Back to School!

With how busy our summer was, it’s no surprise I’ve fallen quite behind on posting on the blog. I have some posts in progress and will catch up over the next few weeks. For now, I’m happy to report that Ben and Hannah are back to school and our family is really, really thriving!

Our school year is off to a terrific start. It is feeling so lovely to be back into a routine. The kids are both really enjoying school and making new friends. I just love hearing bits and pieces of their days.

Both kids have made some major transitions this year with school. Ben moved to a new school and Hannah is going to the same school, but four days a week instead of two.

Alex and I spent much of the summer mulling over the decision to have Ben repeat Kindergarten, and ended up deciding to go that route. There were a number of factors, as I’m sure one would imagine, and the biggest being Ben’s age. He has a late May birthday, so he’s on the very young end of the spectrum. One of the many Covid implications of childhood is that there were a lot of kids held back from Kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year, so now the class that is entering first grade this year is SO OLD, which makes Ben extra young.

In any case, we wanted to make sure his foundation was solid and set him up for success, rather than move him into first grade if he wasn’t ready. So, here we are, back in Kindergarten! Ben is totally on board with the decision and was happy to have the opportunity to play more in his class – as it turns out, there’s not much playtime in school once you leave Kindergarten.

As a family, we are loving his new school. It’s just a “normal” public school, but it is a much better fit for our family. Ben is making so many new friends, comes home speaking in Spanish {there are a lot of Spanish-speaking kids at his school and he’s picking it up from them} and is so willing to share about his day and seems to be fitting right in. We’re so happy.

Hannah had a harder transition to school than we expected, given she’s in the same school and has the same teachers. She’s really missing her special “mama/Hannah time,” so I’m working really hard to make sure that we have an extra special Friday together. During the school week I’m making a big effort to spend one-on-one time with both kids, though it’s really tricky.

When she’s at school, though, she is thriving and she just loves it. She’s making new friends and enjoying further cultivating friendships from the last school year. This girl is so excited for snow – she’s going to have the best winter. Hannah goes to an outdoor forest school. They’re outside rain, sun or snow!

For me, I am feeling such a sense of calm and routine and predictability that I’ve lacked probably for the last 6.5+ years. I am finally feeling like I’m not frantically trying to squeeze in my most basic weekly tasks and am able to dive deeper into projects and relationships and spend some time with myself.

One major implication for us all is the amount of driving we’re doing. I’m driving nearly 100 miles a day, shuttling the kids to and from school. I wasn’t sure what that would feel like, and it is definitely exhausting, but I’m building up stamina for it. We’re only three weeks in and I am happy to report that I’m really enjoying the drives. It helps that our drive is so gorgeous, especially with the changing colors. I have found some incredible kids podcasts, and I’ve been enjoying my own podcasts and I just love listening to books on Audible. I don’t have cell service for the middle part of my drive, so I can tell you I’m not filling my time up with conversations with friends or family!

My fingers are crossed that things continue to feel settled as the school year chugs along. We’ll see how my feelings about the drive change as the snow starts flying……. Thank goodness for good winter tires, which I’ll be putting on in a few weeks!