Starting School: A Child’s Eye View

This post is by contributor Catherine Oehlman aka SquiggleMum.

The start of the school year is nothing new for me.  As a teacher I’ve had more than my fair share of first days.  I’ve seen the nerves, the anxiety, the eagerness and the tears.  But this year, everything is different. This year, I’m not going to be welcoming new students and parents into my classroom.  This year, I feel like I’m on the wrong side of the door.  Because this year, it’s my daughter starting school!

Instead of sharing my thoughts about school readiness, and tips for managing the early days of formal education, this year I find I am questioning myself. Have I prepared my own child well enough? Is she socially and emotionally ready for this big step? Have I been practising what I preach?

So, I decided to interview my big 4 year old and share her perspective with you…

Mummy: How does starting new things make you feel?
Miss 4: It feels weird, but when you get used to it – then it feels normal!

Mummy: Are you starting something new this year?
Miss 4: SCHOOL!

Mummy: And how do you feel about starting school?
Miss 4: Fantastic. And excited.

Mummy: What do you think the best part of school will be?
Miss 4: Meeting new friends, and dressing up, and “making”, and having new teachers, and playing, and reading. Everything.  Except rest time.  Everything else.

Mummy: (still laughing at last answer!)  What do you need to do to be ready for school?
Miss 4: Uniform, shoes, a “warm-up” jumper, backpack, a friend, lunch box and water bottle.

Mummy: And what things will you have to remember when you’re at school?
Miss 4: No hurting. No bossiness. Nice manners. Say kind words – ‘cause if you say kind words to other people, they might say kind things to you. But if you say not-kind things to them, they might say not-kind things to you. Um…. drink all your water. And have a good time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ah, the wisdom of our children.  I don’t like change, but at 4 years old my daughter already understands that new things feel uncomfortable until you adjust. (It’s taken me a lot longer to learn that one!)  She is aware of the importance of making friends, and keeping them. And she expects school to be a positive experience.  Those answers alone give me confidence that my sweet girl will be just fine when she starts in a couple of weeks.

I’m so glad I took the time to find out what she really thinks about beginning school.  If I had been the one answering questions instead of asking them, you would have missed her pearls of wisdom.

So would I.

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  1. Looks like she is ready and raring to go!!
    And one day…. when she is not so sure about trying something new you can come back to this and show her how confident and strong she really is!

  2. Sounds like one very clever, confident girl ready to go.

    We do interviews for birthdays, but had not thought of doing one before starting kindy or school. What a lovely keepsake to have.

  3. That is so gorgeous and she definitely sounds like she’s ready! How did you make the decision to start her at 4 instead of 5? Was it just obvious that she was ready?

    • In Queensland, kids have to turn 5 by 30th June in the year they go to prep. Many of the kids in my daughter’s class will already be 5, but she won’t be until mid-May, making her one of the youngest! That said, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to hold her back, and she l-o-v-e-d every day of kindy. Her kindy teachers and her Daddy and I all agree that she is ready. It really does depend on the child.

  4. I think you can stop the self-questioning, Cath – your little girl sounds so happy and confident!

  5. What wonderful answers! She will do so well at school.

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