Ella in hospital

IT FEELS like only yesterday my mind was firmly on whether my body was going to turn inside out. Ah, the joys of childbirth. Now, here I am lamenting my li’l princess heading off to “big girl school’’ (aka pre-kindy) later this year. Where did my baby girl go?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a lecture on what age your child should be when they start school. My theory is, start them when they’re ready. And Princess Ella is well and truly ready (she’s four in November, just for the record). I’ve even started the ABC Reading Eggs with her, because she WANTS to learn.

Each time we pass the school with the pretty windows, Ella shouts out “that’s going to be my big girl school, isn’t it mum?’’. Each time, I shed a tear. I’m not upset about her not being at home. Give me Oprah over those annoying Small Potatoes any day. Someone, please, bake those buggers. She’s been in child care two days a week since she was one. So I don’t have that same anxiety other parents face in seeing their child walk out the door. It’s more the fact that we’ve reached yet another mark in her fast-moving life.


There is some anxiety though. You see, we have to be… interviewed. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been on the receiving end of an interview? The Bloke in The Shed, having just been through a pretty rigorous interview to become Editor, doesn’t have the same fears. So I’ll be stapling my lips together to limit the amount of times I can stuff up her chances of a private education for her. That’s if we get an interview.
And we’re not private school snobs. We both went to public school and turned out half OK. Except for a few emotional scars from stealing everyone’s erasers from their desk tubs in Grade 6. As if no one was going to notice. What was I thinking? We’re also not Catholic, which could be a slight issue considering it’s a Catholic school. The Pope’s Catholic, right? Hmm, may need to hit the books (and by books, I mean the bible).

We’ve opted private simply because the school has a good reputation and… we can. Although it may mean bread and dripping for dinner for the next 18 years. And really, if I fail the interview because I just can’t keep my mouth shut, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Although, Ella does have her heart set on playing on that red and blue swing set.

How are you feeling (or did you feel) about your child starting school?

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14 Responses to Interview with a … school principal

  1. Mixed emotions for me. It’s exciting more than anything. I can remember my first day at school. Backpack on. Asking over and over again what time it was because I wanted to get out the door. But I also remember my love hate relationship with school – the ups and downs, periods of not fitting in. Archie’s first day at school had me feeling pretty reflective but I was very happy for him. Next year we’ll have two boys at primary school and so will probably go through it all again. The ups and downs of family life. I blogged Archie’s first day at school here –


    • Kel says:

      Ah yes, those school days definitely leave a lasting impression. I have plenty of moments of not fitting in and plenty of moments of joy too. I just hope it’s a smooth run for Princess Ella. Wow! Two at primary school? The thought of that does my head in a bit at the moment!! 😉
      Off to read about Archie’s first day now. Thanks. 🙂

  2. Marita says:

    I wasn’t that worried about Annie starting school two years ago, the school was just up the road and she was ready to go. Yet when Heidi started this year I was really anxious, even though by then I knew the school well and had experience at it all. But being my youngest, my baby, and with the autism, it was a really worrying day.

    • Kel says:

      That is so understandable, Marita. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been to let her go.
      I have no idea how I’m going to cope when the big day comes. 🙂

  3. My Miss 2, nearly 3, keeps saying “I’m going to kinder soon” and then “I’ll go to school one day” and it freaks me out a little. Not in a sentimental way, just in a where did the time go kind of way!

    • Kel says:

      I know, it’s moments like that where you just want to push the pause button. Interestingly, a few mums from interstate have said the school age is five in their state. In Tassie, it’s four. As much as I know she’s ready, it would be nice to hold out for one more year. 🙂

  4. Hi Kellie 🙂

    These days, as a new mum, I try to stay in the present moment as often as I can. But when I catch myself thinking about the future, it’s often about schooling. Firstly, because I value education so much and secondly, because the cost of private school in Sydney is so high (if we choose to go that way – I want to consider all our opportunities). I look forward to those years, but they definitely bring new challenges for so many reasons.

    What a beautiful photo of Ella! I wonder if I’ll ever have the privilege of having a lil’ princess in my life 🙂

    As for the interview, you just tell them Kellie “Don’t you know who I AM???”

    LOL! All the best. Thank you for sharing your mother’s love.


    • Kel says:

      Yes Lina, it’s wise to live in the present. Savour every moment, as the cliche is true – it goes all too quickly!
      Thankfully, a private education isn’t overly expensive in Tassie. However, having Sydney nieces/nephews in private schools I know just how expensive it can get there. I don’t envy you!! 😉
      LOL!! Love that line about asking him “don’t you know who I am?” I wonder if that’ll work…. hehe!! 🙂

  5. Awww. That thing called “life just passes faster and faster” is happening.
    One minute you are making up feeds and changing nappies, next it’s buying school shoes and packing lunches.
    Here’s my view.
    As Mum & Grandma: the kids will be fine. Always. Sometimes it’s US we have to worry about, and our emotional state being picked up by a particularly sensitive child. “We” have to become better actors in a way, so the kids don’t feel “guilty” about leaving you… seriously, some kids do feel that.
    As Teacher & Principal: you do know your child best. You are aware of so much more about your child that we will be. So, let us know if there are matters which must be considered (health, family separation, new baby) for your child’s starting school. And, when all is done, enrolment sorted, uniforms bought, and the notion of “school” is more real…don’t overdo it. The talking and the planning. It can be incredibly stressful. Yet, the child will more than likely be fine. Listen to the school and trust them to know their job.
    Naomi at Under the Yardarm writes beautifully about her little ones who start school. She is a teacher & mum to treasure.

    My new blog (one of three) about schools, dealing with the education system, and education in general within Australian settings is called:
    http://www.educationbydenyse.com and I shall be writing more on this too.

    • Kel says:

      Wise words, Denyse. I think you’re spot on about us needing to be better “actors”. Whatever we feel often transfers onto them. Although, at the moment, she’s so excited about school she’s oblivious to anything I’m going through! hehe!
      Thanks so much for your words, Denyse. That’s all really helpful.
      Off to read your blog now! 🙂

  6. CaZ says:

    🙁 my comment got lost!! Was just saying the my second is starting next year and I’m feeling worse than the first time around. I think it depends on their personalities. Vic is different from Tassie. We call school prep-grade six and then have 3 and 4 year old kinder before this. Little pink is off to 3 yo kinder next year too! My little people are growing up way to fast!!

    • Kel says:

      That’s so right, Caz. It really does come down to their personalities. Ella is quite outgoing, which is nothing like me. I have no idea where she gets it from. Probably her Dad! 😉

  7. Cheryle says:

    Having not quite made my choice earlier this year , and finally settling and falling in love with a wonderful local private school i am on the same journey . Got a small panic this week when a local parent was talking about there child starting public pre kinder this week . sent me in to a panic thinking i’d missed it . the Interview process scares me to death and ive got an appoitment shortly with both Private schools in out area , im a single parent and how do i go in there and not sound like a fruitloop and make out my childs fine despite what courts put her thru Oh and im Christian not Cathlioc and i failed on the Baptisment as well . DD is very bright counting , spelling wanting to learn everyday . and say’s the same as Ella every morning when we go to care which convienatly is opperiste Big Girl School of Choice . Maybe u and i will stand out the front together and share the tissue box term 1 next year 🙂

    • Kel says:

      Sounds like a plan, Cheryle. It’ll be nice to have some moral support! 😉
      I had the same panic when I heard everyone else was starting pre-kindy. Thankfully, the letter from the school arrived a few days later! It just seems so early in the year.
      If I know you, you’ll do well in the interviews. DD is a credit to you. Try not to stress too much. xx

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