Saturday, September 13, 2008

Start of the school year

How is the start of the school year going for your daughter?  
Any tips for handling homework loads, organization, de-compressing from the stress of the school day?
Post suggestions, insights, questions about school here.


Sue said...

Hey Karol, Welcome to blog world! I am looking forward to class on Tuesday!
One thing I have done this year to ease the transition back to school is to create a homework station. Both girls can use this table and it has everything they need from tape, paper, markers, protractors, etc. on it.

I also find if their bedrooms are fairly organized, they go to sleep a lot better. Today we spent the day removing the clothing that they have outgrown and putting away the rest.

Karol Maybury said...

Hi Sue-- what a good idea for a homework station. And that all of the supplies are right there: these are the little touches that make a girl feel excited (really!) about homework. I remember getting new school supplies, the new erasers, notebooks.. it was one of my favorite parts of starting back to school.
Last year, during a 7:30 PM run to CVS to get posterboard for my 5th grader's project, I had the insight to pick up a half dozen boards, stored in the cellar for future projects. Kudos for planning ahead!

And the bedrooms: What a good insight about kids sleeping better. I know I sleep better with lack of clutter, too, but never made the connection about kids & clutter.

The day before school started this year, we helped my 6th grader move all of the furniture in his room, into a new configuration. He loves the new look, and it was a nice "fresh start" feeling to the start of the school year.

Samantha said...

Hi Karol,
My 11 year old started middle school this year in a new scholl with new kids. She is having a real hard time finding new friends. the girls are alot harder to get to know this year. no recess to help things along. She is alot talle than the other girls and already she has been the subject of a couple of rumors. She is getting sadder by the day. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Karol Maybury said...


Oh…. What a tough way to start the school year.

Kids can be astonishingly mean during these years.
Clique research shows that clique behaviors are strongest in grades 6-8.
And especially difficult for girls who are just starting a new school.

I have a book suggestion, that will have you feeling more in-control, and better able to coach your daughter, after a few pages:

The book, Queen Bees and Wannabees, by Rosalind Wiseman, is the must-read, IMHO, for parents of preteen girls.

The first section (especially pages 24-40) will help you understand what your daughter is facing, and what you can do to help. Just reading this, and mentioning some of the roles girls play in cliques, to your daughter, will help her feel a sense that “Someone understands what I’m going through.”.

Plus, in the meantime, I want to make a couple of suggestions:

1) is there another group (girl scouts, sports, music, neighborhood friends, friends from her former school) that you could set up a connection with this week? (playdate, movie night, sleepover)? It sure would be nice to have a break for your daughter as she navigates these new waters.
2) Could you plan something for her arrival home from school (making cookies, a trip to pick out new sneakers or a new top, giving her a pedicure, some HGTV and popcorn time with you).. something that would be an oasis from what she is facing at school.
3) Do you happen to know, even slightly, one of the girl’s moms in her class? Could you plan a fun outing?

I hope one of these suggestions fits the bill in your situation.

If you are local, please consider coming to our next session (Tuesday at 9 AM) We’ll be talking about cliques, mean chicks, and how to coach our daughters during these tough years, relationship wise.

Please keep me posted.

Sending good thoughts your way.

Karol Maybury

Karol Maybury said...

what a good commentary.
You present the valuable perspective of a parent who is down-the-road a bit from some of us. It sounds like your daughter is very healthy and happy!
I just finished writing something on this topic. I've learned that parents who have daughters who have had minimal pop-media exposure have some real advantages in terms of looking at media critically. Also, a recent study found that girls who had minimal tv/pop media exposure were more analytical, thoughtful, literate, when it comes to how women are represented in the media.
So... I just want to give you kudos for the way your raised your smart daughter.

Thank you for an inspiring post.

warm regards,