This is the last weekend before the school year starts. As a parent I am not looking forward to early mornings rush and evening homework routine. And there will be always something going on that should not be missed. Still I want to think how to make it more enjoyable (sort of) and more rewarding.
Apart from buying the supplies, new backpacks and clothes there are few even more important things to do in the last days of summer… which is think about the year ahead.
Ask yourself, talk as a couple, engage the child to answer the following questions. Doing it ahead of the school year helps to make daily choices easier.
- What challenges is your family is facing this year (international move, move of the house… new jobs of parents…) if NONE –congratulations! It is a stable ground to start.
- What is the challenge your child will likely to face this year (new school, new class, more rigorous level of study, exams, building relationships with girls/boys). Think how you can help. Last year, Sasha’s class was reformed and she joined a class where for 7 girls there were 15 boys and 5 out of 7 girls have been together and became friends before. She had to join established group of girls and it was not easy. I wish I took it more seriously and helped her to start building relationships earlier in the year. I figured out there is a challenge later on and it was not an easy year to fit in and build relationships for her which turned school experience from enjoyable into “I do not want to go to school at all, there is no one to play with”.
- What are your expectations of child’s progress and how you will reward it… Our starting point at math was very moderate, but we wanted to improve. We paid attention to math a lot, played math games, rewarded generously little wins and after a while, She was so excited to demonstrate progress in math and she did grow a lot in math last year.
- What is the role you are ready to play… Do you have capacity to volunteer for school activities or even become a school mom? I always want to do more, but I have to hold myself from volunteering as I will never be able to make it with full time job and frequent travel…
- How will you encourage going to school and enjoying it (recall 5 love languages – what does the child need to restore the energy? Hugging, verbal recognition, gifts, help…) How will you talk about school and teachers at home– also important. Think of few things you want to try this year to build a positive feeling of going ot school.
My few promises to myself for this school year
- I will not miss parents/teachers meetings (I never did) and school shows
- I will be bringing them to school at least once a week to get a feel of the place (last year I did not as Sasha was taking school bus).
- I will be picking them up from school at least once a month (to observe relationships with other children).
- We will have playdates and we will invite for playdates
- I want to be responsible for homework with them on most days.
Talk it with your partner. And then ask your child if the has any special wishes or where she would like to see more of you in her school life….
Give it a thought and have a great start of new school year