Back to School 2018

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Back to school really crept up on us quick this year! I had a lot of guilt last school year for my lack of involvement. With our adoption and having a new baby it was just impossible for me to be up at the school very often or be as hands on with my kids’ school years as I’d like to be. I hoped to kick this year off with a good start by doing something special for each of their teachers.

I decided rather than doing a cute Pinterest craft or gift that it’d be more beneficial and practical for the teachers to purchase extra school supplies for their classrooms. A couple of the teachers had a wishlist in addition to their class list of items so I purchased those things and I also bought a few extras of the regular class items to make sure they’d have plenty. I stuck it all in a bag with a cute little tag and it was good to go!

I’ve seen plenty of articles about how much teachers spend of their own money on supplies so I assumed this would be a well appreciated gesture and I also did a poll asking when was the best time to bring the gift to them: all the teachers who follow my IG chimed in and said OPEN HOUSE. Having the added supplies before the first day would allow them to get it all organized and see what items they still needed to possibly purchase! So the kids each presented their teachers with their gift bag during open house and I thought it went over super well!

I love that the elementary school has open house the Friday prior to the first day of school. It works out really well for Zach’s work schedule for him to be able to attend and this year he took Kye golfing with him prior to Open House and they just met me, the girls and Spear at the school. We went to visit Britt’s teacher first since we’d never met her before.

Britt’s teacher from last year actually moved up to first grade and has many of the same kids who moved up with her. Britt was one of the students who did not keep the same teacher and that not only means she has a new teacher but also all new classmates. I am thankful for the switch. I think it’s a good thing for the kids to have a new mix of students and a new teacher each school year.

Not that I didn’t like her teacher last year but I just think all teacher-student relationships are different and teaching-learning styles are different and mixing it up is a good thing for everyone. It’s good to learn a new routine, new people, a to be taught in a different way.

Her teacher is SUPER sweet and I know Britt will have a fabulous year! She also tested into the gifted program during kindergarten so I think that’s part of why she was switched up in her teacher because it seems like the school tends to keep many of the gifted kids in the same core class (at least from seeing Kye’s class trends over the years). She will be pulled out each day for a bit to go to her gifted class.

Kye struggled when he first tested into gifted but I’m pretty sure Britt will ease right into the schedule and routine and will enjoy it! It’s an advantage of already having an older sibling in the program because it’s a way to “be like Kye” which she loves!

It was hard for Britt to see the list of classmates and for her to realize that none of her buddies from last year are in her class this year. Again, I think this is a positive thing. I hear all the time from other parents that they will request classes to make sure friends stay together and I just don’t personally agree with that. It’s good to branch out. Meet new people. Create new bonds. Interact with different personalities. Yall know socialization is something Zach and I highly value and I believe being in a new mix of kids is only positive in creating well socialized children.

Britt is so outgoing and friendships are so important to her that I wasn’t worried in the least about her ability to make new friends in her new class! I was positive she’d have 8 new best friends by the end of the first week 😉

Zach gives “the talk” to each teacher each school year. We firmly believe that this talk has a HUGE impact on the school year as a whole for our kids and for our relationships with their teachers. Want to know what “the talk” is all about? Read my post on starting the school year off with a good start here!

Kye’s teacher from last year also moved up to fourth grade this year. If one of our kids was going to have the same teacher again I’m glad it was Kye because fourth grade is when they start switching classes so he has three teachers total each day for his core subjects, plus his teacher for gifted. It’s a BIG CHANGE and while I’m all about having a new teacher each year…I’m thankful he has someone who he’s already comfortable with to help ease him into this big transition.

When I first saw he had the same teacher I was concerned…not regarding the teacher but regarding the class. Kye struggled in third grade to make solid friendships most of the year. It seems to me (and I’ve had some confirmation on this hunch) that the really strong leaders and good students get placed with the “tougher students” which I don’t agree with. It has been very, very wearing on Kye. It’s exhausting for him to have to be constantly helping pull others up and have that sort of responsibility on his young shoulders.

I was VERY thankful to learn that he has an entirely new mix of kids this year in his class. He also has his church BFF, Jack, in his class for the first time which we’re super excited about. I feel like he’s got a much better blend of classmates and a better opportunity to make solid bonds and connections with his peers.

Ready for 1st and 4th Grade!

Kye and Britt’s first day of school fell on Zach’s birthday (as usual haha) Zach was able to keep Spear and Tess so I could take the big two to school for their first day. We have a tradition of taking pics with a sign for their first day and having pics done in their “class of” shirts. I love seeing how much they grow each year…Kye’s shirt is becoming smaller 😉

I love how Kye’s shirt is still a little dressy to make Mommy happy but is also Star Wars to make him happy 😉

Couldn’t pass up a unicorn dress for my fellow unicorn fan!

This year I lucked out on costs for the new school year as both Kye and Britt could reuse their same book bags. Kye was also fine with his lunchbox but Britt’s was in rough shape so I had to get her a new one. And a Rey one happened to be on clearance from Pottery Barn Kids for only $11! SCORE! I got the matching thermos but regret it. If you’re thermos shopping I have to say the Thermos brand Funtainers are THE JAM. So much easier to clean than the PBK ones and they are the only ones I’ll be buying from here on out!

Next year Tess will be joining them! It’ll be the only school year where all three kids will be together at the same school!

We dropped off Kye first as I just had a feeling Britt would need me longer. Mama’s intuition I guess. When it came to Kye I did a quick goodbye and no picture. I’m very sensitive about embarrassing my kids. I know their entire lives are on display on the blog and they don’t mind that (at least not at this point of things) but I really try to be mindful of how I act in front of their peers. I get the vibe from Kye that a picture would probably be too much to ask at this age so I just said bye and for him to have a great day!

Britt struggled HARD at drop off which really surprised me. Her little eyes got HUGE and she clung to me and kept saying “I’m just going to miss you Mommy.” Ugh it broke my HEART. It was so hard to leave her. She never cried and she stayed strong but whew it was tough. I think just the newness of a new class, new teacher, new students was a lot on her.

Overall this school year has been the easiest on my mama heart. No huge changes or milestone years. First grade? No biggie. Britt was already at her current school for kindergarten so it’s not a huge change. Fourth grade? No biggie. Kye was already upstairs for third grade and I just feel like fourth grade isn’t a HUGE shift.

Tess is entering her last year of preschool. Again…not a big deal. Sure, it’s sad that it’s her last preschool year but it won’t really sink in until she enters kindergarten next year. Next year will be a HUGE milestone year for this mama. A 5th grader and a kindergartener? Whew. But this year was an easier one for sure!

Tess doesn’t start school for about a week after the older two start. I loved that this year they did her open house the same morning as the first day. I was a tad nervous about it as I do think it’s nice for the kids to get to meet their teachers and get acclimated a bit with their classrooms prior to the first day. But the staff did a great job keeping the Open House portion short and sweet and they took the kids outside to play during it which made the transition into the first day super, super smooth. I don’t think any tears were shed, at least not while I was there!

Tess is in legit pre-k this year and will be attending school each day for half a day rather than just the three days like she’s been doing in years prior. This is the only real big switch for our family this year and it is a tough one for me as I love our Mondays and Fridays together with Tess at home! However I also know that easing into the every day routine is a positive thing overall as it’ll make the transition into full day kindergarten next year much smoother for her (and me both!).

Her teacher this year is one none of our kids have ever had at the preschool but her helper teacher is one that both of our other kids have had which is a nice blend. I know Tess will do awesome in k-4! We worked hard over the summer on some of the areas she needed a little extra help in and I feel like she’ll start the year off ahead of the game!

Carter is in her class again this year which is so great. They are truly beyond precious together and it will be SO SAD next year. They aren’t zoned for the same elementary or middle school so they won’t have any chance to be together in a school setting again until high school. I know he’ll be taking good care of her when that time comes though! They are truly the best of friends!

I’m so thankful we are so well established in the preschool. It’s CRAZY we’ve been going to the same school since Kye was 2 ½. Thats 7 school years yall! Next year will be the first year we won’t have any kids in preschool. It will feel so strange (and be awesome to have that extra money haha). It will also be SO FUN having Kye, Britt and Tess all in the same school for one year. Then it’ll get tricky the following year when Kye will be in middle school and Spear will be in preschool.

I know Kye, Britt and Tess will all have great school years this year. They are blessed with awesome teachers and I know they will all learn so much and I will enjoy getting to savor that quality time with just Spear at home!

journeyofphood

Hey Guys, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happy place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

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