Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The First Day of School
As much as i enjoyed summer vacation, I could not WAIT for the first day of school. The smiling teachers, chattering kids, brand new textbooks... It was always an exciting day for me and it was the one day where i'd wake up before my mom just so i could pick out which of my new outfits I was gonna wear. I used to put extra vaseline on my face and arms to make sure i didn't get teased for being ashy. I almost always had a new bookbag, pencil case and fresh composition books with my name neatly scrawled on the front.
Today is my 10-year old's first day of 5th grade and i'm just as nervous and excited sitting here at my desk as if i were there myself. He had previously been in the same school for the last 6 years and I can only imagine how he must feel today...a new school, new classmates, new teachers. Nothing at all will be familiar. And he's not going to just any school...it's a college-prepatory charter school. An award-winning system that has been featured on various TV talk shows. One with lots of strict rules and easy-to-get detentions. It will be fun too, but he will have to earn that fun.
I know he was probably scared on the way this morning...worrying about what it's gonna be like...worrying about getting a detention on the first day...with good reason. His father and i have spent the last two weeks drilling him and impressing upon him the importance of getting organized, focusing on his work and paying attention in class. Those 3 things have been very difficult for him in the past...which is part of why I'm so excited that he will be in this school.
The last school he was in was horribly sub-standard. Even though he finished the year with A's and B's, he was being given work on a 2nd grade level...and he was in the 4th grade! Unfortunately, the administration's expectations for the students in that school were so low, that no one was being challenged. He did as little as possible and came away with good grades. It was easy to succeed there and it has given my son a false sense of security.
Well today begins his reality check. Middle school is when things start getting serious; the math is harder and the work is more demanding. If he doesn't get serious about school now, and develop good study habits, high school is going to be even more trying for him.
I know he's smart enough but that boy is just (admittedly) lazy. All he cares about is playing and watching TV. He hates school. Which is so foreign to me because I always LOVED LOVED LOVED school. How did i raise a child that hates school? I mean i know it's not my fault; children are individuals, but still.
Well fine. He can hate school all he wants but I won't let him get away with not doing his best. I know he's going to need alot of support and encouragement in these first few months. If i can keep his spirits up and let him know that i'm always proud of him no matter what, hopefully he will Rise to this new challenge.