With the holidays over, I’d like to help you set the stage for success for your kids in school. As a mom of 5 kids, every January, at least one of my kids struggles in school. One year, my middle son had a red light almost every day in Kindergarten. Another year, my second son refused to walk in the door for Kindergarten; sometimes I picked him up and carried him with 2 little ones in tow.
This year, my youngest son, who already is struggling with the idea of going to school, is struggling with getting back into his school routine. Every time he goes, I have to find some way to get him to make that journey of a thousand steps between the tree and the front door.
As a parent, one of my jobs is overseeing my children’s education, even participating in it as a teacher if needed. Essential to the success of my job is developing a relationship with my children’s teachers. The foundation of that parent teacher relationship is getting to know the teacher at every opportunity I have to chat with them. I also need to help the teacher get to know my child. I start the relationship by writing a letter to my children’s teachers each August.
Be open minded — your child’s teacher may see a very different child than you see at home; that’s normal and expected. Use this opportunity to discuss what the teacher sees and how you child responds to school at home.
If you remember nothing else from this post when you walk into your first parent/teacher conference, remember Julie’s advice – Be Open.
Teachers want our children to succeed. We can help that success by reaching out in 5 different ways. Tailor these to fit your own circumstances.
Every child is different and unique. While most kids can fit into a full-day preschool program, others need a shorter program with lots of time to play and be wiggly worms. Some kids go willing away from their moms, and others need to slow let out the string between themselves and their mom. Some kids dive right in; others need to know what to expect.
This year I have five kids in school all the way from preschool to first grade, second grade, and fourth grade up to high school. While all of them have homework journals of some sort, either a typed page from the teacher or a journal written by my kids, not everything shows up on the homework sheets that come home from school. Four of my kids need to read daily and record their books. Some need to practice math facts daily. Others need to study spelling words or word cards.
Homework time at my home can be loud and chaotic. Very loud and chaotic. Spread all over the first floor. Did I mention loud and chaotic. I am reminded of my homeschooling days and why I stopped homeschooling. I really struggled with homeschooling my oldest while having babies and taking care of the little ones.
Every August I set up my tickler files, update the family and Google calendars, and get ready for the onslaught of papers. From the archives, I’m sharing my current system for staying on top of the school stuff. I trained my children over the first week the habits I mention in the post. This gave me time to attend to other matters when we walked in the door together after school.
How do you handle kids struggling with school after the holiday break?