Thursday, October 07, 2010

First Grade

It's about time! First day of school pictures from Ella's first day of first grade. That is definitely the most I've used the word first in one sentence. :)

Every year we take a picture on the front porch before the girls leave for school.

Every year we forget how bright the sun is on the front of our house at that time of day.

Every year we're running late enough that we can't waste time going back inside to get a better picture.

So this is what we get....
It's kind of a tradition!

I like this picture of Ella getting into the van. She just looks so old!
She was a bit nervous when we got to school to drop her off but thankfully our next door neighbor Evan arrived at the same time for his first day of kindergarten and they were able to go into together. Yes, she's nine months older than him. It used to bother her so much that he was bigger than her!

At this point she's been in first grade for a month. The combination of transition from kindergarten to first grade, from half day to full day and from familiar school to new school have added up to this being the roughest start to a school year we've had.

Because of overcrowding in the district last year Ella went to kindergarten at a different elementary that what we were districted for. Then she got shipped back to our "regular" school for first grade and beyond. Last year she went to school with her best friends and because of that was completely comfortable and loved school from day one. This year it was like starting over.

Also, kindergarten is kind of easy. First grade...not so much!

We had tears every morning and each day was a battle. It got so bad that one morning she couldn't pull it together before she got to school and went in crying. Thankfully her teacher is open to tons of parent communication and got my quick email letting her know we had a rough morning and I had no idea how Ella would be getting to school. She emailed me back letting me know that Ella was upset, but went to see the guidance counselor and came back happy and was fine since.

Coming home with homework on a first day and every day after (at first it was just 10 minutes of reading) resulted in tons of anger and frustration.

She missed her old teacher. She missed her old friends. She wasn't going to make new friends. The playground wasn't as good as at her old school. Why can't she go back to her old school? Why does first grade have to be full day? Could I call President Obama and ask him to make first grade half day? (for real!)

But week and a half ago she turned the corner! She's doing her homework without fighting (mostly), her reading is drastically improving and the battles we have in the morning tend to be based on something absurd like we have to leave and she can't find her shoes and we're going to make her wear a pair she doesn't want to wear. Basically, life is back to normal!

Ella really has grown up so much in the past month. Much more is expected of her now that she's in first grade (spelling test the first full week of school, yikes!) and after she got through those first rough weeks I see how well she's doing and I'm really proud of her.

The lasting results of her rough start to first grade? One morning taking her to school in tears, I just felt so bad that I told her I would sign up to be her Homeroom Captain (classroom mom basically) so I could be in her class ALL the time, for ALL the parties, in hopes that it would make her feel better.

It did. Makes me wonder if that was her plan all along.....


Happy said...

Aw, I'm so sorry it was such a rough transition. I can feel her pain. I felt that way going into fifth grade. My anxiety level was through the roof the beginning of that year! Poor thing. So glad she's turned a corner!

The picture at the bottom does scream teenager! So funny and cute!

Renee said...

loved the post! she definitely looks so old. definitely gotta be tough transitioning from half day to full day along with harder work... she's doing so great! some day i'll tell her stories of how i threw up every day for a month starting Jr. High (but maybe when she's older and only if she's having issues... don't want to give her any ideas!! haha)

Crafty P said...

yeah for Ella and those big transitions and changes. Sounds like you're doing a great job easing her in with some tough love. parenting is so hard!!

I love that she asked if Obama could make first grade half day. that's hilarious. so glad you wrote THAT down!

Courtney said...

So glad she's getting the hang of it...can't wait to hear more about all her 1st grade successes.

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