Kindy, kinder, kindergarten, day care, pre school, or whatever the name is for it where you live, lets get it straight… I am talking about that year or two before children start proper ‘school.’ Where we live, in Queensland Australia, a child typically starts school when they are turning 5 or 6. For us we delayed our eldest (Ari’s) start to school and went with the latter, therefore he started his first year of proper school when he was five and half years old.
When Ari was three and half we enrolled him in what we call Kindy for two or three days a week. He did pre kindy for one year then kindy. This is where children go before they start school. Prior to that Ari started home with myself and his sister Chloe. We put Ari into Kindy to help prepare him for starting school where he would be away form me five days a week and a whole new world would begin for him.
Ari started prep in January 2021 and we are now half way through our first year with a school aged child. I have mentioned before what a shock to the system I found school to be. Honestly I think it has been my most challenging adjustment thus far, and it was only once he started that I truly appreciated the flexibility of his two years spent at kindy. I mean seriously it was INCREDIBLE! The hours were flexible, everything was extremely relaxed, there was zero commitment needed on part of the parent and absolutely no homework. What a dream and what a silly fool I was for not appreciating this stage in my… um I mean his life until now.
Proper school with its tight hours, homework obligations and zillion ways of teacher to parent communication, is a whole new kettle of fish for us. Look I don’t want to complain, it’s not all doom and gloom, the bright side being that I’ve got about another 18 years to get use to it right? Surely by then I will be a pro! Expert school parent, that’s me, look out!
Seriously though it is a lot of pressure. A different uniform for different days of the week, ipad apps to check, emails to read, homework to complete, bake sales to cook for… If I go over anymore my head will explode! I actually can’t believe people asked me why I didn’t wait to have a third baby once Ari started school, I feel like that would have been a huge challenge to fit a newborn into all of that.
Jokes aside school really is amazing and it is such a joy to watch Ari’s personality develop, friendship circle grow and knowledge expand. His love of learning makes me very happy. My advice for anyone who does’t have a school age child yet is to enjoy your freedom while you can, because once that school bells starts ringing it’s all going to change for you not just your little one!
If you are a school parent and are struggling, check out my blog post 12 Really Brilliant and Really Useful Back to School tips.