Archive | August, 2013

Survived the first week of school!

26 Aug

First week of school …Done!  I have survived, and conquered the first week!

I am proud to say, I have totally managed the first week well.  I planned ahead, and I kept with the plan, and it went well.  The question is, can I stick to the plan?  Time management is KEY.  I did food preparation in bulk, on Monday, so I had stuff in the fridge for the rest of the week.  That totally saved me time and stress.  I also made a chore chart on my fridge, so the kids will get things done to earn stickers.  It worked this week, and I’m hoping they don’t loose interest over the weeks.  I went to bed fairly early this week, my goal was to get in bed by midnight, and I did it!  I swear, going to bed before midnight, compare to after midnight makes a big difference.

New school year means many changes, and I was nervous about these changes.  My son gets out an hour later this year, drop off/pick up areas changed, new classroom, and… new teacher!  The drop off/pick up was totally chaotic, being the biggest k-8 school in the county, there are way too many cars and way too little parking spaces.  They (whoever handles these things) need to do something about that for sure.  Parents were able to walk up to the new classrooms the first week, so I got to see his new classroom, which was great.  I’m so happy that he is in a single classroom, (not the huge co-teaching classrooms with 30-something kids in it.)  The room looked nice and organized.  New teacher – the biggest concern for me, is what I am most happy about, because I got a really good impression from her.  One thing I was really worried about was homework, but the new teacher, checks it everyday, and that encourages my son to get it done, so that is really a great support for me and my son.  She sends a behavioral chart everyday, and I see her at pick-up everyday.  I’m just so happy to get a teacher that is “there,” and communicating.  I feel comfortable in leaving my son with her every day.  Best of all, I saw motivation from my son to do the homework and readings this week!  I love that.  This year looks promising, and I’m so relieved.

So, that is how my first week went.

Summer 2013

17 Aug

School will officially start next week, and summer break is over! (NOooo!!!!!)

My stress meter is turning on.  I can feel my nerves and I am starting to panic as I go down the “to do” lists in my head.   But I will be calm and collect, especially for my son.  (I don’t need another person freaking out right now.)  I can clearly hear my husband in my head, “why did you wait til the last minute?”  So unacceptable…this situation totally contradicts what I try to teach my kids: do not procrastinate!

To Do This Week: Get school supplies, uniform, and shoes.  Get him a hair cut.

As I glance over at my white board, I see a list of things I planned to get done – during the summer break.  At the time I wrote it, I was full of confidence that I will get them all done.  I was so motivated, and so proud that I’m going to get so much done.  After all, the summer break is pretty long…

Where did the time go?!  I am utterly disgusted with myself.  Really.  I got about couple of things scratched off the list of tasks, and that’s it.  Thats it!  Oh my GGGGG!  What happened?  I haven’t even finished my son’s first grade scrap book!  I can’t let him start second grade until I’m done with it… I’ve only got a few days left!  Ahhhh!  As I try to finish one of the task on the list (sorting out the paper clutter that I had piled up for years) I’m getting flashback of the times I was in this very same predicament, and I am so disappointed at myself.

a couple years worth of paperwork...

a couple years worth of paperwork …

Summer break seemed so long, when it began…  I was going to keep my routine of waking up early, and getting things done.  The first week, we just decided we are going to relax and enjoy the break, so I didn’t implement any rules for my kids.  I was going to start my son in summer camp the week after, so we can get back to the routine.  However, that never happened… the breakfast time and bedtime became later and later, and every day became “lazy day.”  We woke up when our eyes opened, and went to bed when it was too late to stay up.  We were having breakfast at lunch time, and so forth…  Just because my son is on break doesn’t mean mommy and daddy are on break.  With the two kids in the house, they drove us nuts.  It was actually more work for us parents, trying to keep up with work and chores and keeping the kids entertained.  We went to the park, to the beach, to the pool, to the movies, to the mall, to restaurants, organizing playdates, and overload of video games, ipads and iphone games… that pretty much sums up our summer break this year.  Guilt sets in heavy, right about now….

Now it’s panic time, trying to reprogram my family’s internal clock to “school” schedule, and it’s not easy!

Overall, our lazy summer break was good.  I can say with confidence that we made the most out of the “break”.  We really needed this “break” from our busy, hectic routine, anyways.

I promise, next year will be different!…

Noa’s First Grade 2012 – 2013

13 Aug

June 6, 2013 marked the last day of first grade for my son.

Congratulations!  Hooray! to my boy… and for me.

Phew, I’m so glad it’s over…  Weights lifted off my shoulders and I feel so relieved!

My son had a good year, academically.  He had a couple of “B”s the first two quarters, and the last two quarters were straight “A”s.  His conduct are always “A.”  He received 2 Honor Rolls, and a “Principal’s Honor Roll,” and received a “Citizenship Award” at the graduation ceremony.  Needless to say, I’m very proud of him and his achievements.  (…Ok, enough bragging.)

However, I feel dissatisfied.

The homework was torturous.  My daily stress level increased significantly due to “Homework time.”  My son was uninterested, and unwilling.  It took hours, and alot of patience and begging.  I guess there’s too much distraction at home, all the temptations of toys and games…his little sister likes to bother him as well.  I tried all kinds of tactics, and by the last semester, I started taking him to the confinement of a meeting room in our building to complete the task of “homework.”  (it was effective.)  I admit I like to micro-manage all the work he submits.  And I know for a fact that there are many parents that just “let it be” to the child to finish, or not finish homework.  One of the problem I have is that my son knows that the teacher is not checking the homework.  That makes him think it is not that important that he does everything, or completely.  And that really bothers me.  I know for a fact that the teacher doesn’t check the spelling word activities he was assigned to do every day.  This spelling word lessons contribute directly to the performance of the Friday spelling test, which is a major part of their grade, so I think it is very important that he does this with dedication, but it was a task he had least interest in finishing.  I really wish the teacher had encouraged, or reminded how important it is to do the homework, then maybe, my life would have been less stressful.

This year, I felt really disconnected with what was going on in the classroom and the teacher.  Especially compared to last year, which was a great kindergarten year, with a great, involved teacher.  (you can read about it on my other post.)  I understand that each teacher and each grade is different, but I can’t help but to compare the experiences.  It’s too much a difference.

I am a mom that wants to be involved with the teacher and the class.  I always offer to volunteer and often email the teacher to offer help.  I know my boundaries, and I didn’t want to be “that annoying parent,” so I backed off as much as possible.  But really, I was disappointed by the lack of interaction by the teacher.  Last year, I knew all the students in class, and their parents, this year, just a couple of them.  At least for the graduation, I expect a little card to her students?  No.  Nothing.  I put together a little goody bag for everyone in class, and a little gift to the teacher.  I made sure my son wrote a card for her, thanking her for being his first grade teacher.  I wonder what kind of good bye gesture was done in the class at their final dismissal?

Ahhhh…. it’s over now.

At the end, I asked my son how his first grade experience was, and he tells me he had a great year, so I’m taking his word for it, that’s all that matters anyway.