Posts Tagged ‘school’

Back in the Groove

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack and Tate have been in school for a month now. They are familiar with their teachers, feeling comfortable with their peers, and are studying hard for their exams. We have established our routine for the school year.

Jack is coping well with increases in homework and assessments this year. I’m doing my best not to hover over Jack’s homework responsibilities. He has plenty of experience doing schoolwork at this point. He knows where to check for his homework assignments and what do. Some days it’s hard for me, but I know he needs to learn those skills for the future.

Tate is adapting well to daily homework. This is his first year he has specific assignments, worksheets, website review, and of course, reading. I’m hoping his positive attitude continues throughout the school year. After school, sometimes he is exhausted and it affects his willingness to get his work done. However, he has more organizational skills this year. That alone makes me a happy mom.

We still have a whole school year ahead of us, but currently I think the boys are doing a great job, even while fighting the colds they keep passing back and forth. I’m looking forward to cooler days where we can get outside after school and play… after all the homework is complete, of course.

Buckle Up

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays of December. The first day of school of course! Where we live, school doesn’t start until after Labor Day, and here we are.

I feel like the summer simply flew by. What’s really odd to me is that Haley does, too. I am not sure if I am remembering things correctly, but I recall feeling like the summer was endless when I was a kid. Just a long expanse of time that seemed never-ending. Haley has the opposite feeling. She feels like Kindergarten just ended and wouldn’t you know it—she just didn’t get enough time to relax. I know she’s ready for first grade and she’ll do great. But I don’t know how ready I am to see her move on to a much more challenging grade.

Hudson is starting school this year, too. He’s excited about his new backpack, and his sister has talked to him about it a lot. But I will be honest with you. Once he realizes that school is not a place where Mommy stays with you, there’s going to be a meltdown! And I don’t know who will produce more tears—Hudson or Mommy. There will be an adjustment period for sure, but I’m confident he’ll love his new routine. And in a few hours, it’s back home to Mommy anyway.

Good luck to all students starting this week! Hope things continue to go well for those of you who’ve been in session for a while.

Back to School

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack and Tate went back to school this week. Jack is in 5th grade and Tate is in 2nd. The boys didn’t want their summer vacation to end. However, once they saw all their friends on the first day, and met their new teachers, they were excited for the new school year to begin.

Jack and Tate were bummed they had homework on the first day, but I was happy to see them knock it out as soon as they got home from school. They each had a few “All about me” homework activities, which are a fun way to start the year off. Introducing yourself to your new class and learning about others makes it easier to make new friends.

It is always interesting to watch Jack and Tate grow. My first-born is in the top grade of his elementary school, 5th grade. Middle school is right around the corner. I can vividly remember his first day of Kindergarten like it was yesterday. The years are fleeting. Tate is already learning that 2nd grade comes with a lot more responsibility. I’m trying to teach him organizational skills with hopes it will help keep him focused. I think he is up for the challenge of a new grade.

I look forward to another school year. As much as I love spending fun summer days with the boys, it’s nice to be back on a schedule and fall into a new routine. I hope your new school year is a great one.

Hello, Summer!

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Another school year is in the books. Jack and Tate finish 4th and 1st grade on Friday. Yet again, I can’t believe how quickly the time passed. I remember being a nervous wreck anticipating the transition to a new school. Thankfully, the boys settled in nicely and ended up having their best year yet.

As the artwork, projects, papers, notebooks and the remains of random desk trash come home, there is always a sense of heartache as I throw away or file away Jack and Tate’s work. It’s sad to know they will never be this little again. Having older nephews keeps me aware just how quickly college will come. But, I will focus on a fun summer we have planned ahead.

We are looking forward to lots of excitement this summer. Swim season starts next week and a trip to the beach shortly after. I’m looking forward to these carefree days and the memories we make this summer. Cheers to a successful school year!

Visiting the Farm

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Last week, I accompanied Haley’s class on a highly anticipated field trip to a farm about an hour away from our town. We had an amazing time! They kids rode ponies, fed goats and sheep, and saw giraffes, zebras, tropical birds and lemurs. There were also jungle gyms and little clubhouses to explore. The kids loved the choo-choo train and the animatronic rooster show! It was a lot for a group of five and six year olds to take in, but they rose to the occasion.

As luck would have it, the day of the field trip was the hottest day we’ve had so far this year. The kids enjoyed themselves, but they were also hot and sweaty and thirsty. If you have any experience at all with this age group, you know that these children won’t hold back on complaining. During even the briefest lull in activity, they will tell you their problems and demand that you fix them. This is where my hands were a bit tied. I was a designated chaperone, but I’m not their teacher. I might dislike—a lot—that the kids didn’t have access to water bottles and had to wait until designated breaks to visit the water fountain. But there’s nothing I can do about it.

At one point, Haley’s classmate complained that her stomach hurt. I told the teacher, who basically told to ignore the girl because she says that all the time. The poor kid had tears streaming down her cheeks. As the others played, I told her to sit by me. When I thought no one was looking, I pulled out a small extra water bottle I had in my backpack and gave it to her. She drank it in one gulp, which I’m sure any of the other children would have done as well. I threw away the bottle and the moment I turned back around, another girl was standing there and said, “How come she got a water bottle? I want water.” I felt terrible. She was right! Luckily a “water fountain stop” was minutes away. There’s got to be a better way!

Volunteering does have its setbacks, but I love it. I’ve built a real rapport with Haley’s classmates, and I really value that I can be another adult they can turn to. I look forward to many more fun adventures as they move passed Kindergarten and beyond.

Cultural Arts

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
This week is Cultural Arts week at our elementary school. It’s a cultural festival where the students learn about foreign cultures, traditions, and entertainment.

Each day, every grade gets to sample several different countries and their specialized arts, including bagpipers, opera, flamenco dancing, Chinese dance, an assortment of sand art, chalk art, bubbles and brushes, Chinese brush painting, as well as Native American Indians, an adventure through Mexico, and art in the film industry. The list continues, but you get the idea.

Today, Jack learned about Chinese dance. He played the drum and kept the beat. Jack enjoyed being part of the vibrant show and learning that cultural significance of traditional Chinese dance. Tate’s favorite, so far this week, were the life stories from a guest Native American who displayed some handmade jewelry, weapons, and clothing.

Parents may attend the festival, so I am planning to later this week. I’m happy my kids have the opportunity to see, hear and learn all about different cultures throughout the world. It is a fun way to finish up the school year.

In Like A Lion

Monday, March 6th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Here in the Northeast, we’ve experienced some frigid temperatures as of late. The kids—and I—have had it with the cold weather. It wasn’t a difficult winter, but we’re sick of the constant colds, the inability to go outside and play for an extended period of time, and having to bundle up excessively. Even if it’s freezing in the morning, it’s hard to get Haley to put her gloves and hat on. For her, it’s just been too many days of the same. She’s ready for lighter attire.

I’m always conflicted when getting Haley dressed in the morning. I usually insist on a sweater. But sometimes the classroom is cranked with heat. Other times, the teacher responds to that by opening the window, and the room gets excessively chilly. It seem like a straightforward situation with a straightforward solution—wear layers and strip as necessary. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple for a kindergartener, especially one like Haley who is obsessed with rules and following directions. If her warm fleece is in the cubby by the backpacks? You better believe she’s not getting up and getting it. She doesn’t want to annoy her teacher and ask to retrieve it; she’d rather stay cold. It’s heartbreaking to think about as her parent. But it’s the reality. I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I always dress her warmly.

I’m sure as Haley ages, she’ll get the confidence to ask for what she needs. As for this year, only a few more weeks to go until we’re in true Spring. Hopefully March will go out like a lamb.

Kindness Matters

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
This week, Jack and Tate’s school is celebrating and demonstrating how much kindness matters. As a parent, I do my best to teach them how important kindness is on a daily basis. With so much bullying going on in schools, this is such a fabulous reminder to all children how important it is to treat each other with respect, not only in school, but in life.

Jack and Tate were both new to school this year. We had a chat before the school year started about how people might treat them, and what was a respectful way to handle the situation. Not everyone is kind, and unfortunately that is life. I hope Jack and Tate continue to show their kindness and manners towards others always. Of course we have bad days, but being respectful is something I try to consistently remind them about.

The boy’s school has lots of activities planned for the week. They’ll not only learn more ways to show kindness, but learn it in fun ways including magic shows, parades, donations, and volunteerism. I hope my kids and their peers buy into the idea. I hope kindness becomes “cool.”


Full STEAM Ahead

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Tate was selected for the S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) club at his school. It is open to K-3rd graders who demonstrate good academics, behavior, and can follow the rules. I was glad Tate got an opportunity for extra learning and fun after school.

The club meets once a month for an hour after school. After only two sessions, Tate already raves about the program and asks daily when the next class meets. Last month, he made and shot off pneumatic “turkey rockets.” On the ride home he recalled the entire lesson and assured us no turkeys were harmed.

As the S.TE.A.M name implies, the curriculum has an emphasis on the sciences. My husband calls it Mythbusters Junior, because Tate loves the show as much as the class. We don’t know what next month’s lesson is, but anything that keeps Tate excited about science and technology is money and time well spent.





Lending a Hand

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Tate’s teacher asked for parent volunteers to lend a helping hand if and when they were available. I’m always happy to help, especially now that Jack and Tate are in school full time. I volunteer once a week or a few times a month. I love being in the classroom with my kids watching them learn, even if it can be chaotic. Plus, when my kids know I’m helping at school on a particular day, our morning routine goes MUCH more smoothly.

Last week, I volunteered an hour of my time to help with reading, writing, and spelling. The class was split into groups, and they rotated through learning stations. At my station, I gave them a word and they had to write the word, spell the word and read a sentence with the word in it. I didn’t get to work with every student in the class, but the ones I did work with made great progress. The kids also loved to talk about whatever was on their minds; what they did the night before, how long it took to get a hair cut, and if Tate was really my son.  They were all too funny and kept me laughing.

This week, I’m helping with a pumpkin dissection. The teacher has a fun lesson planned and even prepared me with instructions and tools/supplies to bring along. I love Tate’s teacher’s hands-on style with the students. It’s a fun atmosphere and usually the kids stay interested. I can’t wait to see what kind of mess a room full of 1st graders can make dissecting pumpkins. Although it’s messy, I’m glad to witness all the fun.