Wow, I can't believe it. There's only two weeks left of summer holidays here in the beautiful north. Today I'm off to register Noah for grade four at Hidden Valley Elementary. I'm so excited for him to return to the school he attended for kindergarten and for that annual school supplies shopping tradition. I remember the anticipation of picking out the exercise books, sharpening each new pencil and the inspiration that flooded me as I unwrapped each and every item that would shape the upcoming year. I hope that Noah has the same kind of hopefulness and lofty goals for himself as he heads out on a new adventure this year. His best pal, Christian is no longer living in Whitehorse so as bummed out as he was that his right-hand man was not around, I think he'll enjoy making new friends and spending time getting to know other kids in our area.
Last year, I hosted an open house for the kids in Noah's class along with their families and the teacher too. We made invitations for each student and handed them out after the second week of classes (once the classes were finalized) inviting them to come to our home to see where we live (since I prefer to have the kids visit our house) and for the parents to get to know one another, which can be tricky as your kids get older. I don't know about you but I won't let Noah go on playdates if I have not met or been acquainted with the parents. Also, Noah's birthday is in late October so this is a great way to establish some early friendships, making it easier for Noah to make his birthday party plans. One other benefit to hosting the open house is that kids easily forget that teachers don't live at school and they are people with interests and families. Having the teacher come to our home for a social function really helps the kids bond with the teacher as a person. In my experience, that bond facilitates some dynamic changes in the academic outcome for that year. Once, we had a part-year with a teacher who did not "click" with our family. The impact was negative and rather painful. I believe that even in the event of minor personality differences, there is plenty of room to forge a relationship that will benefit a child's learning experience, it just has to be pursued equally by both parent and teacher. I am very enthusiastic about Noah's grade four year.