Starting big school can be a rollercoaster of emotions and that's just the parents. Riding the highs and lows can be tough, so here's our guide to each feeling, complete with GIFs. Be brave, we can get through this together.
1. Immense Pride
I can’t believe it! My beautiful child’s all grown up and off to big school. They’re going to love learning new things and making new friends. It feels like just yesterday that they were learning to count to ten. Where have all those years gone! I remember holding them as a tiny baby in hospital and now they’re a little independent person heading off to kindy. Gush!
2. Immense Terror
I can’t believe it! My beautiful child’s all grown up and off to big school. Holy S#!+, how will they cope? They're gonna get eaten alive! What if they hate learning and can’t make new friends - hello Scott No-Mates! It feels like just yesterday s/he were crapping their pants ten times a day. Actually, they still have accidents – what if they punish their pants in the playground?! You can’t bounce back from that! Even with therapy. Maybe I can home-school them? Where have all those years gone! They're getting older, I'm getting old. Oh god, what have I done with these last five years? What am I doing with my life? Someone, please tell me.
3. Sweet, sweet freedom
Seeya bud, have fun learning and growing as a person and stuff. FOR SIX HOURS EVERY DAY! That's thirty hours a week of freedom. I think the air smells sweeter already. Now I can do everything I’ve dreamt of, like sleep, work on my abs, hit the beach, learn a language, write my novel. Okay okay, I’ll actually be back at work looking at cat videos but hey… I can go to the toilet without interruption. That's something, right? Sigh, I miss my little cherub and our playground dates already. Can’t wait to see them at 3pm.
4. Crushing panic
TOO. MUCH. TO. DO. CANNOT COMPUTE. Do kids still cover their books with Contact? What size lunchbox do they need? Are nuts / chips / gluten allowed? How do I know what size winter jacket they need now - it's January! What was the name of those apps I’m meant to download again? Why so many notifications already! And how the hell am I going to get from work to home to get the car in time?! Brain shutting down in 3, 2, 1.
Listen to Kinderling Conversation:
5. Rich (but don't worry, it'll pass)
Woohoo, free babysitting for 30 hours a week. No more daycare at $120 a day! Ka-ching! Watch out, here comes Mr and Mrs Money! Oh yeah, make it rain, baby! Maybe it's time to get that red convertible I've always deserved - imagine the mums' faces at school pick-up! Or maybe we'll get that pool - the kids would love it for their next birthday party! Or I guess, we could save the dollars and put it toward school gear, textbooks and excursions. With the rest on the mortgage, yeah? That'd be the sensible thing to do. Sigh.
6. Bittersweet happiness
Just dropped them off for the first time, and I'm feeling messier than the playroom after the kids have hit the cordial. They looked so smart and happy in their uniforms and I just stood there, sobbing like a dork. I think it was harder for me to say goodbye than them. They just waved and ran off into the playground. I wonder what they’re doing right now? Maybe I can call the school and ask?
How to give little boys the best start at big school, with Maggie Dent
Brain development and chemistry variations make starting school quite different for the two genders.
10 tips to help kids learn to read
How to get your child to fall in love with reading.
Drop-off hell: Why school mornings are killing me
Shevonne Hunt tries to stay calm amid the craziness.
The best books for budding school readers
So that both parents and kids can enjoy more than just those take-home readers!
My tribute to early childcare educators
On the eve of her little one going to ‘big’ school, Shevonne Hunt looks back.
Helping your child start school in a digital age
What can you and your child expect in the classroom?
5 awesome apps for new school starters
Letters and numbers don't stand a chance with these exciting and interactive apps under $10.
10 things to do without kids these school holidays
Kids at grandma's and don't know what to do with yourself? Read this!