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Kindergarten :: What I Learned in my Child’s First Year of School

kindergarten

{2016} Kindergarten was finally here! I had high expectations for my daughter’s first year of school. We had spent the entire previous year doing homeschool-preschool getting her prepared. She was ready and so was I. I thought about how I would become close friends with her teacher, and volunteer in her classroom a couple times a week and I couldn’t wait for all the fun we would have on her field trips! This was going to be such a fun new adventure for our family.

Things didn’t go quite as I had expected so…

Here’s a few things I learned this last school year and some tips for you to get the most out of your child’s first year of school.

It didn’t take too long into the year for me to realize that I had forgotten probably the most important thing I needed to teach my daughter before going school. It wasn’t reading, writing or coloring in the lines; don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad she did have a little bit of a head start on those, but what I wish I had spent more time on was teaching her what it really meant to be a good friend.

Kindergarten for many kids is the first time they are spending every day with a group of peers and trying to “fit in” already. I was surprised when my daughter started being a bit rude to some girls because a friend had said only they could be friends. It turned into a learning opportunity that I’m glad I go to have with my little girl about how fitting in with everybody isn’t important but being kind and a friend to whoever needs one IS important.

Before the school year began I couldn’t wait to meet her teacher! The person who would give her a start into the next 16 plus years of her school life. I thought we would chat every day and she would send me weekly updates on all the progress my girl was making, we would share a special bond.

I was disappointed at first that our convo’s weren’t blossoming into the friendship I had expected. It turns out she probably already has a best friend, and if not, it’s probably because she’s too busy trying to teach almost thirty kindergartners! I quickly realized that teachers are really busy. I happily accepted that my daughter loved her and that as long as she was happy and thriving I didn’t need to be her teachers new bff.

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The next thing I need to warn you about is to start preparing now for the crazy amount of school work your child will come home with! It didn’t take long for crafts, projects and writing sheets to fill her closet, my closet and anywhere else we could store it. Since kindergarten work comes home in all shapes and sizes, we found a cute tote that slides easily under her bed to store it all since she clearly believes every single is piece is a work of art that needs to be kept forever.

When I envisioned my baby away at school I often saw myself there as well- helping the teacher and just being involved. Unfortunately, it was a lot harder than I thought to get there on a regular basis while having two little ones still at home all day who couldn’t come, and a husband gone most of the week. I felt like I was failing my oldest by not being in the classroom as much as I had hoped, but have now accepted that it’s just harder than I thought it would be in this season of motherhood to be there.

Next year I plan to set more realistic expectations of myself and not beat myself up over volunteering more. I’ll make sure to be there when I can and accept that it’s ok when I can’t.

Field trips! I was so ecstatic when the first one came up and I scrambled to make sure my husband could be home to watch the little’s so I could go. It turns out field trips are a big deal for a lot of parents though, and my excitement was crushed when I found out names were drawn from a hat and mine wasn’t picked to chaperone.

We had to come up with a game plan for this kind of scenario as a family and decided that if either myself or my husband couldn’t go, unfortunately we weren’t comfortable with her going, especially at this age. We enjoyed a fun family day out instead that day but I suggest having a plan for these types of scenarios before they come up.

My last piece of advice for when you send your first child off to school is remember to pray. Pray for your child, pray for their teacher and friends, pray for their school and pray for yourself. Letting your baby go off into the first part of being independent is hard on a mama’s heart so remember to pray for yourself and give yourself time to adjust. More than likely their first year of school will yield a lot of changes in your little one so pray that they are good and happy and fruitful changes!

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~Ashly

“Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path” Proverbs 3:5-6

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One Response to Kindergarten :: What I Learned in my Child’s First Year of School

  1. Diana August 29, 2017 at 8:23 am #

    Awesome advice! P.R.A.Y.! 🙂
    Every year is different & so is every childs experience. Great article Ashly.

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