My oldest son finished third grade this past spring and that year was the first time I had been able to volunteer in his class with any regularity. I volunteered once a week when they attended art class and I was able to get to know a few of the students and learn a little about third grade dynamics. This is the gist of what I learned:
Third graders are still emotionally sensitive. They want to be cool, but they still suffer from the emotional instability that plagued them at the magical age of seven.
Third graders aren’t quite old enough to believe that everything is stupid… yet. But they’re getting close.
Third graders can be really mean!
It was so fun to be able to help out when I could and I hope I’m able to join his fourth grade class as often as I can in the fall.
A while back, my son had it in his head that he needed more expensive shoes. Supposedly, a kid in his class declared that his Keen shoes were “dollar store shoes,” and that cool kids only wear expensive shoes. Ugh.
First, I reminded him that we actually can’t buy him super cheap shoes anymore because he’ll rip through them faster than you can even say the words “Dollar Store.” Second, I explained to him that how much a pair of shoes costs means absolutely squat. What matters is if they fit comfortably, look good to you, and keep your feet dry. And it’s nice if they last a while, or at least until they’re outgrown.
Their teacher reprimanded the kid who tried to make others feel bad if they didn’t have $100+ shoes, but I did my own little passive-aggressive comeback (with my son’s blessing, of course). I made him some custom-dyed Vans.
Vans are ALL the rage among kids from elementary school all through high school. I have to admit that it makes me chuckle to see teenagers wearing the exact same pair of checkerboard Vans I’m wearing. I wear them because I like how they look and they’re slip-on, and I LOVED them when I was a kid.
We bought some plain white Vans from Journeys earlier this month and I galaxy-dyed them in green and blue, my son’s favorite colors. I used fiber-reactive dye from Dharma Trading and a similar technique that I use for galaxy-dyed clothes and baby carrier. They ended up being quite a pain to rinse, the dye inside the soles was tough to get out. I also did my best to mask off the white rubber to prevent them from being stained by the dye. Lastly, I masked off the rubber and labels when I painted stars with fabric paint.
I really love how they turned out and so does my son. Apparently a few of his friends want a pair now. #momwin