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school

Today was Maya’s first day of her Pre-K year of preschool. I can hardly believe she is almost 5 and already in her second year of preschool. Time flies.

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Understandably she was incredibly nervous about starting school this year. There have been a lot of changes in her little world this summer and she is still very homesick for her friends back in St. Louis. We spent a lot of time talking about all the things she loved about school last year to keep her excited about the idea of going to school again this year.

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She did an awesome job at drop off this morning. A lot of nerves but no tears.

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When I picked her up she was full of stories of what she did at school and said she had a great time. I’m so glad she had a good first day.

Here’s to an awesome school year!

It is about that time of year again, back to school time. Maya starts her last year of preschool, her per-kindergarten year, in just under 2 weeks.

Way back in the early spring when it was registration time at her beloved preschool in St. Louis, before we knew our world was going to be turned upside down with a move to Seattle, I had signed her up for the 4 day a week pre-k program. She was going to have the same teacher as last year and many of the same classmates. We were both super excited about it. Then things got turned upside down and I had to hunt for a school here in Seattle that was a good match for us and had openings available. Luckily, I found what seems to be a good match.

The school I found here is a natured based preschool. They spending an hour outside everyday going for hikes, searching for bugs and butterflies in the meadow, playing on the playground, riding bikes, you name it. Their academic program is nature based as well. Maya will be attending 3 days a week. It sounds like a wonderful program and I hope Maya really enjoys it.

I had a parent orientation at the school today. The teachers are wonderful and the program for this year sounds great. The school is small and there seems to be a real sense of community among the parents. I’m excited for the school year to start. I hope Maya has a wonderful last year of preschool and makes some wonderful new friends this year.

Maya is in summer camp this week. It is her second summer camp and to say she loves going to camp is an understatement. The girl loves her some summer camp fun :)

When summer camp sign up time rolled around early in the Spring I knew, even though this would be her very first summer camp experience, that she would enjoy herself no matter what I signed her up for. She adored going to school and I knew she would enjoy summer camp just as much. I didn’t want her whole summer to be spent in camp. I wanted her to have free time to just play and enjoy herself, spend time with friends and explore her favorite spots here in St. Louis. So, I signed her up for 3 week long summer camps.

Her first camp was 2 weeks ago. It was the camp I knew, with out a doubt, she would LOVE. It was at The Magic House and her best little friend from school was enrolled in the same camp. The first day of camp Maya and Lillian squealed with delight when they saw each other again for the first time since school let out and according to their camp instructors they were inseparable the entire week. The camp was a huge success. Each more she woke up with a huge smile on her face so excited at the prospect of having another fun morning at the Magic House. When the last day of camp rolled around she was so bummed and didn’t want the fun to end.

This week’s camp is at the park across the street from our house and run by our town’s recreation center. It was the camp I knew might cause a little discomfort for her since she didn’t know anyone else there. She was excited for the camp but clearly very nervous and even cried a little yesterday morning before we walked over. She was worried because none of her friends were going to be there. I reminded her that she didn’t know anyone in her preschool class when she first started and now has some wonderful new friends. That calmed her down and let the excitement take over. When we arrived she recognized one of the little girls from her swim class and the two made each other their “best camp friend” and had a great time. Today and day 2 of the camp and so far she is having a great time.

Her next, and final camp, is next month. It is an art camp at Laumeier Sculpture Park and her best little friend from preschool is enrolled in this one as well. This is the camp I’m most looking forward to for her. I can’t wait to see how it goes. She is going to love it, this I know for sure!

I already can’t wait to sit down with her next spring and figure out which camps she wants to go to next year.

This was Maya’s first week of summer vacation. Last Thursday was the last day of her first year of preschool. She had such a fabulous year.

To celebrate the last day of school and the beginning of a glorious summer break they had a luau party. The kids all got to wear leis, eat fruit kebabs and indulge in snow cones. After their Hawaiian themed snack we headed into their classroom where the parents were treated to a slideshow of all the pictures Mrs. M had taken throughout the year. It was amazing to see how grown up all the kiddos look now compared to those first days of school.

Maya was not excited about the prospect of summer break. She adores going to school and doesn’t understand why she should take a break from something she loves. On Tuesday she asked me to call Mrs. M (her teacher) to see if they were ready to start school again now. I have her signed up for a couple of summer camps and she is looking forward to those and in the meantime I’m trying to keep her busy. This week we did a lot of craft projects, did some finger painting outside and a little science experiment.

Hopefully she has a wonderful summer and I know she is going to be excited when the new school year begins.

Schools and germs go hand in hand. Every child has to go through more than their fair share of the sickies when they first start school. They have to work their way through all the germs to help build up their little immune system. Not to mention kids pass germs around much more easily than grown ups thanks to all the toy sharing, a tendency to forget to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough, and the grossest thing of all, letting their nose run down their face (ewww!). Every parent knows their kids is going to get sick during the school year, especially during the cold and flu season. Keeping your child home from school when they are sick is a common courtesy to other families to help stop the spread of germs. But, where is the line. When is a child sick enough to stay home and when is it okay to send you child to school.

Maya has a little boy in her preschool class who has a weakened immune system and is much more susceptible to getting sick and when he does get sick it can quickly escalate into a dangerous illness. Now that we are right smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season the school has reminded us that it is important (especially in our classroom) to keep your child home from school if they are sick to help stop the spread of germs. Some symptoms are obvious triggers to keep a child at home, like a fever or vomiting, but what other symptoms should keep a child at home and when is it okay to send them back? Coughs associated with colds can sometimes stick around for weeks after all the other symptoms are gone. Some children are fine when they have a cold other than being a little stuffed up and maybe a little extra sneezy but are otherwise full of energy and fine to go about their day. It is tough to find that fine line.

Our school has a pretty realistic well child policy and I feel comfortable that the school and the other parents are doing their part. Each school is going to have their own policies and rules regarding when a child should stay home or what symptoms will get them sent home from school. You should always check with your child’s school regarding their policy and, of course, use your own common sense.

Obviously, with an immune compromised child in our class we parents are going to need to be a little extra diligent and considerate when we are making the decision on whether to keep our child at home. So far (knock on wood) Maya hasn’t been sick much this school year, and the times she has been sick have been during the days when she doesn’t have school. But, when that time comes when I have to keep her home I know she is not going to be happy about missing school unless she is feeling really sick.  That will be the tough part, explaining to her why she needs to stay home even if she isn’t feeling all that crappy.

When do you keep your child home from school? What symptoms are triggers for keeping them at home and when do you feel okay sending them back?