Starting School... For the first time!
Oh man y'all! Brody started Kindergarten 2 weeks ago and I am literally just getting over the first day jitters, tears, anxiety, all-the-things. I had no idea how hard kindergarten was going to be for me... I mean for Brody!
Seriously though, Brody loves it! He is so excited about learning and making friends that he can hardly stand it. He has already memorized his first 5 sight words, a poem about starting school, the first week of school's bible verse, taken a test and got an E+ (which is the new A+) on his end of the week test! However, he did break my heart when he asked me not to kiss him goodbye on the second day of school! I mean, I literally think my heart broke and fell onto the floor! However, I very quickly informed him that those little lips were mine and I was going to be kissing him goodbye EVERYDAY until he goes to college! :)
Okay, so Brody started school and that means that our evening and morning routines have had to change. We have been on summer mode and have never had to follow a set school time schedule before - so I was super anxious about starting one! Of course, I got out my pen and paper and started jotting down everything that needed to get done in order to get Brody to school on time with everything he needs to be successful! Here is what I came up with...
Matching socks – short socks for shorts and tall socks for jeans
Know all the things going on at school
Wake up at 6AM
Know where shoes are
Backpack packed and ready for school
There are likely things I left off of this list - but please remember this is my first rodeo here!
I created a “school wall” in the kitchen with our monthly calendar, weekly newsletter, school menu, a place for his B.E.E. book to go ( this is a binder that comes home daily with information and homework in it). I also bought those little magnetic letters for the fridge so that we can put our weekly sight words on the side of the fridge for quick practice sessions anytime we are in the kitchen together. I absolutely love this little wall of ours and we are working on our daily routine around this board to help us all stay on track.
Speaking of routines... let me share with you what we have going on at the Jenkins homestead in the routine department on school nights and mornings!
Each afternoon, when we get home, Brody unpacks his backpack. He cleans out his lunch box and puts all dirty dishes into the sink and his lunch box into his cubie, and then he puts his B.E.E. book into its special holder on our School Wall! Then it is school clothes off and play clothes on - he and Abigail have free play while I work on supper. Since the weather is nice right now, I am trying to encourage them to go outside and play but that does not always allow me to focus on supper and in house tasks. I mean come on y'all... Abigail is only 2 and I cannot trust a 5 year old and a 2 year old to play outside with out adult supervision - thus, selfishly, we only do outside play on nights that I don't have to fuss over supper too much. While supper is cooking, I go through Brody's B.E.E. book and pull out anything that needs to be taken care and kept, tossing the rest.
Okay, so if I am being totally honest I will tell you that I have not thrown out a single item that the child has brought home yet! I mean he is in KINDERGARTEN and everything he brings home is totally precious and adorable and I want to keep it ALL! But I do know that I CAN NOT keep everything and am working on how to decide what I do and don't keep!
Supper time is always interesting - again I have a 5 and 2 year old so you totally understand why I say interesting. During supper we work on sight words and memorizing our weekly poem and bible verse! Thank goodness gracious that they are breaking me, I mean the kids, in easy in the homework department. So far it is just these 3 items that we work on throughout the week.
After supper it is bath time and then pick out your clothes for the next day time! HOLY MOLY is this a game changer! I have so loved this because of the simple fact that I am not going through the house like a crazy person 10 minutes AFTER we were supposed to leave in the morning looking for that missing shoe! Another good habit is putting your shoes in a specific spot in the house - these seems simple enough... but kids!
After all of that we play as a family or cuddle up and watch some TV before heading off to bed. Yes, I let my kids watch TV and I know some of you may have issues with that...but honestly they are watching MAYBE 1 hour of TV total each day, so I do not worry about it. And of course we are very cautious about what our children watch.
Side Note - Last night we were watching Spirit on Netflix. Spirit is a cartoon about a girl and her friends who live on the frontier and ride horses and get in and out of all kinds of trouble! Brody and Abigail both love this show and we think it is pretty cute too! Anyways, lastnight the characters got caught in a sand storm and there was a dirt devil coming towards them and I see Brody covering his eyes! I smiled and nudged Bruce, i wanted him to see this too. Once the sand storm was over and all was fine, Brody breathed a HUGE sigh of relief! Like literally let out a huge sigh! Bruce and I both died laughing and Brody says "what, that was scary". I love children and their little hearts!
Once the kids are in bed, I quickly put Brody's lunch together for the next day and stick the packed lunch box into the fridge. What's for lunch? So far he has asked for a Sargento Balanced Break, raw carrots and peanut butter, and Lara Bar, and a yogurt with water! I can handle that kid!!
Any who - let's get back to those routines.
In the mornings - I get up at 4:45AM. I will let that sink and and allow you time to think I am totally crazy! But seriously, if I don't get up early I end up scrambling around like a crazy mom and who wants to start their day that way? Not me! So if that means that I lose about an hour of sleep, then so be it. I wake the kids up at 6AM - unless the decide to wake on their own and then it can become mass chaos quickly. Thus it is ideal that they sleep until 6AM! Brody gets up and gets dressed, brushes his teeth and hair and then comes to the kitchen table for breakfast. Abigail goes potty and one of us get her dressed before bringing her into the kitchen for breakfast!
Breakfast - more on this in another post! But I work ahead of time to be sure that I have food choices on hand that are both nutritious and appealing to the kids! I do not like fighting over food, especially in the mornings, yet as a dietitian I do have standards and rules in place to ensure a quality breakfast.
After breakfast - Abigail brushes her teeth and goes potty again. Because, we are new to the whole going potty IN the potty thing!
Usually this has us to around 6:30 and the kids now have some spare time to have free play or watch TV. We usually turn on something musical in the mornings like Mother Goose Club or Word Party - both of which become very annoying if left on too long but the kids like it and it gets them in a happy mood and singing, which I love!
While they do their thing, Bruce and I do ours. Finishing up with morning chores, getting my makeup on, gathering my work supplies, and all-the-things! At 7:00 Bruce is off to work and at 7:15 the kids and I are out the door.
Phew, it’s a little stressful just typing about it and I’m not joking when I tell you that I have alarms set on my phone and sticky notes around the house to remind us (and by us i mean me) of all the things! I don’t know about y’all, but since having kids I have no memory!! This little tricks help me keep it together!!
Tell me what your school mornings look like and any fun hacks you use to ensure a smooth departure!!
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Bue For Now!