We are 2 days + 2 full weeks into the school year now, already. So far, mostly so good, I’d say.
School itself: A
Sounds like things are going well. The boys seem positive and happy. I think they like their classes and teachers. Friend dynamics seem fine, too, from the little I’ve actually heard about it.
The boys have been READING a ton again, thank God. I feel they slipped out of this habit pretty bad over the summer, which had me panicking, because my kids have always been readers!! I’ve never even had to tell them to do it. Fortunately, they have both been reading non-stop again (at home), I think due to the easy access of constant great books at school! When they have scheduled reading time at school, they inevitably end up getting “into” their books….which makes them eager to continue, as they find out, oh, this is a really great book and I want to see what happens! Not joking, Asher read for 2 full hours last night after school.
Another school perk is that the old “covid lunchroom rule” of assigned seats (to aid in contract tracing, if needed) has finally been lifted. They are soooo happy to have the freedom to sit wherever they want now.
School lunches were free for all the last couple years (covid grants, I think) but are back to being paid for. They’re up to $3.30/lunch now, which adds up if they both take hot lunch everyday! My boys generally prefer hot lunch (they enjoy most meals, and also they do not enjoy the labor of packing a lunch). I told them I’d like to aim for maybe 3 hot, 2 cold lunches a week, just to balance the cost. We have to order the hot lunches online in advance, so it’s pretty easy. They choose the ones that sound good, and then I add “A hot, E cold” or whatever to our family Google calendar (shows up on the fridge).
Extracurricular activities: B
I graded this a B because Asher is too overscheduled, and this is kind of our fault for allowing it. I mean, it’s not a horrible thing, it’s just not the best, either. We are seeing a few repercussions now, but I suppose it’s a case where he needs to “live and learn” a bit.
- soccer (2-3 practices per week, some games on the weekends)
- piano (1x + “daily” practice)
- work! (Mostly seems limited to the weekend days right now.)
- cross country (practices 2x per week, 2 hours each + ~1 meet per week)
- soccer (2x/ week, games on weekends)
- swim team (~3-5 x/week practices, no meets til October)
- band (during school)
Ethan’s schedule has been totally great.
Asher’s is another story. 3 sports at once?? Is crazy. Of course, the schedules do not always line up, so he ends up having to miss one thing for another, creating a constant juggling act. (example- if he goes to XC practice, he can’t make swim that night. If he goes to soccer on Fridays, he has to leave early to make swim. If he can’t swim Tuesday, then he has to go to the 5:30 a.m. Wednesday practice…which normally he might otherwise skip. Anyway. It’s a bit of a confusing mess.)
Also, this means he is frequently “doubling up”, potentially doing multiple sports on a single day. He said “this would be fine”, but guess what?? He gets tired. DUH. His little body can only take so much! We WARNED him about this…. but what do we know. Plus, he is obviously a full time student, you know- priority #1.
On top of it all, it seems like he has developed some potential tendonitis in his feet (per his XC coach, anyway). He complained of pain during his race last week, but thought it was just a fluke or soreness from a hard practice. Well, it has persisted, and he’s complained of it all week. So, he can’t attend his XC meet tonight, and now we don’t even know if he’ll be able to continue with the season, if it will improve or what. Probably just some overuse!! I think it may be related to doing “too much, too soon”. (We were on vacation for first 2 weeks of XC, so he got no gradual build up like the other kids did.)
Again, he was the one who begged to do all this stuff. I think I’m actually glad for him to realize that you can’t really do all things well at the same time.
Evenings/ bedtime routines have been solid. After a very loose summer, I wasn’t sure how it’d all go. I borrowed LVK’s rule (that I think she mentioned on her blog, re: her own teens) of “in room by 9:00, lights out 9:30”.
This seemed fair to me, too. The boys’ school starts earlier this year (more on school start times in another post). So, they wake up around 6:30-6:40 now. We leave the house at 7:10.
I like the “in room at 9” part (NO PHONES). This means they can ideally just read and relax for a bit. Or, if they’re tired, they are welcome to turn out the lights before 9:30! Somedays they have.
I added a minus to the grade though because this week we’ve slipped a little bit, where people still seem to be roaming around the house after 9. I may or may not start yelling, “It’s after 9! It’s after 9! In rooms by 9!!” 🤣 It gets tricky on days they have activities until later and still need showers, etc. before bed. (On M/W Ethan doesn’t get home from soccer until after 8.)
I’m determined to keep a pretty tight grip on this though. Everything works better if I know we will have “family quiet time” after 9 pm. My own bedtime is usually 10:30, so this allows a nice chunk of time for me to take care of a few things, get ready for bed, watch a show, read, etc.
All in all, I’m pleased with the school year, a whole 2 weeks in. lol!
Quote of the Day:
“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” – St. Francis of Assissi
I am grateful for laptops! Really awesome that we are no longer limited to a clunky desktop computer only.