Bye-bye Kindergarten. Hello Grade 1

Welcome back to #WemsCorner. Today's blog post is long overdue (considering that my girl is halfway to the end of her summer break but hey, we are sticking to better late than never on this one).

It's all about my baby girl, Teni, and everything Kindergarten. In a couple of weeks, my baby will be starting Grade 1 and I cannot even express how proud I am of my little girl of yesterday. Motherhood has taught me to appreciate and celebrate every step of the way. When I say these kids grow fast, I'm not even joking. Trust me, this journey is not easy but I can tell you for free that it is a very beautiful and rewarding one to be on. I have felt all the emotions on this journey (the good days, the bad days, the very tired days, the fulfilling days, the winning days, and lots more) but I wouldn't trade it for anything because my kids actually complete me and rock my world even on the days I don't feel like it

That being said, I will be sharing 10 things I enjoyed about my daughter's first school year and few of the lessons I learned along the way. Let's get right into it 

  • The first thing for me will be to listen to and trust your kids. This can come in handy in different situations but where this was very handy for me was trusting my daughter to go ahead to take the school bus through the school year (I was so nervous at first and thought she was too young but she assured me that she would be fine). She did really well through the school year and when I say I'm proud of her, I'm not even joking considering that she and her friends were the youngest on the bus but come rain, come snow, they were always ready to hop on the bus and go to school daily.

  • Still, on the topic of listening to your kids, I also learned about packing the right lunch box for her (basically what she loves by asking and listening to what she likes/wants). We started out experimenting with a couple of snacks, food choices, desserts, and lots more but I realized that my daughter preferred finger foods and fruits over heavy lunch like jollof rice, spaghetti, etc. Again, I listened and packed exactly what she loved daily. Btw, kids change all the time and I cannot say for sure if this will still continue in Grade 1 but this worked for us in Kinder and I'm grateful for that because packing lunch boxes became easier as we got into the school year 

That was me being creative about her sandwich

  • My daughter had weekly homeworks and I enjoyed working on the tasks with her (btw, we shared one of her projects here). I saw that as a bonding time as well as a great time to know what gaps she had or generally understand what they were being taught at that moment in her class. This was something I always looked forward to weekly. We try our best to do exceptionally well in all her homeworks including the optional ones. Some weeks can be really stressful but one of my strong points that has always helped me generally in life is planning ahead. I also try to teach & imbibe this skill in my daughter. So when it comes to homework, I make sure that I pace her well so that nobody is too stressed out. Of course, there can be weeks when things don't just work out the way we want them or I'm just really exhausted or busy, but y'all already know by now that I'm super duper thankful for my best friend, le hubs who is always present and ready to step in when I can't keep up. Tbh, we all did a great job and I'm so proud of us for giving in the best.

One of her class challenges that we participated in and won (Teni's mama don't play, lol)

  • There were so many activities and class trips that were organized during the school year. I really love that they had all these extracurricular activities planned out for them and their teachers sent us beautiful pictures to see how well the day went and the things they learned while at it.

Last class trip to the zoo

  • I enjoyed seeing a lot of improvement in my daughter (talk about how grown she became during the school year). She learned how to read, and they were given a couple of tasks & responsibilities which I think was helpful in giving them that foundation they need for the next school year. My daughter is always excited whenever she is the line leader (according to her, she gets to lead and direct the class for that day)

  • Patience, patience, and even more patience. The thing is, kids will always be kids no matter how much you try & that is perfectly fine BUT where it becomes tricky is when things need to be done and kids are being kids. That is where wearing your patience cap as a parent comes in handy with lots of encouragement. I have always learned this from day 1 but I also realize that the older they get, the more you have to keep being patient with them and understand that they are beginning to grow up and have a mind of their own. As an example, in the morning my daughter needs to dress up fast and catch the school bus. Some mornings could be perfect while some mornings could be otherwise but I'm so thankful for my husband over and over again for always managing the morning routine daily and helping to keep everybody sane on both the bad days and good days. 

  • This next one is also related to my last point but this one is in relation to school items. So if I'm being honest, my daughter did a great job with most of her school items. Although, when we first started, she would come back without her lunch box on some days, her water bottle might be missing, or even her gloves. At first, I was always so confused and angry especially when it comes to her lunch box because how do I pack the next day's food? So again a lot of patience & emphasizing that she has to bring all her things back home daily helped. Most times she just leaves it on the bus and sometimes in school but for the most part it's just a lot of repetition and letting her know that all her items need to be completed was the way out for me. I had to buy two lunch boxes and two or more of all her essentials just to keep everybody sane and that helped a lot

I loved that they had Grade 9 buddies btw (more like mentors)
  • Having a routine will save you a lot of time and stress. During the school year, myself and my husband created a routine for my daughter and son. Very simple but effective. They go to bed as early as we can manage to get them to bed. Reduce screen time to the barest minimum during the week and just have them sleep and rest on time. This has helped a lot to get them up and ready for the next day. No, it wasn't perfect but a step further into the future I would say. 

  • Kindergarten was awesome. We had Christmas and spring concerts which my daughter took part in. She did so well and as always I was so proud of her

Random picture of the outfit of the day for her school concert

  • The big one was the graduation. Whoop whoop. My daughter was given a character value award for being the most compassionate in her class (btw, everybody in the class got a character award which I loved). I loved how much that award truly embodies who she is and how she cares for us all. So blessed to be her mum. She has made this motherhood journey easy for me and I'm so grateful to be on this journey with her 

That being said, personally, for me, this school year taught me to be kinder to myself and give myself all the kudos that I deserve. Some days were tiring, exhausting, or even sometimes gloomy (especially in the winter) but we still had to wake up, be parents to our kiddos, and still show up at work. Is that not a superpower move, if I do say so myself

I wouldn't end this post without giving the ultimate kudos to my all-time best friend and husband who has made this journey not only easier but worth it for all of us. The best part of our relationship for me is our teamwork. There has never been any time that I have felt alone on this journey. He truly deserves all his accolades and more. Thanks, baey. We appreciate you and we see you

That marks the end of the beginning of a beautiful journey for us. I'm looking forward to Grade 1 and all the goodies it has for us

That will be all from me today. Thank you for stopping by in my little corner & I will see you again at the next one..💋