Thursday, September 8, 2011

Frost's First Day of Fifth Grade

Frost started fifth grade today.  Fifth grade is the final year of elementary school (like primary school) and after this he will go to middle school.  I have been told it is a year where the teachers start to expect more independence from the kids and for them to show they can manage their work.

Frost had the usual first week school bus woes.  The Seattle district is very short of money and are trying to save 4.5 million dollars so they have decided to pick up kids at group stops called "Community Stops" instead of the nearest major intersection or street corner.    Ours is 1.2 km (a bit over 0.7 mile) or 15 city blocks from our house.  It takes us about 18 minutes to walk there with Beezle and Wren.

We arrived a bit early and were the first people at the community stop.  After a while my Dad - who is visiting from South Africa - found another family waiting halfway down the block outside the school.  They said that was where the bus stopped last year.  The bus finally arrived 15 minutes late and stopped at our street corner.  I pointed out the other child waiting down the block but the driver waved his paper at me and said "only one pickup here" and drove off, past the other waiting family.

In the afternoon the bus was late again - half an hour this time.  A mother of a new second grader was wiping tears from her eyes when it finally rolled in.  Apparently they have to check all children on and off the bus with a roster while the drivers become familiar with the kids.

On the walk home from the bus-stop Frost and I talked about school.

He was starving because they get only 15 minutes to eat lunch and lunch is the only food break through the day.  Frost said that Ethan was fine because he had a squeezable Danimals yogurt and could just shoot it into his mouth.  Frost didn't manage to eat enough because I gave him food you have to chew.  He asked if he could have Danimals too.

His teacher is very sweet which "makes up for the lot of homework she gives us.  She said you get 10 minutes per grade you are in and and extra 10 minutes for being in an APP class."  So, he gets 1 hour of homework every night.

He forgot the Geography homework this evening.

Frost was interested to find a tame squirrel by the school path.  A staff-member said it was the school squirrel but not to touch it.  It was eating a choc-chip cookie.

I made cookies for desert and bought Frost sign-spotting 4 which is making him laugh despite the anxiety about the Geography.


nautilus said...

what a nuisance that you have to walk so far. i bet that the Seattle Council comes to regret this move for a small saving. Poor Frost, it must be quite a shock for him to start school and have to do SO much homework. Love MUM

Shannon said...

Hi Mum
It is very inconvenient to walk so far and I am sure I shall end up driving him to school daily and only using the bus on weekends. It takes 10 minutes to drive and 1 hour to walk and then ride the bus!

It is quicker to drive than walk to the bus stop and back!

I took Dad to a golf today in Tacoma and Wren and I went to the Point Defiance Zoo. Hope you're well. Its hot and sunny here.

tamusana said...

oh man, besides the bus nuisance, I'm a bit aghast at the 15 min for lunch. Seriously? are they trying to insure that kids will eat "fast food"? I don't get it...
Anyway, I hope Frost has fun and manages the work OK.

Luca just started 4th grade - he's unhappy about how difficult the level of the work seems to be, "even on Day 1". But that's because here in Geneva they start off really slow and gentle in the early grades, and then apparently rev up awfully quickly and the kids don't know what's hit them. (plus it's in French; I really should cut him some slack!)

But they do get a 2-hour lunch break. Yes, 2 hours. We pay for him to eat a hot lunch at school (nice to know that my kids get one proper balanced meal per day ;-) and they are supervised for the remainder of the time. There is no option for taking your own lunch. If you don't pay to eat at school, you go home. And your parents get no work done!

Hi to Peter!