How I am going to cope with school this year

I remember just a couple of months ago actively counting down the last days of school, looking forward with glee to the holidays.  As much as I am “enjoying” the holidays I am trying hard to imagine why I was in such a rush to start them.  I cast my mind back and realise there were always certain activities that preceded this thinking

  • Making school lunches.  You may recall from reading a previous post, Little Pencil’s school lunch preparation is a nightmare unto itself.  Whilst rummaging in the fridge looking for suitable spreads my mind would often wander to days where lunch is eaten at home and copious amounts of peanut butter can be served with no risk of anyone dying from an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Writing love letters.  Every school day I write two notes – one to go with recess and one to go with lunch. When you try to come up with different ways of saying “have a lovely day and I love you”, twice a day, 5 days a week, 7 weeks at a time – you will get where I am coming from.
  • Getting to school. Little Pencil loves school.  He has absolutely no issues about spending the day with his friends at all.  But getting him there?  Another story.  There is always something on TV that he has to watch before he can brush his teeth, some paragraph he has to finish before he can put on his clothes, some song he has to sing before he can eat his breakfast, some game he has to finish before he gets in the car, some story he has to tell me before he gets out of the car.  
  • Washing uniforms. I often dream of what bodily harm I could inflict on the person that decided a white school shirt was a brilliant idea for a little boy.  I am sure that I would be excused by any court of law when I find that person and tattoo him with texta, stain his body with cranberry juice and then smudge his face so that each freckle obtains a new and more absurd colour.  Little Pencil has a white school shirt.  Bad?  Yes.  But it gets worse.  The white school shirt has the school emblem on the pocket and in the infinite wisdom of the uniform manufactures this emblem cannot be bleached.  Well it can.  But this results in the most hideous cacophony of colours that you have ever had the misfortune of seeing right there on his chest – where the emblem would have been if you had never bleached the shirt.
  • Supervising homework. I used to think that I was a patient mum, a tolerant and understanding mother that had the benefit of a background in education and could really help my child with his literacy and learning.  That was before I had to supervise my own child’s homework.  Hello tedium!  Maybe it is the fault of the people who assign the boringly mind-numbing homework, maybe it is because the poor child has already been concentrating for 7 hours at school or maybe I am just an impatient person who would rather scrub moss off rocks in the garden than watch my child write out spelling words ad nauseum while moaning that his wrist hurts.  Oh and did I mention that I hate messy work and that my son is a boy and he is 8 and mostly his work is messy?

So this year I have decided to try something new in order to really maximise my enjoyment of the school year.

  • Lunch will be ordered from the canteen EVERY SINGLE DAY.  The funding for this exercise will come from the monies raised when we sell the love letters from last year for other suckers mothers to use.  (Could be tricky finding a mother that has the same neuroses as me and a child of the same name but we will persevere)
  • I am going to scotch guard Little Pencil’s jumpers and make him wear a jumper over his shirt every day, regardless of weather conditions.  I understand scotch guarding clothes is not the norm but I am not sure why.  I will wipe his jumper down once a week (although I suspect that it will walk away be itself at the end of week 2)
  • I am going to lock myself in the laundry during homework time.  There is no way anyone in this house is going to enter the laundry so they will never find me.  I will still be there when it is time to get ready for school

Do you have any resolutions for the school year?  Can you share them?  I might just adopt them if I get out of the luandry


Filed under Little Pencil

26 responses to “How I am going to cope with school this year

  1. Oh this post is HILARIOUS! I love the scotchguard idea. Hmm, I have a boy going to school next year… I might give it a go…

  2. Homework: Bring this up with your school

    then do this:

    I certainly plan to once Jas starts school.

    Notes in lunchboxes: Seriously. You’re insane. Stop it, or you’ll go postal.

    • He gets 10 minutes of homework 4 times a week. I think a good work ethic and study habits are to be applauded (from the safety of the laundry)

      And notes in lunchboxes. Love em. Promotes good literacy skills

  3. We too have the light shirt problem. Who in the fuck gets to make that decision? “Oh yes, lets put them in the worst possible colour on earth to drive their parents batshit mental” Clearly a past mother at the school lusting for revenge.

    I have already started with the lunches (vacation care this week) and 10yo already proving difficult to feed. Looks like I’ll just have to fill each compartment with devon.

  4. Well..OMG. I could have written this post myself. (Although, with not quite so much flair…) EVERYTHING here goes DOUBLE for me. Well, except the note thing. I started that, and gave up. Too lazy. Besides, the 7yo was getting embarrassed.

    And damn Pokemon on tv at 8am…makes us rush around at the last minute! (I guess I could just switch it off, but the quiet when it’s on is far too nice.)

  5. dramaqueen

    We have a rule in our house – when you are in high school you make your own lunch or else use your own pocket money to buy from the canteen!!! Yippee, it has worked a treat. I still have a nine year old in primary school, however, as she will only eat vegemite sandwiches for lunch and cut up apple for morning tea, she really isn’t too taxing.

  6. wollywally

    I was lucky, my son took ownership of his homework from young age, in short he told me that he did not need any help, and please to mind my own busisness, that it was his homwork not mine, and since then I did not had to worry about homework, he always done them prontly my himself, the alternative would have been too paintfull for both of us, he understood this before I did, bless him! very very funny post,I had good laugh thank you, bless, love ooxx

  7. I am just about to embark on the whole sending a child to school every day thing. Thanks for the tips!! :)

  8. haha. Great post Sharpie. Loved it. Well my kids are both still little nippers at age 1 and 3. But Miss 3 will be starting 3 year old kindy and I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO PACKING HER SNACKS AND SENDING HER ON HER SWEET MERRY WAY (sorry was I yelling that?). But I get it. As they get older they need things done for them. Does it ever end? No I think not.

    It might be a good idea to send little pencil to school in a see through garbage bag and slit a hole in it for his arms and head. Thereby requiring no intensive laundry treatments.

  9. I can appreciate your concerns. Consequently, I have taken the liberty of passing on your details to the Home Schooling Association of NSW. They will be contacting you shortly to register you for the home schooling of Little Pencil.
    I look forward to hearing about the coming year. Just you and him. All day. Alone. Together.
    And he can wear whatever colour top you like…..!

  10. My mum used to write notes in my lunchbox too. I thought it was sweet! As I think you are sweet! And lovely! Good luck with homework supervision, we never got more than 10 minutes homework until were in grade 4!!!! Now when I go home on weekends my mother still wants to supervise my homework! But I think she’s living vicariously through me! Wishes she’d dine nursing too….

  11. What a great blog. Such a laugh.
    My resolutions for this year- his very final year, is to
    1. Not freak out when I find all his lunches for the week at the bottom of his bag. I have been trying to get him to eat lunch instead of playing soccer for 13 years now. I concede defeat.
    2. Try not to freak out about the whole study & exam thing, and needing some impossible grade to get into the law course he wants to do. Do I sound calm – maybe I still need to work on this.

  12. Seraphim

    Like you I thought my background in education would help at homework time. Scratch that, I thought it would render me VASTLY superior to other mothers. Instead I was reduced to a shrieking, hysterical wreck. So my resolution is to boycott homework. And when asked why I will produce video evidence of what it reduces me too and be exempted on compassionate grounds. Can’t fail.

    • You can video me in the laundry if it helps. :-)

    • mizanthrop

      Ooh, I too came close to an official Homework Boycott on account of the shrieking hysteria.

      But my kids get the full term worth of homework at the beginning of each term, so instead I instigated the weekend homework hour and made it official Bonding With Daddy Time.

      It has made the stressful after-school/dinner/bed time infinitely more peaceful. For me. :)

  13. Ggirl

    I know of a mum at Miss 10’s school that lobbyed with the principal to allow her son to wear a maroon shirt instead of the white. He’s the only kid in school with a maroon shirt. Poor kid. Happy mum.

  14. Thanks for cheering me up; your post made me laugh! OK, so maybe me laughing at you having to supervise homework won’t put a smile on *your* face, but it did work for me…

    My only experience with school this year is through my two nephews, who will both start Prep. One of their mothers, my sister-in-law, has it even worse than you with the school lunches. This nephew has a kid in his class who is severely allergic to EVERYTHING – nuts, wheat, dairy, other things that I can’t think of right now, and probably air as well. And they’ve all been asked not to bring any of those things in for at least the first month. So, no sandwiches, yoghurts, etc. That will be hard!

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