Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to school fun

Well.

It’s almost here. (Sniff.) My boy starts kindergarten (all day!) very soon and I’m trying to deal. (Sob.) On one hand I’m so excited for him, and he is too. I’m also not exactly opposed to our family getting back on a schedule and having some routine to our lives. And then I consider having the whole day to myself…oh. my. Whatever will I do?? Eat bon bons all day? ;)

But I do know that this year will change our lives forever. It’s never going to be like it has been again (unless he comes home and lives with us after he graduates college…hmmm) and it’s going to be a big transition. Although it’s definitely more about me letting go of my “baby” and letting him become a little man than it is about him – he’s ready. (Choke.)

Anyway. Whew. As you can tell I’m kind of all over the place right now and can’t quite figure out how I feel. I’ve seen some adorable back to school ideas lately that are getting me kind of ready – and I thought I’d share a few of them with you!

First up, some supacauuuute gifts for the teacher. I loved both of these as a gift for the first day – one with flowers or one with chocolate dipped Oreos:

back to school teacher giftOreo Apple pops

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My hubby is a high school teacher, so obviously this wouldn’t be for him. ;) My BFF teaches first grade, and although I know as a teacher the themed “school” gifts can get overwhelming sometimes – as a first day surprise I think this is just too sweet. Love them both!

So many fun ideas in this one – if you do a special breakfast for the kids you could use some of these ideas. Or if your street or neighborhood does a first day celebration you could use some of these too:

Back to School party

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How stinkin’ cute are these “pencils” for the kids in the class on the first day?:

Back to School student gift

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How about a cupcake apple for the teachers?:apple cupcakes

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Or wait to give them on Friday of the first week to congratulate them? ;)

I loved this teacher’s survival kit too – I would add a Starbuck’s gift card to treat themselves after the first day:

first day teachers kits

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How cute is this for a back to school breakfast?:

first day of school breakfast

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My son looooves Goldfish, so this one really tickled me:

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Of course there’s a ton of printables available out in blogland – I love this simple one from How Does She:

First Day of School- FREE Printables for Every Grade

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I wish I did something like that for other pics with the Bub – so often I forget the date of big events. I think I’ll remember and then days or weeks later as I go through pictures it’s just gone, poof, out of my brain.

I also really loved this idea – you could change the little details year to year, like what they want to be when they grow up:

first day of school pix

(can’t find a source for this one, share it if you know!)

My son’s future job would be ninja – and I’m guessing that won’t change for the next five years.  He wants to be a ninja that bad. ;)

Wow, so many fun ideas. I love this stuff! They almost have me ready. Almost.

Any advice for this Mama? Did you cry the first day? Do you still? Or do you dance in the streets? ;) When do your kids go back? If you’ve shared back to school traditions on your blog, feel free to share them in the comments!

62 comments:

  1. As a kindergarten teacher, you would be my favorite parent if you brought me a starbucks gift card at the end of the first day! Simple easy and not cheesy!

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  2. I always seem to be all over the emotional board too, but then end up crying after we have parted. My son once had to have a procedure done (he's fine now) where he had to be put under and they let me be with him as he fell asleep. I whispered how much I loved him and how strong and brave he was as he was dozing off, then started bawling after he was asleep.

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  3. Awww, such a mixture of emotions kindergarten brings. I feel for you!

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  4. best advice I recieved from another mom when my son started kindergarten- schedule a massage and mani/pedi on the first day of school. You will be so relaxed and the day will fly by.

    It was so true. I teared up when I dropped him off- the kindergarten kids started 1 hour later on the first day of school- but when I went to pick him up, he was all smiles and so was I.

    enjoy the day, it is the start of a new adventure.

    Love and hugs,
    Deb

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  5. I totally get you ! I'm right here with ya sending my baby boy to Kindergarten all day next week. I'm freaking out in denial :/ Maybe we could start a support group Steph www.bargainfun.net

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  6. Sarah, I know just how you feel! My baby girl will be starting 1st grade and it'll be the first time she's away from me all day. I could get teary thinking about it! First of kindergarten last year, yep I cried, a few times. She didn't soo that was good. And thankfully she didn't see me crying or I know she would have cried too. Last day of school she came out of school crying! Seeing her crying made me cry. Then we gave her teacher a gift and she started crying when she saw us walking up to her with a giant vase full of peonies. So then the three of us were standing there crying. We must have been quite the sight! haha

    My only advice is don't let him see you cry! But then feel free to cry the whole drive home. =)

    ~ Catie

    Oh, love the teacher gift ideas. I've been checking them out on Pinterest too.

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  7. I'm always a little sad as each one of mine goes off to KG for the first time, but I'm sure I'll be an absolute puddle when my last one leaves me :(

    My oldest heads to middle school this year, and that scares the heck out of me!

    What school is Bub heading to? My good friend is teaching KG in your neck of the woods. Good luck with the transition. If you need a Bloody Mary that morning, come on over :)

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  8. when i registered my son for JK i nearly backed out at the school but the administrator convinced me that it was a good thing for him. the first day was no better and thankfully it was only 3 hours! i was a mess leading up to that day though - it's normal :)

    last year wasn't as bad for senior kindergarten - but this year has been really rough.

    you're mom - you're allowed :) just remember to take a picture of his first and last days of the school year - makes for a great collage at the end of the year! good luck!

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  9. As a mother of 5, a teacher and a crafter, I found your post to be so wonderful! The projects were adorable and so creative! What a thoughtful way to start the new year! I will definitely be posting this on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/not2shabbey

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  10. make sure to at least do the picture!! at home posing with some fun sign, at school, at the bus, whatever - lots of pictures! :)

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  11. I feel you on the dread, the "I can't let go", and the pit in your stomach feelings! My little Henry is going to Kindergarten too, and I am SO sad! I kinda, sorta want to lock him up in the basement, but I don't think it would fly... Thanks for all of the fun ideas that make it a little easier to let our little ones go!

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  12. I've taken photos of the bus coming down the road, my daughter getting on and the bus headed to school. One of my other daughters I took video of them getting on. I also took photos when they got off the bus after their 1st day & last day of school. I even got a photo of my 12th graders getting off the bus on the last day. I had them do that for me :~)

    My first 2 I even went to school during the day and took photos of them there. This school district here shuns upon that so for my others I didn't get too. :-(

    Love the memories & they make for great photos on their Open House tri-folds.

    Liz

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  13. I love the pencil flower pot idea! So cute:) And, the survival basket is great aswell!

    My son starts preschool Sept. 4th and I am just at that " I don't wanna talk about it" stage right now!
    Cindy(mommyseverday.blogspot.com

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  14. As a former teacher, Starbucks rules!! :)

    And I stink at kid pictures. Like with the signs. I totally missed the boat on the every month baby pictures. Of course there was no Pinterest back then.

    Our kids are the same age. :) My daughter is going to T-K this year. Her b-day is really close to the cut -off so we are doing a transitional year instead. Kindergarten is no joke these days! Wish it was half day - if so we would have gone ahead. Even so, it will be strange with her gone 5 days.

    Good luck!!

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  15. I don't have any kids, but I think it would be so cute to do a first day of school tradition like that anniversary picture you see on Pinterest where they're holding the picture from the year before. So this year, just take a cute first day of school pic, but then next year, take a picture of him holding the kindergarten picture and then so on till he's a senior. You'll want to blow it up to a pretty good size so it doesn't dwarf him, but you'll be able to see all of them in the senior pic.

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  16. I love that you are so honest! I do not have children so I cannot relate, but I think it is wonderful that you are telling it like it is. I am sure that your little one is so excited and I am sure that you are for him, wait for the tears until he leaves. And hey, maybe the first day...you can sit back and eat a few bon bons because you raised a little man going off the chart his course in the world!

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  17. deanna@onestepwoman.netAugust 9, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    You are not alone in the emotional department!I cry every year on the first day of school. My daughter will be a junior this year. Yes, I am pathetic. When she went to seventh grade I was so scared for her that I color coded her map with schedule of classes and got her color matching notebooks to coordinate her class to the map to the folder. (Is there a prescription for this disease?)
    Just shows you are a loving mother when you miss them when they are gone!

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  18. The last time I taught Kindergarten (about 18 years ago--I now teach special ed), we took some photos of kids the first day. At the end of three weeks we decided to video tape them "reading" some of their favorite big books. They had changed so much in three weeks that *I* cried! When we taped them again at the end of the year, I cried again.
    It is such a precious year and they do change so very, very fast. Inevitable, but bitter sweet!

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  19. I am right there with you. I do not what to send my youngest off to kindy on Sept. 4th. I think I would lock him up if I could. he is my last, and is my little buddy. My middle is going off to high school. I know those last 4 yrs will FLY! My oldest has been out of school for 6 yrs. I thought my middle was the last one and that was hard sending her off. But our old neighborhood, different state, had 1/2 day kindy and that was not as bad. She was home in a few hours. Our school district frowns upon a lot of things. I am not a fan of the at least 7 hr day in school and the 90 min bus ride home, transferring buses and them sending him to school 8 miles away (especially when there is a school 2 miles from here and we have open enrollment).

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  20. One source from pin: https://pinterest.com/pin/58335757643751483/

    I also went through the sadness (still do!) and my daughter will be going into 8th grade this year, and my son into first. (((((hugs)))) it will get easier, but yes - you'll prolly cry!!!

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  21. oh ps - the source is for that last pic, with the chalkboard sign! :)

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  23. It never gets easier as they go through life stages that involve leaving you and getting closer to who they are. The good thing is, that happens bit by bit, LOL, not all at once!

    Volunteer at the school once in a while-kids love it. You'll be fine as you find your new normal.

    It doesn't get easier-but it does get different. Enjoy your boy's next independent step!

    Our tradition was to go to Baskin Robbins for ice cream after the first day and last day of school.

    My Mom would go with us, and it was a big deal for my twins when they were younger. We did it EVERY year all the way through college!

    Ok, for college we had to go for ice cream before classes started and they were still home, LOL but I loved that we kept it up all those years-and one day when I have grandchildren we'll do they same. :)

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  24. great ideas! hope you both have a good day. how exciting (and a bit sad for you). you are going to have even more time for projects now!
    cheers Fiona

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  25. I love those hershey kiss pencils.

    When my son went to Kindergarten I thought for sure I would start crying at the bus stop. I think I was just so excited for him that it was more than the sadness. The first day went well for both of us. I actually think its worse the older they get - he is going into third grade this year and I am so sad to see him growing so fast.
    Good luck on the first day, you will always remember it.

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  26. They tend to mimic us, so show a strong confident front and then fall to pieces later! Volunteer a lot! They do love it and other kids will wish their parents were there, too. So, if you can be there..do it! The best thing I did was start a conversation with another mom as we dropped our sons off that first day. We are the best of friends six years later.

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  27. You will be fine! I promise. With all of your projects going the day will fly by! I always got choked up
    with school starting back. My oldest (who is past college now) shared a story with me,when she started lst grade she was not scared about going to school. No, she was worried all day because she didn't know if
    I would be able to run things without her! I laughed so hard when she said that! Somehow we both did great!

    I think I will use the chalkboard for the first day of school pics for my preschool children that I teach!

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  28. I think I cried for a month when my only child started Kindergarten (he was happy at school, I didn't cry until I dropped him off). Others thought I was a little silly to react so strongly, but for me it was the end of an era- my short time as a stay at home mom.

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  29. I'm sending my first to K this year and I know I'll feel like you do as it gets closer. I'm so happy I still have my little one to take care of! As a teacher, I would have loved flowers on the first day in a cute pencil vase!

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  30. I CRY EVERY YEAR! My kids are going into 8th grade and 4th grade and I have already started crying and school doesn't start for 2 weeks. I like my kids...home...with me! I love listening to them laugh and talk to their buddies and making them lunch. And to top it off this year I am substitute teaching for the first 12 weeks of school so I won't be the one taking the first day photos and putting the small one on the bus...this is adding to my unstable emotions right now. Knowing how fast the school years flies and also knowing how the last 13 years of my son's life have been like a blink...I'm just a hot mess!! I do, however, put on a happy face and pretend to be excited for them because....let's face it...a new school year and getting all those new supplies is fun...and they love school! I know there are Moms out there who can't wait for school to start...and I get it...I'm just not one of them! :) Good luck with your little buddy...I'm sure you both will do very well!!

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  31. I’m not usually a crier- I’m usually so excited for my kids and just so proud of the people they’ve become! I remember when my oldest son went to kindergarten he came home after the first day and said, “Mom, it was great! I just forgot all about you!” It stung a little, but I couldn’t help but smile at his excitement at his newfound independence. My daughter started kindergarten last year and she’s Little Miss Brave. When we took her to orientation and they had all the kids leave for their classrooms with their teachers, so many of the kids were panicking, and my little girl just gave me a hug and was like, “Bye, Mom!” I could tell she was still nervous, but she sure wasn’t going to show it.

    You’ll get used to it and you’ll be so proud of him!

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  32. I bawled when I sent my son to kindergarten. Absolutely SOBBED. Now I have 3 in school and I couldn't be happier when school starts!! Not that I don't miss them, but I'm an author and I need peace and quiet to work. I'm sending that same son off to his senior year of high school next week. I might cry. I know I'll bawl next June 21 when I send him to Marine boot camp. All the best to you as your son starts school.

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  33. We live in Ontario Canada and our kids don't go back to school until September...and I'm counting down the days;) I love the pencil vase, it will make a wonderful gift for my kids summer tutor. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. I'm not a mom, but I am an aunt and a pretty-much-an-aunt :o) so I've been to several "1st day of school ever" days. Surprisingly, I always turn up to be the excited person, and the one cheering the kid!, while the real moms are in a corner crying their hearts out. From that experience, the more excited you are, and the happiest you show to be, the easiest it is for the little one to go and begin their learning life in school. My little niece starts school next year (school goes from January to October here) and while my mom (her grandma) and her parents (my SIL and my brother) are all nervous and freaking out already, I'm like "wow" you are going to school?! that's awesome!" and she's like "yeah! I'm going to have friends and play!". So I'm thinking, it is a good attitude to take.
    Good luck! I'm sure this will be fun for you little guy.

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  35. When my daughter, Joey, went to Kindergarten last year, I had such anxiety! Would she be ok? Will her teacher nurture her and care for her like I do? Will she protect her from any mean children or make sure that she finds at least one friend to sit with? It was the hardest and longest half-day of my ENTIRE LIFE! We both survived it and now we are getting ready for first grade! AACK! You will survive this, too, and Summer will be here before you know it, and you'll be itching for him to start school again! ha!

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  36. Oh Sarah, I understand! My youngest is starting kindergarten next week too. My oldest starts middle school! It seems just like yesterday that we were ushering her into kindergarten. We did blink though and six years some how streaked past. Enjoy the tiny little moments...they pass by quickly.

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  37. I cry every year on the first & last days of school (& I even work at the school!) Just act brave & excited, & always wear your sunglasses so they can't see your eyes.

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  38. My son started kindergarten on Tuesday. I felt exactly how you feel and my son was the exact same way yours is....Mr. Independent! My son wanted me to drop him off on the first day instead of me walking him into the school! I felt like I was dropping him off into the real world and leaving him to fend for himself (and yes I cried)! But, he did a great job and still wakes up happy each morning to go back! It's the hardest for moms to let go. I feel separation anxiety from my kid instead of the other way around! It just doesn't seem like he should be old enough to go to "big" school yet!

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  39. When our daughter started Kindergarten both my husband and I cried like babies for almost two solid weeks. We never let her see our tears but as soon as she would get out of our sight, we'd bawl our eyes out! She was so happy to be at big school and not be a 'baby' any more but it broke our hearts that she was growing up. Good luck and keep your tissues close by!

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  40. It's a big transition, going to kindergarten! I personally loved it, because my oldest made new friends, and so did I :) I met one of my best friends that year because we both signed up to be Room Mom. Have fun and enjoy it! Now, dropping off my son to middle school? That was hard!

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  41. Funny story, at least I think it is :)
    When my now-21 yr old son started Kindergarten, all the parents were gathered on the playground waiting for that moment (sniff) At one point my son told his father and me that we could go home, he was good. Not a chance baby. Then the teacher lined them all up and had them wave goodbye to the parents and then shut the door once they were all in the classroom (I'm getting teary-eyed right now!!) I started getting choked up until I turned and looked at a bunch of parents standing trying to peer into the classroom, getting that last glimpse of their precious child. It was just too funny. Broke the tears and made me laugh! Don't worry, you'll get through it :)

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  42. What ever you do for the teacher, please do the same for the T/A. They work just as hard as the teacher. I know, I've done both jobs and it isn't easy.

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  43. Cannot BELIEVE it is already back to school time. The summer just flies by so fast! Cool crafty fun!

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  44. Those are so cute! And I would love to have any one of them for a first day of school gift! ;)

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  45. For some reason I never cried the first day my kids went to school but a day or two later when we have to drop them at the curb! Seeing them walk all by themselves, knowing exactly where to go and get all excited when they recognize a new friend just got to me!

    We managed to swing a simple little back to school breakfast this year!

    http://wannabedomesticdiva.blogspot.com/2012/08/back-to-school-breakfast.html

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  46. We homeschool and still love back-to-school fanfare. We decorate the house, take first day pictures and have a huge "special breakfast" to kick things off.

    http://kerrybraintree.blogspot.com/2012/07/back-to-old-school.html

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  47. I understand your feel. When my boy start 1st time to school, I teared up but don’t need him to know, but I so feel happy when pick him back to sweet our house…So, just enjoy your life with graduate time of your kids…. Take care

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  48. These photograph recalls memories about past and are source of gifts.

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  49. Cute projects! I was SO sure I'd cry and cry on the first day of Kindergarten. In fact, our school even had a program called "Tea and Tissues" in the cafeteria so that parents could gather after drop off. But I was surprised that even though I got a little teary it wasn't that bad.

    Fast forward to the day I moved her into college though and it was a different story!

    One thing that we did every year was to take her picture in front of the tree in our yard. Even in college I made her ask a friend to take her picture in front of one of the trees on campus. This is her senior year now and once I get this year's picture, I am going to make something special with them. I don't know what yet, but something! Or maybe I'll continue it through the next two years of grad school. Hmmmm......

    You'll do great and Bub will love it! And you can put your talents into helping in his class sometimes!

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  50. My daughter's b-day is in Oct. She's a mom herself now, but the summer she was still 4 years old her BFF had already turned 5 and was going into kindergarten. She was so upset that she begged me to go up to the school and convince them to let her go to kindergarten also. I actually tried just that. Of course, the school was not going to bend a state law just for my child but she had to hear the school superintendent say it for herself in order to wait another year to go to kindergarten. You can just imagine what kind of independent streak she still has...

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  51. I did the Survival Kits for Teacher Appreciation week this year for my kids' middle school teachers. They loved them. It was a mix of cute office supplies and candy, all color coordinated. They were a big hit. :)

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  52. Love the one of the kids holding the sign! You could definitely have lots of fun with that, having them write different things.

    I just heard of a great ninja school opening. I think it's next door to you. So cultivate that ninja dream. ;)

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  53. My Darling youngest is 17, then I have a 19 year old a 21 year old and my biggest baby is 23. I am immensely proud of all four. But every time they start a new venture or go away any distance or on a long trip that first day of school feeling kicks in again.

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  54. Same emotions lately but sending my daughter off to college, (as a junior, she did her first two years at a comm. coll. so stayed at home). First time since I was a parent the whole fam won't live under the same roof. Okay gotta go find tissue...again.

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  55. Love reading your blog...just entering the blogging world and find it an amazing community.
    I have four precious people heading to school this fall. Two years ago we made the prayerful desiction to stop home schooling after eight years. Now that first day was horrid......I was up at the school for some reason for most of the day. But now....totally different..I am all about them heading out and having a blast...gives me some time to discover my bliss. Advice..have a few tears but dont be surprise if your just a bit giddy.
    blessings joannie b http:/joanniedoors.blogspot.com

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  56. My oldest just started 8th grade, and my youngest just started 2nd grade. I can honestly say that it doesn't get any easier year by year. I still cry when I drop them off at school on the first day every year. Of course, I don't let them see me cry. I take a picture of them in front of our entry door every year. It's fun to look back and see how much they grow through out the year.

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  57. i teared really good, but i tell u the end of the school and his kinder graduation i cried more at. the second day was harder (we can walk them to class the 1st day but after that you just drop off) than the first. you send your "baby" off to school and at the end of the year you get a "big kid" back. it's so surreal..

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  58. I went through this last year -- I actually think the anticipation (dread?) of the big day was worse for me emotionally. My son is an only, and it was so hard for me to be "done" with that part of our life together. But it helped that he said "This is the happiest day of my life!", because he was so excited about starting school. :) You can do it, and it will give you time to miss him and make the time you have together that much sweeter. :) We also have a special routine of taking time to snuggle and read on the couch before school (my son is an early riser and doesn't get on the bus until 8:45ish, so we have plenty of time :)). We also do hand squeezes at the bus stop, and he informs me to "focus on the bus", so we can blow kisses and wave at each other as he pulls away!

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  59. hello! hooray for first days of school!
    my most favorite thing that another friend and I did for our children's teacher (they were in same class) is we asked the teacher for a wish list for her classroom, and we filled it. things like paper towel, pipecleaners, water color paper, dry erase markers, were all she wanted, things that didn't fit into the classroom budget bottom line! we decorated and filled gift bags and labeled each SAWG. and we tucked in a small gift card for her too. she was thrilled! friend and I are both teachers too so we know how welcome it is to have some of those little extras to enrich the day!

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  60. oops, SWAG, we labeled each bag SWAG!!!

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  61. When my daughter went to pre-K for the first time, I dropped her off and headed to the parking lot. I was already crying. For real, the other moms were high-fiving and making plans for getting together for coffee. I went to my car and just sobbed BIG gutteral sobs. Oh my. This was the first time she was away from me EVER. It got better each day and by the end of the first week I was ok. But, I sure watched the clock and looked forward to when I could pick her up :)

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  62. Oh Sarah, I can relate!! My oldest baby started Kindergarten last school year, and I swear I cried every day from June through August;) I was SO emotional - not about the school part - I knew she'd be fine, and would love it (I was right;), but what it STOOD FOR. My baby growing up, and life never being the same again...I mean, I would cry making our lunches, thinking 'I've had lunch with her every day for the past 5 years, and now she's going to eat lunch without me, waaaahhh!' Told you, complete mess;) After all of about a day, I was FINE. In fact, I loved it. She had so much fun, was so ready, and ended up having the best year, met so many friends, etc. When you see them so happy, everything's A-OK with the world:) You'll both do GREAT!!! Hugs! ~Liz@NaptimeDecorator

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