Report cards

October just zoomed by and here we are in Novemer and the day of my son's first ever report card.  I have a nostalgic love of report cards.  My mother still has all of my old ones from Grade 3 right up to the point I graduated high school, not that long ago 🙂

Despite getting off to a slow start and being sick for pretty much the entire time that he has been attending school (we've since found out that he has allergies), Lee is off to a wonderful start.  I won't get into any specifics, but I couldn't be more pleased than I am with the report card we received.  He's hitting all of his markers developmentally and turning into quite the social butterfly.  While he was at home with me, I tried my best to get him involved in as many opportunities for play with other kids as I could - hosting playgroups, going to music classes and early enrichment classes.  But preschool is like one big playgroup with someone else facilitating.  There's music, art, creative play, academics all while bonding with a diverse group of his peers.

This is one of four report cards that we'll receive this year.  It will be interesting to see how he progresses.  In the meantime, picture day happened last week, there are ongoing rehearsals for the holiday show, BoxTops collections (more about this later) and an upcoming school sponsored fundraising event.  It's going to be a busy month.

The orange folder

On the first (or second, I can't quite remember) day of school, Lee brought home an orange folder with his name on it in his bookbag.  The is the primary method of communicating with the teacher.  The concept is sort of like sending notes by carrier pigeon back in the olden days.  School newsletters, forms, menus, announcements, notes from the teacher, the work your child did that day, are all placed in this folder in the bookbag on a daily basis.  Conversely, I can send notes to the teacher, money for Lee to purchase items from bake sales, and return forms by putting them in the folder.  The teacher empties the folder each day and routes the contents to the appropriate place in the school or reads the note and acts on it.  It's quite an efficient system as long as the folder is emptied and returned each day by both parties, parents and teachers.

For the most part, I've been returning the folder daily, although there has been one or two days that it's remained on the dining room table.  What I did not do was to figure out a way to store all of the stuff that comes home in the folder, so it was accumulating into yet another pile of stuff to figure out what to do with.  I'm a pack rat and information junkie so it's hard to just throw things away.  This past weekend I finally got a large 3 ring binder and a pack of dividers with the months of the year tabs and set about filing everything away.  This was so simple.  Why didn't I think of it before?

I now have a chronological record of all of the orange folder communication.  Lee's coloring pages and artwork that are not displayed are currently in the pockets of the binder.  This is only a temporary solution because at the rate that he's been bringing them home, those pockets will be filled by the end of November so I'll have to think of another solution for them soon.  Perhaps they'll just get their own orange folder.

Do you have a storage solution for your child's artwork that you would like to share?  Please leave a comment with it below.


As I walked by the pond in our local park this morning, I marveled at how still the water was, despite the waterfall behind depositing a steady stream of water into it.  It resembled a mirror, reflecting the trees, grass and skies above.  That is my favourite part of the 25 minute walk home after dropping Lee off at school.

I started to reflect on the progress Lee has made since starting school.  Today is exactly 3 weeks since the first day of school and he has completed the separation from me completely.  When I drop him off in the mornings, he says good-bye and gets into his school groove.  I've noticed that some of the kids already have close friends that they are happy to see each morning but my son isn't there yet.  He'd rather speak to the teacher or stand up in line.  There are still a handful of kids that haven't quite made the separation from their parents yet, but overall, the class seems to be doing very well.  I think that's a testament to the warm, loving nature of the teacher.

Each day when I pick him up, he skips happily down the street asking me about my day.  He's much more interested in hearing what I have to say than telling me about what he did that day.  But, I'm figuring out other ways to get him to talk about things, besides asking direct questions.  He's always loved to sing and he's added a few new songs to his repertoire, such as the days of the week and the months of the year.

Communication with the teacher is very important to me and she has been very responsive.  The recommended method of communication, a note in your child's folder, is effective but she does answer emails as well.  I try to keep those to a minimum.  If I get there early enough in the mornings, I can chat with her while everyone arrives.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a newsletter in Lee's folder a couple of days ago, summarizing what the class has accomplished for the month and suggesting activities to do at home to reinforce what is being learned.  Of course, the big news is that the kids took a vote and decided on names for their pet goldfishes and weekly show and tell starts tomorrow.

I've noticed a difference in our nightly story time.  Whenever we read books we discuss what is happening in the story.  I ask him questions and sometimes (not very often) he asks me questions.  He much prefers to just sit and listen to the story as opposed to having conversations about it.  Now, he questions and comments more often and in more detail.

Things seem to be good so far but here's a new wrinkle.  The school that was my first choice just let me know that a spot has opened for Lee if I'm interested.  I'm torn.  I really liked the program there but Lee is settled in to his new school and really likes it.  I'm not sure if I want to put him through a big change again.  On the other hand, it's still early in the year, and if a change is going to be made, now is the best time to do it.  I'll take the weekend to think about it.


My son, Lee, will be attending a private Catholic school on the upper west side of New York City and last Wednesday was new parent orientation night.  It was a chance for all of the new parents to meet each other, meet the teachers and hear from the principal about procedures and policies.  It was a nice night.  I really like the fact that spent a lot of time with the teachers and fellow parents, asking questions and getting acquainted.  This is my son's first school experience so I'm extremely nervous.  Like most parents, it's hard to know whether or not you've made a good decision choosing a school/program that is a good fit for your child.

A few days after school starts, we will sit down with the teachers again for a more detailed discussion of the curriculum and what the days will be like for the kids.  Communication is extremely important and so far this principal has really been good about being open and accessible in addressing my queries.  And trust me, I've got a lot of them!

Each family was given a list of supplies that they need to provide for the classroom.  It's a very reasonable list and we are happy to supply them.

Lee is not excited to start school because he wants to continue staying home with Mommy.  That's to be expected, since I've been home with him since he was born.  This will be our first separated experience so we'll be figuring things out together.  The program is all day from 8:15 to 2:30, five days a week.  There is an after school option available on a daily/weekly/monthly basis which is great to have if, or should I say when, I start working again.  We enrolled in a five week summer program this summer so that he could get used to being away from me for longer periods of time.  He cried every morning that I dropped him off up until the last week.  Even though he cried, he did say that he had fun when I picked him up in the afternoons so that made me feel better.  I know we'll be going through it again when school starts but I'm better prepared to handle it this time.