We Are Preparing for School

Since he was born I knew this was coming that he would be one of the youngest in his class seen as he has an August birthday. In some ways he doesn't seem old enough for school but in others he is totally ready. So here is how our preparations are going.

It all started with a meeting at school for the parents to be told the general workings of the school, the process for settling in and what we needed to buy (a long list of uniform). Along with this we got his timetable for half days in the first week of September and homework for the summer. Yes he's not even started and there is homework, a blank exercise book to fill in details about themselves.

Although Ethan is excited about starting school he is quite a sensitive soul and it taking him a while to settle in. We had tears for a term when he went to pre school and when he first started nursery even though he was being looked after by his auntie he still got upset. I'm not expecting anything different for school just hoping for the best.

Our first settling in session was a 1/2 hour story session, where myself and Ethan went to school and to what will be his new classroom to listen to a story read by his new teacher. He was quite excited  until we were stood in reception waiting for his teacher to come and get us. But something changed as the other children who obviously all seemed to know each other, (I think they all go to preschool together and I large number of them seemed to have older siblings already at the school) were talking and playing together I could feel Ethan getting closer to me. It got to a point where he had pretty much hidden behind me. He held my hand as we walked down to the classroom when we got there the other children sat on he carpet ready for the story. Ethan did not. Instead of joining in he refused to leave my side. However much I tried to encourage him to sit with the other children he didn't want to. Until we got to the end of the stories and his teacher was giving out stickers then he quickly sat on the carpet so he got his sticker too.

The experience of story time had me quite worried the next week we had a settling in session where I stay with him again and I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would at least try and interact. Next weeks settling in session wasn't meant to be as the day he was meant to go I was at the hospital with Alice and we didn't have anyone to look after Oscar he had to miss the session. I think he needed it.

The next week was a settling in session where the parents didn't stay. If I'm honest I was dreading this one. I felt bad he'd missed the previous session where he might have got to know some other children and I didn't think he would let me leave him. Also I had no one to watch Oscar and Alice so they were coming for the drop off too.

So I didn't have to negotiate a pram round school I put Alice in her wrap and held Ethan and Oscar's hands as we crossed the road and went to school. Ethan seemed nervous again but I was distracted by trying to keep Oscar where he was meant to be.

We got to the classroom and Ethan clung to me while Oscar found a play ice cream parlour to play in. He didn't want to stay there were tears his teacher came to speak to him and he went really quiet. He's usually a right chatterbox and you can't shut him up but because he was in a place he didn't know with people he didn't know he was quiet. Eventually we go him to play in the ice cream parlour with Oscar and some of the other children.

Now the challenge was to leave. I scooped up a kicking and screaming Oscar and left. Oscar wanted to stay and play. He even had a full paddy at the front door because he wanted to go back.

An hour later it was time to get him. I was expecting to be greeted by a very upset little boy but after I left he had settled down and was waiting with his teacher holding his new school book bag for September. That hour was exactly what he needed to get him excited for school.

We had two more sessions left, a games session with the schools sports coach and a session in the school garden which was for Daddy to attend as my hayfever gets me out of all gardening related activities.

It was time for the sports session and even though his taster session went well I wasn't holding out much hope for the games session but much to my surprise he joined in  straight away. Luckily school were happy to let Oscar join in too as I didn't have anyone to look after him and Alice. Alice quite happily sat in her pram and watched. I wasn't sure what to expect from the games session but it involved a cone marker, a beanbag and some imagination, all the kids seemed to enjoy it and they got to take home the cone and beanbag to practice over summer.

The gardening session was the next day unfortunately that was another session we had to cancel as Daddy hurt his back at work and couldn't take him to it. Although another session would have been good he didn't need it as he was excited for school.

I'm happy that he is looking forward to school but I know that it could all change in a instant and I'm prepared for tears.


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