school

“This was always going to be a difficult school year for me and my kids. Here’s why.”

Western Star
Thanks to our brand partner, Western Star

This was always going to be a difficult school year for me. My children, after being at the same primary school for two glorious years, would each be attending a different school this year. That first day it felt like my heart was being torn in three different directions.

But, there was something so special about knowing they were all together, just in case they needed each other. The best thing about having siblings is the hope they will look after each other when I can’t be there. How great is that?

My daughter Caterina on her first day of school. Image: Supplied by Jo Abi.

Back to School can be an emotional time for families. It's a new beginning, and from that very first goodbye it seems as though the year goes by so quickly. Term 1 is already over.

You're not alone, though. Here are six favourite Back to School moments my fellow parents have shared:

1. Unfamiliar silence.

Kelly: Sitting in my house in silence.

Amy: The feeling when I walk away after dropping them off.

It's true. Aside from after they're all in bed at night, there isn't a whole lot of silence at home. During my first day at home while the kids were at school I realised I could watch my favourite TV show without the captions on because I hate shushing them while they play.

Eventually the novelty of silence fades though, and I can't wait until they arrive home like a heard of hungry little elephants.

2. Watching them grow.

Kelly: This year having my kids ready, willing and able to get themselves up and ready in the mornings and happy to go back to school, was a great feeling of satisfaction as a mum (and dad) that maybe we have been doing some things right.

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At the start of each year I become aware that each of my children is capable of more. Philip, 12, is in high school and insists on packing his bag himself. He's more independent than ever before and needs me less. Giovanni, nine, has autism and always needs a lot of help but even he is a little more able to comprehend his situation, expressing his feelings about school to me so much better than before. Caterina does her homework mostly by herself.

3. Their first award.

Cara: The pride that oozed from Sarah when she got her very first award - her first week of kindy.

Giovanni's first award for the year from his new school. Image: Supplied by Jo Abi.

In fact, my Facebook page has been full of proud parents posting photos of their children holding awards. I know some parents feel that kids get too many awards, but when you see their little faces all lit up like sunshine, then you know how important they are. Particularly for primary-aged kids.

It was so funny because Philip and Caterina always tell me when they have received awards but Giovanni is normally oblivious, until I pull them out of his school bag and tell him how proud I am of him, and he got the first one this year!

4. School visits.

Joanne: Seeing the excitement when they got teachers they love and also their besties in the same class. A happy year for both kids.

Rob: Meet and greet night, done exceptionally well at my older son's high school. And having him being more responsible for himself as a high school student.

There's no better feeling than knowing your children have started the new school year and are happy. I want my children to be with teachers who care about them, to feel excitement about school at least part of the time. I want them to enjoy their friendships and to be kind and resilient. I want all the things for each of them and this year, so far so good.

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Caterina doing homework all by herself. Image: Supplied by Jo Abi.

5. Siblings being there for each other.

Lucy: India's first week of kindergarten, as her brother helps her put on her shoes, finally wearing the same uniform in the same day.

I overheard Philip, 12, giving his little sister Caterina some advice about school and it was really cute. He gave great advice. He then offered to teach Giovanni how to tie his shoe laces. It's just so lovely to hear them helping each other and being kind to each other. It's funny how siblings fight so often but when it comes to school and in particular at school, they look after each other so well.

6. The afternoons when they all arrive home.

Joanne: Even though I'm busy at work I find myself counting down the hours until the kids arrive home, just so I know they are there.

I often tell people that each morning when my kids leave for school I feel like I have taken a deep breath in, and I don't breathe out until they have all arrived home. After 3pm each day is my absolute favourite time of the day. By 3.45pm at the latest, all my babies are home, where they gobble down their after-school snacks and share their stories of the day.

What is your fave Back to School moment? Share it in the comments section below.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Western Star.

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