I’m presuming by now that all children of school age or nursery are back to school? For us, it really shouldn’t feel like we’ve gone back to nursery. N’s nursery school closed for the summer as it’s term time only, but he was still in day nursery his standard days, plus the additional days that he would usually be at nursery school in. Even though we’ve done the whole summer (with a week and a few odd days off), it still felt like we were going back to nursery again and having to get back in the routine.
This is his last year at nursery before he’ll start school next year, and as we’re going through the admissions process now, those back to school niggles are in evidence.
4 gripes about going back to (nursery) school
1. Lunch boxes
Luckily I only have to do lunch boxes for the 2 days that N’s in nursery school as he eats all his meals at his day nursery on the other 3 days. But it’s still a stress.
For the first few weeks, it’s a case of remembering to actually do them. Then it’s having to make sure there’s enough suitable food left at the end of the week. We have our online food shop delivered on a Friday, so I have to make sure by Thursday morning there’s still bread, fruit and the like available to make 2 lunchboxes up.
Then of course, on those mornings I have to wrestle the food away from N as now he’s decided that I’m allowed to make his sandwiches, but he wants to make the rest of the box up. Cue me removing or putting extra items in, under N’s radar. At least they come back empty so I don’t have a fussy eater to worry about.
2. School run and work
During the summer it’s been easy to coordinate work and nursery drop offs, as the day nursery is 8-6. Plenty of time to work a bit past 5pm if required without panicking. Obviously September comes and with that 2 short nursery school days (admittedly with an early 8.30 drop off – whoop).
I work full time, but with a short commute and a flexible company, I can compress my hours so that I can do both nursery school drop offs, and one pick up at 3pm. But it’s always a panic about how busy the roads are getting into work, and whether I’ll find somewhere to park in time. On a Friday afternoon I leave work and then it’s a plea that the traffic lights at the junction are kind to me, or that the traffic lets me across, or that the school run traffic in a village I have to drive through isn’t as stupid and inconsiderate at parking as they might be, or that I don’t get stuck behind someone pootling to pick up their child from school in our village because they pick up 10 minutes later so have more time. I have 15 minutes from leaving to picking up, and I’m usually on the nursery school door step as the 3pm clock strikes.
Of course, next year it’ll be worse, as the school drop off is down a single track residential road…wonder if I can send N off across the fields and the gliding club to the back entrance?!
3. Nursery school uniform
I’ve been astounded this year as how many people I know have 3 year olds going to preschools which have full school uniform. None of the preschools in our area does, if they have a uniform, it’s optional and is just top half. So, sweatshirt, hoody or polo shirt. I’m not a fan of the whole school uniform thing that young, they’ll have enough of that when they’re actually at school, plus I think it makes nursery or pre-school feel too like school to the children. It’s not, they’re 3, they shouldn’t be thinking they’re at school yet.
N does however have 2 nursery jumpers for his nursery school. One I bought last year, the other was a hand-me-down from his cousin. He likes to wear them, but I don’t do washing more than once a week, so if they miss the wash one week, he’ll have to wear something else the week after.
This September, his day nursery decided (after a parent consultation) that there would be uniform jumpers and/or polo shirts available for the pre-school room. It’s optional, but it was a dilemma for me. For him only being there another year, was it really worth buying, when he might grow out of it (if the size of the other nursery’s jumpers are anything to go by)? So far, he’s not destroyed any clothes at nursery since he went there at a year old, but he does get messy enough to warrant a change of clothes each day.
I decided I would buy a polo shirt and a sweatshirt, in a massive age 5-6, in the hope that it’ll last him the whole year. He does like to wear them, but he’s still got a day without uniform. But next year, I’m going to be going through jumpers and polo shirts like anything. That’ll be 5 for the week, plus trousers/shorts…here’s hoping his cousin’s grown out of uniform isn’t too worn to be handed down to us.
4. School applications
Yes, this year it’s our turn. I’m happy that I’ve lots of friends who’ve already been through it, so I’m kind of ahead in knowing a bit of what goes on. But it doesn’t make it easy when every county does it differently (especially when we live right near a county border, and N’s 2nd and 3rd options might be in the next county.
Then, if you read our county’s website, it tells you that you’ll have had your letter to tell you what to do before you apply. Hmm, 2 weeks after applications have opened, and there’s no sign of a letter. Some of my friends didn’t even know that we had to apply or what the process even was. It seems that parents just have to know what goes on.
Oh, and not forgetting when there’s (obviously) lots of interest in people wanting to register online when registrations open, and the website was down for a while. Not great. I suppose At least N should have no problems getting into our first choice school unlike many other children.
Of course, there’s more little moans about starting back at nursery school again, but hopefully I’ll forget about them as the weeks go on.
What bugs you about the return to school or nursery?