In just over a fortnight’s time my littlest boy will be joining his big brother at Primary School. It’s going to be a brand new chapter in Harry’s life and his first real step towards independence. We are all really excited about it, although I must admit a small part of me feels a teeny bit sad about both my babies being out in the big wide world without me.
I’m not overly worried about him starting primary school to be honest. He’s in a class with many of his friends from preschool and thoroughly enjoyed the induction days last month, plus he has the same teacher that Riley had last year so he’s familiar with her and the classroom already.
What I am worried about is the fact that he will be one of the youngest and although he knows his phonics and numbers, he’s really not interested in learning to read or write and doesn’t like being told what to do either. Although that may be just being told what to do by me…either way, we’ve been spending some time over the summer holidays preparing for school.
Establishing and maintaining a morning routine, practicing getting dressed and undressed, practicing pencil control, phonics and numbers, incorporating set snack and lunch times into our day – anything that can help prepare him for the transition from preschool to primary school.
Harry’s also been sent the Big School Buddy, which has been designed to settle children’s’ nerves and help build excitement around the countdown to starting school. As a parent to two boys who always countdown “how many sleeps”, I think it’s a fantastic idea.
Each Big School Buddy includes a cuddly toy bear (girl or boy), a two-week countdown hanging calendar with tear off strips and a set of stickers to reward extra special behaviour.
Harry’s actually been playing with his Big School Buddy for the last week or so, but we have the calendar hanging in his bedroom ready for the 14-day countdown to the start of school.
As for the stickers, we already have reward charts at home, so instead of using them to reward behaviour, we’re going to use them to encourage Harry to practice getting dressed and undressed by himself in the run up to school. He’s already pretty good at it with normal clothes, but we are yet to attempt it with his school uniform and PE kit.
The bear itself comes with its own school uniform and is super soft and cuddly, making it a perfect companion for Harry at bedtime. It’s also of a small(ish) size and lightweight, so can be tucked into Harry’s book bag for the first few days of school if he feels overwhelmed by anything or needs some reassurance.
Starting school can be an exciting, yet daunting experience for children, so I do think that the Big School Buddy is an excellent way to help manage the nerves and worries, while building excitement. The whole concept behind it is just brilliant!
The Big School Buddy has a RRP of £15.99 and is available to purchase from Sleepzzz Until. They also do a Birthday Buddy and Holiday Buddy.