The start of another school year is right around the corner and if it’s your first time sending one of your babies out into the world, let me tell you: it’s going to be okay!
This is our second time around. When my son started kindergarten back in 2014, his pediatrician told me that girls are ready to start school at age five and boys are ready at age seven. While I sort of understood what she meant, I understand it better now that we have a girl, and the difference is incredible.
My son was smart and knew everything he needed to know before school started. He had gone to Mother’s Day Out and preschool for the past four years, so he knew how to be in a classroom environment. Same for my daughter, but she just seems more ready. I have no doubt she will have the best year, both intellectually and emotionally. She’s our social child, so I don’t worry about her making friends. She’s more organized, so I don’t worry about everything making it home each day. She will be a helper and a leader, things that my son just wasn’t.
I wasn’t really sad about him starting school. We got up and got him ready and took the obligatory picture with the “First Day of School” sign to share on social media. We walked him into school to his classroom and said goodbye. Although I did feel a ping of sadness once we left, I didn’t break down in tears (but it’s totally fine if you do!)
What may have made it so easy was that we hit the jackpot with his teacher. She was the sweetest and kindest person ever and she had several years of teaching under her belt, so I was completely confident he would be just fine.
I was the room mom that year (and the following two as well), so I got to spend time at the school, cutting and laminating and making copies. I went on all the field trips and showed up for everything. I’m working full-time now and can’t always make it to all the things (and that’s okay, too!) I’m also starting my second year on PTO and also love the opportunities it brings to be at the school and to be involved.
He did in fact have a wonderful kindergarten year and is now getting ready to start fifth grade. Time really does fly (sometimes not the days, but definitely the years!)
This year, his younger sister will start kindergarten. She’s the baby, so this will be the second (and last) time we experience a first day of kindergarten. It is a different feeling this time around, knowing we won’t be doing this again. I’m excited for her — for the friends she will make, the things she will learn and the lives she will touch. I’m hopeful we will have that same sweet teacher my son had in kindergarten. Fingers crossed!
If you and your little one are getting ready for kindergarten this year, here are a few practical suggestions to share from my experience:
- If your school offers the 1st Day School Supplies, buy them. It may not save you much money, but it will save you lots of time. They will be shipped to the school and ready and waiting for your child on the first day.
- Invest in a backpack that lasts. I have used L.L. Bean backpacks for my son, and I buy one every two to three years. Make sure to get a large one, as the small ones won’t hold all of their stuff!
- Offer to help. Be a room mom, PTO volunteer, or find other ways you can help out at school. I have loved the time I’ve been able to spend there, getting to know the faculty and staff.
- Figure out lunch plans. Our school sends home a menu each month and we go over which day they will want to eat in the lunchroom and the others they will take a lunch from home. Most of all, just make sure they’re eating!
- Take lots of pictures. If buying the school photos don’t work for you, then make sure to take your own. You’ll want to keep these memories forever. Also, Pinterest has so many printables you can use for those first/last day of school signs.
Good luck! I’ll be thinking about all of you moms getting ready for kindergarten as school starts back and hope you and your little ones have a great first year of school!