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It's That Time of Year...

This morning was the first day back at school after the Thanksgiving break. The second thing my kid says is, "I can't believe the school year is almost over! It's going so fast!" Now if you were in our home last year, at the same time of year, you would have heard, "Ugggghhhhhhhh. I can't believe it's another MONTH until Christmas break!" Is it the classes? you ask. Or the teachers? you wonder. Maybe a little of both but the main reason is simple: LUNCH.

Of course, it's not the food at lunch that makes the day. ("School lunch ruins your tastebuds," actual quote from 11 year old.) It's what happens at lunch that is everything.

  1. "We get to choose our own tables." So much comes with middle school including a little more freedom in the ways that most matter to kids- choice.

  2. "I see all my friends." Also, a bonus of choosing your seat is catching up with friends who are in your grade but who you don't see in your classes. So much to say.

  3. "We don't have to be completely silent." Allowing some noise in the cafeteria gives kids a space to more freely express themselves in a way that is often controlled or discouraged during the school day.

On our walk home from the bus, I always ask about the day and I hear about lunch first. "You'll never guess what so and so said..." "You won't believe this funny meme so and so showed me..." "Everyone was talking about the new movie..." There's so much that happens during that 40-minute span of time and it's right in the middle of the day so it gives you something to look forward to and then not long until you go home.

It's so simple and it makes all the difference in my kid's (and others, I'm certain) attachment to school which means she's motivated to go, doesn't dread every morning, looks forward to going to school even if to see friends-- and that makes the learning part much more palatable.

What school really means to kids is not something we adults want to admit. We want to believe kids deep down go to school "For the love of learning...To expand their minds...To be become leaders..." The Truth Is: School is 100% a social activity for kids and rightly so. If we can figure out a way to weave the learning in with the social vs. shutting down the social in order to learn, everyone might be happier.

For more listen to The School Whisperer podcast (here) and read about my school success coaching business here.

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