When you’re little one is starting school its a daunting stage. Here are some of my top tips for starting school – the reception year:
Top tips for starting school
Try not to leave buying school uniform too late, by mid August you may struggle to find uniform in your little ones size. Supermarkets are perfect for picking up school uniform. They are super reasonably priced. I also wouldn’t go mad on buying lots of items with a logo. They are really expensive, so I’d just a buy a couple of bits and the rest plain. You can always add extras later if need be. Oh and look out for the ‘easy iron’ uniform, after all every little helps!
Try avoiding buying their school shoes too early. You don’t want your little one growing out of them by the time they are due to start.
I would recommend making sure you let your little one wear their shoes in before sending them into school for a full day. Bad mum alert, I didn’t do this! Poor Eden was limping after her first day in school and had blisters on both feet. I felt truly awful, she spent the next two days in her plimsolls!! Oops!
Name all clothing even the socks! I’m not one for ironing on labels or worse… sewing them on! I don’t have time for that! What mum does? I used Petit Fernand when Eden started school. You can stick their labels directly onto the clothing labels, into shoes, on pack lunch boxes, all sorts! They are such a time saver! I’ve got loads left over for her dance uniform too!
I also bought a ‘clothing name stamp’ from eBay, it was brilliant for stamping Eden’s name on her socks and on fabric wash labels. It washed well and remained after several washes, plus it was super quick.
If you don’t already, starting reception is a great time to start regularly reading with your child. I know everyone is busy but if you can build 5 minutes into their bedtime routine it will do them the world of good. You’ll quickly notice that after just weeks at school your little one will start to read. I actually couldn’t believe how quickly Eden started reading. I expected it to take most of her first school year but in just weeks she was taking her first steps into reading!
Try not to compare
Try not to worry about how fast your child is picking things up. It’s not a competition and every child learns at their own pace. It can be quite intimidating when ‘Jonny’ already knows all his phonics and is moving on to new things, but as long as your child is progressing then that’s fine. They will all learn at their own speed.
Remember to sign up to receive your school letters by email (if your school offers this service). You’ll be kept up to date with all the school appointments and won’t have to worry too much about searching through the book bag on the hunt for lost letters.
Practise being independent
Practice being independent with your little one. I know it’s often easier and quicker to cut up their sausages for them or do up their buttons but they really need to be practising these things as much as possible before starting school.
Practice getting dressed and undressed for PE, zipping up their own coats, cutting up their food and going to the toilet and washing their hands by themselves. These will all really help your little one once they start school.
If you are nervous on the day try not to show it, some kids will go in without a backward glance and others more apprehensive. I actually wore sunglasses on Eden’s first day so she couldn’t see me cry. I know that if she did it would have unsettled her! Seeing you relaxed will definitely put your little one more at ease. Try to keep the goodbye short and sweet, let them know you’ll be back to pick them up later. Maybe avoid telling them you’ll miss them as could be upsetting for them.
Try not to ask too many questions after they come out of school. I initially asked Eden lots of questions. I was dying to know how school was, did she make friends, how was lunch, what did she do! I never got anything back from her. I soon realised she was wasn’t mentally exhausted from the day. The drive home was down time for her. I found leaving her alone worked much better. Once ready she would quite often open up to me about her day at school. Telling me things she was enjoying or even things that had worries her that day. For us I found giving her some space, meant once Eden had relaxed I heard more about her day!
After school snack
I found Eden was ravenous coming out of school so I took a snack with me for when I collected her. I wouldn’t dare turn up without one now! It’s definitely part of our routine. Some days she even asks for a second. I have to keep spares in my bag now just incase!
The big day
You’re all ready! Don’t forget the camera and the tissues for that first day! Afterwards rather than worry about it, go off and treat yourself! I rewarded myself to a coffee and a spot of childless shopping on Eden’s first day! Heaven!
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