As much as I want to hold your hand, tightly in mine and keep you young forever, tomorrow I will let it go as you start your biggest adventure yet. Tomorrow we will kiss you and send you off as your start school.
I swear it was only yesterday that we brought you home, that we wrapped you lovingly in your cot, that we rocked you to sleep. I swear it was only yesterday that you spoke your first words (Dadda of course). When you took your first steps, when you slept through the night, when you met your brother for the first time. I swear it was only yesterday, but yet, here we are. A big girl, grown up before our eyes.
There are so many things that I hope and dream for you. So much that I could say. So much that I want you to know.
As a teacher
I hope that you continue your love of learning.
That your spark and curiosity flourish.
I hope learn for school to be a wonderful place
That your teacher will nurture you and guide you
That you see yourself as someone who can take risks
I hope that you learn to listen, and be listened to
I hope that your creative mind gets bigger and bigger
I hope that you feel proud of your achievements
I hope that you learn through your mistakes
That you know that not everyone is perfect
That mistakes are ok, more than ok!
That you are ‘smart’ in lots of ways
I hope you explore the world in all it’s glory
That you find your talents
That you learn to appreciate others
That you learn about yourself
As your Mother
I hope that you are happy
That you feel safe and secure
That you make beautiful friends whom you will cherish your whole life (like me)
That you experience success, and learn from failure
That you see yourself as important
I hope that you experience the joy of being part of something glorious
That you laugh, that you smile, that you grow
That you use your voice to make things happen
I hope you know how wonderful you are, and
How wonderful others can be
Our darling Ella, tomorrow is the biggest day of your life yet.
I started this blog to remember the big milestones in our family, and tomorrow is one we will never forget!
As you know, I’m always, always on the look out for great products that are pitched at families dealing with young kids. In my house right now, Ella is the Queen of art and craft. She is forever searching for activities to do that are creative and involve her imagination. Even though I am a Primary Teacher, I find it hard to find just the right activities to keep her happy and engaged. Sometimes they involve me, and some times they don’t. So when I came across Wantu, I was hooked. Much like we all struggle to think of what to cook each night, we also struggle to think of activities for our children. There are so many apps that help us to find great recipes that are quick and healthy for our families. Wantu is a mobile app designed to help parents find customised ideas for fun and interactive activities to do together with their 2 to 7 year olds. Whether you have just 15 or 30 minutes to spare, they’ve got your back!
Wantu is currently in free-beta, which means you can be the first to check it out, give feedback and be a part of their process to launch a more awesome app to keep helping parents find fun, learning centric activities to do with their kids.
For busy parents, this app is a must have that not only helps our brains, but also helps us spend quality time with our kids.
The idea is simple:
you create a profile for each of your children,
select whether you want a quick activity, or one that lasts a little longer
select whether it is an indoor our outdoor activity
select a few possibilities from a generated list, to help the app understand your child’s interests
BAM! Do the activity!
Today, Ella and I created snowflakes from a simple piece of paper…
With the school holidays coming up, you are sure to want something simple and fun to turn to, to help keep your little ones happy!
Download the app here and enjoy the endless fun. Best of all…its FREE!!! To find out more…check out the video below!
Prepped for Prep – Preparing parents for school, again.
Parenting. It is the hardest job in the world. Whilst it can bring us endless amounts of joy and happiness, it can also bring out the crazy side. Sometimes we can lose ourselves in the exhaustion. In the confusion, the frustration and the worry. The endless worry that sometimes brings out the inner alter ego who we ALL try to keep hidden. That side that we know can rear its head at any time, but desperately hope it doesn’t. We never want to be THAT parent. That parent who loses it at the supermarket whilst their child has an epic tantrum on the floor. The parent who loses it on the phone because they have been on hold for 30 minutes whilst trying to occupy small children from spilling Coco Pops, all over the floor. The parent who cries when they get to work because they haven’t slept all night.
Nothing brings out THAT side of parenting than the adventure that next year, we are about to tackle for the first time. School. Next year our daughter Ella, starts prep. It’s exciting, its nerve wracking, it’s scary, and it’s amazing. However, school is not new for me. I’ve been a Primary Teacher for 14 years. For the last eight, I’ve actually managed our Prep Transition and worked our new parents to help them navigate the ups and downs of preparing for school. Preparing for school, for their children and for themselves.
However this time they are experiencing school from a different angle. Many parents have not stepped foot inside a school for decades. Many, since they too left school. Primary School education has changed a lot in recent decades. It is actually very different from when we went to school in the 80s. It’s amazing. It’s innovative. It’s inspiring. It’s a place of endless knowledge and potential, where our children can find and discover parts of themselves that both they, and we never knew existed. School is not the four walled classroom with one teacher that we all knew. It know often consists of open planned classrooms, often with more than one teacher. It’s not the ‘one size fits all’ delivery of curriculum that we experiences. Often there is NOT rows of desks, but rather occasional furniture where children can choose where and when to sit, or stand, together in groups or on their own – depending on what they need for their learning, and when. Schools now personalise curriculum for their students. It’s incredibly detailed and dynamic.
Whether it’s the focus on how curriculum caters for your child, or the uniform they need to wear, or the expecations on ‘what they need to know before they start’, school transition can be very daunting for parents. From my own experience, it’s not only children who need help transitioning to school. Parents too need to be prepped for Prep too.
Starting school can be a time of mixed emotions. It can be exciting and extruciatinly stressful at the same time. Everyone has varying expectations and experiences, and no one person is the same. Nor should we expect them to be. To some degree, everyone feels that they ‘know about school’ because they have an experience with it. Being a parent however, is very different from being a student. Being a student is very different from being a teacher. As parents, we bring our own memories of school to the table. If you loved school, then you want your child to have the same experience. If you hated school then you want to do everything you can to protect them and help them to have the complete opposite. Sometimes though, we have to stop, take a deep breath and remember that they are in good hands. I know that with the right support, everyone can be fine.
Whilst I’m confident and sure of my ability as a teacher to help parents through the experience of starting school, the problem is, that next year I will be one of those parents, and I’m petrified. I’m petrified of myself. Of the Mother and parent, that may rear its crazy head. Perhaps not publicly, but certainly privately. I don’t want to be that parent who:
stresses too much.
worries too much.
thinks too much.
The problem is, when it is your child, all sanity, rationality and common sense can go out the window. Sometimes you just lose it, and often unintentionally can make things worse. It may not be openly towards other people, but it may be inside your own head as your anxiety escalates. Next year Ella is starting school at what we already know is a caring and nurturing place. She won’t know anyone however, and being very sensitive (like her Mum), I know she will struggle a little. So in my efforts to try to not be THAT parent, and listen to my own professional advice (ie. struggling can actually be a good thing to build resilience), I’m going to write a new series of blog posts. Advice to myself, and parents like me. Those who worry too much about what people think. Those who know that everything will be ok, but they just can’t seem to stop stressing. Those parents who have gone a little crazy going back to school again.
So I need a little favour from you. As a teacher, I know what parents need to know from a school perspective. However on the flip side, what things do YOU want to know. As someone on both sides of the fence, I would really love to know what aspects about transition and schooling that stress you the most. It also may be something that you wish you had have known years ago, before your child starts school.
Either leave a comment below on this post, leave a comment on FB , email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a DM on my Instagram account.
I want this series of blog posts to make a difference to us all. To help us all be prepped for Prep.
So what advice to you need as a parent to be Prepped for Prep?