10 Important Lessons I learned After the First Week of School

We’ve made it! We survived our first week of Kindergarten… Or at least the hardest part for me—Waking up.

You know me, I went a bit overboard documenting the occasion with pictures and video. Maybe it’ll give you a few ideas if your little one is starting school soon. Here are some things I’ve learned after the first week of school.

Tips for surviving the first week of school

1. The novelty wears off quick (for adults): It’s fun and exciting getting ready for the first day of school the night before, but by the third night of getting ready, I’m already dragging my feet and dreading waking up early the next day. My daughter is still enjoying laying out her outfit, making lunch requests, and deciding what hairstyle she’s going with. I on the other hand still can’t believe how early I have to wake up every. single. day. (Can you tell I’m not a morning person?)

2. EVERYONE drives their kids to school: Does no one ride the bus anymore? I don’t see many people walking either. Is there something I don’t know? I need to remember to bring some reading material and get there a little earlier because that line is no joke.

Tips for surviving the first week of school

3. School is not like it was when I was growing up: When I was in school I had to walk there uphill both ways in the snow… I kid (though this is exactly what my husband has been saying all week), but there are so many things that are different. Lil’ J’s kindergarten teacher gave us a QR code to save all of her contact info, we have a private class Facebook page, they have PE daily and less time for recess, no naps, computer labs. Things have definitely evolved.

4. They learn more than just book smarts: And that’s not always a good thing. Lil’ J has come home with an extra side of sass and we’re trying to nip it in the bud. I’m not going to panic just yet because I believe we are who we are, and though our friends may influence us, our personalities will persevere. Instead of losing my temper at her new exasperated sighs and eye rolls (though I may have snapped a time or two) I sat her down this morning for a heart to heart, explaining how I expect her to act, and tried to appeal to her empathetic nature, and told her the consequence for continuing to act that way (no iPad time). I think it’s working (for now). Please pray for me and my sassy little soul. (Speaking of sass… Read bonus sassy story after #10)

Tips for surviving the first week of school

5. Kids aren’t great at remembering stuff, unless it’s stuff you don’t want them to remember: Lil’ J got in the car after the second day of school and immediately said she didn’t remember anything about her day. Ok, maybe she didn’t want to talk about it, I get it. But later, as she began to open up and remember bits and pieces she told me how she got to be the teacher for a little while and taught everyone about her dark skin and how she doesn’t get sunburned as easily as they do…

6. The school bus adds an extra hour to their day: I mentioned earlier how most kids in K-2 get dropped off/ picked up by their parents; maybe this is why. Her school bus literally drives by while we’re beginning to get dressed in the morning. And it doesn’t pass in the afternoon until we’ve been home for about half an hour.

Tips for surviving the first week of school

7. Walking your kid to class can be really sad, but so is not walking your kids to class: I walked Lil’ J the first day and a little boy in her class was crying, not wanting his mommy to leave. Lil’ J was a little hesitant at first, but after she introduced herself to another little girl at her table, she waved me goodbye. But the second day I didn’t want to park and bring her brother in only to psyche him out and turn around and leave (he likes to play in her classroom). Another teacher helped escort her to her class, but the moment she got out of the car and shut the door I regretted it. By the third day she didn’t even turn around to tell me goodbye!

8. They only eat a tiny portion of what you pack for lunch: Then they eat a ton once they get home. Every night I’m packing her a lunch with fruits, veggies, a cheese stick and (by her request) a bagel and she only eats the bagel. She told me she didn’t have time to eat the rest and I suspect she’s like her mama and enjoying conversation a little too much. Next week I think I’ll join her for lunch.

Preparing for the first day of school: A moms journal

9. Teachers are amazing: I can’t imagine having a class of 17 5-year-olds and teaching them new things in ways that are fun every day. I have a new immense sense of gratitude, and she’ll be getting a nice teacher-appreciation gift.

10. My kids are pretty awesome: I knew this before, but there’s something about setting them free to explore bits of the world by themselves, and watching them process what they learn. Lil’ J insists on studying each night and considers herself “a big girl.” I’m very proud of her and excited to see how this school year pans out.

Bonus Sassy Story:

After the first day of school Lil’ J and I met up with some friends for ice cream. As we crossed the street I reached for her hand and she told me, and I quote…  “I don’t need to hold your hand because I’m so pretty nobody will want to run be over,” *jaw drop* She grabbed my hand before she finished her sentence and I calmly told her as cute as she is, she’s small, and people could still run into her if they don’t see her. I had to give my humble child a quick lesson in pedestrian safety.

According to the NHTSA, an average of 24 school age children die in school transportation-related crashes each year, so we’re working on our traffic safety knowledge, especially since so many cars and big Texas trucks are zooming by during school drop-off and pickup.

second day

Few things drive me as crazy as cars zooming around school busses. Here’s a little school bus safety refresher for you from Allstate:

    • You are required by law to stop when a school bus is picking up or dropping off students.
    • If the bus is stopped, its red lights are flashing and its stop sign is out on the left side, you MUST stop, too. DO NOT try to go around the bus.
    • Children expect traffic to stop and might not see you if you go past the bus. There is usually a fine and you could possibly get your license suspended.

I couldn’t resist. Here’s a video of my baby girl’s adventures of going to and from during her first week of school.

How did your first week of school go? What did you learn this year?

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

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Leah Sannar says:

Such a cute video!! She looks so adorable and excited to be at school. We’re having some extra “sass” from D, too. Ever since starting preschool, he has this hilarious, condescending, know-it-all vibe when he tells you something. Sometimes it’s funny, other times it’s like, “okay listen… I don’t like that.” Haha!

Jeannette says:

I’m in my first week of school with my youngest and while I’ve done it all before with my older son, I’m learning these lessons again. I totally agree that they barely touch their lunch!

Jennifer says:

i am exhausted!!! I’m a teacher. It’s always exhausting, but 18w with twins might be partially to blame. ?

My “baby” started kg at a different school than mine. He had a a couple sad/rough days. He’s getting better though. We never had any issues with big sis, but girls tend to do better. We did have the sass issues with her (still do), but not with him so much. As a teacher, I never expected to be the mom with the crying kindergartener. He’s my sweetie though and he’ll be fine.

sacha says:

Your daughter is so adorable. I’m with you on how by the third day your dragging and your daughter is full of energy. I went through that when my son was younger, I’m glad he is able to go to school alone now.

Scott says:

Everyone around here still rides buses. All the way through Jr. High!

Joanne says:

Your daughter is absolutely adorable and she looks just like you! Thank you for the school bus safety reminders. They’re so important this time of year.

Joely Smith says:

Lil J is freaking ADORABLE! Her hair is gorgeous! You made such a wonderful post which brings back a lot of memories for me. It has been so long since I had a little one going to school at all let alone first day. Oh I can so relate to so many things you said though! You will find that it is as much work for your kids to go to school for the parents as it is for them with all of the changes the school system has made. I loved the video by the way and that sass lil J has well as you said it could be a bad thing but honestly in the long run will probably prove to be a good thing once she stops using it on her mama and uses it more on the boys and any trouble makers lol
Wishing you all the best on your child’s eduction and life journeys.

I was lucky to work nights when my kids were young so I got to go back to sleep after getting them off to school. And, I was there when they got home. Enjoy these days while you can because they really do grow to fast!

AprilD says:

This is such a good idea! I’m going to have to share this with my friends so they can do this for their child’s first day.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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