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.
9 thoughts on “School report: 2 full weeks in”
Looking at that list of activities made me shiver a bit. If I have more than one thing scheduled in the evenings during a week, I panic a bit. It’s crazy how personalities reflect in what people choose to do with their time. I read a blogger posting about their “laidback” weekend that included brunch, a professional sports game, and dinner with friends and I thought that sounded like a packed weekend! I could not handle Asher’s schedule. Frankly, Ethan’s looks a little intimidating!
Haha, I get it!! I think that it’s something many parents slowly get used to. I mean, it’s not like a brand new baby is suddenly in 3 sports. So it evolves slowly and naturally with time. Also, like Lisa mentions frequently, kiddos are often not the happiest when they are just sitting around at home. Keeping them busy and structured often actually works out better for everyone. I have a good friend who is in her late 40s, not married, no kids, major introvert. She always shrieks to me on the phone when I describe our weekends and is like, “OH. MY. GOD! I just don’t know how you do it!!!!!” lol! She says if she needs to run to Walgreens, that’s a big day for her. HAHAHA! All I can say is “different strokes for different folks!” For me, personally, their sporting events don’t actually stress me out much. I get much more overwhelmed by actual SOCIAL events. Like if we had plans for dinner with friends, tickets to an event, family coming to visit all in the same week….that stuff drains me way more than just dropping a kid off at soccer, you know? If I have to be conversing, interacting heavily with others, etc., that’s where I personally start to feel depleted more quickly.
I guess it depends on your kids, too. My mom hated taking me and my sister out of the house when we were young. It was harder to control our behaviors in public and I think the transporting us to and fro was exhausting for her and we were better at finding ways to entertain ourselves when we had our own spaces and our own toys than when we were out. I am shocked when people (you, Lisa, and Elisabeth have mentioned this recently) suggest it’s easier to take kids out of the home! (Also, to be honest, my tendency to want to stay at home was true when I was younger once. I remember my parents planning a trip to the zoo with my aunt and uncle and me asking if I could stay home to read. LOL.)
I am sort of with your friend. I went to Walgreen’s on Wednesday and it was exhausting. I am not used to seeing people in person, I guess.
It is good for kids to learn lessons about overscheduling! You can tell them it’s too much but until they see it first hand – and experience tendonitis!! – they might not believe you or don’t think it applies.
I’m glad that school is going well overall and that it’s kind of a more ‘normal’ school year with being able to choose who they sit with at lunch, etc. Next year will be our first year of having a kid in elementary school and I am EXCITED about that! Paul is very excited, too. He keeps asking when he goes to kindergarten… he’s got quite a long wait so hopefully he doesn’t keep asking but I like that he’s excited about that change!
sounds like a good start of the school year. extracurricular activities is really tricky. Kids like to do all of them without having a good sense time and energy needed to perform well on those and the school work. I find my girls busier and busier and I am trying to be mindful of carving free time for them, to do homework, and just chill. It’s not easy but work in progress. As they get older, this issue can only get worse so better to have a strategy early on.
Bed time 9pm? that sounds late but maybe appropriate for your older boys. We have 8pm bed time (no reading, light out) already. often time they get to bed few minutes past 8pm but mostly comply with that. To me, sleep is the MOST important health and development intervention I can impose as parent.
Definitely echo my original thoughts about sometimes it feeling easier to be out of the house with kids. They tend to be happier and there are fewer dynamics to manage. Also, our kids are really, really good at car travel so when we go to a beach an hour or two away, it fills a lot of time in a nice way. We listen to music/talk.
Left to my own devices I would spend a lot more time just relaxing at home, but I did NOT have kids that enjoy this long-term. They’re high energy and like to adventure. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time reading alone. This is NOT my kids. Sigh.
On to your schedule – this all sounds great! Aside from the understandable growing pains over having a few too many activities crammed in. It sounds like you made the right decision supporting the boys and they will naturally learn over time what their limits are and adjust accordingly.
A+ to you for managing so much!!!
I was totally like Asher in school – I wanted to do “every extracurricular out there” LOL – but it’s a good lesson to learn that it can be too much. So, actually great lesson for you guys to allow it so he can learn this himself! 🙂
I’m with NGS here – I practically got hives looking at Asher’s schedule. Yet, I did a lot of activities in high school. Being home on a weeknight – particularly in the fall (field hockey+marching band) – was rare. Oh, how things change!
Also, I read your description of your friend and that is me. I need to meet this person, if they’re local, LOL.
Hahaha! I can see how later in life this will feel crazy to me, too. I really do actually enjoy a quieter pace sometimes, if left to my own devices. But with young kids, this is just sort of the way it goes right now!!