22 August 2013

school thoughts. the first day



This week we have embraced change. Now that school has started we have quickly adapted new schedules; early bedtimes and early mornings, homework sessions, snack time, soccer practice and the list endlessly continues.

I'm ready for change, I'm ready for this change.

After having a summer drenched in freedom we thirst for those early evenings, for the downtime spent in bed over a book or a set of flashcards. I enjoy the quiet peace of the morning as I slowly rise before my family. And I even enjoy the fast paced days that are highlighted on the calendar hanging in our kitchen. I enjoy knowing what our day will consist of and physically seeing it written down on a list. While I certainly miss the "days of freedom" I am ready for the change.

I have moments where I feel the need to pinch myself. Can I possibly have two children in school? How are my boys in kindergarten and second grade? Where did that time go? Did I make sure that time was spent to it's best capacity? Did I fulfill my role as a parent?

The truth is, time does go by that fast and I really do have a kindergartner and second grader. Now that I have a couple of the school years under my belt, I feel I can share my school thoughts. I'll be touching on this topic throughout the year and I look forward to you joining in on the conversation!

I feel like I am blessed because my children adapt to change and are willing to embrace the unknowns. They are such gentle souls who move with the flow of the day. Transitioning into school is a challenge that weighs on every member of the household. Here are a few transitional tips that I have picked up over the past couple years:

1. Settle into your routine: The start of school means a new schedule and a new schedule for children takes time to grasp. A week (or more for some families) before school starts we set our alarms early, we wake up and dress, we mosey downstairs and eat our breakfasts. This gives the children time to adapt to the early mornings, but it also gives the parents a chance to see what those early mornings may look like. In our home, we start our routine the evening before by laying out cloths and setting out any breakfast items that we can.

2. Reassure the fears: Children may easily experience feelings such as nervousness and fear. I have found it's best to keep communication open and talk about the school experience. My children love to hear stories from my childhood so I often tell them tales of when I was in school. It helps put those nervous feelings at ease, especially when done over a warm cup of cocoa.

3. Have patience: The first few days of school are a like leaping into a cold pond on a summer's night. There is the initial shock, but after that gradually subsides you are able to enjoy your time. School is exciting and fun and new. It's also overwhelming, over stimulating and long. When your child comes home they will be excited to share their day, but they will also be tired, cranky and moody. Embrace your inner patience. Understand that this is a new adventure for them and some journeys start out slower than others.

4. Have fun: Learning is fun. We joke and laugh about our days, I always ask questions and listen to the full answers. When it comes time for homework or practicing we certainly get serious, but we also like to intertwine our education into a playful manner. We makeup games, sing songs, dance in circles or create crafts to reiterate what is being taught in school.

The school year does bring many challenges, both for the child and parent, but if you settle into your routine, keep the lines of communication open, foster patience and have fun you are bound to have a fulfilling year.

What are your thoughts and experiences on starting the school year?

1 comment:

  1. My daughter started 2nd grade this year. But my little guy is a summer baby, so we decided to wait until next year for kindergarten for him. I think, with his personality, that it's the best thing for all of us!


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