User Post: Don't let her hear my thoughts about school

I still can't believe my first child will be going to Kindergarten this Fall. It doesn't seem real. The years are going by so quickly; jam packed with family functions, doctor appointments, preschool drop-offs and pick-ups. I thought I was ready for this transition but I had a little reality check recently at parent information night.

I was fine, really, until I walked through the elementary school doors. I looked around at the classrooms, lavatories, and kid's artwork hanging on the wall in the hallway. Wow. I can't remember the last time I was actually in an elementary school. This time, I was there to get familiar with the school district and new student registration process.

As I sat there, along with the other first-time kindergarten moms and dads, I started to fidget. I remembered how I felt, as a child, about going to school. It's been so long since I've felt those feelings. I wasn't a huge fan of school. I had a difficult time concentrating and pretty much coasted through my 13 years of school, an average student at best. Now, as a parent, I have to encourage my children to do their best and talk to them about school like it was something I actually enjoyed. I can't tell them how I never really paid attention in class, barely studied and quite often got into trouble for talking too much.

I don't know how my girls will feel about school. They're both pretty bright and I can only hope they don't struggle with their studies like I did. I suppose I'm being a bit selfish in that I want them to naturally enjoy studying, get A's and B's, and breeze through homework and tests. I want them to not have trouble with their peers, to not even concern themselves with their peers, like I did. I want them to be kind and for others to be kind to them. Most of all, I hope they feel differently about school than I did. I hope it actually matters to them. I guess I can keep up the front that I "liked" school, for a while. They're too little to understand, anyway.

As a parent of a future kindergartner, what advice can you give me about encouraging my child to do well? What are some good practices and routines to get into as the 2011-2012 school year draws near?

*Amy has a parenting and child product review blog called ParentSphere and she is a member of the Yahoo! Mother Board