A bit of a Head's up...
Being both a mum and a Head teacher and with children scattered liberally through the school year groups (currently Year 7, 10 and 13), I have both personal and professional experience of the rhythms and routines of the academic. Based on that and also the experiences of the other 600 families I work with on a day to day basis, I am writing this monthly blog to give hard-working parents a bit of a “heads up” on what might be coming up over the year.
As a child, my mother had a favourite cookery book called “The Cookery Year” which, month by month, used the seasonal ingredients available to every domestic chef to suggest creative meals to sustain a happy, healthy family (I know it sounds very 1950s). This is my attempt to replicate that in a different setting. The ingredients of the season are the opportunities and challenges that face our children at different times and in different ways throughout the school year. Our children themselves are the key ingredient but the various demands of growing up and those from us as parents create different environments that they have to manage.
My aim is to share with you some insights into what might work and what might not, to smooth the way. I often feel secretly consoled when I am discussing with another parent the intense changes that they go through in their relationships with their children. I am certainly there with them, sometimes sharing that pain behind the scenes.
I said at the start that there are rhythms and routines to school life as if growing up is a straight path with a few gentle inclines. Actually, bringing up children has far more high, sharp and slippery mountains to climb and deep, dark valleys to negotiate than we would ideally want. Just as “The Cookery Year” gave suggestions for getting the most out of your kitchen and garden, I hope some deeper insight into “the school year” will indeed help you to get the most out of your relationship with your children and will be a step towards maintaining a happy, healthy family.