observations and thoughts on the wonder of children as they explore their world

Finding the School Groove

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In the itty-bitty world on virtual life, three internet readers wrote to me this week about the same post.   As Leroy Jethro Gibbs says, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” Neither do I in this case.  They wrote to me about an oldie but a goodie.

We’re all in the back to school frenzy, riding the wave of a long weekend and feeling like the next weekend is a long time a-coming.  But at my school, we’re  on day six. That’s less than fifty hours of school. No wonder the new routines and schedule feel new.

It takes time to settle in to a routine.

And practice.

And patience.

And stamina.

And a sense of humor.

And good fuel in the form of food and water.

And ice cream.

And rest.

And exercise.

And rest.

I don’t see it as coincidence that three readers stumbled upon my post Stretching into the First Six Weeks of School   (originally published on a sixth day of school – coincidence again?) We’re all feeling it right about now and we’ll continue feeling it for a few more weeks. Routines will settle, connections will be forged and a community of learners will take shape.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor six.  Believe me, it takes about 30 school days to really find that groove in your own little Rome.

That groovy path to a classroom community takes a lot of energy and compassion, even from those who are not directly marching on that road. It’s not smooth nor can any of us clear all the rough patches for each other, especially our little folks.  Hopefully, school is fun and engaging, but it should also be challenging.  It’s in the difficult  places that we grow.  Our kids will grow if and when we allow them the space to feel a bit uncomfortable.  Then they’ll develop the skills to work themselves out of the bumps so they sail through the smooth patches and have skills for the next bump.  Besides, who wants to be a snowplow parent anyway?

Help your child face the minor bumps of the first days with a sense of purpose and determination.  Remind them it takes time and that it gets easier. Be the coach and cheerleader.  Help them find home routines for school work and relaxation.  Point out what is working and where you see growth. And make time to just have some fun. Oh, and be sure to follow an age-appropriate bedtime routine so their brains can consolidate learning and be prepared for more learning and growth.

Next thing you know, it’ll be Halloween and the start of school will seem like ages ago. We’ll get our groove, you’ll see.  Enjoy the ride – bumps and joys all the same!

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