Friday, September 4, 2015

Counting Down To School

The pencils are sharpened, the backpacks are hung on hooks and everyone is so excited about school starting. Well, not really everyone.  We drove by the middle school and one of the older kids said "there's the jail."

I get it. I am not that excited. I wish it could be summer forever--sunshine, long days, no schedules, no real have-tos, late dinners, swimming pools, sleeping in, flip flops, road trips and bike rides. Ahhhhh!!!! The best.

I almost found myself saying "yeah, I know" when one of the kids called the school a jail. But wait, there's good stuff about going to school and I know it and I want them to know it too. Especially Wade. Wade is starting kindergarten in a few days and is so excited.  I don't want our bad attitudes bringing him down.

It's not school that is horrible anyway. It's busy routines and jam-packed days and winter in Michigan and staying on top of homework, that's the hard stuff.  Transitions and change can be hard for some of us too. So, I made a countdown to kindergarten for Wade. 

It's a simple craft using a thick poster board, some paper and pencils (I glued the pencils to the board for school-ish look). Each night Wade pulls of a number and we talk about what school is going to be like. It's not only getting Wade more excited, it's sort of helping all of us get excited. 

I just propped it up on our easel in the dining room. 

I find countdowns help with transitions.  Each night when we take down a number around dinner time. It's a good time for all of us to reflect and ask questions and talk about not only the things that we are excited about but also the things we are a little nervous about too.  As a family we've talked about what to expect in kindergarten  and fourth grade and middle school. Lucy talked about being nervous about having a locker for the first time. Peyton told her what teachers he really liked having in sixth grade. JT said maybe he's a "little excited" about school (um, that is HUGE!). And Wade says the same thing every time "I can't wait!"

His enthusiasm is hard not to love. Another bonus of the countdown is when Wade asks "how many days until school starts?" (and he asks that A LOT), I just say "check the countdown and tell me."  

Countdowns don't work for everyone, but they are working for us and helping some of us with our back to school anxiety.

Happy Back To School Everybody!

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