Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week 1 - Reflections

My darling children decided to wake me up at 7 am today, so I have plenty of time to tell you all about what worked and what didn't with school this week.
  1. Whoever decided to start on Wednesday instead of Monday is a genius. By Friday we were wiped out, and in desperate need of a weekend. 
  2. I did not make it to the gym. I knew I wouldn't. Maybe next week. 
  3. Making the girls' lunches and choosing their outfits the night before saves a lot of confusion and delay (as Sir Topumhat would say) in the morning.  (They can choose one day per week to purchase school lunch).
  4. My kids get their very! own! alarm clock! when they start Kindergarten.  This makes them feel very grown up.  Starting them out early at waking themselves up with an alarm will (hopefully) save me a lot of grief when they're teenagers and they don't bounce out of bed for school like it's Christmas morning.  Thanks, Grandma Denna, for the tip!
  5. Claire's teacher had appointments for each child to come in and meet her before school started. Mary Grace's teacher had an open house. Appointments are better. 
  6. Parents, I understand that your child's medical/transportation/learning/vision/hearing issue is the Most Important Thing Ever, but if there's a stack of papers on your child's desk, you might want to see if there's a place to write your concerns (so they're documented and the poor overworked overwhelmed teacher can refer to it again later!) before you bend her ear for 20 minutes at the 2 hour open house. If it's really that serious, maybe you could make an appointment or send an email.  "I'm going to email you about Precious's allergies, and if we need to meet next week to discuss it I'm available," is a lot faster and more respectful of everyone's time. 
  7. If your child's teacher has an open house, get there early to get a good desk. 
  8. Your child's bus will be at least 10, but probably 20, minutes late getting home on the first day. Do not panic.
  9. Transitioning two kids from half days to full days simultaneously was kind of a stupid idea.  Parents of multiples - I don't know how you do it.  I felt like the kids took turns having tantrums (from exhaustion and overwhelm) this week.  
  10. Make NO evening plans for the first week of school (see above: re: tantrums).
  11. We're working on an afternoon routine, too, to transition them to home.       
    The idea is to get them in the door, get their stuff where it needs to go, and get their homework done before they run off and play with the neighborhood kids.  The first day we fought.  The second day went better.  The third day, they did the whole thing without me while I got their snack!  Begin as you mean to go on!  Hopefully the good habits we're building now will last throughout their school careers.  (Plus, Jack and I really miss them all day and I don't want them to just take off right away!) 
  12. Now that the weather is starting to get cooler, I'm really looking forward to getting the crock pot out and making dinner early in the day so that I don't have to use the after school/early evening time for cooking.  Dinners were very simple around here this week - leftovers, grilled cheese and sliced tomatoes, and Friday we went out.
  13. I got Jack a little $5 toy car to distract him when the girls got on the bus and disappeared Wednesday morning.  I've also made sure that he had lots of friends around so he didn't miss his sisters too much.  He's too little to understand where the heck they went and why that big "nah nah" chews them up every morning and then spits them out every afternoon!  Poor honey.
Now, on to my questions:
  1. How do you deal with not having control over their diet?  For example, we like to get pizza on Friday nights, but the school serves pizza (from Papa John's) on Fridays, and both girls chose to buy their lunch that day.  It seemed excessive to have pizza for lunch and dinner.  Do you consider what they're eating at school when you make dinner, or do you just make your plans and figure that pizza twice a week won't kill them, even if it is on the same day?  I'm having a hard time not having dietary control (which is why they only buy lunch once a week as opposed to every day), especially when it comes to treats.
  2. Teachers - do you mind if parents send extra things for the kids?  For example, all the girls' extra supplies just kind of got shoved in the back of their desks, so I found these little plastic baskets at Target to send so they had a container for them.  What if I were to get them little notepads with their names on them or a cool set of markers?  I understand that you don't want boxes of 200 crayons, but do special off-list school supplies and containers cause a problem?  (We live in a pretty affluent area, so I'm not worried about other kids' parents not being able to afford the $1 container I found in the dollar spot at Target).
How was YOUR week?  Did your kids start school?


angel0199 said...

I wouldn't worry about pizza twice in one day. They will burn the calories of their lunch pizza off before they ever get home from school. The sodium is probably the worse part about it and since you feed them homemade lunch the rest of the week it should be fine.

I can't imagine a teacher caring if you send in a basket to help organize their desk. If they don't want them to use it they will just send it back home. I know teachers here ask that you not send in special pencils and such because they get "lost". I probably wouldn't send in notebooks with names or initial either as they may disappear as well. Part of me says parents need to teach their kids to leave other peoples stuff alone and that not everyone always gets the same things, but the other part of me appreciates that teachers may have close to 30 kids to keep track of and don't know what stuff belongs to who and I don't want to make their job any harder than it already is.

Rob Monroe said...

They are young with high metabolism, I don't think that pizza twice a day is bad for them. (Plus, don't you remember that the Feds reclassified pizza as a vegetable?!)

Love the after school plan - I need to work on something like that for Anny's sake more than Abby's. Now that I get home earlier it might be easier, but the two of them drove each other CRAZY last year!

Miss Esspi ♡ said...

You're hilarious lol *follows*

Miss Esspi ♡ said...

You're hilarious lol *follows*