Monday, 18 January 2016

Back to School: Week One

The past week was a week of many firsts in the Jozi Wahm household (or half-week, since the school week started on a Wednesday). Noodle started grade R at the primary school where she will presumably spend the next eight years and Squish had his first day alone at pre-school withoput big sister accompanying him.

Miraculously, we had everything ready- complete with books covered and uniforms, together with an assortment of stationary and other random items requested by the school (liquid soap, plasters, tissues etc) labelled. Pre-school clothes and lunchboxes were labelled for Squish and nappies packed. We were ready!

There was an orientation morning the day before school officially opened and this is when the little ones were split into different classes, given a tour of the school and allocated books and lockers. Sadly, although a few children from Noodle's former pre-school have also started at the same school, as luck of the draw would have it, none of them are in her class.

Noodle was very apprehensive the night before 'big school', with many concerns- some legitimate and some a bit less concerning (from an adult perspective anyway).  

What if nobody likes me? 
What if I don't make new friends? 
What if my teacher doesn't like me?
What if I don't ever see ... (names friends from old school)?
What if I get lost?
What if I can't reach the basin in the bathroom?
What if it rains? 
What if nobody else speaks English?
What if I miss you too much?
What if the work is too difficult and I don't know all the answers? 
What if my shoe-lace comes loose?
What if there is a fire or a flood? 

The list went on and on. After lots of hugs and reassurance (and a reminder that she had managed without us at nursery school for years now and that all the other grade R's were also new and scared just like her), she eventually fell asleep. 

Wake up time was a flurry of activity. getting both little ones ready for school in time for Noodle to make the school bell is no mean feat (although both schools are only about four kilometres away, we do get caught up in early morning traffic so I have to have both kids done early). Squish takes forever to have breakfast so that adds to the delays. Day one was also delayed by the fact that Noodle was seriously unimpressed by her new school uniform, which is in her least favourite colour and is apparently very scratchy and uncomfortable. 

The first day went far better than expected. Noodle gave us lots of hugs and then entered her class with a nervous smile. My heart bled for the few children bawling their eyes out. When I fetched her, she ad a huge smile on her face. She told me that she had been nervous for nothing and that she liked school and loved her new teacher. Noodle has been a bit more anxious on the next few days but I am sure this is a passing phase.
Squish also had hid first day alone at nursery school. You may recall that last year, he was there for about a month and had finally started getting used to his new routine. The big difference this year is that he does not have big sister there with him. On day one he gave me lots and lots of hugs, but refused to let go of me. There were lots of new children in the toddler class and almost everyone was crying and this seemed to be contagious. I left him in tears but he stopped crying as soon as I was out of sight. His teachers assured me that he had a good day and there were pics to prove it! 

So the first few days have passed, without too many tears. I know both little ones are in good hands. This week will see even more firsts, with extra-murals and religious classes added into the mix for Noodle.

How did the first week go for your little ones? Please share!!!

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