First Day of Joy School

 - by Brittny

Today was Sam’s first day of joy school.  I know he’s really a little bit too young to be starting any sort of pre-school, but (if I can say so without bragging), he’s too smart to wait another full year to start pre-school.  We would drive each other crazy before then!  Luckily some moms in my neighborhood were putting together a joy school for this year who knew Sam well enough to know that he wouldn’t be a problem to add in, despite his young age.

So, in preparation for him starting school today we gave him a hair cut.  It had been a few months and he was starting to look pretty scraggly.  When we got all done we thought it looked as well as could be expected from trying to cut the hair of a wiggly 2 year old.

Afterwards, Eric went upstairs and took a nap and I came back downstairs with Sam.  Since I hadn’t gotten a nap I was feeling sorta sluggish and lazy.  So even though I saw our hair cutting kit left out on the porch I decided to leave it for awhile and clean it up later.  I had seen Eric with the actual clippers in his hand and figured he’d brought them inside and I wasn’t too concerned about the spacers.  A few minutes later I was letting Sam play out on the porch while I had a rest on the rocking chair.  Suddenly I heard the familiar buzzing of hair clippers on hair.  I jumped out of my chair and ran to the back door to find this –

Yes of course, he had managed to take a large Texas-ish shaped chunk out of the side of his hair.  Great.  That’s exactly how I’d hope we’d look for the first day of school :P  There wasn’t too much that we could do about it though short of buzzing his whole head, and I’m pretty sure he’d freak out if we did that.  So he’s just going to have to walk around with a chunk of his hair missing until it grows out a bit more.  So much for trying to get him all spruced up for school.

Sunday evening I was trying to get Sam geared up for joy school so I tried to talk it up, telling him what a big boy he was that he was starting school in the morning.  He told me, “Tomorrow I’m going to take the keys, and drive the car all by myself to joy school!”  Uhm… not so much.  When I told him that was not on the list of approved plans he changed his plan to that he was going to ride his bike all by himself to joy school.  That was much more acceptable.  Especially if he wanted to go to joy school all by himself.  With all of the separation anxiety that Sam has had any plans he makes to do things “by himself” are welcome :)

So this morning we got up and dressed for joy school and I took the obligatory front-porch-first-day-of-school pictures:

Can you believe how big he's getting?

And then I let him ride his bike off to joy school:

I only got one chance at this shot because he really was riding off all alone to school!

As we were getting close to the house where joy school was today I started to get some anxiety about this whole thing.  What if Sam really wasn’t ready?  What if he didn’t get along well with the other kids?  What if I can’t do as cool/cute things as the other moms do?  Etc.  Strangely I could tell Sam suddenly got a little nervous too.  He started getting a little clingy and wanted me to come in with him.  But I didn’t let those anxieties stop us, we walked right up and in for school!  I was planning on staying just long enough to drop him off (I’d even left our garage door open thinking I’d be back in just a minute), but when I got there Sam wanted me to come in with him.  Most of the other moms had stayed too, and we all wanted to get an idea for how things were going to go so we’d know what to do when it was our turn.

It was really cute to watch the kids.  We’ve assigned out themes according to the letters of the alphabet.  So they started today with the letter “A” and next time we’ll do the letter “B” etc.  So they made applesauce, and read a book about animals, and ate animal crackers and drew letter A‘s in shaving cream on aluminum foil.  Luckily I still had my video camera in hand from taking pictures on the porch (Sam really was so eager to go that I didn’t get a chance to put it down!) so I got a few cute pictures of the kids during joy school too:

All of the kids crowded in on the beanbag chair to listen to a story. They were supposed to touch their noses to show they were listening

They were supposed to be split up between the big table and little table, but they all crowded in around the little table instead.

Luckily I'd brought Daniel in the Baby Bjorn and he was content to sit on the floor and play with that :)

Sam was pretty clingy for a lot of the time and wanted me to sit right next to him for everything, but he really had a great time.  He came home and fell asleep almost immediately (even though it was a little on the early side for a nap), so he was definitely a bit worn out from the whole experience.  But for the rest of the day he kept talking about joy school, and when we were going to do joy school next and what he did at joy school today.

Now to get prepared for teaching it ourselves next week!  Our letter is D, and I’m thinking about planting plants with the kids.  My plan is that we will plant Daisies in Dixie cups filled with Dirt.  I’ll teach the kids that their plants need Daylight and Dirt and Di-hydrogen oxide (H2O).  Just kidding, we decided to change that to that they need a Drink :)  I’ve found a little coloring sheet that has the letter D and a picture of a daisy on it, and I’m planning on giving them the oreo/pudding Dirt cups for a snack.  I’d really like to find some cool footage of a plant growing where you can see the seed sprouting and growing roots and pushing out through the dirt.  I just think that would be a cool thing for little kids to have their own little plants that they get to grow.  Anyone have any other ideas on how I can improve my D unit?

Overall I think it’s going to be a very fun year!  I think Sam will be stretched a little bit by being with some older kids and learning to sit down, behave in class, get along with other kids etc.  as well as learning about letters and that sort of stuff.  And I think I’ll be stretched once a month trying to put together a fun activity for the kids!  Even better, I’m going to have an hour and a half with just Danny twice a week (when I’m not teaching or helping out)!  And, if I can get Danny to nap during that time… ALL BY MYSELF!!  Woot!  This is shaping up to be a beautiful thing :)

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