Starting school as a single parent

I took my son off to kindergarten this month. I wasn't anticipating any issues as he has been in full time day care since he was 10months old. He is an old pro at this and the only additional thing i needed was to pack his lunch, easy right? Well this has been an incredibly stressful month and its not over. There has been so much paperwork to fill out, the school seems to only notify us of events the day before via email (which i don't always check daily) and I have had 3 calls home about him.

Let me start by saying none of this is my sons fault. Typical mum thing to say right? Well its true, each of the issues we have had have perfectly understandable reasons behind them. The first call i got was from his teacher telling me that he wasn't coming back to class after breaks and when moving between classrooms. Teachers have approached him and offered to help him get back to class and he replies that he was lost but knows the way now. Now this is clearly avoiding going back but the reason this is not really his fault is his daycare was open plan and had 120 kids. He is used to being able to wander around on his own with what ever teacher is around keeping an eye on them. He was also found playing on other kids scooters in the bike shed which also isn't his fault as at daycare the toy shed looks identical and has bikes in it for all the kids to come and ride when they want. Makes sense right? The poor kid must be really confused as to why he is getting in trouble for something that previously was correct.

The second call was that he had hit another child while playing in the mud kitchen. Now this one I wasn't sure what actually happened but I have never seen him hit any one, ever, and as i mentioned he was in a 120 place daycare with plenty of chance to get frustrated and hit and he never did.  If he gets angry he goes and tells someone. I don't doubt that he did hit but I do wonder who started it...

The other difficulty I have had as a parent is the amount of paperwork coming home. Not all at once which is the main part that's frustrating me, but one a week in his backpack. why did they not just send it all together so I know nothing is missed?

I have also had Rue come home and tell me a few things that his teacher told him to tell me, suppositiously. I need to pack him a lunch box (this was a day that Rue had eaten the last rolls the night before without me knowing so i ordered him lunch from the canteen). Like, what's the canteen there for if not to get lunch as a treat?

The second was that he wasn't to wear gumboots to school. Now i had told him that morning that he couldn't because he would trip over but he insisted so what's the big deal? I'm very much on the, if its not hurting anyone let kids have fun and express themselves, mum. Gumboots are fun, who cares? Apparently his teacher is who.

We also have had several events that we are meant to attend. As a single parent these have been the most challenging part. I'm tired after work and many of the events for us are during the day, there was a learn how to teach your kid math session and another about reading. I'm not saying these are bad things to run but working full time I just cant time off every week to attend these, a take home brochure would have been much more appreciated. We also had a come see your kids classroom and a parent teacher meeting coming up all within 3 weeks.

I also have no idea what's happening at school as there is no storypark like daycare. I ask Rue what he does but he just says play on the playground of course. Its not that I'm being over bearing but how can I support his learning at home if i don't know what they are learning at school?  Not to mention we got an email from the board of education saying the principle was leaving effective thats not enough to worry us!

Then there's the book pack, which I assumed would be sent home for us to label and cover, nope, I only found this out at the come see the classroom event 2 weeks after starting when i asked when the books were being sent home. So all the labels and book cover I bought was for nothing. Also I think letting us cover things gives us more attachment to the school process. I remember coving and labelling as the most exciting part of school when I was a kid, sitting up with mum while she shaved the back off the pencils to write our name on them, getting the bubbles out of the book covers and getting to pick the book covers! Now the only things we provide is a bag, lunch box and a drink bottle. I actually almost wish we could home school so that I could have more control over what we get to learn and use. Buying and making things for school is such fun and part of the learning and bonding process.

And who remembers the Womens Weekly book labels?

And can you believe, we are only in week 3! Nothing about school is what I expected. They moved his before and after school care after just 2 weeks which meant a new routine again. This is one tired and frustrated mummy!

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