School Nerves

In three weeks, BG will start kindergarten. And in slightly less than three weeks, LM will start sixth grade (rising sixth graders start on Friday). Every summer feels shorter than the last one. We were especially busy this summer, so that kept things moving quickly along. The kids have made their bucket lists for the remainder of the summer, and they’re short, so we should get it all in. Strangely enough, both kids added going to eat at Chili’s to their lists.

And, yes, they sing that when we go. And LM always makes a point to say that he feels God in this Chili’s tonight.

I’m kinda nervous about the kids going to school since they’ll both be changing schools this year. LM will go to a middle school out of our area and participate in a theater program, while BG will go to the charter school that LM went to. The middle school is 25 minutes from our house, the elementary school is 20 minutes away, and the schools are in opposite directions of each other. I haven’t figured out drop-offs and pick-ups yet, but I’ll get there. Hopefully.

The schools the kids are supposed to go to are about five minutes from our house, so we are doing good at keeping things complicated, huh? We have good reasons for sending them to the far-away schools, though. The program at LM’s school is something he’s really interested in, plus the class sizes will be smaller. And BG’s school is really small, with only 18 kids per class. It’s so much easier to get in touch with the principal and other leadership there, too, which is important.

We’ll have to meet with LM’s school and go over his 504 Plan, and I doubt any changes will be made to it. I hope the transition goes well for him. I imagine getting packed up to go from class to class and using a locker will be challenging for him. But on the other hand, I think having classes that have a set beginning and ending time that don’t overlap each other will help as far as him shifting gears mentally goes. Plus, middle school classrooms are typically more no-frills with less distractions. His fifth grade teacher was wonderful, but there a dozen different places to hand in assignments and stuff, and he’d usually end up cramming everything in his desk. And middle school won’t have desks that you can cram crap into, so there’s that.

I have a million worries with BG starting kindergarten, which I could probably turn into a 10-part blog series, but I won’t. Some of it’s just typical anxious mom worries, but a lot is more legit. I’m going to meet with her teacher and student leadership team before school starts to discuss some concerns (like the potential for meltdowns and how that would be handled, her running off, food stuff).

I also need to talk to the teacher about how BG sometimes just shuts down when certain issues come up. At the end-of-year preschool party, I was sitting on one side of the bounce place and saw her approach some boys from another class, but they told started throwing balls (from the ball pit) at her face, and she just sat there, crouched while staring at the ground while they threw the balls and laughed. (That broke my heart, and they got in big trouble.) And sometimes if someone does something that bothers her (like comes up from behind and grabs her or something equally annoying), she’ll let out a blood-curdling shriek, but she ends up being the one reprimanded for screaming, and she won’t explain why she yelled. There are things like that communication-wise that I can see being problematic if the teachers aren’t made aware/keep an eye open.

While BG’s teacher doesn’t yet know the full scope of some of her struggles, she does have a feel for her, at least. They met a few times earlier in the summer as part of a Head Start program. She saw first-hand how BG can be super chatty, struggle to stay in her seat, or just shut down and refuse to do anything. She seemed really sweet, yet bewildered, but she didn’t lose patience at least.

I dropped off the paperwork her psychologist gave me about the autism and ADHD diagnoses, and they’re supposed to be lining up services for her. We also got permission to take her out of school early one day per week so she can continue going to her speech and occupational therapies. Those are about a 45-minute drive from the school, so she wouldn’t have been able to keep going if we had to wait until the end of the school day to go. That’s a huge benefit of going to the charter school vs. the regular school. (Just like how she would have been able to delay 5K a year if we wanted, but wouldn’t have been able to at a regular school.)

On a different — and amusing — note, BG has developed a Hanson obsession. She has asked to watch a Hanson concert (I have like 9 DVDs) every day. She also keeps asking me when she’s going to get to go see them in concert. ❤

BG presented me with this picture last week:

I asked what was going on there, and she said that it was her holding a Taylor Hanson doll. It took every fiber of my being to not laugh. She might have it worse than I did. (Well, do.)

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