Being prepared as a parent for kids starting school - Bubbablue and me

Be prepared as a parent for kids starting school

Over the last couple of years, and now being in the countdown period to the summer holidays and the new school year starting, I’ve noticed a lot of parents really worry about their children starting school (and nursery).  This wasn’t something I felt overly concerned about last year.  Yes, I worried that N would be behind everyone else, you worry whether he’ll cope ok with changing for PE and remembering to go to the toilet, but that was just general worry not a ‘OMG my child’s starting school/growing up’ etc worry that a lot of parents (mums in particular) seem to go through.

Because N had been in nearly full time childcare since 12 months old, day nursery and nursery school, it did mean the transition to school was easier for both him and me.  But even him starting day nursery wasn’t a panic. We had a gentle settling in – 2 sessions although he was fine after 1, and lots of communication so I knew how he was doing.  Obviously with school you don’t get the same level of communication and it’s hard to just grab 5 minutes to ask questions when there’s 20-30 parents trying to collect excited children at the end of the day.

Being prepared as a parent for kids starting school - Bubbablue and me

I think I’ve got a fairly pragmatic take on starting school, so here are my tips on how as a parent to be ready for your children starting school:

1, Put them in nursery

Or at least take them to formal playgroups or nursery schools and somewhere that you’re not always with them.  Not everyone puts their children in nursery school, and that’s fine.  But to me, it’s a nobrainer to helping your child settle into school, and get the parents used to remembering that their children can be independent and that they’re ready to start school.  With free hours, there’s not really any reason not to let them experience nursery/pre school.

2. Look round plenty of schools

While you can like a school on paper if it doesn’t feel right when you walk through the door, then it’s probably not the school for your child and your family.

3. Get to know parents from the school

Obviously that’s easier said than done if it’s not your local school but get to settling in sessions and join local playgroups or activities before starting school.

4. Apply in plenty of time for school places

There’s no point worrying about it, just make a decision and put the application in.  Don’t leave it to your husband/wife, if you do check you’ve got confirmation it’s gone in.

5, Prepare early

Write lists, draw mind maps, create timelines.  Whatever works for you but know what you need to do when, and talk to your child about the different steps.  But talking to them about it, you’ll be able to worry about their worries (or not) rather than your own.

6, Talk about your concerns

To friends, family, online friends.  Talking about your worries should help dispel them.

7, Take up hobbies

If your children are going to nursery or school for the first time and you don’t work, then find something to replace the children’s time at home.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but take up a hobby you lost when you had children, or start something new.  Then you can tell your child about your hobby while they tell you about school.

8, Remember it’s your job as a parent to help kids develop

Children are always going to grow up, and school is just one of those next (big) steps.  Think of life in stages and steps, rather than worrying that you’re losing your little one.

Because let’s face it, they’ll still be our ‘babies’ even when they tower over us.

Do you have children starting school this year? How are you finding it?  What are you doing to stop the worrying?


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  1. I totally agree with you! Toby’s only at nursery once a week for now, but he has been since 11 months old, he spends one night a week at my mum and dad’s and we attend lots of playgroups. I have to be honest, I don’t like seeing parents transmitting their anxiety issues to their kids it’s not fair on the children xx

  2. Preparation is definitely helpful, Lucas doesn’t like being dropped off at his childminders but I would rather him be like that now than at 5, I know that once I’m out of sight he is fine and is learning social skills away from me x

    1. You’re so right. I was pleased at how N always settled in, and I’m sure he was faster at starting school than others who didn’t do full time nursery or any at all.

  3. I think preparation is definitely key especially when it comes to school because it is a major adjustment so we need to make sure that the kids are ok.

  4. I don’t have children but I find your article very interesting for people that are preparing to enroll their kids into school. Going to kindergarten is always great for children to integrate in collectives.

  5. Great advice, we’ll be referring back to this next year when I start school. Totally agree with putting them into nursery for a little while to get them used to a classroom type environment. Schooling starts at home so helping kids develop is important too!

    1. Ah you see I don’t agree with kids needing to learn lots before starting school, apart from general conversation and reading to them. Unless of course they’re obsessed themselves with learning specific things before going. Unfortunately N wasn’t (and still isn’t!)

    1. I think that’s what most mums probably think. It’s a big deal, but just another small step in the grand scheme of things

  6. My nephew was so shy before he started nursery, he has no confidence and almost sat alone a lot of the time to play. Now he is the total opposite and it is so amazing watching him grow x

    1. It definitely can bring them out of their shell. N’s still quite quiet in new places, but give him a bit of time and it does wonders for them

  7. Great advice I’m definitely wanting Blake to go to preschool In a few years time as I feel it be benefital for him.

  8. E is due to start nursery in September and actually I have very few concerns as she is now potty trained and she is full of confidence. I look forward to her making friends and gaining new experiences.

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