Tag Archives: kindergarten

So Many Holiday Shows!

12 Dec

Yesterday my little one had her Winter Festival. It doesn’t feel like it was 3 whole years ago her twins siblings had their kindergarten winter festival in the school, and then their first grade one. And then of course last year it was hard to believe I was sitting in my baby’s kindergarten winter festival and now here we are and this is the last winter festival I will be attending.
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I arrived 45 minutes early for a front row seat to soak up every glorious moment.

One of the many highlights was when she played the glockenspiel :)

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Now a few weeks back my 3rd graders also got to participate in shows of their own…Thanksgiving shows. So half the third grade classes performed at 9:00 and the other half at 10:15 and you guessed it…I had one twin in each cluster so we watched the same 3 plays twice and ironically my twins each performed the same play!

But, they were adorable! Both the pilgrim…
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and the Native American!

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Have you been attending some amazing performances too!?

The Many Faces of Kindergarten Winter Festival

22 Dec

It doesn’t seem like it has been 2 years since I wrote about my twins winter festival!!!  Time is going swiftly.  My baby girl had her her first concert last week and it was pure joy :)  I know from past experience how crowded it gets so I got a chai tea latte and got there super early for front row seats.  A moment of quiet was so nice.

Before long they all came out looking super cute all dressed in holiday attire.

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My daughter did a super duper job singing all the words and really staying engaged, until the last half of the program…

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I don’t quite know what happened, perhaps she was thinking of one of her favorite paintings?!

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But I’m so glad I have the photos…they are a constant source of chuckling for this little one’s big sister. Big sister, who, incidentally, lifted up her dress at HER winter festival while her twin brother picked his nose. :)

Needless to say it was a great day!

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First Day of School Wrap Up

6 Sep

Wow we are on day 3 of school already and though my house is now empty for 6 HOURS a day (!!!), I have been running non stop.  Isn’t it fascinating how things seem to get busier when you get more free time?

Anyway, two second graders, one kindergartener (and one mom)  survived the first day of school.

the second graders

First off were the second grade twins.  My daughter cried when the bus arrived!!! So weird because that never happened before.  We shoved her on and said to stick with her brother but my heart just splintered.  I know that overwhelming feeling when you are walking into something new and scary; my sensitive girl and I seem to share inner workings.  Making me feel worse was the fact that I forgot to attach their bus/name tags so there I was imagining them wandering around lost at their new school.  Totally cuckoo.

the kindergartener

I didn’t have too much time to lament before my little one was due at the bus stop.  This kid is so ready for school.  She is seriously smart and has been doing things way ahead of her siblings forever so it’s no surprise she was raring to go.

When the bus pulled up she told me she had a feeling in her tummy like she get’s at Adventureland.  I said maybe that’s an excited feeling?  She said no mom it’s just “an interesting feeling”!!!

Then I went off to my annual first day of school mom meetup at Starbucks.

I spent 2 HOURS there.  I mean, never have I had this luxury!  I constantly checked my watch thinking it was time for pick up at nursery school!

Meanwhile, my fabulous friend texted my photos of my little one arriving safely at school and walking into kindergarten.

(Note: I am psychotic, but not psychotic to the point of following the bus.  I feel that impacts my kids’ adjustments and refuse to do it just because “everyone” does.  Another note: my friend who snapped the photo walks her kid to school so has a reason for being there!!!)

I have to admit I walked around that day feeling a little sad.  I’m seeing how fast it’s all going and that triggers a bunch of feelings.

But before I knew it, it was time to get them all back from the bus.  (Have I mentioned I walk to and from the bus stop  FOUR TIMES a day!?)

flying off that bus at lightening speed!

yeah I went to kindergarten…so what’s the big deal?!

So far everyone seems to be adjusting just fine, even me…I think?

How’s back to school going for you?

When A 5 Year Old Tantrums

1 Sep

Tantrums are one of my favorite things to write about. Even though my youngest child is 5 years old they still happen in this house.

Today my daughter got enraged when she was banished to her room because she sucker punched her brother in the stomach. She retaliated by attempting to destroy her room and it’s contents. The bed seemed to be hit especially hard as she stripped it.

Kindergarten here she comes! :)

My Baby is Entering Kindergarten

19 Aug

I have 3 close friends who are all currently pregnant.  Somehow it’s made me more aware of  my baby, perhaps it’s the fact that she’s IT.

It was so, so hard having 3 children so close, 3 babies together to care for; now I get a lump in my throat when I think about the little one entering kindergarten in just a couple of weeks.  Because I know from the twins , (the second graders!),  how time seems to accelerate once kids enter real school.

Truthfully, there’s a lot of guilt I need to resolve from when they were babies.  I was so stressed out and I lament the fact that I didn’t derive constant pleasure from them like I should have…instead I was about surviving each day, wanting to get through them.

I get that as moms we beat ourselves up (some more than others!).  How do you get over that?

Kindergarten Orientation

5 Jun

My baby girl had her kinde orientation yesterday…just doesn’t seem possible!

Every time I ask her what I am going to do with myself while she is at school all day she says,

Cry mommy…you’re going to cry…but it’s okay…I’ll come home after school!

:)

I feel like I was just lamenting about the twins entering kindergarten.

Where does the time go?

 

New Book: My First Day of Kindergarten by Kristin J. Minuto

24 Mar

Do you have a child approaching kindergarten?

If so, you should definitely check out one of the books we’ve been reading lately,  My First Day of Kindergarten.  My kids were amazed (and it surprised me how excited it got them) that I know the author, Kristen Minuto, a very sweet mother (and teacher) from my town.  It makes reading the book so much more exciting for us and my daughter has even exclaimed, “I really love how she writes!”… I’m not kidding!

My kindergarteners are pretty mesmerized when I read it, as they draw comparisons between their classes and routines and the ones they are hearing about as they follow a little boy through his first day of school.

It’s really a bright, colorful and adorable book that I would absolutely recommend.  We actually started reading books like this as my kids entered nursery school.  I know we’ll be getting a lot of use out of this book as we start talking about kindergarten with my 3-year-old.  You can check out My First Day of Kindergarten here or here.  And speaking of adorable, here is my son’s artistic representation of it from his homework journal :)

Don’t forget how important it is to read to your kids!  What children’s books are you reading these days?

Survived Back to School Night…With a Smile

21 Sep

Last night was the long-awaited Back to School Night.  It’s going to sound crazy but I was very stressed about it.  This is one of the aspects about being a mother of twins that has been challenging for me; I’m very aware of wanting to be equal to both of them, to ensure they get individual time, to not short change them.

Therefore, I wanted to be in each of their classrooms for the full teacher presentation.  But I could not.  And that really had me distressed.  It didn’t matter that my husband would be in one of the rooms.  I wanted to be in 2 places at the same time.

So I started out in my daughter’s room with my husband.  I met the teacher and saw and some of my daughter’s artwork.  She seems to be very gifted in art and the teacher told me she has been impressed with how long she sits and works on her pictures.  It was so hard to leave that room to move onto my son’s because my two great friends were there with their husbands, but that also helped me feel good leaving my husband in their hands.  (He hated school and was hyperventilating as he entered the class.)

I got to my son’s room as the teacher was asking everyone to be seated, yet she introduced herself to me with a hug and a kiss!  Oh she seemed wonderful.  Thinking about her warmth right now makes me want to cry.

She talked about what a long day it is for them because they are still “babies”.  She believes she is setting a foundation for the rest of their lives and she wants them to feel happy (and now I do!) and good about school.  She said we all have our noses behind our Blackberries, iPad, etc and she is seeing that the kids don’t have great eye contact because we DON’T LOOK AT THEM WHEN THEY’RE SPEAKING TO US.  Of course as she is saying this I’m BBMing my husband the conference time I signed up for (for next March, I might add).

It made me stop.

I’ve got to put the Crackberry down, in general, and relax.  My frenzied state of being is no good to anyone.

When the talk finished my husband came in, met the teacher, and told me our friends were waiting for me.  And there they were in the hallway.  As I approached, it hit me that these are forever friends.  Our children are going to grow together, and so are we.  My son’s teacher told us to look around the room at one another……that her son’s best man was his buddy from kindergarten.

So the night, for me, was a success.  And this is only the beginning…

So It’s Back-to-School Night

15 Sep

Just as I was sitting here trying to think of something to write, my big sis once again takes care of me and sends this fabulous and helpful information about an event coming up shortly for all of us with school aged kids…

Back-to-School Night (aka Meet the Teacher Night, Open House, Curriculum Night) is upon us.  As a mom of two boys, I’ve been to well over 20 of these evenings, and more than that in my role as a kindergarten teacher.

If you think that managing 20 kindergarten students is courageous, think, for a moment, about how a teacher feels looking out at anywhere from 20-40 anxious parents waiting to be enlightened, informed, and assured, while deciding if they are going to like you.  When I attend my sons’ Back-to-School Nights, I really, really want to like their teachers.  I want to see a hybrid of all the qualities my best teachers had … knowledge, compassion, enthusiasm… you know.

As a teacher, looking out at the parents, I want them to like me.  It’s the truth.  I know they may not agree with everything I say, but I want them to respect my years of experience, and my knowledge of how young children grow and develop.  Most important, I want them to trust me with their children, to know that I have their child’s best interest at heart.

All parents have hopes and dreams for their children.  They have some expectations of what school will be like and what their child’s teacher should do to make their child excited about school, to feel safe physically and emotionally.

Teachers have hopes, dreams and expectations, as well for their students and for the positive relationships they hope to establish with their students’ families.  Back-to-School Night plays an important role in that process; it can set the stage for the rest of the school year.

Here are some things to keep in mind about your child’s Back to School Night:

1.     Go to it! You may think this sounds crazy.  Of course you plan to go!  Or, you could be thinking…nah… don’t think so… got two older kids… been there, done that.  No you haven’t. Not really.  Every year is different.  While my core values and principles of sound educational practice haven’t changed, procedures, curriculum, and school policies do.  Also, many teachers post sign-up sheets for Parent-Teacher conferences and other important events for which you will want to be able to select a time and date that works for you.

2.     Reserve your babysitter early. You really don’t want to bring your children to this adults-only evening.  If you are nursing your newborn, pump, or have dad go.  Teachers put a great deal of planning and thought into this time we get with you, we don’t want to hear Madison toppling a block structure while we are explaining important details that you need to hear about your child’s school year.

3.     Come prepared with questions. This is the best time to ask about transportation, library books, birthday celebrations, parent volunteers, trips, etc.  Do make sure you find out the best method of contacting the teacher.  Do not ask her for her home or cell phone number.  You do not call your doctors or lawyers at home…that goes for teachers, too!

If the teacher hasn’t mentioned basic school policies and procedures during her presentation, and you have a question, ask it.  There’s a good chance it’s something we meant to discuss and ran out of time.  I now write a list of Kindergarten FAQ’s I distribute that night, because there are always distractions during the evening and I want to make sure all my parents get the important information.

4.     Do not go to the classroom early. In most schools, parents convene in an auditorium and hear opening announcements from the school principal and other district personnel at the beginning of the evening.  Teachers are sometimes introduced at this time, or are doing last-minute preparations in our classrooms.  Everyone understands that you really just want to get into the classroom, to see the teacher, see the room, see your kid’s work.  The “short” speeches in the auditorium are often, well…boring.  I know.  I’ve heard enough of them!  Still, don’t show up in your kid’s classroom because you don’t want to sit in the overheated auditorium, and you want a few private minutes to hang out with your child’s teacher.  Not a good idea. Ever.  Besides demonstrating basic disrespect for the teacher’s time, you are also showing us that basic rules and etiquette don’t apply to you.  It’s not the way you want to start the school year.

5.     Remember that this is not the time for a private conference about your child. This is important to remember.  In fact, many principals will make a point to mention it before sending parents off to the classrooms.  A principal will remind you it’s an evening for a general overview, not private conversations with the teacher about your child. However, at some point during your time in your child’s classroom, you will most likely have a chance to mingle and look around the class.  Please do approach the teacher and introduce yourself if you haven’t already met.  If s/he feels it’s appropriate to make a comment or share an anecdote with you about your child, s/he will.

6.     If you or your spouse cannot attend, do not ask the teacher to “tell you what you missed” at another time. It’s almost like asking to have the school band give you a special performance because you couldn’t make it on concert night.  We put a great deal of time and energy into making Back to School Night informative and special.  Teachers are often charged with describing a year’s worth of curriculum in one night, while addressing a host of other issues and questions.  We make PowerPoint presentations, we display children’s work, we clean the room, we have the kids leave notes or drawings for their parents – you.  We also distribute packets of information, which you will receive whether you can attend or not.

7.     Don’t forget…you see us around 7:30pm.  Many of us have been at school since 7:30am.  We have taught a full day.  The children go home and we keep working.  We set up the room to show you, in the best way possible, all the wonderful projects, new ideas, and tremendous growth your child will experience their first year in public school.  We pray that we will sound as knowledgeable and caring as we really are.  We hope you will hear in our voices how much we love your children and how honored we feel that you have entrusted them to us for this important and special time in their lives.  We hope you will hear our commitment to do our best for your children.  Because, in many ways, they are our children, too.

We are advocates for your children and want the best educational experience for them.  So help us with that.  Come to Back-to-School night with open minds and open hearts.  We want to answer your questions, reassure you, set you straight if you need it (gently and politely, of course J).   We will be there for you and your child.  So please be there for us.

Learn More in Kindergarten, Earn More As an Adult

12 Sep

And you thought I was done talking about kindergarten!?  Well here’s an article that will legitimize my obsessing just a little.

If you’re too lazy to read it here’s the crux:

“New research reveals a surprising finding: Students who learn more in kindergarten earn more as adults. They are also more successful overall.”

“Moreover, students who learn more in kindergarten are more likely to go to college than students with similar backgrounds. Those who learn more in kindergarten are also less likely to become single parents, more likely to own a home by age 28 and more likely to save for retirement earlier in their work lives.”

See?  This is the beginning of the rest of their lives.

But actually I was just remarking to my friend that we have changed a lot in one week because we are so excited for school to resume tomorrow.  No obsessing tonight!  I’m thrilled about how happy they are about kindergarten so far.

They were all smiles getting off the bus…of course…the bus driver had to actually tell them to get off!

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