Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Back-to-School Report

Three kids held three homemade signs in my carport as the thunder rolled and the rain ushered in a new school year.

All three of my kids stood in a row to cheese and shake off the nerves before walking into new classrooms. One kid was less enthused than the other two, as you can clearly see, but there were smiles all around when the day was done. The short story is: preschool was amazing, first grade was amazing, and fifth grade was amazing. I could leave it at that, but it wouldn't be very fun, would it? Read on to learn why these kids had such a wonderful first day:

It's always a little overwhelming to walk into a new situation, but Nathan was ready to see his friends and get started in a routine. This year he has three core teachers, a different activity teacher each day, and a GT class he attends three days a week. This schedule seems beyond elementary to me, but so far he's handling it well. Nathan is pleased to report that fifth grade is awesome so far because:

  • His class was allowed to choose desks in homeroom {#anarchy}. Naturally, he sat in a row of friends.
  • He tells me life is full of responsibility in fifth grade, instead of being lead to classes by teachers.
  • On that note, he is thrilled that lining up is a thing of the past. No more tripping over the kid in front of you.
  • He gets to carry his books and backpack from class to class.
  • All of his core teachers are super nice. So far the language arts teacher is the front-runner.
  • He's already jumping into the study of big words for vocabulary tests, which have turned out to be a favorite.

In the days leading up to school, Owen kept asking if he could stay in kindergarten. He was certain the older grades would be all work and no play. In spite of all his anxious feelings, he mustered the courage needed to walk through the doors. I met his anxiety throughout my workday, but I exhaled when he climbed into my back seat smiling. He said his first day in first grade was great, and here is why:

  • He sits beside Asher in the second row of desks and right in front of Kaylie.
  • The room is bigger and looks much cooler.
  • He got to play a game with play dough and didn't have to watch any boring movies.
  • His teacher has a loud voice, but she is very nice.
  • He gets to check out AND take home library books.
  • He gets to see kids who just started kindergarten and that makes him feel big.

This week isn't technically the first for Nora's preschool class, but Monday was their debut in kindergarten prep. Nora was so happy to show me her "homework" - an apple tree they painted to celebrate the beginning of the alphabet. She said her teacher came around and asked her to pick a finger to dip into the red paint, so she informed her she does not like having her nails painted. Once the process was explained, however, she was happy to create the masterpiece now hanging on our fridge. Following are a few more reasons why Nora thinks preschool rocks:

  • She gets to eat chicken nuggets and green beans that are better than Dad's {her words}.
  • She has a cubby with her name on it. And it's pink!
  • She gets to line up when she goes outside.
  • One of her best friends has yellow curly hair, just like her.
  • She sits on a purple square at rug time and they get to dance at school.
  • She gets to use GLUE and PAPER and "MARKERS BUT I DO NOT MAKE A MESS."

You should know I, too, rocked back to school. I remembered the exact placement in the elementary car line needed for an easy transition through both schools. I left no lunchbox unpacked. I even got out of bed on time! I'm sure there will be bumps along the way as fun first-day activities dissolve into actual work, but I know these kids can handle it.

Happy New School Year to all the parents and teachers out there.
I hope you had a fantastic fresh start, and if not... just a few days 'til Friday!

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