Well. The time is fast approaching for bambinos all across the Southern Hemisphere is go back to school. The shops are full of brand spanking new lunchboxes, school bags, stationery and enough pre-packaged snack sized marketed to the kids tiny meals to feed small armies for days.
Whether you love school holidays or really struggle through them – there’s always a certain little bit of trepidation with starting a new school year. I’m talking about for the parents as much as the kiddos. (And hey – I realize some of you homeschool, I’ve just done that for the last five months too, homeschoolers your steady presence and understanding is needed for your fellow parents experiencing the back to school blues.) (I’m all about personal choice here – this isn’t a pro ‘school’ school post at all).
So the internet is full of helpful advice to do with all things school – lunchbox ideas (the constant pressure to fill up those boxes with food that the kids will actually like – and for that food to be HEALTHY!), come on! There’s also tons of useful hints around like label everything, and have a pre-arranged pick up spot (for older kids) etc.
But how about for those nerves of yours? Those feelings of newness you’re experiencing? Have you even been stalking your teachers online yet? How are your private investigating skills coming along? (if I were a teacher I’d have all my privacy settings on Facebook set for sure!)
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here – but I’ll admit to some nerves for our back to school adventures. My boys have been out of ‘school’ school for seven months. We’re entering a totally new curriculum to us – we’re not sure how their schooling in the past will match up with the new curriculum. The boys don’t yet know any kids their year levels. This is their first time in uniforms.
And I know a lot of my friends have children entering new schools too – intermediate/ middle school for the first time is a big deal.
There’s so much I don’t know about the whole back to school prep thing – but there are a few things I hope may help you as they are helping me…..
* Yes I reckon do talk with your child about what to expect and the things you do know about the school – but don’t go on and on……I believe there is such a thing as over-preparing and then there’s the danger of what if things don’t go exactly as you have outlined for the kid? What if the teacher changes things? Also, the more you go on and on about things then the more the kid is going to pick up on your own nerves. Let’s all just chillax a bit, yeah?
* You have to be a friend, to make a friend. As a parent the more you smile at other parents and ask them about their children, the more they will respond positively to you and maybe show you some reciprocation. The same works for our kids too.
* You and your child’s teacher are part of the same team. You’re allies. The more we see our teachers as that, the better. The same works with any special needs teachers, teacher aide, any kind of extra assistance. Allies. Teamwork. They all have the best interests of your child at heart.
And lastly – this is the one that I keep coming back to – whenever I think about the what ifs with making this transition – from American state school – to homeschooling and travelling and then settling – to private Christian College – this is their chance to soar. One of the goals of parenting is to grow children into lovely, independent, mature, impactful young adults. That ain’t gonna happen with Mama right by their side, every step of the way. Yes my children might make mistakes and will disappoint, and my husband and I will be there waiting in the wings to encourage and get them back on track, but they are going to have to learn to soar by themselves – and this will happen faster and easier when I stop fretting and hovering and just let them be.
There’s no need for the back to school blues – this is the time for our kids to soar and shine!
Teacher friends and more experienced parent friends – what would you add to this?? Please leave a comment!