My little boy is starting school next September. I can hardly bear to utter those words. I cannot believe he will soon be old enough to go to school and leave me! I know he will love it, he has such a passion for learning new things, but selfishly I don’t want him to go. I am scared at the thought of other people having an influence over him as he feels so impressionable to me. He is so innocent, so completely trusting and naive in a way that I wish he could be forever.
I know children have to grow up, of course I do. I know that school is a wonderful place where children acquire not only academic skills but life skills and lessons. I want him to be independent and confident but it’s hard to think about trusting other people to take care of him. He is so happy and care free and I want him to be that way for as long as possible. Perhaps I feel like this more than some because I never liked school. I was bullied and had zero confidence and every day was pretty much an internal battle to keep it together. There were good days, or course, and I made some life long friends. My over all feeling about school though was dread and I really don’t want my children to feel that way.
So, whenever I talk about school with George we talk about how exciting it will be and what a wonderful place it is. I am not trying to be false but I want him to form his own opinions and have his own experiences, which I know he will if I let him.
Applying for schools these days is such a mine field in a way that it never was when I was growing up. You just all went to the closest school and that was that. Where I live now, there are so many good schools (I know, I am very lucky) which are all heavily oversubscribed. I know that wherever George ends up it will be a good school but I want him to have the best, as any parent does. My husband is the voice of reason and reassures me that it will all be ok and that what we do in the home will make a huge difference to how he does at school. We will endeavour to be supportive parents who are always interested in what our children do at school and will help them whenever they need it.
I’m excited to listen to him telling me about all of the things he is learning about and to reassure him when he struggles. I’m excited to encourage him to be friends with the child that no one wants to be friends with. I’m excited to make him feel like he has the confidence to answer questions in class and not be afraid to be wrong. I’m excited to see him grow, even if at the same time my heart is breaking.