And on we go.

Yesterday Rob and I took Daisy off to her High School interview. Yep, that little baby that I wrote about in the very first post on this blog almost 12 years ago, will soon enough head out into another phase of childhood and those ties that bind us get yet again a little looser.

I drove her there and as we went, we chatted about how she was a little nervous, about what questions they would ask. She was quiet, a little fidgety, and it reminded me of some of those drives we did as she headed off to Preschool for the first time. All those unknowns.

I said to Rob as we walked in that it really doesn’t feel that long ago that we were in High School (he reminded me it’s 30 years ago that we started, so yeah, it really was).

She was wonderful in the interview of course, we sat with her but they asked her all the questions about what she loves to do, what she’s passionate about, what subjects she loves, all that kind of stuff. She was SO grown up, so confident and self assured. We then went on a tour with a couple of year 10 kids who showed her around the school and allowed her to ask all those silly (that aren’t silly at all) questions and find out how it all works. With each minute that passed for the 90 minutes we were there I could see her mind and heart open to all the POSSIBILITY that comes with this next phase. About choice, about self direction, about making new friendships, seeing the world, learning, challenging herself, she was so excited and boy was it a joy to see.

Highschool is a big deal isn’t it? I have such fond memories of mine I am fortunate to say. Friendships that are still tight today, so many wonderful holidays with boarders in my school holidays, great teachers and being able to develop and grow in areas that made me happy: English, drama and challenge myself along the way. I think Rob had the same with his – I can’t believe we are here already.

I know how much Daisy is going to thrive in High school. While being at a small public school has given her SO much and turned her into the wonderful, smart kid that she is today, she has had to make do with small numbers of friends and pupils in the school. Her year 6 is just her and one other kid – she’s seen so many of her close friends all head off, leaving her behind and I know that has been hard on her. On the car trip on the way home she was BURSTING with excitement – wanting to start NOW. All those possibilities she could see and touch and all those unknowns and fears calmed for the moment.

It’s going to be OK.

Next year I will have Preschool AND Highschool to deal with, and a very determined and focused year 4 kid in there as well. It’s the extreme of parenting and something I am only really starting to comprehend now that we are in it (I didn’t think that through so much when we were planning on baby number 3). Toddlers and babies are adorable, there’s no doubt about it, but I think that this next stage that we are about to head into, well it feels like it’s going to be wonderful. I know it will be stressful (teenagers etc) but I’m looking forward to it. I feel like I will be able to relate and help out in a practical and supportive way more than I ever have been able to before, something about yesterday makes me feel like this will be the case. Who knows.

I do know that our little girl ain’t so little anymore. She’s just a few cms off me. She can still be a right pain in the arse (especially with Harper OH MY GOD WHEN WILL THEY EVER STOP FIGHTING?!) but she’s a happy kid. She’s confident. She knows she is loved and supported and yesterday I just felt so proud of how far she (and us) have come.

And I get the distinct impression that this next bit is going to go REALLY fast.

Really fast.

Have you got any High school tips for us?
Any words of advice for her AND me?
How was Highschool for you?


  1. Good luck Beth…my eldest is off to high school/boarding school next year too. How can that be?

  2. Lovely to read my baby goes for her interview on Friday morning …. She is really cool about it and more concerned about her day out with her best friends afterwards…. I’m so excited for her all the opportunities and new things to do and friends to make….

  3. my first baby turns 21 soon ! my last baby is in year 10. I have no idea where all the years have gone. this year it is 32 years since I did my HSC 😱 When we did the year 7 tour for my now year 10 girl it was the same highschool & I still felt the wave of dread as we walked into what had been my chemistry lab all those years ago.
    Be prepared for year 7 to open up a pandoras box of emotions & teen attitude, it is certainly an experience

  4. Julie Harris says

    Good luck Daisy! Tips! Well I have a boy in Year 8 and a girl in Year 6 and not sure how much I have learnt over the past two years, but here goes nothing. I would get a copy of “Find your tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school). I would talk to her about social media and let her work out what she wants her legacy to be regarding instagram etc before she starts using it. I would outsource Maggie for one afternoon a week so just you and Harps can go for a hot chocolate and talk. I have found more than ever they need to talk to you in high school. And I would tell her to soak up this year and enjoy all the lasts before the flood of homework. If she is travelling by bus she will lose things, tell her you will cope with this and so will she. That nothing is the end of the world. There is nothing that you can’t work out together. Good luck!

  5. We skipped much of high school as we homeschooled until Yr 10, but I have also been a high school teacher. Hot tips – get a big calendar and write down when all the assessments are due so she and you can see them (and yes, the different subjects will all be at the same time because noone coordinates these things). Keep reading – it really is the best thing that will help them along. Get a one-on-one tutor for maths if that is something she struggles with, because they will just leave her behind. And try not to stress too much about grades – everything works out in the end and there are now a multitude of ways to chase your future.

  6. It does go really fast. One in third year university and one on a gap year, working now to travel – WITH A FRIEND; WITHOUT HER PARENTS!
    Secondary school for my girls had its ups and downs, mostly ups. I would recommend to continue to build on her independence, be responsible for her own learning and equipment. Yes keep a big calendar of events and assignments so that she can learn to pace herself. (And hopefully you don’t have to run the flute to school because someone forgot they had a performance on that day.)
    Oh and label everything – the $200 calculator miraculously reappeared when it was known that I had scratched the name on to it. And the sports top returned 18 months later!
    Enjoy, it will be over before you know it.

  7. Best wishes to you both for next year! High school is a big change and a major step in growing up. My girl (now at uni} loved high school but she found the ups and downs of teenage girl friendships to be more challenging than the academic side of things. Teenage girls can be mercurial and mean! Treating others the way you would like to be treated is a good start and it’s also useful to remember that if someone isn’t being nice to you, then it’s likely that they’re in a bad place and often it’s not got anything to do with you.

  8. High school for me was shite, and I don’t look back on it fondly. I know it will be different for our girls. Cannot believe that your Daise is old enough to go to even go to high school! wasn’t it just yesterday she was a chubby baby with rosy cheeks and hair that stuck straight up in a fuzzy wave? how does time do this?!

  9. Hi Beth,
    My cherubs went to st Kevin’s Eastwood for Primary and my two daughters went to Loreto Normo for high school, which I know is similar to you .
    Not sure if you are going down the bording school route but if so we were incredible happy with what our girls were able to benifit from by being part of the Loreto community
    It’s a fantastic school with a big focus on promoting our young woman to achieve there dreams
    As Mary Ward said – woman in time will come to do much ..
    All the best for your eldest baby’s high school expireance.
    Embrace this new chapter in your mothering expireance , it’s exciting

    • They will indeed! No boarding school for our girls as they will be local. My sister in law is the head of boarding there and my nieces go there so I am lucky to still be in touch with that old school!

  10. All I know is that Primary schools seems to go on and on and on and High School goes in the blink of an eye! My daughter just started Uni this year and I’m shocked EVERY SINGLE TIME I see her get into her car and leave for UNI. Honestly, shocking! I also work out a High School and one minute I meet them as year 7’s and the VERY NEXT DAY it seems, I’m at their Graduation assembly. I just can’t work it out and I’m there every day… Sorry about the caps, cannot express how SHOCKING it is. By the way, still wearing the Frankie shoes I won from you at work/school every other day xx

  11. See if your high school has the ‘skoolbag app’ it will send you reminders for photo day and excursions, dates for assessment tasks and exams and a million other things and it will all be on your phone. Good luck. I just blinked and my eldest is suddenly almost 24! Youngest in yr 12 – just paid my last ever school fees – cheering!

  12. Keep them close X

  13. I think starting highschool is a lot like start preschool or school. SO MUCH to remember and organise as well as the social challenges. My suggestion would be to consider minimising any extra curricular commitments if possible. I think sport is really important but we dropped flute lessons for one child and had a season without team sport for the 6/7 summer with another to just keep down the number to things to fit in and allow the down time needed to recover from each exciting and challenging day and prep for the next one.

  14. Tips for high school: try EVERYTHING! All the groups, teams, cooking, art, all the different sports… try it all. She’ll find her tribe before she knows it. Remember that every single person used to be in Yr 7 so try not to feel intimidated. The kids in Yr 9 are usually the worst. Behaviour worsens and attitudes come to the fore in Yr 8. If you can hang in there, it starts to turn around by Yr 10.

    It feels like only yesterday that my baby started Yr 7 but now she’s one of the Yr 10’s that showed the kids around the school!

    High school for me was…ok. I was very shy, and we’d moved halfway thru Yr 6 so I never got to form those all important friendships. Consequently (and sadly), not one single person kept in touch with me after school. I envy you your lifelong friends.

  15. Thanks for this Beth. We are SO far off high school but this makes me feel positive and light and uplifted about every stage ahead of our 3 littlies.

  16. My eldest daughter started high school this year and her first term has been overwhelming positive. She’s such a quiet little mouse in social settings so this has been an enormous relief to see her happy and settled. One thing that has really helped us is being super organised. She has colour coded timetables up in a couple of prominent positions at home so that we can help her quickly if she’s unsure about what’s on or what she needs. We also ignored lots of the stationary requirements on the booklist and instead bought her a different colour zip up folder for each subject. It fits her workbook and text etc in it, so she now just grabs whichever colour folder she needs for the subject she has and knows she has everything she needs.
    This term went so fast and was soooo busy that it’s hard to imagine how we can sustain it for the next 10 years (My youngest daughter is in gr 3). But it was so, so good that I can’t wait to see what those 10 years bring x

  17. Karen Lennon says

    Last year my oldest started year 7 and the youngest kindergarten, with a grade 5 in between. Luckily my yr 7 girl is super organised and coped extremely well with the academic side of school. She also met an amazing group of girls to be friends with. Unfortunately we are uprooting her again to all move back to Brisbane next year which she is seriously not happy with- she’d love to board! I agree with comments to try lots of different things- it can lead to friendships with a different group, which can be helpful. I keep telling her she will have friends in both Sydney and Brisbane for life.

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