“No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks!”  Oh, wait a second…what? Isn’t school supposed to be starting? Not apparently on Ft. Lewis…well not for the pre-K program anyway.

This past school year, I put Cooper in an amazing preschool, (PSCS) as a special “deployment” treat. It was a fairly expensive school (expensive for our income at least!) but with the extra deployment money we could afford it. We had a wonderful experience there and I really loved it. Cooper really loved it too. It was the perfect place for that season of our lives and I am so grateful for the experience.

silly with his best friend in school last year

This year I didn’t feel called to continue Cooper at the school for various reasons. But two of the biggest were that the price went WAY up for pre-K (and deployment money is gone now!) and the other because we are most likely moving mid-year. We could have enrolled Cooper into Kindergarten in the local school district, but even that didn’t seem quite right yet. We don’t want Cooper to be the youngest kid in his class when he gets to highschool.

Jeremy and I talked and prayed it over and felt that the best place for Cooper this year would be the Strong Beginnings program that the Army offers on post. The program has received rave reviews and all my fellow Army wives have praised the program saying that they thought it was wonderful for their littles. The program does cost, but it is based upon your Army pay scale, which is much more reasonable for us.

I meant to get Cooper enrolled before we left for Hawaii, but boy, July was quiet the whirlwind of a month.  Jeremy was so busy when he got home from deployment. Throw in Cooper’s birthday and our 8-year anniversary and whew! It went quick! Before I knew it we were in Hawaii. As soon as we got back in town, I high-tailed it into the CYSS (Child Youth & School Services) building to figure stuff out.

I left more confused then when I went in there.

All I did was say I wanted to enroll him and bam…he was on a waiting list. UGH!

That didn’t seem right to me and it certainly didn’t satisfy my need to know every single tiny detail about everything. I talked to my friend Steph and she gave me the “insiders” scoop….I had to go to the “Outback”.

Sounds like I’m on Safari right? So I went to the illustrious Outback and the lady at the front desk did a much better job satisfying me with additional details.

First of all, I am on the waiting list and I must wait to be contacted by phone about whether we have received a “slot”. Once I get said phone call I have to go back to the “Outback” and personally accept the slot and pay a deposit. I’ll know nothing until then….fabulous.

Additionally, I found out that school does not start until September 20th! There is an open house on September 15, so I hope I can get even more information there and then. Oh and I did find out it is 5 days a week and I can choose the morning or afternoon class once I get my phone call.

So Cooper is going to have the longest summer break ever….

In the mean time, Jeremy and I have also had a long chat about the school attitude of our eldest. He needs some help in the motivation department. We’ve been having such a fun summer that it seems like a lot of the skills he acquired over the school year have severely waned. We decided to implement a little incentive program for Cooper that, so far, is working out wonderfully. We bought a special alphabet practice notebook and we have him write the alphabet BEFORE he can watch cartoons in the morning.

So far this has worked out great and has even improved his attitude towards school work. However, Jeremy is the one with the teaching gift in our family. He has been working with Cooper each morning since we made this decision. He returns to work on Monday morning, so I am hoping that Daddy’s paved way helps me when it is my turn to step in on this issue.

I’ll need to get my act together to make it through the next couple of weeks with him I think. School starts on post for the regular elementary on September 8 and Coop will be missing his neighborhood pals and wondering why we aren’t playing with his other buddies too. He’ll be bored out of his mind and a bored 5-year old is always bad news. I’m thinking I’ll need to pull together some educational field trips and we’ll probably start doing “school time” in the mornings to get him used to the idea of getting up and going again.

It seems like September 20 is a long way away, but you know how time flies when you are having fun. And having Daddy home is so much fun!

Me and my big boy!

One thought on “First School Tales of 2010

  1. Coop was very excited about his book and the process….that first morning, he came downstairs and said “Grandma, can I use my new book and write my letters?” Of course, that was followed by…”then I can watch…….”. It was still very cute. There is a picture on Shutterfly…haven’t put the video on there yet…of Jeremy working with Cooper at the table. Of course, if I had Jeremy standing over me like that, I think I’d work, too!

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