Little Miss George started in Reception just over a week ago. Already she has brought home two reading books without any words in them; a sponsor form to raise money for the school; 3 separate newsletters with dates for parent evenings, school photo sessions, coffee mornings and encouraging suggestions that I attend the annual general meeting of the "mums and dads" committee; and lots of tales of playing with lots of Lego. If she was my elder daughter I would be wondering what on earth the school was playing at and would be feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information.
If she was our first, I would have diligently attending the welcome meeting for new parents last week in order to be told exactly how important it was to read the reading books "the same night" and return the next day to ensure that the book was available for the next child.
I would be feeling under pressure to attend every meeting, and already panicking about the potential risk of forgetting to dress my daughter in appropriate "dress-up" gear on various fancy dress days to come.
I would be scanning every letter and marking in my diary every single event, without having a clue which pieces of information were more important than others.
As it is, I know better.
This year I am much more relaxed. Here's my list of top tips that will help you work out what information is important, what to prioritise and what to just ignore. I hope it helps.