As we eagerly await news of Olivias primary school application this week I have had some time to reflect back on her time thus far at nursery school and the impact this has had on her and us infact. Nursery school truly is remarkable from the teachers to the resources, the learning opportunities both inside and outside the classrooms and the friendships made just to name a few.
When Chris and I first went to visit the nursery that Olivia is in we looked at all the drawings on the walls, the crafts that were made, the activities that they do and I just couldn’t ever imagine Olivia achieving this, not that she couldn’t of course but just the fact that at the time she was 2 years old and being in this classroom seemed so surreal, so grown up. I mean I couldn’t picture Olivia drawing an actual person when all she did at the time was scribble on the page. Fast forward nearly a year and a half and sure enough we have those pictures at home, those crafts made and those stories to tell….ok so Santa below may have no neck but its a work in progress 🙂
When we first received the letter home to say Olivia had been accepted to the nursery of our choice and there was an invitation along to a parents open night it was all very interesting to discover what would lie ahead for her and for us. We had goals to achieve over the summer months such as making sure Olivia could get her coat on and off, zipped up and could do the same with her shoes. This seems so little but in a class of 26 im sure this could all be so time-consuming for teachers and classroom assistants. They told us what snacks the kids would eat and what lunches would consist of and we where one of the few who seemed relieved that our child would eat those sorts of foods at the time. Plenty of reading had to take place and even a little treasure box had to be made to include what adventures we as a family got up to over the summer holidays.
The biggest thing stressed was about getting a good bedtime routine in place as the children would be tired. This was an understatement. Tired yes…. absolutely exhausted in the first couple of months…totally! It was such a big change for Olivia that she was like a demon until at least November! It definitely took patience and understanding for the first few months and she definitely didn’t want to talk about school no matter how much you asked her about her day, it just seemed like too much effort!
I could just about get my head around this and then there was another parents evening which I went to without Chris. We were able to explore the classroom and do activities as adults that the kids do during the day. I came home and cried my eyes out. I cried because I could not believe the expectations of these children. They are only 3/4 years old but they now had to do everything for themselves and I was speechless. As a mum experiencing this for the first time I was overwhelmed so then I knew how Olivia must have been feeling! I think it was also a realisation that I was babying Olivia quite a bit. She could do certain things but wasnt saying so and that I should also be giving her more freedom at home. I started to do this and I was able to recognise a big change in her. She enjoyed helping me make the lunch, setting the table, wash the dishes, dust the table, turn the dishwasher on, pack the washing machine, fold the clothes etc etc Just the daily things that go on in life she enjoys helping with. It helped create a sense of independence which has been of big benefit especially now we have Zanna to chase after.
Whilst there is only 2 months to go until nursery finishes I suspect they will be the busiest. Our little girl has grown into a real person. While this sounds stupid to say, it can be a bit hard to explain but what I mean is she knows things about the world that I can’t quite believe. She understands all about people and how they work, jobs they do and the importance of these. She knows about the body, the skeleton and how to look after yourself properly through exercise and healthy eating. She knows the shapes, colours, dimensions, the seasons, time, dates, days, weather and all about how to look after our environment and how to be eco-friendly. She knows all about the green cross code, fire safety, how to spot danger signs and how to alert someone if they are needed in an emergency. The list goes on and sometimes I am just in awe about what comes out of her mouth some days and what she has learnt.
One of the best parts of nursery has been the friendships formed. It is so lovely to see all the friends that Olivia has made and how well everyone gets along. I love when they meet eachother outside of nursery be it in Tesco or the library, its so exciting for them and its always hugs galore! The stories that Olivia comes home with about what everyone has been getting up to can be hilarious and there are definitely some comedians in the pack. Olivia invited her friend who is a boy to her birthday party to which he asked was it going to be a single ladies party and what should he wear to impress…the timing of it was perfect even though his mum was mortified, apparently the Beyoncé single was quite popular among his older siblings but nevertheless it was so funny! Olivia has formed a really special bond with a little girl and a little boy who have reestablished themself as the ‘PJ Masks gang’ and are rarely found separated so come the end of June there will be a few broken hearts over the summer months as I dont think the little boy aka ‘catboy’ is going to the same school…watch this space 😦
From school trips to the cinema and the farm, to visits from emergency services, music groups and health professionals , to Easter parades, world book day, christmas nativity, to parents lunch days, poem recitals, fundraising events and baking….the list goes on…and on. Nursery days are the busiest days, the most fulfilling days and the best days, especially in the eyes of our little girl.