Are You Ready To Say Goodbye?

 In some districts, the school bells are already ringing.  Stores are crowded with parents and children, shopping for the perfect backpack and outfit for the first day of class.  Teachers are busy setting up classrooms and studying the curriculum for the new school year.

In my next few posts, I’ll been sharing thoughts about how to transition a child from home to school and how to have the healthiest school year ever.

But children are not the only ones who may be anxious about the first day of school.  Many parents have concerns about their children attending school and the concerns can mushroom as the children get older.  Perhaps that is why homeschooling has become a popular option in recent years.  According to an article in USA Today (1/2009) based on a government survey, homeschooling increased 74% from 1999 to 2007.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-01-04-homeschooling_N.htm

What are some of the top fears and concerns parents may have about sending their children off to their first day of school?

  1. The child may be bullied or hurt by other children.
  2. The child may be made fun of because of his name, appearance, or style of speech or clothing.
  3. The teacher may not be structured enough or may be too structured or may not understand the child or may not be attentive enough to the child.
  4. There may be unsafe conditions at the school.
  5. The child may be in an accident traveling to or from school whether he walks, takes the bus or is driven by the parent or another adult.
  6. The child may hear things or be taught things that are not acceptable in the home.
  7. The child may be afraid or too shy to speak up for herself (to ask to use the bathroom or if she needs something).
  8. The child may not “fit” in.
  9. The child may reveal family secrets or personal information.
  10.  The parent may miss the child.

In my next post, I’ll give some simple steps parents can take to address many of these concerns which may alleviate some of the parental anxiety associated with sending kids off to school.

THE SHOW ME HOW SCHOOL INITIATIVE IS LOOKING FOR NOMINATIONS

 If you know of a school or classroom that would benefit from having an award-winning resource of picture book recommendations and correlated activities that build self-esteem and develop stronger literacy skills, please leave a comment on any post in August or September. 

 

At the end of September, we will be donating a dozen copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to schools and classrooms across the country.

If you don’t want your favorite teacher to have to wait or you’d like to have a copy of your own (great for homeschooling families or parents who want quick and easy fun-filled educational activities), you can order a copy at a saving of over 50% off the cover price, right here: Amazon or My Website

It’s not too early to be thinking of great Christmas gifts for teachers, moms, expectant parents, daycare providers, babysitters, grandparents, nannies…virtually anyone who is involved in the care and education of young children.  Where can you get an eco-friendly gift that keeps on entertaining…no batteries required, powered by a child’s imagination?  Only $19.95…personally inscribed (just let us know what you would like it to say) and signed by the author.  Order now and avoid the last-minute Christmas rush!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2018), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, cooking, playing Monopoly with my 8-year old grandson and fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on August 9, 2012, in parenting, school anxieties, Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem Through Reading, Show Me How! School Initiative and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. So true, Vivian. I’ve been sending my kids off to school for years now, and I still feel anxious those first few days. Will they have a good year? Will they thrive academically and socially? Will they accomplish what they want to accomplish? Will the other kids be nice and a good influence? Even though, for the most part, things have worked out well every year, I still always wonder! I love having my kids home, and it’s always hard to make the shift to having them gone all day again – or in the case of the college-aged ones, gone until Thanksgiving!

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    • Oh, I felt the same way, Susanna! That’s what many would-be parents don’t “get” about having children…once they arrive, it is a 24/7 “job”…for the rest of your life. Of course, when they are grown, you may not have to “do” for them…but their well-being and happiness are always a concern of the heart.

      Although with three, it was nice to have a little more one-on-one time with the ones that were still at home, I did miss the away college one. Our kids are exactly 4 school-years apart…so one year I had THREE graduations…junior high, high school and college…I’ll post that pic one day…it’s a great memory. 🙂

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  2. These are very good questions. I taught in the public schools but we homeschooled our daughter with sp. needs from middle school on. Wonderful post.

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    • Thank you, Susan! I think if I had it to do over again, I would homeschool mine as well…but homeschooling wasn’t a popular option back then. 🙂 I think my post on Friday will address the things parents can do to prepare their children for preschool/school…I’ll be linking to your awesome post on Kinder Readiness. 🙂

      Like

  3. Interesting reasons why parents will homeschool their kids. I considered it last year after my son entered kindergarten and had behavior issues the teacher and the school couldn’t solve. They were using a lot of sticks but no carrots and my kid just became defiant. It was awful. It took a meeting with the teacher and the principal to get things straight and the behavior problems went away very quickly. But it was a very stressful situation for me. I learned that open two-way communication with the teacher is crucial to make things work, and I kept it going the whole year, including to request positive actions, such as giving my kid some more interesting books to read because the kiddy ones she gave him were boring. I think too many parents send their kids off to school and expect teachers to perform miracles with a class of 24 kids. Unless you’re doing your part at home, don’t expect miracles.

    As for getting ready for school, our biggest challenge will be to go to bed early enough so we’re not late in the morning. I’ve got 2 weeks to reset the clocks for that. I’m also working on sight words with both my kids. It’s a good refresher and I think it will boost my first grader to remember those words so he feels ready for school. And it will help him write his own stories and notes in his free time.

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    • Oh my, Milka…this comment is amazing…almost a post in itself on what parents can do to prepare their children for preschool/school and what steps to take during the school year to keep the lines of communication open between parent and teacher…SO VERY IMPORTANT! Thank you so much. 🙂

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      • Haha, now you just have to write that post! 😉

        You won’t believe how many parents never talk to their kids’ teachers and just get the information from their kids. It’s very easy to take your kid’s side and not get an unbiased assessment. And teachers need help sometimes, since parents know their children best and can offer advice. I know it helped with my kid.

        One thing that shocked me by the way, is realizing that some parents just don’t read with/to their kids every day. When I met my son’s teacher 2 months into the school year, she told me some kids didn’t even finish a single reading log of 20 books by then. That’s was barely more than one book a week! I find it appalling, really. So never stop preaching to parents to read to their kids. Obviously some of them haven’t got the message yet.

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  4. Excellent post, Vivian. Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with those days any longer. Wished I had this community and your book when I did.

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    • Thanks so much, Pat!  Sometimes I wonder if I am saying it too many times…read with your kids, participate with your kids, do simple, homegrown activities with your kids…but, when I read a comment like yours, I know I am on the right track and should contnue. 🙂   

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  5. I was a high school teacher for 30 years, and for our daughter’s K-12 years I was also a mother concerned for how my daughter’s days were going. As a mom and a former teacher, I know that the upper-grade “first day” at school experiences are as hard on high schoolers as it it grade schoolers…the teens just hide it better (or act it out differently). Great blog, Vivian!

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    • Marylin, I’m so happy you brought out this point…I am always directing my posts to parents/teachers of young kids…but you are so right!  Junior high and high schoolers are beset with anxieties and concerns about school, friends and myriad other issues…and parents/school counselors/teachers are often too busy to see past the facade the child have erected to hide the problems.  Wonderful comment…I thank you!   

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  6. I’ve never been in the position of sending a child off to school, but I remember my own first days of school, the mixed anticipation and fear, the concerns about not fitting in, about being bullied… I look forward to your next post, with your suggestions for dealing with these obstacles to growth and learning.

    My copy of Show Me How! arrived in the mail today (Thank you so much!) I have already been dipping into it, and it looks like a fabulous resource. Watch for a review in September!

    Like

    • Hurray! I am so happy the book arrived. 🙂 I’ll look forward to the review in September…that will be perfect timing for homeschooling families or parents with little ones at home whose older siblings are off to school.
      I am off to write that post, Beth…hope it helps a bunch of parents. 🙂

      Like

  7. Great post! Your book is awesome. I think it would mske a good present for anytime! 🙂

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  8. Going to school can be scary . . . for wee ones AND their parents. Glad you’re sharing some tips to ease the transition.

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  9. Not having children of my own I have not had to experience this anxious moment of the first day of school, although my brother’s wife often shares the experiences of school life with their kids. The only thing I remember of my first day of school was running all the way home crying. It took a few weeks before Mum could get me to go back. I was just plain scared. Guess she could have used your book, all those years ago..lol.

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    • Oh Diane, I am sorry you had to run home crying. 😦  Was your mum sympathetic?  I hope these suggestions and my tips in Sunday’s post will help parents who are facing these issues.  Thanks for the kind words about the book. 🙂   

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  10. Hi Vivian:
    Thank you for posting this. Along with Susanna’s challenge for Week 6, your post prompted me to write about bullies. So I linked this post to my blog. And I loved your Week 6 pitch.

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  11. This brings back memories… 😉

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  12. Tracy…thanks so much for the lovely comment and link-up. 🙂 I’ll be sorry to see Summer Short and Sweets end…but excited about PPBF beginning again. 🙂

    Like

  1. Pingback: Week 6 – Summer Short & Sweet Challenge – Have You Been Bullied? « Tracy Campbell

  2. Pingback: Positive Parental Participation

  3. Pingback: Week 6 – Summer Short & Sweet Challenge – Have You Been Bullied? | Tracy Campbell

  4. Pingback: Week 6 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – Have You Been Bullied? | Tracy Campbell

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