Category Archives: First Day at School

Going to School

The air seems to be saturated with electricity about the upcoming events of that first day of school.  New backpacks, filled to the brim with supplies.  The supplies that were specially picked out.  The smell of new pencils, erasers, and crayons.  Anxiously waiting at the bus stop with friends. Getting on the school bus for the first time.   Walking down the energy packed school hallway that is lined with an array of kids who are overflowing with anticipation for the day before them.  Yeah!!  It is time for school to begin!!!

Well, that is how the majority of the kids feel at the beginning of the school year.  But there are some students who are filled with anxiety about going to school, who are afraid of going to a big new place with a great deal of people that they do not know.  That was me.

I was not ready for first grade.  I was the youngest child in my class and I was not developmentally ready for school.  I was a shy and introverted child who was very frightened about going to school and meeting all of these new people who I did not know.  First and second grade were very difficult for me.  It wasn’t until I got to 3rd grade and had Miss Clement that things began to change.  School started to become exciting.  I began to love reading and social studies. Miss Clement made learning fun.  I started playing school at home, and before long, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.  I wanted to be a teacher just like Miss Clement.  A teacher who made learning fun!

I still had some difficult times at school in years to come, but my love of learning persisted and I had a drivenness to be a teacher one day– a teacher who made learning fun– a teacher, just like Miss Clement.

Later on in  life when I had my own sons I wanted to make sure that they were developmentally ready for school.  I was adamant that they not go through the experience that I did at school,  being the youngest child in the class, and not being developmentally ready to learn.  When they were born, I read all of the Ilg and Ames books on children’s development, tracking the boy’s development to see if they were on track with other kids their age.  Ilg and Ames had books published about the developmental growth of pre-school children.  They wrote a book for each specific age group.  Those books were an invaluable resource to me.

As a mother and a teacher, who had taught kindergarten and first grade, I believed that the boys weren’t quite ready for kindergarten.  So, to make sure that I was making the correct diagnosis I took them to be tested.  The testing showed that I was correct.  They were intellectually ready, but not ready in the other areas of their development.  So, I made the decision to have them wait for another year before starting kindergarten.

That was the best decision that I had ever made.  They began kindergarten as one of the oldest students in the class, and they were totally ready to learn and be successful in their learning.  They were also, throughout their learning careers more mature and able to make better decisions than their peers, which I found of paramount importance.

Many times boys are not ready for school at the same time that girls are.  Girls mature earlier than boys do.  Each child is different.  Reading the books on child development were very insightful for me.  Maybe they would be helpful to you, as well, if you are questioning about whether your child is ready for school or not.

God has a path for a hope and a future for each of our children.  He tells us that in Jeremiah 29:13  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  On that path we meet many people who He sends to help us on that journey.  Maybe it is a fellow parent to discuss our parenting issues with.  Maybe it is a grandparent or a friend.  Maybe it is a doctor or a psychologist.  Maybe it is a teacher.  God has many people involved in the lives of our children to help mold them into the persons He created them to be.

Maybe you are wondering about your child; is she or he ready for school yet? Here are some additional resources that you may be interested in reading.

Preparing the Shy Child for Kindergarten

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

10 Ways to Get My Child Ready For Kindergarten

May the Lord keep you in the palm of His hand,

Debra Smith

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Getting Ready for School

Excitement is brewing in the air! The store shelves are transforming from beach wear and summer paraphernalia to getting ready for school.  There’s a sale at Target for school supplies.  Got the supply list.  Rushing to Target with the kids to get all of the necessary items.   Crayons- Check .  Pencils –Check.  Markers –Check.  Erasers –Check. Glue Sticks- Check.  Dry Erase Markers –Check.  Folders –Check.  Composition Books –Check.  Pencil boxes –Check. Scissors –Check.  Sticky notes –Check.  Box of tissues- Check Hand sanitizer-Check.  Lunch boxes-Check  Backpacks –Check.  Multiply the cost, times how many kids you have, and even with the sales prices your eyes almost bulge out  of your head when you see your total at the check out!  Going to school is expensive!  Not to mention the new clothes and shoes that you need to buy because Johnny and Susie have outgrown the ones that they have been wearing.  Can you relate?

As I see my grandchildren getting ready for school, it brings back memories of getting my sons ready.  We would purchase all of the supplies, their favorite folders and backpacks, along with the lunch boxes that they had chosen.  Then we would go over the list twice to make sure that we didn’t leave anything off.   Finally,  we would label all of their supplies with their first and last names and place them in their fresh, clean backpacks.  Our next order of business was to look over their clothes and chose the specific outfit that they would wear for the first day of school.

Another part of our school preparation was trekking up to the school and walking the halls to locate where the boys classrooms might be, and where the lunchroom and special’s classes were.  We would find out what bus that they would be riding.  Now it was the waiting game to discover who their teacher was going to be.  This was a laborious wait, filled to the brim with gossip about all of the teachers.  In fact it was excruciating.   Everyone wanted Teacher A and Teacher B, but no one wanted Teacher C.  Well, you know what happened, don’t you?  One of my sons was assigned to Teacher C.  I was horrified!  The teacher no one wanted their child to have.  I knew what a good teacher was supposed to be, since I had taught for 5 years before I gave birth to my children.   What was I to do?  March up to the office and demand that he be switched to another class?  No. I didn’t feel quite right about that.   I knew that the only thing that I could do was pray.  That was the best choice.

So, I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed some more.  I believed that God was telling me to keep my son in Teacher C’s class.  That was where he belonged.  So, I did.  What ended up happening was amazing.  The teacher didn’t have as many posters on her walls as the other teachers did. This was good for my son, because he seemed to be able to pay attention better without all of the colorful distractions around the room. Teacher C and my son hit it off the first day.  They were the perfect match as student and teacher.  He loved his teacher.  It was the most wonderful year for him.

God taught me something very important through this experience.  It was the importance of prayer, and praying for our kids as they go to school.  Praying for them in class with their teachers.  Praying for their classmates and for their schools.  What the boys and I began doing each morning was having a devotion before going to school.  We would pray that as they would go into the school, that God would be with them, and with their friends, in their classrooms, and as they did their work.  I also felt that God was leading me to begin a Mom’s prayer group that met on Tuesday mornings.  We would meet and pray for our kids and the school every Tuesday.

Isn’t it interesting?  If things had gone the way I had wanted them to, with my son getting the “best” teacher, I wouldn’t have felt such an inclination to bathe my son’s school year in prayer.  Nevertheless, God worked a Romans 8:28 out for my son .  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”   I learned the power of prayer in my sons’ lives, and how important it was to pray for them.  Oh, as they grew older they would have other teachers who they would definitely not call their favorites, but God had them in that specific class for His purposes.  I had learned to pray for them in each class that they were enrolled in.  It was my job to help them see the positives in each class and to learn from the mistakes that they might make, and help them in any way that I could.

So- what about you?  Have you made all of your school preparations yet?  Have you thought about prayer preparation?  Having devotions with your kids before sending them off to school?   Here are some helps that you might enjoy.

Praying for Your Children Before They go to School
Teaching Your Child How To Pray 
Truth For Kids

May the Lord keep you in the palm of His hand!

Debra Smith

P.S. Please become a “follower” by clicking “follow” in the top left corner!