It seems that my Facebook friends are of three minds when it comes to back-to-school post- holidays:
1. "We homeschool so we are NEVER really "out" or "back" to school. We're going to sit around in our jammies and slowly get back to our routine and enjoy the empty parks and playgrounds while the rest of you poor saps drag screaming children out of bed to get to the Evil Soul Sucking Schools on time!"
2. "NEVER SO HAPPY as I am this morning! School should have begun WEEKS AGO! I'm kicking the little brats out of the house and praying for an extra long school day!"
3. "Sniffle. I miss my precious snowflakes soooooo much! I enjoyed making all our Christmas presents together (our of yarn from our long-haired cat!), playing games and drinking so much coco! I hope for snow days until summer breaks because I cannot spend enough tome with my little darlins!"
Me? I'm somewhere between 2 and 3. This year, the kids and I weren't at each others throats but it was time for them to go back. Why? Well, they love school and wanted to see their friends. Plus, my kids thrive on a strict routine and knowing what comes next. They get that at school, much more than I can duplicate at home (especially with a husband who had just had surgery!). I was sad to see them off because I do enjoy having them under foot and cuddling with them as we make cookies or watch movie marathons.
However, the Little Dudes and I faced a big change in our routine. George's school time changed!
Way back in October at Parent-Teacher Conferences George's main teacher, SLP, OT and I discussed his then-upcoming IEP meeting. We were talking about quality of speech vs quantity. After tossing around ideas I said, "I really want his same age peers to be able to understand him because I really think it would boost his self confidence and allow him to develop friendships." All his teachers gave me a BIG grin and, apparently, that was the perfect transition to tell me that they wanted to move George to the afternoon class.
Well. Knock me over with a feather and Bob's your uncle and all that. The morning class, for kids that should be in 3 year old preschool and/or just entered the Early Childhood Center as a kiddo with special needs, has alot of kids who need to work on speech. George and one other child, his best buddy, are the peer models for speech! They want to challenge him in speech, academically (!!!!) and in social settings by moving him to the afternoon class. The PM class has more kids (especially boys) who will be going to kindergarten in the fall, use the potty, speak like four and five year olds should and it has more of a kindergarten prep program. All the kids in that class are friends from last year, so he would know the children. My only concern was for the deep friendship he has with a classmate but, "Oh, well, we want to move his buddy too!"
Ah, well, no concerns then!
We were going to move him before the break, but things didn't really get going until December. The teachers at school prepped both George and his friend really well and they even "visited" the classroom once. Last week was his first full, real day in the PM class.
In terms of his transition to the "new" classroom itself, I couldn't have asked for a smoother ride. He knows the kids and has the same teachers and paras. As long as his buddy is with him, he's fine.
At home, though, he is still adjusting to the new routine. We all are. Normally I would drop him off in the morning with all the other kids and Cole and I would have a nice morning before picking him up. He's still asking, "Me school?" every morning. I have to go down the list, "You will go to school after lunch. Today we have to do A, B, C, have lunch and THEN you will go to school!" Like his older siblings, he likes a strict routine and knowing what to do next.
There's a plus side to this, though! The Little Dudes and I have been able to do things that they love without me worrying about nap time. We're going to play places and play dates with friends. They love certain parks and activities that the older kids don't like. When George was in AM school, I would do these with just Cole and feel like George was missing out. Now we can all do these things in the morning, then drop George off at school and take Cole home for a nap. (Yep, there's a Mommy Bonus in here too!)
Is there a catch? Of course there's a catch! Cole begins preschool in February. He will be going in the morning with the same teachers that George has. It will be with George's old class. I will drop Cole off with the Big Kids and have just George in the morning. It will be another change and, honestly, I'm not looking forward to loosing my time with the Little Dudes. But... we'll cross that when we come to it.