Back to School!

Summer seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye this year and here we are back to school.

Ollie is now in P4… crazy grown up!  Nate just started at the preschool and he goes every day from 8.45am until 11.45am.  It’s an odd feeling being at home in the morning every day by myself and I imagine it will take some getting used to!

Both boys go to breakfast club at the school which starts at 8am.  There they have breakfast of cereal or toast and they choose juice and fruit too.  Ollie is looking after Nate there because there are only a couple of preschool kids that go.  He is making sure that Nate isn’t sitting alone and that Nate gets his breakfast.

This year is the first year that Ollie is at school every day until 3pm!  It’s a long day for him and the work load has increased too but I know he will love it when he gets used to the new routine… for right now it’s making him super tired!  We have him signed up to start football next week and he has already earned himself a sticker for excellent behaviour for a full day.

Nate loves preschool so far.  He isn’t in for the full time yet because they stagger it.  He walked in on the first day with not a care in the world, I told him I was leaving and would be back soon and he didn’t mind at all… he set to work on playing with his playdough straightaway.  Each day he comes home with the name of a new friend or to tell me what his snack was that day!

Can’t believe I’ve two boys in school.  It’s just Marcie the dog and me at home in the mornings now!

Biggest Is Back At School

I am a little late in the day with Ollie’s back to school post with it being almost month 1 over but anyway.  Better late than never!

So… Ollie started his third year of primary school… it’s hard to believe how fast a school year goes!  Now the real work starts for him!

He goes to a really wonderful primary school in Belfast and we have never had any problems with it.  Ollie has always been happy to go to school and comes home either tired or excited about his day!

I was so surprised with how grown up he looked since his last day before summer break in June. He just isn’t a baby at all now haha!

I think this is the year that the real work starts.  For P1 and P2, he mainly learned through play and the moments of actually sitting still at a desk, studying, weren’t so long.  It’s different now… school isn’t QUITE as exciting and fun and his homework has doubled in both difficulty and quantity.  He gets a spelling and math test (or challenge as school calls them) every Friday and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he stays in school until 3 o’clock!

There have only been 2 days so far that he hasn’t felt like going to school… one of those was because of a fallout with a friend and the other was because he didn’t sleep very good the night before.

We are still figuring it all out… friendships are another thing.  As much as I want him to have close friends, I would prefer that he was friends with everyone because when there comes a time that he and his bestie have a fallout, he doesn’t know what to do with himself.  So that’s what I am encouraging.  That he be friends with everyone in school, not just a couple of kids… and that he make a special effort to look for the kids who don’t seem happy or that are standing along and to be a good friend to them and include them in the games he is playing.

He is making us proud.

Ollie was very lucky to be sent the Tools For School pack from Stuck On You.  Until now, he hasn’t required a pencil case or his own colours etc.  P3 is for big kids though and they need their own, labelled items.  How does one go about labelling individual pencils!? Ha!  Luckily that is not something I have to worry about because every item in the pack is labelled already.

The pack includes the case, a sharpener, scissors (with a safety case), a ruler, a rubber, a pack of colouring pencils, a pack of double ended felt tip pens and 2 wooden pencils with grips.  That’s all included and EVERYTHING has his name on it.

We love the quality of everything included.  The case itself isn’t chunky or bulky but is large enough to carry the stationery and also Ollie’s challenge book and homework diary.  He has to take those items everyday so it makes sense that they go in his case.  We even chose the picture on the front of it and figured since he was relatively new to riding his bike without stabilisers, that the boy on the bike would be a good fit.

Ollie was delighted when it arrived and couldn’t wait to take it into school with him!

Ollie’s School Sports Day

So the Monday before Ollie finished up for summer break, his school had sports day.  They have it each year right before break and the whole school takes part.  They are divided up into colour teams which consist of people from all the junior age groups.

Ollie had been talking to me about the practice they had been doing at school and he was so excited to take part.

He isn’t very fast or very sporty… but he was the kid that I saw there, that mostly came last but had the HUGEST smile on his face.  More important than coming first was seeing that his Grandma and I were there watching.  He kept calling over to us and posing for the camera.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and the turn out from parents was brilliant.  I love how they do it at Ollie’s school.  Everyone is part of a team and nobody takes part individually… the races are all as teams.

Later on in the morning when it came to the relay race, Ollie got confused as to which team he was on and ended up running back and joining a different team.  Nobody in either team noticed… least of all Ollie and his ‘new’ teammates all cheered him on as if he had been on their team the whole time.  It was pretty funny.

So proud of his unwavering determination!  That’s my kid!!

Biggest Is Brilliant!

On Thursday I had a Parent and Teacher meeting with Ollie’s teacher at school.  I’ve never felt prouder of my biggest boy.  

He is now halfway through his second year of Primary School and is apparently very popular, friends with everyone and has wonderful leadership qualities.  

I sat there, waiting, not negatively… but guarded, preparing for her to say something not quite as wonderful (I think he is great, but I worry about how he gets on when I’m not there)… and the “but” never came.  She had only good things to say about him.  

She commented on his confidence and his huge personality… his love for construction toys and his imagination that goes along with that and his stories… she said he loves talking at the front of the class for show and tell and loves his chance to talk in circle time.  Academically, he is coming on leaps and bounds and is showing a strength for maths and his spelling and reading are great… 

The one thing she said he could work on is keeping the chat to a minimum, but even that isn’t a bad thing… he is very inquisitive and has so much to say, that when told to keep quiet you can literally SEE the chat bubbling up inside him, about to spill over!

I was worried previously, about a number of different things, but these niggles were put to rest and I came away with huge confidence and pride in my son and huge confidence in his school.

He is a clever cookie!  He beamed when I got back to the car and told him that his teacher had nothing bad to say about him and that she really enjoys having him in her class… for the good report I let him choose whatever he wanted for dinner and he chose boiled egg and soldiers.

An Ollie Update!

I could not be any prouder of my 5 year old… I had a wonderful meeting with his teacher last week and he is loving being in P2.  Everything said in the meeting was very positive apart from the fact that he is a little cheeky… he would sometimes question his teacher when he is asked to do something.  I knew this already… he has got a bit of an atitude… but I am hoping that he will settle down a little.

Apart from his cheeky atitude (which apparently is not a real concern… because his behaviour otherwise is wonderful)… I was told that his imagination was second to none…. and that she would love to see him get his imagination down on paper… he just needs to learn to sit in one place and hold his attention a little longer.  Mrs. Salmon told me that he is a real bright spark and if we can work on his attention, then he may be moved into her top group after the Christmas term!  She said he is one of the first to volunteer for show and tell each week and he is so full of confidence.

I explained to Ollie how well the meeting had gone when we got home and I told him that we need to do a little bit of work on keeping his cheekiness inside, and getting his clever out instead.

Biggest Starts His Second Year Of School!

Today was the biggest day of 2013 for Ollie.  He started his second year of Primary school.

He enjoyed his summer holidays but they were hard to fill with exciting things to keep him occupied.  While at school he is used to having his time filled (from 9am-2pm) with fun and stimulating things to do… every hour is accounted for… at home, it is so hard to make things structured like that and he spent time telling me each day that he was ‘bored’, even though there is £100’s worth of toys upstairs!

Last night we put him to bed at 7pm… even though it has become the norm for him to go to bed after 8pm or 9pm during the holidays.  He had no trouble getting to sleep.

I made a massive fruit salad this morning for his first day at school.  Fruit is his favourite food… a big bowl of strawberries, blueberries, melon and pineapple with almonds and sugar sprinkled on top.  He then got dressed in his super smart uniform, I took some photos and off we went.

This year he has a brand new teacher called Mrs. Salmon.  I had not met her before today and I think she seems quite nice.  Ollie was not nervous at all and walked into school as if he had never been away.  So confident.  When he had his indoor shoes on and had found his friend Max, he told me I could leave and then got on with drawing on the whiteboard.  I called “bye” to him and he waved at me without glancing over his shoulder… sigh… he needs me less and less!

He really enjoyed his day, he told us that no-one got into trouble and that his favourite thing in the classroom is the new space section!  Space is their first topic this term!

We took him to Barnams to get icecream after school and James made hotdogs for dinner as per Ollie’s request.

I hope he keeps the same enthusiasm for school throughout his time there, as he has now.

…and just for the sake of nostalgia… here two photo comparisons between last year, his first day of school ever… and this year!

I am so proud of my biggest boy.

Tomorrow Is A Big Day!

Tomorrow is Ollie’s first day of P2.  I can’t believe he is one year down and onto his second year of primary school!  I am excited and I think he is too… and do you know what?  9 weeks off school for summer holidays is TOO long haha!  I am looking forward to getting back to normality!

We are all ready… he has a new school bag and new shoes and new uniform.  He is going to look so smart!

His class this year is going to be slightly different than last year because they have mixed them up a little.  I worried about this at first, but knowing that Ollie’s BFF is still going to be in his class, I’m not worried anymore.

He is going to have a blast being in P2!  I’m so proud of him.