Monday, July 15, 2024

Surviving The School Home Visit

We had our school home visit on Tuesday from Joshua’s new Foundation school teacher and one of his teaching assistants.

For us, and no doubt most parents out there, this was the first time someone had visited us about Joshua since the health visitor popped by to see us a few weeks after he was born!

Despite it all being ‘voluntary’ the school home visit felt like the kind of thing that we should volunteer for. Similar to the request for parents to volunteer to donate a box of tissues to school each term! You don’t have to do it but you don’t want to be the one responsible for hundreds of tiny snotty noses going unwiped.

Anyway, the school had reassured us that the home visit was not in order to judge us, but just to get a general feel for how Joshua behaved in the wild and to get to know us all a bit in a relaxed, comfortable environment.

Preparing For The School Home Visit

Despite those reassurances we thought it best to spend a few hours frantically eliminating every speck of dust and every bit of mess from our entire downstairs just in case. And we also thought it best to hide away some of his toys so he didn’t look too spoilt. But to leave out and discreetly display anything vaguely educational that Joshua had shown a passing in over the previous few months of course – puzzles, books, art sets, Lego etc.

Drawers were neatly filled. Vehicles neatly lined up. Cushions plumped and accurately placed. Play mats arranged so as to be exactly parallel to the walls. Lego collector book casually (but neatly) placed on the table. Joshua reminded that it is ‘Miss’ L not ‘Mrs’ L, but that it was ‘Mrs’ W, not ‘Miss’ W. We even ensured that Joshua was actually wearing pants and not running around with his willy out.

Everything was perfect (but not too perfect) for the arrival.

So we waited.

And waited.

Fortunately a spider had made its home outside our lounge window so Joshua and I passed the time by talking about webs coming out of spiders’ bums and flies meeting a sticky end and how this was all part of the cycle of life.

Then the big moment arrived as Miss L and Mrs W pulled up across the road in a fetchingly gold coloured Mini and approached the door.

‘Do you want to open the door, Josh? But don’t run away and hide afterwards like you normally do please…’

In they came, as the school home visit kicked into action.

Joshua was whisked off by the TA to read something about dogs, whilst Miss L chatted to me. A brief chat about holidays, hobbies and interests followed. She’d been teaching for 12 years, used to live the next road down from my parents, her sister had previously been to my old primary school and she had recently been clubbing in Ibiza. Fascinating stuff.

I threw in some bits about how Joshua ‘loves his arts and crafts’, ‘knows all his numbers to 140’ and is a ‘generally nice chap’. She said he’d settled in well during his first few days at school and has really good listening skills, and that she loved his new playroom.

And that was it. Smiles and thanks followed by a return to the golden Mini and off into the sunset they headed.

Two days of cleaning followed by ten minutes of general chit-chat and the first school home visit (and probably the last ever) was complete! There really was nothing to have been worried about after all.

‘I wish Miss L could live here. I didn’t get to show her my Lego book or how my recycling truck moves. I really love her’.

Job done…

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