And that was that....

It's still only August, but Laurel started kindergarten today. No more long lazy days and ignoring bedtimes.

Laurel was surprised at how much they had to sit in their seats. (Quite a bit different from Montessori.) She stripped off her school uniform jumper at some point in the day so arrived to the pick up line with just her shirt and a pair of bicycle shorts on. "It's very hot in there," she told me. It did not seem to be a big deal to anyone. She went to something called "Thinking Class" and drew a picture of a tree.

And that was that; the first day of kindergarten come and gone. There seemed to be a wide range of kids in her class....some who were clearly having their first experiences with school, and others, like Laurel, who are very comfortable in institutional settings. Laurel prefers being around lots of people. One of the things that was sort of exhausting about this summer for me was providing that for her. Seeking out the playgrounds with the regular crowds of big and little kids and going to the pool was a daily requirement for her. Marko and I definitely prefer smaller groups or hanging out by ourselves. I think this is a personality thing and not a developmental thing because Laurel has always thrived in her daycare or preschool settings and craves the stimulation of a crowd.

Marko missed her today, but we went to his playgroup and did some grocery shopping. I found it vastly easier to get chores done with him just tagging along and not having to moderate any play/fights. He was even more helpful than he has been for most of the summer when it came time to clean up. For his "early childhood enrichment" we counted the peanuts I was shelling for dinner. I believe he can recognize amounts up to 3 without counting, but is sort of spotty with any one-to-one correspondence. He wanted to play Set, but that was way beyond him. We also read Fire Fuego, Brave Bomberos, which switches between English and Spanish. I noticed the other day that Laurel was teaching Marko to recite numbers to 10 in Spanish and he seems really interested by hearing words in other languages. The French baby books that my aunt has supplied us with are almost always one of his picks for bedtime reading.

So, summer is a wrap and I am trying to shift into a schedule for the school year. I'm coming up on a one year anniversary of becoming a stay at home mom, and while it doesn't really make sense for me to start a new job right now, recent events have reminded me that one always has to freshen one's resume and be on the lookout for opportunities. On the other hand, it's actually pretty challenging and fulfilling work to manage a home and be directly responsible for the early childhood education of our kids.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know that Laurel was to wear a uniform for kindergarten but there was no mistaking that 1st-day outfit. Isn't that odd for a public school? What do the boys wear? Mary

k said...

Uniforms are very common in public schools now, especially in large cities. I've actually been noticing it more and more as I see friends from around the country posting their back-to-school photos. It's more of a dress code than a uniform. Blue or khaki pants, shorts, or skirts and white or navy shirts. Montessori doesn't do it, but a lot of Pittsburgh Public Schools do.

Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of a dress code or uniform for kids, I think it takes a lot of pressure off the kids to "fit in" and it has to be a lot easier for parents to do back to school shopping. And might I add that you seem to be doing a terrific job with your kids prepping them academically for school. Love, Aunt DC