I adjusted my off-the-shoulder sweatshirt covered in splatter paint. Inspired by the movie Flashdance, my sweatshirt did little to distract from the fact that I was a 5'8" tall 12-year-old standing alone outside a middle school classroom. It was the first day of school and I knew no one. My family had just relocated to the area from across the country.
During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to take a leave from the school system and spend a couple of years running a home-based preschool program with my two youngest children, and support my older daughter while she was working remotely. Throughout that time, I made many connections with alternative schooling moms, and thanks to social media, have had the opportunity to get a glimpse into so many beautiful indoor and outdoor home-based learning spaces.
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” is an old adage that, in some ways, applies to a school year.
Except in addition to a marathon, it’s also like a series of different sprints, hurdles, long jumps, biking, rugby, swimming and a multitude of other events – all happening simultaneously! A school year is about 185 days, and a lot happens during those days. How can parents help their kids get ready for what can be both an exciting and terrifying time of year, the back-to-school season?
The older kids get, the longer their school supplies can endure. An elementary school child may wear out most school supplies each year or exhaust them as part of the classes' shared supply. But a tween or teen can reuse many school supplies over and over throughout junior high and high school, and this is encouraging news for the planet. If we want kids to grow up green, we need to instill healthy shopping habits from a young age.
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