Above: Isabella (GB5) graduating from preschool last year. Below: Graduating from Kindergarten last week.
What I would do differently if I had the chance...
I would be more involved in school. As a first time kindy parent and new to the school, I often felt that I had no idea what was going on during the whirlwind of Isabella's first year of school. Now I realise that if I'd joined the P&C, I would've had easy access to whatever answers I needed and would've been part of a pre-established support and social network. I'm planning to join next year.
What we did well...
Some of the different friendship difficulties that arose were quite trying at times. It's not breaking news that children can be nasty. I think we came through it well though, with most of her friendships intact and many important life lessons learned. Isabella has learnt tolerance and grace and even how to stand up for herself!
What I've learned...
I've found now that Isabella is a school girl, that her time at home is so much more enjoyable. I really enjoy weekends and holidays now because I'm able to enjoy having her home after missing her during the week.
I've also learned that my children aren't going to necessarily be the best and fastest at everything - perhaps not anything right now - and that's okay.
I've learned to push my children's limits and confidence levels and that as long as I'm there to help them process what might turn into a negative situation, they'll be okay.
I've learned that if a child is grumpy and naughty when I pick them up from school, it generally means they've had a bad day and they need to talk about it.
Mostly I've learned, not to judge by first impressions. We're all doing our best at this parenting thing.