Once I have the kids going to bed earlier they know that school is just around the corner and it won’t be long until the long summer days are coming to an end. I usually start easing them back into their school year bedtime routine on a Sunday night since that would traditionally be a school night during the school year; about Wednesday I start talking to the kids about school and trying to get an idea of how they feel about going back to school. Two years ago when I started this discussion with my daughter she told me she was really nervous about school because she knew that both of the third grade teachers were boys and she’d never had a boy teacher before and she was uncomfortable with the idea. We spent some time discussing why she was uncomfortable and what she thought was going to be different and how she could become comfortable with the idea of a boy teacher. That year was also the first year that my youngest son was going to preschool alone. For the first two years that he had been in preschool his older brother had been going with him; he was sad that he was going to be alone and not have him there. He was afraid he wouldn’t know how to find the bathroom and who was going to tell the teacher when he needed something and how would he get his backpack put together without his brother. (Have you figured out his older brother is a nurturer? LOL) He had some legitimate concerns even though he was just four years old and it was important that I helped him deal with what he was worried about so he could feel comfortable when he started school.
This year Darrell will be starting junior high; this is a big transition for him. Not only is he going to a different school but everything is going to be more difficult, more will be expected of him, and he will also be playing football on a team for the first time. We’ve already started talking about these changes and how he feels about them; he’s made it perfectly clear to me that he’d prefer to start homeschooling again!
Talking to my kids about school before school starts is extremely important to them and to me as well. By taking the time to find out how they are feeling I am able help them figure out some solutions to their fears and give them some comfort so they can be better prepared for their first day.