BACK TO SCHOOL FEAST
Last year we started the tradition of a Back to School Feast the night before the first day of school.
This year, we kept things simple and kid-friendly with homemade pizza, strawberries, lemonade, and cherry dump cake for dessert. I was in the thick of a lot of projects so I didn’t go all out but the kids had a splendid time and felt special.
After dinner we gathered in the family room for our back to school discussion and reminders. What are your teachers names? What do you do if you’re feeling shy but need to go to the bathroom? Look for kids who are alone and be their friends. How do you make a new friend on the playground? How are you getting home from school? Things like that.
Then Ben gave them each a Priesthood Blessing which were so sweet and comforting.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The next morning came quickly. The kids lept out of bed with excitement. Probably the first and only time that will happen this year! They were ready in record time.
Sadie has the same teacher for 3rd grade as she did for the second half of 2nd grade, Ms. Jones, who we really like. Most of the students in her class are new to her, but she makes friends quickly and easily. She had been telling me the last few weeks of summer that she was excited to go back to school. She may be my bravest and most emotionally stable child. Maybe it’s just because she’s older than the boys? I’m always in awe of her courage. She was such a timid toddler that it’s amazing to see how much growth she’s made in that area.
Jax started 1st grade and his teacher is Ms. Maroney. Kindergarten was pretty rough on him. We requested a sweet and soft spoken teacher for him this year, and the one he was assigned has been wonderful. We expected tears or nervousness from him on the first day, but he was all smiles.
Sadie and Jax have school from 8AM – 2:15. McKay has school from 9AM – 12PM. Hence, McKay is shown in the picture above still in his pajamas as Jax, Sadie, and Ben head out for the day.
We debated long and hard about starting McKay in kindergarten vs. doing another year of preschool since he has an August birthday. In the end, we chose the more gentler option. Seeing Jax, who also has a summer birthday, struggle so much in Kindergarten is what really cemented the decision. He is smart and responsible for his age so I’m sure he would have been fine to start the next grade, but I knew he’d be stressed and exhausted by the end of each day. So, another year of preschool it is!
He was nervous but composed on his first day. He had a best friend from last year that he was very sad wouldn’t be in his class anymore. He was super clingy and sad at “Meet the Teacher” so I was nervous how is first day would go. In the end, he did perfectly! Unfortunately, I had a little breakdown when it was time to say good bye. He looked so small and nervous and vulnerable that my heart broke for him. Luckily, he held it together.
ONE WEEK UPDATE
We’ve had a few speed bumps but I’m hopeful it’s going to be a great year for all the kids!
Sadie came home from school so, so happy the first two days. By Friday she was tired and grumpy, but this week she’s back to herself. Perhaps the hardest thing for her has been that she has the last lunch of the day which is at 12:20. She eats a lot and it’s really hard for her to go 5 hours without food! Also, she just had her orthodontic expander put in yesterday so that’s not ideal since it’s hard for her to talk, and she, understandably, only wants to eat soft food many of which are hard to pack in a lunchbox. As with all things, she forges ahead in quiet patience and optimism.
Jax had a phenomenal first week! He’s been the happiest I’ve been him in a long time. I wonder if he’s been dreading school starting up, but now that he’s faced the fear and conquered he has a sense of relief. Unfortunately, Monday morning (Day 4) was rough. We were up late the night before and he was so sleepy Monday morning. He didn’t want to get out of bed, cried, and begged to stay home. Which made Sadie and him late for school. Ugh. Tuesday was a little better. Today he was fine again. Let’s hope it’s smooth sailing from here.
McKay has made a new best friend, Michael, and seems to love school! Ben asked him last night which teacher he liked more – Ms. Dawn (who was his teacher last year and we loved!) or Ms. Jodi (teacher this year). He said Ms. Jodi. I was surprised! I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so I told him this morning I would need him to stay for lunch bunch at school tomorrow and he yelled, “Yeah!!! Michael’s been wanting me to stay!” This school is more hands-on that his previous school – lots of crafts, painting, building, and interactive activities. Each day he’s excited about the next day’s activity. Today they made applesauce as their snack which he found to be very fun and delicious. “I had two big scoops, Mommy! They let me have extra.” I think he’ll have a wonderful year!
A few pictures of them today during their “decompress” time after school……