The transition from summer fun to public school is never an easy one. Days of being a beach bum, last minute day trips, and impromptu play dates in the park give way to schedules, folders, and homework. Add in a new uniform dress code at our school (a public one), and you have a recipe for a major kid freak-out.
That doesn’t necessarily happen though if you have an amazing teacher and a school that understands how difficult the first few weeks can be. We are lucky enough to have a teacher and school like that.
A little more than a week before school started, Ellie and I received a phone call while we were at Barnes & Noble (remember that post?) from her new teacher. It was a lovely surprise. I was touched she was taking the time out of her summer to call all of her students and chat with the parents, and Ellie was thrilled to have the chance to talk to her teacher before school even started. All the second grade teachers also coordinated a play date at the school park a week before the start of class for all of the kids and the ‘rents. We got to see who would be in her class, and the parents got a chance to chat with each other and exchange numbers. It was a fun night.
We started with the new uniform dress code on day 1, but the school itself had given us plenty of info and choices before that first day about the new policy. Uniforms can be touchy, especially for the kids, but I will say it hasn’t been bad. In addition to the standard collared shirts, the kids at our school are also allowed to wear school t-shirts, which has been awesome. My girl, always a fashionista and particular about fabrics and styles, likes her new, comfy uniforms. If she had been required to wear twill pants, that may not have been so. Stretchy cotton is the way my kid rolls, and the school says that’s totally OK.
There was no homework on week 1, which made the transition a lot easier. The first few days of class involved outlining the rules of the classroom, but it was done in a fun way. My kid came home all smiles that first week. That’s always a good sign.
Now we have a month under our belt, and my girl walks out of school every single day with that smile intact. I’ve already gone to Open House, and I’ve chatted with her teacher a few times (she is absolutely fabulous). AND I’m now a volunteer at the school, working in the library two days a week. I get to have lunch with Ellie on one of those days, and I make sure to see her in the hall on the other. Again, she’s always smiling.
In addition, homework time is no longer a chore. Her penmanship has improved immensely this last month, and her reading has as well. I give her teacher a lot of the credit. I give myself some of that credit as well. I’m looking forward to Ellie’s academic evolution these next nine months. It’s going to be an exciting journey.
When your child is starting something new, do you plan anything to help ease the transition? What do you look forward to when your child embarks on a new learning journey?