The girls became official third graders last week. Yeah, it's always a bit sad to see summer vacation come to an end but they were ready for school to begin. We saw a range of emotions (Allie was nervous, Anna was indifferent, and Emily was excited.) so no, their identicalness didn't carry over in that department. As third graders, they're with the big kids now which kind of freaks me out a bit because some of those kids are as tall as me and I keep imagining Anna getting plowed over when the doors are opened in the morning and the crowd surges forward. Although, we've learned to keep the girls off to the side and wait for a break before sending them off. That first day, Emily held her hand and ensured she found her classroom. During orientation, we had the girls do a test run to make sure they could walk to their classrooms from the front entrance. Anna walked past hers every single time.
The girls are in separate classrooms but what's really cool is that their teachers have similar teaching styles and co-teach. My understanding is that all the teachers team up and kids move around for another subject (or two) to get used to having more than one teacher. (Emily isn't too keen on the idea just yet.) The subjects that they will move around for are social studies, writing (yes, cursive) and science. So core subjects (spelling, reading and math) are taught by their own teacher.
Last week was a short week but I think that was good in that it gives the kids some time to get used to a new routine. No homework just yet. A week before the first day of school, I started with the math facts drills. I had really wanted to keep up with it over the summer but it's a lot of work for me and sometimes I don't have those 30 minutes at night. And that showed when those math sheets came out. "I hate math." Well, you're going to hate it even more if we don't do this.
The homework situation is making me slightly nervous. They had a lot of homework last year. What will it be like this year? I've already told the girls that they need to be organized. I can't come home at 6:30 (or sometimes it's 7:00, or 7:30) at night and find papers, sometimes unfinished, strewn all over the house. Allie's teacher told us that on Friday afternoon, her students go home with a homework package which isn't due until the next Friday. I think that will work in our favor, especially if I can get through some of it with her over the weekend.
School starts about 45 minutes earlier this year but ends 45 minutes earlier than last year which will be huge once activities start up. That loss of time in the morning isn't really a big deal and the additional time in the afternoon will be welcome when homework needs to be completed. Our fall activities remain the same - dance and gymnastics. The girls have gymnastics one evening a week - Allie and Emily for 90 minutes, Anna for 60. There's ballet for everyone for an hour a week and then Allie and Emily are taking tap. Unfortunately, the tap class backs up to CCD so that could potentially be a bit hectic. The only saving grace (ha ha) is that CCD doesn't meet every week and ends in April, before dance recital madness takes over.
I have to add that I really like our school system and the administrators for many different reasons. My list of what could be called superficial reasons include not making the parents buy a crazy list of school supplies and having an easy dress code. The dress code: nothing offensive or distracting. Also, sneakers are needed on gym day and flip flops are frowned upon. I know this will change in middle school but for now, thank you.