6 Questions Your Kid Will Ask During the First Month of School -- and How You Should Answer Them

Family Matters on 08.18.11
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The first weeks of school can be a hotbed of new experiences and feelings for young students: new friends, different teachers, changes in their routine, and tons of other stuff that you may remember fondly but still seems totally terrifying to them. Be prepared to answer every "Why? How? When?" question with these six suggestions.

1. "Why Can't I be Homeschooled?"

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If your older elementary or middle school student drops this one on you, remind her that going to school everyday not only gives her an academic education, but also gives her the chance to exercise her social skills by interacting with many different types of kids and starting and maintaining friendships.

2. "Why Do I Have to Do My Homework?"

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Younger kids, hit with the concept of homework for the first time, may wonder why the school day has to leak into their home life. This is your chance to help new students develop a positive association with homework by explaining that it gives them a chance to practice all of the cool things they learned in school.

3. "Why Does the New Boy/Girl Sit Alone at Lunch?"


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School is an amazing social laboratory that helps young students expand their brains and increase their EQ. The new kid chomping his tater tots alone in the cafeteria presents a wonderful opportunity to practice empathy. Ask your child to put herself in the shoes of that lone luncher, to really imagine what it would feel like to sit solo in a sea of chatting, happy kids. Then ask her what she could do to make the situation better.


4. "Why Can't the School Iguana/hamster/Bunny Rabbit Come Home With Me?"

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Your child is convinced that the class pet would make a perfect companion to the family dog and is devastated to leave the creature at the end of the school day. Gently remind your animal lover that Rosie the guinea pig isn't so different from the people that care for her. We all need rest. When the kids leave school each day Rosie gets a chance to sleep and prepare for the next day's adventure. 

5. "Why Can't I Wear My Goggles/Superhero Cape/Monster Mask to School?"

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Even if your child's school doesn't require uniforms, there's a good chance she'll have to adhere to some form of dress code, likely one that frowns upon anything pulled from the Halloween costume box. While you want to encourage your child's individuality and creative expression, explain that things like goggles and capes and masks can actually interfere with learning. Yup. If you can't see the blackboard because you're wearing an Iron Man mask or sit comfortably at your desk because you're decked out in a cape and tights, it can be difficult to focus on what's being taught. And remind her that her superhero mask will be waiting for her when she gets home each day.

6. "Why Do I have to Go to School Five Days a Week?"


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If your young student pines for a shorter school week, remind him that the weekdays were designed for work and school and the weekends for rest and fun. Five days gives students enough time to explore all the subjects and activities offered at school like math, writing, science and gym!


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