Back to School, Ring the Bell

We are back to school!  At least, The P is back.  His school started a little early.

It’s a different sort of school.  With this schedule, we have a little more time in the mornings to do homework or fill in the gaps for classes that this new school does not have.

For example, we want him to learn Spanish.  He wants to learn art.  So I told him we would learn Spanish and art in the mornings.

Last night, he said he wanted me to teach him about the parts of his body because he was pretty sure his science teacher was not going to talk about that.  And he wanted to start with his brain.

So, we dropped Spanish for a day and combined art with biology.  Luckily, I had an old A&P book in the closet that I never sold back.  It has Apolo Ohno speed skating on the cover.  He was just on TV here recently, so it made me feel not that old.

I read up on brains and brain parts.  A brain has 4 major parts, in case you were wondering.  I reviewed the parts with The P and talked generally about what each part does.  This was our biology lesson.

Then, we talked about drawing people in action and making sure that the whole person was doing the action so that it looks more believable.  This was the art lesson.  We used our cereal box for examples of a really well drawn honey bee.

Next, we combined it.  He drew several pictures of people and animals doing different things.  Then we talked about what parts of their brains were controlling their actions.

Does a first grader really need to know the difference between his cerebral cortex and his cerebellum?  No.  Probably not.  But when he was younger, he asked if boys could be doctors, too.  I told him that it was possible, but you have to study really hard.  So, the studying begins now.  I’ll thank myself when he is flying me to Hawaii with all the money he made as a brain surgeon.

I don’t know if he’ll really fly me to Hawaii.  But I will certainly make up for the money I lost not selling back this Apolo Ohno A&P book.  For sure.


I made it through kindergarten graduation without bawling.


I only cried a little.


They led with a slide show accompanied by a song I had never heard before. It was a woman singing, “don’t ever grow up,” and other similar heart wrenching lyrics. I just tuned it out and stayed strong.

Then all 80 kindergarteners, in unison, recited the cutest poem:

“Remember last fall
We were so small
Look at us now
We’ve grown so tall…”

That kind of thing.

I stayed strong.

Then, they all sang the song “New York, New York” with lyrics altered for a kindergarten graduation.

“Start spreading the news,
We’re leaving today.
We want to be a part of it
First grade, First grade”

It continued.

Due to technical difficulties, they sang this song 3 times.

At the end of the last song, the P’s best girl friend sang a solo. That’s when I lost it a little.

My dad pointed out that we only have six more graduations to go: 6th grade, junior high, high school, college, med school, and law school.

None of those could be as cute as this one was.

Short Days

Now, I don’t see the other kindergartener’s behavior sheets, so I’m not really able to compare my son with his peers, which is good. I don’t think I’m supposed to be doing that anyway. Right? Right.

But, when other parents and teacher-friends have caught a glance of the color scheme of his behavior sheet, they tend to say, “Oh, my. Can I see that?” And then they grab the folder to read his teacher’s comments.

At P’s school, like most kindergarten classes, everyday, everyone starts on green, and then for warnings they move to yellow, then, if the warning doesn’t help, to red.

For the record, P is getting better.

Last week for the Christmas break, he only went to school one full day and one half day. On Monday, I pointed out to him that he would get out early on Tuesday.

P: Oh good. It’s easier to get a green on a half day.
Me: Is it?
P: Oh yeah. It’s like you’ll have a good morning, but then you think, I’ll be bad this afternoon. But then, you just go home! There is no afternoon!

Then we talked about how, maybe, it would be better to think, “I’ll be good this afternoon.” He acknowledged this.

But, then again, I think we can all agree that if days were shorter, we might be a bit better behaved, too.