Wednesday, August 24, 2016

From Royals to Explorers: Robert Girls Make the Switch!

**Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. :) I decided to "take the day off" and just did whatever I felt like all day long. Of course, that did include a few chores, but only when I FELT like doing them. :) Eric left work a little earlier than usual and bought me some dinner, so I was happy camper. It was good day!**

The Robert girls have been zooming off to school in a big yellow bus for over a week now! In a week that was full of big adjustments for our family, I have to say that they handled the change very well. We all LOVE the new school that they are attending. We are now "Explorers" per the elementary mascot, and we're proud to be!

So today we are winding back the clock, to before Lincoln was born, when the girls started exploring their new school for the very first time.

Evelyn's open house and meet the teacher night was on Wednesday, August 10. We were all anxious to meet Mrs. Frownfelter, who had just had a baby of her own four weeks prior. Evelyn said, "When I walk into the classroom, I'm going to FROWN." Haha. I'm sure she's never gotten that one before, Ev.

Despite her name, Mrs. Frownfelter was anything but a frowning personality. She was warm, bubbly, and fun! I couldn't believe she had just had a baby. I think she will be a great fit for Evie this year, and so far, so good!

We dropped off Evelyn's school supplies, signed up for conferences and all of that good stuff, and even met a classmate or two. I walked out of the school that evening feeling really great about things.  There is something oddly comforting about walking through unfamiliar halls and classrooms in a new town and seeing our own kid's name on a desk or bulletin board. It makes it real, and for the first time we could start to feel like we actually belonged. Hey, we didn't just wander in here, they were expecting us!

The next day was Gracie's kindergarten orientation. It was at an odd time in the morning, so Eric stayed at home with the younger kids while Grace and I ventured off for a morning of fun. I really liked the way they did orientation, with a special time for parents and kids together, and then a separate time for the parents to get information while the kids stayed with their teacher and explored the classroom. 

After meeting the principal and vice principal, the PTA representatives, and other teachers and staff our kids would have for the year, the parents met back up with the kids, and we had a scavenger hunt through the school. All of the kids LOVED it. The idea was for us to find all of the different classrooms and important places our children would need to know for the year. At each stop they collected a sticker, and when their sheet was full they got a prize. Even I was thankful for this exercise, because there's no way I would have found where the school nurse was on my own. :) Other stops included the library, the kindergarten water fountain, the gym, the playground, and more!

I also loved that this was a great day to meet other parents. The nice thing about kindergarten is that everyone is new. (There is no pre-k at this school.) So Grace fit right in with everyone else, and I wasn't the only parent who had no clue where I was going, haha. One of our favorite things from the whole day was when we realized the new friend that sits by Grace was wearing the exact same shirt as her that day. Instant buddies! :)

On our way out, the ladies in the office said, "Still pregnant?!" They were tickled to know we were having a baby the very next day. It was so nice to know that we already had connections in this place, and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Even the vice principal teared up when he was talking to us about knowing how hard it is to send our little ones off to school for the first time. (He had just sent his own daughter off to kindergarten at a different school that morning.) "Just know that we love your kids and we're going to take really good care of them." Are you kidding me? I love this guy! Needless to say, we left that day excited and ready for the year!

There are a lot of things that we're loving this year, including....

* The fact that on Grace's school supply list, there was a REST MAT. kindergarten! Just like the good ole days. :)
* School starts at 9:00am. Thank you, Lord.
* No letter grades on report cards until the 3rd grade! 
* Evie only gets homework on Mondays, and it's due by the next Monday. Awe-some.
* New this year: No weekly spelling lists or tests. "We will just be working on these in class!" 
* Bus transportation right outside our front door. What a blessing to have that help this year!

But of course, there are a few things I don't like or that we will sorely miss.

* The age cutoffs for grades start on July 1 instead of September 1, making Evelyn super young in her grade. She was already among the youngest, but now she truly is! Good news for Lincoln, though! With an August birthday he'll be one of the oldest, and that's certainly a change.
* No pre-k yet. They are opening up a new preschool next fall for the entire district (which covers nine elementary schools) that will accommodate over 800 preschoolers!!  I'm sure next year will be great, but that means that Reagan is spending another year home with me when he was really looking forward to school. 
*We will miss teachers who know us well and who are invested in generations of our family. We will definitely miss the fact that we no longer have a grandma who works at the school and who gets to say "hello" to our kids every day. Some things we just can't replace or duplicate here!

The first day of school went off without a hitch! I have really been enjoying our new morning routine with the later start. This new routine includes packing a snack every day for the girls. Since school starts later, they get home later, too... after 4:00. So afternoon snacks are totally a thing here even with the older kids. And water bottles - can't forget the water bottles!

It was so convenient that first week having Eric home with us to help get the girls on the bus. The timing with Lincoln and the start of school couldn't have been more perfect. 

The girls come home from school every day happy as clams, shouting goodbyes to their friends as they get off of the bus. They already talk about all of the exciting things coming up for the year, like "A big party for the 100th day of school!" and "The second grade school play!" Haha, if they are happy, I am happy.

As for the rest of us, the days go by so quickly! I'm loving being home with the little ones knowing that the girls are learning and having fun all day. Reagan and I are looking forward to starting our own preschool at home after Labor myself a little time to get adjusted to a new schedule! And I am just looking forward to fall and all of the activities that come with it. We love our new school and feel so happy and blessed that we ended up where we are. Had we been one subdivision over in a different direction, we could've been assigned to a different school entirely. With nine schools to choose from, it really does matter exactly where you live here! But I'm glad we landed RIGHT where we did. 

Here's to a great year ahead for your kiddos, too!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails