As our children first step through the school gate, with their small faces adorned with hopeful smiles and newly fallen baby teeth, we feel a wave of emotions; our precious ones are growing up. I wonder if their little hearts are as full of excitement and nervousness as ours? Will they like their new school? Will the teachers and classmates be friendly? How do we arrange transportation to and from school and where to pick up our children? What about preparing lunch, and what school activities should we be aware of? Thinking about all of this, moms start to feel nervous again. But don't worry, today we have prepared a guide for parents of first-grade newcomers, so that children can happily go to school, and moms can have peace of mind!
Meeting the new and old teachers and buying stationery before school starts
A week before the start of school, the children will meet their new teachers! In the United States, every grade changes teachers each school year, just like reshuffling cards. The advantage is that children will quickly adapt to new environments, but the downside is that it might be more challenging to develop deep friendships with classmates. For those little ones attending Kindergarten for the first time, there will be a parent orientation before meeting the new teacher! This allows parents to have a better understanding of the school's rules. Kindergarten classes are quite short, usually only about three to four hours a day, so moms might feel like they barely have time before they have to pick up their kids. However, the benefit is that parents can choose the morning or afternoon session, depending on what is more convenient.
Meeting the new teacher is a big deal; besides getting to know the teacher better, parents will receive a list of the teacher's required stationery. It's recommended to buy the stationery after meeting the teacher, as each teacher's list may be different. Besides the joy of shopping for stationery, parents may also want to donate some items to the teacher's classroom, showing their sincerity! Hehe. On that day, there will often be vendors selling school uniforms or school-specific clothing on campus, and it's a good opportunity to make purchases, so you won't have to wait for a long time if you have to order later.
Speaking of school uniforms, each school has its own regulations—some require students to wear them once a week, and some grades wear different colors. Some schools even allow students to wear their parents' college clothing, turning the campus into a time machine, going back to the time when their parents were students! But I still prefer the team uniform; after all, it's nostalgic, whether you like the charming school history or the handsome sports vibe! The school also has different dress-up themes for various holidays—Pajama Day, Crazy Socks Day, Superhero Day, Mickey Mouse Day, etc. The school turns into a fashion show, more lively than a fashion week.
Things to note in the first month of school
For elementary students, parents should leave home 20 to 30 minutes earlier for the school drop-off and pick-up times; otherwise, the car won't be able to enter the campus! Some parents are worried about insufficient parking spaces inside the school, so they may choose to park their cars outside the campus and walk a short distance to pick up their children at a fixed location or queue up to enter the school, allowing the children to get on and off in the designated area. The drop-off and pick-up regulations vary for each school, and this is one of the important things that parents should clarify before the start of school!
There is a saying that goes, "A hungry stomach has no ears," so kids need to have a full stomach to focus on learning! The good news is that you don't have to worry about breakfast and lunch on school days, as the school provides free meals! Moms only need to prepare snacks and water, so there's no need to struggle with cooking. This benefit is truly considerate for moms, making it even more convenient than magic! (Cheers) However, if moms are skilled in cooking and have a lot of love to give, they can still prepare a loving lunch box for their children since public elementary schools in the United States generally do not have heating facilities, and most meals are eaten outdoors. Therefore, it's best to focus on preparing finger foods that are easy to grab, like rice balls, sushi, sandwiches. You can also add fried rice or fried noodles in a thermos for a change of taste.
In the second week after school starts, there will be a "Back to School" event, and moms must not miss it. It's like the academic version of the Olympics! Teachers will talk about the expectations for the new semester, set learning goals, provide contact information and preferences, and discuss any special rules. It's a joyful time for communication between teachers and parents! In addition, at the end of the first month (some schools may have it at the end of the semester), moms will have the opportunity to talk privately with the teacher about their child's situation. Unfortunately, for the convenience of one-on-one meetings between teachers and parents, the school only runs half-days for the entire week, making it feel like moms will be even busier when their children start school. XD
Colorful campus activities
Remember when we mentioned that moms might be busier when their children start school? This is no joke; participating in diverse campus activities can fill up their schedules. First, during the first month, teachers will look for enthusiastic moms to be Room Parents or volunteers. Specifically, this involves helping teachers plan class activities, contacting parents, and organizing meetings, etc. The activities may include buying gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week, managing class fees, selling items to raise funds, and so on, requiring parents to invest their time and love.
Additionally, campus activities are truly colorful and diverse! For example, there could be the "egg drop" activity. It's not as simple as you might imagine; if the egg doesn't break when thrown from a height, there are prizes to be won! Yes, you heard it right; you have the chance to win prizes! There are also off-campus field trips where children can experience like little explorers. Of course, these activities are funded by parents' donations or money raised from selling items, so the most exciting yet budget-draining activity are the fundraising events. So moms and dads, let's work together with love, patience, and resources to support our children's learning environment!
After reading about the life of elementary students, aren't you excited for the day to send your child to school? Let's look forward to an exciting campus life and the happy school days of elementary students who always bring surprises to their parents, and may they study diligently and return home safely.