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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Beginnings...

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"I just want my kids to love who they are, have happy lives and find something they want to do and make peace with that. Your job as a parent is to give your kids not only the instincts and talents to survive, but help them enjoy their lives."
-- Susan Sarandon, Readers' Digest, May 2002

Noah's school year started off with a "Get Acquainted" Party last Friday.  His teachers hosted it in his new classroom.  The kids and their parents had a chance to drop off all their school supplies and meet their new classmates and teachers.


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I thought it was cute how when the kids began to play...the boys gravitated to their own area and pulled out all the trucks and cars to play with.  And then the girls, they made their own circle on the other side of the classroom rug and began playing and chit-chatting while they dressed Barbie dolls.



Noah's teachers gave each of the kids a pair of sunglasses as a gift.  Little Man loves them!


On Monday, the first day of school came way early....we all struggled a bit with this new wake up time of 6:00 AM.  Summer most definitely spoiled us! One tradition in my family growing up as a child was for us to lay out our first day of school outfit and my mom would take a picture of us beside our new gear.  My brothers primarily did this more than me--I was the big sister and thought I was waaaaay to cool to participate in it....boo!--I regret that now. I love looking at the pictures of my brothers over the years with their first day of school outfits---they are precious.

I decided to carry on this tradition with Noah. Here he is with his new little outfit.

Back to school

I made a nice, warm breakfast for our little man to start his day off right....eggs, bacon, biscuits, juice.  Jody talked to him about how fun this year was going to be and all the new friends he would make.   He is such a social little fella...just like his Daddy...so the idea of getting to meet and play with new friends was pretty exciting for him.

After we got him all dressed, Jody gave him what in our faith is called a father's blessing.  It was really special for our little guy.  It essentially is a special prayer for our little guy by his Daddy and one that immediately seemed to calm the little jitters he had about his first day of school.





Noah's oh-so-awesome teacher greeting him at the door with his name tag...

And the teacher's assistant who is so sweet giving him that wonderful hug of assurance that it was going to be a great year...
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At the end of the day, as I was waiting in the carpool line for his class to walk out of the building--I was grinning from ear to ear when I saw him walk out with the biggest smile on his face.  He looked so happy.



I just love this one...the look on his face says it all to me...it tells me we made the right decision about choosing this school program for him.  He looks happy and confident.  :-)


When he climbed into the car, I asked him how his day went and he responded, "It went great Mom...really great."

His teacher emailed us this picture last night...their first class picture of the year.  When Jody and I opened it up--we just cracked up.  I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for his teachers to wrangle him into this picture and stand still long enough to snap it.  Argh!!

noah 1st day of school

We were a little nervous about this school year for our son. We had to make a tough decision regarding his education.  He is turning 5 at the end of this month...on the 29th.  Technically, this makes him eligible for kindergarten, but unfortunately for Noah, he would be the youngest one in his class--by far.  Having worked as an elementary teacher for many years, I (and Jody) have felt for a long time now that we should hold off and give our little man another year to grow, mature and develop before starting kindergarten.  I've seen too often while working as a 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade teacher over the years how more of my boys seemed all too often to struggle in school early on versus the girls.  It especially broke my heart to see those who had the late summer birthdays come into my classroom on the first day of school with that scared, timid look on their face.  There truly is a huge disparity between them and their other classmates at that moment--those who have birthdays in the fall and spring semesters versus the summer babies.  As a result (particularly with boys) you find that they aren't developmentally ready for much of what is being thrown at them or expected of them academically--especially given the high stakes climate and culture of our schools these days with increased testing standards and accountability.  We wholeheartedly want our son to start off his early school years having a happy and healthy experience with school.  And so... we (after lots of conversation, contemplation and prayer) moved forward with our decision.  Wowzers...this parenting gig can really be stressful.  We have the weight of making so many important decisions early on for our children that literally shape and mold their future.  It some times can feel a little intimidating and scary.  :-)

I am so happy to say though that after observing him interact with the kiddos yesterday and at the get-acquainted party on Friday, we were talking last night after dinner how good we both feel about our decision to have him in PreK-4 this year instead of kindergarten. It's a full day program essentially--7:50AM thru 2:30PM, which is perfect for our little guy. We are also so thrilled for Noah to have the amazing teacher he has this year.  She has been in the field for over 30 years and has worked as a teacher and school director.  She has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with both her students and their parents.  This really brings me a great deal of peace.

Overall, Noah's first day of school seemed to go smoothly and we're super excited about all the many new things he is going to learn this year!

School beginnings....precious memories we'll always cherish with our little man.



Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. I got teary-eyed reading this! (Honestly, I was so excited to read about your little man's first day of school, I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it!). Anyway, it's very interesting what you have to say about holding younger boys back a year (well not technically "holding them back," but rather waiting) because it seems to affect their social, emotional and developmental status in school for a long period of time. Thank you so much for posting this, and I know I will be a crying mess when my little guy goes off to school for the first time! It's such a large step! Congrats on a great first day of school!

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  2. Your blog and photos are just beautiful! I love how you captured all those precious moments of your little man's first day. He is just adorable!

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment and I really hope you will adopt again soon. I can tell you are an amazing mama...any child would be so blessed to be apart of your family.

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