Back to school
Three words of doom or delight?
Scott Dunlop
Back to school. Possibly the most feared and hated words of my high school career, almost the exact opposite of my primary school experience, when I’d be filled with excitement at the prospect.

I can remember my very first day, teddy bear tucked into my satchel to ward off the monsters: Neat new shirt scraping my tanned neck, polished shoes giving my feet blisters after a summer of running barefoot. Against the odds, I survived.

Having seen my own children into their own classes, I’ve witnessed tears and wailing, mostly from distressed moms (and dads), who shed their tears afterwards on the classroom steps. I guess we all grow up on that first day.

Jonah, my youngest, starts Big School this year. He can’t wait to be with his brother and sister, and doesn’t seem at all intimidated. Hannah and James are keen to see all their own friends after what seems like an age, too.

I’m not sure what went wrong, but they actually seem to like school.

There’s more to it for parents than packing lunchboxes, helping with homework and braving the rush-hour traffic. If you watch closely, you’ll see that little kid with the snotty nose develop a personality over the next few years. What a privilege!

Whether you’re going to be with your child on those classroom steps for the first time, or doing a silent cheer that your teen is heading into his final hurdle, Parent24 would love to share your experiences this year, and hopefully our community will provide you with the encouragement and resources to be a great parent.

Welcome to 2012. Please take your seats. No talking at the back!

Send us your back-to-school pictures to Also tell us how excited your kids are for school and you could win a R250 voucher.


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