Family Magazine

What A Difference A Year Makes

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

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Back to school collage 2013
Two weeks into the new school year.  Everyone’s getting into the groove of things.  Yes, that includes me.  I’m settling into my own routine which includes an early morning workout.  If I’m going to be up every morning at 5 a.m. I mine as well use that 2 1/2 hours while everyone else is either still sleeping, off to school, or old enough to not get in my way while I work out and join in with me, to be productive.  Everyone needs a teenage workout buddy, right?

So last year was sort of a huge year for everyone around here.  We were finishing up certain chapters in life here and moving on to things and figuring out the best placement.  Also dealing with a very young child starting Kindergarten and knowing that he probably needed one more year.

We had a rough start last year.  With my oldest placed in the wrong classes and the back and forth to try to get that straightened out.  Then bus issues with my son which really seemed to keep popping up all year long.  The only one who seemed to be just cruising through was my middle daughter.

But a new school year and a new school for two of my kids and my son repeating Kindergarten there was a lot of anxiety starting out this year.  Mine included.  Now we’re only two weeks into the school year of course, but so far things seem to be going relatively well.  There have been a few speed bumps, but we’re settling in.

My Son Repeating Kindergarten

Having my son repeat Kindergarten was something my husband and I went back and forth on a lot.  While it was something I had anticipated from the time he was born really because of CT’s late cut off and his late in the year birthday when it came down to it I still had doubts.  Mostly socially.  Even though I told everyone, I knew this was coming and I was excited about it, you just can’t help but feel you might have failed your child.  Deep down I knew that wasn’t true and that failing him would have been pushing him forward to something I knew he wasn’t ready for, but no one wants to worry about that stigma of repeating a grade.  I have been worried that my son wouldn’t handle it socially.  Like ultimately I knew if it was going to be done, then socially the younger the better, but still he’s in the same school and all of his friends moved on.  So it was like starting all over again only in a place he was very familiar with and everyone left him behind.

And socially he does seem to be doing fine.  He has mentioned a few new friends, but he has had a few problems as well.  It’s kind of funny because last year by this time I was getting notes home about his behavior.  Nothing terrible.  Just not completing work and sitting at his chair breaking crayons or sticking pencils in glue sticks.  This year I am sending notes to his teacher to find out why his seat buddy is stealing his snack and stabbing his box of crayons.

But you know what’s even better than that?  The papers that are coming home are completed.  Last year he would maybe color in a worksheet, but it would only be a few little scribbles and then the tracing letters was very rarely done or completed.  Now, he’s not only thoroughly coloring the picture, but he’s also doing the rest of the worksheet.  What a difference a year makes.  This right here is what makes me think, “Okay this WAS the right thing for him!”

school work 2013

A completed piece of work that recently came home.

Then at open house I spoke to his teacher in person.  She wasn’t his teacher last year, but she knew him from last year as the Kindergarten classes often do things together.  She has even seen an improvement in him.  The confidence he oozes this year.  When he gets a paper he says, “Hey, I remember this!”  And he’s getting right down to work.  It’s not boring him, it’s exciting for him because now he has this confidence that he does know what he’s doing.  So so far I would say having him repeat Kindergarten has been a success.

Middle School A Half An Hour From Home

My poor middle daughter.  She has a very long school day.  She has to get to her bus before 6 a.m.  I have to get her to the stop because it’s just over a mile from our house.  That’s why I’m up so early every morning.  I drop her off and then go back to get her shortly before 4 right now, but soon the day should end up being longer.  And she probably won’t be getting home until closer to 5.  She’s far from home to boot.

These early mornings have been the hardest for her.  She has made a ton of friends already.  I knew she would.  And the excitement in all of the art classes she got to choose from has been great.  Especially when she got the classes she chose.  The only thing she’s not liking is the early morning.  But even that I’m not so sure she hates that much.  Because as soon as the bus arrives she’s bounding right out of the car and excitedly joining her friends.  And she’s even working on a movie with her friends on bullying.  Completely on their own, not a part of a class, but they went to the school administration about it and they are loving this and told them they will help them anyway they can.  So she’s settling right into this new school and having so many doors opened to her already.  It’s amazing watching the light in her eye when she talks about some of the things she’s doing in this school.

Now In High School, They Don’t Play Around

Finally, we have my oldest who started high school.  She was so nervous about this.  But for the most part it went well.  She hates her schedule on B days because she has no friends in any of her classes, but I’m sure that will change.

They sure are strict with the rules in high school though.  She actually received detention for being 5 minutes late to a class her 2nd day in that class because she got lost.

The rule is if you are tardy anywhere between 1-20 minutes to a class, then you get a class detention.  I didn’t really realize this was the case and certainly thought there had to be some leeway for a freshman within the first week of school.  She told me everything that happened even before the detention slip was received and I told her, “They don’t give out detention for the first offense.  You’ll have to be chronically late for them to give you detention for that.”

Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions to the rule.  Turns out my daughter was that exception.  Being within the first week of school and a new student I was able to get it dismissed for her without much fuss at all.  I did tell her this wouldn’t happen again.  Meaning, if she’s late again she will be taking her punishment and I will not be calling the school to get her out of it.  She totally understands and now knows exactly where that class is.

Other than that things have been going well.  She’s in all of the right classes and so far seems to be on top of her work and even stepping out of her comfort zone a little and actually approaching teachers about things without me having to nag her too much.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

But that’s life in the first two weeks of school here.  Everyone is on the right track to having a great year.  And really I have seen so much growth in all three of them.  I don’t even mean physically.  They were all totally up for the challenges of this year even if they didn’t believe that to be true.  They are growing and maturing and I couldn’t be more proud.  It’s gonna be a great school year!

How has the start of the new school year gone for you?


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