Week 2 got off to a bit of a rocky start, despite the fact that I made coffee cake for breakfast just for Simon. The boy didn’t really have much of a problem getting up and out the door, but there was definitely some fighting back of tears at drop-off, Micah tells me. But every day when I picked him up his day was “good” and he didn’t have any complaints.
Well. Except that his line partner didn’t want to hold his hand, which they are supposed to do. And she was also talking, which they are not supposed to do. And when Simon told her to “Shhhhh!” she said, “You’re not the boss,” and then he couldn’t tell her why he said, “Shhhhh!” because then he would be talking and that is against the rules. So there was that.
Oh, and also the fact that school seems like a lot of work but not a lot of learning. And that it’s too long with too much to do and not enough time to do it. I mean, he had to write about his summer, draw a self-portrait, and color a picture in his sunglasses. He really couldn’t finish it all. It was a tough job.
But by Thursday there were no more complaints. And no fighting tears. He even remembered stayed up a little later on Thursday night to finish his homework – a drawing of how he helps around the house – even though he doesn’t like to draw.
So, yes, we’re making progress. He is coming to grips with the fact that we’re not letting him stay home just because he says he doesn’t want to go. And he’s getting used to the schedule. And he’s learning more about the kids in his class. We’ve met some of the parents, and we are excited to get to know them better. His teacher seems great, and what we know of the curriculum seems like it will be challenging and exciting for him.
On Friday after pick-up, as we were eating our end-of-week celebratory ice cream cones, purchased from the ice cream truck that preys on NEST+M kids, we met a lady who travels from the Bronx everyday to take her 2nd grade son to NEST. He was new to the school in 1st grade, too, and had the same teacher Simon has. It’s a 2 hour commute for them, and they leave at 6:30 every morning. But, she says, it’s so worth it. She loves it, he loves it, and she felt that they couldn’t pass up on the opportunity just because they live far away.
I’m hoping that a year from now I’ll be able to say the same thing to some other family who finds themselves giving a big chunk of their lives over to the public school system. But for us, right now, it is good and getting better.
(The story below is about our camping trip to Connecticut.)