It's hard to believe our first official year in school is over. Well, technically, it was her first year, but I put in quite a bit of effort, too! First, my partner and I agonized over which school was perfect for our angel. Then, I cried when she left me for a full day for the first time... all day. And then, of course, I volunteered to be room mom, because I wanted to still be with her... and spy on the administration!
They say everything you need to know in life you'll learn in Kindergarten, and boy, did I learn more than I bargained for the second time around. If your child is graduating from those comforting walls of your small and loving preschool, savor your last few days and then prepare for this next journey. There's the fun of buying new school clothes, and then shopping for school supplies...but please hide your wallet when you enter your new school!
10 Lessons Parents Learn in Kindergarten
1. We are ATM's. Fundraiser? Sure, I can donate! Printer ink? (Scratches head.) Um, that's kind of expensive, but I guess. Laminate the placemats the kids made? Sure. It cost $40? What -- huh? You get the picture. Once you enter the walls of public school, be prepared to be asked for money every week. Donations for snacks for special holidays, Thanksgiving feast costs, holiday gifts for teachers... the list goes on and on and on, and so does your debt.
2. Car line is hell. I'm not joking, I even wrote a blog post while in car line about the torture. No one knows how the system works the first few weeks of school, so just exhale, bring coffee and ignore the no phone zone. Because what else are you supposed to do while you wait for two hours?
3. Being a room mom is a full-time job. At least in the beginning of the year. There are birthday parties, math workbooks that need the pages torn out, paper to be sorted and all sorts of projects that never end. It is fun to get to know the kids and be active in the school, but it's no fun to constantly shell out money. If you do become room mom, do it with a friend. Co-room moms rock.
4. Some parents are jerk faces. I can't tell you how many emails I sent out that went unnoticed. Or requests for volunteers that no one had time to even respond to. I had to beat parents over the head by creating a Facebook group to get them to participate. I get it, you work. So do I. But guess what? Your kids are worth it. Make a little time and at least have the decency to respond to the parents that are there every week trying to make things awesome for your kid! (Rant over.)
5. Covering a door in paper is a mission impossible. Did you know teachers need their doors decorated monthly? I sure didn't, and was lucky to have an artistic parent to take over this room mom task until this last month. I sucked so terribly at it that my patient husband had to come in and help me. (Total cost of door make over: $47.)
6. Pack lunches. I've volunteered in the lunch room. Trust me, pack lunches.
7. Teachers are saints. My daughter's teacher is amazing and she has totally inspired my 6-year-old. She is patient, loving and deserves our utmost respect for the endless hours she puts in. I am thankful that someone so caring has spent so much time with our daughter.
8. Homework sucks. Or so I hear. We go to a no-homework school. (Yay for us!)
9. Mornings really suck. Because we go to a no-homework school, the children have a longer day and the last hour of the school day is review. So, we get up at 6:00 a.m. and leave at 6:50 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. start. We have to arrive prior to 7:15 a.m. to avoid heavy carline, and it's a longer day, but hello? No homework from Kindergarten through eighth grade! Some of my friends children had book reports every weekend in Kindergarten.
10. School is fun! It really has been a fun year. To be involved and see your child thriving and learning... it really is incredible. Yes, there are mean girls, and she learned to flick me off, but that's all part of life, right?