5. Lunch Is Expensive! When I was in school lunch was good and it was cheap, needless to say when the first of my four boys started school I was expecting the same. Wrong! School lunch in our area currently costs a whopping $2.15, now this may not sound outrageous to some, but when you have more than one child this adds up quickly. Let's quickly do the math, once all four of my children start attending school that adds up to $1,548 for an average school year of 180 days. I quickly realized that making lunches was going to be essential to our family not going bankrupt. So every morning (side note: this is much easier if you do this task the night before, I'm just a procrastinator) I pack my two oldest children lunch. Plus school lunch is not what it used to be, so I am actually doing them a huge favor too.
4. Bad Kids. As parents we try our hardest to raise good, decent, rule abiding children, somehow however some kids must slip through the cracks. This may not be a politically correct statement to call other children bad, but I am just being honest. Often times in class there's a spitter, hitter, temper tantrum thrower, etc. If you do not believe me, just sit in your child's elementary school class for a day; it gets real! There is no way to avoid these kids, they are an integral part of the school experience, just teach your children to be leaders and not followers if they see their classmates exhibiting bad behavior. If not anything, it will give them the skills to deal with the not so pleasant adults they will later deal with in the workplace. The game changes, but the players remain the same. Side note: if your child is the spitter, hitter, or temper tantrum thrower, I hope this does not offend you.
3. School Bathrooms Are Nasty. I am not sure if this will really help anyone to know this fact, but it is definitely worth mentioning. There is pee and poop and a very good amount of it does not make it into the toilet, and yes that's just nasty! However, if there is anything that can be taken away from this, it is to make sure you teach your kids good bathroom hygiene at home. Hopefully the extra effort will help them resist the urge to touch that brown smear on the wall. Germs are unavoidable but teaching your child good hygiene should cut down on the amount of nasty stuff your child brings back to your home.
2. Homework Is Actually for Parents. As your children advance in school, the amount of homework they receive increases. This is to be expected, but what no one ever told me is that your child's homework is also your homework. Not to mention the several projects that your child will be assigned. Just giving you a heads up that you will probably be up until midnight the night before making sure that it is perfect, while still trying to make it look like a second grader did it. However, the smile on their face when they are proudly carrying their project into class, more than makes up for the lack of sleep.
1. Communication Is Key. I know that this is a frequently used mantra, but it is essential when your kids start school. School is the one place that we are unable to shield, monitor, or protect our child, so encouraging your child to communicate the details of their day is important. It is important to know when your child had a great day at school, or when something made them upset, sad, or frustrated. Make sure you ask your child about their day as soon as they get home, because the details are fresh in their memory. If your kids are anything like mines, you won't have to ask, they will start rambling about their day as soon as they step foot off of the bus. Also, remember to keep an open line of communication with your child's teacher. Teachers can enlighten you to information about your child that not even you were aware of. (Side note: our kids often act completely different in school than they do at home, you will often be amazed). So teachers can be a great asset for parents, they are the eyes and ears for our child during the hours that we are not there.