I have been dreading this day all summer, and today it was here. The first day of school. For me it was one of tears as now Isaiah is in first grade full time. He had a huge smile on his face and was ready for the day. He said his day was mostly good (although he got in trouble once but was unclear as to why). Ayla waltzed into school like she’d been there forever and LOVED her first day. She made 3 new friends and even displayed the fruit of the spirit by being kind to someone who was sad. We prayed over our kids and felt the Holy Spirit providing peace in transitioning to a new school.
Our kids are beginning a new school this year, and I am excited/nervous. We were happy with our kids old school, however private education gets expensive, so we had to make a change. We were unsure what to do so we spent a lot of time praying over our decision. Should we homeschool, move to a new school district, hope to get into our choice charter school? My husband and I came to the conclusion to send our kids to public school in a school district we felt lead to. I read the most amazing book called Going Public by David and Kelli Pritchard, and God used this book to provide a deep peace and calling even to public school. Not that I don’t struggle with doubt or fears with them going, but I feel excited about how God will use them in the lives of the kids around them. My prayer for them is that God will keep their faith strong and use them to impact their peers, teachers, and our neighborhood.
Today, Last week, Ayla had her preschool graduation. It was fun to see her with her classmates and here what her teachers had to say about her. I am amazed at my daughter. Despite the rough year she had, she ended it on a good note. I praise God for His protection on her sweet spirit and pray for her next year of school to be a blessing for her. Her teacher said how bubbly her personality is, how she is always joyful, and how she get along well with all the other students. Here is a look at my future kindergartener.
I love traditions and making things special for my kids. This year to celebrate the last day of school, I have some ideas of how to celebrate the start of summer with them. Here are some ideas.
* Water balloon fight: With this I am opting to do a silly string fight instead for a couple of reasons. One is that my son hates being wet in his clothes, and the second is the weather has been pretty chilly. My husband and I will pick up our kids and attack them with silly string when we get home!
* Special breakfast/lunch/dinner: Homemade pretzels in the shape of their new grade, summer smoothies, favorite meal, picnic, fondue, etc.
* Make a T-shirt: It could be one for kids to sign at school, a shirt that says “First Grade here I come” or something fun that your child would enjoy.
* Banner: I am making a Pre-k and a K banner for my kids to run through, symbolizing they have completed that grade. I am doing this one, I am sure my son will love breaking through the paper.
* Scavenger Hunt: Have the kids search your neighborhood or just your house for last items. Last book you read, last pop in the fridge, etc.
* Something Fun: We are going to take our kids to the movie theater to see the new Kung Fu Panda movie since the weather is iffy. Here are some other ideas:
1. Backyard fun: volleyball, sandplay, relay races, etc.
2. Water: Squirt guns, balloons, sponges, etc.
3. Sundae: Build your own sundae, complete with lots of toppings!
4. Sleepover: The kids have been begging to sleep together so we will allow them to sleep together for the night!
* Don’t forget something special for the teachers on the last day.
We are so blessed to have such wonderful teachers in the world! This past week was teacher appreciation for our school. Here is what we did.
Monday: Jumbo cupcakes for the teachers with a message saying, “When it comes to teaching, you take the cake.”
Tuesday: Homemade cards
Wednesday: The school organized meals for each teacher so they each got a night off of cooking. We signed up to bring in a salad, bread, dessert, or main dish and left them in the coolers outside the rooms at drop off.
Thursday: Flowers. Each student brought in a single flower and the teachers ended up with a beautiful arrangement.
Friday: Sent each teacher an e-mail of encouragement, praying and let them know how much we appreciate them.
To show our gratitude to our kids teachers we made a simple turkey out of a paper lunch bag that was filled with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yummy! You need:
Paper lunch bag, something to fill it with (newspaper would work too, although treats are more fun), plastic spoon, googly eyes, construction paper in a variety of colors, stapler or tape, glue, a rubber band and brown paint.
We first wrapped our cookies in plastic wrap and put them into the sack. Next we rubber band the plastic spoon to the opening of the bag with the part you eat on facing up. We painted the spoon brown. While that was drying we cut out several different colors of feathers and a beak. Once it was dry we stapled the feathers to the back of the bag, glued on the beak and eyes and wrote a little note on the side about being thankful for them. It was very easy and I had all the supplies on hand. Another way to show our gratitude for our fabulous teachers!
This craft can easily be modified to fit different occasions. You could do it on the first day of school and paint it into an apple filled with yummy treats, a pumpkin near Halloween, even a Christmas tree!
Well, even though I’d been dreading this, it finally came. Both kids in school at the same time. It was a much harder day than I anticipated, since it was my first time with both kids gone in school. I cried. I cried a lot. I am praying and trusting that God will refine me through this time. It is weird after five years of being at home and not having a break all day with the kids, to now have time to myself. I am filling the time as much as possible since it makes the time apart go faster. I even have found great bright sides to having time to myself. Coffee dates in the morning with my husband on Friday morning, listening to my own music in the car, shopping without a time constraint. I know I will adjust to the time, but I think I will always miss my kids. I am praying that next year I get a job teaching Kindergarten, so I can teach Ayla and get to be with her during the day!
Ayla had a fantastic day. She was all smiles and very excited. She came home exclaiming, “I made a new friend Mommy…two, no three new friends!” Her transition has really been very easy. She loves playing with her friends, painting, and circle time. I am so grateful that it has been good for her. I pray that God will protect her heart. I pray that no one will stifle her joy and that He will use her in the lives of the others in the class. I pray that she will grow and learn a lot. I am so blessed to get to be her Mom. She has spunk. She is truly beautiful both on the inside and out. She has a heart for prayer and “poor people” as she prays for them daily. I adore her, and truly miss my lady time with her. Here is a look at her first day.
Might be because I used to be a teacher, but I have been thinking about ways to encourage Isaiah’s teacher and help her this year. I saw this idea in the Family Fun magazine, and new it was perfect! I created a questionnaire for Isaiah’s teacher. I asked her favorite snacks, treats, color, etc. I also asked her birthday, allergies and what she might need help with this year. It took me about 2 minutes to create, so it was easy. I will use it a lot throughout the year, maybe bringing in her favorite treat on her birthday. It also allows me to know her needs for the class this year. Enjoy!
As a teacher I always looked forward to the first day of school, so much excitement, and a few tears from, in my mind then, crazy parents. I wasn’t sure why they were crying. I knew I was going to love them well and take great care of them so why all the drama? Now I am on the other side and one of those over emotional parents. How is it possible that he is already going to kindergarten? The time has flown by. It is a cliché, but so true. One minute I am watching him learn to walk and the next he is off to school.
I take comfort in the fact that I have made the most of my time with my kids. I am so thankful to get to be home with them, that I didn’t want to waste any time with them. And I didn’t. I am one of those moms that ALWAYS plays with her kids. This is not a healthy balance, as there is laundry and cleaning, but I love playing with them and creating activities, games, and crafts for us to do. So I do feel like I made the most of my time with them…but was it enough? Never enough time.
I have been a weepy mess the last few days, wondering how other moms got through this. As the first day of school began to draw closer, I felt panicky and I would do anything to stop time. It hurts and it is hard. I trying to take comfort in knowing that God loves Isaiah dearly, and he belongs to Him. As we prayed for him this morning it was all I could do to hold back tears. It is not easy. I know it will get easier, and I am so thankful that Isaiah had a wonderful day and was excited to go. It would have been so much harder if he were upset too. Here is a look at the first day.
To get my son (and myself) ready for kindergarten we decided to do a countdown a month before it started. I had several ideas of how to do this but I settled on a homemade calendar with post it notes he could pull off each day. You could also make a chain, wipe off board, use note cards on a ring, etc.
The calendar has the numbers counting down from 30 and the sticky note have the fun activity for the day, as well as something we are working on. Yesterday was a play date with the preschool class, and working on tying his shoes. Today was making goop and him reading a book to me. Tomorrow he gets to choose a park and we are working on measuring. I also included somethings I needed to get done like school supply shopping and making a gift for his new teacher. This was very quick to make and he loves to pull it off each morning and read what it says. My daughter is looking forward to her preschool one!