That was the question we asked our kids this morning before heading off to their first day of school. We know some of you have been in school for a while and others won’t start until next week, but fall is in the air and with it comes football, rain, and another school year.
We took our four school age kids to Starbucks as a way to kick off the new year. Then one at a time we asked the question, “What are you most excited about this school year?” But that’s a great question for each of us to ask. Certainly for the kids in school it’s an important question along with our follow-up question, “What are you most nervous about?” But for parents too, we should consider what we are most excited about.
Too often in the buzyness of parenting, another year comes and suddenly we are in the rat race of all the activities without stopping to contemplate what we are excited about, what we’re nervous about, what we want to accomplish this year, what we want to improve on this year… rather we just get swept up into the season and hold on for dear life. Sometimes, that’s all we can do and certainly we don’t fault anyone for doing their best to keep their head above water.
But this morning, as we start a new school year, we want you to give a little more intentional thought to this coming year. As you think back to last year, were there some things you swore last May and June that you were going to do differently this year? Are there some particular challenges that you seem to face each school year with one of your children? Do you have a specific teacher or coach that just thinking about seeing them brings anxiety? Or maybe you’re just worried that you should be doing more or at the very least differently to help your kids maximize their school experience.
Whether your kids are home schooled, private schooled, or in public school, as parents we all have goals and aspirations for our children. All of our kids have gone through public school. No, we don’t think everyone is supposed to put their kids in public school, but after much prayer and counsel, and personal consideration, we chose many years ago to jump into the stream of public school. To be clear, our philosophy isn’t to send our kids to public school, but rather to go as a family into the public school sytem and take the journey together.
Regardless of how you are choosing to educate your kids, I hope today we can all stop and pray for each other and all of our kids! If you consider yourself a Christ follower as we do, then your family and your children are shining the light of Jesus wherever you go and whatever you do. So if you home school, my prayer is that your kids will grow up to be strong world changing adults. If you are in private school, I pray your children will be examples for the other kids to draw strength from. We promise to pray collectively for you, the parents, this coming school year.
But our experience is in the public school. This year we hope to share some of what we’ve learned with all of you that find yourselves in the same situation. We know that 89% of American kids are in public school. We want to help encourage and strengthen those parents and their experience in the educational system. A few years ago we wrote a book called, Going Public – Your Child Can Thrive in Public School. In a couple of weeks we are going to offer the book along with a series of videos to help your child do exactly that.
We’ll talk about things like:
- Getting the most out of a parent/teacher conference
- Having a hard conversation with a teacher/coach
- What to do when your child is really struggling academically
- The questions to ask your kids when they come home
- What your child needs most to succeed in school
- Practical ways to partner with your child’s school
- How do we mix our faith with our public school experience
We are excited to do this! We’ve wanted to offer this for a while but haven’t known how. Finally we have the knowledge (I think) to put this whole package together for you, so if you have kids in school (public or private) then be on the lookout.
We’d love to see pictures and hear stories about your first day of school. We’ll post them on Axis Ministries Facebook page if you let us! Pray for us and we’ll pray for you. Happy school start!