Our Five Ring Circus: The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade

The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade!

I'm back!!! After a nearly 3 week break from blogging, I figured it was time to get back to work. Over the course of those 19 days, we had a lovely family vacation at Myrtle Beach, and as soon as we returned home, it was time to go back to school. There was something else keeping me away, too, which I will be sharing soon. I'm going to kick off my return with a recap of a big day for my crew: The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade!

Although I missed blogging, I have to admit that the break was nice. I loved being able to focus on just my family! I have so much content lined up over the next few weeks, so I'm hitting the ground running today. I'm going to ease into it with one of the biggest changes for our family this year...sending all four of our children to the same school district, and having weekday mornings all to myself!

The past week was exhausting, but the school year is off to a great start! Although I was very nervous about the transition, Liam is THRIVING in Kindergarten. Lily moved to a new building, Lexie is in her last year of "elementary school" and Dylan will be heading to high school next year. All four of my kids are in different schools, so I'm adjusting to the new normal of juggling even more chaos! Back to school is always one of the busiest times of the year!


Down syndrome

I struggled with the decision to send Liam to Kindergarten, and then there was lots of drama involved. Truth be told, I had no idea what to expect until his first day of school! Sending a neuro-typical child to Kindergarten is tough enough, but when you have a child that just turned 5 a few days before the start of the school year AND has Down syndrome, it's a whole new ball game!


BUT...it turns out that Liam's placement is perfect for him. He loves Kindergarten, he has a fantastic team working with him, and he has made quite an impact on the staff already. I've heard quite a few stories about him, and his adorable friend, who is also rocking an extra chromosome, through the grapevine!

Life with Down syndrome

Liam is going to Kindergarten at the same school his three older siblings went to. It is still half day Kindergarten in our area, which is perfectly fine with me! He is in a general ed Kindergarten class (Yay, Inclusion!!!), but gets pulled out for therapy and individual learning in the special ed classroom. He and his friend since infancy both have Down syndrome, and they are in the same Kindergarten class, and they are quite the duo! The special ed teachers work with the general ed teacher, so Liam and Dolly have an amazing team.

First Day of Kindergarten

Yes, I did cry after I walked him to his classroom on the first day, but the fact that he has progressed so much in one short week proves that he is in the right place! I have no doubt that he's going to have a great year in school! (You can read more about Liam's transition and the importance of inclusion HERE.)

Kindergarten Inclusion

2nd Grade

2nd Grade

This year Lily moved to a new building for second grade! In our district, the grades are split into separate schools. Kindergarten and 1st Grade are in the Primary Center, 2nd-4th Grade are in the Elementary School, 5th and 6th Grade are in the Centennial School (it's more like middle school), 7th and 8th Grade is in the Middle School (basically junior high), and 9th-12th is in the High School. Lily was so nervous about the change, because it's a much bigger school, but she did great!

First Day of 2nd Grade

Lily really likes her teacher, and has a class full of friends this year. She was most excited about her best friend since birth finally being in the same class! Lily and Charlie adore each other, and they both screamed when their class assignments came in the mail, and they realized they had the same teacher!

Back To School

Lily is very social and very independent, so she transitioned easily to 2nd Grade. She really enjoys going to school, so she heads to school in a happy mood, and comes home smiling. She even willingly does homework! I know she's going to have a fun year!

Back To School Tradtions

6th Grade

6th Grade

Lexie was so excited to go back to school! She loves school, she's in the same building, and she got two of the teachers she was hoping to get. She was a bit nervous, because she didn't know many people in her class, but she didn't do a great job of asking around. It turns out a close family friend whom she has known since she was born is in her class! She also met a new girl, and they became fast friends.

First Day of 6th Grade

Lexie's goal for the year is to get straight A's. She's smart, she's determined, and she's a great student. I have a feeling she's going to succeed! Her year is also off to a great start. She loves her teachers and classmates, and she's happy to be back in school!

First Day of School Pictures

First Day of School Traditions

8th Grade

8th Grade

Dylan is in his last year of middle school! He heads to school almost 2 hours before his siblings, so our day is off to a very early start. Nothing much changed for him this year...same bus, same school, and some of the same teachers. He definitely feels more comfortable than he did last year!

Back To School Photos

Because he's in a familiar place, heading back to school was an easy transition. He's already focusing more on reading, and finishing his homework, because he knows that this is when grades start to really count. He's also happy to have a study hall this year, which gives him extra time to read and work. He seems much happier than he did at the start of 7th Grade! I'm proud of him, and I can't wait to see what he accomplishes this year in 8th Grade!

First Day of 8th Grade

First Day of School Photo Ideas

The First Day

The first day was a busy one! Dylan and I were up at 6, so he could catch the bus by 6:40. (WAY too early!) At 7, I woke the girls up, and they caught the bus at 8. 

Back To School Pictures


First Day of School Photos

First Day of School

After the girls left, I woke Liam up, got him ready for his first day, then drove him to school. He was a bit overwhelmed walking in with hundreds of parents and students, but settled into his classroom quickly, and gave me an enthusiastic goodbye when I left (in tears). When I looked back, he was coloring and chatting with his teachers. I, of course, raced to my car to cry! And when I picked him up, his smile said it all. I was immediately relieved!

Life with Down syndrome


Down syndrome blogs

All four kids had a great first day, and came home happy and excited about the new school year!

(But...we changed things on the second day. That's when I started to drive the girls to school in the morning, too!)

Mama's Alone Time...

Yes, I went there! This is the first time in nearly 14 years that I've had almost every weekday morning to myself. I definitely cried on the first day, because I love having my kids at home during the Summer, and it was super tough sending my baby to Kindergarten, but I'm not going to lie...those 3 hours to myself each morning are pretty wonderful!

Liam is too tiny for the bus, so I do drive him to school each day. We could get a van to pick him up, but we only live 4 miles from the school, and he could potentially be on the van for up to an hour, so...mom bus it is! Because I drive him, it makes sense to drive Lexie and Lily, as well. Getting ready is much more relaxed now that we have an extra half hour, but the morning mom taxi is chaotic. I'm still getting used to loading 3 kids and a huge puppy into the car, then dropping them off at 3 different schools! I do have to return to pick Liam up before lunch, so it's a lot of driving.

Plus, with four kids in school, there's a LOT to remember and even more to do. I'm always signing things, and filing paperwork. Orientation week hits tomorrow, so my evenings are gone. I am going to be happy when the back to school rush is over, and we all settle into our new normal!

First Day of School Sibling Photo

For now, I'm just happy that my kids are happy. That's all that matters! Here's to a great year in Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade! (And, Time, please slow down!)

The First Day of Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 8th Grade! #kindergarten #backtoschool #firstdayofschoolphotos #inclusion #specialneeds #downsyndrome


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  1. I missed you! Welcome back. Sounds like all the kids have friends in their classes and are doing well, so that's great!

  2. I am SO happy to hear that Liam is doing so well! I know that is such a relief for you!

  3. Hey, welcome back!! Nice to hear from you again. I'm glad you had a nice blogging break. That's wonderful that everything is going well for all four of your kids, but especially Liam since you weren't sure how Kindergarten was going to work. It sounds like it's going very well. That's crazy there are so many buildings - definitely a lot of running around, but yay for some kid-free time in the mornings. :)


  4. So cute! Hope they have a fabulous school year!!

  5. Sometimes a blogging break is needed and so refreshing! Glad you’re back, though! Myrtle Beach is on our list of places to visit. Curious to hear what that other thing was that kept you from blogging. Praying that they all have a wonderful year of school. Liam will do great and rock Kindergarten…I just know it! I love that it’s still half day Kindergarten there! Our area did away with that years ago. Bummer! You got so many good pictures!!

  6. Oh my gosh! I loved how you talked about each individual kid! What a great idea! I love what they want to be when they grow up, too! Also, we don't have neighborhood schools anymore either and I feel ya on the rush to each school every day. Phew! I feel like it's a race to get from one school to another!

  7. Oh my gosh. The photo of all your kids together is just too sweet. I can't believe they are all in school now. I hope they all have a great year!

  8. They are all growing up! Lexie looks so much like you. Glad you had such a nice break and hope you continue to enjoy those few hours alone each morning!

  9. So lovely that Liam is loving kindie and has a wee pal too and that all the rest of the crew are enjoying being back at school - unlike mine!! But all at different schools - wow! Do they all get the bus? I love your yellow American school buses - iconic to us like I guess our red post boxes are (random parallel but I hope you know what I mean!). BTW - at what age do kids start middle school? Ours are grouped in with the big kids here 11-16 when they leave school and I have the feeling your system is better, breaking them up into three schools. J xx

  10. I love looking at "back to school photos!" I can't believe Dylan is in 8th and Lexie is in 6th! I'm so glad to hear that Liam's transition to kindergarten has been wonderful so far, and I'm EXCITED for you to have some time to yourself in the mornings. May they be restful and productive. Wishing you and your family an awesome school year!


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