We survived the first year at school!  Summer Holidays are around the corner and it’s been 9 months since I said my first goodbye to my son with a lump in my throat at the classroom door.

The little boy who could barely write his own name now writes me notes and knows what a dodecahedron is.  (I had to google it).

Whilst he has undoubtedly learnt so much, it’s fair to say the first year at school has been a pretty steep learning curve for Mummy too!

First Year at school

1 You can never have too many T-shirts.

I don’t know how it happens but every day there is a new ominous stain on his t-shirt.  Ink, paint, food, mud.  I’ve seen it all.  Buy however many T-shirts you think you will need to get you through the week. Then buy another two just in case.  Then buy one more just to be sure. Trust me you will use them.  It’s also a good time to stock up on stain remover.

2 Class asssembies are the best free entertainment

Going to a class assembly is quite honestly one of my most favourite things to do.  Cuteness overload.  There’s always one who cries and breaks your heart.  One who shouts and makes you laugh.  And a teacher who likes like they are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

3 Kids learn how to spell.

It’s fantastic and I’m really proud and everything, it’s just that my husband and I can no longer spell out words in a conversation without big ears telling us the word we are trying to conceal.  We’ve had to develop a new code, which so far consists of mouthing words Miranda style, lots of head twitching, and never really being sure that you are following the conversation.

4 Kids learn how to spell.

Yes you would have thought I learnt this from number three.  But no, I’ve still not grasped this fact. Hence a difficult conversation with my child about this birthday card that Daddy got.  Fun times.

Birthday card

5 Things will be lost.

My child has come home with someone else’s jumper on several occasions. Not to mention the time he came home with his and another one, because I always send him in wearing two jumpers????!!!  Then there are the times he comes home minus jumper completely.  I am often found at the start of the school day rummaging through the dreaded ‘Jumper Dumper.’

6 Christmas starts early.

Way too early.  You will be singing Christmas Carols in October and by the time the nativity comes round you are word perfect for all the new songs. Including the actions.

7 My calendar keeps me sane.

Number bags on Mondays, word wallets on Tuesdays, library Books on Wednesdays and so on and so on.  Then there’s non uniform days, super hero days and the dreaded world book day to remember too!

8 Don’t make weekend plans.

Every weekend from now until eternity will be spent at a kids birthday party!  Sometimes you’ll even do two in one day.  Now that’s a joyous sugar come down to endure!

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, from year one it’s socially acceptable to drop and run.  Except when you are the host.  Then that’s not acceptable.

You won’t know how it happened but you will turn into that person who has a gift drawer. It’s full of birthday cards for 5 year olds, wrapping paper a plenty, and toys you picked up in the sale.

9 Book bags are a bit like Mary Poppins bottomless bag.

On an average day my son’s book bag will contain the following:

  • School Newsletter
  • Homework Diary
  • Letter warning about nits
  • A book
  • Several pieces of ‘art’
  • A stick
  • A hand crafted badge / necklace / sword
  • A paper aeroplane
  • A Lego figure
  • A jumper (may or may not be theirs)

2015-06-19 15.48.42

All bits of paper will be screwed up in a ball.

10 Sods laws always apply on school runs.

Rain will always fall.  Dog crap will always be stepped in.  And the baby will always remove his socks in the buggy.


This sock was found the morning after the afternoon he lost it.  And yes, it had rained.

11 The names of approximately 75 children, their siblings, their parents and their pets.

It’s a life skill!  One for the resume.

12 Your kid will be riddled with disease!

Sickness bugs, chicken pox, the dreaded nits.  They all do the rounds. Several times.  Your kid is bound to get one, if not all of them.

I am a seasoned pro at this school business now.  Bring on year one.  I’m ready for you.


For all those of you who are welling up at the thought of their little ones starting school in September, it’s going to be OK.  You are both going to be OK.  Alright, maybe you won’t be OK on the first day, but after that you will.  Promise. x


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Claire Kirby

89 Comments on 12 Things I’ve Learnt During my Kid’s First Year at School

  1. They do learn so much at school! It’s impressive really. I had to laugh at the spelling bit, we have had some hilarious mishaps too lol Let the fun of the summer holidays begin now!

  2. This made me chuckle. It is all so true! My youngest is going into junior school in September. My middle is starting high school and eldest is going in to year 9! School years go super fast – and yes my calendar keeps me sane.

  3. Heehee!! I’d be lost without my wall sized Mum’s organiser calendar especially with Hubs working random shifts!! Also I just love (sarcasm) all the school letters times 2 for the Twins and have much enjoyment ripping them up and using them as our kitchen scrap notepaper /shopping lists!! #fridayfrolics

  4. Oh God I have all this to come! Not for another 2 years, but I’m sure it will be here before I know it…dreading the jumpers and the nits, but kind of looking forward to Christmas starting in October! #FridayFrolics

  5. Waht a great post Claire, and congrats and Mazel Tov on the Huffpo! Nice! For us, The Nutcracker practice starts in mid-September. I hear the music already. I expect the local CVS will know this and start the christmas merch. Oy vey! #FridayFrolics Thanks so much for a great linky! M’wah! <3

  6. This is all so true. And there are even more that you can add when they get to high school. The best one is the one about being riddled with disease – over the 14 years that i have had kids at primary we have had everything from worms to projectile vomiting. They are a breeding ground for pathogens! #FridayFrolics

  7. Oh, I have all this lo look forward to. The Popple already comes home with loads of illnesses from nursery – I can’t imagine how much worse this is going to get once she goes to school. I’m not ready to deal with nits! #FridayFrolics

  8. Haha, yes to all of these!!! Also, we need to be aware that most days we will be having to looking through the mountain of sweaty sockes and mouldy food that is lost property. *shudders*

  9. Ah, lovely post. Cygnet is only two so I have a while to go yet, but I am dreading the time when he stops being my little baby and goes to school. Pen x #fridayfrolics

  10. We have a few years before this yet, thank goodness! We already have developed code as my monster thinks any worded answer to a question means ‘yes you can help yourself to the snack draw’. Fun times! #fridayfrolics

  11. You are lucky you didn’t learn that a school infestation with lice lasts 5 months, no matter how much you take care of your kid…

  12. Read this after reading about your first goodbye when he went to school. My big guy is going to start preschool in sept and i am not ready. Luckily it is only 2 hrs 4 times a week so i have time to adjust. I do not look forward to the full time disease fest that is kindergarten. 😉

  13. I was nodding along to all of these as a mum and a teacher I understand! I loved the book bag the most. You want to see their trays in class too.

  14. This is so lovely to read before B starts school in September. I really don’t know what to expect or how it will change things for us as a family of four that’s always at home at the moment. It’s going to be so new and different. I am excited to see how much he changes and learns though in his first year. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  15. This is great. School seems like such a long way off now, but G already has a better social life than me! Baby groups, baby yoga, baby sensory… Too much cake and not enough wine for my liking! Thanks for hosting Friday Frolics 🙂 x

  16. OMG I have got that thing where your cheeks hurt from laughing so much. So funny because it is so true! Been there, got the t-shirt and still have two more left to start school. My daughter jumped out of the car (bus) this morning almost flattened by her bag… she doesn’t need half the stuff that is in there but carry’s it everyday #FridayFrolics

  17. The first day of school was rough, but oh, that free time during the day! I’m actually sending my 4 yr old to two days of summer school so I can go golfing. Daddy of the year right here

  18. As my twins are only 18 months old I haven’t encountered a ‘Jumper Dumper’ before. 😀 Is it wrong that I’m sort of looking forward to them starting school?!? (This may be because I get some time back to myself as opposed to being excited about them getting all sorts of ailments though!) x #Fridayfrolics

    • Not wrong at all. Although mornings and afternoons are now manic, with a bit of calm in the middle! (as much calm as you can with a 15 month old climbing everything in sight!)

  19. Haha – hilarious! I hadn’t even considered the problems of funny cards once kids can read! My Mum once taught a class of 40 6 & 7 year olds, of whom around 30 were ‘that kid’! It was a rough year! #fridayfrolics

  20. It feels like a long way off but I know it will be here before we know it. Gosh it sounds like ten times more work than having a toddler!

  21. This is very helpful as my son starts school in September!! Eek! Think I’ll need a bigger diary – slightly apprehensive about all the activities as my brain is already like a sieve!!

  22. A great post and so true! I have four children and have also been a teacher. The head lice and ‘jumper dumper’ have been the bane of my life wearing both hats! Not to mention the bottomless pit book bag, like you say. I’ve had to give out yet another letter to go with the one in the ‘pit’ . Such fun days 🙂 Thanks for sharing #The List

    • I found a random piece of paper on Friday saying the party is fancy dress. I have no idea which of the many many parties it relates to!

  23. Oh yes to ALL of the above!
    Our boys are exactly.the same age.
    All of the above has happened and to add to it, all he talks about now is POO!

    “POO head, poo face. You smell of poo. I want a poo sandwich. Poo and chips. Poopy. Pooey. Pooooo.”

    Where did my little angel go?! I blame the bad ass kid in his class.
    Sigh x

  24. We are a while away from school but I already wonder what it will be like – sounds slightly insane from this – arghh! every parenting stage has its challenges eh? Thanks as always for hosting love #FridayFrolics

  25. Congratulations! You are certainly a seasoned pro now! My kids are now teenagers and one idle moment I added up all the items of school clothing they had lost. I’m pretty sure I had forgotten lots of lost things, but my estimate was over 100 pieces….. (Sorry – didn’t mean to depress you – I think my two were just exceptionally careless!)

  26. This is our first year of primary school and I might write something like this! I am itching to share what I have learned too. I agree and get all the entries in this list =)

    Can I just add that my son lost so many tops now and I cant find them in school even if they are properly labelled =P


  27. Most of this is on point and yes funny. Apart from number 2. What if that one kid had a reason for there behaviour like disabilities or that one kid had autism? Made me sad reading that one.

    • If the reason for their behavior is a disability they wouldn’t be ‘that kid’. ‘That kid’ is the kid with no boundaries and no manners and is often mean to the other kids with no justifiable reason for their behavior. Hope that makes you a little less sad.

      • Oh Claire, it’s really sad that one of the things you’ve learnt is that you have to have a reason ready for why ‘that kid’ can’t come round to play. Perhaps when your children are further through the school system you will learn that it’s worth giving everyone a chance (my children are 15 and 17 now). I think the fact that you’re talking about a 4/5 yr old child makes it really sad – whatever the reason for the way they behave (and there is often some reason), they are only young and there is a good chance they will mature and become a really decent person over time. And as far as disabilities go, if ‘that kid’ has a disability it may be that the mum doesn’t shout about it so you won’t actually know, at that age there’s a fair chance they may not have even been diagnosed yet with some of the ‘hidden’ disabilities like autism. Trust your own parenting skills, as long as you bring your child up well, he’ll be ok no matter who he mixes with (especially at this age).

        • I understand that no child is an angel, mine included. But when that kid spends 90% of his time being mean to my kid and upsetting him I don’t want him round to play on the one day he decides to be nice.

          • Fair enough. Certainly important that your child understands that it’s not acceptable to be treated like that by another child, and I agree that inviting somebody, who is effectively bullying your child, round for tea isn’t really the best approach. I’d hope the school would be working with this child to address the issues and that hopefully things could be turned round for this child.

  28. Oh yay, I have all this to look forward to in a couple of years time! Have to say though, I can’t wait to be filling in more of my calendar! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  29. I have this all the come! My baby starts school this coming September and I am DREADING it!! He’s not 4 until August and he’s just too young! I’ve just wrote about his induction day and I honestly feel really awful at the moment about him starting school 🙁 x #TwinklyTuesday

    • Bless you. I do think it is hard for the young ones. My sons birthday is October so he was ready. I hope you have fab teachers who make the transition easy. It will be ok and you will be amazed how far he comes in a year. Good luck x

  30. I was smiling all the way though this, but then welled up at the last bit! My son’s just finishing up his year at nursery school and will be starting ‘properly’ in reception class in September – I’m not sure I’m ready! x #TwinklyTuesday

  31. LOVE this post. It is all so true! I also have had times where I’ve picked him up and his shoes are the wrong way round and the other day -his shorts were also (both occasions after PE)

    How is he going to cope in Year 1?!

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