My kids love going to school. They think it’s fun and exciting. They love their teachers. And they’ve made some great friends. But there are things that have either changed since I was little or I’d forgotten (or maybe I was just completely oblivious back then) and there were a few things that caught me off guard about having school-aged children. I’m also sharing a few things I’ve learned along the way about sharing life with these little people. (I love this age so much!)
- You will be asked to provide at least one ream of paper at the beginning of the year. And then you will get 50 million pieces of unnecessary papers each week to tell you what is going on at the school. There will be, however, so many of these papers that you skim them and miss the most important things. Like the fact that your kid was supposed to wear pajamas to school on Thursday. Oops.
- Even your kindergartener will have homework. Regardless of how you feel about homework, your child will be required to do it. (After reading this mom’s letter, I contemplated sending one of my own.)
- Go ahead and decide where you stand on fund raisers. We have chosen not to do them. Our kids know this and while they still want to win a $0.59 plush ball for collecting $50 worth of product, they don’t even ask about it any more. I will find out how much the school would get per dollar and will donate an amount based on that. So if the school gets 40% of a $100 sale, I will donate $40 instead of buying $100 worth of stuff I don’t really want or need. It’s really a win-win in my opinion. We don’t need more stuff. (Want to donate to a project? This one at our school (via DonorsChoose.org) has less than a month to reach the funding goal. We would love your help.)
- Kids loooove choices. So I give them choices. But I am very careful about what choices I give. First I list a terrible choice and then the choice I want them to choose. 99% of the time they pick the one I wanted them to pick. They will eventually catch on, but it’s working for now. 🙂
- Fun Friday! This is something I started when I was a nanny. I think I enjoy it as much as they do! We always have something fun planned for Friday after school. It may be as simple as doing a craft or playing a game or getting an ice cream, but we make it a really!big!deal! and have fun being silly.
- My kids love mystery trips. We get in the car and start driving. Sometimes it’s just to the local park, other times it’s an overnight trip that we didn’t tell them about ahead of time. We let them ask questions about it until they figure it out or until we get there, whichever comes first.
- Being extraordinary. I’m not sure how this word came into our vocabulary, but we like to celebrate when they do something extraordinary. Being extra helpful or extra kind or extra awesome can get you and extraordinary surprise. They usually choose getting a slushie at school. (We don’t do slushies on a regular basis, so this is a big treat for them.)
What is your favorite thing about your school-aged child?