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Entering 1st Grade 2017

  1. 808love

    pomelo / 5784 posts

    I think gum, a kids coupon book (free passes to do things), quarters for the vending machines, her days of the week socks, and maybe a blind bag.
    Last year, I put a gift card for Cookie Corner so maybe this year I'll put a $5 toy store gift card. Our toy store has lots of cheapo gifts I never let her buy so she'll like that.


  2. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @808love: omg quarters for the vending machines - I love it!!! They are constantly asking me for quarters!!

  3. Boogs

    hostess / papaya / 10540 posts

  4. Pancakes

    nectarine / 2180 posts

    We have adopted a couple of kids through DD's school again this year. One is a 7-yo girl, and one of the requests for her is for "learning toys." For me, magnatiles, snap circuits, etc are all "learning toys" but I suspect that they mean something electronic. Any ideas? She's also requested clothes and new bedding so I don't want to spend a ton on a toy that may or may not interest the child.

  5. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    @Pancakes: snap circuits are electronic 😉.

    I don’t think there are many leap pad style games for that age.

  6. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    Happy New Year!

    How did it go with the holiday parties and crafts? I think we escaped relatively unscathed...the teachers hosted a school wide gingerbread house building party for the kids the day before school break, using milk cartons and graham crackers as the base. I thought it was quite smart!

    I am actually getting ready for Valentines Day, as this stuff tends to appear quite fast. I think my son will give a tiny bag with a heart paper airplane and a rubber bracelet. I bought some stickers for decorating the glassine bags and I will print some circle stickers with his name and those are done.

    I have to think about something for the mailbox, I might order kits from Oriental Trading, unless someone has a brilliant, low cost idea....decorated shoe boxes, maybe?

  7. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @looch: our kids usually just decorate brown lunch bags but if you could gather enough shoe boxes that would be fun!

    I attended the Holiday party and they did hand prints on paper mittens - they turned out really cute!

  8. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    @looch: I am not ready for Valentines day!!

    Holidays went well they did a cookie decorating party. The coolest thing was that her teacher knit/crocheted each student little slippers

  9. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12377 posts

    The holidays were quiet here! They had a Christmas foot race and parents were welcome to attend/participate. It was 1 km around the school grounds and they had been practicing in the lead-up. The weather was beautiful that day (and probably the coldest it ever gets here, which is mid-70s 😝). They also sang a few songs, had a visit from Santa and then a snack. It was a nice end to the semester. I don’t think there are any upcoming school celebrations until the Thai New Year, which is mid-April. But they will be on spring break.

    Are your kids back in school yet? We go back on the 8th.

  10. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11550 posts

    I'm not ready for Valentine's either! DD's 7th birthday is this Saturday, so I need to get through that first.

    For the holiday party, the kids made an edible snowman and did a Christmas tree craft.

    @T.H.O.U.: that's so sweet of their teacher! Must've been a lot of work crocheting for an entire classroom of kids.

    @lamariniere: We also go back on the 8th. We kept the kids home last week, but this week I have DD enrolled in tennis camp, and DS is back at preschool.

  11. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    @Mamaof2: I like that hand prints on paper mittens idea, saving that one for next year...I might even see if I can find those foam mittens at Michaels and buy ahead, lol.

    Yep, we're back, but have a snow day today. We only have the week between Christmas and New Years off.

  12. Baby Boy Mom

    pomegranate / 3844 posts

    We are back as well. The break was fun even though we didn’t do much because it was so cold. I feel like I have one foot out the door as we are looking for a new school for next year. It really trips me up because I believe in public schools theoretically speaking but LO is not thriving and we feel like we’re “losing” him if that makes sense.

  13. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @lamariniere: we went back the 2nd but then school was closed due to snow yesterday and today - oy!

  14. yin

    honeydew / 7908 posts

    This year the holiday activities lasted a whole week. They decorated gingerbread houses, celebrated religions around the world (to conclude their lesson on religions), and ended with a Polar Express Day. My LO had a great time.

    Valentine's Day is pretty low key at my LO's school. Last year we were asked to bring in simple boxed Valentines for the kids to work on in the classroom, and they decorated paper bags for their Valentines.

    The kids went back to school on Wednesday, but they were off yesterday and again today due to the weather.

  15. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    @Baby Boy Mom: I think you have to do what you have to do. I am a fan of neighborhood schools, even though I chose to send my son to a magnet. Just because I use one doesn't mean I don't support the other.

    We are off today, so far that's 2 snow days to make up so far. It doesn't make a big difference to me as I have grandma care when I need to work and my son is home from school, but I do need to find things for my son to do on the scheduled days off to give my folks a break. I am going to see what he wants to do for MLK day and then I need to start thinking about summer camp. We're going to do a bunch of different things, so I need to map it out to be ready for the registrations that happen in late Feb/early March.

  16. Mrs. Yoyo

    blogger / pomelo / 5358 posts

    @looch: ugh, yes, camp. That needs to be on my radar, too.

    @Baby Boy Mom: We switched to private. I was willing to give public another shot when we moved, but DH fell hard for a private school and my son loves it. I still have odd feelings of guilt, though.

  17. honeybear

    nectarine / 2055 posts

    I read one of the linked articles on the blog (the one about hovering) and was wondering, how do you think your school would react if you asked to visit and observe a class solely for the purpose of seeing what went on there / figuring out how to fix things for your child? I wonder about the practicality of that suggestion, mostly because I don't ever remember parents visiting the classroom during K-12 for any reason other than to help out for special occasions like a party or to set up for something like the science fair. I think a few parents helped out in the library too, but not in a class where a teacher was doing a lesson. Anyhow, just curious if maybe things have changed?

  18. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    Parent involvement is huge in my son's school, every time I visit during the day, which is at least a few times per month, there are parents in the school. I think it's super important, because it's a community that we're trying to build.

    Now, if there were something going on, let's say he was having an issue with a particular subject, then I am not sure how me being in the room to observe would help that situation because my son tends to get embarrassed when I am there and there are no other parents, so I am not so sure how the behavior would present.

    Social issues are interesting because there I do think observing could provide insight and I think the principal would be accommodating. It's not like you'd get free reign to walk around the school , you'd be escorted in and out.

  19. 808love

    pomelo / 5784 posts

    @honeybear: Our school culture wouldn't allow it but I would find it helpful in certain situations if your school says yes and depending on your child's response. I wouldn't get my hopes up though. We used to have Parent Visitation week for many years where it was designed to give parents a look at their child in action. Of course, they were angels the whole time. Interestingsly, most parents were only there for 30 mins of their allotted hour and doing it just to show face that they are supporting their child's activities! Although I'm relieved we no longer have Parent Visitation, I think it is extremely helpful for a parent to get more info on their child. About a decade ago a student had behavior issues and the admin asked the parents to sit in to observe. It was more of a consequence but I don't think it worked too well.

  20. Mrs. Yoyo

    blogger / pomelo / 5358 posts

    Dropping in for a very informal poll of fellow first-grade parents: How many of your kids struggle with staying organized (things like remembering to bring homework home, losing things, etc) on a routine basis? Are they able to stay on task during even short homework without constant encouragement/help? And for god's sake, are they able to sit still during dinner?

    I know it's extremely overdiagnosed and my son might just be immature (he is a late summer birthday), but ADHD has slowly crept onto my radar. I don't think I'll pursue any sort of formal diagnosis anytime soon, but now that I'm looking a diagnostic lists, I'm like, "ugh yesssss" (especially to the inattentive type, not as much the hyperactivity).

  21. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @Mrs. Yoyo: We have struggled with constant reminders and the wiggles since K - I did talk to her PED and they wanted to wait until the end of 1st grade and re-evaluate.

    1st grade started off the same way but her teacher says she is starting to see progress with her staying on task at school - not so much at home though. She will NOT sit still for dinner - drives me crazy! I am constantly reminding her to sit on her butt and to focus on eating. She has been to the movies 2 times and she gets out of her seat all the time (no more movies for awhile).

    Homework requires our full attention.

    Another teacher friend suggested I bring physical activity into homework so that's what we have been doing. She will do a math problem and jump 10 times, repeat. She will write a sentence and then run to the front door and back and repeat. I have noticed when we keep her active she doesn't complain about all her work and having to sit still to complete it.

    I am hopeful she still might outgrow it and I will reassess the end of the school year - she is a dreamer (which I love) but you cant really be dreaming during school - lol!

  22. honeybear

    nectarine / 2055 posts

    @Mrs. Yoyo: Sitting still during meals is a constant battle here! I diagnose it as the condition of being a 7 year-old boy. We just remind him to get back in his chair and to try to be still.

    I think organization is something that will come with time and practice, probably lots of both. I wouldn't expect a first grader to be at the point where they didn't need help/reminders to get things done/bring things with them. Mine certainly needs some prodding, like for schoolwork he someone to tell him what needs to be done and when because he doesn't really have a good sense of how long things take. And he'd happily do stuff like walk out of the house without brushing his teeth in the morning, because it's a pain to do and he doesn't care enough (yet). So I could totally see him 'forgetting' his homework at school if he wasn't being reminded to take it home. I wouldn't worry unless you see other things going on or have some other basis for concern.

    Eta: I think focusing for extended periods on hard tasks is a skill you build up to gradually. And at 7, I think nearly every child is going to need a parent/teacher right next to them guiding them as they work on hard tasks. I know when I leave my son to do his own thing for a bit, he often gets distracted. I think that's typical.

  23. 808love

    pomelo / 5784 posts

    DD does well in school but ADD has crossed my mind just because of the persistent restlessness. My conclusion is that for me, she will outgrow it with patience and practice. Unless it is super important to her and/or someone else helped her see the light (like handwashing or teethbrushing), it takes awhile to get into a routine.

    Here are some things that made me wonder: She drops her stuff she is playing and forgets about it. She doesn't sit still or even sit when at dinner most nights. She needed reminders to put her stuff in the bag or bring it out. I think this is all just a work in progress and where consistency will pay off. Meaning, I will have to work at it on my end to support, encourage, incentivize her until it works. Kind of like potty training. One thing that may be helping her discipline and focus is that I put her in a semi-strict gymnastics group so that has been helping a bit wih spatial awareness. I know a lot of kids at my school who do judo or martial arts and that helps them.

  24. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    I have noticed that my son is more restless after school, I really attribute it to both being tired and needing more gross motor activity.

    I notice the biggest difference when in a group of other kids though, my son is the most "controlled" with his body. He's newly 7 though, compared to the kids in his class who are sometimes a full year younger.

  25. honeybear

    nectarine / 2055 posts

    @looch: @808love: Thanks for your replies above about visits! I agree, I don't think that idea is particularly practical. To be fair to the author, I read the book she wrote on which that article was based (it's called Rethinking School and it has some flaws, I think, but it's pretty good), and she has some other ideas that are more practical.

  26. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12377 posts

    I think my son does pretty well with all the sitting still demands we put on him. But he has never been the kid running around wild and crazy and bouncing off of the furniture either, it's just not his personality. He nearly always remembers his homework, but I suspect the teacher tells them what to put in their backpacks at the end of the day.

    On a different topic, DS's class is going on an overnight trip (actually 3 nights!) to a sailing club about an hour outside of Bangkok sometime in March. I chatted briefly with his teacher this week, but there's a formal meeting in 2 weeks to get all the details. The school has been to this location several times with various classes and it sounds like it will be a lot of fun for the kids! Of course, I have safety concerns and the teacher addressed them, and I'm sure I will get more information at the meeting.

  27. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @lamariniere: with or without parents?

  28. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    If I had to guess, it's without parents, and there's no way I am ready for that for my son! I don't think he'd want to go either, though.

  29. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12377 posts

    @Mamaof2: without. From what I’ve heard from other parents, most French schools start overnight trips very early. If we had stayed in Vienna, my son would have gone on an overnight ski trip this year. My DH talks about trips he did as a kid and has fond memories of them.

  30. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @lamariniere: WOW!!!

  31. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts


    Does school have a mother/son or father/daughter dance? If so, is it free of charge?

  32. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @looch: yes we have a father/daughter dance and then a mother/son challenge - they are $12 per person

  33. 808love

    pomelo / 5784 posts

    DD went to one with her father when she was in preschool. It was like $50 (or more?) as a fundraiser.

  34. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    @Mamaof2: We are having our first one and are charging $20, which seems steep to me, but I am just going with it. Tell me more about the challenge, I kind of like that, is it like American Ninja Warrior?

    @808love: That sounds like private school prices, that wouldn't fly in our elementary school, for a dance in the gym, basically!

  35. Mamaof2

    squash / 13135 posts

    @looch: I have only been to one - it changes each year - last year it was bowling and included pizza and a drink

  36. 808love

    pomelo / 5784 posts

    @looch: It was for church and it was red carpet princess treatment, valet, photo booth --the works..

  37. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    @808love: Interesting! I don't think we could get away with that kind of set up, BUT, I am now wondering if we could get some services donated, that would be interesting to see for next year.

  38. looch

    wonderful pear / 26090 posts

    Bump for spring!

    I finally organized camp...we had a total of 7 snow days this year so the last day of school was up in the air for a bit. We're doing three different camps, which sounds a little nuts, but it's all stuff that my son really likes and he expressed that he didn't want to go back to the nature camp this year. That's personally my choice, but I had to get over it that he didn't want to go for the 4th year in a row.

    We are also technically in April break right now and we've not done much because my son kept complaining he didn't feel well. He did one day at the arts center where they made miniatures out of polymer clay and another day we went to NYC to see a show. He's been with my parents the rest of the time.

    I also have to order some more pants for my son, he's been blowing holes through all the knees. I've been sending him with them on when they're tiny holes and by the time he comes home that afternoon, the pants are shredded, no patch will save them, lol. I feel totally crazy buying sweatpants instead of shorts right now, but there's no way I am buying more of his school trousers in the current size!

    How about you all, summer locked and loaded yet?

  39. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11550 posts

    Hello hello!

    Summer is all set for us too. We're doing 3 camps as well. 3 weeks of mandarin immersion, 3 weeks of a camp called "read/write/publish", and 2 weeks at their school's onsite afterschool care.. they will get 2 field trips per week, and the other days are filled with fun themed activities. Then the first and last week's of camp we're just keeping them home and I plan to take some days off work to hangout with them and do local activities.

    Our spring break was the first week of April, and since it's DH's busiest season we can never travel out of town, so I had her enrolled in a culinary camp. She loved it.

    I can't believe the school year is almost over, and we'll have 2nd graders soon! I don't know about you guys, but I keep hearing from mom's around here that the leap from 1st to 2nd grade is pretty big.

  40. MamaG

    pomelo / 5269 posts

    She's signed up to go back to our daycare program for the summer. She really wanted to go the Y because of a flyer that came home. I also want to send her to martial arts camp for a couple of weeks and swim lessons at the start of summer.

    We have about 6 weeks left. Today ended a marking period and they have one more left to go. We've already done our field trip and she only has one more school holiday left (Memorial Day). We normally finish before the holiday, but this year the calendar has us back for 2.5 days more... Ugh!

    She's committed to moving forward with Spanish Immersion again next year. It's been exciting to see how much she's picked up this year.

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