Today was the day. My oldest started back to school today and in 4 more days his younger brother will start Kindergarten. Yes, I am feeling it, probably much like you, but this morning was a really good morning for a couple reasons that center around things that I’ve learned from others. Today was a good start because it was an important moment and as parents we want to take advantage of these moments. Here are a few steps I would encourage you to consider as your kids prepare for school.
- Make a special trip to get doughnuts and pray! Every good first day of school needs to start with doughnuts right! Prayer is pretty good too 🙂 No seriously, take the time to pray with and for your kids. Pray for wise decisions. Pray for wise friends. Pray that your kids might be able to point others to Christ. Pray for their teachers and school and pray that they will become life-long learners.
- Remind your kids that learning and working hard are important but their identity is not in a grade book. I can’t say this enough…to myself! I constantly struggle with seeing myself through my accomplishments or lack thereof. Our children need to know that identity comes from God, not accomplishment.
- Choose a particular verse that you are going to remind each other of throughout the year. Today we chose to remember John 15:9 over this year – “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you”. Those are the words of Jesus to His followers – and I want my child to know that just as God the Father loves His own son, Jesus loves him! What do you want your children to hang on to this year? What anchors do they need?
- Celebrate their growing independence – this one is hard for me. This morning I woke up to my 2nd grader making breakfast for himself and me. That is absolutely amazing, except that before I was awake, he was awake using the toaster oven and the stove. Yeah, that freaked me out a bit, but then I realized and remembered that he and Mom had been working on it. So, I got to celebrate and say thank you. I don’t like the fact that he is getting older, but I don’t have a choice. I need to celebrate it!
These are just a few practices that I’ve found to be meaningful and helpful. They give us a starting point and a jump start for the school year. What works for you?