Monday, August 22, 2011

It's back to school time!!

There's just something about back to school time...the promise of new beginnings, fresh starts, new friends, and everything that comes with back to school time - I love it all!  Since it's back to school time, expect several of my tips, tricks, quotes, etc this week (and probably next) to be related to getting in the swing of things, setting a routine, or tricks to helping you stay sane while transitioning from the lazy days of summer to the hustle and bustle of "reality". 

I know we are still hanging on to the last vestiges of summer right now.  Maybe not as much as many children are, though.  :)    But before we know it, the bells will be ringing, buses will roaring, and classes will be back in session.  And whether you have a kindergartener or two, an elementary student (or two), or kids in middle or high school, I find that getting prepared early, planning for things, and basically just getting a jump on things early is the smartest way to go.

I was planning on utilizing my background as a former teacher (turned SAHM) and "homeschool" E this year, since the only preschools I could get her into were 5 mornings/week.  I know it sounds silly, but it's her last year of "freedom"/non-mandatory school time and I wanted to be able to allow for a bit of freedom in our schedules and life.  She'll have plenty of time in school - the next 13 years, plus college, so I wanted to allow her to be a child a little while longer.  5 mornings a week doesn't sound like a big deal, but if she gets up at 7:45, is out the door to get to school by 8:30, is home by 12:30, eats lunch, then naps until almost 5 (yes, I know - I'm incredibly lucky) - there's not a lot of time for us, for spontaneity, or for just going with the flow/their interests.  However, I did have her on the waiting list for a GREAT preschool that has a 4 year old class that is only 3 mornings/week - which would be perfect.  So I was *thrilled* when I got the call that a space opened up!  I wasn't even upset about the time I used to create monthly themes (for Sept - Nov), then divided them down to weekly themes.  I had even gotten the books from the library for our Sept unit and had started to get my art activities/supplies together.  But I can still do a smaller variation of it and can do a lot of it with O while E is at school!  I'm super happy that my social butterfly will be in a wonderful preschool that teaches through play, problem solving, etc - and that she will still have time home with me too! 

All that to say - that I find I'm beginning to plan for the busy school mornings.  I realize that she doesn't have to catch a bus by 7:15 (thank God!), but if she doesn't wake up until 7:45 (and I have to wake O up at that time) - I've got 45 minutes to get my 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old angels fed, dressed, teeth brushed, dishes put away, beds made, dogs fed, shoes on, stuff together, and out the door.  And anyone who knows preschoolers and toddlers knows that while they can move super fast 99% of the time, if you have somewhere to be or a schedule to keep, they suddenly resemble turtles. 

It's back to school time - time for new supplies (I love the smell of crayons, which is odd, I know - maybe because I used to be an elementary school teacher?), new friends, new beginnings, and a chance to start out with a fresh slate.  I'm think I'm ready.  Kind of.  Our school system has already started (although E doesn't start preschool until September 1).  When does your system start?  Are you ready?

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