"Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye, and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life, and look for its opportunities."
~Gordon B. Hinckley
We made it through the first week back to school with much success, and even though there were a few tears (mine) I'm so proud of these kids! I have to admit that I had mixed emotions with them starting new schools here. I obviously have a lot to work to do when it comes to moving and again the fact that I was in a place for eight years got me so spoiled in being established with the teachers, neighbors, and all the staff from the post office in Blackwood. I mean, I'd walk into Mario's pizza, the local grocery stores, closest Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx, and everyone would call me by my first name. Here, no one really knows me yet. The fact that I live in a semi-rural area doesn't help either. I don't have many neighbors, and the closest wawa is 10 minutes away by car. Yes, we were so spoiled, but we are going to make the best of our time living here, and I'm going to put myself out there in volunteering at my kids schools. It seems that they rely a lot on us here for that.
Other than Princeton School District, there is only one school district where we live, and the fact that there aren't any other schools that are combined into one high school, and middle school is very different for me. Down in the south you had like three middles schools going into one high school, and three elementary schools going into one middle school. I personally call it the "elite, mini ivy league of schools because of the way the curriculum is set up. Totally different dynamic here. Pressures seem greater, and the expectations a little higher compared to where we were before. For example, Lexie has freshmen kids taking AP Physics!! What the heck??? Apparently they started doing that last year, but still...who takes AP Physics as a freshman unless you want to graduate high school at 15! Anyway, I did get some comfort after going to the kids back to school night, and meeting all of the kids teachers. As a mom I ask a lot of questions, and want them to know that we are not from here! I mentioned that my girls are new to the school, and curriculum! They are really friendly, and I realized that the teachers here really do care about the kids, value their education, and want them to succeed and do well.
Lexie admits being a little nervous attending her new school, but it doesn't surprise me that she is catching on and doing her very best to easily transition into a new school in her junior year with all the AP classes she's taking. It won't be easy, but I remind her that if she finds a balance in managing her time in between homework, tennis matches, practices, and any other extra curricular activities that her days will easily flow. They won't be perfect, but I know that by learning to balance a load with little sleep (thanks to homework, and attending early morning seminary) it can be done. She's a wonderful teen, and I really hope that she will achieve her goals for her junior year.
When I heard that 4th grade was once a part of middle school in this area I was like what???? How is it possible that 4th grade is middle school! Well, today, fifth grade is part of Chelsea's middle school, and because Chelsea didn't take science in the school she came from had her all lost, and confused when they were reviewing Science. She felt a little inadequate when they started talking about atoms, and was grateful she was familiar with the periodic table of elements thanks to her older sisters having a huge copy of it, but luckily she's a quick learner, and is a very good listener when it comes to learning! I'm telling you, they really seem to push the kids here when it comes to their academics! Something I'm not used to coming from south jersey! Nonetheless she has one good friend who also goes to our church, and have one class together. That made Chelsea's whole year, and knows that because of that one friend she'll be fine!
And here's Noah. Since school started he has been coming into our bed in the mornings to cuddle with me. This kid is going to be seven in two months, and still cuddles with me. Love it! I miss our half days together when we would go out on a quick errand, watch cartoons, or go for a walk before the bus picked him up at noon. Now that he's in school all day, that time is limited during the week. He comes home exhausted now. It has been an adjustment for him coming from a half day to full day. I know with time he will get into a routine. He loves the fact that there is an actual playground with a rock climbing wall, but isn't too pleased with all the food they give him during lunch. He didn't have lunch as a kindergartener so when I ask what they served him today he'll say, "mommy, they give me too much food that my tummy starts to hurt." He's certainly not one that is used to having a full lunch. He's satisfied with a bowl of oatmeal, or a ham sandwich. Other than that he has made some friends, and is learning to enjoy his new school.
Really proud of these kids for doing a pretty good job in transitioning into a new grade in a new school making new friends. That's a lot to take in for some, but am so proud of them for their strong efforts in doing so!
Here's hoping they have a wonderful year!