After seven weeks holidays, my 2 finally went back to school this week. I think my husband was very grateful.
The weeks leading up to Christmas - there was 2 full ones - flew fairly quickly, with Church activities, last minute Christmas shopping and the excitement of the Christmas Season and the trip back to our hometown to spend time with family. Then there was the week away, followed by the kids spending another week away in the New Year with their grandparents when they got to do all the fun holiday things, like movies, swimming and playground visits. Back home for another 3 weeks after that was the slide back into reality. Lots of bike riding on fine days and Lego and Wii on wet days, but it did drag on a bit - well I thought it did and I was at work every day. Even the back to school shopping was dull. I'd managed to do the stationery stuff while the kids were away, and since the summer school uniforms bought for their new school in Term 4 still fitted them (Winter will be a different matter as I have already tried them on and am having to let down hems, thriftily taken up without cutting off, by up to 12 cm!!!), the only uniform expense has been school shoes and joggers, 1 pair of Joggers for the eldest since he needed school shoes 2 weeks from the end of the school year, and a pair of each for the youngest. Grateful since we spent close to $2000 last year on school uniforms - at least now we can claim them.
The boys were both very excited to go back, no problem getting them up early on the first day. Uniforms on, breakfast, teeth cleaned - oops forgot the haircuts! - and off to school. It's only a 2 minute drive due to the fact that the school has a No Walk, No ride policy do to location and access that is enforced by the RTA and local council. Bus passes have been organised for the trip home this year, despite the fact that we can see school from our front door - this will save Hubby about 3 hours a week in waiting times. The eldest has gone into a block of brand new classrooms which he was excited about - they are the first classrooms to be built at the school as it's only 5 years old and has been mostly running out of well appointed i.e. heated demountables - necessary in our very cold winters. He has also moved into Primary School. The youngest is only a year behind so he'll be up there next year.
The week deteriorated though. Tears in the mornings, talk of bullies (some of the incidents dragged up were from last year and amounted to unkind words in the classroom or playground - not sure 6 year olds grasp the idea completely, they just know the word), the "I hate school, I don't want to go, Why can't you homeschool me?" (had you ever heard of that when you were 6?) arguments. This from the child that received the class achievement award for Maths last year. Friday was the pits, culminating in tears, tantrums, screaming and me escorting him to class after he refused to get out of the car in the kiss and drop line. I did manage to speak to his teacher though and it seems that he is sitting next to the problem so it was nipped in the bud. The year should hopefully get better from here.
The eldest just goes with the flow most of the time, but he was upset one afternoon because he had had to spend extra time sitting at his desk completing his work while the rest of the class was on the floor doing something better. By the end of the week, he tells me that he is working harder and faster. Year 3 is always a big jump.
Our other school news is that Hubby has been appointed Junior School chaplain taking Chapel each fortnight and teaching Christian Studies to Years 5 and 6. This is a major achievement as he is currently going through the discernment process for Ordination in the Anglican Church and is midway through his Bachelor of Theology and two-thirds of the way through his Diploma in Anglican Orders. Part of the reason we moved here was to enable him to pursue his calling and study fulltime, so good things are happening.
It's going to be a huge year as Hubby has 3 residential schools in the first half of the year as well, and I have a conference to go to. One resi school we will arrange a family holiday around, since we have never had one! Then we go to Selection Panel in August - I say we as I get to go too, to see if I'm a suitable clergy wife I guess.
The boys are both wanting to play an instrument and play soccer so we'll have to fit those in too. Really looking forward to frosty mornings on the soccer field with a warm coat and a thermos of coffee! I've already started looking for a coat online.
Our calendar is going to be very full this year - we will actually be living, not just existing.