As Summer approaches its end, we couldn’t be more relieved. Here’s a little fact that the three of us share – Summer is our least favorite season. We know, we know, everyone loves Summer, but for some reason the three of us share this in common. The heat, the stickiness, the bugs, the sunscreen, the hot cars and the kids red cheeks after playing outside for a little while – not fans! Sheena and Nina are lovers of Fall – the tall boots, scarfs and moto jackets. Dipti, on the other hand, is a fan of Spring, the whimsical dresses, flats and park strolls.
The one great thing about Summer finally coming to an end is school is finally back in session. This is something that Moms and Dads (and on some occasions, even grandparents) across the country (maybe even world) can share the joy of. It’s funny, as children, we used to be so excited for Summer to begin and school to be out and now as parents, it is the polar opposite. Now we can understand why our parents were so excited when September arrived!
This is the first year that the three of us have had very different Septembers and we are sharing how we are dealing with them.
This year, all three of Sheena’s boys are in “real” school – Shaan & Shailin are in 1st grade and Saiyan in Kindergarten. Last year, she still had Saiyan in Pre-K and the twins started Kindergarten in one school and transferred from Montessori to another school two months into the school year, so it was a little bit of a late start. This year, the plus is that all of them are in the same school, the negative is, it is a LOT of coordination of teachers, homework, clubs, DOJOs, different logins and passwords for different programs each class uses, classroom policies, etc that are all part of the real school world. It started with school supplies, to uniforms (which is a blessing in my world), bus schedule/routes to which teacher needs what information for what class in which grade. It is all very overwhelming, however, hopefully by the end of the month, she will have a better hang of who is whose teacher and what is going on in each class. To top it all off, outside of school activities!
Sheena’s solution to all this mess is a concrete schedule and a google document. In her doc, she has listed all information for each child by grade, class, teacher, websites, logins, passwords, policies, etc. When she needs to email any teacher, check homework for the evening, coordinate school schedule and look over curriculum requirements, there is one place she goes too.
As for a schedule, Sheena has a firm understanding of how long each process takes (give or take some time) and schedules the kids accordingly. She is very big on schedules as you already know, and this creates order for her and her boys. She tries to limit their weekday after school activities to 3 times a week and between the 4pm-6pm range. Other activities would be only on weekends. The schedule for the kids goes as follows: wake at 6:00am, get dressed, brush, breakfast, bathroom and out the door by 6:45am for a 6:54am bus pickup. The afternoons are arrive at 3:45pm, snack, activity (on the days there are any), homework, dinner, bath, brush, bed by 7:30pm latest. Agreed, that this is a very tight and firm schedule, but she is adamant on her kids getting the rest they need to get through the next day and this is what works for her and them. The weekends are where they get to relax, unwind, watch TV, play and go out.
This is Nina’s first September experiencing “real” school as Naya entered Kindergarten and Niva is continuing Pre-K but in a new school. Not to mention, she also has a newborn at home. It all started for her during the Summer when she started receiving all the paperwork to fill out, school supply lists and school timing information. She had a mini panic attack and called Sheena over right away to go over everything and put her days in order for her. As we know, she is more of a free spirit when it comes to a schedule and is more of a on-the-go kind of person. So when reality hit and she realized that she didn’t have that luxury anymore, she needed to get in order.
Nina is still adjusting to her September and beyond as it goes. Being this is her first time dealing with homework, she is also learning how to fit that into Naya’s days. Sheena shared her schedule with Nina, however, since each house and family is different, it didn’t quite work with her life. She had multiple activities scheduled at different times for different girls each day that would end up taking the bulk of the afternoon up which didn’t leave enough time for homework, dinner, bath, etc. She ended up with 9pm bedtimes (also because they wanted to wait for Daddy to come home to spend some time with them) and tired children in the morning, whom she would have to rush through breakfast to get out the door on time. Now, she is taking on one after school activity at a time, seeing what is feasible to schedule into the girls day without overwhelming them. Neal is also adjusting his work schedule to come home a little early to spend time with the girls and then returns to work. This way, she is able to get the girls to bed early enough so they aren’t as tired the next day and the mornings/days are much smoother. It’s all about adjustment for her and her family.
This September is Diav’s first time in real day care. This was a huge step for Dipti and Sachin as they kept going back and forth about the decision to put him in. On the one hand, Dipti wanted to keep him home with her since she is home at the moment and felt that she could teach Diav everything he needed to learn. On the other hand her and Sachin wanted him to have a social life outside of the house, play with kids his own age, and learn from someone other than them. Ultimately, the decision to send him to school trumped.
Having a 15 month old at home was a challenge in itself. As an infant, Diav was always very friendly, chatted in his own language with everyone, and was able to do this own thing in the playroom. As he grew, she noticed that he was becoming clingy, not as social and needed a lot more attention. They both decided that it was now or never for him. Sending him to daycare would be the best solution for him overall to grow into his own little self and learn to be a slightly more independent. The first few weeks were extremely tough for the whole family as we all were invested in our little guy starting out in the world. Eventually, the crying stopped, the phone calls to the school every 10 minutes stopped, and now they all look forward to the few hours of independent time they all get! Diav goes to Montessori 5 mornings a week and in that time Dipti works on her own stuff, the house, and running errands. It’s 4 hours every morning that they all love and value so much!
Remember when Sheena wrote about choosing the right Kindergarten? Seems like forever ago! Also, when we talked about our crazy morning routines? For some it has changed drastically and others it remains the same!