Kindergarten count-down: two weeks to go!
One of the most exciting and yet terrifying afternoons the weekend before last was spent shopping for Emily's kindergarten school supplies. The reality that my "baby" is absolutely no longer a baby hit me like a ton of bricks as Emily skeptically ran her fingers along pink pearl erasers, pocket folders and Fiskers scissors, carefully choosing the perfect color for her very own backpack (have you seen the cute new Crocodile Creek backpacks?!?) and boldly rejecting anything she felt was "for babies" (apparently, pink is for babies ha! someone has been reading Purplicious lately). She was thrilled to have this very special time with mommy (Nolan was at home with David) but more so that she literally got to pick every item on the list. And I'm thankful that it was a very short list of supplies that is donated to the classroom as a whole and the teacher doles supplies out daily.
Her list included:
* Fiskers scissors
* Crayola "write start" pencils
* Pink pearl eraser
* 2 washable "fine" black markers
* 4pk white erase markers
* Box of facial tissue
* 3pk baby wipes
* 12 glue sticks
* 2 pocket folders
* Box of small size Ziploc baggies
* Bottle of soap (with a pump)
In order to get on a good school routine, David & I started practicing what we feel is a great morning routine for Emily so that she can be ready to leave home for school at 7:50am. After evaluating Emily's strengths (she's excited to and 100% capable of getting ready all by herself) and weaknesses (she skips breakfast way too often because she's too distracted) over the last week, we've determined that this morning routine will work best for her (and us!):
6:00-7:00am - David and I's alarm goes off and while David gets Emily out of bed, I make breakfast for everyone and tend to Nolan once he is up. We will all be eating breakfast in our kitchen, not in front of the television, so that Emily isn't distracted. Once she's eaten breakfast, she has to wash her face and hands, brush her teeth, get her clothes on, and have her hair fixed before she can watch one 30 minute cartoon program.
7:00-7:30am - While Emily is watching her cartoon, David & I are passing Nolan back and forth, cleaning up the kitchen, taking turns showering and getting dressed for the day, and double-checking the diaper bag and Emily's backpack/lunch box.
7:50am - David will walk Emily to school with other kids on our block. It's less than 1/3rd of a mile and only takes us about 15 minutes to walk it at Emily's pace. :) If Nolan and I can walk it as well, we plan to. I just have no idea what a 3 month old is like regarding their morning naps (I have completely forgotten) so, we are just going to go with the flow for now.
We have also been practicing an evening routine to determine when Emily should be in bed to get enough sleep in order for her to wake up easily at 6:00am and not feel tired. We think we've finally nailed it:
6:00-7:00pm - David aims to be home as close to 6:00pm as possible to take Nolan from me (he only naps in my arms these days and is only content on his play mat for about 15 minutes at a time) and play with Emily so that I can cook dinner and clean up the kitchen from our day. We all eat together with the television off.
7:00-7:30pm - As soon as Emily has finished her dinner, she has to take a shower, get on her PJs, and brush her teeth before she can watch a 30 minute television program. Her favorite these days is Wheel of Fortune!
7:30pm-8:00pm - We all watch Wheel of Fortune.
8:00pm-8:30pm - Emily is in her bed and one of us reads to Emily as many books as we can in 30 minutes and then, it's lights out. It normally only takes her about half an hour to fall asleep. She's not use to being up at 6:00am and is tired at the end of the day.
Because I'm unclear as to the homework policy nor do I know what the teachers are going to expect from Emily throughout the school year, for now, we don't have an after-school routine. My sister, a 2nd grade teacher, and several of my friends who are teachers, suggested an hour (or two!) of free play, like at the park, immediately after school to give Emily some "down time". I love this idea and agree completely so, we are loosely planning to stop at the park on the way home (we pass right by it) with some of her classmates that will be walking home with us. Then, we'll work on a snack and homework/reading in the late afternoon, early evening before beginning our evening routine.
Some things we have been working on for the past six months are:
Praising her for her use of manners and using the bathroom on her own
Having her get her clothes, shoes, and jacket on and off herself
Coughing in her elbow and saying "excuse me" when she passes gas and burps
Using a tissue to blow her nose
Washing her hands before and after meals and after outside playtime
Eating lunch at 12:30pm out of her lunchbox (that she helps pack the night before) in 30 minutes, which is helping her get good at opening all her containers as well as putting everything back in her lunchbox after she's done
Using full sentences to communicate her needs clearly
Using scissors safely (she likes to "cut all crazy" as she calls it)
Writing the alphabet as well as her name