Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School Daze Begins Again

Today is the first day of school (finally!) for Sarah and Grace.

Sarah enters fourth grade and Grace is moving into the first grade. I think they are both excited to get into it and see their friends that they weren't able to connect to all summer. Grace has Sarah's first grade teacher, so that is nice for us. I hope that Grace benefits from Mrs. Yoho's emphasis on reading skills and that we see an improvement on her already good reading skills. I also hope (as I did for Sarah at that time) that this experience will help her learn how to control herself emotional outbursts a bit before things escalate too far. Plus, first grade is full day, so we'll see how she handles the extended hours.

The scuttlebutt Lynda and I hear from other parents is that fourth grade has an increase in the amount and quality of homework from previous years, so it will be a challenge for Sarah and for our daily routine to match those expectations. I hope we are all up to it, but I expect Sarah to face that challenge most of all, obviously.

Also, I think we are going to take the plunge and let Sarah begin riding her bike to school this year--after we catch up this weekend and get her a proper bike lock and a house key (in case she gets home a few minutes before we do). Lynda and I still plan for one of us to leave work at the end of the school hours to be home with the kids in the afternoon, but due to traffic and the fact that we'll (for n0w) still be picking Grace up and driving home. I think Sarah might beat the car home by a few minutes, so its best to give her a key to get in, rather than sitting on the porch waiting. It's all so new and a slight bit unsettling for us, but Sarah wants to be more independent as she ages and we want to give her small bits of freedom. We're just trying to be smart about it. I think and hope that perhaps Grace will see Sarah riding her bike to and from school and might become more motivated to learn how to ride her own bike more effectively (minus the training wheels) as a result. If that happens, they can ride together and Lynda or I can meet them at home after picking up Hannah--again, with only a few minutes difference.

I try not to worry, remembering that I walked at least the same distance every single day of elementary school without any incident. I want them to be independent. I think they are capable of it. And its going to happen someday, whether I like it or not. Best start slowly getting used to the feeling, while I still have some say in the matter.

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