Starting School


My now 5-year-old is starting SK (senior kindergarten) on September 6th. I remember myself this time last year, fearing the day my child would start school. He wasn’t in childcare previous to that, and being used to being at home I thought it would be a hard transition for him. The truth is that it was harder for me than for him, and he adapted faster than I could ever imagine.

As a newcomer, putting my child into an educational setting that I didn’t grow up with was quite unsettling, but I have to say that the school system in Canada (from what I know now) is beyond excellent compared to other countries. Trust me, I am a teacher and a mother. I have seen at least four different educational systems and I think Canadians are lucky.

I look back, and I laugh at myself. I was so worried about having the perfect lunch container, cutters for the sandwiches, the perfect water bottle and backpack that I forgot all I needed to do is just be there for him and assure him that everything would be ok. That’s right, all of our fears, even if you try to hide them, will pass onto them somehow. I don’t know exactly how it happens, or the theory behind it, but believe me, he will be worried if you are stressed about it.

Some of the things I was nervous about were whether he would make friends; would be happy there, or would he be sad; would he even eat in a different environment than the one he was used to; would he integrate with the rest of his classmates; would he play, etc. And the answer is, yes. He or she will do that and more.

If I could have talked to myself back in that time, I would have told myself not to be so worried. Things will work out as they always do, try to have a positive attitude. Be calm, everything will be alright, and let your children know that it is an exciting, positive change.

Now, looking forward, this year my son is excited. He is eager to see some of his friends again, and although we had several playdates with them during the summer, he says he misses them every day. I don’t know if we are extremely lucky with our school, or maybe I am a really boring mum at home, but the truth is that we are very happy and our mood this year towards school is way better than it was the past year. I believe this is the big point: being positive about an upcoming, unknown event definitely changes the way you approach it.

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