Late Arrival: How do YOU manage?
Today is the first late Wednesday arrival of the school year, and I -- a freelancing at-home mama who struggles mightily with early mornings -- am taking a deep happy morning breath. Today, my first-grader was up before me at 6:45, and got to play quietly by himself before his brothers awoke, a rare treat for the middle kid who loves occasional solitude. Now we've all had breakfast, and I have my coffee, and the boys are watching Pokemon while I typity-type-type. I even got Truman to do a little homework. When we leave, more than an hour from now, we'll probably even be a few minutes early, and I'll have a jumpstart on my writing day. No rushing required. Perfect.
I know that it's not all sunshine and deep breaths for many parents. My school doesn't even open until 9:50 (when the first bell rings), and there's no breakfast on late arrival days -- something I know many families count on. I was surprised to see the notice in my child's folder yesterday about Y morning care; it may not be the very first time anyone had heard of it, but it was the first time I knew about the 9:50 building opening. And for parents to sign up for the Y, it's not just a matter of paying $20 per late morning; there's a sign-up process and a registration fee, not the sort of thing I could manage in the midst of a week's coordination if I was working in an office. I'm sure most parents have figured it out ahead of time, but still: there have got to be parents who forget, or miss the first flyer, and struggle to pull it together.
How do you manage? Is late arrival a blessing for you, or a major coordination nightmare? If you've signed your child up for early care, do you like it? Is it a challenge to find the funds? If you could be in charge of Portland Public Schools, would you have ever instituted late arrival -- or would you have one a week?