{The Nest Writes} Why I no longer say “have a great day”

Why I no longer say have a great day.

A little while ago I said to my daughter as she clambered out of the car in front of her school “have a great day honey”, she said “I will, I always do”. When I picked her up that afternoon I said “Did you have a great day?”. “Yep” she said. Always wanting more information I pushed “So, what did you do?”. “Nothin’ mama”. “So did you learn anything”. “Nope”. “Who did you play with?”. “Don’t remember”.

I was deflated, she either didn’t have fun, she didn’t want to tell me or she simply could not be stuffed mustering the effort to involve me in her day.

So, my new plan was hatched.

The next morning we pulled into the illegal bus zone and as she collected her belonging I said “Honey, have a great adventure today”. She paused and inquisitively looked at me. “what did you say mama?”. I smiled at her and said, “Have a great adventure”. She giggled, kissed my cheek and her skinny, lanky little legs climbed over the front seat and out the door. a1

When I pulled up that afternoon, she came running to the car. She was almost breathless and said “mama, I had a great adventure, today I had a great adventure!!”. She then went onto to tell me the story of her adventure “Well, this morning I dropped all my library books but a girl I didn’t know from year 4 helped me pick them up. Then my teacher, you know ma, that lady that is like you but at school? Yeah her well, she sang a song about a goanna and made us pretend to be goannas. Do you know how hard it is to be a goanna mum?? Then at lunch we found a lizard in the back oval, but we didn’t touch it cause Finn said they can bite. Then I drew a picture of an owl, it was funny because I thought the blue crayon was actually purple! But it wasn’t HA! Then it was time to come home and you are here!, so a pretty interesting adventure today”.

I was shocked to see the same blonde haired babe who yesterday barely managed to mumble two words remembering in such detail what she had experienced that day. 

I realised she had done nothing new or vastly different from her normal days at school, but instead just paid more attention to the mundane everyday adventure of her life so she could tell me all about her ‘great adventure’. a2

So, I tried it the next day and the next.

Every single day it worked. She would collect into her little memory bank the list of stories to tell me about her great adventure each day. It was like the way she looked at her day had changed, she all of sudden paid a little more attention to each small adventure she experienced each day.

So in our family we no longer do “have a great day”, we are a family of “have a great adventure”.

Give it a try, you might be surprised.

 

{The Nest Writes} No one told me how much I would miss her

My oldest child started big school this year and while she is loving it and fitting in well, no one told me just how much I would miss her.

I think I spent so much time getting ready for the big milestone, buying uniforms, arranging a lunch box and preparing for the first day that I didn’t really stop to think about what my new life without her by my side would be like.

I miss her. Every single day. anni bw

I miss our lunches together. I miss the endless questions. I miss the random declarations of love. I miss chasing the dog and going to the park. I miss taking her to the pool or grabbing a milkshake. I miss the freedom to do a day trip.

What I have realised is that now she belongs to someone else. Between 9 and 3 every day she has to be with someone else and that is really strange.

For five years we spent each and every day exploring the world together. Some days were great adventures, other days were nothing more than snuggles on the couch and cartoons, but they were often the best days.

I know its not just me, her sister misses her madly. She has not known a world without her sister in it every day. She is lost and bored trying to learn how to entertain herself.

I miss hearing her ‘play’ voice, her bossy voice, her laugh.

I have to be honest, I also miss the extra set of hands to help with the baby.

I miss baking together, visiting daddy at work or drawing. I miss our long walks, our trampoline battles and random dance-offs.

Each afternoon she comes home filled with information and stories about what she has learnt that day and what new adventures she has completed. Without me. She is out exploring this big world without her mummy.

I just wish I had known how much I would miss her.

So while I say go forth my little girl into the world for all to see, just remember mummy will always be here at home waiting for you.

{School Days} How to settle in, make nice and not piss off your school

So it has been a few weeks in most places since the little birdies started big school.

From what I have heard, some settled in well, like they have been doing it all their lives and others are taking a little longer to adjust.

Just remember, however long it takes IT. WILL. GET. BETTER.

It might not seem that way now, but I promise you, one day soon, you will realise that it has been a day without tears, a week without fears, a term of growth and your little person has found their way into the world.

So, with that in mind we recently sat down with an actual real-life kindergarten teacher (who we shall call Miss Mac) and discussed a bunch of stuff including ways to help settle your little one in, how to make nice with the other parents and how not to piss off your school.Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

1. Make life easier for your teacher

Your teacher will appreciate if you can bring in your own tissues and hand sanitiser.  Some people may not realise, but teachers are often required to provide this from their own personal pocket. Just a box here and there will really be appreciated (and it takes VERY little effort to add another box to the trolley on grocery day!)

2. Size does matter

No big pencil cases! They simply take up too much space on the little birdy’s desk! Miss Mac says last year she had one student bring in three different pencil cases. One for pencils. One for crayons. One for textas! While she admires the anally retentive organisational side of that parent it is simply not practical for a 5 year old to manage!

 3. Home/School balance

One big thing that people often don’t think about is to mention to your teacher is there is any changes in your homelife. These changes can affect your little ones more than you realise and having your teacher aware means that can help your little bambino adjust to any changes while at school.

Also if your little one is struggling to complete homework then make a time to discuss this with your teacher. If you don’t let them know they won’t know there is a problem! There is no point waiting until the end of term and then bitching about it!classroom

 4. Make a decent time to have a chat

If you have a concern/issue or just want to chat, have a talk to your teacher ASAP. Having said that, at 9.06am while the teacher is trying to wrangle 18 energy balls into a class room is not an ideal time to bring up your problems. Miss Mac says teachers are always happy to have a discussion with you, it is just important to schedule a time so both of you can participate fully without interruptions.

 5. Competition is for wankers

There is no point comparing your kid’s abilities to that of Jack’s or Jill’s. Just be patient. Not all children are good at the same things at the same times. What Jack is good at Jill might not be. At the end of the day all children need support and competition is unnecessary. On the flip-side Yes, be proud of your little one but don’t be a douche bag show-off if your minion happens to be better at one area than someone else. Keep it real.

6. Have realistic expectations

Don’t expect your kindergartener will learn algebra and have formed an opinion on the current situation in North Chechnya by the end of term one. Your teacher is more than happy to let you know what curriculum they will use and what expectations you can have for your little birdy throughout the year. In extension of that, if your little one has a deep interest in something such as the human body, mention this to your teacher and they might use that as an inspiration for a lesson.

Image: shutterstock

Image: shutterstock

7. Home help

The more time you put in, the easier you make a teacher’s job. If you read to your child often before school then they are more likely to have already formed a good attention span and have a legitimate interest in reading. Every moment of time you give your child will be rewarded tenfold.

8. Be involved

Schools recognise that some parents work a shitload and probably unable to be involved in everything. If you are unable to run the canteen weekly or participate heavily in the P&F you can still be involved. Fundraising is always necessary and so are an extra couple of hands at fete time. The fete is likely to happen only once a year, so be organised and donate some supplies. Or volunteer at one school disco. Any sort of contribution makes a difference. Plus this is a great way to build a friendship with other parents in the school. You never know when it may come in handy to have a friend near by!

9. Buy some love

At the end of the year, you have survived. Your kid has survived. The teacher has survived. Here is a great list of gifts to say thanks to your kid’s teacher:

  • Personalised stamps
  • Personalised pens
  • Stickers
  • Personalised mugs
  • Movie vouchers
  • Chocolates (but keep in mind they get A tonne of chocolates!)
  • Stationary
  • Stuff to use in classroom.
heart

Image: volunteerspot.com

Miss Mac says, meaningful gifts don’t have to be expensive, just a card that shows the parent’s appreciation for all you have done is lovely. It is always nice to know you are valued!

Happy school days Nesters x

 

 

{Raising Little People} Is your little-birdie ready for school?

Making the decision to send your little-birdie to school is so tough. How do you know when they are ready? What will be expected of them? Is 5 old enough? Or should we wait until he is 6?

I started school when I was 4, my friend started at 6. We both survived. So what’s the right answer?kid-ready-school-jpg

Ivillage have put together a list of indicators that may help you make that decision. You can find it here -> ‘Is my child ready for school?’

While not an absolute checklist, it does assist the decision making.

Did you send your little-birdie early? Or hold them back?

{Locally Found} Dressed For School can outfit your kid

Dressed for School is a locally run website helping mums and dads find school uniforms for their little birdies.

Stocking basics for the Catholic Primary Schools of the local Diocese, Dressed for School should be your first port of call.

Their goal is to help local familes access competitively priced, quality schoolwear from the comfort of your very own home.

school uniforms

You can contact Dressed for School on: 1300 89 35 37

or send them an email to admin@dressedforschool.com.au,

or alternatively their website is: http://dressedforschool.com.au

Happy shoppping Nesters!

Closed Schools

school closed

School Closure Information – 23 October 22/10/13 

Due to the large amount of fire activity and predicted deteriorating conditions, there will be a number of school closures on Wednesday 23 October 2013.

The following schools will be closed:

All public, Catholic and Independent schools, as well as child care centres and pre-schools, in the Blue Mountains local government area:

  • Blackheath Public School
  • Blaxland East Public School
  • Blaxland High School
  • Blaxland Public School
  • Ellison Public School
  • Faulconbridge Public School
  • Glenbrook Public School
  • Hazelbrook Public School
  • Katoomba High School
  • Katoomba North Public School
  • Katoomba Public School
  • Lapstone Public School
  • Lawson Public School
  • Leura Public School
  • Megalong Public School
  • Mount Riverview Public School
  • Mount Victoria Public School
  • Springwood High School
  • Springwood Public School
  • Warrimoo Public School
  • Wentworth Falls Public School
  • Winmalee High School
  • Winmalee Public School

The following schools in the Hawkesbury and Southern Highlands areas:

  • Bargo Public School
  • Bilpin Public School
  • Buxton Public School
  • Comleroy Road Public School
  • Hill Top Public School
  • Grose View Public School
  • Kurrajong North Public School
  • East Kurrajong Public School
  • Wilton Public School
  • Yanderra Public School

If you need any further information go to the Rural Fire Service website.

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To all our Nesters who are affected by the fires, you are in our prayers and our hearts