Parenting

Why January is the new September

Syona is back in preschool this month and Anchel writes about why this is like a brand new learning curve (all over again).

How Syona reacts when she realizes she is going to school.

Syona started school in the fall and we knew we were in it for the long haul in terms of her transition. It wasn’t a surprise that she spent the majority of her time crying and wasn’t quick to adapt (it’s just not her style). However, her school is fantastic — they were immediately committed to getting her comfortable in the environment, and they were happy to work in partnership with Syona’s therapists to help her meet her goals (when she wasn’t screaming at the top of her lungs, that is). It’s a wonderful environment and I am completely confident that when she does get used to it she will love it. The teachers are great and the kids who attend are amazing.

I knew that the holiday break was going to be a challenge because January would be like starting all over again. I had big plans — playdates scheduled throughout the weeks, family holiday plans, etc. Well, the nasty flu bug going around had other plans for our family — we spent the holidays huddled indoors, at home, in quarantine.

We were expecting that January would be like a mini-version of starting all over again. But we were wrong! It is exactly like starting all over again. Except that Syona knows when she is going to school and often starts complaining before we even leave the house. I do all the things that I’m “supposed” to do — talk to her about school, explain the plan well in advance, get excited and positive about it, etc., etc. But she’s not buying it. And to add to the challenge, there has been a lot of inconsistency — she’s had a few appointments (which means we have to pull her out of the classroom), and since she’s only there two mornings a week, it often means long periods of time when she’s not even in school.

I’m also still struggling in terms of getting the right equipment into the classroom (I’m working on it, and will definitely share any products that bring us success). But the one thing I’m grateful for are Syona’s adorable first set of Mabel’s Labels. Everything Syona has is labeled. And she has a lot more stuff than a typical kid because of her special needs. The labels are durable and adorable. And huge bonus: Their bag tag make the average zipper much more accessible for kiddos who have motor challenges. In fact, we use them in our daily fine motor skills development games (really, she just opens and closes her backpack zipper using the bag tags).

I know that Syona will get to the point of enjoying school. I’m quite confident about that. And I’m also realizing that she will get there on her own schedule. Our job is to try and provide as much consistency and positivity as we can.

Are you struggling with getting your kids back into a routine this month? What are your January back-to-school tips?