Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Thoughts on Eli's First 2 Days of School: Fingers Crossed

"I went to elementary school for the very first time and all my mom captured was this lousy little snippet!"

The first day of school we barely made it to the classroom by the skin of our teeth.  Needless to say, I did not remember to take the camera out of Chris' backpack so we could get a first day picture!  I was so flustered, that I couldn't even figure out how to switch my cell phone from video camera to normal camera.  Ridiculous.  I'll have to take some really cute pictures of him later this week. We had gotten back from Rehoboth Beach at 11:45 pm the night before, then stayed up late scrubbing the sand off the kids before they finally went to bed.  Despite this, Eli woke up, got himself dressed with the outfit we laid out the night before, came to my bed, woke me up and said, "Mommy, I'm ready to go to school now."*

He has loved it so far.  I think this not because he has told me.  Mostly from motherly intuition, reason and deduction, and pure lawyer-like inquisition.  "But you said you had circle time after snack time.  You can't have had recess the whole day!"  "And what did you do after you cut the paper?  And what did you do after you glued the paper?"  Man, sometimes I wish my first child was a girl just so I could HEAR ABOUT THESE THINGS IN DETAIL!  (Who did you sit by at lunch, and what were they wearing and who got their feelings hurt that day????????)  It may be the nosy mom in me, or the gossipy girl in me or it may be that I just love autumn time and the beginning of the school year.  Is it weird that I want to don my own backpack and sit next to him with my own shiny new pack of pencils and crayons?  But I really do think he is loving it. He will say little things like, "Yay!  Tomorrow I get to go to school again!"

How very cool to have a grade schooler who stays at school all day!  This summer has worn me out. Having Eli gone for almost 8 hours was a peaceful break from Eli & Mia fighting, and from the poor little guys either being exhausted because I took them on outings that were too ambitious, or being completely bored and whiny while I tried to catch up on my "to do" list, and they were sick of all the at-home-activitities.  It's just been a tiny bit quieter and the house has stayed a tiny bit cleaner.

I am thrilled with Eli's teacher.  I was so afraid Eli would end up with some sort of grouchy disciplinarian.  But instead we got a smiling, beaming, young, fun teacher.  Her name is Ms. Assad, and she reminds me a bit of Jordin Sparks.

Walking into the huge K-6 public school was a bit scary for both Eli AND me.  As I took him down the hall this morning, only Kindergarten parents were allowed into the building (this first week only... actually, come to think of it, I'm not entirely sure they will let me in if I try tomorrow!) and we passed by set after set of scrutinizing eyes from the elementary school staff.  I know it's for the kids' protection, and I'm glad.  But I just felt like I was in trouble!  I felt as if at any moment I might hear: "Where's your hall pass?!!"  "I don't know, Ms. Principal!  I'm new here!"  "Tough!  10 hours of detention!"  It's going to take a while for me to get used to it, since I've taken him to a preschool for the last 3 years where the parents participate in the classroom so much!

My only notes of hesitation are that I sure hope I made the right decision keeping him in Kindergarten again this year.  Last year his class at Franconia Baptist had homework EVERY SINGLE night, and the parents were encouraged to sign up for weekly slots where we would come in and read with the kids.  At first just simple stuff like "Matt sat on the cat."  But Eli progressed to the point where now he can read almost anything in the beginner's section of the library.  This year, Ms. Assad said they would occasionally have homework that would just take them 3 minutes, and as for parents coming in to read with the kids, when I asked, she said something to the effect that they don't really learn to read this year.

So basically, yes, Mrs. Evans (his teacher last year) would be saying, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!"  But I sure hope he won't be too bored, and that we will be glad in the end that he's not the youngest, struggling to keep up, and emotionally less mature.  Can any of us have kids out in this world without the biggest prayer constantly in our hearts for their futures?

That worried feeling will probably be in my heart for him forever.  But after all the stress, things usually really do tend to work out.

So in summary, I hope Eli loves it, but I'm pretty sure he does and will.  And I hope Kindergarten's the right place for him this year.  I'm pretty sure it is and will be.  Fingers crossed.  :)

*Reminded my husband of this conversation from the beginning of Finding Nemo:
NEMO:  First day of school! First day of school! Wake up, wake up! C'mon, first day of school!
MARLIN: I don't wanna go to school. Five more minutes.
NEMO: Not you, dad. Me!


Annie said...

i have been drilling nick too and my mom said the same thing about if he were a girl, he'd tell me all the details! so far the most i've gotten out of him is "there's no seatbelts on the bus!" but he is happy to go again each day so i guess that's good!

Teresa said...

I so felt the same way when I took Jakob to his class on the 4th day of school. In fact a teacher aid asked me if he would be ready to come to class on his own by Friday. I wanted to run out of the school right then and there.

The monkey bunch said...

Joseph is very upset that there are no seatbelts on the bus! So funny. I can't get a thing out of him. Today was the first day that I heard. I don't think I want to go today. Why not? Because it won't be any fun today- my teacher told me- no fun today. Uh, sorry, you don't get a choice! Go have fun.

Michele said...

Cute little Eli. He will be just fine. It will all work out and you will have to do alot more to mess him up than have him in kindergarten being the oldest in the class! You'll have to try harder to find things he can discuss with his counselor years down the road.

Patti said...

I so think you did the right thing to have him be the oldest in the class. Truly, I don't think you'll regret that one. Quinn is young and SO short. One more year would've helped both those things!!!! And yeah, those boys don't talk much.... "Quinn, who'd you sit by in lunch, Quinn, what about this, what about that?" The responses are usually "Good" or "It's fine, mom", right?

Jenny said...

Just to help you feel better - I have a girl and she doesn't tell me anything either. It all started back in preschool. I'd ask her every day - "what did you do today? What did you learn?" Prompting her with things I knew they talked about. All I would get is "I don't know" No she's so tired of me asking her she makes up stories - "my teacher wasn't there today, she went to Disneyland so we taught ourselves" is one of her favorites. Now that Kindergarten has started I'm going to try again to get info out of her though. She is excited about the hermit crabs in the classroom - that's all I've gotten.

Jenny said...

I meant to say "now she's so tired", not "no she's so tired". sorry.

. . . Dallas Meow . . . . said...

It's my baby girl's last year of high school
- for the first time since her first few years . . .
SHE COULDN'T WAIT for the school year to start!
[shhhhh, do not remind me that this means that she too will be gone soon]

Jen Cardon said...

Yay! School is a great thing! I think Eli will do great--and Natalie, you will also do great! There is so much in life to learn, and it's wonderful to be able to learn.

Lisa T. said...

Having been a school teacher, I think you made the right choice. I always felt so sorry for those small, short, immature, little boys in my third grade class who really fit in much better with the second graders. I hope that Mrs. Assad will still let you come in and volunteer in different ways, even if it is not reading with the kids. I think it makes a difference to the kids to have their parents involved!

April Cobb said...

I am sure you made the right decision. He will totally be beyond the others later, and that is so good for his self-confidence. It is a hard decision to make. You triump in the end, Nat. You will receive your crowning glory in heaven for sure.