There's not a lot out there about transitioning a kid into public school from homeschool at this age. There's a fair amount for the high school set, and lots for Kindergartners headed out into the world. So here's some
- This is scary for them. It's new. So Daddy and I are making the decisions. We won't slog them through our decision-making about schools and childcare and all that jazz. They just don't need that burden. However, we will give them space to voice concerns as these decisions come up.
- We allow space for the anxiety, but we spend more time on the excitement. Let's focus on the adventure of this new thing and all the fun we'll have! Grace-Girl is drawing pictures of the things that make her anxious about this transition (missing mommy, not having friends at school, a new routine and structure) and I'm helping her put words to those worries. We're also developing a plans to ease those burdens. Here are some:
- Preparation- I've assured Grace-Girl that we'll meet her teacher and see her classroom before school starts. Promise. We will also ask to see what the schedule will look like each day and how transitions in the classroom will look. Baby Rain will get the same treatment which will help her, too. Grace-girl is also writing and drawing her anxieties so we can talk about them and get them out in the open. School supply shopping will help build some anticipation and excitement and also give the girls some ownership over the experience.
- Parental Involvement- Mom and Dad will be involved at both girls' schools (even preschool). Fundraisers, events, parent teacher nights- we will be there. It's important to us to support our neighborhood schools and to care about what our kids are learning. Just because we work doesn't mean we don't want to be involved with our kids.
- Something to Look Forward To- For easing the separation, we'll focus on planning mommy-daughter dates and daddy-daughter dates once a month during the fall with each of the girls. This will be hard for all of us to uphold, but I want them to have something to count the days towards and a reminder that we like to be with them!
- School Tools- They will each be allowed to carry a "silent buddy" to school. A small stuffed animal that lives in their bag and doesn't get to come out. He's just a reminder of home. Also- I'm making special bracelets for the girls to wear to remind them that Mommy and Daddy love them and that Jesus is always with them. I haven't worked all that out, yet, but it's rolling around up there in my head.
This is all for now- I'll post up soon as we continue our adventure to the next great thing our family gets to do together!