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Three days into the school year. Parker was very nervous again this morning. He couldn’t figure out why. I know he will be fine. He just needs to trust himself. I got to watch Gavin walk to the bus stop this morning. He needs to leave before us on late start Wednesdays. He was so cute! He saw the bus coming so he started to run for the stop. The bus still needed to turn around in the circle so he had plenty of time.

He doesn’t seem to mind taking the bus. Two days in a row he was the only person on the bus going to school. There are a few kids that take it after school. He seems to have adjusted well to this way of getting to and from school. I was nervous yesterday since he had to get himself off to school and I had no way of knowing how that went. All three of us rushed to the door to greet him when we got home. Parker and Gwen were just excited to see him and I was relieved knowing for sure he had survived on his own. I assumed he was fine when the school never called wondering where he was. But seeing him, and seeing him happy, made me feel better.

Gwen is loving first grade. She has PE on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which means no dresses or skirts. If she wears shorts underneath (which I insist on anyway) and she wears sturdy sneakers then it’s not a big deal. She couldn’t find her shorts on Monday. I could have helped her but she was already dressed in a cute new outfit so we didn’t bother with the dress. Then two more days in a row with no dress. It’s agony for her! My girly girl.

We’re starting to get used to our old morning routines. It takes a minute to get back into the swing of things. The homework routine in the afternoon has been a work in progress for years. The hardest part for me so far this year is giving each child the attention they need and deserve. There are three of them and only one of me! I want them each to have my undivided attention. It’s early yet and we’ll settle into a routine. Gavin’s homework will soon become actual homework rather than signing that I saw the teacher’s expectations. Oh and writing checks for each teacher!

I can’t beat myself up for not starting to read the Book of Mormon with Gwen yet. We’ll get there. I am proud of myself for having the house ready for them to come home and being ready to just listen. That’s the most important thing right now. The rest will fit in eventually. I have decided that my family is much more important than school. I am in charge. Not the school. Homework is important but not to the detriment of my family and our relationships.

Heath and I went to Back to School Night last night. We are very impressed with both elementary school teachers. They have kids close in age to our kids so they get that life doesn’t revolve around school. Parker’s teacher is not the former principal. She seems like a really fun teacher. She has innovative ways of teaching that I was impressed with. Gwen’s teacher is still awesome as ever. I’m so excited to repeat some of these first grade traditions.

I’m also very excited for the Common Core standards. *gasp* I know. Don’t hate me! There is so much controversy swirling around right now about the Common Core. What I like about it is knowing that California has to scale back on their expectations of students. The California standards have been pushing kids way too hard for far too long. I feel like the Common Core is bringing those expectations back to an age appropriate area. I also like how it’s writing based. The students have to show how they know something rather than memorizing facts to pass a test. So far I like it. Sue me! Although I will say that the middle school teachers have given plenty of evidence that they are still teaching to a test. *eye roll* Whatever happened to the joy of learning?

It was interesting to hear Parker’s teacher talk about the math though. Everyone is freaking out about the math! She said at first she didn’t like how it was teaching multiple ways to solve a problem but she’s warming up to it now. I just wanted to scream. My kids have been taught math this way all along. How is this any different? I hated it then and I hate it now. My problem with teaching multiple ways to solve a problem is that so far my kids have been expected to master every single technique. When they get stuck I tell them that it’s just another way to do what they already know how to do another way. But they’re still tested on it! It’s ridiculous.

In other fairly ridiculous news … Gavin brought home a list of school supplies on the first day of school. We quickly had dinner and ran off to do our shopping. Office Staples Depot Max looked like a toy store on Christmas Eve. The parking lot was completely full. There were a lot of people inside milling around. The checkout line stretched from the front of the store where the registers were, to the copy center in the very back. I just wondered why that supply list couldn’t be passed out at Walk Thru Registration.

I will say the office supply store handled it well. Even the customers were polite and made for a nice experience. The line went much faster than I expected. I have stood in shorter lines at the craft store that have taken twice as long to get through. I couldn’t really complain about our first day of school at the office supply store evening. It could have been worse. It’s just funny that nobody could avoid that shopping experience since the schools waited till the first day to tell anyone what they needed to have.

Before school started we went to get the school supply items that we were aware of. We bought Gavin a scientific calculator. The cashier offered us a warranty on the calculator for $5. Heath just laughed at the guy. He said, “The calculator costs $10! I normally don’t buy warranties unless it will hurt to replace the item. I’m not paying a $5 warranty on a $10 calculator!” That was a funny day.

I’m not laughing that I have had to alert Primary parents about two extremely contagious illnesses. On Sunday the mom called me saying that she couldn’t get in touch with any other Presidency member. But she just found that her child has lice. Could I let the parents know without mentioning names? That was an awkward email. Two of the three parents who were quite concerned had children in that class.

Then this morning as I was standing in line with Gwen I decided to check my email. The Primary President asked me to inform the parents and teachers in Gwen’s Primary class about a child in there who was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease on Monday. Holy cow! Both kids are in Gwen’s class. I wasn’t worried about the lice thing and haven’t noticed anything suspicious anyway. But she is really good friends with this little boy who is quarantined with his family after being diagnosed on Monday.

We are now into the throes of school and all the communicable illnesses that entails. All I can do is take things one day at a time. Where is the Diet Coke?

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