Tuesday, March 24, 2015

First Day of School 2014

So I've had this at the top of my To Blog List.  And in the last few weeks as I've thought about attempting to sit down and blog (it really is SO HARD people!) about the first day of school last fall and Halloween, I wondered what is the point of blogging that.  Isn't it mostly about pictures of the day...and I do all that in Instagram, thank you very much.

So I thought that the reason I need to blog is to record detail and feeling...which is hard 6 months later.  But I'm going to try:

The First Day of School is hard for me because

  • it's such a milestone...it's this real tangible evidence that the kids are growing.  Things obviously change in their lives and my life based on what happens on that First Day
  • Summer is so so so so glorious in Spokane and winter is so NOT that it's hard for me to be excited that it's coming to an end (whether or not it means a cleaner, quieter house and less hourly parenting for me)
  • Fall is so out of control busy with back to school meetings, back to school prep and sports/activities that I am never excited for that schedule to start up again
  • I don't like to change.  I like my schedules and plans and when I have to readjust them, I feel stressed and bugged and overwhelmed.
This year was a biggie.  Faith went to kindergarten (half day, thank heavens!!), Jane went to middle school (6th) and Gabe went to high school.  I was melancholy all day.  I was worried that Levi would be hard without the entertainment committee. (He's not...he hangs out with Faith in the morning and then naps till they get home).  It's been a good school year, but the busiest of my life.  And there's been so much learning and growth for all of us.  

Faith:  has loved kindergarten, Mrs. Martins is her teacher.  She's in the class where they combine with kids with disabilities and they have 4-5 adults (teachers and aides) in the class of 24 at all times.  She's way ahead of grade level (she's a November birthday) and it's easy and fun.  I've decided it's too hard to try to help in the class and she's commented on that but I've dealt with the guilt.  

Seth:  has a good but hard teacher.  Mrs. Swenson has notoriously high standards but I know that's good.  He had the worst report card of any of my elementary kids but it happened right when I'd felt prompted (and had the time) to focus on his very obvious Inattentive ADD issues.  We've had him in neurofeedback therapy and we think it's helping him focus at school,  I was worried about friends because this is the year where I noticed Gabe feeling bad socially due to his lack of ball interest and skills (this of course has all changed for Gabe!) and Seth has ZERO interest in sports and loves to play with girls.  I was worried he would be teased.  It doesn't seem to have happened.  He has all girl friends and doesn't seem to care.  


Jane:  had a hard start to the year.  She was assigned the Advanced classes and attended orientation with that schedule.  Without going into great detail, we got a call the day before school that there had been a mistake and she would be in regular classes.  (Trust me...I had lots of "discussions" with the administration about this and there truly was no way around it.)  She was devastated...embarrassed and nervous.  SUPER luckily, she got put in her best friend's class and honestly her teachers have been better than the advanced teachers (Emma and Gabe had them).  She was given the option about 2 months into the school year to switch back to advanced and chose to stay in her regular classes.  She's had straight As (first of our kids to ever do it) all year, and has taken advantage of about every activity open to a 6th grader.

Gabe:  has loved high school.  It has everything to do with cross country; the fact he practiced with the team all year and had a "group" the minute he stepped into the school.  It helps of course that he's so so good (more to come on that).  It's given him confidence and direction.  Cross country has made his incredibly hard academic schedule really challenging.  His grades aren't where he was hoping they'd be and he's learning a lot about time management, priorities, communicating with his teachers, and procrastination.  It's been a big year.


Emma:  Emma has taken hard classes and continued to be a great friend.  Her grades were not fabulous 1st semester and some parental friend/grade guidelines were put in place.  I was happy to see that her goal (on a YW thing I happened upon) is to get straight As.  The school musical Funny Girl has made that challenging with 20-30 hours of play practice over the last few weeks. She has loved it.

Included here:  the first day of school after school snack:

and my I'm So Glad I Had This Caboose buddy:

As I type all of this, I realized how much we (all of us) are constantly learning and growing.  What a blessing.  It's a good life. 


Jeanelle said...

I just can't believe how big your kids have gotten and how much they've all changed. Emma's hair is amazing. And seriously - Faith is in kindergarten? How on earth did that even happen?? And that Levi is such a perfect mix of you and Ryan. Adorable!!!

Elizabeth said...

I loved reading all this! Your children are all so gorgeous - you must be so proud of their efforts at school.

Amy F. said...

At this stage in life major things are happening for our kids every year!! Time is flying!

heidi said...

I loved this post because you mentioned your concerns. That makes me feel like we're on the same team as I seem to have an endless list of concerns for my children.

Lauren in GA said...

I, of course, loved reading all of these details. I read this quite a while ago but I had to go feed somebody, or something ;) and wasn't able to comment.

I love how you took the time to reflect on all of the learning and growth that has happened in your family.

Glad Levi has done great without the, "entertainment committee" (I love that committee title)

Evan ALWAYS had all girl friends for many years. I remember a teacher telling me in a whisper, "He only plays with all girls..." Like it was something to be ashamed of...so then I started to fret...but he has turned out well. ;) Also, my Brian has ADD and a processing disorder and it has been quite hard for him...but, we have finally seen some comforting improvements in his ability to concentrate this year. I am so grateful for good teachers.