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Back to school: Emotions running high?

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For many grade school, high school and preschoolers, today is back-to-school day. I'm getting my six-year-old, Everett, ready for his first day in first grade. I have mixed feelings about the day; he'll be starting back at Pioneer School, a special education school he's attending because of his emotional struggles. It's on a modified year-round schedule, so he's only been off four weeks, and he's going to be in the same classroom. Back-to-school has a decidedly different tone for us than all the Septembers of my youth; and the Septembers of my happily anticipated dreams when I was imagining mama-hood.

For me, it's something of a let-down, I want to be so excited and full of the wonder of opportunities, first grade! so many to come! but instead I'm minorly sad. That's what I'm feeling this September. But what are you feeling? What is back-to-school like at your house today?

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I'm thrilled. Thrilled! I loathed and dreaded school as a kid. One more endless year with my horrible Waldorf teacher...

But my kid goes to a terrific (public) school where he's happy, he has friends, and he's had kind, nurturing teachers, art projects, gardening, all kinds of stuff. He has no idea what it's like to fear and hate a teacher.

For myself, I'm ready to be done with summer. I love September and as a sahm and writer I've been longing for those guaranteed hours alone (just don't get me started on the miniscule "half day" my new kindergartener will be in school...)

My daughter's heading off to pre-K at Richmond, and although I couldn't be happier about her school, I have been navigating some unexpected angst these past few weeks leading up to her first day. I had myself all prepared for the possibility of my daughter hitting some snags transitioning to her new school; some anxiety, some outbursts, maybe even some regression, but I had not counted on my being an absolute mess. It's hard to even put into words, but it reminds me of the couple of months that followed weaning. Deep in the recesses of my brain, where rational thought still resides, I am full of joy and pride and excitement for the new adventure that school will be for my daughter. Out here on the edge on insanity, however, I've realized that I am grieving over one of many small steps my daughter is taking away from me on the road to growing up. I know those steps are proof that her father and I are doing right by her, but still.... Ouch.


I'm a little sad, knowing it's my last year before I have to face kindergarten. Oh wait, I mean my son has to face kindergarten! Can you tell I'm not ready and this year just brings it closer? Zinemama, I'd love to know where you're getting the "miniscule half day" because that's exactly what I'll be looking for and from what I'm hearing they seem to be disappearing in Portland.

My older son went off to his outstandingly fabulous school, Winterhaven, today, starting first grade. He was happy, bouncing along, and then, we both got in the room and both nearly lost it. It was all I could do not to just yank him out of there and bring him back home. He must have hugged me 17 times. How did this happen? When did he grow up so much?

My favorite line about parenting is that the days are long but the years are short...boy, was I feeling that today...

I can't even think about when my younger son starts pre-school next week...Kleenex city....

mom22, my son will be going half day at Sunnyside Environmental School. But half days are not disappearing. Anyone can send a kid half day (it's all the state pays for); it's just that most parents opt to pay for full day. There are only 7 half-day kids at our school.

For us it was just preschool, and my son actually went most of the summer too so he was only on break a few weeks before going back again yesterday, but it was fun and exciting and we all had that "back to school" feeling I remember from my youth. The classroom had been re-arranged, the house is being painted, and there are a few new faces so it felt fresh and invigorating. I love this time of year, it makes me want to get organized, buy a few new wardrobe pieces for fall, and start cooking warmer, heartier foods. Our family savors the last sunny days of summer and embraces the cooler, chillier nights.

The half-days at Astor just went away. Parents were notified about two weeks ago, which is pretty lame. I know the district has until 2010 to figure it out, and I imagine they're going the way of making them all disappear. I hope I'm wrong. Thanks for the info on where they exist for this year.

My son went to his kindergarten assessment today. I have been bitching about PPS and the communication in terms of what we found out, when and how much school actually happens this “first week of school”. But now that I am in it I am glad for the transition (I still think however that PPS could do a better job of communicating this schedule).

I have been excited about how we are making this a big deal for my son: the new clothes, the new backpack (it makes him look so small!), and his new lunchbox! It is one of the bento ones so we have been practicing using it- he loves it! But WOW I guess I am going to have to start packing lunches for him now! How many days in a row can he eat Peanut Butter sandwiches before he will try something new?

I can tell he is subtly a bit nervous- we all are! Lots of changes going on. I was teary last week saying goodbye to his preschool teachers (where he had been for 4.5 years). And now I am giddy, and excited for school: the PTA picnic, the “first” day of school next week… it is a weird combination of vicarious excitement and being bittersweet as he moves on.

I talked about this very issue on my blog today- sad but happy. conflicted. happy to have time to myself, sad my youngest age 5 is growing up : )

- cornelia seigneur

http://blog.oregonlive.com/writermom/2008/09/kindergartner_in_school_means.html

It's definitely been exciting for us, if not a wee bit chaotic this morning. Carter rode to school on his own bike toting his over-sized backpack. It's definitely a milestone and made him feel like such a big kid. However, when we got to school there was nary a spot to park bikes except for using the street signs and other random poles. We also weren't quite sure where to drop him off and what to expect on the first day of school so we were a bit anxious about it all. But despite the little snags, he had a wonderful first day of school. He came home and said how he loved his new school. I was expecting to feel a bit sad, but in the end, I was equally excited as he for him to start a new chapter in his life.

I remember being a kid and when it got to about mid-August, I was so bored with summer I was secretly counting down the days until school started again.

My oldest son finished kindergarten last June, so this was our first school summer vacation. I totally expected that the endless days home with my 3 boys would have me eagerly anticipating September.

And you know what? September totally snuck up on me. It felt too soon to be packing lunch and buying new crayons, AND SETTING THE EFFING ALARM CLOCK. But, of course, I did bring my son to his first day of 1st grade today.

He ran the 3 blocks to school, with his almost-4 y/o brother chasing him, and me and the baby about a half-block behind. We got into the building and said "hi" to the taller versions of the classmates we hadn't seen all summer. Checked out the bulletin boards, kinda scoping out who's in what class this year.

But when we got to his classroom, he just...slowed...down. He was a mixture of sullen, "too cool for school" and shy. He found his name on a table right away, but then he paused when he realized the hooks to hang backpacks had names attached too. I think that's when he realized he isn't in kindergarten anymore.

I guess he recovered, though. The report at pick up was that, "Today was fun." And, boy, I kinda enjoy the fall routine, after all those free-form days of summer.

Yesterday was our first day of first grade also. Summer went by so fast!

Part of it is that my girls (6 and 2) play together really well so while they have fun. I tried yesterday to keep my 2 year old happy but I am not the dancer her sister is. Around 12:30 she gave up and went to take a nap.

The other hard thing is that I also really like hanging out with my oldest - she is a fun kid. We didn't do everything I wanted to do this summer but maybe next year.

She loves school so she is happy to be back. If last year was any indication, I am expecting her to be really tired the first month or so why she adjusts.

I'm with e... my oldest and first child is beginning K and I'm feeling conflicted, sad, not sure what to expect and know that the transition is going to be hard at times. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how we will all get out of the house in time to make it to school by 8 with breakfast in her belly (yikes! I'm going to give this a try on Monday... with my one year old who normally sleeps until 8:45!) I've had my daughter at my hip and in my site for the last five years. I know her inside out - why she's up, why she's down, why her stomach may hurt, when she's trying to make a joke, when she needs a hug, when she needs some down time, etc! To think she'll be in school from 8 to 2:15 every day makes me want to start to get hysterical. But, I know I can't (for her sake) and I also know that she is ready to take the next big step in her education. Any mamas out there have advice on how to make the transition positive? What to pack for lunch? How to make the mornings a happy, stress-free time?

We are loving the first days of school. Our girls, one entering 3rd grade and the other entering PreK, have been giddy every morning this week, waking up quickly and jumping out of bed. Entering the schools is like walking into a big reunion. Kids are visiting, parents are also catching up, and teachers are bustling around welcoming everyone. Our schools are charged with energy.

In our family, the downside to all this excitement has been the overtired kids in the afternoon and evening. The transition from pretty leisurely summer days to very exhausting full school days has taken it all out of the kids. Our 4.5 year old has just also given up naps, so we are experiencing that additional transition also. We have had major melt-downs every single night around here. Tonight is no exception.

I am sure things will shake out in another week or two.

I am still looking for a pre-k program or preschool for my almost 5-year old, near the Woodstock/Mt Scott neighborhood. Anyone have any suggestions? If so please email me! I only want her to go a couple days a week. And please don't chide me for being so late out of the gate -- it's been an incredibly busy summer! =)

I am still looking for a pre-k program or preschool for my almost 5-year old, near the Woodstock/Mt Scott neighborhood. Anyone have any suggestions? If so please email me! I only want her to go a couple days a week. And please don't chide me for being so late out of the gate -- it's been an incredibly busy summer! =)

Nico,
Try Tucker Maxon on Holgate and 28th. It is truly special..my son't home away from home.

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