likely be invited to 20 + parties in their first year of school. As everyone settles into friendship groups, ‘whole class’ parties are typical, which is lovely but can be expensive. I have found the collections of books (such as the Mega Character Colouring Collection) make perfect party bag gifts or pass the parcel prizes if you are hosting a whole class of children, while the Book People’s gift range offers really affordable presents for other children’s parties. I bought several of the lovely make your own ranges – Princess and Pirate Peg Dolls, Paint Your Own Mugs/Gnomes, Jigsaws and Games and have kept them in a box ready for the next party invite! See the full gift range here.