Monday, September 9, 2013

The Awkward Mom: Back to School Week!

So look, it's back to school time. Some parents are out there doing the happy dance. Me? I'm not one of them. If you follow the blog, you know how I feel about school: Overall, I'm not a fan. I think that in most cases, it kills creativity and original thought, and in all cases, it teaches you silly things like having to stand in line and ask someone else if you can have permission to use the bathroom. Not cool. So overall, Hubs and I do plan to homeschool, starting before 1st grade (or maybe even kindergarten). I mean, we've been kinda doing it already, like, since Stenni was born, and around us, that's really when all of the homeschool groups and activities start. But here's the thing: so far, she hasn't had too many opportunities for socialization with kids her own age. Adults? Yep. Older family members (like ages 5-10)? Oh you betcha! But outside of the gym babysitting room, she hadn't had too much interaction with the 2-4 year old set. And you know what? I think she kinda needs it. Also, I want her to have a little bit of her own thing going on when Cuatro gets here, because I think it'll be nice for her to be able to stick to a familiar routine somewhat.
But with that in mind, when we looked at preschools, we asked certain questions and avoided others. We looked at safety, security, background checks, teacher-to-student ratios, activities, facilities, play areas, and things like that. Curriculum? No, we avoided that. We do that stuff at home. I'm also glad that when we met the teacher, who has her degree in Early Childhood education and is working towards another one from my husband's alma mater, she was dressed casually and had a few facial piercings. You know, like mom and dad. I feel like if she had a really stuffy, buttoned-up school marm-ish type, that she'd be more uncomfortable. I just felt like it was a really cool place that I'd like to go to school, and it met all of our needs and wants. So off she went, and today was her first day. To be honest? It broke my heart a little bit, but I know that it's probably what's best for her, and she was pretty psyched. If you'd liketo know just how psyched, see below:
My little girl's "getting ready for school" face. Nice, huh?

Stenni and Papa in the front of the school. You can't see Mama, because she's holding the camera and choking back sobs. Just kidding. Kind of.
So, in honor of Stenni's first day, I'm kicking off The Awkward Mom's Back to School week. Check back during the week for tips, tricks, and suggestions to make your transition a little smoother than mine!

Tip #1: Organize everything the night before. I mean everything. Clothes for the kid, clothes for you, socks, shoes, underwear, the whole nine yards, and make sure that you try them on, too. While Stenni's outfit was perfect, I had a dress that fit me 2 weeks ago suddenly not fit (growing baby and all that), and it kind of torpedoed my whole morning. Ouch. Plan what you'll eat for breakfast. Pack the backpack. Make sure all forms are signed. Check the weather to see if anyone needs a sweater or coat. All of it, do it the night before. It will make everything run that much more smoothly in the morning, when you could be pressed for time anyway. Since Hubs usually goes to work about the time I wake up, I am used to packing lunch and setting up the coffee the night before, so all he has to do is hit the switch on the coffeemaker and grab a sandwich from the fridge, but planning for us too was kind of new! At any rate, build 15 extra minutes into your schedule so that you won't be 15 minutes late if anything arises!  

What are some tricks that help you get organized for back-to-school time? 

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