Thoughts on Lily starting school

There are three days until Lily starts school. She is far more ready than I thought she would be. She has even decided where to go to college after, what her subject will be, and (because it helps to fill in the gaps) where she would like to go to high school.

Totally true. And, if you are interested: the local FE college, Art, the catchment high school, where we park for church.

I have ordered many labels and ironed in 19% of them, despite being told by a parent at the school that it won’t make any difference.

I have bought her shiny shoes, and will be helping her wear them in and prepare them. Not that they fit my feet (or likely ever did).

I have avoided instigating academic work with her over the summer (this is the daughter who begs to have friends over and then reads in a corner while they are here). Instead I have been making sure she is ready to take on new things, try new foods, carry things carefully and think about others.

We have had a full summer. We travelled to family, we visited interesting local places, we learnt a lot about flags, we learnt even more about guinea pigs and are now the proud owners of two more members of the family: Beatrix and Stripe. These wonderful little guys (yes) are still so young and shy that they do not realise they have an upstairs and a downstairs in the same hutch, and have to be moved each morning and evening. They really are incredibly loved by the children and are worth being allergic to hay for. I honestly think at least one of them has been trying to communicate in Morse Code (perhaps watching a programme about Colditz escapes was not the cleverest move before imprisoning cavies in the yard: who knows, they might even build a glider while we’re not looking).

(click on image for footage)

As the school deems it wise, Lily will not be starting until Thursday this week, and I am grateful for the extra time with her, but aware that she loves routine and wants to be at school so much that a staggered start taking two and a half weeks may drag on a little. She needs to belong in the school routines and make lots of new friends.

It will be good for her to be at school, and I am mathematically more than ready. Emotionally I am still waiting to see what happens as it all takes off: I want the best for her, but I also want the best for society, which I believe means sending her to the nearest state school and not packing her to a nice private option with all the consequences on us as a family.

In any case, these two at least will not leave to go to school. Beatrix is hiding under the stairs. Stripe is exploring the great outdoors. Within the confines of a guinea pig run of course. Although I am tempted to home-educate them. It would be far more convenient if they communicated in English, say.


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