It's only been three weeks, but it feels like we've been doing this public school thing for a whole lot longer than that.
I had the whole transition laid out in my mind. She was going to be a little nervous the night before. We would talk about it, read some first day of school books, and snuggle in tight for a full night's rest before her big day.
Reality was nothing like that.
The night before her first day she bawled. Hard. Girlfriend was scared, for real. And it was nearly unbearable for me since, ya know, it was totally our fault she was having those feelings at all. She didn't fall asleep until really late and waking her up the next day was comical (that part was very much how I expected it to be).
She didn't get in the class with her neighbor friend which only added to her anxiety. Andrew and I walked her to class and met her teacher (who is awesome) and left our baby at school. The day dragged by and I was the first parent at pickup that afternoon.
That night she cried more. Begged us to not send her back.
Math was hard, she didn't get the spelling work, she felt rushed all day. It was hard, but we talked about how it would take a bit of time to get used to it and how proud we were and after lots of pizza and ice cream, she agreed to try a few more days.
her awesome diorama project that was presented in the library
Tuesday she came home crying. She hadn't understood the math directions and had gotten every problem wrong, tough stuff for a girl who likes to be right at all times.
That night, I sat down with her to explain why she'd missed the answers and made sure she understood how to do it. Reassured her that she'd get them right the next day. Well, most of them. The word problems gave me a run for my money. Then again, math and I aren't really good friends. When Andrew walked in, she lost it again. Big old tears, saying she wanted to be homeschooled again.
Then she woke up Wednesday and I guess just decided she was going to like school.
It really was like she just made up her mind and that was that. Since then, everyday has been better than the one before. She gets herself up and ready to go, she marches in to class like a lady boss, she's playing and laughing everyday when I get there to pick her up.
In her three weeks at school she's already gotten to do a very crafty school project (right up her alley) and go on a field trip which also meant she got to go on her very first bus ride. She's made quite a few new friends and learned all about which days are pizza day and which days are ice cream days.
first field trip to the pioneer museum
Our weeks are going so smoothly it's almost a dream.
School doesn't start until 8:45 and is only 5 minutes away, so our mornings are super laid back. She wakes up around 7:30, takes a shower and gets ready, then usually has time to watch a show before we go. When I pick her up we head home for a snack and then she bikes off to play with friends for an hour or so before coming home for homework, dinner, and bed. It's working out great.
Oh, and speaking of homework, after hearing all the hublub about it I was a bit nervous about what we were signing up for. But so far, 2nd grade homework is simple. Once she got in the routine she has no trouble. She gets math each night and has a nightly journal entry to do. Then there are 10-15 spelling words to learn by Friday and she reads for about 20 minutes a night. All of it but reading is done in under 30 minutes and she reads before bed.
She is getting pulled out of class each day for Reading Club, which is basically a very small group at a time for extra reading help. Her teacher thinks she's reading great, but wants to help her with her comprehension. She's also taken a huge interest in guinea pigs since that's the class pet. In the past week she has copied over three entire books on them and had them posted on the board in class. Big stuff for my girl who "hates to write."
I'm adjusting slower than she is, but I am getting used to it.
It's strange to not have her here during the day and it is still hard for me to let another person critique her. I know how she learns and, at first, was concerned her teacher wasn't going to be able to give her that. I also realized I had a bit of a pride issue when it came to her school. How on Earth would she ever learn anything if I wasn't teaching her?!?!
Turns out, while I am still needed in a supporting role, I do not need to be the headmaster for learning to happen. Who knew?
It's fun watching her bloom and I really couldn't be happier with our choice. I'm so glad we stuck with it and went with our gut about it being time for the transition. I'll be sure to keep you updated as we continue to find our feet in this new world. Our next adventure includes the class pet spending the weekend with us! I'll let you guess who is most excited about that one.