Last week we waved Harry off into Year One, and my final year at home with a pre-schooler began. I can't believe that in a few weeks we'll be filling in an application form for little Mia to start school.
She's been going to nursery two mornings a week for a year now, and from this term it will be free as it's all covered by the government free childcare scheme which is excellent. This time last year I'd assumed that we'd put her in for an extra session from September in preparation for starting school, but now that the time has come we've decided not to as I want the extra time with her. It's a private nursery, so she does long sessions anyway which include her lunch and are almost as long as a school day. She also has the experience of seeing Harry go out to school and doing the school run everyday, so I hope that she'll find the transition pretty easy.
I remember before Harry started school thinking that I really must make the most of the time, and I think that we did. We had a lot of fun crafting and learning at home, and we've always been a family to enjoy day trips and outings. Mia is quite different to Harry, she's less inclined to sit down and concentrate on something. I'm often to be found sitting at the table doing Hama beads with Harry while she jumps about behind us on the sofa. I feel that she's not quite in the same place academically as Harry was at this age. It's not her fault at all, I'm afraid it's second child syndrome! So there are a few things that I want to work on with her, like learning how to recognise and write her name, and practising colours and shapes, while of course still doing lots of fun things like sensory play and crafting.
I've not really thought about what I'll do when Mia does start school next year. Obviously getting a job would be a good idea, although I don't know what sort of job I could do that would fit nicely into school hours and/or be paid enough to cover any extra childcare costs. After being out of work for nearly two years I feel completely out of touch with the kind of work that I used to do. I'd love to be able to make something of my new found interest and skills in blogging and social media, but there's a lot of work that needs to be put in to get myself out there.
I'm feeling that I should come up with some kind of bucket list of things to do before Mia starts school, but I don't want to be left feeling inadequate if we don't manage to do them all! So I'll see how we go, and make the most of this time!