Here are the thoughts I jotted down in January about my last baby starting school. A bit late, but hey, better late than never!
"After 14 years and 3 months of having at least one child at home, the next chapter is now beginning.
No5 started school yesterday. We live next door but managed to arrive late as he couldn't find his hat, nevertheless he was excited, happy and ready to go. He has the same Kinder teacher that my daughter had 4 years ago, and although new classrooms have been built since then, he knew the routine and what was expected of him.
I've read a number of blog posts, facebook posts and Tweets from mothers who have shed tears and are sad that their babies are off to big school, lots of people have asked me if I would be sad or shed a few tears. My honest answer is no. I'm not sad, I'm delighted! From his point of view, this is what is meant to happen, kids grow up, develop their own personalities and move away to start their own lives. If I've done a decent job as a parent, then hopefully each stage will go relatively smoothly. As for me, I've sent kids to play group, nursery, Infants/Primary and now High schools for the last 10 years, the practicalities are no big deal, but rightly I suppose it IS a big deal for me as much as for them. I didn't cry, I'm not sad, but from here on in my role as a parent of a pre-schooler is over, a part of my life is over for ever and I will miss having my little buddy around during the day.
In actual fact I think the role of a parent gets harder once your kids are at school. After school activities and homework, keeping up with who is doing what/going where/friends with whom etc intensify (especially when you have 5). I had always looked forward to the kids being at school so that I could get a job, until older, wiser parents told me about how much more older kids need parents around than younger ones, and another great friend told me that findings from a conference she had attended show that kid do drugs and get pregnant at 4pm because parents are at work and don't know what the kids are getting up to.
Maybe I should have pointed out that he is not yet 5. This has been an issue that I would not have had to think about in the UK, but I have been asked if he isn't a bit too young for school, especially when some in his class have already turned 6. My answer is simply that he's bright, he's bored with pre-school and he's ready. So am I. Yes, he's a bit small, but interestingly, one of the already-6-year-olds is smaller than him.
I guess we'll wait and see how he goes..."
UPDATE - September
As we get close to the end of term 3, I can give a little bit of an update.
At the risk of sounding like a show-off mum, he's doing really well. I mean REALLY well. His teacher told me that he has read every book in her classroom, the year 1 classroom and is now reading at a year 2 level. My response was to apologise! I haven't taught him, but the child loves reading. I was helping out in Kinder this morning and he insisted on writing 3 pages about Thunderstorms rather than the 1 sentence he had been asked for, frankly his handwriting is shocking - he's a lefty- but his spelling was all correct. I truly don't know where he came from and to be honest, he scares me!