It’s over. The school year is over and summer has begun. They came home full of excitement – not just because school is done which means they can stay up late tonight, but also because they found out who their teacher’s will be in the fall. No disappointed kids in this house! Summer is off to a great start.
Bennett had the kindergarten drive-in at school today. Each kid was required to make a cardboard car (or in Bennett’s case a cardboard plane) and they watched a movie from their vehicle. I love my kids teachers, but I’m pretty sure dumping this project on parents the last week of school is payback for all they had to deal with over the year. It’s the teacher’s last laugh.
This isn’t our first rodeo – Hallie and Hunter made their cardboard cars as well and every time I think this is the worst project ever. Perhaps if they bumped it up a couple weeks and didn’t make it at the end of the school year it might be more enjoyable. But the last week of school, really? There are school programs, recitals, parties, graduation, etc… and you want me to spend time on this?? I should be a better sport. It’s not the end of the world – just poor timing. Then you have to take them to school before it starts and promptly pick them up half way through the day so they can set up the gym for another program…not my favorite.
Each year, I swear I’m going to keep the project in the attic so I can pull it out when the next kid has to do it – but something inside me wants to let each kid decorate their own.
Bennett killed it this year. I had it cut out when he got home from school one day and I gave him some crayons to decorate it. No spray paint – no wrapping it in paper. Nope. Not this year. And you know what, he loved it just the same! Here’s to one more day of school…
Homework consumes far too much of our after school time. They have homework packets. Then flashcards. Then spelling words. Then nightly reading. And suddenly it’s almost dinner time. I don’t like it. I’m okay with some homework but loading on the home work isn’t productive. If Hallie gets 100% on every spelling test, why must she spend an hour and a half writing weeks worth of spelling lists in alphabetical order. It’s unnecessary.
This is how our typical afternoon looks:
The kids file off the bus and they are famished. We talk about the day and eat some food. Then the backpacks are opened and notebooks litter the table. I park it at the table next to them in-between keeping Briggs happy and helping Cannon in the bathroom.
Hallie can do most her work on her own. She starts going through her list and ends up asking me questions on how to do math problems in ways I was never taught. I proceed to teach her the way I know and she tells me she can’t do it that way. We then have to search the internet to figure how to solve the problems the way the new curriculum requires.
In between helping Hallie – Bennett is not so patiently waiting to be helped. He has two homework packets. One in english, one in spanish. He works through his packets quickly but usually doesn’t follow directions and ends up erasing everything. One day he’ll learn to wait for me to read him the directions. His homework requires more parent involvement and I’ve recruited Steve for reinforcements when he gets home from work. Steve speaks spanish with him as they do the homework which mimics his classroom setting.
Hunter is at the table with us as well and we don’t hear a peep from him. He has the least amount of homework of the three and Hallie can’t stand how much sooner he finishes and can leave the table. His classroom is really focusing on teaching the kids how to code working with robots so the minute his book work is done, he wants to do coding lessons on the computer.
As much as I wish this was a nice quiet library setting for them to finish their homework, it’s not. Instead, it’s loud and chaotic and there always seems to be three people that need something all at the very same moment. Which is why I despise homework time, but it does have one redeeming quality. While we sit around the table together – they talk and talk. They remember things about their day and they share it. They talk about the boy who got in trouble at recess or something funny at lunch. They tell about things they learned or things they observed. They’re little chatterboxes. I suppose that makes the homework time worth it regardless of how trivial the assignment may seem.
Bennett came home with a turkey and it was his job (with help from the family) to decorate or disguise his turkey. He talked of gluing cereal to it, which I knew would be a disaster. He talked of making it into Darth Vader which I knew would take forever.
After scrolling through pinterest, he saw the angry bird turkey. He loved it. I thought it was rather funny just for the subliminal meaning – what turkey isn’t an angry bird this time of year. 😉
With some white feathers and a red feather boa – this thing was stapled together in 4 minutes time. Much faster than watching large globs of glue on cereal dry! I drew the face and Bennett colored it with markers. It looks nothing like a turkey, but if you look real close you can see its feet sticking out the bottom!
I’m having a hard time believing its Thanksgiving next weekend. Where did November go? A number of people I know already have their Christmas trees up which I think is crazy and yet at the same time I find myself jealous that they’re already enjoying their tree. I’ve never put my tree up before Thanksgiving although I’ve been tempted to a time or two.
In my book this weekend is really the last calm before the storm. We’re going to make the most of it. Happy weekend.
Here’s just a few more pictures from our Halloween festivities.
The school puts on a costume parade first thing in the morning. Grades K-2 dress up – the rest of the grades enjoy the show and scream at their siblings as they walk by. Once the parade is over, all the costumes have to be removed and they move on to class parties. Bennett was a little nervous to wear his toga dress to school – he didn’t want anyone to laugh at this clothes – but he wore his costume with pride and the secretary at the school said it was the first time she had seen a Little Caesar in the parade.
Hallie’s grade doesn’t participate in dressing up, instead they watch the parade and then enjoy a pizza party at the park for lunch. I’ve got years of photos of these three girls on Halloween morning!
Steve and I helped in Hunter’s class first (with Cannon and Briggs as secondary helpers). The doughnut on the string challenge always has me cracking up and it never gets old. By the end, Hunter had frosting smeared across his face and a little in his hair.
Bennett’s doughnut challenge was even more fun to watch. He went after it with all the intensity of his little heart. His animation really came out in this game as you can see from the following pictures.
After spinning around in endless circles, Bennett finally pinned the doughnut against the wall and went to town. He was so proud of himself that he figured out this little trick. The doughnut eventually fell off the string and he stood against the wall – covered in powdered sugar – and held up his hands as though he were the champion.
After school, the kids excitedly got in their costumes and we walked to our neighborhood party/dinner. We were quite the sight – who doesn’t want to see Jack walking down the road looking like this?
The kids picked up their first full-size candy bar of the night. (Hallie and Hunter both ended up with 10 full-size candies. 10!?!)
Steve and I walked home with the three little kids, trick-or-treating all the way home which was more than enough candy to meet and exceed their expectations. Hallie and Hunter ran the neighborhood at a much faster rate and were able to pick up twice as much candy. They two were pleased with their loot.
We passed out candy on our neighbor’s porch before calling it a night. Then the dump and sort started. Our floor was covered in candy. It was disgusting on so many levels and we don’t even have a very big neighborhood! Our family handles candy differently than most. The kids pick their favorites to keep (10 pieces or so) and then their full-size and everything else goes into a large community bucket. That’s the candy we end up using on road trips, movie nights, sporting events and so on and some even donated. That’s how we’ve always done it and they have come to expect it. Its been the easiest way to somewhat control the crazy candy flow over the next couple months. Good thing we have dentist cleanings set up next week!