On Starting School

Here in Indiana, the State Fair is starting in a few days, and in just a few days more, schools across the state will open. Don’t get me started on the injustice of it, or why I think it’s important that kids have time to run around the midway before heading back to classes closer to Labor Day.

Instead, focus, please, on the fact that in two short weeks, my kid, for the very first time, will be attending “big kid school.” With 600 other first through sixth graders, my girl will walk through the doors of her international magnet school and never look back. She’ll learn how to navigate riding the bus, the procedure for lunch and recess, and will learn to remember what she needs for gym class. She’ll meet kids from different neighborhoods, different backgrounds, and different cultures. She’ll have homework for the first time, and “specials” like music and Spanish.

We went shopping for school supplies the other day, and this morning she picked out her pink backpack and her pink lunchbox. I’m scanning the district website daily to see if they’ve posted anymore information we might need to know.

I don’t remember much about first grade, except that my teacher’s name was Mrs. Sparrow (I don’t know if that’s how you spell it, but that’s how the entire first grade pronounced it), that across the three first grades there were a total of SIX of us with the same first name, and that Mrs. Sparrow owned a bunny. The bunny never came to school, but she would tell us stories about said bunny, and 32 years later, this is what I remember about the woman. Oh, and I was in an all-girl reading group and we decided to call ourselves the Dallas Cowgirls. (WTF?)

I hope beyond hope that this is a good school for her. That her elementary school years are filled with fun and wonder and learning and laughter and friends. That all the teen angst and drama hold off until she’s closer to being a teen, and has a good six years left of just being a kid.

Do you have a child starting a new school? Any memories of starting a new school yourself?


4 thoughts on “On Starting School”

  1. My middle child( my youngest daughter) is starting Kindergarten this year. I’m the mommy who cries at everything, so I’m already feeling misty. My oldest is entering 2nd grade and she’s already started saying how much she doesn’t want school to start because its so boring.

  2. MiniB is starting 1st grade this year, it’s pretty exciting.

    The first day of kindergarten is tough. Putting your kid on the big yellow bus and letting them go away to spend the whole day with other people feels sort of wrong at first. However, it’s usually easier for the kids than the parents. MiniB had actually practiced riding the bus at the end of her pre-K year, so she knew just what to do and our bus drivers keep the little kids together in the front of the bus so they don’t get traumatized by giant fifth graders, a fact for which I am grateful.

    As for school, she loves it. She is constantly proud of her accomplishments and she is slowly learning to work through the stuff that she has a hard time with. And at the end of the year, being able to say “look how much better you are at reading!” seemed to make her realize that I was on to something when I told her that if she kept practicing, she would get the hang of it.

    1. Thanks, Sara! I’m assuming that the bus drivers keep the first graders up front and not in the back of the bus (oh the things I learned/saw on the back of the bus). And I’m taking solace in the fact that all the first graders will be new to the school- the kindergarten is in a separate building. And she rode a bus all summer to day camp field trips, which makes me feel a little better. I hope the school year gets off to a great start by you!

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