A “Colourful” Return to School
September starts off with a bang as parents juggle school schedules, organized programs and finding valuable family time – not to mention dealing with how each of their offspring react to these changes. And often the parents we meet have no idea how helpful it can be to understand their kid’s temperament at this crucial time of the year.
To help parents, we have listened to kids’ conversations, observed kids over the years and even asked our own panel of students (a.k.a. our grandchildren) how they approach September. Here’s hoping this will help!
Our Resourceful Oranges may be feeling the crunch –– they realize the freedom of summer holidays is over. Fall routines kick in fast and may serve to make these usually high energy Resourceful Orange kids feel stifled. They sometimes risk breaking the rules that seem so difficult to follow and a little overwhelming to our adventurers, although they may tell their parents they were simply bending the rules a little! Their spontaneous, in-the-moment way of acting can be very infectious and other kids may join in the fun, so making new friends, while continuing to hang out with old friends, comes as second nature to these children. They will tell you how great a class is when it includes group work, entertaining activities, little sitting in one place and lots of hands-on “doing.” Keeping these energetic Resourceful Oranges active after school can be a handful for some parents, who have told us that the secret is to get them involved in sports, drama, or music once the school day is done, and if there is a competition involved, all the better for these kids who want to win!
Who loves to learn? Inquiring Greens of course!! However, they can be their own worst enemy when it comes to submitting school work that they deem to be imperfect. This is especially true if it’s in a subject that they have an intense interest in and they think that their work could be better if only they had more time. Appearing incompetent stresses them out, yet so does feeling unchallenged by the work. While they may at first seem very serious to other kids, these Inquiring Greens may have a wry sense of humour and can often make others laugh with their witty remarks, albeit sometimes not without a little sarcasm thrown in for good measure. An appealing class setting for these logical, objective kids includes one that meets their high expectations, especially the teacher! Being allowed to work independently, and on materials of their own choosing, excites these kids, although group work with classmates who can discuss the issues intelligently can be inspirational too. After school activities for these kids often includes exploring ideas and subjects of interest to them, perhaps alone, or with a small circle of close friends who enjoy the same things.
What about our Organized Golds? Getting back to routines, schedules and feeling a part of the school community makes them happy! They may be a little apprehensive though, if it means attending a new school and having to make new friends this year. These kids usually respect their teachers, especially if there is a set of rules for them to follow and everyone is treated fairly. Their idea of a wonderful classroom experience will also include a teacher who not only is in control of the class but also provides clear directions to follow so that the Organized Golds can get their work done quickly and efficiently. They generally enjoy working in groups, if all members stay on task and complete their portions according to the rules. Organized Golds often create a pro-and-con list to logically and objectively make decisions. Once they do so, they may then create a list and set priorities to get everything done efficiently and on time, if not early. After school activities for the competitive Organized Golds may include team sports or school bands and they like coming home to their own neat, tidy room.
Finally, our Authentic Blues look forward to meeting up with their friends once again and catching up with everyone about their summer. They will worry about being put into a different class than their friends and certainly will not like any kind of conflict in the classroom, often choosing to uphold the underdog in any stand off. They may in fact help mediate any issues just to “keep the peace.” The one thing they don’t particularly enjoy is competition; they don’t understand the necessity of winners and losers. What makes these artistic, non-conformists happiest in a classroom? First, they appreciate a teacher who is personable, inclusive and caring; secondly, a comfortable, warm, inviting, attractive environment where they can work in groups and socialize. If allowed to use their imagination and creativity they will work hard for their teacher and for their grades. These are the kids who don’t just look at the mark on the report card, but hang on every word the teachers say about them and their work. For the Authentic Blues after school activities must include people they enjoy being around; it may not be so much about what they do, but who is with them.
Related Workshop: Parent Workshop 1: GPS for Navigating Your Kid’s Personality