With most kids now back in school, the summer holidays a quickly fading memory and parents up and down the country letting out a collective sigh of relief or lamenting the end of a joyous summer – we asked the D.A.D collective what they were most looking forward to, or not, about school starting again.

Our kids look the smartest they’ll look for nine months on their first day back to school. A pristine uniform and a fully stocked pencil case. It’s a moment of calm pride for parents before the scuffs, scratches, stains, holes, rips, tears and breakages begin. And the worst of all having to rummage through the lost property bin for last week’s soggy jumper!

That they’ll be returning to the furtherment of their education, of their personal growth, of their socialisation skills and the honing of their intelligence. But mostly I like the fact that they have to get up in the morning, like I had to all freaking summer… slackers. That’ll learn ’em.

A return to routine! My eldest is seven going on 17 and wasn’t getting out of bed in the hols until 10am.

No more discussions about who wears what! Got to love a uniform.

My daily questions to my five year old daughter about her day going unanswered or shrugged off with a “I can’t remember”, to then be answered weeks later out of context while getting the car washed or in a supermarket.

I really enjoy taking Leon to school everyday.
It’s a totally him and me time.

This term is a big one for the Family Baxter. (Cue fanfare and school bell SFX.) BIG SCHOOL is here. Which means there’s been huge excitement and gargantuan stress in roughly equal measure over the summer. So what we’ve been most looking forward to are new friends, new subjects, new experiences and (according to my lad) a new dinner system where you scan your finger to pay for your jam roly-poly. It’s like the Jetsons round here.

Are you kidding! There’s nothing I’m looking forward to about school starting, I was quite enjoying the relaxed mornings without the manic rush to get the kids up, dressed, fed and packed with their 17 different P.E and swimming kits and out the door without me forgetting one of the big three (keys, wallet, phone). No, I was much happier leaving for work whilst the kids were still in their pyjamas eating their third breakfast!

Boring as it may sound, I’m looking forward to everyone calming down and getting back into a routine. The summer holidays are too long and the kids are obviously ready to go back now. As I work from home, I’m also looking forward to getting some work done – the last six weeks have been rather challenging on that front!

The headspace for me! Time apart makes time together much better. Or is that just me..?!

I am most looking forward to tidying and cleaning the house. I am also looking forward to some uninterrupted time on my own. I love the summer holidays, they are such a special time but after several weeks I do notice the lack of “me” time. Of course I say this, but I will desperately miss the kids once they are at school!

I’m really looking forward to our time after school when we’re having dinner, rather than the “how was your day?” – “Fine” routine, we ask the girls to talk about one thing that made them happy and one thing that made them sad.

Some of the answers are ball bouncingly funny of course, but it’s a lovely way of building their confidence and helping them note that feelings do come and go.

It’s great for my understanding of who they are, the challenges they face, and their relationships with others beyond the home.

It goes without saying that I get to tell them about my day too which helps me put everything that happened in context and they picture me in a world beyond the clown who seems to just appear and then disappear.

This is the first time any of our kids have gone to school so it’s uncharted territory for us. When our oldest goes to school I’ll be looking after our youngest who is still at nursery so I’m looking forward to spending some 1-1 time with him.

To be honest, I quite like having them at home, taking a day off work and being able to go somewhere as a family. I try not to buy into society’s prevalent message, which is that having your kids around is somehow awful and a problem. Don’t tell anybody, but I actually quite like them.

We currently have to drive to school and I do the morning run. It’s a great time to introduce (indoctrinate) them to music. Every morning I pick a different band or artist and play them two or three songs on the way. It’s hit and miss but I’ve got them into Steely Dan and Eels already this term.

Nothing really. We’ve had such a great summer together as a family. The house seems too quiet now.

Doing less washing and tidying up…it’s unbelievable how much mess is made when the three kids are at home!

It’s got to be routine; they were shoved from pillar to post over the summer staying at both sets of grandparents and going to school summer camps. I like knowing exactly where they are and that they’ll be at home when I get in from work.

Not having to see so much of other people’s kids! Will tolerate my own for a spell but the others can do one!

Sad as it might sound, when I was a kid I loved the annual trip to WHSmith to stock up on pencils, rubbers and any other toot that I could convince my mum that I needed. This year I took my daughter to Paperchase (very middle class now) for the first time to get her stuff, it seemed like a good idea, but a pencil case, two pencils and a rubber later and £25 lighter I was regretting that decision. Back to Smith’s next year!

For me it’s picking Suki and Tess up at the end of the day. They both come out so excited and full of weird and wonderful stories about what they’ve done. They’re also so pleased to see me, which I assume won’t last when they get to those teenage years!

I’m looking forward to the walk to school in autumn with my two boys, kicking leaves, collecting conkers and generally messing around. It’s a very special time at the beginning of the day when they’re both really engaged and full of life.

Thanks to all who responded. The feelings are well and truly mixed, but more than anything it appears we miss the routine that school gives to our lives.