We made the decision Tuesday, Wednesday I did my best to get everything out of the playroom, piled it unceremoniously on the microwave stand, threw together a quick Kindergarten corner, and Thursday we started. Half the pile is still on the microwave stand. We've only done two subjects per kid, because that's all I had ready. But that is ok with me! Because we didn't start school so suddenly because we wanted a jump start on academics, we did it because we had a little girl who couldn't even eat or sleep because of her anxiety. She was so worried about Kindergarten! But she has gotten steadily better since we started. She has eaten EIGHT meals in a row without serious problems. She has not woken up screaming one single time. She has still woken up, but without the terror and trauma and taking hours to get her soothed back to sleep - in fact, sometimes she is back asleep almost instantly. She has ended every day with the same clothes she started in, except when we played in the pool. And oh, she was able to play in the pool! She has not washed her hands any extra times AT ALL. Today, she has played with JAMES for hours on end, and when he didn’t take turns with the ball at first, she calmly asked him to please take turns, and kept on playing. It has been a miracle, and I am so very, incredibly thankful to have my baby back! Thank the Lord for His power and mercy! I feel like my heart is overflowing.
And now our usual back to school post! I can't believe I suddenly have a grown up little fourth grader, a rather enthusiastic second grader, and a sweet, fierce, and easily exhausted Kindergartner. And of course, a toddler who wants to do the exact same thing as everyone else at all cost :)
Cadence has apparently been planning for several weeks to pretend to GO to school, so the morning of she coaxed everyone into backpacks, then led them out the back door and in the front. The driveway was a busy, dangerous street they had to safely cross, before the door helper held the door open for everyone to be greeted by their teacher. ReC and Harmony were both melting on me by that point, so these are the only two pictures I got, but it was quite fun, and I think has the potential to be a nice little tradition.
We had to wait until later in the day to get pictures together because ReC needed us to move along and get started with actual school. God is helping Tony and I greatly through this, to grow in our ability to be flexible and deal with problems calmly as they arise.
On this first day she was still struggling considerably, so after we played in the pool her clothes didn't make it back on her for several hours because she was 'hot.' But she finished the day, and actually did better than I had hoped!
Our little Kindergarten Corner. The top shelf is her school stuff, the bottom has one bucket for resting and calming down, and one for playing. The 'rest' bucket has a jar of swirling glitter, a chew toy, and a photo album, and the 'play' bucket has whatever toy Harmony has grabbed from the cabinet for the day. The most important part of our corner so far has been the picture schedule along the side of the bulletin board. The older kids are invited to join us for calendar time and singing, but only if they are very, very quiet and still. Both of them opted in the first day, then decided it was really quite boring, and have chosen to get started on their Bible study for the day instead.
We are still really enjoying our whiteboard table with its shelves on the end. We start our morning here with a coloring page and Bible verse. Later in the year we will add in some daily map work.
Anytime we have a new Kindergartner, we make it official by giving them their own mousepad, and go ahead and replace the other kids' old, worn out ones at the same time. They actually don't have much online work this year, but it's a nice little benchmark for them.
So there you go! We've started back to school nice in a hurry, but our daily pace has been slow and easy, and it has been quite enjoyable - exactly what we needed! Again, I am so grateful for God's guidance on this!