Yesterday, I helped four Year 1 boys research 'toys and games from the past'. Last week I got very competitive playing maths games with Year 4 students. Next week I will be doing some one-on-one work , listening to young children read. I have little friends all over Primary who wave to me and share stories of their weekends, and a sneaky insider's knowledge of day-to-day school life.
We have a shy child. She is the product of two parents who were both chronically shy as children and who are also both on the far end of the introvert scale. (Not that being an introvert automatically means you are shy, nor does being an extrovert make you immune to being shy.) But there she is, your fairly typical shy child, doing her best to make her way in the world.
When my eldest started school four years ago I was very excited, slightly anxious and often confused. Navigating school life was as much of a challenge for me as it was for my five-year-old, if not more so. My youngest completed Prep last year. It was so much easier the second time round ... but there were still a few surprises (mostly positive ones).
For parents embarking on this adventure for the first time, here is some 'insider knowledge' of what to expect in this exciting year ...
Think play dough is just for pre-schoolers?
I am always amazed at how much time older children and even adults will spend happily squidging and modelling if they get their hands on it.
I have used play dough to divert teenagers at youth groups, as an ice-breaker at grown-up parties and as a medium for imaginative play and learning.