Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to School- PreK 4

The boys started PreK 4 on Friday. Before I had kids, I thought preschool was the year before Kindergarten and any thing before that was day care or Moms Day Out, but after I had kids I realized that anything after 2 is usually called preschool. They started preschool when they were two, with two days a week and went last year for 3 days a week and I called it preschool and considered it preschool, but something about this being the year before Kindergarten and what I think most people think of when they hear the word "preschool" makes it seem different this year to me. It seems more "official", for lack of a better word.

They are at a new school this year. Last year, we got here in July and most places were full, we didn't really know a whole lot about the schools or have any time to really shop around. First Baptist was recommended to us, but they required the kids to be potty trained (like almost every other school), which they weren't. We weren't unhappy with the boys school last year, but didn't really feel like it was the best fit for us, they didn't have parent volunteers, which was something I wanted to do and we just wanted to look at what other schools might work better for prek 4. Something that was important to me was that the preschool we enrolled them in this year also did kindergarten. A lot of preschools around here offer half day kindergarten and if we decide that what we want to do with the boys (which I'm pretty sure we're going to do) then I didn't want to have to switch schools again, I wanted them to be able to go to the same school next year. Anyways, I did a lot of research, got a lot of feedback from moms in my different moms groups and we decided to go with First Baptist of Augusta. I went to the schools open house in the spring and just had a great feeling about this school. I think the boys are really going to like it here and I'm excited for the new school year. -Sorry for rambling, but I want to remember all of this later.

Wednesday was open house at school. They had an orientation for the parents at 10am and then you went to the classroom and met the teacher and sat down with the other moms and the teacher went over everything we needed to know. My mom kept the boys while I went to that, which was so helpful because there was a lot of information and I know I just wouldn't have heard any of it if I had them with me. Then, at 1:00, the kids came to meet the teacher, their classmates, and see their classroom.

Their teacher is so nice, she taught kindergarten for 30 years (I think) and then retired but wasn't ready to quit working, so she now teaches prek4 and has been here for 12 years. She's very sweet and believes that kids learn by playing--which I agree with completely. Her theme for this year was Cowboy and she went all out. She didn't miss anything, her whole room and all the details are with the theme, it was incredible. At the kids open house, she had cowboy hats and handkerchiefs for each kid to take home, she had a real saddle on a cardboard box for the kids to sit on, a riding horse, a table for decorating horseshoes, a reading nook with all kids of fun cowboy/western books, a cowboy Mr. Potato Head, horse figures, a kids horseshoe set to play with, lassos to throw around the rocking horse, a wanted poster photo booth, a bucket of water with gold rocks so you could "pan for gold" and so much more. I wish I would have got more pictures of the classroom because it was just so much fun. She has a bulletin board with "wanted for preK 4 posters" that she's going to put each kids picture on. You could just tell she spent so much time on all of it and the details and I loved it.

The boys also loved it.

The boys were the first to find the pan for gold bucket and knew immediately what it was. They had a fun time doing this.

This saddle was a hit with all the kids. You can see the little western things she has hanging up behind them, the lasso, lantern, snake, cowboy hat.

The boys got on this several times before we left.

At the parent orientation, along with our folders and paperwork, there was this magnet that the teacher made for all the kids--how cute is that!?! Full disclosure, when I first saw it, I was a little disappointed that the boys were treated as one kid, but then I realized that she had paid for this out of her own money and spent her free time making these. They were given to the parents, not the kids, so the boys had no idea one way or another, they were excited when they saw it and didn't think twice that they didn't have their own, it's not like it's a toy, it's a magnet for the fridge that they won't be touching. Just wanted to put that out there in case somebody else thought the same thing when they saw it.

Cupcakes and caprisuns for all the kids. The teacher gave me a heads up and I brought peanut free cupcakes for the boys. Carter is the only kid in his class with a peanut allergy this year, I was hoping that if there was another kid with an allergy, he or she would be in the boys class. But, it was addressed at the parent orientation and I feel comfortable with how they're handling it. As comfortable as a parent can be sending their child with a life threatening food allergy to school, obviously I'm worried, but that will never go away. We have a rule that he doesn't eat anything that I haven't provided for him and he will have a treat box with fun, safe treats for when there's surprise cupcakes or something that another parent brings in. This is the first year that the boys seem to understand the peanut allergy at all and it does not bother either of them in the least to eat something different from the other kids right now. Hopefully that's always the case.

Friday was the boys first day of school. They will be going Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 9-1. They were both so excited to go today. All the kids were taken in today by their parents, but starting on Monday, the kids will have car line in the morning. I'm volunteering with that for the first two weeks, so I'll be dropping them off in their classrooms at 8:45 and helping with car line until 9:15.

How cute are the boys?! I don't know how they seem so grown up to me and yet so small. They have toddler backpacks and the backpacks just seem to huge on their tiny little bodies. But, they were so excited for school, called their teacher by her name all week, and when I dropped them off in class and was trying to say bye, the boys were already distracted by friends and fun activities and Carter just ignores me and Evan doesn't even look at me and says "bye" like an annoyed teenage and waves his hand at me--shooing me away!! I'm glad that they're completely fine to be dropped off and were excited. It seems like just yesterday when they'd cry when we left them. :(

They did not want to take these pictures, I had to bribe them, they just wanted to go inside ASAP.

How cute are the backpacks they picked out. They has several cute options at Target, but both boys wanted the same one. They also got to pick out matching water bottles (little kid camlebaks--so cute) and they were just so excited to use the things that they picked out themselves.
The boys have a little boy in their class that was in their summer program so they were so happy to see him this morning. They are not the youngest in their class (last year they were the youngest, by far, almost all the other kids were at least 6 months older) and when I picked them up from school today, they were so excited to tell me about their day and how much fun they had. They said they couldn't wait to go back.

Anyways, I know this was quite the novel of a post, but I wanted to remember all the details about this. I barely remember dropping them off on their first day when they were 2 and can't remember anything about dropping them off on their first day last year. If it wasn't for my blog and being able to go back and read what I wrote about and look at the pictures, it would all just be a blur. I can't imagine in 5-10 years. I promise the posts I do about school this year will not be nearly this long. I promise!!!

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