This Friday is the end of first grading period for Anna. I can’t believe she's almost 25% done with her kindergarten year...4.16% through her elementary school years. Whoa.
I thought I would give a little update on her school life:
- Anna’s school officially starts at 9:20a and ends at 4:05p. I typically drop her off just before 8 at before-care. This means, she’s at school for about 8 hours a day. It’s a long day, but Anna handles it well. It hasn’t been a huge adjustment for her because she already attended full day school last year.
- She’s continuing to enjoy before-care. It's great to be able to drop her off and see her run along happily to play with other kids. At $175 a month, this before-care is a steal. It even includes a whole day of care on teachers’ workdays with no extra fees. I am so glad we got a spot just before school started. There is also after-care, but I get off work just in time to pick her up at the end of school day.
- There are 23 kids in her kindergarten class, with 2 teachers.
- Of all the “special” classes, she likes art the best. PE the least. I personally like library days because I like seeing the books she picks to take home. Along the same line, pulling out the yellow “home folder” from Anna’s backpack at the end of the day is a delight. Worksheets and school/PTA announcements galore! I love it.
- The first time Anna threw up (a normal occurrence for her, unfortunately) at school, her teachers freaked out and sent her straight to the clinic. The school nurse called me frantically, “Anna threw up at school….when can you come pick her up!?” I had to calm her down and explain to her that Anna just has a very sensitive gag reflex (something I already noted on her school health form) and she’s not actually sick. Now that the school knows about this, the second time she threw up, I received this voicemail, “Everything is okay! I just needed to tell you that Anna threw up after lunch. We gave her some water and she’s fine! She’s back in her classroom now.”
- I pack Anna’s school lunch every day. It’s always pasta, chips or crackers, and fruit. She’s content to have that every. single. day. and it makes my job very easy. I include a lunch note (although “Have a good day! See you after school!” is getting boring….do you have any suggestions for me?) in her lunch bag and she’s thrilled with that. The other day she mentioned that she wants to buy school lunch sometime so maybe we will start that soon.
- So far, Luke and I have gone to eat with Anna in the cafeteria once. It was a lot of fun to sit with her and her classmates. We probably disrupted the routine a bit for the teachers, but Anna enjoyed it and already asked us many times to go back again soon. The original plan was to do it once a month, but seeing that this month is ending soon, we will probably make it every two months instead.
- There are many opportunities to be involved. Luke is assisting in the classroom this Friday for Pumpkin Day (haha, I signed him up). Then we are both volunteering for International Day in November. I didn't volunteer to volunteer for her first school field trip, but probably will next time.
- We don’t have any scheduled outside activities on the weekdays and I am really happy about that. Except for practicing piano for a max of 15 minutes, when she gets home, it’s all playtime for her. Bedtime is ~7:30p and she falls asleep almost immediately.
- We had our first parent teacher conference and here is the gist of it: Anna is doing very well at school. She recently got assessed at reading and the way the teacher explained it to me is that Anna is already at where they want kindergarteners to be at the end of the school year. Great news to hear! At home, the teacher suggested, we can just keep on reading to her daily and ask questions to make sure she’s comprehending what we are reading. She writes well, math is good, behavior is great, just a tad emotional and on the sensitive side (to which I responded that she has come a looooong way already). Overall, the teacher is happy and I am happy.
- The only thing I wasn’t happy about was the dismissal procedure. It seemed to me that there was a long wait time between me arriving to school to Anna coming out. And it stressed Anna out when she had to wait inside….while I was already waiting for her outside. After she came out in tears several times, I even wrote an email to the principal to see what could be improved. He didn’t offer any solutions except explaining the procedure to me, but I found a workaround. Nowadays I just arrive ~5 minutes earlier and make sure that my pick-up number is one of the firsts entered into the Google Doc. This way the teachers inside can easily (keyword is EASILY) see my number on the tablet whenever Anna is ready to come out.