It's been a whole month now, and the polish is rubbing off our back-to-school resolutions (eat nutritious snacks, do homework and piano practicing right after coming home, keep the house clean).
Here's what we looked like on that first bright, shiny day.
I swiped an idea from the NieNie Dialogues and the night before school started we held our first Back To School Feast. I remembered the idea at the last minute, but the kids still really loved being able to make it a special evening. The boys love the chicken cordon bleu from Costco, and with a bag of sweet corn from the farm stand and Carden's favorite punch recipe, we broke out the goblets and gold china on the tablecloth Dad bought in India.
I put Dad, our artist-in-residence, in charge of decorating the crowns for our new scholars. It was a good idea. I'm sure that years from now, they'll all share fond memories about how "Dad always drew these cool crowns for our Back to School Feasts..." And I'll bite my tongue about how I put the crowns and the Sharpie in his hand and said, "Have these done in an hour."
Carden is in third grade (note the three fingers he shows in every picture). The school addition is finished and he is in a brand new classroom. It's beautiful, with big windows and none of the funny smell of last year's portable trailers. He has two teachers who job-share, and both are wonderful.
Seth has a great teacher, and she admitted to me that he is one of her favorites (something about his love of staying after class to help clean up just endears him to people, myself included).
I'm so glad we kept Seth back that extra year. He grew up a lot and is now ready for the big time. He has a little more confidence now and he is just starting to sound out words, a feat that was completely beyond him a year ago, so I'm glad we didn't push it. I remember working with kids in Carden's first grade classroom and seeing how many of them were already labeling themselves as "smart" or "dumb." There's a lot of talk about "redshirting kindergarteners" to give them an advantage in sports or size. I'm sure that's out there, but for us, Seth was just not ready for school emotionally, socially, or academically, and I'm glad we didn't push him.