Things on Thursday – Going to school

There have been some posts around about extra-muruals lately – I shared my thoughts in the comments of this post and then again in this one if you want to read them :)

Today’s post is more about things I think parents need to know about starting primary school (or even school in general).

  • Find a school close to where you live. Trust me on this one. Waking a child up at 6h30 instead of 5h30 makes a HUGE difference in their day and in your morning!
  • If you work full time spend a little extra money on an after care that does homework (correctly) or an aupair who can do homework with them. It makes life a lot easier if you don’t have to start doing it when the kids are exhausted.
  • Make friends with the other moms. They will become your greatest resources.
  • Don’t stress about your kids eating (or not eating) what you pack in for them. Make sure they have a good breakfast and a good lunch after school and they will be fine.
  • Use google for those tricky homework days – guilt-free. The only reason the teacher is asking us to make sentences with the likes of “concord” and “Maharaja” is because they don’t know what they mean.
  • Attend as many of the parent/information evenings as you can – it does make a difference if the staff recognise you and your child.
  • Your child does not have to do everything nor do you need to buy every single thing they suggest you buy on more little pieces of paper like personalised sports bags and cricket helmets and study guides for R800!

What advise do you have for mom’s new to school?


  1. says

    These are great tips! Thanks! I’ve found now with the girls starting nursery school for the first time, that the best thing for them is for me to constantly make school sound like a positive and fun place to be. As long as it seems fun they are more inclined to go. (Well that’s just my little 2cents, but what do I know the girls have only been there for 2 weeks.)

  2. says

    I have found that doing the drop off and fetch makes A LOT of difference. I go into the classroom with Child2 and end up chatting with his teacher about what they are doing and how he’s doing etc. so yes, it does make a difference if the staff know you.

    Agree 100% with aftercare that does homework supervision. This makes a HUGE difference to my evenings and it’s really not realistic to expect kids to start with and be alert enough for homework at 6pm or whatever.

    Try to choose a school that is SUPER ORGANISED and has great systems in place. It’s TERRIBLE to deal with a school that is not organised.

  3. says

    A study guide for R800 – you should have heard what i said when I read that. On TV it would have been beeped out extensively.

    My advice would also be that you don’t need to buy everything they’re selling. Even at pre-school I already see that. Example: they send a letter that every week Friday they will do a tuck shop for the children at R5 a week for a little packet of things. Sounds good in principle right? But do a little invesitigation about it and you learn that they are not actually allowed to eat it at the school. So tell me, why would I want to pay R5 for sweets that i could just as easily buy and keep at home to begin with, probably for cheaper or better quality anyway. So I don’t.

  4. says

    Thank you so much for linking to my post – I appreciate you spreading the love.

    My tips, such that they are with kids who have been in school for 7 days :) are:

    1. make decisions immediately and toss the paper after you’ve noted down dates, etc.
    2. organise as much as you can in your “high energy” time (for me that’s at night)


    PS please persevere and finish that thing – it will be worth it (promise!)

  5. says

    Every little bit of your advice is sound and great! I am with you on every single item. I love it that our school does not try to sell you everything – for instance, when they start hockey you get a letter that says – buy only school hockey socks and a mouth guard. The school has more than enough sticks, balls and shin guards to go round. In the end we did buy it all because she was taller than the other kids and the sticks were too short for her and we got a kit with everything in, but it was our choice.

    I am totally with Julia about the dropping off and fetching – I love to see the teachers now and again, even in Primary school. I love to touch base.

    Also, make friends with a mom that has one in your kid’s grade but also an older one. It helps to get the insights with 3 years experience or such. I have two such mommy friends and they are crucial to me

  6. says

    Oh my, my oldest started kindergarten this year and it was very hard for me…I had never really been away from him and it was hard to reliquish that control. He loved it of course and it’s been fantastic! I’d suggest getting clothes and lunches ready the night before so the mornings aren’t crazy hectic!

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