Life + Style

August 20, 2016

Advice for a new school year

Like any first-time Kindergarten Mom I've spent a lot of time recently googling advice for kids on the eve of starting school.  From what to say and what to pack to creative lunch and organization ideas. I've pinned back to school party ideas and night before traditions and first day picture ideas.  I've got a new giant wall calendar in our laundry room made of washi tape and a dry erase board.  I've got my girl's newly monogrammed back pack and water bottle hanging nicely from a little gold hook above her school shoes.  We're ready for this.

It reminds me of when I was pregnant and obsessed with BabyCenter.  I wanted to read every single word I could get my hands on regarding mothering.  I wanted all the advice and charts and plans and methods because I was confidant that in those techniques I would find a way to be a good Mom.  I love that naive new mom that I was.  I want to hug her and laugh at her at the same time.  Me, who at 28 literally re-read a worn copy of Happiest Baby on the Block four times in a row one night completely perplexed as to why my two week old was crying around the clock when I just knew I had read something in there that would fix it.  It makes me laugh thinking about it now.

So here I am six years later doing the very same thing.  The feeding chart may have been replaced by a lunch calendar and the organized supplies for the next day may have changed but my methods for feeling in control are still the same.  I'm filling in the unknown with all the charts and plans and methods I can get my hands on.  But unlike last time I'm a little more aware that preparing and doing are worlds apart.  I know that making lunch the night before isn't going to stop my girl from feeling nervous about where to sit in the cafeteria on the first day.  Most likely she'll be the girl who walks in confidently and claims a seat but will she notice the student who is nervous about where to sit and is having trouble finding a friend and reach out to them?  This time I'm not just teaching my girl about herself I'm also teaching her about observing and reacting to the world around her.

I'm both excited and nervous to start getting into the big stuff.  The how to be a kind and contributing member of society stuff.  We've graduated from the little things (that felt so damn big at the time) like how to hold a spoon and not pee your pants and how to write your name and walk in a straight line and wait your turn for the slide.  Shit's about to get real.

I've loved reading one post in particular for the past few years and I've included my favorite part below. You can read the whole article here.  I'd love for you to share any of your own favorite articles or pieces of advice you've got for starting a new school year.  Feel free to comment below.

We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Because brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
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  1. Love the passage you posted. Just love it. I hope your daughter has a good first day and a wonderful year of kindergarten!

  2. Love the article post you included! I'm going to read it to my girls tonight because it couldn't be truer. She looks so ready to have a great year! Best of luck to you both!

  3. Id love to see the whole article....but the link isn't working for it me? 😜


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