It just feels like yesterday when Coco started attending Pre-School! A week ago, he started attending Kindergarten! Thankfully, I had a full week of vacation before he started school. I came from a 2-week long work trip to South Africa. So we caught up a bit, played a lot, went on a picnic by the lake, and before we knew it, we needed to buy school supplies!
Supplies, supplies, supplies!
The Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) provide the list of supplies we needed. We logged on to the web page of his school and downloaded the list. The supplies he needed include the following:
- 2– White Avery “View” 3 ring binders (1 inch size)
- 4 – Wide-Ruled composition books (black & white)
- 2 – Packs of wide ruled loose leaf notebook paper
- 24 – Glue sticks (Elmer’s preferred)
- 1 – Pair of scissors (Fiskars suggested)
- 1 – Box of 24 count crayons (Crayola strongly preferred)
- 3 – Boxes of 8 count classic crayons, Regular size (Crayola strongly preferred)
- 2 – Boxes of 8 count classic crayons, Large size (Crayola strongly preferred) No JUMBOS
- 3 – Packs of white unlined index cards
- 2 – Packs of washable markers (Crayola strongly preferred-1 box classic colors & 1 box bright colors)
- 2– Packs of dry erase markers with chisel tip (Expo strongly preferred-ALL BLACK-4 per pack)
- 2 – Large erasers (2 or more in a pack)
- 2-Packages of Mixed Construction Paper(9 by 12)
Strongly Encouraged Items:
- 1 – Pair of headphones with strip across the head (no ear buds)
- 2 – Boxes of Ziploc slider bags – Gallon Size
- (suggested for ease of children’s use)
- 2 – Boxes of Ziploc slider bags – Sandwich Size (suggested for ease of children’s use)
- 1 – Pack of baby wipes or cleaning wipes (Antibacterial or Clorox suggested)
- 2- Rolls of paper towels
- 1 – Container of hand sanitizer, Large size
- Paper Plates -Colored Copy Paper -Treasure Box Items
We were starting to get the hang of this process.
Off we went to Walmart to buy his school supplies!
It was Tennessee’s tax free weekend. We ended up saving at least $20 on taxes for our son’s school supplies! In addition to the school supplies, we bought a couple of shirts (with collar) that will serve as his daily uniform. This school thing can be a bit expensive. At least we don’t need to pay for any fees for him to go to school!
Last year, he went to Pre-K twice a week and it cost us $130. That is a cost we won’t be paying for this year! Hurray for free public schools!
School Visit the Night Before Classes Start
The evening before classes start, his elementary school had an open house. We visited and explored his school–its facilities, classrooms, and met his teachers and other school staff.
After we parked, my wife and I walked with Coco toward his school. He looked proud, a bit nervous, but definitely excited to be starting a new stage of his life.
Once we walked into the building, we walked towards his classroom, my wife and I holding either of his hands. Once we located his classroom, we entered and met his teacher, Ms. Clanton.
We visited the Cafeteria, the gym, and the library! The school also provides free breakfast and lunch! The menus for these meals are available online and when we looked at them, the food are standard American fare with some occasional Mexican and some other food items.
We still decided to let him bring some home-cooked snacks just in case he gets hungry. Besides, we want him to retain his preference for Filipino food more than pizza, pasta, and burgers.
Since he already knows how to read, we ended up spending a bit of time at the library. He even got a glimpse of some stuff animals: Gerald & Piggie, and Pete the Cat! He had so much fun!
Coco looks taller and bigger than his age. Although he is only 5, the librarian remarked that he looks like a second grader!
To Ride the Car or the School Bus?
The day after, we told Coco that I will drop him off at his school on my way to work. In the afternoon, however, he will ride the school bus. He complained, saying that he wanted to ride the bus in the morning, too. I guess if almost all the other kids are doing it, you would want to do it, too!
So I promised him that we will try the present arrangement until the end of August. Then we’ll let him ride the bus some time in the next month.
First Day High
Coco loved his first day of Kindergarten. He met a lot of new friends, he started learning new things in the classroom and enjoyed it!
For sure he will need to make some adjustments. Already, we are getting some interesting stories when he gets home. He is just so excited for school. He brought home some of his first artworks from Kindergarten. The official artwork is of a school bus, but he did his own artwork at the back of the page–he drew a dinosaur!
Hopes and Fears
Our son already knows how to read. He loves going to the library and borrowing books! He also knows how to write his name and some basic words and sentences. Sometimes I worry that he may get bored at school. But I’m pretty sure that teachers will have some strategies to keep kids like him occupied. The important thing is for him to learn, make friends, and start building his sense of self and discovering his place in the world.
School shootings is one of the most serious problems of the United States educational system today. It’s a sad reality. But I also looked at the school and started wondering about safety and hiding places in case there is a school shooting. Most school shootings happen at high schools so we may have some years before we need to talk to him about responding to school shootings.
For now, we are glad that he is growing and learning and starting to find his place in the world. As parents, it’s such a profound privilege to be entrusted the responsibility of raising a child.