I’ve been beyond excited for this school year since April. After reading The Most Important Year and the girls acceptance into our state-funded Pre-K program, I was determined to give my kids the best school experience ever.
I did everything I could think of to be ready. Their school supplies were bought in June. But the entire week before school started, I had the worst sleep. I kept thinking that I had forgotten something. That they weren’t prepared. That they were going to hate their big elementary school. That somewhere there was a mistake and they weren’t registered. It was spiraling black hole of worry.
It’s been about a month since my 5-year-old officially became a kindergartner. As much as I would like to say that I was fully prepared for this transition, I was not emotionally ready for the relationship changes between us.
For some reason, I thought this school year was going to be like the preschool ones before it. I’d get a “Love you!” and a quick hug at drop-off and then chat about his day afterwards on our way home. Yeah, I didn’t get any of that.
Instead, I had a kid who just popped out of the car in morning and stayed quiet on our walk from the bus stop in the afternoon. Like, what was happening?
Although I knew that his silence was most likely just him processing everything from his school day, it was still a hard pill to swallow. It’s the realization that my kiddo is growing up and these moments of connection with him were shifting.
It’s been a couple weeks since our kids started school. This is the first time my twins and Mary’s son are going to “big school” and a lot of stress popped up in some very weird places.
Luckily, one of my lifelines is my cousin Dani. She is a former elementary and middle school teacher with her Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She has over two decades of experience working with kids of all ages and in multi-age environments. Again, hooray for having a super-accomplished inner circle.
We gave her some questions about helping kids with their first couple days back at school, and things parents may overlook.