The countdown has begun. The schools are back, meaning it’s now just a year until Tilly starts in reception and my time with her is dramatically reduced. This is our last opportunity for term-time fun and I have every intention of making the most of the next 12 months. There are preparations to make for school too, though, such as securing a much coveted place and getting reading and writing skills up to standard. Oh and then I need to work out what on earth I’m going to do once Tilly is at school. One way or another, it’s going to be a busy year.
Enjoying our time together – #OurPreschoolYear
The next year is a last opportunity for Tilly and me to share trips outs and adventures on a daily basis before the demands of school begin. While we’ll both be ready for the change come next September, our shared time over the past two years has been defining and it feels necessary to make the most of the months that remain. I’m kicking off a new theme on the blog to share this special time, called #OurPreschoolYear. You’ll be able to follow our progress on Twitter, Instagram and my other social media channels.
Having term-time days at our disposal feels like a limited opportunity we should make the most of. Tilly detests crowds and to be honest I’m not much better, so being able to visit family friendly destinations outside of the weekend and holiday crush will be important.
Our first day out has been to Legoland Windsor, using our toddler annual pass, which is valid specifically during term-time weekdays. The children visiting are nearly all small, the park is relatively quiet and this is a great help is making a full day out without Tilly feeling too overwhelmed. It’s our second visit since we got the pass earlier in the summer and we stepped up the pace of the ride with trying out the Dragon’s Apprentice, amongst others. Nevertheless the splash play, playground and Fairytale Brook remained firm favourites.
School admissions anxiety
It feels like our year ahead is being whisked away by the school admissions process that already has me comparing catchment areas, results and other details that are going to be instrumental in securing Tilly with a place that will suit her. We’ve open days kicking off in a couple of weeks followed by admissions opening in November.
Competition for school places around here is fierce and last year we were just near enough to have secured a place in our nearest school. Hopefully this will remain the case this coming year but we’ve still to assess whether it’s the right school or whether we should take a punt on somewhere else entirely – not an easy option as the majority of well-regarded schools are oversubscribed.
Some good advice I’ve received is to visit all the schools and make your decision based on what will on balance be the best for the child. This is will also prove helpful in getting more of a view about the relative strengths of schools, which you’d not get from just seeing one or two.
An unwilling student
Tilly has been learning phonics since starting at preschool earlier this year and we’ve been trying to reinforce reading and writing skills at home but with mixed success. Tilly is very much a perfectionist meaning that if she feels she can’t quite do something she’ll refuse to try rather than get it wrong. This makes the process of practice and improvement just a little tricky. Still, we keep plugging away with writing practice and following words in books and writing words around the house. Reading is gradually beginning to click but there’s a long way to go yet.
Return to work
For me, Tilly starting school next September will mark a huge change too, as my days will suddenly be freed up between 9am and 3pm. The potential to embark on something new will be there. I don’t have a particular desire to return to what I was doing before, so I have the coming year to prepare for what comes next. It’ll be about taking ideas, putting a plan in place and setting the groundwork for getting underway. There’s a lot to do here too.
All in all the next year is going to be pretty significant. I’m pretty confident that both Tilly and I will be ready for the new challenges and independence from each other that will come but we should have some great fun on the way there. I hope you can follow our journey as we go.
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