I hated going back to school when I was young, so, it’s not surprising to hear my kids groan, as they count down the hours.

I’m sure at the start of summer you had good intentions of doing a host of fun and useful things with your kids–impromptu road trips, teaching them how to cook, knit or play chess, building the ultimate Star Wars model out of cardboard and construction paper, mom and daughter manicure and pedicure evenings, and going through any worksheets they’ve missed, so they’re ready to hit the ground running on their first day back.

Got School?

Did you succeed?

While summer vacation is definitely a pause in my kids’ daily routine, the practicalities have been numerous for me, including rearranging family, work and personal schedules to accommodate the kids being at home.

Maybe, I didn’t succeed in creating the ultimate summer fest, but we did spend quality time together. In the real world where I live, and not in the realm of exacting expectations that has me in the role of grand architect of the greatest summer ever, that’s good enough for me.



In any case, when did it become my responsibility to entertain my kids? As I recall, my mother’s version of fun was to send me outside with a ball and jump rope to amuse myself.

Over the summer, I’ve found it extremely hard to keep up with consistencies. You’d think my simple request for my kids to read for thirty minutes every day was an imposition of tortuous proportions, while even mentioning doing their Mandarin practice was tantamount to being sent to the dungeons. And getting them to sleep at 9.30 pm, because early bedtime had slipped, was like herding reluctant wildebeest!

It’s back to school. Am I ready for it?

A few days ago, when I realized it was just around the corner, the very thought sent me through the house doing a jig. At this stage of summer, I’ve reached the bottom of my almost bottomless energy reserves.

I’m looking forward to getting back to a routine with my kids’ sleeping habits and, even, food consumption. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been the patrolling food police, stopping them grazing all and sundry in my cupboards.

Now, my role is to prepare my kids for the challenges they’ll face at the start of a new academic year. Though you may be nervous about the unknowns of your kids’ new teachers and classmates, it is ill advised to express your concerns aloud.

After all, don’t you want to encourage your children to look forward to school with hope and anticipation? There are so many exciting things for them experience, from new learning to a new season of sports, from new friendships to make and old friends to see. The hardest part for me is to trust that my kids are equipped to face the challenges ahead.

In the meantime, enjoy the remaining hours of summer fun with your kids and see you at school!

Susan Shifay Cheung

Susan Shifay Cheung has turned her hand to many forms of writing in her various roles, over the years, as corporate trainer, management consultant, journalist and freelance writer. You can contact her at y2s2cheung@yahoo.com