Back to School 2019

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Back to School – 2019

This was a BIG YEAR in the Parker household with back to school time!

It’s the ONLY year EVER that Kye, Britt and Tess will all be at the same school.

Kye is now a 5th grader, Britt is a 2nd grader, and Tess is a kindergartner.

After this year Kye and Tess will never be in school together again. C-razy!

Also after this year I will never have the ease of just one school drop off every day. Next year is gonna be interesting with the middle school and elementary school both starting at the same time each morning and being in the opposite direction of each other.

But one step at a time, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there πŸ˜‰

My mama heart has STRUGGLED with this school year.

I think it’s the combo of Kye being in 5th and Tess being in kinder.

Tess is my youngest to ever start all day school since she has such a late birthday. She had literally turned 5 exactly one week before the first day.

We opted to get a babysitter this year for open house.

With three kids at the same school it meant three teachers to meet and three loads of school supplies to deliver.

We didn’t need a toddler added to that mix!

Everything went great with Open House!

Zach brought along his business card and it went over well with all the teachers (you can read our one tip for starting off on the right foot each school year here!).

I remembered to get pics of Tessie in her class and Kye in his but in Britt’s we were chatting so much with the teacher that I forgot!

But yall. When I got to the car I sobbed. Like literally cried the whole way home.

It just all HIT ME.

My kids growing up. Sweet tiny baby Tess in elementary school. My oldest baby one year away from middle school.

The kids kinda loved that I was upset about it. Britt chimed in “And ME moving up to the BIG PLAYGROUND”

Sure babe, I’m crying about that too πŸ˜‰ Truth is Britt is in a non-emotional grade. 2nd grade just doesn’t hit the mama emotions the way kinder and 5th do but I don’t want her feeling left out of my tears of course πŸ˜‰

My tears from Open House were mostly about Tess. I think her being my youngest just makes such a difference for me. She seems SO LITTLE and SO YOUNG and SO TINY to be in BIG SCHOOL.

Whew it just GOT ME.

The kids were all excited about their first day of school!

This year Kye needed a new book bag and we agreed it was time to stop having his name on it and we went with something a little bit “older” in style.

I got his Under Armour book bag from here!

Britt is looking SO GROWN. I know she’s only in 2nd but doesn’t she look like she could be heading to 5th with Kye?

I love that she was excited about choosing a dress for her first day outfit and she rocked it πŸ™‚

Britt also needed a new book bag and decided she also wanted to change her name this year…instead of Britt she wanted it to have Brittlynn on it – her Daddy is excited to hear that since he’s the only person who calls her Brittlynn!

You can get Britt’s “Class of” Shirt Here!

And her book bag here!

Tess was SO thrilled to get to go to school with Kye and Britt!

She still just looks so tiny to me! Maybe it’s a third kid thing? But she’s not allowed to grow up πŸ˜‰

I ordered her dress super last minute and it’s ADORABLE!

Shop the dress here

Shoes here

Bookbag here!

Class Of Shirt here!

Zach stayed home with Spear and I took the big three to school on the first day.

Kye opted out of the welcome back picture and Tess said she wanted one BY HERSELF πŸ˜‰

I thought my emotions might kick back in like they did for Open House but I was fine during the drop off situation!

We dropped off Britt first. She said “I’m always in the middle and I want to be FIRST!” So we honored that πŸ™‚

Britt is always so confident about school but when I drop her off she gets this look in her eyes that breaks my heart.

It’s like that puppy dog eye look where she seems like she’s saying “please don’t leave me” and it makes it SO HARD to leave her!

Her teacher is SUPER sweet and I knew Britt would do fine but it tugged my heartstrings when she gave me that look goodbye!

Kye though yall. Tess and I walked him to his class and HE DID NOT WANT ME TO WALK HIM THE FULL WAY.

He kissed me goodbye before we turned the corner.

His teacher made the comment “aw let your mom walk you – because it’s THE LAST TIME SHE WILL GET TO”

What? Yall that comment did me in.

THE LAST TIME. I will EVER. Walk my BABY to class on the first day.

I cannot handle it!

I was so upset about Kye that dropping off Tess was a breeze. I also have mastered the first day situation – you gotta be QUICK with it.

Linger too long and the kids get nervous and upset. Leave as soon as possible!

I scooted out and then got in my car and let go of my fifth grader heartbreak feelings!

That first day the house seemed SO QUIET.

On Britt’s first day of kinder she wanted to ride the bus home and Tess was the same way.

She came bouncing off the bus with a HUGE SMILE!

Once we got inside, however, Tess hit me with the news that she had cried a LOT that morning and that she missed me.

It started to be a thing and I opted not to walk her into class the following days and am going to write a separate post about how we have helped Tess adjust to being in kindergarten because it’s def been my toughest adjustment to date with a child starting school and I know so many other mamas struggle in this area too.

I know all of my babies will have an AWESOME year! I am SUPER excited for all of their teachers this year.

The last two years Kye has had the same teacher and I just don’t love that in general. Nothing against the teacher he had, I just think it’s best for kids to have a new mix each year and I’m thankful no one has a repeat this school year. Fresh starts all around!

As yall know Kye struggled a bit in 4th. It just wasn’t a favorite year for him so I told him this year let’s have a POSITIVE outlook and focus on fostering friendships and ENJOYING his last year of Elementary School!

I had assumed going into this year that it’d be a really chill year for me as I only have the ONE school.

It’s a sweet spot where the big three are all at one building and Spear isn’t in school yet at all.

Then I started thinking about Spear getting ready to drop his morning nap and Mrs. Charlotte getting ready to have pretty major surgery (all of her toes and the front part of her right foot being totally reconstructed) and realized if I ever had any appointments I’d have a tough time having someone able to keep Spear for quite awhile.

AND I had so many people tell me that their speech delayed child greatly benefitted from a school environment. That being around peers and adults who don’t know what they mean with their whines helps force them to learn to communicate.

Yall know I’m hardcore about doing everything I can to help Spear with his speech delay so I started hunting around for options for some sort of program for him to be involved in.

I have been so sad that the preschool where Kye, Britt and Tess all went is closed and I thought I had another full year to figure out where Spear will go!

I found out that the same building and many of the same staff run a Mom’s Morning Out Program!

I felt like it was meant to be and a perfect fit!

They had a few spots left and I grabbed one and had Spear have his first day of “school” too.

I didn’t feel emotional about it because it’s not actual school.

It’s a casual environment. Pay-as-you-go. No commitment. No curriculum. No big deal.

I also LOVED that he was getting to have an experience at the same place the older kids did!

I purposely had him wear a copy-cat outfit of Kye’s first day πŸ˜‰

I LOVE his little book bag! Thank you Amazon Prime πŸ˜‰

Spear was SUPER pumped on his first day and happily went into the classroom.

I felt really good about the decision and content with it.

But this was my first EVER experience with any type of Moms Morning Out program and I didn’t really realize that it’s truly just like a free play, playtime situation.

I had Spear on two waiting lists for local area preschools prior to finding out about the MMO and one of them happened to call me and said a spot had opened up.

I immediately turned them down and said we were happy with the situation we’d found.

Then I just felt unsettled after I got off the phone with her.

If you know me at all then you know this is NOT a move I’d typically make. I’m super, super, SUPER planned out.

Even deciding randomly to put him in at MMO was SUPER out of character for me!

But my gut that day just kept saying that I needed to make a change.

So I called her back and said to myself if the spot was still free that I’d look into it further, if it was filled already then it wasn’t meant to be and he was meant to stay at the MMO.

When I called she said the spot was still open. This was on a Tuesday.

Yall. Spear and I ran up and toured the school that next day. And on Thursday he had his first day.

WHO EVEN AM I RIGHT NOW?

I had ZERO plans for Spear to be in preschool this year. ZERO.

My plan was keep him home with me all year this year. Potty train. Then enroll him in preschool next fall.

But sometimes you gotta roll with it and my gut told me that this was a good move for my child in this phase.

I had planned to start potty training as soon as the big kids started school but with Spear’s speech delay I don’t feel like it’s the best thing to do right now.

I think the focus – ALL of my focus with him – needs to be poured into speech.

We tackle this hurtle hard and tackle it to the fullness of my ability. THEN we potty train.

Everything truly works out how it is meant to be.

I’m so thankful to my friend, Larissa, who said that maybe God opened the MMO door to help prepare my heart to send him where he needed to be at the preschool. It helped ME ease into the transition.

I also think I do best when I don’t know a big change is coming. Like I say all the time – I’m SO THANKFUL I didn’t know Tess was my last pregnancy, last delivery, last nursed baby.

If I’d known at the time I would have been a HOT MESS over it.

So being kinda tossed into my LAST BABY going to school didn’t allow me to be overly emotional about it.

I also feel SO MUCH PEACE about the decision.

So many things aligned just right:

  • his new school is only minutes from our home
  • the focus in their class is on LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
  • the first day he came home saying “moo” for the first time
  • he goes to school SO HAPPY each day and is SO HAPPY when I pick him up
  • one of his teachers has adopted a child and was adopted herself
  • they support, and help with, potty training efforts when that time comes
  • they use a Jesus based curriculum but with a focus on FUN and crafts too (a negative about the preschool my older kids attended, in my eyes, was that it was a little too hardcore on the academics so I like that this is still a true curriculum but not as intense)
  • this school was at the top of my list for him to attend all through preschool so he’ll stay here until kindergarten

He attends just two mornings a week and I’ve seen such big gains already with his attendance.

I’m thankful I trusted that mama gut and rolled with it!

It’s been a BIG YEAR of transitions for our family and I had a crazy sad realization that an even bigger transition will come before we know it: the first day of high school for Kye will ALSO BE the first day of middle school for Britt and will ALSO BE the first day of Kindergarten for Spear.

Yall. Reserve me a hospital bed for that day okay? Because the emotional breakdown WILL HAPPEN! (or more likely a desperate need for a Disney trip ha!).

I feel so confident that this school year will be a favorite for our family and am so thankful for all the wonderful teachers, bus driver, peers and other people who have been put in our children’s lives and have helped them in their personal growth!

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest 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 Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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