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There’s a new world to discover with school starting again

Editor's column
By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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With Thursday being the first day of the new school year, summer vacation is almost over for another year. 

No more swimming and sunning at the lake, having slumber parties or watching late TV shows on weekdays. First period begins too early in the morning to have that kind of fun during the week. 

Growing up, the end of vacation was always bittersweet for me as it meant the freedom of how to spend my day was on hold for nine-and-a-half months until the next June.

And as a parent, the last days of summer vacation was also bittersweet because I would soon have less time every day with my daughters.

But, as we shopped the week before school began for notebooks, binders and pencils, and visited the school office to see the list of homeroom assignments, my daughters looked forward to being back in class.

The new school year is exciting for students, when anything is possible. Students can learn about a new subject that interests them or become immersed in a subject they had no idea existed.

And they can master a subject that seemed too hard the year before. This could be the year where the intricacies of that seemingly-complex math algorithm will finally make sense.

This is also a time to become more motivated. For students who didn’t do as well as they would have liked last year, this year can be more productive with perhaps more hours spent on homework or working with a tutor after school.

Students also have old clubs to connect with, new clubs to join, old friends to see after a two-month hiatus and many more new friends to meet in the coming months.

So saying goodbye to lake fun and no longer staying up late with friends or the TV is not that hard to do because school has plenty to offer. That includes education, fun activities and personal growth.

“The beginning of every school year is like the beginning of a journey for all involved in the schools,” said Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman. “Like a journey, we know there will be highs and lows but the beginning is always special for us.”

Every so often, when I’m in a restaurant or at a store, I will hear frazzled parents tell their children that they have it easy since they’re in school and don’t have to work.

But parents should consider that school is like a workday. This is where our children learn how to support themselves as adults. School is like a job and students need to be as prepared as much as possible for the day. That means make sure their children get enough rest, i.e. sleep; have a good breakfast and lunch; and ask them about their school day.

Some advice for parents of kindergarteners and high school seniors: for your children’s sake, embrace these school years. These two grades can be quite emotional as parents realize their children are growing up.

Remember the mixed emotions that parents share during these two milestone years is what we want for our children, which is that they become independent.

And, at this time of their lives, they can aspire to and work at being whatever they want to be after high school graduation.

How exciting is that!