Mum shares trick to getting her eight kids to school with ‘military precision’

A busy mum has revealed the trick to getting her eight kids to school with 'military precision' after 26 years of perfecting the routine.

All of Linda Harlow's children have attended the same primary school in Ash Vale, Surrey – with at least one child there continuously since 1993.

And 54-year-old Linda has got the morning and afternoon regime down to a fine art, to the envy of many other parents.

But that will all stop soon when son Zachary leaves Holly Lodge Primary School, marking the end of almost three decades of packing lunches and waiting at the same school gates.

So when Zachary leaves for the final time at 3.15pm on July 24, it will be just as disorientating for her as it is for him, reports Surrey Live.

Linda said: "In some ways it will be a relief but I think I will miss it. After 26 years you get used to the same routine."

Her eldest, Rebecca Lamberth, is now 31 and first joined Holly Lodge in January 1993.

Rebecca would become something of a trailblazer for the family with Benjamin Lamberth, 29, Daniel Lamberth, 27, Abigail Lamberth, 25, a son Linda has lost contact with who is 22, and Naomi Kenton, 20, all following suit.

The remarkable run was nearly broken when there was an almost seven-year age gap between Naomi and Linda's seventh child, Evie Harlow, being born. But due to how their birthdays fall, Evie, who is now 13, started Reception just as Naomi left Year 6.

Three years later Zachary, 10, started at Holly Lodge.

Getting in and out of the house with one child can be a challenge, so with eight it had to be done with military precision, and the kids were all well trained.

"I sounded like a stuck record basically," said Linda.

"I'd say 'shoes on the rack, hand mummy your coats, slippers on'. What my husband [Michael Harlow, 54,] loved was seeing all the different coloured beakers in the kitchen lined up.

"People used to say I looked like a mother duck with all her little ducklings, walking down the road."

Linda said she would "like £1 for every time I've done the walk" on the school run and it would earn her a decent sum too.

She has walked the half-mile route from her home or the reverse journey a combined total of more than 10,000 times.

With children in the youngest years having a shorter day, at times she was walking there and back twice in a day.

Holly Lodge's current inclusion manager Carol Pedley has known Linda since her son Simon started at the school at the same time as Rebecca Lamberth.

Mrs Pedley, 60, who started working at Holly Lodge in 1998, said it was a bit of a running joke when Linda brought a new child into Reception.

She said: "It was just a production line. We used to see her walking up and down Vale Road for however many years doing the drop-off and then on to the pre-school.

"For so many years she was pushing a buggy. Those children came to school on time every day, always immaculately turned out. I don't know how she did it."

Linda has started working as a part-time lifeguard as she will have a bit more free time when Zachary joins Evie at Ash Manor School.

All eight children have also gone to the same secondary school, where Linda is just as familiar a face.

She said: "I'd go for the next induction day [at Ash Manor] and they would be like, 'You again?'."

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