Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to school

The boys went back to school this week and what an awesome start to the school year for our family!!  Last year was so hard for all of us - we were still adjusting to our new house, new compound, new school, new teachers, new schedule, new friends, new city, new country ... a lot of change for one year!!! 

This year was much more familiar for everyone and made us far less nervous.  I also took a slightly different approach this year.  Last year we talked a lot about the start of school and getting ready.  We went to school to check out our class and tour the facilities and I thought it would help them be more comfortable.  In hind sight, I think I just built up their anxiety about school.  So this year, we didn't talk about it - AT ALL!  They knew when school was starting only because it was marked on their calendar and they always mark off their calendar so they knew it was coming. 

The morning of the first day of school, Jaden turned on the TV and I just said, "no time for TV this morning, we have to get ready for school."  Jaden asks, "school starts today?"  Me:  "yep, let's go get dressed and ready."  Jaden:  "Okay."  And off he went.  He was pretty anxious on the drive to school, but he relaxed as soon as he saw a familiar face.  I reminded him that he needs to say hi to everyone he recognizes and we proceeded through the hallways with Jaden shouting hi and waving at people left and right.  All those familiar faces put him right at ease.  We found the class lists posted on the wall, found his name on the list and went in search for Class 1-D ... Mrs. Pruitt.  His new teacher seems rather quiet, but Jaden seems happy.  He knew 5 of the kids in his class of 20.  Not bad!

When Jaden came home from his first day, he was so proud of himself!  He kept telling me that "I didn't cry one time!!"  My sensitive little guy is growing up and becoming more brave!!

The following morning we got ready for school and I walked down to the clubhouse / bus stop.  I wasn't sure if he would get on the bus so soon (took 3 weeks last year), but again, there was no discussions or warnings, I just walked to the bus stop and waited to see if he would follow without issue.  Sure enough, he climbed on the bus and waved good bye like it was no big deal.  Major success!!

Nicholas started school on Jaden's third day (pre-K and KG start 2 days after the rest of the school).  Nicholas was pretty nervous!  I took him to meet his teacher the day before, but it was a disaster.  I couldn't even get him to walk in the door to the classroom.  Definitely only created anxiety for him - poor decision on my part.  I should have stuck to the same approach I was taking with Jaden.  No discussions, no preparations, just go for it. 

I drove Nicholas to school on his first day and gave him a picture of our family to keep in his pocket.  He was trying SO HARD not to cry!!!  Poor kid!!!  But he managed to keep the well of tears from rolling down his face and he went in his class room (very reluctantly, but he went in).  He rode the bus home and came off the bus all smiles, so it must have been a good day! 

Nicholas' first day of school (Jaden's 3rd)
In front of the ASD Dragon (school mascot)

Sweet brothers!  (Jaden is in his PE uniform)

For his second day, I took the same approach to the school bus.  We just walked to the bus stop and they both climbed right on.  There was a minor issue with the bus monitor not allowing them to sit together, but I straightened that out!  There's no reason they can't sit together!!

And for the 2 days they were both in school, I was active and happy and alive again!!  I got a massage, finished a book, started boot camp, had lunch with a friend, hosted a mini pizza party at the pool for a few families, went to a ladies night, and booked our flights for our October vacation to Croatia!  It was awesome!!!

Next week, the boys start karate and swimming and I start my ladies Bible study and squash.  Praise God for the most amazing start to the school year!!!

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