We homeschool our boys. Last year, my oldest son took a once-a-week art class. That was the extent of our formal, every week classes. This year, he’s taking three classes. The same once-a-week art class, a nature class, and an all-day enrichment class that covers a variety of topics (robotics being the most exciting part for him).
Being away on three different days will be a new experience for all of us. And as we’ve gathered the supplies he’ll need for his various endeavors, I’ve thought about little ways we can remind him that we love him and miss him during the day. I think this will be especially important during those first few weeks when he’s getting to know groups of new kids in several different contexts.
For example, my younger son has already said he wants to pack his big brother’s lunch with something special. And I have plans to stick a little note in his bag (Ssshhhh! Don’t tell.). These actions may be small, but they’re little reminders of our love for him.
As I was contemplating this, dear friends of ours serendipitously gave my boys some back-to-school gifts. I don’t know if it was with this intention (though I wouldn’t doubt it, they are wonderfully thoughtful people), but the gifts are a perfect way to remind my boys that their friends care for them. While my oldest son is away, and is perhaps feeling lonely because he’ll be the new kid for those first couple of sessions, he’ll be reminded every time he pulls out his new pencil case that he has lovely friends who care about him.
Each of these little things are simply reminders that point back to the larger truths in my son’s life: that he has friends and family who love him as he is.
Peer pressure loses its power when it encounters a child who is secure in who he is. I’m thankful that while heading off to class this week, he’ll not only carry little reminders of our family’s love for him, but also a reminder of the love of his friends.
May all kids embark on their new adventures feeling so treasured and valued.
How do you remind your family that they are loved when they are off on their own?
If you’re not feeling crafty or creative and are looking for something to tuck in your child’s lunch sack, you can use notes like THESE or THESE. And, while I haven’t read any of them, there are lots of fun looking cookbooks full of lunchbox ideas, like THIS and THIS.