Sunday, October 2, 2011

School starts...

Finally, one month in, I feel capable of writing our "back to school" post. With all four of us deeply tied to the academic calendar, we usually just try and hold our breath through the month of September, finally coming up for air when the page turns to October.

This year we are at 3 different schools.  This means 3 open houses, 3 sets of PTAs, 3 rounds of education nights.  At one child's school, we have 20 volunteer hours for the year, and 40 at the other. Not to mention all the conferences, performances, and social activities. It's busy - but honestly, we really love almost all of it.

The beginning of school was smoothest for the little one - he's returned to our amazing Montessori preschool, in the same class he began in last year. The same fabulous teachers, great friends, materials he knows, and lots that he's excited to learn.  Already we are seeing huge gains - he's moved into the "letter boxes" which are a beginning reading step, and is really working hard at using his words when he get's frustrated. He loves school, and every day has such enthusiasm for the things he is doing there.

My year has been going rather smoothly, also.  I have a fabulous class of kiddos - and only 10 of them are new to me.  We have jumped into learning with both feet, and are finding our way in our new classroom space.  While there are many transitions in my school as a whole, many of them don't affect me as a part-timer.  It's going to be a great year, and we're just glad to have it underway.

The biggest transition has been for our big kiddo.  He's a first grader this year, so he's at a new school.  Last spring we applied for a spot in a nearby Montessori charter school, and were told that he was first on the waiting list.  They were confident that some movement would happen and he would have a place there.  But when the end of August rolled  around and there still wasn't a spot, we had to change plans.  We registered for our neighborhood school, bought school supplies, and figured out the bus route. And then, one week after the charter began, but three days before the neighborhood school started, we got the call.  There was an opening at the charter school. He began the next day.

It hasn't been without challenge.  Because he started late, we missed all the new family orientations and "getting to know you" stuff, and that has increased anxiety for all of us. Overall, he's happy.  He gets to play soccer every day at lunch, loves the bigger kids (Montessori is mixed age, so his class is first, second, and third graders), and has been finding a lot of academic success. But there are still days when he asks to go back to his old school, or gets frustrated with all of the change. We're still convinced it is the right place for him, and have faith that things will smooth out as we feel more like a part of the community.

So, October, here we come!  The routines are starting to feel more normal, our days are finding their new rhythm, and we're all finding our place. It's going to be a good year.

1 comment:

  1. Look how big they are getting! And I see a little mischievious twinkle in Max's eye that reminds me a bit of you.... :)