Over the past few weeks, I have spent countless hours preparing for the upcoming year. I created a home school planner to keep me organized, research and purchased our curriculum, battled the stores to find school supplies, created a file folder system, and even managed to be a Beta Tester for this amazing course called, Organize Your Life with Trello (which truly changed the way I look at organization). Raise your hand if you can relate. It doesn’t matter if your child is in traditional school or home school, it is easy to forget the importance of Back to School Conversations.
What is the point of designating time for Back to School Conversations?
Back to School Conversations are an excellent way to get a handle on the direction and goals for the upcoming school year. It sets up a dialogue between parents and children and creates an avenue for families to create tangible plans and task before the school year even begins. These conversations aren’t just for older kids, even your preschooler has thoughts about their school experience.
You may be saying to yourself, “…but we homeschool. I know my child’s plans because I created them.” The fact is, Back to School Conversations gives your child voice in the planning. It gives them the floor to express their likes and dislikes and lets you witness them maturing before your eyes.
If your child is in a traditional school setting (like my older children) or if you are homeschooling your child (like the rest of my squad), taking time to have an intentional conversation about school should be at the top of your to-do list before the year officially begins.
So, how do you get started? Check out these Tips for a great conversation.
Before you embark on connecting with your child, parents should take time to pray for guidance. Raising children is something that I don’t take lightly. I see it as a huge God-given privilege and feel the only way to be successful is to seek Him for wisdom and guidance. I want our conversation to run smoothly and have God at the center is the key. The best way for me to accomplish that, is seeking Him first.
Make an Announcement
I am notorious for having impromptu, super deep conversations with my children after dinner, while driving home, shopping in the grocery store, or just hanging out in the living room. Some of our fondest memories are from these moments.
Over the years, I found Back to School Conversations worked best, when I informed my kids of the meeting and told them the purpose upfront. Making an Announcement gives kids a chance to also prepare for the meeting and think of any questions or concerns they want to bring to the table.
Make it Special
Back to School Conversations are a great time for a heart to heart with each child. This intentional conversation is one that should be well thought out and made special. In fact, it can be turned into a yearly event the kids look forward to. Select a place that will lend to minimum interruptions. Depending on your family dynamics, a one-on-one over ice cream in the yard might be perfect. Perhaps, dinner at your child’s favorite restaurant or a picnic in the park will work best. Whatever the location, the most important thing to remember is having a candid and open conversation with your child.
Open the Lines of Conversation
When you ask your child for their opinions or feelings, are you genuinely seeking their input? Back to School Conversations are meant to be a time where your child has your undivided attention and your unbiased listening ears. Although the conversation is designed for you to get them excited and ready for a new year, it is also a time where you can really connect with your child and develop a stronger relationship. Our family likes to begin by seeking God and asking Him to guide the conversation and end by asking Him to cover us throughout the year.
Back to School Conversations gives children a designated time to spend with you before the hustle and bustle of school begins. It allows you to praise their strong points and assess their weaknesses. Don’t be surprised when your kids open-up and tell you what is really on their heart. They have been waiting for this moment!
Listen So Your Kids Will Talk is designed to give families a tool to implement upfront and honest dialogue about the upcoming school year. Filled with journal pages, 15 suggested open-ended questions, 25 questions to ask your child at the end of each school day, and a few Bonus Lunch Notes, Listen So Your Kids Will Talk is a perfect book to get you ready for Back to School!
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