End of School Year 2020

End of School Year 2020

Technically our last day of school this year was on March 13th (ironically a Friday the 13th!).

I still can’t get over just how insane this whole situation has been!

I didn’t even take a picture on their last day because we assumed they’d go back. NO WAY on March 13th did ANYONE think that kids wouldn’t return to school until fall. Originally it was a two week thing and then a month thing and then bam! No school again.

So. Crazy.

You can read all my thoughts and what we’ve learned during the pandemic here.

I was very impressed with how our school system handled everything. Not only was March 13th the last day of physical school, it was also the last day of learning new materials.

The kids report cards were based off of grades taken prior to March 13th and all the digital learning was not required and was only a review of prior content.

I’m SO thankful they made this decision as it allowed our time at home together to be enjoyable rather than stressful as we didn’t have pressure to be learning new content.

This year was a big school year for our family and I decided to still honor the last day of the school year to get those comparison pics and thought it’d be nice to take the time to reflect a bit about this year!

Spear started school in the fall on a WHIM. Totally unplanned and he LOVED it!

When school got canceled Spear’s preschool program did SO much to stay plugged in with the kids.

Which was so sweet and I appreciate it so much but whew four kids at home? I’m not about to tune into a Facebook live every day with a two year old.

So we didn’t stress ANY structured learning for Spear and I have zero regrets. His time at home was SUPER beneficial.

He got COMPLETELY daytime potty trained (still wears a diaper for naps and nights) and his language development EXPLODED. He’s talking so, so much and I know having all the time together with his siblings made a huge difference!

He’s also fully transitioned to room time and spends an hour a day playing happily in his room each day!

SO proud of this boy! He will go back to preschool in the fall for three mornings a week. I know he’ll have so much fun!

A really, really hard thing on my mama heart with the school year being cut short is that it was the ONLY year that three of my four babies got to be in the same school together. It won’t ever happen again!

Kye will also not ever be in the same school as Tess again. AND he won’t be in school with Britt again until his senior year of high school. Cue the tears.

I loved dropping the three of them off together and seeing them run in the building together as well as come of the bus together in the afternoons. I loved knowing the girls had their big brother with them and it makes me so sad that this super special year didn’t get to finish out!

Tess struggled a good bit at the start of the school year with kindergarten. She FINALLY got in the groove and bam! School is canceled.

Out of all the kids Tess has been THE most excited not to have school, and she’s also the one I worry about the academic impact for the most. She didn’t really have any digital learning since she’s in kindergarten.

So I downloaded a bunch of learning apps geared towards her age and grade level and invested in several workbooks (she LOVES these)

My main focus with her has been on READING. She mastered all of her sitewords and we focused on reading books together. I love this series of books as they each build on each other and are a fun motivator for her to want to read.

While I worry the most about Tess losing her skill set, I also know she will be FINE! ALL kids are equally missing out and I know teachers will help catch kids up in the fall.

Plus…can I be REAL for a second? I’m GLAD kids missed this time of education. School has become SO MUCH for kids. It’s demanding and just so intense.

I remember learning how to read in first grade but now? First graders are expected to be able to read 60 words a minute.

I’m hoping that a positive thing to come out of coronavirus life will be the education system will chill out a little and stop imposing so many strict demands on teachers and students.

When we found out school was canceled for the year Tess instantly said she was nervous about first grade. I know it’ll be another slow transition for her but she’ll adjust and do great when the time comes! For now I just get to soak up extra snuggles 😉

I will CRY the day Tess loses her baby teeth…and the day she stops rocking the top knot with a bow. SO STINKING CUTE.

Even though you can’t notice a huge change in Tess from the first day to the last…she’s changed a TON during this time at home.

She looks much older (longer and leaner) and has just stepped up her big kid GAME. Girl is a SUPER helper with everything and very intuitive to what needs are in the moment. She’s pure joy for our family and has LOVED this time with her siblings at home together.

When we got the news that school was canceled, Britt was the only kid who was sad. Britt LOVES school and I’m sad that she didn’t get to experience a full school year with her teacher as she was SO awesome.

Britt is my social butterfly. She had a great group of friends at school this year (we had some friendship struggles in first grade) and I was so thankful for her sweet friendships and her AMAZING teacher.

She really blossomed in the classroom and enjoyed school so, so much.

I was so sad to see it end early for her and she was my most committed to the digital learning. She loved checking in with her classmates on Google Hangout and will do so so great next year in third grade. I know she’ll be a great helper making sure Tess gets where she needs to be. She will miss Kye but I also think she’ll SHINE as THE older sibling at school 🙂

SUCH a fitting award for Britt – girl LOVES to ask some questions 🙂 (picture must have been taken on Wacky Wednesday)

I’m so proud of this girl! The pandemic has been the toughest on her but she’s found ways to get through it and cope during the tougher parts too!

I struggled the most emotionally with the news of school being canceled for Kye.

Fifth grade was one of MY favorite years of school. It was SO SO FUN.

However, Kye doesn’t know what he missed. He’ll never experience the fun I had in 5th grade – but he’ll never miss it either. I had to keep reminding myself of that over and over. “He doesn’t know what he’s missing.”

Kye was THRILLED at the news that school was canceled. As a typical first born perfectionist, school is often stressful for Kye. He aims to do his best at everything and it’s just a lot for a kid!

He was so thankful for the easy going non-stressful life that corona offered him at home.

It took quite awhile for it to sink in for him I think. As we started talking about next school year he’d say things about his friends or recess or clubs and realized he won’t be going back to that school. He’ll never have recess again.

He’s starting an entirely new phase of life and I’m sad for him that he didn’t get to have the traditional transitions into middle school.

I really feel like middle school is going to be his JAM though. He was really loving fifth grade (a HUGE improvement from 4th for him). He had an awesome dude crew of friends and found “his people” where as in prior years he struggled to find others like him to connect with.

I think he’ll only continue to meet more and more friends in middle school and will do awesome. I’m SUPER nervous about how our afternoons will work out. Ideally I’d like to pick him up from school but his pick up time is the time the girls get off the bus so I’m not sure how that’ll all pan out.

Love that he’s rocking the long corona hair for the last day pics!

First vs Last Day of 5th!

Andddd let the tears fall seeing this comparison of the first day of kindergarten compared to last day of 5th. SO GROWN. (and yes, he totally looks like Tessie!)

Kye’s gifted teacher came to see him which was SO SWEET. She played fun music and hopped out of her car and have him a mini version of herself to take with him to middle school. I love that she took the time to come by and help make him feel special! He was SO surprised!

We had to go by the school to pick up all the kid’s stuff and I arranged to pick it all up at the same time and planned for it to be when the 5th grade time was.

Whew. I got this really heavy feeling in my heart and my emotions when I drove up and saw all the fifth grade teachers having posters and celebrating the 5th graders.

Usually every year we go out to eat as a family on the last day of school!

This year we waited a few days and then went out to get HAIR CUTS before having dinner! It was the first outing the kids have had since March and it was amazing 🙂

Since the girls really needed trims and the boys DESPERATELY needed cuts we just all went as a family.

Spear did SO well sitting still for his cut…Kelsi was able to repair a lot of the coronacut Daddy gave him too. He looks so handsome!

Britt is trying to grow hers out a bit, as she’s hoping to do a BBB makeover at Disney for her bday in Nov (right now we aren’t even allowed to book anything at Disney so who knows if that’ll happen).

We just did a bit of a trim to help it look healthy!

I’d LOVE to chop Tess’s off. It’s CRAZY how drastically different Tess’s and Britt’s hair is. Tess hasn’t had any sort of trim in AGES and she’s obsessed with her “Rapunzel hair” and did NOT want ANY of it cut.

I convinced her to be okay with a little trim and basically didn’t give her a choice in the matter. I feel bad that she really just can’t ever wear her hair down but it’s just the type of hair she has right now at this age it is stringy and doesn’t lay well even when we brush it. She’s a pony tail girl for the time being for sure 😉

Daddy even got his hair cut and we all just hung out in the waiting area. Most of the staff were wearing masks and they had a hand washing station that I’m pretty sure no one uses! We felt super comfortable and it was so nice being around PEOPLE!!!

Kye didn’t want a before pic but did let me take an after pic in the parking lot – huge improvement!

For dinner we went to Texas Roadhouse. A big goal of ours coming out of the pandemic is to be even more hardcore about spending smart so we researched and chose a restaurant that offered a kids night.

I should have called first! Even though they were doing dining in they were NOT honoring the kids night deal! Bummer.

We still made it work and were able to all eat for a pretty affordable price by the end of it. We told the kids they could eat more when we got home if they were still hungry 😉 Better that route than buy more food than we needed!

It was interesting driving up and waiting in our car for our table – but I def didn’t hate it. Loved not having to be mindful of a wild toddler inside a restaurant!

Menus were scanned on our phones and tables were skipped to allow social distancing.

Overall though it still felt like a normal meal out and we LOVED getting to leave the house and make a memory together as a family. Perfect way to kick off summer 🙂

I was SUPER proud of everyone’s behavior. After so many months inside who knew what to expect! All the kids were out of practice – it was funny because at first Britt was talking CRAZY loud. She just wasn’t used to being in public!

Spear did SO great too and it was a reminder that we’re on the verge of life being easier as he’s getting older and more and more well behaved!

Longest summer EVER and we aren’t too mad about it! Super proud of the great school years each kid enjoyed and thankful for all the quality time we’re enjoying as a family 🙂

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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 Love What Matters, 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, Facebook and Pinterest!

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