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Reception tips - subsection for working mums

(31 Posts)
clemette Sun 02-Aug-09 00:25:45

Sorry if this is repetition - I haven't had the chance to read the whole of the hand-holding thread.

I was wondering if any working mums can talk me through any tips for making the start of reception smooth and painfree (for the DCs).
My DD doesn't actually start until January, I have only been able to get drop off/pick up for two days a week so far and to say I am obsessing about it all is an understatement...

Thanks in advance.

blithedance Sun 02-Aug-09 00:56:03

DS has just finished Reception. 1 week into term I went back to work part time.

Who is doing the other drop offs then? You might want to try and contrive some holiday to get her settled in.

My tip is to be really organised about information - have some sort of master diary or calendar. Our school has an awful habit of writing things you need to know on a whiteboard outside the classroom, which DH never reads and I don't see if I pick up from after school club. I could never find out when "Parents Assembly" was (bit irrelevant as it wasn't my day off). Cultivate a friend among the SAHMs who will keep you posted.

Also make sure plenty of other mums have your phone number so if there are playdates/nights out being organised you don't miss out because you aren't at the gate.

fridayschild Sun 02-Aug-09 20:11:55

Yes making friends with SAHMs who can keep you posted is a great tip.

Do drop off or pick up at least once a week. I work FT and this is all I can manage. DH is supposed to do the same but is less religious about it. Plan to spend time loitering in the playground to chat.

Volunteer for stuff - Christmas fair, trips, early on. Save some of your holiday days for this. You might need to tell the teacher you will come but need time off work and can she tell you the date a bit in advance so you can book the time.

Make sure you go through the book bag every night to look for notes from school. DS1 had and DS2 is about to have a reception teacher who is lovely but does have a habit of giving you short notice for things - own clothes day, for instance.

clemette Sun 02-Aug-09 22:45:26

Thank you both.
Pick up/drop off impossible. I am starting a medical degree in September and the hous are strictly 9-5 with holidays at Christmas/Easter.
I am hoping she has got a place in the before/after school club but this won't be confirmed until October!

I do get to do the first week, so will give my number to anyone not too scared to take it!

stealthsquiggle Sun 02-Aug-09 22:54:19

Do what you can (I realise it is sometimes just not possible) to drop off or pick up on occasion to try and keep in the loop.

Have a word with the teacher / TA and make sure they know that you aren't doing pickups and that messages need to be written down somewhere (a Home-School diary/book, even if the school don't use them as standard, would be a great idea - you write messages for the staff in and vice versa and it lives in your DD's book bag).

golgi Mon 03-Aug-09 09:14:41

Hello Clemette.wink
I'll be in the same position - my parents will be doing pickup / dropoff - mostly my dad who never reads notices and never passes on information! Our nursery did the "messages by noticeboard" thing too, which is fine as long as somebody reads it....

There does seem to be an assumption at school that parents are just available whenever - it's not as if I can take time off work for special occasions either - can't see that going down well. I am lucky though in that small boy would rather that granny was there than me most of the time anyway, so she can go to assemblies etc.

Squiggle - I like the diary/book idea, may give that a go.

Still wondering exactly what time I'll need to get up in the morning and get everyone organised - think it may be something like "stupid-o-clock".

clemette Mon 03-Aug-09 19:08:27

Sob, I can forswear a disaster! Surely there must be someone who manages this...

clemette Mon 03-Aug-09 19:35:37

Foresee - blasted predictive text!

bodiddly Mon 03-Aug-09 19:37:52

I have all of this to come in September too. I have arranged to do pick up for the first term and dp will be doing drop off. After that he will be at breakfast and after school club if there is space! I worry about him not being invited to play dates etc if he is in after school clubs etc.

I am slightly concerned about mornings initially though ... ds is currently at nursery full time and is used to dp dropping him off every day ... do you think it will make it more difficult for him if I drop him off in the first week? I am taking the week off so I can pick him up as he is on short days for the first week so could drop him and it would mean dp could get to work early ... but not sure if it would make it more of an issue if its not what he is used to? He is likely to have problems settling initially as he has been at a different nursery for the past 4 years and all the other children at the school have been in nursery together! Anyone else in this situation?

cupofteaplease Mon 03-Aug-09 19:39:56

Hi there! I am panicking a little about September too as I am strating a new teaching job and still haven't secured childcare for my dds! Nobody seems to have space for both of them, so I am faced with potentially using two different childcarers which will make mornings a bit grim in terms of dropping off and picking up...
I think whatever happens, I will write a letter to the teacher explaining that I cannot do any drop offs or pick ups until half term when I drop my hours to 3 days a week.
I'm hoping dd will not be too tired, being in school all day with before and after school care too.
Best wishes to everyone else in the same boat smile

clemette Mon 03-Aug-09 19:44:56

bodiddly my DD is the same - she has been at a completely different nursery. But I phoned the school and they said there are ten other children (intake of 60) in the same boat.

If you have the week off I would all go together for the drop-offs.

pointydog Mon 03-Aug-09 19:56:53

I'm not sure what you are worrying about. Can you be more specific?

Speak each day to the person who does the drop-off s and pick-ups, check school bag for homework and school info.

CherylCole Mon 03-Aug-09 20:08:43

There will probably be a class list with everyone's phone number on it passed around, so don't scare anyone by thrusting your number on them otherwise they'll assume you want them to be your back up childcare, I think SAHM's are a bit nervous of anyone appearing "needy". If a list doesn't appear in the first month, get a piece of paper with your number at the top and pass it round making everyone add theirs.
Attend every birthday party, they are dropping off with the credit crunch so move hell and high water to go to the ones you can to bond over wine/coffee.
Organise a mums night out and a dads one, a quick chat over a curry once a term can be brilliant sources of info.

clemette Mon 03-Aug-09 20:08:46

I am anxious about:
her not being invited to things because she can't do directly after school
me not being invited to things
her coping with before/after school club / childminder
me not knowing how she is doing because I won't get to see the teachers
me never waving to her at the school gate
her making friends
her being happy

All the normal stuff, plus the fact that I won't be there at the beginning and end of the school day...

cupofteaplease Mon 03-Aug-09 20:33:16

I had all of these worries clemette during dd's preschool year. Some of them remain now she is entering her reception year. I hope everything works out.

mumtoone Mon 03-Aug-09 21:33:11

My ds has just finished his reception year and its worked out well for us. I had some of your concerns but none remain now. He goes to before and after school club 4 days a week and he loves it. He will happily talk to the older children (I worried he'd feel intimidated). He loves school and has had plenty of party invites. I get to school one day a week so I've made friends with a few mums. I've also found parties are a good opportunity to get to know others. I've also put notes in the book bag to arrange a play date on a Saturday as we can't really do after school. More often than not it works out fine. I would say the majority of children at DS's school are in childcare after school (either childminder or after school club).

stealthsquiggle Mon 03-Aug-09 21:35:06

It can be done.

There will be lots of 'whole class' parties in reception year. Say yes to all of them. Attempt to make friends. Once we all knew each other, the other mothers (all SAHMs but one) used to 'spring' my DS from after school care and take him to play (on school field) with the others for a while, and then return him to after school care when they went home.

After School care and/or childminder will be prepared for them being very very tired.

If you can get them fed before you pick them up, so much the better, otherwise plan on them eating something which takes no more than 5 minutes when they get home - we had to be rigourous about home-supper-bath-bed (except the gaps weren't that big) for DS to make it through the week.

clemette Mon 03-Aug-09 21:49:54

Thank you - it is really good to read about people making it work. Full-time working mums are a minority in this area (I sometimes feel I am the only one) so you are invaluable.

stealthsquiggle Mon 03-Aug-09 22:00:21

Also if your DC's birthday is early in the year (or actually, anyway) try to have a whole class party and provide wine/food for parents - and recruit lots of helpers so that you have some time to socialise.

golgi Mon 03-Aug-09 22:24:39

One thing that bothers me is not seeing the teacher - I know it's only for a few seconds a day but by the end of the nursery year I still didn't know what the nursery teacher looked like!

I'm worried that son will miss out on invitations after school as grandparents really aren't into that sort of thing - they will just want to take him home.

I am worried that I will miss vital pieces of information like "come in non-uniform on Friday" or "bring things in for the charity thingummy" or "the school is closed next Friday for a training day"

I would also like to make some friends but as I am never there for the after-drop-off-chatting-in-playground sessions I can see that this will be difficult.

TeamEdward Mon 03-Aug-09 22:34:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clemette Mon 03-Aug-09 22:44:30

Nursery is so straightforward by comparison isn't it?

Pitchounette Tue 04-Aug-09 10:21:35

Message withdrawn

MANATEEequineOHARA Tue 04-Aug-09 10:30:37

I try and pick up as much as poss, but I am also a uni student and work part time too. Ds is already at school and dd is starting in September, so far, I have basically just bumbled through! Not very helpful advice, but basically, it will be ok,

clemette Wed 05-Aug-09 19:03:49

Thank you pitchounette and all. I think I need to stop obsessing about it all. I heard her tell the hairdresser today "I am going to start school in January and I don't know anyone there" sad

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