School Update

We’re in the seventh week of the 2020-21 school year and for the most part it’s going super well for all four of the kids. In 2 1/2 weeks we’ll get report cards and we anticipate all of them will be excellent.

M absolutely loves pre-k. She is so happy to be going to the big school. One of her teachers reported that they just love having her in their class. We’ve started walking to school three days a week and M thinks that is the coolest thing ever. She’s learning all sorts of things and knows the names of pretty much all of the letters already.

E struggles a little in school due to the environment he was in during his first few years. We’re watching him for dyslexia since it runs in his bio family (and, amusingly, his adoptive family, too) and he’s showing some early signs. He really enjoys being in the classroom and learning. He’s got at least four letter names, three letter sounds, and one sight word down pat now.

Adrian is our big surprise. He LOVES school. He can’t wait to be in person in the classroom. He’s getting excellent grades. He’s gotten two 100% tests so far (math and Texas history) and lots of 100% quizzes. His lowest grade on any assignment so far is an 80%. We really did not expect that, though we are certainly delighted.

Fritz is still not thrilled about being in school and does not ever want to attend in person. He has a whole lot of homework. He’s taking an AP course and a couple honors courses so pretty high level stuff. He’s getting it all done and getting a good preparation for college. He’s learning a lot, though.

The Wall

A couple weeks after E moved in, he got mad at something, we don’t remember what, and threw his crayon box at Jamie’s head. It hit the wall and left a good size gouge. Eventually we will fix it, but for now it reminds us of just how far he has come.

When he first arrived, he was angry all the time. So angry. And, seriously, that anger was totally justified. He had good reason to be angry. Meltdowns were common. So many normal every day things would trigger him. His insides couldn’t have felt very good.

Over time, however, that has changed. E hasn’t had any super meltdowns in the last two months that are not related to CPS visiting (he’s worried they’ll remove him again) and I don’t count those. Now he only gets angry when he’s hungry or tired or mad at a sibling. Things every kid melts down sometimes over. It’s truly amazing how far he has come in such a short time.

Getting ready for the next day

With four kids needing to get dressed and out the door and sleep being a precious commodity, I’ve been looking for ways to cut the time required in the mornings. One thing that helps a whole lot is having everything ready and set out the night before.

As soon as E and M get home from school, I empty their backpacks of whatever papers they did that day and reload them complete with their next day’s snack. I put their masks and M’s pre-k tag on their backpacks so they are ready to put on before we go out the door. I also wash their water bottles and put them by their backpacks so remember to fill them in the morning.

A is potty training so there are almost always bags of wet clothes in his backpack. I take them out and reload with clean training pants and extra shorts if he needs them as soon as we get home from picking him up from preschool. (N has a backpack, too, but he leaves it at school and only brings it home on Fridays.)

I also set out their next day’s clothes (for all six) including underwear and socks and whatever I am planning to put in M’s hair the next day (bows or bobbles or whatever). The only thing I don’t set out is shoes because we keep them in the hallway on pegs so they are easily accessible by each child on their own.

Having all that out and ready shaves about about ten minutes from our mornings. This means we can wake up at 6:30 and still be out the door by 7:15 and that extra ten minutes of sleep is totally worth the effort the evening before!

I deleted so many alarms

On Friday I deleted so many alarms from my phone. Tomorrow E&M will start in-person school. I am sure it will be so much better for them than Zoom school. And easier for me, too.

This weekend we’ve been getting their supplies ready and labeled and bags of toys for M to play with at her desk (no shared anything at this time). She’ll have a bag of animal figures, a bag of playdough, a bag of Magna-Tiles, a bag of books, and a bag with a coloring book and crayons to choose from.