What I have learned since my son started school

I have learned that there’s a difference between emotional, intellectual and physical readiness to start school.

I have learned that school is tiring for the little ones, even for a child used to nursery.

I have learned that Receptions teachers have almost supra-natural patience and an incredible ability to impose order over chaos.

I have learned what an important role the classroom assistants play in supporting children’s learning.

I have learned that watching your child careering across a concrete playground, little legs pedalling at the speed of light, is heart-stopping!

I have learned that no matter what they did in class my son’s answer to the question ‘what did you do today’ will be ‘Played Ninja Turtles’.

I have learned to ask my son’s more sensible friend what they have done today so I can try to dig a bit more detail out of my son!

I have learned that I need to make home-learning fun and not to push it (until he’s a bit older).

I have learned to pat along my arm to help my son with blending sounds, and I have learned some of the hand movements for the early phase phonemes.

I have learned that you really do need to read the weekly newsletter…

I have learned that home-school link books are useful – and help ensure you do a variety of wholesome activities with your children at weekends so the teachers will be impressed.

I have learned that my son needs 5 full sets of uniform to last the week (repeat wear is never an option) and not to get too attached to hats and gloves.

I have learned that we need to do reading with him immediately after school before he gets too tired, or leave it to weekends.

I have learned that school library books seem to vanish into a black hole (probably the same place the hats and gloves go to).

I have learned that even a simple online game can be enough to motivate him to learn.

I have learned to have sympathy with parents who are always just a little bit late… the earlier the alarm goes off, it seems, the greater my children’s capacity for procrastination.

I have learned that Primary classrooms smell exactly the same today as they did thirty years ago. How is that?

I have learned that if my child is a little bit scatty, I probably don’t need to look too far to see who he gets it from.


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