My four year old starts primary school in September so I’m busy getting her used to the idea of ‘big school’.
She goes to nursery a couple of mornings a week and has settled nicely into that routine, but primary school feels like a major step in my little one’s life.
Will she make friends? Will she be anxious without me by her side? What if she doesn’t like lunch? Will she be able to get to the toilet in time? Will she like her teacher? Will her teacher like her?
So many concerns were whizzing around my brain so I decided to draw up a ‘Get Ellie Ready For Big School Plan’…and here it is:
1. Talk about big school as a wonderful place where she can play, learn and make friends.
2. Walk to school so Ellie can see and understand this is her new school.
3. Encourage Ellie to dress and undress herself and fold her clothes (so she can cope with PE without losing anything)
4. Stop reminding Ellie to go to the toilet. Let her work it out for herself.
5. Share this plan with husband so he ‘gets on board’.
Well, steps 1 to 4 went really well but when I told my husband about my plan he simply burst out laughing. He is certain that our little monkey will be absolutely fine on her first day as she has oodles of confidence, knows when to speak up, and makes friends easily.
How does he know this? Our daughter started learning how to dance, sing and act at her local Stagecoach school six months ago and she has grown so much in that time. Although she’ll still need her mummy and daddy for many years to come, she’s become more independent and confident thanks to the brilliant staff at Stagecoach.
“She’ll be fine when it comes to her first day at school,” says my hubby. “The person I’m more worried about is you!”
And he is right, of course. Ellie is a happy-go-lucky little girl who has picked up some fabulous social skills while having fun at her Stagecoach classes.
So maybe I should be working on a four-point plan for me instead! Let me see…
1. Do not sob and cling onto child as she heads through the gate.
2. Do not oversell how fantastic school is. It will be what it is and she will cope.
3. Do not mope around at home until pick-up time.
4. Enjoy the few hours without my child. Go to the gym, see friends and drum up some freelance work!
I feel better already!