5 Little Prayers For My Kindergartener

5 Prayers For My Kindergartener

My little boy is officially in Kindergarten.

Can anybody tell me what happened to the last 6 years?!

We had Meet Your Teacher on Monday and I am fairly certain that Happy Buddy was fine (mostly because he literally asked me to hurry up and leave), BUT I WAS A HOT MESS.  My stomach was all tied up in nervous knots.  I was seriously breaking out in a sweat and hugging people without raising my arms so that no one noticed!!!

Releasing my son into the classroom is a big act of faith.  I have found myself worrying about all kinds of things!  Like will he be a good friend?  Will he follow the rules?  Will he complain about having to do desk work?

Whenever I start wringing my hands in anxiety about my child, I know it’s time to get on my knees.

One of the most powerful things we can do for our children is pray for them.  I can take whatever concerns I have for my son’s future, get in his room at night, give those concerns to Jesus in prayer, and walk away with the peace that God heard my heart.

There have been SO many times where I was troubled about something I was seeing in Happy Buddy’s behavior, or I was burdened to see something new in his behavior and after I started praying about it, the Lord did not fail to answer in some way.

This is my hope as we enter the new school year!

With that said, here are 5 Scripture-based prayers that I am praying over Happy Buddy as he starts Kindergarten…

Hard Work

Lord, I pray that my child will remember that he can do all things through Christ who gives him strength (Philippians 4:13)!  As his hands write out math problems and complete assignments, may he do so with a happy heart, knowing that he is working for your glory (Colossians 3:23).  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Kindness

Lord, I pray that my child will be kind and compassionate toward his classmates and teachers (Ephesians 4:32).  May his speech always be gracious (Colossians 4:6).  May he never repay evil for evil but always seek to do good to others and to everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:15).  May he seek out the lonely child on the playground and defend the child who is hurting.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friendship

Lord, I pray for my child to have friends who will sharpen one another like iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).  May he have wisdom and discernment to choose friends who will be good company and spur him on toward love and good deeds (1 Corinthians 15:33, Hebrews 10:24-25).  May he be a leader among his friends by always being the first one to share, offer a kind word, and do what’s right.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Self-Control

Lord, I pray that my child will not stir up shenanigans during times of instruction! :-)  May he offer his body to you as a living sacrifice and may he be transformed by the renewal of his mind so that he may discern your will (Romans 12:1-2).  May he discipline his body like an athlete, training it to do as it should (1 Corinthians 9:27).  May he keep his tongue from evil (Psalm 34:13).  May my child show his love for you, Jesus, by obeying your commands (John 14:15).  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Heart of a Servant

Lord, I pray that you will give my child eyes to see opportunities to be a blessing.  May my boy have a heart of humility and serve others in love (Galatians 5:13).  May my son use his gifts well by helping others (1 Peter 4:10).  May he let others use the monkey bars first and may he choose the back of the line for the water fountain because the greatest among us shall be servants (Matthew 23:11).  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lay those burdens down, sister!  The Lord knows what your child needs and He is in control!

How are you praying for your child this new school year?

– Julie :-)

*Many of these prayers and the heart behind them were inspired by Brooke McGlothlin’s wonderful book, Praying for Boys.

Back to School Teacher Gift – FREE Printable!

FREE Printable super simple, super CUTE, super cheap first day of school teacher gift! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I love getting the boys’ new teachers a little gift for the first day of school.

Maybe it’s because I love to give.  Maybe it’s because I love teaching my boys to be generous and thoughtful.  Or maybe it’s because I like to score some brownie points from day one – ha!

I shared this simple idea last year on my Instagram and got so much positive feedback I thought I’d make it a FREE Printable for y’all this year {{confetti!!}}.FREE Printable first day of school teacher gift!!

 Click HERE for your FREE Printable First Day of School Teacher Gift!

The boys and I have been praying for their new teachers for weeks now!  We are all very excited about the new beginnings that are upon us.

I am praying for you all to also have a smooth transition into the school year and that the Lord will just pour out His blessings on you!  May He give you strength to pack those lunches again every day and stay on top of homework assignments (ahem) and get the kiddos back on a better bedtime schedule – I don’t know about you, but I especially need the Lord’s help with that one!

Happy Back to School Teacher Gift-ing! :-)

Check out these other great First Day of School Teacher Gift Ideas!

20 EASY, Inexpensive and adorable teacher gift ideas for the first day of school! Lots of FREE Printables!!

20 Easy, Budget-Friendly Back to School Teacher Gift Ideas

easy back to school teacher giftExceptioNAIL Year FREE Printable

super cute and super easy (CHEAP) back to school gift idea for teachers, classmates, administration, etc.So Many Riesens FREE Printable

IMG_2726It’s Going to be a TEA-rrific Year FREE Printable

Easy Countdown to School Idea

Easy Countdown to the First Day of School Idea! Your kids will love getting ready for school with this sweet idea!!

Well, we go back to school in just a few weeks!

I have a mixture of feelings on the matter…  Grief, denial, excitement…

I mentioned on Facebook recently that the school emailed me my class roster and I started to pray for my incoming little ones by name.  What a joy to shepherd their hearts and change their diapers!

While I am thrilled to be back in the classroom, I just want to linger a bit longer in these summer months.  I have loved being with my boys, staying up late because I know I don’t have to set my alarm at bedtime, thoughtfully planning grocery lists, making dinner, organizing our home, being able to have regular play dates with friends, and blog!  It has been so lovely to stay somewhat regularly connected with y’all.  I am afraid I might have to disappear for a bit once the crazy gets going!

Nonetheless, I am extremely pleased with the teacher Happy Buddy was assigned this year, so we are celebrating with an extra special countdown to school.

I grabbed a small jar and Happy Buddy counted out the amount of treats needed to have one each day leading up to his first day of Kindergarten.

No need to remind him to participate in this kind of countdown!

Easy Countdown to the First Day of School Idea! Your kids will love getting ready for school with this sweet idea!Eeek!  Kindergarten!  I can’t believe I have a Kindergartener.  I think there is homework in Kindergarten!  If I can’t even make dinner during the school year, then I don’t know if we’re going to survive this. :-)

Do you go back to school soon?

– Julie

*Check out my other great Back to School Countdowns at the links below!*back to school countdown prayer chain! have your child list several people at hisher school that you can pray for every day leading up to the first day of school!

Back to School Countdown Prayer Chain

Back to School FREE Printable Countdown

Easy Apple Tree Craft

easy apple tree craft - adorable!

 

I guess I have a thing for toilet paper roll crafts!

The hubs is always razzing me for lining them up on our bathroom window sill for weeks on end as I save them for projects like this.

What you need –

apple tree craft 1

Large sheet of construction paper with cut out tree glued to the center

Red paint

Toilet paper roll

Instructions –

apple tree craft 2Step 1 – Have your child dip the TP roll in red paint.

apple tree craft 3Step 2 – Then press the roll gently on the top part of the tree.

apple tree craft 4Step 3 – Let dry.

I thought they turned out pretty cute!

**You can find all my other easy apple crafts HERE.**

Happy Easy Apple Tree Craft-ing! :-)

How to Make Homemade Applesauce With Your Preschooler

how to make homemade applesauce with your preschooler

I love celebrating apples with my students during the month of September because Johnny Appleseed’s birthday is on the 26th.

One of the brave things I chose to do this month with my preschool class was to make homemade applesauce in the crock pot.

It was kind of hectic and the end result probably had Hepatitis A, B, and C in it, but the kids had SO much fun.

And that makes all the chaos worth it!

Here is what you will need –

applesauce 1A large crockpot

8-10 apples (we used Golden Delicious), peeled and chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp cinnamon

What we did –

Every morning when my students walk in the classroom we have Table Time.

I knew that the applesauce needed several hours to cook, so I had all the ingredients set out on the table when they arrived.

I put a trashcan next to the table and began peeling the apples in front of the children (I would NOT recommend letting a preschooler use a peeler).

So that the children stayed involved, I asked them to peel the stickers off the apples, wash the apples in our sink, and help pick up any peels that missed the trashcan (I may have ‘accidentally’ missed the garbage more than I actually got the peels in – lol!).

Next, I showed the kids how an apple corer works.

They were completely fascinated (I think I went ahead and peeled an extra apple at this point because I did not take into account what hungry vultures my students could become at the site of neatly sliced apples).

Then we dumped the apples in the crock pot.

I opened the cinnamon and let the children each get a chance to smell this comforting spice.

We measured 1/4 tsp and one student sprinkled it in.

We did this with the brown sugar and water as well.

applesauce 2Then we covered the crock pot and I set it in a safe spot on HIGH.

One of the best things about making applesauce is how lovely it makes your room smell, which is always an added bonus when working with 2 year olds and one has a bad poop.

The applesauce smell kind of cancels out that sewage smell.

Around noon, I opened the lid and spent a few minutes stirring and mashing the apples.

applesauce 3Then I spooned a small portion in little bowls for each of my students.

Be prepared that your preschooler might bypass the spoon and just go for it – possibly even head first.

applesauce 4It was a hit!

I’m glad I took the risk and did this with my preschoolers.

I’m also glad I fed it to them right before they went home so that I didn’t have to deal with the aftermath of a 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

:-)

Happy Homemade Applesauce-ing!

Easy School Bus Craft

Such an easy and adorable craft for the beginning of school!

We have been celebrating school buses all week in my preschool class.

That Wheels on the Bus song just never gets old! :-)

This little craft is so fun and easy.  I know your kids will enjoy it.

Supplies:
bus craft 1

Yellow, Black, and Blue construction paper

Glue

Scissors

Black Paint

Toilet Roll Tube

Directions:bus craft 2bus craft 3bus craft 8bus craft 4bus craft 5bus craft 9bus craft 7bus craft 6

That’s it!

I hope y’all are getting back into the Back to School groove without any bumps!

Happy School Bus Craft-ing! :-)

How to Handle Separation Anxiety in the Classroom

how to handle separation anxiety in the classroom (great tips for parents too!)

*Photo by 1313 Photography*

When I started teaching again I landed a position in the preschool department – teaching 2 year olds.

I thought – Hey!  I’m the mom of a 2 year old!  We’ll sing songs, change diapers, get stickers, take a nap…  This will be CAKE.

:-)

Then the first day happened and I had 50% of my little class crying hysterically – completely undone by the fact that they couldn’t be with their mamas (and I seriously could not blame them).

**If you had seen the emotional state of my classroom on the first day last year you would have wanted to be with your mother too.**

Did you know some kids can cry so hard they throw up?

Did you know some kids get aggressive and try to kick you?

Talk about getting thrown in the deep end.

As soon as pick-up time was over (and after I got done crying, myself), I made it my personal mission to be prepared with EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE trick in the book to talk a toddler down off the ledge of an emotional CRISIS.

And I have 8 NEW precious kiddos coming to my room on Tuesday so I need to be prepared for what’s coming.

((Hopefully what’s coming involves smiles and giggles instead of me ending the day with hearing loss and in the fetal position.))

  • PREP the parents in advance.  I send a letter home about separation anxiety before school begins.  You can find it HERE.  Getting parents on board with you is CRITICAL to helping develop a successful classroom routine and atmosphere.
  • Don’t let parents linger.  A quick good-bye is best!
  • Sing a song (start with the Wheels on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It and go from there).
  • Blow bubbles together (it’s hard to cry when also trying to blow into something).
  • Let the child bring in a lovey or photo of their family from home to keep in their cubby.  I like how THIS LADY has a special shelf for framed photos of her students’ families.
  • Acknowledge the child’s feelings.  Say, “You miss your mommy,” then follow up with, “You will see her soon.”
  • Read books like The Kissing Hand or Llama, Lllama Misses Mama or Bye Bye Time that deal with the concept of being away from parents.
  • Hold the child and slowly count to 10 together.
  • Post a visual schedule in your room so the children can see how close they are to being with their mommies (or other caregiver) again.
  • ACT CONFIDENT – stay calm.  Keep your voice happy and upbeat.  If you start to feel otherwise, just imagine me looking you in the eye and saying, “You got this, girl!”
  • Give student a squishy ball or pom pom and let them put it in their pocket and squeeze it whenever they feel anxious.
  • Hang in there – it might take several weeks to build trust and rapport with the children.
  • Put on a fun CD and dance.
  • Make sure parents say goodbye before they leave – sneaking out is not helpful.
  • Don’t spend a lot of emotional energy on the anxious child – be loving and reassuring, but carry out daily plans as usual.  Occasionally give child a gentle pat on the head.  Eventually they should see that everyone else (including you) is having fun and they should too!
  • Give the child a calm down glitter jar.
  • Never send a crying child home – this reinforces the idea that if they cry, they will get their way.
  • With that said, keep in mind that some young children (especially 2-3 year olds) might not be ready for school yet.  Make sure you discuss this possibility with your school’s headmaster and the parents in extreme situations.
  • If other kids complain about the noisy child, encourage classroom unity by saying something like, “So-and-so is missing his mommy.  He needs a little extra time to learn how school works.  Let’s show him how much fun school is!”
  • Bring out a puppet.
  • Go outside and play with chalk or a water table.
  • Make that student a special helper – give him/her a specific task like setting out the puzzles, hanging up name cards, or passing out the crayons.
  • Have an established routine like a special hello song you can sing at the same time each morning – familiarity breeds comfort.
  • Pull out a pinwheel.
  • Have a basket of ‘back-up’ lovies (small stuffed animals, vibrating baby toys, etc.) for the children to hold.
  • Make sure you have a helper in your room the first week (if you do not already).
  • Tell them that you miss your mommy too and follow up with something positive like, “I’m so proud of you for being such a big boy/girl and coming to hang out with me today!”
  • See if Daddy can drop off the child instead of Mommy.
  • Reassure the parent!  Say things like, “This is TOTALLY normal.  Don’t worry about a thing!  We are going to have a great day!”
  • Have a Cuddle Bear Chair – set up a small chair with a stuffed bear.  Allow sad children to sit in the chair with the bear and tell the bear their problems.
  • Try using these cute No Cry GoodBye Punch Cards from HERE.
  • Suggest parents make a Family Photo Book like THIS ONE or a Family Necklace like THIS ONE for their child to bring to class.
  • Have the parent draw a heart on the child’s hand like THIS.
  • Make a Kiss Box.
  • Play with SHAVING CREAM (this is such irresistible fun!).

Even with all the tricks, I still had a student that cried every. single. morning he came to school.

For the entire year.

On the morning of the last day I gripped the steering wheel and prayed in the car, “Lord?  Could I just have one day?  PLEASE?”

And sure enough – on the last day of school this precious little boy did not cry.

So maybe that is our biggest tool when it comes to teaching children who struggle with separation anxiety –

PRAYER.

And possibly a nice glass of Merlot.

:-)

– Julie