First Grade Update
The first week of first grade went off with only one hitch (a mixup having to do with who would be picking the Beaner up after school) that was sorted fairly quickly by Shawna. The morning drop-offs went smoothly even though the weather sucked most days; on Friday, when I asked the Beaner if he wanted me to wait with him until he lined up with his class or leave right away, he replied, "either way. You can go if you want."
I have really enjoyed walking with him each morning, though apparently my reputation as a walker was ruined when we all piled into the car on the first day. (My neighbors weren't there three blocks later when I demanded that the Beaner and I be let out. I think they are waiting to see if I am really as committed to walking as they are.) The Beaner and I usually have a nice conversation about what he might do that day, what he learned in class the day before, his classmates, the book he was reading last night, or current events.
We've been told that homework will start the week of September 19, and I for one am interested to see what kinds of things he'll be assigned. So far the Beaner reports that the work is really easy—or not really work at all, by Montessori standards. We actually warned him that the first couple days might seem too easy, but not to worry; the teacher would probably start slow and then ramp up to get a feel for the level of the class. I've had to remind myself of my own words as he's brought home tales of easy-reader books, no math to speak of, and a much-anticipated trip to the library turning out to be for story time rather than picking out books. This is just the beginning. It's about making the kids comfortable, not preparing them for college. And he's not bored yet.
A couple other observations about transitioning from small, private Montessori to much larger, public elementary, aside from the more chaotic dropoffs and pickups:
- We think peanut butter is allowed. "You'd better use sunbutter [sunflower seed butter] instead until we find out for sure, though," said the Beaner. I went for it and used JIF on Friday and didn't get in trouble.
- A uniform policy may dictate clothing now, but in one way, we think things might be a little less stringent. While shopping for new rain boots this weekend, I balked at the camo design, but pointed out the pair with skulls and crossbones all over them. "Are symbols of death allowed at my new school?" asked the Beaner. "Uh, I think so!" I replied. [We won't find out anytime soon, since we couldn't find his size.]