Back-to-School Life Lessons


Making the Most of the School Year

As we’re approaching "back to school", many kids are getting excited about starting a new school year, even though things are going to look a little different this year. During this time, kids are preparing to meet new teachers, start new classes, and handle schoolwork again. The start of the school year can be overwhelming, but be sure not to let that be a reason your kids miss out on fun opportunities. Here are some tips to help your kids get the most out of the new school year.

If your kids have the first-day jitters, then encourage them to look at challenges as opportunities. When I was young, we lived on a farm in a rural area, so I couldn’t see all my friends during the summer. It was exciting to have the opportunity to reconnect with my old friends and make new friends at the beginning of the school year. I gained friendships that I still cherish. The start of school also meant exploring new subjects or learning more about old favorites, like geology and astronomy.

You can also encourage your youngsters to try different extracurricular activities as they become available! Doing a variety of activities will allow them to socialize with different groups and try new things. Kids who live on farms or in rural places may only have access to organized sports like football or if your children already excel in a particular sport, musical instrument, or subject, then encourage them to explore other ones, too.
soccer outside of school. Conversely, kids living in the city may have access to games and clubs like the debate team or chess in a school environment.

"If your children already excel in a particular sport or subject, encourage them to explore other ones, too."

If your children already excel in a particular sport, musical instrument, or subject, then encourage them to explore other ones, too. It’s common for kids to find one thing they love and latch onto it, but this may hamper their potential to excel in other activities. For instance, a high school athlete might be great at debate competitions. Personally, I loved working with my hands, so I enjoyed the woodworking class and mechanics shop. I did try band class, but I was never as talented as Jill! Looking back, I wish I tried out for the golf team since I have so much fun golfing now! I can’t go a week without my Thursday golf game.

As your kids get older, it’s also a great idea to encourage them to explore technical classes, like mechanics, woodworking, and coding. A semester’s worth of learning a craft helps them immensely to get familiar with the fundamentals. In high school, I loved shop class since it taught me the “why” behind the basics my uncle was already teaching me at his repair shop. Woodworking was new for me. On the farm, I was learning how to use a saw and nail things together, but in class, I was crafting cabinets, doors, you name it! Now, I can properly fix most of our household’s doors and cabinets or make them myself!

Encouraging your kids to explore everything that the school system offers gives them a greater perspective and showcases their potential. Additionally, they’ll have a bigger tool chest to draw from wherever life takes them.

-Randy Bunn