Starting primary school – the mummy bloggers guide

starting primary school

Waa, Leo is starting primary school in less than 3 weeks time and I am so not ready to be sending my baby off to the classroom 5 days a week. I am feeling emotional about this massive step, obviously, and if I am being completely honest I am feeling really overwhelmed too. Leo is my firstborn, I have not had to navigate the chaos of the school run and the world of playground politics before; when it comes to starting school and getting organised I am clueless. To help me feel a little less terrified about the new school year and to give me a lesson or two on how to ease my child into reception year, I have enlisted the help of some fellow mummy bloggers. I asked 10 of my lovely blogging buddies, all mums of children already in school, to share with me their top tips, survival hacks and pearls of wisdom on how to prepare and ease your child (and yourself) into school life. If you have a little one donning a school uniform for the first time this September too then I am sure you will find this post useful and will be bossing your new life as a school run mum before the first half term is over. 

The mummy bloggers guide to starting primary school. 

‘Be really prepared. It sounds silly but by laying the uniform out the night before and making sure the book bag has the reading book/library book/slip to be returned in the night before means that the mornings are far smoother. Also try not to say things like ‘you’ll have to do that yourself when you go to school’ as it makes school seem a daunting place and may encourage them to rebel against what you are trying to get them to do, e.g. self care, buttons etc. Oh, and no laces in the shoes until they’re at least 15! ‘ – Louise, Pink Pear Bear

‘I remember being so excited and super nervous at the same time. I worried so much about it and couldn’t think about anything else the previous months. (Just a quick note to say that I was also pregnant with my 2nd one so it was a hard time for me as I gave birth a few weeks before my 1st started school so I was more emotional than ever! lol) Anyway what I wanted to say is that I was so worried but when the first day school finally arrived, my daughter was absolutely fine and happy! And I was the ONE crying and super emotional there, lol. Also I think it helped a lot that she had another friend from nursery joining the school together so she felt more confident because of that. She was so happy! Now, the first term was hard in general as she needed time to get settled and she was behind but she did much better the other terms so do not worry too much if the first term doesn’t go as well as you hope. And of course things will be better with time. Good luck with it all! It is a huge milestones for little ones.’Franca, A moment with Franca

‘The main thing that helped when Rhys started school was to read books about it in the few weeks beforehand.  We had one called ‘When I start school’ which was fab as it addressed lots of possible fears he might have had about school.  Oh and label everything with his name!’Madeline, This Glorious Life

‘Plan something to do after you’ve dropped your child off. It’s an incredibly emotional experience but way harder for mum/dad. Do not go home to cry into a cup of coffee! Chances are they’ll be happily playing and you’ll be left worrying and over-thinking it all. Plan to go meet a friend or go shopping and you won’t be tempted to sit sobbing into their baby photos at home!!‘ – Jemma, Popcorn for Lunch 

‘My main tip would be not to make starting school a big deal. Try and be relaxed about them starting school and make it exciting by letting them choose their lunchbox, shoes etc.’Fran, Back with a Bump

starting primary school

‘I drew a little heart on my daughter’s hand and a matching one on mine so that when we missed each other, we could look at the heart and know that the other one was thinking of us. We also watched lots of “Time for school” on cbeebies in the run up to starting.’ – Lucy, Lucy at Home 

‘My biggest survival tactic for the first year of school has been networking with other mums. Get chatting at kids parties, exchange numbers, get a little tribe. Our six or seven school mums on a group chat have saved many an embarrassment of not realising it’s a non school uniform day, bring in a teddy day, wear your pyjamas to school day, or worst of all, a staff training day! Notes on doors are a common method of communication at school and if your drop offs are by different people you’ll need a set of Mums who’ll have your back.’ – Sarah, Mum Muddling Through 

‘My advice would be to stay as relaxed as possible in the lead up to school but do talk about it. Talk about the teachers names too. For you, I know this bit is really hard but try not to get upset as you wave them off, they may see this as a bad sign. Save the tears for when they are out of sight then have a good cry. Make sure you have plans for those first few days. Perhaps take him out for a family meal at the weekend so he can tell you all about his first week but beware getting any information out of them once they’ve started school is like getting blood out of a stone!’ – Helen, Talking Mums

‘Eva cried every morning for the first 12 months of reception and we tried EVERYTHING! One thing that really helped was to buy a diary and colour code the school days and the weekends/holidays, green for school and pink for home. It really helped her to visualise it like that and to know that there was so many pink days amongst the green.’ – Laura, Five Little Doves

‘At some stage reality will hit that your child will have to do this EVERY day resulting in extreme tiredness and odd / bad behaviour (we had hitting, waking up crying during the night and asking to go to bed at 4pm). So my top tip would be to bring dinner, bed and bath forward by an hour or so. I can remember going through a phase of dishing up dinner at about 3.30pm as my daughter was so tired! Getting any information from your child is near impossible so although tempting, don’t ask loads of general questions about what they did on their day. (I found specific questions got more of a response like what they had for lunch or if anyone was naughty in class!).’ – Cheryl, Tea or Wine

I don’t know about you but I am feeling so much better after reading all this advice. It is impossible to know how you and your little one are going to cope with school life until September comes around but being prepared and having strategies in place to help everything run smoothly is a really good idea. Thank you lovely mummy bloggers for sharing your knowledge with us new mums in the playground, good luck to all your little ones going up a year after the summer holidays.

Do you have a little one starting school in September? Are you feeling prepared or unorganised and overwhelmed? If you already have a child in school I would love for you to share one of your top tips for starting school in the comments below.

You can find this post linked to some of these amazing blog link ups –

Maternity Mondays | Marvellous Mondays | Posts from the Heart | #MG | Big Pink Link | Twinkly Tuesday | Dream Team | Tried and Tested | Blogger Club UK | Best and Worst | Family Fun | Cool Mum Club | A Blogging Good Time | The List Linky | PoCoLo |For the Love of Blog | KCACOLS  …and of course #BlogCrush, the linky I co host every Friday.

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18 Comments

  1. August 24, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    The prospect of starting school is such a daunting one. I remember dreading it last year but the first day of school was easier for me emotionally than the last day of preschool had been. I definitely agree with the advice about planning to do something after drop-off. Our local children’s centre had a tea and tissues session which was perfect. The tiredness when they first start is the hardest thing but they do gradually adjust to it. Good luck for Leo starting school in a couple of weeks’ time.

  2. August 25, 2017 / 6:17 am

    Oh my gosh I’m going to be an absolute wreck when my eldest goes in a couple of years so I can totally relate! I would be so nervous too. There are some brilliant tips here though, love the one from Lucy about hearts on the hands, that’s really sweet! I reckon your little man will love school and you will adjust, though that first day will be hard I’m sure X #blogcrush
    The Mummy Bubble recently posted…My action plan for treating baby eczemaMy Profile

  3. August 25, 2017 / 6:55 am

    Aawww my heart goes out to you. This is such a big deal , like others have said likely way more for you than your son!!! Good luck to both of you and there are some brilliant tips here!! #BlogCrush
    daydreams of a mum recently posted…Fab First born…as you turn 17My Profile

  4. August 25, 2017 / 8:25 am

    Its such a special time and should be made as positive and exciting as possible for your child. Leo will be fine. My one piece of advice as a teacher is, do not show them you are upset. If you are upset or crying then they will feel that school is an upsetting place. Be smiley and encouraging and then do any crying at home or in the car! He will love school Im sure. Good luck! #Blogcrush
    oldhouseintheshires recently posted…The Gardens of Alcázar of Seville: #MyGloriousGardens.My Profile

  5. August 25, 2017 / 8:46 am

    I’m a year away from this and am excited for him and so nervous for me. Parenting is so much about getting them independent and educating them and on the other hand mostly about keeping them as close as possible! A tough balance to maintain. #blogcrush

  6. August 25, 2017 / 10:12 am

    oh honey it is so tough being a mum when we get to this point isn’t it. I see some great tips there! I agree with being as organised the day before, it is key. When Aspen started school I had April who was almost 3 and Adam was a newborn. I would be all set to go and Adam would do a big poo, or start crying. So plan to be ready early, make food the night before, lay out clothes, know where shoes are, and check notes etc. Shoes is still our number one thing we are trying to find even though I have dedicated basket for them by the front door lol. And I also agree with plan something that day, don’t go straight home, oh and network, I can not tell you how helpful it is to make school mum friends, it is hard to overcome anxiety about meeting new people but just be yourself and be friendly. Good luck beautiful xx
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…what are you prepared to walk away from? #livingfearlesslyauthentic #mgMy Profile

  7. August 26, 2017 / 6:06 am

    My daughter is entering 6th grade now (I”m not sure what the equivalent, but she’s 11 years old =) and I still remember that first day I walked her down the hall to her classroom. Gah, still brings tears. Lucy’s advice was by far my favorite and something I wonder if I can get my pre teen to do? You’ll do great, hang in there. #blogcrush

  8. August 29, 2017 / 9:47 am

    Good luck (to both of you!) #blogcrush

  9. August 29, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    Thank you Wendy – I needed this as we’re starting reception next week too. I think Miss Tot is far more prepared than I am! Great advice. Good luck lovely x

  10. August 29, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    Some great tips and it nice to find out suggestions and views form other bloggers too! I start BIG school in September and I think we have everything covered….hopefully! #DreamTeam

  11. August 30, 2017 / 11:34 am

    My firstborn is off to school in September too so this post is just what I need! Love Lucy’s idea of drawing a heart on the hands, I know I’ll be missing him more! #dreamteam
    Andrea @ Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Two Years Since SurgeryMy Profile

  12. September 1, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    my little one starts in a few days time and I’m so nervous aswell! start of a new journey for us 🙂 #blogcrush

  13. September 4, 2017 / 7:52 am

    Ahh! Thanks for including me Wendy! My youngest starts next week and I’m sure we will have some off days, but I think I will be more emotional than Eva! Good luck to you and Leo! Xx

  14. September 4, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    Tons of fab tips! We have school for the first time just around the corner. I am going with the whole ‘its not big deal’ angle and crossing my fingers that it’s all plain sailing ahead. I’ll have to remind myself not to cry into the cuppa lol #DreamTeam xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky 71My Profile

  15. September 8, 2017 / 11:50 am

    I found sending my daughter off to school really difficult. Not least because after two weeks of half-days, she kind of decided that she was done with the whole concept 😀 Wish I had these tips handy at the time. Great idea for new school-parents! #blogcrush
    Alisa recently posted…The UK Yankee Autumn EditMy Profile

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