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Back to School 2019

Updated: May 14, 2021

Well, we have survived the first week of school! I am so thankful that today is Sunday! The last two week have been draining. We had an out of state funeral in between open houses and the first day of school, so it was a little more exhausting than usual. I am hoping that this is not a sign of what of the rest of the school year holds… I’m sure it isn’t- it’s going to be the best school year yet! Right!?

I am doing this blog a little out of order. I am going to tell you about how each girl got ready for school so that each section will overlap some. I hope it is not too confusing, but I wanted to make sure I had everything for each girl was together. All this happened in a week: Wednesday to Wednesday.

The time Line looks like this:

· Wednesday: 6th-grade picnic; 9th-grade orientation

· Thursday: High School open House

· Friday: Middle school open house with La

· Saturday-Sunday: we were in Mississippi for the Funeral of Steven Grandfather. I would be talking about that during this blog but will be writing something about it hopefully next week.

· Monday: Middle school open house with Lee; Back to School Shopping. My Final Paper for Ethics was due!!!

· Tuesday: Diva Lunch; Nails

· Wednesday: 1st day of school!!

Getting prepared

Every year we try to take the girls to get their nails done the day before school starts. It isn’t something we can afford to do very often, so they only get it for back to school and the end of school awards. It’s something as simple as paint on their nails, but something about it does help girls feel more confident. Nana came to join us (and play with Lou). This is always so fun! They all got new bookbags this year; Daddy had taken them to get new shoes, they all got a first-day outfit. I feel that this year, we were able to do everything possible to help make them feel prepared and confident. Honestly, I could see they felt more confident than they had on years when we couldn’t do these simple things. We are fortunate though! Our girls don’t expect these things. They appreciate it when they can but understand when we can’t. I hear horror stories about bratty kids or kids that expect things just because they want them. The schools also do a pretty good job of making sure they feel prepared and know what to expect when they get to school on the first day.

Lee getting ready to go to Middle School

Lee has always been an outside the box thinker. She never wanted to do to things that her older sisters did. In true Lee fashion, she will not be attending the same middle school her sisters did/ are. Last fall, she applied to participate in this program and was selected along with four of her friends. This Friend group calls themselves the Divas (which is funny to me because none of them have super Diva personalities). This program focuses on the arts, sciences, and/or technology as the foundation for advanced learning. The school had a 6th-grade family picnic that happened to be the same time as Sissy’s 9th-grade orientation, so we had to “divide and conquered” Steve and La took Lee, I took Sissy, and Nana took Lou so we could focus. At the picnic, they discussed the carline, the carpools available, classes, etc. It also allowed the new 6th graders to meet the other kids. She seemed to enjoy it. Her open house wasn’t until Monday (5 days later… After the trip to Mississippi) I’m going to be honest, I was sooo tired that her open house was a bit of a blur. We met her teachers and walked her schedule and left when she felt confident, but I feel like I wasn’t really there. I hate that so much! Fortunately, it does seem like her teachers are big on communication, and I do have the other moms in the “Diva” group that I think I am caught up on anything that I may have missed. After the open house, we had to go pick up all their school supplies, and we had missed grocery shopping over the weekend. We decided we would go to Walmart so we could do both at the same time- for some reason we thought this was a good idea!?!? We got our groceries first, which ended up taking up more room of the cart than we thought it would, so we had to get a second cart for the school supplies. The school supply section was a disaster! Nothing was where it was supposed to be, you had to wait in line to look at things because so many people waited until the last minute too! It was stressful! We survived it all, and all crawled into the bed as soon as we got home and got our stuff put up! The next day the Divas had lunch together to talk through the first-day jitters, Lee made them Diva key chains and another friend gave each of them a notebook, a pen, and a ring. I think it helped them feel better about going and starting middle school.

La gets ready for 8th Grade

La had open House on Friday. Steven worked the night before, so he had to sleep most of the day (and to be ready to drive the 8 hours to wear his family lives.) The girls and I spent most of Friday packing. I tried to get as much of my paper done while I could because I knew having wifi access over the weekend would be hard. We got to open house as soon as it started, and a lot of people had the same idea because it was already packed. I filled out the paperwork, got her agenda, and we went to her Homeroom. Her homeroom teacher was very nice, and I think they are going to get along together very nicely. We got her paper schedule and noticed that there was a mistake (took her out of the band and into art… which she wanted art the Carnegie art, but not enough to leave the band class!) They were giving out to lockers with their 6th periods this year, so we decided to go there next. She got her locker, and we walked the rest of her classes. Then we went to change her schedule. This line was so long, hindsight we should have come back on Monday to fix it, but they were “strong suggested that we resolve schedule issues during open house” so we stayed and endured. Our biggest mistake was we hadn’t eaten. We were going to get food we left so we could get enough to make it all night without having to make any extra stops. I must be honest, I get hangry! This is probably my biggest personality flaw!! Add hangry to the fact there were not enough seats, so I had to stand for almost an hour waiting- I had to keep myself in check when they called her name. It took 2 minutes to change her schedule, and we ran out the door to get dinner! I also need to point out that the school staff was doing a fantastic job! There were just a lot of people requesting changes and only a few staff member that can physically make the changes. They did handle it very well- they had separate lines for academic changes and connection changes, and they kept the lines moving as quickly as they could and were still smiling and pleasant while dealing with a huge crowded of tired, stressed and hangry parents! I also am glad we made the change at the open house because I know it gave La some piece of mind. She could start focusing on her schedule and planning for it without the worry that this wouldn’t get taken care of hanging over her.

Sissy goes to High School

I feel like as a mom I have handled my first-born child’s transitions pretty well, like going to preschool, going to elementary school, middle school, etc., but something feels different about her going to high school. The same high school I met her daddy. The same high school where I found out I was pregnant with her and I graduated with her in my belly. It feels like a full circle transition. She is back gwere my real life started. Where I decided that I wanted better and to better and I prayed endlessly to God that I wasn’t even sure was listening, and I was giving her. She changed everything about me! Enough about that, though.

Sissy has been going to band practices all summer, so I have had some time to adjust to the idea that she was old enough to be in high school (and that I was old enough to be the momma of a high schooler!!) We had two opportunities to get her familiar with the school. She had a ninth-grade orientation where they got to tour the school with just other freshmen, locate their classes and then had met only with students where they learned about the education tracts, GPAs, rules, etc. During that time, the parents had a meeting going over basically the same things but how parents can help during this high school careers. The next night was the schools official open house. This is where she met her teachers and walked her schedule again. By the end of that night, she was feeling pretty confident about officially being a high school student. I liked that most of them didn’t give her a huge supply list, and most of them said to her, “this is probably supplies you have leftover from last year.” I think she left feeling like she was ready to start high school, even if she was slightly in shock she got put into all honors classes!

The First Day

We always try to make sure both parents get to take all the girls to school on the first day, even at this age. This year it was a little harder with them at three different schools, but we managed to pull it off. We dropped lee off, then sissy and then La. When we got home, we started Lou’s school. She enjoyed it. I planned to do four hours with her each day, and then I could use the rest to study or complete homework for myself. On the first day, Lou kept asking for more, so I may have to put a better schedule, but I am so thankful she was excited! We even did “band class in the band room where she played the bells like Sissy” (we played the xylophone in the Livingroom with YouTube videos). In the afternoon, Lee was picked up with the Divas, and we picked up the other two girls and another friend that we will be taking and picking up from school some. We met the Divas for ice-cream! All the girls had smiling faces and were talking excitedly about their schedules. Lou got to show off her sister school bus project! I couldn’t ask for a better first day!

Lou gets ready for Homeschool

With me not working we and Lou not being old enough for Ga Pre-k we can’t justify spending money on Lou going to school. All the other girls went to school at this age. We decided to make sure she doesn’t get behind we would do Homeschool for her. I used to work as a pre-K3 teacher at a Parent’s- morning-out the program. This was my favorite age to work with, and I have a lot of ideas I can use to help her get ready academically. The struggle is it is at her house, with her momma. We pulled out an old school desk that Lee had in her room and put it in the kitchen. We went to the dollar store and got some workbooks. We also picked her up supplies while shopping for the big girls, so she felt like this was a school for her too. La gave Lou her old Stitch book bag to keep all her supplies in. I believe all this extra effort paid off because she actually treated the first few days like she has been at school and not like she is playing school at home. She did so well that she didn’t want it to end and kept asking, “can we do more school stuff?” Which means I didn’t get the blog typed, or homework do while the big girls were at school, but that ok because she was enjoying learning!

Since Lou isn’t getting to go to school, we decided to look into putting her into dance show she can get used to being around kids her age and being part of a class. One of the Divas also does dance and told me about a free class that was being held this weekend. We decided to let Lou try it out! She did well and enjoyed it. This is something we are going to have to look into for her. I think it will be good for her!

Thanks for taking the time to hear about our back to school madness! I wanted to also mention that we will not being doing our Working Wednesday blog until September. We need a little time to get in to the full swing of school, as well as I am having some dental work done (and I have major dentist anxiety!) so I’ll need some recover time on top of our normal crazy! Thanks for your patience and understanding. As always, Thanks for being part of our crazy! Until next time…

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