To drop off your child at Nursery (SImon) you have to personally escort them into the classroom, sign them in and then leave. For reception you have to line up with your child until the teacher arrives to escort them into the classroom. (Or make arrangements with another adult if you are unable to.) Unfortunately on Mim's first day we were late and her class had already gone into the building. So I walked her to her classroom and she never looked back.
Her first three days of school were all half days, I picked her up at 1:00. The school (government) provides "dinners" (lunches) for children from reception to year 2. (Ages 4-7) so for the first few days Mim ate the school lunch. But after that she really wanted a packed lunch like Cameron and Eli, so we've been doing that since.
Starting school full-time was hard for Mim. I drop her off at 8:50 and school dismisses at 3:40. That's a really long day for a four year old. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, she is getting great socialization, education and lots of free play at school. She is getting cultural exposure and activities that, let's just be honest, I would never arrange for her at home. This is really good too, because I think she a little behind where my other kids were as far as letters and numbers go, so I am grateful for all the help I can get in that arena.
But on the other hand, she is missing some good quality "at home" time. Because it is such a long day, she doesn't get much play-time at home. And she doesn't get the quality hours with me that each of the boys got. (Which is mostly due to the fact that Simon came so close after her. Even if she was at home in the afternoons, she would be sharing my time with Simon.)
Miriam was quick to make friends, she quickly learned the names of he kids in her class and talks about them a lot. Even Eli and Cameron's friends love to fawn over her. In fact one day she said to me
"Mom, I don't want so many friends. All the kids want to be my friend, they follow me around but I don't want so many friends."
"Well Mim, I'm glad you have a lot of friends. You are a very sweet girl."
"It's because I'm so beautiful Mom." Then she sighs dramatically.
I don't even know where to begin with my issues with that comment. But needless to say the girl has what the Bird's call "Irrational self-confidence" and plenty of friends.
And that is the extent of Mim's complaints about school. Too many friends, she says. She doesn't complain about being there all day, and I know she really likes it. But I think she does feel like she doesn't get much chance to play with her toys, alone in her room. (Something she really likes to do.)
So while it is convenient for me to have just one child for four hours each afternoon, I'm still sorting out how I feel about full-time school for a four year old.