Lessons I Should Have Taught

So, in raising my children thus far with the soul intention of homeschooling for the duration of their education, there are some things that truly never crossed my mind to teach them. Had I considered 5 years ago that I would one day be allowing my son to enter a public education system, I would have done a few things differently. Learn from my mistakes, friends, and help your younglings avoid the time out corner in their class.

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The dreaded school “time out room”. May all our children avoid it.

Here are a few lessons I would have been certain to go over with him had I known I’d be sending my son to TK:

  1. No, you really shouldn’t run outside as soon as the rain starts beating down in white sheets of water.. we only do that at home.
  2. No, actually, you really aught not jump in that 5in deep puddle in your good pants and get your friends all wet. They will likely think it’s hilarious, just as I would, but their parents, your teacher and your yard duty will have other, differing opinions.
  3. Although we have an “anytime is good for singing” rule at home and unless someone else is trying to talk or is on the phone, we don’t require volume control on creative play, singing, super loud games and talking loudly in public actually does have a “time and place” and sometimes you just can’t do it. Same rule applies to dancing, flying, spinning and incessant giggling, silly sounds, raspberries and clapping. Yes, even if you know the song being played on the video in class. Yes, even if you are singing the background music from the video we watched of that book being read on Reading Rainbow.
  4. Oh, and don’t give your friends zurberts.  I’m so sorry we taught you how to do that without a specific direction to never do it to anyone outside your immediate family.
  5. The direction; “zip your lip, lock it and put the key in your pocket” should have been a household phrase from day one.
  6. Not every sidewalk edge should be treated like a balance beam.
  7. “Forced sharing”, while abhorred at home, is apparently still practiced in school, so don’t get mad when someone tells you your turn is over before you’re ready or you’re not only a bad sharer, your’e also going to be seen as unkind. I know the real world doesn’t work like that, son… just roll with it.
  8. Sometimes you just have to listen to the story being told even if the one you made up is way cooler and comes with its own soundtrack.
  9. If someone is mean to you, tell on them. First thing. Don’t even think about it, just run in the other direction and yell “YARD DUTY!” and nail his or her little nasty butt to the principle’s office. Yeah, yeah I know I told you never be that kid, but if THAT KID keeps telling on you every time you do exactly what he just did to you one more time I’m gonna lose my mind. It’s called Karma, son. Time to learn about it.
  10. And apparently, it *is* important to color in the lines or to at the very least, attempt to color/cut/paste things in the relative zone of what the assignment actually is, so give that a try occasionally.
  11. You really aught to learn another game besides “chase”, “zombie” and “hide and seek”. In fact, don’t even do hide and seek at school. Hiding at school is bad, bad planning and will get you in trouble. And don’t play tag either, because if you touch another kid you might offend them and they’ll tell on you for touching them when they didn’t want you to, even though you were playing a game where touching is a requirement, but they got mad because you tagged them and they didn’t want to be tagged so they decided to tell on you instead. So just don’t do it. Play something that doesn’t require tagging, hiding, scaring or fighting and you *should* be okay.
  12. Oh, and I know I said when people are sad they need hugs and love, but don’t do that anymore at school. Do a “school high 5” instead and that should be a sufficient expression of your “feel better” well wishes. If that doesn’t work, oh well. Just walk away because if you try again, they’ll tell on you for being annoying.
    1. Secondary point; Don’t try to make sad kids happy by running and jumping like a court jester or playing “peek-a-boo” style silly games because it will probably freak them out and they’ll run away, cry or get mad and tell on you. Also, when they run away, don’t mistake that for an impulsive desire to play tag, they’re literally just running away from you. If you chase them, they will tell on you for chasing them.
  13. Don’t be a victim. The answer to every problem can’t be “this other kid was mean so I did this and that’s why I got in trouble”. Own up to your mistakes. Tell me what actually happened so I can help you understand what NOT to do next time. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s not okay to make your mistakes someone else’s fault.  Rise up, speak up and own up.  That is what makes you great.
  14. I’m so sorry it didn’t occur to me to teach you how much tiny humans are just as nasty, complicated and annoying as larger ones or prepare you for how unsettling it can be when they are so inconsistent, temperamental and selfish.   I also didn’t do a good enough job at preparing you to deal with those issues within yourself when I was not around to help.  Just remember not all humans are like this. You can stand above that by remembering all of those negative things are a choice, just like the good things. You CHOOSE to be a good guy. You ALLOW yourself to be a bad guy. The easy path is often not the right one. Be willing to be right, even when it’s hard.

Parents, what are some things you didn’t teach your kids but realized after you probably should have?  Any advice for new moms or moms with toddlers as they prep their children for life in the big, bad world?  I’m sure we could all benefit from hearing other’s stories.

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