Today marks the end of the second week of school for the girls. So far, it seems that things are going swimmingly and they are really enjoying the school year.
Bria had a difficult first day. When I picked her up, she seemed in good spirits, but she told me that she just stood in a corner and looked at the ground all recess and that she only said 3 words all day, and those were to her teacher. And some boys called her "Burrito." Things didn't seem to bother her all that much, but I know my daughter and she tries very hard to remain stoic about things. My heart broke for her and I shed a quite a few tears over it after she went to bed.
However, the second day was much better for her. I had met my neighbor with the three daughters after the older girls were already in school, so when we went to catch the bus the next morning, all of the girls were excited to meet each other. Bria and Ann, who is in her class at school, have hit it off well and Ann has brought Bria into a cute little group of girls who have already had a great influence on her. They are involved in girl scouts, so we signed Bria up and she is very excited about that. Even more surprising, is that Bria went to choir with them.
In her elementary school, choir is only for the 4th and 5th graders, and they have to give up their lunch recess on Tuesday and Thursday in order to participate. I had asked Bria if she wanted to go, but she wasn't willing to make that kind of sacrifice, and plus there was the whole performance anxiety thing she has. Since she does play the violin, I decided not to push it. But she surprised me when she came home from school yesterday and said, "You might be proud of me.....I went to choir." She went because Ann and her other friends went and she would just be alone at recess, and guess what? She loved it! Of course, I knew she would if she just tried. And indeed I was proud.
Academically, things are getting harder for her this year, but she's doing well. She has to read a fantasy book and do a book report project for it and she has chosen to read the first Harry Potter book. It's been fun to watch her do it, as she is really surprised by how much extra detail is in the book vs. the movie.
Chloe is absolutely loving first grade. Apparently, the teacher she got is the best one in the whole school. At least, every time I tell someone who Chloe's teacher is, that is the reaction I get. All that matters to me is that Chloe absolutely adores her. Chloe, being the social butterfly that she is, had no trouble making friends (this is the child that invited 6 girls to her 6th birthday party and had 11 show up complete with gifts and everything...I still don't know how she managed that!), but she was extremely nervous to ride the bus.
The first day they rode the bus, the bus driver didn't know that they would be on the bus and didn't save seats for them. Since they have to ride for the first bit with high schoolers and middle schoolers, the driver tries to save seats up front for the younger kids. That first day they kind of had to just find somewhere to sit, and a very nice 5th grade girl asked Chloe to sit with her and they were best friends by the time they got to school.
Chloe also got to sign up for girl scouts, but I don't know anybody who will be in her troop yet. She is very excited, though. I never did girl scouts as a child, so I have no real idea what to expect (except cookies, of course!), but I'm glad that they're both looking forward to the meetings. She is also doing piano lessons and enjoying that.
So far, Chloe hasn't been challenged a ton at school. It seems like they are just doing a lot of review so that the teacher can really see where each student is. She doesn't like the easy books that get sent home with her, so she has raided Bria's Junie B. Jones stash and is really enjoying them. Her homework seems to be all based in reading as I haven't seen a single math problem yet.
Sophia is absolutely loving preschool. It is very upsetting to her that she only gets to go to her school twice a week, and I have to deal with much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth on the off days. She loves to dress up to go to school, and talks incessantly about all the friends she has there.
The first day, Joel and I went to pick her up together, since he wasn't teaching any classes that day and wanted to come with me. The kids are all out on the playground for the last part of class, and we found her in the sandbox playing with trucks. We stood and watched her for a minute and then called her to come with us. She started to cry, because we were the last people on earth she wanted to see. It wasn't until she realized that all of her friends were also having to go home with their parents that she finally let us take her out of the sand.
Yesterday I went to go help for the last 1/2 hour of her preschool, and when I got there they were doing circle time and singing songs. She didn't notice me at first, and it was really fun to watch her sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and do all the actions. She was loving it. But then she saw me, and yelled, "NO MOMMY! I don't want to go home!" She couldn't be consoled until I came and sat with her and assured her 300 times that I was just there to help for a little while. So maybe it isn't the best idea to go help at her school. I guess I'll just sign up to bring snack next time.
I am enjoying having the kids in school, simply because I am able to get so much more done. I'm still a bit overwhelmed with all there is to do, but little by little it's happening.