I have two children in elementary school and for some reason it seems like a much different scene than it was four years ago when my nine year old started kindergarten. We just dropped her off at class and that was it. Now I seem to be thinking about things more than I did before. Did we make the right choice of school? Will she do okay in a classroom setting? Will she like school? Will she remember to ask for help? Will my husband and I adjust to having two kids in school? Will I miss the kids more?
To get myself through the transition I made myself a list of 13 things I hope my kids will do or at least think about in school:
- Kindergarten: Have fun! Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to get dirty!
- First Grade: Learn to enjoy reading, and don’t be afraid to read Green Eggs and Ham 100 times if you want to.
- Second Grade: Don’t get frustrated with cursive hand writing, or math. Explore the world around you, and don’t forget to have fun.
- 3rd Grade: Have fun with class projects. Learn all about a city or place far away from where you live.
- 4th Grade: Be creative, and enjoy learning. There are so many different things to be learned this year. And I really hope you are having fun.
- 5th Grade: Learn that it is okay to do something slow, and master that something when you can.
- 6th Grade: Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and definitely don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
- 7th Grade: Love yourself, and realize that there are lots of other awkward kids out there just like you. And speaking from experience, don’t let your parents tell the principal that you don’t have enough homework.
- 8th Grade: Remember that if there was ever a true definition of the subject of Algebra it would be: Hard-As-Hell.
- 9th Grade: Enter high school with an open mind. Do what you want to do because you want to, not because someone else told you not to or told you to do so. And by now I really hope you realize how much fun you really should be having in school.
- 10th Grade: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And tell your parents you don’t need a “student driver” sticker for the back of their car, and that they don’t need to yell “cat” as you come to an intersection to get your attention while you are learning to drive.
- 11th Grade: Don’t turn away a friend in need. Don’t be afraid to ask a teacher, counselor, or even the school principal for advice.
- 12th Grade: You have made it, and college is around the corner, but study what you want in college even if it won’t pay the bills after college or your parents don’t understand it. Play the sports you always wanted to play, act the part in the play you always wanted, and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. You didn’t spend 13 years in school learning the tools to succeed if you had no plans to use them in the real world.
………And please tell me that at some point during the last 13 years in school you at least had some fun in school.