All Set for the New School Year

10:30 PM

The first day of the new school year still appeared to come as a surprise to my children even if they have known the date since enrollment time. Clearly, they are torn between excitement for the opening of classes and the hesitation to leave the revelry of summer. Mixed emotion is not only felt by children as parents find themselves torn by relief in having their children back to school again and anxiety with the expected pressure that come with having classes.

Family Guidelines Related to School

Every start of the school year, our family holds a "meeting" to talk about certain guidelines we all agree to observe during the school year. This talk will include matters about taking responsibility in studies, what to do during emergency situations in school, basic safety precautions, handling allowances, and choosing friends. These agreed guidelines are intended  to provide a semblance of order in the often chaotic rush made up of assignments, projects, tests, and school activities.

1. Taking Responsibility in Studies

Now that my two younger children are reasonably able to take care of themselves, they are expected to be responsible in copying assignments given by teachers, advising us parents of any school requirement that we may need to provide for them, as well as to study and make their assignments. It is our duty as parents to check their finished work and teach them should something need to be corrected. They are also expected to take good care of their things to avoid the additional burden of buying again and redoing any previous school work.

2. What to Do During Emergency Situations in School

We have advised our children to follow instructions of their teachers during emergency situations. It is also our agreement that they will wait only for us to fetch them as we will come no matter what happens. We have also asked our son to find his younger sister if this is at all possible and permitted by the teachers and to stay together so there will be no need to look for them in different places.

3. Basic Safety Precautions

We have instructed our kids not to do anything that poses any danger to them, even under extreme peer pressure. They are also never to go with any stranger even under the pretense of being instructed by us as we will never send strangers to get them. For anything that makes them uncomfortable in any way, we ask them to inform their teachers right away.

4. Handling Allowances

My children are sent to school with complete food needs for the whole day. They are expected to finish the food and not waste them. My son is given a minimal weekly allowance for emergencies and additional food needs just in case. My younger child is not yet given any money to bring to school.

5. Choosing Friends

Our advise in choosing friends is not in any way connected to choosing based on looks, social status, intelligence, and like qualities. We simply ask them to find friends that will provide good influence in their attitude and studies. Beyond that, they can form their own circle of friends as they wish.

My Say

Parents often forget that children need to be reminded once in a while how to conduct themselves suitably and safely outside the home. Going to school is a year-in-year-out activity that it is almost automatic for some parents to presume that children will know what to do. It wouldn't hurt to provide timely reminders.

That said, we trust that God will keep our children safe as they go out into the world. We pray that our children will know what to do in any eventuality. Most of all, we parents pray that we will be there to protect them when the time comes.

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