Surviving First Grade:Tips From A First Grader

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen40 Comments

This week is our school Spring-break and all of our best laid plans for fun and adventure have been waylaid by a malicious stomach flu. It really isn’t right.

Instead we have done a fair share of board games and easy crafts for those who could manage to get up out of their sick beds. During one particularly riveting game of Clue with my 7 year old daughter Rebekah, she began dropping her sage advice on how to survive 1st grade. I was only partially listening at first, but as she continued I thought wow this kid is onto something! Perhaps other almost 1st graders could benefit from her wisdom.

So here is how the conversation began:

Rebekah: You know Mom, many things come easy for me because I am taller than the average 1st grader. Everything but the swings where my feet drag.

Me: Yes you are tall.

Rebekah: At least I am tall enough to actually touch the ground when on the swings. I feel bad for the kids who have to jump to reach the ground.

Me: Yes that is true.

Rebekah: Do you know that I am much smarter now that I am almost a 2nd grader than I was last year as a kindergartener?

Me:  Yes you are very smart and learn something new everyday. Tell me what you have learned?

Rebekah: Well one of the most important things you can learn is to NOT mess around. Because that is when you get in trouble!

Me: Do you do this a lot?

Rebekah: I try really hard not to Mom.

Now I decided to ask her some of the hard hitting questions every would be 1st grader is dying to know.

Are boys yucky or are they something else?

They aren’t yucky like they look yucky, but they can do some pretty yucky things. Like pretend to step in poop on the playground or at lunch they do some gross things with their food that girls just don’t do!

What should you know before starting 1st grade?

How to control yourself.

How do you make friends?

Be nice.

How do you stop fights between your friends?

I always ask them if they would act this way around their parents. That usually stops them dead in their tracks I tell ya!

What should you always take to school?

Your lunch, homework and make sure you are wearing clothes, because no one wants to show up naked.

What advice do you have for a 1st grader?

At the beginning of the year your teacher will be nice and then they can get meaner as the year goes on. So don’t always think things are going to be easy.

What has been your best day of 1st grade?

Oh, the day we had Popsicles and board games as a reward and then after school I had Daisy Girl Scouts with you!

What has been the worst day of 1st grade?

The day a friend dumped me.

Me: For clarification, what does it mean to get dumped by a friend?

Rebekah: That is when you think you have a friend and they get rid of you.

Me: Are you friends right now with this person who “dumped” you?

Rebekah: No, I made new friends. I don’t miss her.

What do you do when you are bored and have a hard time listening to the teacher?

I try to focus on getting things done so we can get to recess quicker.

Is recess the best part of the school day?


So there you have it! First grade is survivable!

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!



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  1. She’s brilliant and recess was my favorite part of the day too. I loved recess.

    Your daughter is beautiful.

    Have a fabulous day and tell Rebekah thanks for all the smiles. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Blonde MomentMy Profile

  2. I love the part, “ask them if they would act this way around their parents. That usually stops them dead in their tracks I tell ya!” So precious and it seems she might have listened to her parents a time or two.

    Such valuable lessons and such an adorable package. Great pics, by the way – the one with her and the train is just awesome!
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…My Take – FROZEN SequelMy Profile

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      I love the train one too! We have a fabulous friend who takes our family pictures every year. As we were leaving and loading up after our session, Rebekah ran over to this train and our friend snapped this of her. I am so happy she did!

      Rebekah is a riot! That kid comes out with the funniest things at the most random times. Like the time she realized that the man in front of us was wearing a wig. She tried to say it discreetly, but her face was so funny that I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop.
      Jen recently posted…Surviving First Grade:Tips From A First GraderMy Profile

  3. I love this! My first grader will love it too! I love that she said teachers are nice at the beginning and get meaner. “So don’t always think things are going to be easy.” What a fantastic word!! And so true!
    Thank you for this post. (I followed Melissa’s post on twitter that she shared.)
    Dana recently posted…Jumping with FaithMy Profile

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      She really is a pretty cute kid and a seriously fierce Clue player. Luckily, by distracting and talking with her about her hard earned first grader knowledge I was able to not lose within 30 minutes like I normally do!
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #32: BrokenMy Profile

  4. It’s good to know first grade is still survivable! My daughter is the shortest kid in her class so she would love to be taller and be able to get on the swings and the like!
    The best is that she knows how to “stop them in their tracks, I tell ya.” What a character!
    Also, the photos are gorgeous. I love the golden sunset hour one. Truly professional.
    My first grade was rough. Very mean teacher, even on the first day, a fire in the school that got us out of school for a few days, and of course, my early childhood trauma creeping up.
    So I’d say it’s very survivable!
    Tamara recently posted…How To Fall In Love, Part 2.My Profile

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    Thanks! I really love our family photographer. You know this, but they become like part of the family and Shammie does such a great job!

    You did have a tough kinder through 1st grade experience. Adding in a mean teacher was just wrong!

    I think your Scarlett and my Rebekah would get along famously!
    Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #32: BrokenMy Profile

  6. This is adorable and wise advice. I’m going to have to show it to Charley-Quinn who is in 1st to see if she agrees. I love the advice of how to make friends. Such a simple answer, but you can take it all the way to adulthood. Just by being extra nice to someone, you can bring someone valuable into your life. She’s got a good head on her shoulders!
    Celeste @ Leapfrog and Lipgloss recently posted…Mommy Reality Challenge 32 & Link UpMy Profile

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      Thanks Celeste!

      I know, it really is so true! Sometimes we adults forget the importance of that whole being nice thing. I think your Charley-Quinn and my Rebekah would get along quite well and I bet your little cutie would have a thing or two to add to this list.
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #32: BrokenMy Profile

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      I know it made me sad too, but she seemed to not care at all.

      Maybe that is a lesson to me as an adult to just move on and not worry so much about people and things I can’t influence and who don’t care about me.

      Now who is being taught, right?
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #32: BrokenMy Profile

  7. Hi Jen, your daughter certainly has a wise head on her shoulders!. I love the advice that 1st Graders should learn to control themselves before starting 1st Grade. Probably easier said than done in most cases. The best advice has to be to make sure to wear clothes to school. Wise words indeed!

    You’ve got to remember this post and show it to her ten, twenty and thirty years from now. She’ll love it.

    Debbie recently posted…Action…My Profile

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      She is a hoot! Years ago when she was in preschool, one day she just wouldn’t get dressed so I put her in the car in her underwear to try and scare her a little. She didn’t think going in her undies was such a bad idea though, so my plan totally backfired.

      I am happy that she now has seen the error of her ways and considers clothing a must!
      Jen recently posted…Man Day Post: The Jen’s Guy Blog Tour, Part 2My Profile

  8. I have a first grader too. I find the things he says so funny! He recently had a friend made at him because he laughed at seeing his friend’s underwear. I was very sympathetic. They are priceless. HA!
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      I could hang with first graders all day they really are hilarious! Oh goodness, to a little boy underwear is one of the funniest intros to a joke ever, well that and gas! Your poor little guy probably couldn’t have kept the laugh in if he tried! He sounds adorable!
      Jen recently posted…Man Day Post: The Jen’s Guy Blog Tour, Part 2My Profile

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      Thanks Elizabeth! I have a journal that is sitting mostly unused by my bedside and I feel bad about it, but I talk quite a bit about my children and our family here on the blog and I have found a way to turn my blog into a book from the online posts! You can do it every year for a pretty reasonable price. So there you go :)
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality: The Good, The Bad and The BrokenMy Profile

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