Preparing for {change}

Last week was National school allocation day for primary aged children in the UK.

Even though we knew the boys would start school this year, had visited numerous schools prior to submitting our choices and knew allocation date was coming, receiving the email confirming their place really hit home that huge changes are upon us.

I had been so focused on the boys’ birthday and preparing for my imminent return to work that I had put the twins starting school somewhat on the back-burner until I had the mental capacity to think about it {which is probably never}. Luckily we got our first choice of school {along with 90% of the rest of Gloucestershire} so that took that stress away but suddenly September feels very close and that’s it – once they’re at school that is our life for the next 7+ {or 10+ if you count P} years.

I can already feel the weight of pressure on my shoulders. Have we made the right decision? How can we best prepare the boys {and us!} for the transition to school? Do we need/want to make use of before and after school clubs/activities? Who will drop them off and pick them up everyday? Can we change our work schedules to fit around the school day? What will we do in school holidays? How many pairs of school trousers/jumpers do we need to buy?! How will we get organised to get everyone up and out the door on time?! What if they hate it? What if we hate it? Will they make friends, be picked on, have a nice teacher? Agh!

To split or not to split?

The next big choice for us is whether or not to split the boys up into separate classes.  Having spoken to a lot of twin mums about this subject I’ve come to the conclusion that the choice is a very personal one {as with most things}. What’s right for one family isn’t for another. Our school has {so far} been very supportive and very much of the view that it’s our choice whether to split them up or not.  For some the decision may be easier. For us I fear it is not.

Our boys have always been together. Through both personal circumstance and preference they haven’t had a lot of opportunities to do things separately.  They {generally} get on and very much look out for each other. As strapping 4 years olds {!} it’s easy to forget how little they still are. They seek comfort and reassurance from each other and sometimes I’m sure about the decision to keep them together, at least for the reception year, but then I wonder if actually they’ll do better apart. We’ve started to notice that {away from home} Noah particularly will often speak for Ollie and they naturally gravitate together for activities {or loo trips!}. If we separate them they may have more of a chance to be themselves, make their own friends, pursue different interests and be treated {more} as individuals. Or will this scar them for life when all they’ve ever known is being together? Agh {again}!

Daunting as it feels I also know that starting school is a very exciting time for the boys. And however unsure I feel come the autumn they will be so ready to start. Chances are they will absolutely love it and thrive in a school environment. I already feel proud and excited for them. I really hope to be able to get involved with their school life {without going all Beverly Goldberg on them – when you know you know} and help give them the best experience of education.

Growing up

When the boys turned 4 last week something felt very different.  They suddenly felt very grown up and a whole world of opportunities seemed to open up for them.  They are now able to join in activities which were not open to them as 3 year olds and are tall enough to go on a ferris wheel and even junior Go Ape!  {Ok so this didn’t happen overnight but it’s only just become apparent}. They can wear ‘adult’ seat belts {with their high-back booster seats} and start swimming lessons {at our local pool}. I’m hoping they drop the threenager attitude but that’s yet to be seen {!} Their level of understanding and speech has come on tenfold and you can {sometimes} hold a {somewhat} sensible conversation with them {or ask them to get stuff for you – ha!}

Our little boys are growing up {blub}. Add to that the fact that I’ve now entered the last couple of weeks of my maternity leave and {attempting} to prepare everyone for my return to work and leave my littlest baby I feel like I’m fully locked into the emotional roller coaster of change. {More on the end of my maternity leave coming soon}.

Lots to think about and organise!

See you at the school gates {I’ll be the one sobbing uncontrollably much to the embarrassment of my sons}.

How do you best prepare for change?  And what do you wish you’d known before your little ones started school?

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