The School Quandary for a Fall Child

Captain Fussybuckets' birthday is in November.  Here in Texas, you have to be 5 on September 1st to start to kindergarten.  So, while one of his cousins and most of his preschool buddies will be starting kindergarten in the Fall, he will not.  He has been in the 4's and 5's class at a two day preschool program since September.  It was the first year of this program, so they were still trying to figure out which class to put the kids in when school started.  The Captain was three when he began the 4's and 5's class, and that's where he stayed when they pulled some younger kids out and put them in another classroom.  This has been such a great experience for him, as he has made new friends his age and learned new things, as well as practiced being away from Mommy and Daddy for long periods of time!  

His first daycare experience didn't go quite as well.  After his third birthday, we put him in a daycare that was owned by friends of ours from church.  In fact, his teacher from church was the director of the daycare.  He had been asking to go to school and well, we thought it would be great for him.  And it was!  For three hours, two mornings a week, he happily went to daycare where he played with his friends and loved his teachers.  But then he got sick about six weeks into it and had to miss a few days.  I think then he realized how much fun he was missing at home, so he didn't want to go back.  We tried to take him back, but he just wasn't having fun and so we pulled him out.  There was no sense in forcing him to stay there if he didn't want to and we didn't need him to.  I really feel for you parents who have no other choice.  I don't know how you do it!

drawing

So back to the current situation….a few times he hasn't wanted to go to preschool but that passed quickly, although we thought it wouldn't.  But now we have started to realize something….in the fall, he will be going to school with maybe a couple of the kids from this year, but mostly it will be kids from the younger class that have moved up to his class.  We assume that he will have the same teacher, in the same room, learning the same things over again.  This is great for his social well being, but is there a better option for him?  Well, maybe.  We have heard the local daycare where he attended before has a great pre-k program.  There is also a pre-k at the school that he might qualify for, but being a former teacher, I know those programs are meant for kids who really need them, and I do not want to take that spot away from someone who might need it more than he does.

So where does that leave us?  I know how great an extra year can be for some kids.  An extra year of maturing, an extra year of preparing can be great, especially for boys.  But I've also seen how an extra year can be negative and I've seen a few kids…even boys! with summer birthdays thrive in kindergarten.  I do believe that it's all about how you prepare them in the preschool years.  Sometimes it depends on maturity, which you can't really teach or force, and maybe the Captain won't be mature enough to handle kindergarten in the fall, even if we were given that option, but as his mother, and also one who taught kids his age in the past, I would say he will be ready and he would thrive in kindergarten in the fall.  Of course, though, that's not my decision.

Over the weekend, we went to visit my parents.  Luckily my sweet mother had saved my teaching supplies, so I grabbed some of those and brought them home so I can maybe work with him on a few things at home, to keep his learning momentum going.  Also, hopefully we can sit down as a family and consider our options and we will find the answer to the question – what's the best choice for our child?  I'm just happy and feel so blessed that we do have so many options.

Daycare?  Pre-K?  Preschool?  Montessori?  Homeschool?  Private school?  Public school?  I'm interested to hear what the best answer has been for your family and why!

Protect Your Kids From RSV This Season

​Did you know that RSV is a common seasonal virus that affects two-thirds of all infants by age one and almost 100% of babies by age two?  RSV is highly contagious and can live on surfaces for several hours or can be spread by kissing, touching, and hugging.  RSV usually only causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but in some babies, it can result in a very serious repiratory infection.  Preemies are especially at risk because of their under developed lungs and fewer antibodies to fight off infections.  There is no cure for RSV and it usually runs it's course with no major side effects, but it is important for parents to remember to keep sick kids home so RSV doesn't spread to those little ones whose bodies can't fight off the illness.

I remember being a brand new mother to Captain Fussybuckets, four years ago.  He was born in November so I was a bit anxious about the fact that it was cold and flu season.  I had heard scary stories about babies getting sick within the first few weeks and months of life.  I'm sure some friends thought I was looney when I wouldn't take him to church for the first three weeks and after that, I kept him close and was careful to whom I passed him off to.  It was actually his pediatrician's recommendation to "come late and leave early" from church to help keep baby Captain Fussybuckets well.  Luckily, he avoided RSV and Baby D avoided it with his December birth, two years later.  You can't be a hermit all winter most likely, but it is important to use common sense, even if it hurts others feelings.  Here are a few tips for keeping your baby and older kids well this season!

  1. Limit visitors in the hospital/birthing center when Baby is born.  It really is okay to tell people you would prefer no visitors, or limit it to (well) family members.
  2. When you must go out, wear Baby to protect him from germs and eager Baby cuddlers.  There are many great choices in baby carriers, from slings to wraps, and more!
  3. If your baby or child is going to daycare, check to see what the facility's policy is about sickness and handwashing.
  4. Wash, wash, wash.  Even if your baby is very young, make sure you wash his hands often!  If you have an older child, make handwashing fun with a sticker chart or special song to sing while they are washing their hands.
  5. Boost your child's immune system with foods high in vitamin C like oranges and pineapples and high in antioxidants like berries, beans, and artichokes!
  6. Teach your child to not touch their face with their hands.  It's hard to avoid it, but it's how germs are spread and how many kids get sick.

Learn more about RSV at RSVprotection on the website and in the helpful infographic below and stay well this season!

MedImmune

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Oliver’s Labels for Back To School! {review & giveaway}

My boys are too young for school and besides the Captain's less than two month daycare experiment, they're home with me except when they're at Bible class.  So, labeling things hasn't really been that important yet.  They will be starting to school eventually though, and being a former kindergarten teacher and a daycare teacher, I know how important it is to have kids' stuff labeled!  Parents and kids alike think that the student will remember exactly what their stuff looks like and would remember to always bring it home.  NO WAY!  Have you ever seen the Lost & Found box at an elementary school?  If everything was labeled with Oliver's Labels, the school supplies, clothes, shoes, jackets, backpacks, and more that parents spent their money on would rarely be lost and be able to be returned to it's rightful owner.

Oliver's Labels have a great selection of adorable (and even not-so-adorable for the older kids) labels in all sorts of sizes and shapes, perfect for whatever your needs are.  Their Back to School package is perfect because it includes 95 labels and tags!  Check out what the Back to School package includes:

  • 20 Original Labels
  • 30 Mini Labels
  • 6 Shoe Labels
  • 35 Stick-Eez Clothing Labels
  • 1 Large Bag Tag
  • 3 Mini Bag Tags

Oliver's Labels Shoe Label

 

Oliver's Labels Bag Tag

You can label just about anything with the Back to School package, including lunchboxes, food containers, notebooks, pencils, pens, markers, scissors, gym shoes, jackets, t-shirts, bags, backpacks, and more.  Oliver's Labels are much more effective (and quicker) than labeling everything with a permanent marker because Oliver's Labels are made to weather the storm of the school year!

We received the Back to School package to review for Baby D.  You'll notice in the pictures that I have used a photo editing program to black out his name for privacy, but you'll get the idea with the picture and if you'd like to see what a certain name or font looks like, you can play around with the customization tools at Oliver's Labels, where you'll have many options for font, font size, picture, color, and more.

I really liked the Stick-Eez Clothing Labels.  Just peel them off, stick them on, press them on a label or directly onto the garment.  If you prefer, there are also iron-on labels made for tagless clothes.  These labels are made to go in the washer and dryer and I've found them to hold up well to our washing and wearing routines.  And when we're ready to pass the clothes on to someone else, the tags are easy to remove.

tshirt label

I also like the mini labels, because they can go just about anywhere.  I like using them for sippy cups.  These labels are meant to go in the dishwasher, fridge, freezer, and outdoors and the clothing labels are safe to go in the washer and dryer.  The prining is guaranteed to not rub off!

sippy cup label

The design I chose for Baby D's labels was Transportation, but they have many, many designs available for all ages of kids.  There are even simple labels with no design that would be good for grown-ups, too!

I could go on and on about Oliver's Labels and the many things you could use them for, but I want to point out one more awesome feature they have!  If your child has any food allergies, like eggs, dairy, gluten, etc, you can create labels with your child's name and their allergy so teachers and caregivers are aware at all times.  This would help you, your child, and the adults taking care of your child!

You can purchase the Back to School package from Oliver's Labels for $41.99 or see what other options they have that would fit your needs at their website.

One Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader will win their own Back to School package!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win!  Good luck!  Giveaway will end at 11:01 PM, central time on August 22, 2012.

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Save 20% on Kidorable backpacks! {plus giveaway!} US only

From May 23rd – 31st, you can get 20% off a super cute Kidorable backpack!  Just enter "BACKPACK99" at checkout over at the Kidorable website!  There are many styles to choose from.  Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

And I love that you can purchase a whole theme at Kidorable!  You can get the umbrella, raincoat, rainboots, hangers, even a towel, all in the same theme!  And the themes are many – we were lucky enough to get to review the Fireman raincoat, but there is also a frog, ladybug, cat, and many, many more!  Head over to Kidorable and check them all out!

Kidorable not only wants to give everyone 20% off of backpacks from May 23rd-31st, but they want to give one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader a backpack of their choice!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below!  Giveaway ends at 11:01 central time on June 5th, 2012 and is open to the US only.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway