We had our back to school dinner tonight in preparation for the first day of school tomorrow. Hallie and Hunter were gone most the day, so Bennett was my right hand man and he was more than excited to take the coveted role.
Our theme this year was “Go the extra mile”. The kids enjoyed seeing their new school shoes on the table to represent each of them going the extra mile. (It was convenient that the nike outlet was having a great sale, but when I placed them on the table I realized all of my children chose black shoes! How original! And since we bought them on our road trip they’ve been sitting in their closets waiting for school to start and I’m pretty sure 5 times a week one of them asked me if they could wear them. Tomorrow will be a happy day when they finally get to put them on their feet.)
Back to the dinner – We picked up food from one of their favorite restaurants – Panda Express – with a little sweet treat from the Soda Shop. We created our own soda bar and the kids were elated to have soda with dinner. We talked about our theme and each of the kids interpreted it in their own way. Bennett took it quite literal. His idea was if you’re already running 5 miles, you could just run 6. I think by the end of our discussion he caught on to the idea of it. Each kid talked of applications in their school life and if they even do one of the things they discussed they’ll make a difference. And that’s what we’re hoping for.
Here’s to another school year – may the buses be hot and the lunch rooms be loud. Grateful for everyone who chooses to teach and work with children.
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.