Five things I’d forgotten about starting primary school

A primary school child on her first day.

Youngest has been at primary school for just over a month and has settled in really well. It seems like an age ago that we last had a child in reception – four years ago, for the record.

This is making me feel old, which isn’t surprising as I’m at least a decade older than some of the other parents. Let’s move on, shall we?

As a result, there are quite a few things I had forgotten about the early days of primary school…

How tired they get

Getting her to settle down for the night has never been straightforward. She has a legendary ability to find urgent jobs – rearranging toys is a favourite – as well as an apparently unquenchable thirst.

Now she’s at school all day though, she’s exhausted by the time we’ve finished reading with her. Within five minutes of me leaving the room, she’s sparko.

How quickly they learn

Speaking of bedtime stories, it’s amazing how quickly they learn things – specifically words in her case. We were reading a phonics book together a couple of nights ago and she took over!

This is particularly impressive as she missed the last four months of nursery. It looks like we’ll be reunited with Biff, Chip and Kipper earlier than expected.

How defiant they become

Knowledge is power and, as Spider-man’s ex-uncle taught us: with great power comes great responsibility. Swap ‘responsibility’ for ‘defiance’ and this describes many a reception child perfectly.

There are pros and cons to this. I really want her to retain this level of determination for later life, but it would be great if she could let us win the odd argument about seasonally-appropriate pyjamas now and then.

The random stuff they come home with

Last week, we were going through her bag and found several leaves, sticks and acorns. I’m reliably informed they were for a magic potion, but she hasn’t got around to making it yet.

One of her brothers once bought home a paper bag full of earth. Like a mini Dracula. I’m hoping she doesn’t follow suit…

The random stuff they don’t come home with

I haven’t used Facebook much recently but one alert that raised a nostalgic smile was from the reception parents group. You’ve guessed it: the strangely charming tales of lost property.

We haven’t had our turn yet but, mark my words, we will. My money’s on a missing shoe. Or her and a classmate accidentally swapping cardigans.

Have you had a little one start at primary school recently? What shenanigans have they got up to?


  1. Pingback: Christmas according to my five-year-old | Christmas | Diary of the Dad

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