So we made it through “Our First Day of School” and can now say that we have successfully made it through Week #1. I don’t know that I will write everything that we learn from every week, because let’s face it, there may not be new tips learned every week. But at least for this first week I can say “Boy were there a few lessons to be learned!”. I can say truthfully that this first week has been a great week, but also a very trying week. So here are just a few things I have learned from week #1 that I hope will be a help to you. (BTW these are tips that are good for any type of schooling, not just Public School)
1. Get your body adjusted before week #1
So I learned the hard way on this one. I am a night owl. I do much of my graphic design work late in the evening and many times am up well past midnight. This doesn’t work well when your child has to be to school by 7:3oam and you need to leave the house by 7:10am. So I decided it would be a good ideal to be in bed by 11pm or earlier each night. That would work great if my body was used to going to bed at that time already, but even when laying down by 11pm I still found myself awake till at least 12am. I really should have started preparing my body a few weeks before school started, but hey now you have no excuse to not learn from this lesson.
2. Give your child time to adjust
Unless your child is highly unusual and knows exactly what to expect from school the first day they walk into a school building, than you need to be prepared that your child will probably get some negative marks in the first few days of school. On day #2 of Aric’s school he came home with a yellow face in his agenda (in his school everyone starts out with a Green happy face, if they do something wrong they get moved to yellow, then to red, and then to blue). Under this colorful face it had a note “talking without permission”. It can be a very tempting thing to immediately decide that the child needs to be punished for that negative mark, but remember it is the first time they have been in a classroom setting, they need time to learn what the rules are at their school.
3. Ask your child’s teacher what you need to work on with your child
Aric is a daydreamer. I knew that before we sent him to school. After his negative mark I thought it would be best for me to ask his teacher, “What do you need us to work on with our child?”. She told us that he has a tendency to not pay attention. He was still out on the playground when the rest of the children were lining up. Why? He didn’t pay attention. He was walking the opposite direction of his class in the halls. Why? He wasn’t paying attention. So each morning on the way to school and each afternoon on the way home, we took time to remind Aric that he needs to “Pay attention”. Your child may make some mistakes, take time to ask the teacher what needs to be worked on, so 1) You make their job easier, 2) You help your child learn, and 3) You let the child’s teacher know you care about them and you let your child know you care about them and how they behave.
4. Learn to adjust your schedule
You probably think I have covered this already, but I haven’t. Yes you need to get your body used to the time adjustment, but you will also have to learn to adjust your schedule some. The first day of school we walked our child to class, but by the end of the week, we were simply letting him out of the car and he was walking to class himself. It took us a couple of days to figure out what time we needed to leave the house so that we were getting Aric to school at 7:30, because the last thing we want to do is get him to school late (even though he doesn’t have to be there till 8am, we get him there early because he gets to have breakfast in the classroom).
We also had to figure out what time was best to get to the school to pick him up. Pick up time is 2:45, but if you wait to arrive at 2:45, you have to get in line behind a mile of parents, waiting to pick up their child from school. So you have to decide would it be better for you to get there 25 minutes early to pick up your child and wait for them to be dismissed, or get there right on time and wait for 25 minutes after they have been dismissed (We opted for the 25 minutes before they are dismissed. I bring my kindle to read during my 25 minute wait.).
I am sure there probably are a few other tips that could be given about the first week of school. What are some tips that you have for adjusting to that first week?