Back to the grind
Well, the boys had a week off and now it’s back to work they all go! Monday, Jim started his new job and the boys started at their new schools. Matthew even took the bus both ways! More on that in a bit. First…
One of our whys
We’ve been up here for almost two weeks now and so far we’ve been asked why we picked here probably over a dozen times. One of the main reasons has always been to give the boys a better school experience. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVED the teachers at Los Paseos. They were phenomenal with the students and making the most out of the resources they had. But that was the problem…they only had so many resources for a class of 32 kids. The classrooms weren’t built to hold that many kids at once so they were crammed in with the desks and all of the necessary teaching materials without much room to breath. Many times when I would walk into one of the boy’s classrooms (especially during open house), it was just chaos. We need better.
We were able to schedule tours for both the elementary school and the middle school. After all of our stuff was delivered Thursday, we ran over to the middle school in the afternoon to pick up Matthew’s schedule and check things out.
The schools was HUGE…two stories…tons of hallways…and they alternate certain periods on certain days. I think we were all overwhelmed and I wondered…did we do the right thing? Is this better? Matthew looked terrified and I was pretty overwhelmed for him. But we took deep breaths and carried on. This definitely had to be better than the 90 kids Matthew had in his band, class…right?
Matthew’s First Day
I woke Matthew up at 6:40am for his first day of school…the bus picks him up at 7:24am! Definitely a change from starting school at 9am. I could tell he was a little nervous and he kept trying to talk me into letting him stay home (sorry, kid). I went out to the bus with him just to get him on the right one. There were quite a few neighborhood kids waiting as well which is great to know he’ll have other kids around to play with. There were more girls though so I’m glad he still thinks they have cooties.
I sent him off for the day and hoped for the best.
And, as usual, all of my worrying was for nothing. Matthew did awesome. He loved it. But I’ll let him tell you that himself:
So far, here are the differences between his last school and this new school:
- There’s not much homework.
- Classes are SMALL! Matthew’s drama class only has 12 students.
- “Everyone is soooo nice!” (he said he hasn’t seen any bullying yet)
- They do actual experiments in science class!
- There are lockers….not just for PE.
- PE and elective classes are every other day.
Overall, I think Matthew is adjusting really well and starting to make friends. (Phew!!!)
The Friday before school started, we were able to tour the school and see Mason’s classroom…this was a bit of a different experience than Matthew’s because the school was empty for an In Service day. It was definitely less overwhelming without all of the kids. At first glance, the school seemed huge.
The entire downstairs is a library which is probably 10x the size as the library at Los Paseos. His classroom was at least double the size as his old one as well (not to mention there are less kids…Mason is #25 which is 1 over the max of 24). The rooms can open up to adjoining rooms as well when the teachers want to combine classes. They already had a desk set up for him which was great to see. He took it all in:
Mason’s First Day
On his first day of school, I drove him to and from school just to help him get settled in. We met all of the yard duties outside before school (they all knew his name and that it was his first day). Of course, it was raining so we just hung out until it was time to find his line. I could tell Mason was a little nervous as he turned on the cranky Mason. I was pretty anxious watching him walk in with his new classmates and hoped that the cranky would pass pretty quickly.
When I picked him up, he was excited to tell me about his day (phew!). We walked past the buses and I showed him where his bus would pick him up the next day. As we were walking, he saw one of his new friends who asked if I was Mason’s mom and then proceeded to shake my hand and introduce himself as Henry. So cute.
Here’s how his day went:
The next day Mason rode the bus for the first time. The bus driver is awesome and knew it was Mason’s first day riding and where he was going. That puts an overprotective mom at ease, for sure. At the end of the day, he was excited to come home and try out his new key for the front door.
The next day, he received welcome letters for all of the kids in class. We spent that night reading them all. They were all so sweet.
As much as I loved Mason’s teacher in California, I really think this new school and teacher will help him focus a bit more on his writing and reading (areas where I think he was really getting overwhelmed and frustrated at Los Paseos). And I really need to make sure we’re supporting that more at home so we are setting up and starting to use the computer more to play typing and reading games. Any links or tips to help Mason stay engaged would be so much appreciated! If it’s not animal, pokemon or minecraft related, he tends to zone out.
So far, so good on the school front! Soon we’ll go back to the working mom front and I’m sure that will be a whole new juggling routine.