It's that time of year once again. Excited children are busy filling their backpacks. Teenagers are simultaneously complaining about returning to school yet looking forward to seeing their friends once again. And parents are either cheering or dreading the fact that life will be back to routines and homework nightmares. The summer is coming to an end and the new school year is about to begin.
This got me to thinking about public schools and our expectations of them. I've seen too many parents who drop their darling five year olds off on their first day of kindergarten, pick them up at high school graduation and expect them to be well educated, well behaved, and well adjusted adults.
If we, as parents, expect the schools to fulfill these roles, we will be sorely disappointed. Public schools are flawed and and have their limits. Even if your child is attending a top notch school, there's more learning needed that the school can't and shouldn't provide.
Know that the family life you provide for your child(ren) will have a much bigger impact than any school can give. Remember that there are things a public school can't teach, such as ethics, morals and Biblical truths (if that's important to your family). We, as parents, can teach our kids how to get along with others, how to show compassion, how to respect authority, how to take responsibility, and the list goes on.
We also need to let our children know how important the family unit is. Do whatever you have to do to make this a priority, as it will get harder the older your children get. Before you know it, your children will care more about what their peers think than what mom and dad say. This is normal, but if they know their family is there for them and love them unconditionally, they most likely will come through it all as well adjusted adults.
Side note: Speaking of school starting, we will be taking my baby up to school Wednesday to start his second year in college. Danielle will start as soon as she returns from Nepal. Boy, the summer sure went by fast. We'll be back to living in an empty nest and missing the life and love of our two children living here with us. Life goes on.