1 – Establishing A Bedtime Routine
Yes, I know this is what you must have read absolutely everywhere but in our family we’re really lacking in this area! Our kids co-sleep, not because that’s what we set out to do, it’s just the way it happened and it’s stayed that way. The boys also go to bed at a pretty late hour; in between watching the tennis, night-time swims in the pool or staying up with stories it seems that there’s just always something to do other than sleep! So, how on earth are we going to change this? The short answer, I have no idea. I’m not giving up though. I’ve got a few things in mind so wish me luck!
This is what we are going to try:
2 – Playground Melting Pot
As the start of school approaches, we’re trying to have a few, undetailed and general chats about how kids can be different to you in their behaviour and interests. We’ve tried to talk about a few scenarios based on play dates he’s had over the holidays and what it would be like if something like that were to happen at school. I’m confident he will have a blissful time running around with other kids at recess and lunchtime but it’s always useful to have an appreciation that not all the kids will want to play your game or play with you, and that’s okay.
3 – Not Hyping The Whole Thing Up
It seems like every Christmas function we’ve been to has seen my little guy asked excitedly “Are you going to big school this year?!” which he seems to just gaze back at and reply yes, I’m sure thinking, if it’s so great why don’t you go then?! After reading Maggie Dent’s book Mothering Our Boys I have a new appreciation for taking a back seat with what next year will bring. I’m not promising he’ll make lots of friends, be able to read, have the best time and learn lots of great things because let’s face it, what if he doesn’t do all of that? Or he finds the whole experience there a little bit shit? Especially compared to play based preschool days, the routine of ‘big’ school will be a huge change and I’d rather he develop his own experiences first hand without being weighed down by different expectations of exactly how it’s going to be.
4 – Change To My Work Schedule
Running your own business comes with a list of challenges as long as your arm, but in equal measure there are so many reasons that I love what I do. I’m fortunate enough to be able to turn my weekday upside down and this is what I’m planning to do to work around the changed routine that school will bring.
In the morning I’ll be up early securing a few hours of work before the put-your-shoes-on-brush-your-teeth-here’s-your-lunch monologue begins. If my husband is available – and he often is in the morning – yeah! – I try and escape the house altogether and get to work or to the gym. Around the school grounds is pretty chaotic with cars in the morning so to get to school our aim is to walk, ride the bike or scooter. I’m hoping that walking or riding will have the opportunity to burn off some energy in the morning and make space for some focus when the school bell rings.
I’m going to wrap up any work in the afternoon at 3pm and be there for pick up and whatever post school fun we get up to with my boys. In this crazy heat it is likely to involve swimming but we’ll see if there is a need to burn off energy or do something a little bit more chill, or as I suspect a huge need to EAT EAT EAT. Post dinner I plan to pick everything up again and work for an hour or so once the boys are in bed asleep. If the house is quiet at 8pm we really won’t know ourselves, this has never happened before!
On the whole, I’m excited for this new chapter in our lives. Our little guy is ready for school and this list of changes and what we are chatting about is based on where he is up to. My second would need a whole different conversation suited to his focus and developmental needs… but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
If your little one is starting school this year I send my very best wishes, I’d love to hear how the transition goes for your whole family. For those who have walked this well-worn road before, I would love to know any advice you have and how you found the whole experience.
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