We've been preparing for kindergarten since mid-July, but it feels like it happened overnight. I still find myself wondering how Catherine Ellis can be old enough and responsible enough to go to big school from 7:45-3:00 - but we're a month in and she's rocking and rolling and LOVING it. We are thrilled she's had such a good start and that she found a home. The road to enrolling her in school was a long and bumpy one - but we made it!
After her tour in July
Catherine Ellis and I toured the school in July with her principal, Ms. Simpson, who is amazing. Just plain amazing. I was most impressed and patted myself on the back for believing in our dream to land in Homewood. We always felt it was the perfect mix for us - diverse, great school system, close to downtown - the best of all of our worlds merged together. And finally it became a reality. Sometimes dreams really do come true - and God's timing is always perfect - even if it's really hard to see the forest for the trees some days.
A lot of the schools in town celebrate their kindergartners with signs in the yards of their homes so that people recognize these sweet little wees that are beginning the adventure of "big school." I didn't mention it to CE since our home wasn't more than a cinder block foundation and gravel when signs were going out, but we didn't have to have a house to be a home to the sign - and she was SO excited when we arrived to check on the house one afternoon and saw her big Edgewood sign. The builders have been kind to it and it's still standing.
They posted class lists at 3:00 p.m. the night before Meet the Teacher - David ran by and took lots of pictures and I spent the next hour on the phone researching our teacher among our Homewood friends. I prayed long and hard that Catherine Ellis would be in the classroom that was perfect for her. A seasoned teacher who knows the ropes, an inspiring teacher to continue to foster her love of learning and a safe place for her to land. Thank goodness for answered prayers. Ms. Krueger has been at Edgewood for over 25 years - she's a fabulous kindergarten teacher, compassionate, loving and patient (which I know most every kindergarten teacher is). We couldn't wait to meet her.
Can you tell how excited she is?!
Catherine Ellis and Ms. Krueger
The night before kindergarten we were all abuzz - excitement filled the air and we prepared for first day pics, packed our lunch and picked out our first day outfit. So much fun! Once we got the girls in bed, David went for a run and I lost it. I can promise you, I sure didn't envision myself as one of "those moms" that would mourn or cry about this stage, but I did. It's bittersweet. She's growing up and it's flown by. I can't imagine how fast it flies once school starts. So I'm hanging on for dear life and trying hard to enjoy every single second - I have to dig deep during the evening meltdowns - just sayin'.
Ready for our first day!
It's official - she's a kindergartner
Words can not adequately describe what we encountered the first morning of school. One of the biggest reasons we wanted Catherine Ellis at Edgewood was the "community school" atmosphere. The school has a large amount of walkers, the community/neighborhood is fully involved in the school and a place where so many are welcomed, but wowzers at the parents and families on the first day. Below is a picture of the line that we stood in (it wrapped around the front and side of the school times three) to get into the front doors. Siblings came, grandparents, parents - it was like nothing we've ever seen before. We're thankful for such a great community school. We can't wait to be a true part of the community and walk to school in the mornings - come on November!
Part of the line to get into school the first day
Daddy and CE waiting to walk in
Walking through the doors - she looks a little scared - can't say I blame her
This video gives you a glimpse of what it's like to get information from Catherine Ellis these days - pulling teeth I tell you. But at least she's funny.
And so the name battle begins. But they are starting to catch on. She finally pitched a slight fit in after-school one afternoon about two weeks ago when they wrote Catherine on her name tag. She told them her name was Catherine Ellis and that if they didn't call her that then her Daddy was going to be upset. Bless. HA! The truth is we've just encouraged her to gently remind people that her name is Catherine Ellis not Catherine - it'll come. We are a month in now and folks are starting to get the hang of it and she's still reminding. Thanks Mom (if she were old enough to realize this is my fault, she'd totally be saying this).
We left her grinning from ear to ear with a table full of boys that were crying. That's always such an interesting dynamic. Catherine Ellis assured me when I picked her up that it was because he had a paper cut and needed a band-aid. I'm sure it was:) He's a sweet, sweet little friend!
We got to walk Catherine Ellis in on her first day - so much fun! We took a little selfie before entering the classroom and David continued to walk her to her classroom every day the first week, but starting week two they told the parents it was time to let-go and we did :)
Open House was a few days later and we got to learn all about her day and schedule - centers, activities, curriculum. They are BUSY. They have a traffic light in their room - green, yellow and red - for behavior and following classroom rules. Catherine Ellis has been told she should never move off the green (y'all, this is easy stuff: keeping your feet and hands to yourself, following directions, not talking out of turn, etc. - stuff we all have to do every day to live/work with others) and she lasted three weeks. She had her first yellow light week three and it got real, but we chatted and she knows we all have "off" days and days where we don't make the best decisions. It happens, but we still expect her to be on the green. She's been there since, so we'll see how long it lasts this time:)
Look how big she looks - I can't get over it!
A cute class for sure!
We are thrilled that she's had such a wonderful month - we're looking forward to meeting more friends and spending more time in the community when we move! We can't wait!