August is "back to school" season in Central Florida! We finish the school year in May and begin the new school year in early August. For many families this brings a mix of emotions, some families are excited to get back to their routine and ready for to give their food bill a break. Others are not looking forward to the drop off and pick up line or arguing with kids to do homework. In some parts of the country we've seen variants on variants cause some to go back to masking and social distancing and as a nation we have seen another school shooting so some families arent sure they want to go back at all! With all these feelings I'd definitely suggest you check out last years back to school survival guide for some suggestions on how you and your kid(s) can handle back to school with ease.
At the end of the 2021-2022 school year I withdrew my 13 year old son from public middle school and we began the process of "unschooling". My 10 year old daughter is the last of my children currently in public school. My son has struggled in the public school system since he began kindergarten, that is when we learned that he was differently abled from other children and we began the long and difficult process of finding him a school, teacher, and environment that was built for his needs and supported his education.
As an autistic kid with ADHD and anxiety the public school system wasnt a safe space for my son. His abilities led to lots of negative interactions with authority figures at school and hardships with making or maintaining healthy friendships. He often refused to go to school and when he was there he often tried to escape. I am so thankful for the opportunity to now educate him outside of that system and in a way that encourages a healthier mental outlook for him. The day I told him he never had to go back to school (if he didnt want to) was the day I felt his defenses come down. I began to see a shift in his attitude and life became less chaotic at home. I said less chaotic, not that the chaos has completely gone LOL I still have a very talkative teenager at home
My 10 year old daughter is now ready to ROCK 5th grade and I have to prepare for my baby to eventually make her way to middle school or what some folks call "Junior High". She is currently remaining in public school because she is thriving! Although she too has been diagnosed with ADHD she is an extrovert who loves engaging with the world and being involved with everything and everyone! I will enjoy focusing on her journey as she completes her final year of elementary school and look forward to her future.
Each child is different, as any parent of multiples will tell you, this is why one size does not fit all when it comes to the way we raise our children. If you are a parent of a child who is heading to school this fall consider the things that the two of you can do to prepare for this transition. How do they feel about going back to school? What are they excited for? Do they have any fears or goals for the year? How can you and your child work together to make school less stressful and more enjoyable?
Lastly I encourage you to find YOUR support system. Consider your feelings about the school year and if you feel any apprehension find productive ways to move that energy out of your body. Remember that we have a vibrant community of parents that are a part of the Sun Moon & Stars family and you are not alone! There is always someone who has either been there, done that, or they are willing to listen.
Have a great school year!
Sarah Foster is a Holistic Wellness Educator and Full Spectrum Doula in Altamonte Spring, FL that provides whole person wellness education along with a full spectrum of support for all birthing outcomes. This support includes providing thoughtful emotional, spiritual, and physical support before, during, and after pregnancy and pregnancy release. If you or someone you love are interested in support let's connect! I look forward to meeting you!