This year marks the end of one stage of my eldest child’s life, that is his life at home as a preschooler. In a few weeks, he will start Kindergarten.
Where did the time go? It seems like not that long ago that I was knee deep in milk, nappies, prams and mushy food. Now I have to contend with screen time, sight words, movie ratings and learning to ride a bike. His training wheels are off; I’m struggling to remove my own.
My son is excited about going to ‘big school’. We had told him that he’d go to school when he turned 5. The day after he turned 5, he wanted to know why he wasn’t going to school.
As a parent who is also a teacher, I am thrilled that my son is looking forward to going to school, but I am also a parent who is looking at her child wondering if to this point I have done a good enough job to prepare him to take this next step.
It sounds to melodramatic! It’s not like he’s a 5 year old going to boarding school. But I am filled with questions and anxieties and desperately trying to hide these from my son. Did I do the right thing in going back to work, is he ready for school, will he be okay not knowing anyone at his new school, will he make friends, find his way around, will his teachers be lovely and competent, how will his brother manage the transition to being at preschool and at home without him? So many questions with answers that are really out of my control.
Primary school really does set the scene for what is to come in a child’s school career. All the important formative things are taught: handwriting, spelling, group work, sports, reading. I really want my son to enjoy school for the simple sake of it and to continue to enjoy it and see its value in the long term. To make and play with his friends, to interact with new people, to learn and to foster a love of learning.
This is a big test for me, a ‘let it go’ kind of thing. I know that I will be one of the parents whose child blissfully runs through the classroom door, whilst I struggle to control my tears. He’ll say ‘why are you crying Mummy?’ and my answer will be ‘Because today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!’
Thank you, Dr Seuss.