Two years of school run fun


Back in September 2014 as a newbie school runner I had no idea that, over the course of the following two years I would experience days that felt like mental torture – the ones when, standing at the school door, it appeared that everyone else had someone to chat to – a close friend or even group of friends with whom to huddle whilst I pretended to be engrossed in my iPhone weather app, tears pricking my eyes.

It felt as though my alienation extended itself to my son who seemed unsure of where he fit in with his class mates and complained of having ‘no friends’. Teachers at parents meetings assured me that this was not the case and that he was sociable and well balanced.

read more

From apprehension to jubilation!


Not the greatest photograph, but above you see the face of a child who was not ready to be a school boy on his first day of school. After the greatest of struggles to even get out of the house (and a great deal of sweating and stressing from the mother ship) I took this picture as a last ditch attempt to join in with the series of portraits swamping my newsfeed lately but frankly, there was no way this was ever going to make the cut and the stance and general attitude you see before you is nothing compared to the emotional storm that was brewing away.

read more

Treats, trials and tribulations

EJ Penguin

I haven’t been able to write too much lately – life has been completely knackering and if I’m going to write then my optimum time seems to be mid-morning which is really unfortunate due to the fact that I am rarely unoccupied mid-morning. However I have managed to find a few things to love lately.

My favourite programmes recently have been: the BBC3 comedy Cuckoo with Greg Davies who is brilliant (and also used to teach drama at my old secondary school! [way after my time I should add]). I just love the silliness of it all – all the characters are written so well; Happy Valley – so sad it’s over already, another tour de force performance from Sarah Lancashire; The Voice UK – I know, I know, so predictable of me but I enjoy this so much more than something like X Factor, although now it’s going to the live shows it remains to be seen if the natural talent will survive duff song choices. I think Boy George has turned out to be a pretty good judge as far as I’m concerned, I have agreed with most of his choices although Ricky has the best team in my opinion – Kevin Sim’s performance of Chandelier is definitely going to be one of the series highs; and Thirteen – another BBC drama series, this time the story of a girl who was snatched from the streets by a man who kept her hostage in his cellar for 13 years before she manages to escape. It’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds though as the details of what actually happened behind those four walls gradually emerges.

read more

Would you keep your summer born child back a school year?

I am too absolutely small for schoolI read the news earlier in the week. The UK government have agreed to allow parents of children born between April and August to keep their kids back from starting in Reception year of Infant School until they turn five. I didn’t think too much more about it until a friend with an August born child (EJ is late July) asked if I was considering taking the government up on this offer.

It seems like she is very seriously considering doing so and she gave a lot of reasons why it would be a good thing to do including her research that summer born children who start school at just turned four have more trouble getting to grips with learning and are not necessarily physically able to get through such structured days at such a young age.

read more

First school report

JJ on my desk!This is it – the home strait, the final few weeks of term in what has been a whole new chapter in my gorgeous 5 year old’s life. A time to evaluate, and look to the future.

Recently JJ received his first ever school report. It has indeed been a year of firsts for him what with his recent sports day (during which he won his running race!) and first after school play & tea dates, but the report is something a bit different. OK so there is only so much to report back to us parents after the speediest 10 months ever. Suffice to say we have no worries about his general learning progress – he’s a typical boy by all accounts, average at reading and writing, slightly above average on the maths front, but it is in the social, emotional and communications skills that he seems to have grown so much. For example, he is noted for having resolved minor disagreements between his friends fairly. Wow. I know this seems like a relatively small thing, but seriously – conflict resolution at such a young age? I’m signing him up for the UN 😉

read more

Assessing the first half term of school life: the end of the beginning

JJ's first day at school

A slightly different approach to Word of the Week this week. As it’s the last week of the first half term of JJ’s school life, I thought I’d do a little round up, so my Word of the Week is: Endings (of beginnings).

With the first six weeks of ‘big school’ life under his belt here are some of JJ’s highs and lows:

  • Week 1: initial thoughts – three afternoons checking out the new toys (educational, you say? Huh?) This is going to be a piece of cake.
  • Week 2, day four: Abandonment as no-one shows up for pick up. Daddy eventually twigs that the end of the school day is at 3.10pm, not 3.30pm
  • Week 3: The ‘interpret it yourself’ letter game arrives home in his school bag rapidly morphing into a ‘memory game’ with unintentionally hilarious results when an A, S, E and R are chosen, but not in that order… (fortunately his spelling skills are still rubbish)
  • Week 4: it finally transpires that the ‘Dinner Lady Special Award’ doesn’t actually mean that the plate was cleaned, more of an indication that there was an over-print at the sticker factory. Memory loss (with regards day’s activities) off the scale.
  • Week 5: 15 parentmail emails clocked up, 1 sponsored event under his belt, 6 new friends whose names escape him, one small hole in one of his two branded school sweatshirts.
  • Week 6: after-school meltdowns reaching an all-time high with teary wailing at the very suggestion that the tablet isn’t charged up for his continuing Peppa Pig marathon, or that juice is provided in the ‘wrong’ cup, or that his flashing shoe won’t stop flashing, or…well just anything really.

So there you have it. The end of the beginning is nigh and it, probably, couldn’t come a day too soon – put the brakes on the rollercoaster!!

Happy weekend WOTWers!

read more