It’s been two weeks since we dropped our babies off in kindergarten. Overall, we are doing well with it, but it’s certainly a new normal. It seems that every time we settle into a new routine, the season changes and we find ourselves adjusting. Such is quad life!
We started a tradition of obligatory first day photos with a framed sign. Snag your own set for free at Paper Trail Design.
On the first day of school, the kids excitedly followed our chalk drawings down the street toward school.
Nisey and Poppa joined us for the big first day drop off. I was really proud of all of us, not a single tear was shed. At least not on the first day. Parents take their children to the classroom door on the first two days of school. The third day is “Independence Day”, which means the kids are dropped off at the front door and navigate to their classrooms (older students help the littles for a few days). All four kids hopped out of the car without a fuss (whew!). As I watched them walk away, the waterworks started…I sobbed all the way to work. I was totally unprepared to watch them walk away. Our sweet teachers sent class photos later in the morning entitled “They all made it!!” I flipped out a little when I couldn’t find Mason in the sea of kids, but was relieved when the teacher responded, “Someone jumped in front of him, you can see his little thumb.”
Drop offs have since gotten better, and pick ups are always the highlight of my day. I can’t wait to see these little faces running towards me. After the first day I learned to do a bag check- folder, lunch box, water bottle, and jackets. We only made it home with 75% of the lunch boxes on the first day of school. Sydney’s was left on her locker, but thankfully was still there the next morning.
Rylin and Harper are in the same class and share a locker. Sydney and Mason are in another class, and also share a locker. This is fantastic because my type A personalities are supporting their Type B siblings as they learn organization and responsibility.
I’ve been impressed with the kids teachers and really appreciate the time they’ve taken to share photos of what happens. One of the hardest things about sending the kids to school is not knowing what they do all day. Of course, they share their own accounts of things, but it can be cryptic and discombobulated. Rylin knows every single rule and every child in her class, but she is also very literal. For example, after going to P. E., she reported, “We just walk in circles. We do not run, and our teacher doesn’t know because she’s in a meeting.” From working in schools, I knew this wasn’t the whole story. I happen to know the coach so I jokingly asked him why he was having the kids walk monotonous circles. He explained they were learning whistle commands and basic rules of the gym. Since that lesson, they’ve learned several games, and I believe do run.
The kids’ school is large, but has a warm, welcoming culture rich with tradition. One such tradition is the first Friday of school is “Western Day” where the kids and staff all wear western attire. We talked about it all week and sifted through closets to pull together combinations of denim, bandanas, and plaid. However, Mason was the ONLY child who actually wore his ensemble to school. I don’t think the kids realized what special attire meant. Hopefully next time they’ll participate.
The kids completed their first homework assignments for a “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” unit. Each child brought home an enlarged initial, which they cut out and covered in items beginning with their initials. Despite my urges to help them cut everything pretty and design them according to my vision, I let the kids do everything with limited guidance. We had fun sifting through piles of stickers and brainstorming lists of items, which we tried to procure or create. They were so proud of themselves, and I was too. Unfortunately, Harper learned a hard lesson. Just doing the homework isn’t enough. You also have to turn it into the teacher. I’m not sure what happened, but Harper’s folder came back home with his project and no teacher note. I suspect he left his folder in his backpack all day.
The kids also went to the library and each chose a book to take home. As soon as they got home, the four of them sat right outside the mudroom to peruse their finds.
Much to everyone’s excitement, last Friday was Grandparent’s Day. Nisey, Granddaddy, and Carol were able to join the kids for lunch. I can’t wait to join them myself! Speaking of me….people have been asking just what I’m doing with all my time. I increased my hours at work, but I was able to work out a schedule with my director that allows me to drop the kids off, and pick them up from school. I don’t have loads of free time, but I’ve had just enough to do the grocery shopping SOLO, and I’m finding time to take better care of myself (hello, doctor and dentist appointments). I’m also finding that since we are apart all day, the kids and I are savoring our time together. Oh, and it’s much easier to keep the house clean since the kids are constantly creating tornadoes around themselves AND kids go to bed much more quickly since kindergarten is exhausting work.
Stay tuned for more kindergarten adventures!
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