What We’ve Learnt From Half A Term At School

What We’ve Learnt From Half A Term At School

So, the biggest boy has finished his first half term at school. It’s been a long, tiring and at times frustrating 6 weeks but we made it. So, what have we learnt?

1. They get really, really tired
The stroppy, difficult child arrived after 1 week of full time school. The sulking and teenage display of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning is most amusing!

2. They don’t appreciate going to school on their birthday
Refer to this post. I had to drag him to school kicking and screaming as he desperately wanted to stay at home. Not one of my finest parenting moments but, within 5 minutes of being in class he was fine!

3. They are really missed at home
Both me and his brother really miss him. O has lost his play mate and runs to hug him as soon as he’s out of school. They used to try to kill each other but now they hate being apart!

4. They think their teachers are superheroes
“My teacher says this”, “my teacher does it this way”! Mummy is suddenly always wrong! I’ve been replaced by another woman in his life!

5. They have a really great time
He comes home from school telling me it was OK and he didn’t do much but, parents evening and the weekly reports we get from his teacher tell another story. Apparently, he’s really enjoying himself.

6. It’s not as hard as I thought to get 4 children dressed and out the door
I’m not the playground Mum I thought I’d be. I thought I’d be the one tearing down the road late with half dressed kids in tow. Instead, I’m one of the first at school, fully dressed and even sometimes with make up on! Go me!

7. The big boy attitude sucks
I always thought he behaved like a teenager but that was before we started school and took sarcasm and bad tempers to a whole other level!

School – Day 2

School – Day 2

It’s 10.30 and I’m sat sobbing into my cup of tea absolutely exhausted. It’s not because I’m missing my baby now he’s at school but, because of this mornings epic fight to get him to school.

I got them all up slightly earlier this morning as I thought he might be a bit reluctant to go to school again today. He was awake in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and today is his 5th birthday. I thought I would allow myself a bit of extra time.

The extra time I allowed was about 3 hours too little! He was fine eating his breakfast but then things went downhill. He refused to get dressed. He kicked me (and his sisters) while I tried to fight him into his uniform. He was screaming so loudly the neighbours came round to find out if we were OK.

His friend knocked on the door to walk with us to school and he stood there, in his pants, and shouted at him. I’m guessing we’ll be walking to school on our own from now on!

By 9am, when he should have been in school, he was dressed in just pants and socks in the hall with all his siblings screaming in the living room.

I did eventually get him dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, loaded in the car and delivered to school reception with his uniform in a bag. I sat outside the school and cried. I know it’s a massive change and he’s the first to go to school but how can he hate it so much already?

I was scrapped off the ground by another Mum who offered me tissues, a hug and a partially melted bar of chocolate! She was lovely and I guess upset reception parents aren’t a rarity. 

I really thought he’d enjoy school. He’s been looking forward to it for months and is finally reunited with his best friend again. I’m going to speak with his teacher when I pick him up at lunch. I’m sure he’s not the only new pupil to not want to go to school. I’m hoping she can help as I just don’t know what to do with him. Please tell me this gets easier.

Term Time Holidays

Term Time Holidays

I’ve never really had an opinion on the ‘holiday in term time’ debate as I’ve never had children of school age before but, in the last few months, this has become a hot topic in our household. The reason being, we are off to Mexico in May for my brother-in-laws wedding and the biggest boy will end up missing 2 weeks of school.

image

The holiday has been subject to much debate as it’s costing a small fortune and it’s money I had earmarked for our first Disney holiday. Although it’s not Florida, I love the idea of us having a family holiday with lots of extra pairs of helping hands nearby as attempting to fly with 4 small children fills me with dread. But,I hate the fact that B will miss 2 weeks worth of school.

We had no choice over the dates of this holiday as, due to the grooms job, he has to take his holiday at certain times of the year. I tried telling hubby that we shouldn’t really go as it’s not fair to take B out of school but that meant asking him to miss his brothers wedding which didn’t go down very well.

We’ve had people say that it doesn’t matter as it’s just his first year at school and he’s not going to miss anything important but, I disagree. All education is important. His first year at school is one of the most important as he is getting used to being in an educational setting while learning the very basics which he’ll need to build on over the years.

I know teachers hate it (my friends have told me as much) but I will be asking his teacher if there is anything we can do while we’re away so he doesn’t slip behind. I also fully intend to have B working while we’re away on holiday. I am on the lookout for a camera for him so he can take pictures and make a holiday diary that he can show to his friends when he gets home.

During a visit to the primary school before we made our choice, we discussed term time holidays with the headteacher. He wasn’t overly concerned about it and said as it was an exceptional circumstance he would authorise the absence for us. Unfortunately, since that meeting, the headteacher has changed! I now have to go and make an appointment with the new headteacher and hope she’ll authorise the holiday. I’m going to feel like such a naughty girl sitting outside her office before the meeting!

This will probably be our one and only chance to go on a Caribbean holiday with the children as the cost during the school holidays is ridiculous and flying on our own with 4 children is just stupidity! I know we’ll most likely have a great time but, I can’t get excited as I know B shouldn’t be out of school.

How do you feel about taking children out of school for holidays? Do you worry about the effect on their education or do you think that children are still learning while they’re away?

Tuesday Twinkler
Off To School

Off To School

The uniform has been purchased and labelled, the induction sessions completed and now the summer holidays are drawing to a close. This can only mean one thing, the biggest boy is off to school – woohoo!

He is incredibly excited and I know he’ll be just fine as he’s the oldest in the class. He was more than ready to go last year but, due to his tardiness of not arriving on his due date (thanks son), he’s had to wait a whole extra year.

The excitement of him starting school ends here though as his introduction to school is the world’s biggest ball ache! I understand it’s a massive change and that some children are a lot younger than others but, it hasn’t gone down too well in my newly returned to workplace that I need to have the whole of September off!

This is because the boys school do a very, very, almost painfully slow, gradual introduction. The first 2 days are just an hour which barely gives me enough time to drag my other 3 back home before I have to turn around and go back again. It’s a small village school and there is nowhere to go to waste an hour either.

The following 2 weeks he finishes at 12 which at least gives me time to get home and let the 2 year old rest! The final 2 weeks of the introduction extends the school day to include lunch before going home at 1.30. I have nobody else who can do the pick ups at this time of day so I’m having to take the entire month off work. My company were not particularly impressed when my parental leave application went in!

Most children in this day and age have been doing long days at nursery for some time so I’m wondering if such a drawn out introduction is necessary. Other local schools have shorter days for a week or 2 but I’ve yet to find another who take such a long time to settle the children in.

I know I’m looking at it from an older child’s perspective and will probably write a very different article in 3 years time when my twins, having just turned 4, head off to school. But, I’m really interested in hearing other parents views of their child’s introduction to school. Is anybody else faced with a whole month of shorter school days?

One Year On With Twins

One Year On With Twins

This week we celebrated our twin girls 1st birthday. We survived our first year of being a family of six and managed to keep 2 babies alive at the same time.

We’ve had a really great time and the girls managed to string their birthday celebrations out for 5 days with parties and a day out at the seaside. Talk about little princesses!

image

This week has got me reminiscing and remembering back to being told we were expecting twins. After the initial shock dispersed, the panic set in. Although I had done this ‘having a baby’ thing before, I now had to do it with 2 babies at the same time!

I have a few friends who are twin parents so I turned to them for help. They all agreed on one point, how hard the first year is particularly if you end up with a stay in SCBU. I was literally horrified at how difficult raising twins sounded. I wondered how on earth people manage to get twins past their 1st birthday if it’s that hard!

Thankfully our twins arrived at 38+5 weighing in at a whopping 7lb 5oz and 7lb so we got home straight away. We were also blessed with 2 of the most laid back little girls I have ever met. After having had 2 boys born full of energy, they were a welcome relief. They love a routine, go to sleep without too much of a fuss and still nap. It’s probably a good job as I sometimes struggle to give them the attention they need with the 2 other whirlwinds around!

We’ve had one of the most exciting years ever. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy but it’s not been half as bad as I was expecting. There have been days when I’ve wanted to give all the children away but they usually get forgotten about when they come running at me for a hug or pile into my bed in the morning for a snuggle. We’ve also had days where we’ve had so much fun, I almost didn’t want to put the children to bed.

I think the real challenge now begins! Both of the twins are on the move and one of them is up on her feet. In a few short months, I will have 2 toddlers who want to try and walk everywhere and refusing to use the pushchair. This will no doubt be nicely timed to coincide with us all having to do the school run for the first time!

I am so much more nervous about having to shepherd 4 small children along the half a mile walk to school before 9am than keeping newborn twins alive!

I cannot wait to see what amazing things we get up to over the next year. I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops and how much mischief they can get into together. Wish me luck!

Mummascribbles
5 Great Things About My June

5 Great Things About My June

I can’t believe it’s June already! May has been a very busy and exciting month. We had lots of time with Daddy at home and we all had a holiday. The kids went off to their grandparents and we took a trip to Alton Towers.

June is looking much, much quieter thankfully.

1. Trip To London
We have family coming to visit from Italy and the only way to get everyone together is to meet in Central London. Not ideal with 4 small children but with my parents help and 2 slings we can hopefully do it without pushchairs and without losing any children!

2. Parents Evening
It’s introduction evening at B’s new school. We’ll get the opportunity to meet his teacher and the new headteacher plus order his uniform. I’ve been warned to take my tissues as they show a tearjerker of a video!

3. First School Visit
Following on from parents evening, B has his first visit to his new school to meet his new classmates. He’s very excited!

4. A Catch Up With My Bestie
We’ve known each other since we were 2 and used to live just 10 doors apart but since I moved from London and we both had kids, we don’t get to spend as much time together. Our catch ups usually involve lots of wine and chatting (plus the odd husband moan). I miss her so much but I know she’s always on the end of the phone if I need her.

5. Tour Of Cambridgeshire Cycle Race
Although a massive inconvenience to us if we want to travel anywhere, the cycle race is coming through our village. We thought the boys would like to go and watch all the cyclists coming through and see what’s going on. It’s not very often something like this comes to our sleepy village.

5 Great Things About My May

5 Great Things About My May

So, April had its highs and lows. The girls had a lovely christening day, I turned 30 and realised it wasn’t the end of the world and B got his first choice school place. But, Easter and our trip to Thomas Land was completely wiped out by chickenpox.

We’re hoping to get out more this month and enjoy ourselves after last months washout!

1. Double Bank Holidays
Daddy at home for a 3 day weekend twice in one month is fantastic. The boys really miss seeing their Daddy so love it when he’s at home for an extra day.

2. The One Year Holiday Countdown
One year to go until our first family holiday to Mexico. We’re going to a family wedding but I’m excited about spending 2 weeks of quality time with my hubby and babies. I’m dreading the flight but currently there’s 22 family members on the same flight so lots of pairs if helping hands.

3. Trip To Dublin
My husband Great Aunt is poorly and couldn’t make it to the twins Christening so we have decided to drive over to Ireland with all the children for a few days to see her.

4. My 30th Birthday Present
Hubby is taking me to Alton Towers for a couple of days minus the small people. I’m a rollercoaster junkie and last time we went was only 5 weeks after my c-section so couldn’t go on any. I’m secretly looking forward to some quality time with hubby too.

5. B Starting His Introduction To School
His nursery have a day planned for activities to get them ready for school. He’s so excited about going to school and is really looking forward to this day at nursery. I’m not sure what activities they have planned to prepare them for school but I’m sure he’ll have fun all the same!

Post Comment Love
Big Boy Growing Up

Big Boy Growing Up

We got our primary school place – hooray! But, the joy at receiving our first choice school was tinged with a sadness. It’s time to admit that my baby boy is growing up and will be off to school in September.

I have to confess to waiting up until midnight to find out his place. But after the initial sigh of relief, I did shed some tears. My first born will no longer be at home with me all day. My sidekick for the last 4 and a half years, gone!

I have quite often said that I couldn’t wait for him to go to school so he wasn’t around to cause trouble all day. But, most of the time he is a joy to have around. He is a fantastic big brother and the amount of help he gives me with his sisters is amazing.

I know it was inevitable it was going to happen but, I’m not sure I’m ready for the next stage in his life. I know he is more than ready for this new challenge and will probably enjoy every minute of it. His thirst for knowledge is incredible. There can’t be many children who ask to do their times tables before bed!

After saying I wouldn’t cry when he started school, only celebrate, I know the tears will fall as my biggest boy steps into the classroom for the first time. I’m welling up just thinking about it. I’m sure I won’t be the only emotional parent at the school gates on their first day in September.

The Twinkle Diaries
Primary School Decision Day

Primary School Decision Day

This Thursday we find out which primary school my beloved first born will be attending in September. We have been anxiously waiting for this day since we hit submit on the application forms back in November.

We have applied for our village school which we are less than half a mile from. It’s touch and go as to whether we’ll get a place or not. The school is notoriously oversubscribed as they only take 30 children. Our second choice is the much larger infants school in the next town which may end up causing us problems when we go to apply for the junior school in a few years time.

Ever since we started looking at schools, about 3 years ago, we have had our sights set on this village school. It is the best by miles, with a fantastic Ofsted, lovely grounds and great staff. Until 18 months ago though, we weren’t in the catchment area.

We decided to move from one village to the next, a journey of approximately 3 miles, to give us the best possible chance of getting a place at this school. The houses in this village are incredibly expensive compared to where we used to live which has meant we had to significantly increase our mortgage. Thankfully, moving house has benefitted us in another way. We moved into a 4 bed house and a week later found out we were expecting baby no. 3 (later to become 3 and 4!).

Our nervous wait is nearly over. Thursday will reveal whether B goes to school with his best friend or his girlfriend! Think of all us nervous parents, eagerly awaiting the email containing our babies school places, on Wednesday night as you go to bed. I’m sure I won’t be the only one waiting up for it!

The Twinkle Diaries