Were we just so excited to hear which school we got or are we disappointed???? Either way the time had begun to start to talk about school readiness. As a setting we have always focused on the children and rightly so, its our jobs. This year however it's a little different for myself as I’m a parent with a child off to school. Apologies in advance its long wafflely and can seem like a rant in places.
So as it should be children first: Quick refresh of the check list of what is expected of a child when they enter into reception year at school from me as a Mummy and a manager.
Can they separate from carer (most of the time)
Can they get themselves dressed (If I race him otherwise it takes forever)
Can they follow clear set of instructions (Ok this ones tricky yes he can but often doesn't want to)
Show interest in what they are doing (If I a doing something he want or I start to do something)
Range of vocabulary and an ability to express feeling, thought and idea (Perfect at this one right before bedtime)
Be able to identify themselves by name, age, state factors in their life, name family (This one I can tick without a sarcastic remark)
Be able to interact in an age appropriate way with another child or adult (Doesn't every stop inviting people over sorry Tania he keeps asking you)
Share and play, taking responsibility for their actions, understanding repercussions for their actions (Mostly depends on mood)
To be able to observe, notice, discuss and ask questions about their environment and experiences (Same as before mostly before bed)
Focus on and also show interest in the work they are undertaking (Same as above)
To be able to engage with books, have some understanding of words and language (Been very lucky here loves books)
Respond to boundary setting (By someone else yes not always Mummy and Daddy)
Vocalise their needs such as toileting, thirst, hunger illness etc.â€¦ (All the time )
So in a nut shell he's ready. Whoop whoop that’s it isn’t it???
Oh my gosh no!
So we start with what is required to be parent ready for school (new name just made it up )
Which school: Did I get/choose
- Did I research enough?
- What time do they come out?
- What clubs do they do?
- Do they have an after school club? (come back to this one in a min)
- Do I visit?
- Of course I Visit â€“ when to book it?
- Take time off work
- look round don't like it
- Start again
- Find a school I like
- Complete application form
- Oh bother I need ore than one school
- Do I start again?
- No haven't got time or holiday left to start again
- Look at recent reports they must be accurate
- Chose next 2 school based on this information alone
- Application submitted
- Wait till April to find out
This was my process some may have been different some may have siblings at school so didn't need to be as obsessive as I was; however he was my first so went a little mad with the steps and this was all before the end of application. I know right!!!!
So that must be it sit and wait till you are told what school!!! That’s all you can do in the interim period whilst they are allocating school. Well not me I went and had a baby, so didn't really cross my mind until the week before the letters come out. I was so excited I couldn't wait, gosh was I in for a shock, I didn’t get first choice! All that research I did the visits wasted holiday (because I would so rather be doing house work on days off ) The school I got has a fantastic reputation and Ofsted don't get me wrong but it wasn’t my first choice and I have to admit I cried. Then I got mad and the once I calmed down I booked a visit and started the appeal process (I still wanted my first choice)
So after this part we are back at the waiting game part of the year. So I have made a to do list (Maybe better known as a stress list) for me to work towards.
- School hours, how we going to get there, how we going to pick up?
- Ring round afterschool clubs for prices. (Find out your limited as only one pick up from your school)
- Realise that the money you thought you were getting back into your budget will just go to a different provider.
- Re think is it worth putting them into after school club should I just give up work.
- Think wouldn't it be lovely to have all that spare time on your hands you could do so much.
- Realise that actually you will be spending all your time running from club to club picking them up and feeding them. Is it worth it?
- I know ill give up work all together, other half says in your dreams we couldn't afford it before why can we afford it now.
- Go back to plan one and work out how much its going to cost to use before and after school club, settle for this and feel guilty about your child not having you there.
- Which ones to buy Asda, M&S, Sainsbury’s etcâ€¦ they all say how great they are, but they aren’t child proof (my child at least who could fall over himself)
- Then the cost OMG!!!!!!! they advertise this for Â£5 or this for Â£10 but real terms that’s no where near what it will be. Near a couple of hundred pounds. So no extra treats coming my way them.
- Which uniform to buy, as I am appealing I have to wait but even if you don't appeal you have so much choice.
- How often will I wash it? I am always optimistic and day ill wash every day in real life more like once a week, so 5 of everything then as they are never clean when they come home. Just lost more treats due to laziness even sadder than before.
- Shoes almost a must leave till last you almost guaranteed to grow over the summer.
Settling in process at school
I am sorry schools but seriously what is this all about, most children since the introduction of the funding for three year olds have been doing longer at a nursery setting than they will ever do at school but hey ho we have to go along with this. So this is another stress to add to the list as I need to book time off from work which ill have to keep the same. (Love my treats to much) Looks like we aren't having a family holiday after all this year. Then there is the getting to know you sessions in July before school even starts. Now I am a fan of this I encourage it I invite the schools into the setting and allow the parents to move sessions to other times to accommodate this. As a parent though more time off. Now I am sure that most families share the child care so its not as bad as it seems but its not always like that so as a setting we sympathise.
So before the children even start school we as parents have so much to think of and to do. I am almost certain that I have forgotten things as I sit here in my mini rant poor parents. Feel for me. We need a little support and Happy Bunnies have always tried to be that sympathetic ear the understanding setting. I love my children I really do as with all the children in my care they do 100% come first. With so much emphasis on child readiness for school we have forgotten about the parents. I think that there should be a guidance from the authorities about readiness for parents. As parents who stresses and has raised stress levels I often worry about what my eldest is taking on.
Children are sponges if they feel that your not coping with the transition to school they will need more support, as a setting we see this with the children and support them, but I believe its about time that all provider start supporting parents get ready for school.
Each child will reach the expected readiness for school in the course of their own time with support we have been doing it for many years, times to stand up for the parents.