The First Year at School

by Adam Riches

How our oldest one has done a year at school I have no idea.It only seems like a second ago that he was at nursery and we were thinking that he’s far too small to start. In the hustle and the bustle of the year, time flies and school quickly becomes a staple part of the lives of everyone in the house. I guess it’s the rigidity of it really, you all just get used to it…but there are some things that have really stood out this year that took some getting used to.

Timings

We are notoriously late for everything, but when it comes to school, you need to be on the ball every day. The routines become instilled pretty quickly because you have no choice but to crack on. Of course, the other side of it is that you are kind of confined by the pick-up and drop-off. Life quickly becomes a balance of getting from A to B to C and back to B on time again. The mad thing is that once you all get used to it, there is a school holiday and it goes to pot! In the term, you look forward to the freedom of the holidays, and during the holidays you look forward to the routine of the term - impossible!

Progress

To say they progress quickly at school is an understatement. I thought in the first year they just played with dinosaurs or whatever. Within a few months, the oldest boy was writing his name and reading. It is mind-blowing how quickly they pick up maths too. I mean he's adding and subtracting hours to work out how long he has to wait for certain things, it is mad really. Their brains are like sponges, but the flip side is that they get worn out so, so fast. By Thursday, normally, we have a very tired lad on our hands.

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Other kids

You have no control over other kids and letting your little one go into school knowing that there are kids who you may not choose for them to spend time with is tough, especially when there are incidents and bits and bobs that happen. Giving up a bit of control has been really hard this year and we have realised that you have to trust the school to look after your child, whilst balancing that with being vigilant and talking to them.

Parking

There is like this weird political thing at every school isn’t there? It’s like each has its own quirks. Ours has too few parking spaces for the number of cars (it’s a small school) and there is an ongoing awkwardness with where you can and can’t park - it adds a certain level of excitement to the day doesn’t it?!

The difficulty of simplicity

School has taught me also that simple things are the hardest. Never do we have an issue with getting dressed at the weekend, but when it comes to school, there is always the battle over which socks to wear (incredible isn’t it!) It has almost now become a part of the daily routine where there is a sock complaint. When compounded with the inevitable lateness, I sometimes wonder what the neighbours must think as one of us runs out to the car with a half-open school bag and a child screaming that his sock is too crispy…but then again I’m too busy to actually care what they think.


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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger, Teacher and Father of One
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

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