5 Ways to Prepare for the School Year
When I was a high school teacher, I loved Back to School shopping! I started teaching right around the time my children started school so it was an exciting time. The clothes, shoes, backpacks, and supplies were so adorable! I loved it all! Ten years later, I dread the hustle and bustle of Back to School shopping. The school supply lists seem endless and costly. My bank account would get a beating from all of the listed (and unlisted) requirements for new clothes / uniforms, backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, socks, underwear, hair stuff, school supplies, etc. The Meet Your Teacher Nights became a chore, as a parent and as a teacher.
In my defense, my family spent a longer time in elementary school than most. Our son’s birthday is August 28th, right before the enrollment cutoff period. After his first year in Kindergarten, we decided he was too young and held him back a year. Then we transitioned into the private school sector. Since our new school was a college preparatory school and the program accelerated, both our kids were held back yet another year. What would have been a seven year run (kindergarten – sixth grade), turned out to be a nine-year stint, not counting preschool. By the time our boy got to the seventh grade, we were done!
After several years of parent / teacher conferences and report cards (on both ends) the newness of school wore off, leaving behind a residue of “let’s hope a repeat of last school year does not happen again”. Not that we didn’t have good times, we did but too many things demanded our attention. Throughout the years, however, my experience as a teacher and parent taught me how to properly prepare my kids for their school year:
#1 – I prepare myself spiritually by going to the Word, knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13), then I pray over my kids!
#2 – I prepare myself emotionally by going through old photographs, basking in the wonders of my kids’ growth and maturity, then I give them hugs and kisses…if they let me!
#3 – I prepare myself mentally by talking through the process instead of trying to do it on my own like a supermom, then I ask for and listen to my kids’ input!
#4 – I prepare myself financially by leaving the kids home and taking advantage of all the early bird Back to School sales. Those school supply lists are generally the same every year!
#5 – I prepare myself physically with a girls’ night out with other moms (no kids allowed).
In other words, if I don’t work on myself and keep it together there is no way my kids will be prepared for the school year. First Day of school is go time, and mama gotta be on top of her game then. Ezekiel 38:7 says, “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies…and be a guard from them.”