When I think about it, it doesn't seem possible that I am the parent of a secondary school aged child, it seems to have come about so very quickly, I can so vividly remember my own secondary school days it seems crazy that now my own child is old enough to be following through the same pathways.
It's strange isn't it? When you think of how quickly time passes and how those tender early years slip by, it seems like no time at all when I first gazed into his newborn eyes, and a mere blink and the years passed to when he first went to start primary school, but now he is no longer this little child dependant on me, he is now this pre teen, full of his own ideas and opinions.
I always knew Secondary school marked a huge change in my life, a turning point, I remember feeling much more grown up once I had left the comfort and safety of primary school behind, and now looking from the parents perspective its easy to see why.
Along with the new school building to navigate, a new timetable of lessons to learn, new friendships, new teachers, there is also a new set of responsibilities, no longer are you ushered through the day almost coasting by, with someone always there to guide you and tell you the right way to do things, in secondary school you loose that constant guide, you have to make your own decisions your own choices and judge yourself how things will work out.
Jake has managed to survive his first term in year 7 - just about anyway.
He has managed to stick with friends from his old school, who are now in different forms, and make new friends too, he has had to find a way to keep up in lessons and get his work done on time, and he's tried his hand at new skills.
Of course he has also managed to loose his locker key, his PE shorts, a football sock and completely soak the contents of his school bag. He has had detention for not doing his homework, and skimed past work which I know he could try harder with. He has had to make his own choices, of which some of them have been slightly questionable, whilst these learning curves are annoying for me as his parent I realise these are the times he is maturing the most.
The lessons that are perhaps equally as valued as the mathematics and science equations he will be learning in class. The life lessons of knowing where is safe to place your bag when its raining and how to collect up all your belongings before you rush off for lunch, time management and cause and effect, no work - detention! These life lessons can't be taught easily by anything but experience and that's what secondary school gives, the chance for children to experience life, and learn how to navigate through it without a guide over their shoulder making all the decisions for you.
In the last few weeks I really have seen him growing up before my very eyes and I hope that he continues to make good decisions, or at least tries to tread carefully along the path over the next few years, as he cuts out his own trial into adulthood.