Monday, August 25, 2014

A promise to myself / First day of school

It has been too long since I wrote anything here.  But I'm not going to worry about that right now.  I'm starting over again.  My kids have all gone back to school for the start of 4th grade and 2nd grade (WOW!  Where has the time gone?!?!?) and I'm getting back to doing what I was doing when I was happiest.  I'm going back to blogging, advocating and getting myself into a positive way of thinking.

It's not that I've been "UN"happy......quite the contrary.  But there's been something missing from my life lately that I need to take back.  And sharing my stories here really seems to help bring all of that back into perspective.

So......where was I.....oh, yeah.....first day of school.

This year is going to be a very interesting one for my family.  Firstly, we are INSANELY busy.  During the week (after school afternoons and evenings), Big Brother has soccer, hebrew school (as he begins to prepare for his Bar Mitzvah), and gymnastics.  Additionally, he plans on trying out for the talent show (which he has performed in the last 2 years), joining the chorus, beginning instrumental music (targeting trumpet as I think it suits him well) and (if we can swing it) joining the "Running Club".  Rachel will have 2 different dance classes, girl scouts (she's a Brownie now), and soccer (2x/week).  Simon's activities (as they currently stand) are all on the weekends.  All 3 kids will be attending Sunday School (Big Brother went last year, the twins will start this year) and Big Brother and Rachel will have soccer games on Saturdays.  Simon will have his dance class on Saturdays as well.  And, once a month, if we can manage it, they will head over to Home Depot to do "projects".

Dad and I made a realization yesterday as we were talking after breakfast.....a family dinner is a thing of the past during the week around here.  We will be able to pull it off on Friday evenings and periodically over the weekends but that's really it.   So we are trying to find other ways to make sure we spend quality family time together this year.  More on that as we figure it out.

But back to school.....

Big Brother is doing his own exciting thing this year....he's heading on the bus to the Middle School for math classes.  It's not as advanced as that's combining 4th and 5th grade math into a single year so that they are ready for more as they get older.  They are doing this at the middle school because a small number of students from several schools are doing this together and this was an easy location for such a program.  He has never taken the bus to school before.  To say he's excited about it is a gross understatement.  This program will begin tomorrow.  He will have to catch the bus at the elementary school shortly after 7am (he doesn't normally get up until then) and he will be bused back to school in time for his elementary school day to begin.  He is very excited about going on the bus.  He's also excited about being a member of the school's patrol.  This is something that is only for the 4th and 5th grade.  It seems to be a mark of distinction and all the students seem to want to be invited to join.  When his name was called last year, he was a VERY happy boy.  His year will be interesting, to say the least.

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Rachel and Simon are also back to taking the bus to school.  Simon's teacher last year strongly encouraged this.  Even though we live less than 1/2 mile to the school, having them come independently would do wonders for their day and really get them off on the right foot.  So, we agreed.  We waited for the bus today and they got on happily and (I learned from my spies at the school) they arrived with smiles and ready to begin the day.  I know very little first hand about Rachel's teacher this year, but she is working with the same 2 para-educators that she's been working with in the past.  I have been told that this teacher can set clearly defined limits which is something that Rachel needs.  If Rachel has a good first week, I'm positive it's going to be another VERY successful year for her.

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Simon is a little bit more questionable.  He has been with the same teacher these last 2 years.  This year, he is in a fully-Grade 2 special education classroom.  And he's with a teacher he just met last Friday during the school open house.  This teacher appears to be very nice and seemed to interact well with Simon and has been filled in by his previous teacher with his many antics and idiosyncrasies.  But his progress is always more gradual and we'll have to wait and see what the year will bring.

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But all 3 kids left for school this morning.  When they left, they were smiling, and I know at least 2 of them were smiling when they arrived.  I will be picking them up in just a little while (after I finish writing, although it won't be published until later) and I'll get to hear how the day went.  Hopefully, they will be all smiles still and ready to head back to school again tomorrow.

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