ANNNND… They’re Off!

My two kids are off to the races!! It’s so nice to see them heading back to school in person again. Although I’m optimistic about my kids having fun and loving school, I am a bit more pessimistic that it will last. In-person, that is. Alas, after only a week or two of in-person, some schools have been forced to go to distance learning. I feel, regardless of mask-mandates or not, we will see more and more schools falling back to distance learning because of too many coronavirus cases popping up in schools. I’ll pray against it, but… 

My non-profit this week is Youth Services of Tulsa. Please reach out to them and donate some school supplies:


My daughter, Angel, is still at that age that she LOOOVES school. She’s my big second grader and loving every minute of it! I hope that never leaves her. And if anyone can last their whole school life loving every moment (and yes, I know there are many) then, it’s my Angel! My son on the other hand…

Atticus started 6th grade by sleeping in. Before you judge me as a terrible parent, I asked you to please email me creative ways to help your sleepy-head student. I got 0 emails. So, I’ll ask you again:

Tell me how you get your sleepy, stubborn student out of bed!!

I did all the common things you read about: Leading up to the first day of school I woke him up to try and reset his “body clock.” Then, the night before we got to bed plenty early with no electronics or “blue screens.” And still, when it came time to wake him up for his first day of sixth grade, he was dead-in-the-water. I tried waking him up gently and quietly. Then, a little louder… nothing. I tried what my dad always did: turn on the lights and rip all the covers off the bed. Then, all the pillows were on the floor. Nothing. I tried what a friend suggested, splash a cup of cold water on him. He loved it. He wanted me to do it again. Ugh. So, he was grounded from all electronics all day and every day till he gets to class on time. So, this morning he was up and at ’em! It’s been so long it just took a day to remind him of the importance of getting to class on time. Eleven-year-olds!


I must bring up start times. I was super happy when my first choice for Atticus was granted, Thoreau Demonstration Academy. The first bell time to me was a bit of a surprise at 9:15 am. However, knowing the challenge my son has with getting up, I thought this might be the thing that he needs to get his day started right. Plus, I always thought schools that start too early are not good for little kids that need 10+ hours of sleep. For busy, working parents, it can be difficult to get everything done at an early hour: homework is done, dinner ready, baths, jammies, read books (quiet time), and then finally, bed.

A good friend of mine had her two kids go there, and she said they loved it. They are adults now and I asked them directly, and they had a less enthused answer. Regardless, I was happy Atticus was all set to go to Thoreau. And then, the email.

A month before school was to start, an email from Principal Doctor changed everything for us. Their announcement that bell times had been moved up by over two hours had me livid. It was frustrating to me for various reasons.

Moving the time by a half-hour or hour, not a big deal. But two hours?

I had everything in place for him for months, even had all his school supplies, and then with only 1 month to go before school they made this huge change.

Some of the reasons given were that teachers had other obligations that were tough to get to with the later end-of-school time. And that the later end times were getting in the way of karate practices, etc. It made me feel like they were giving extra-curricular activities and things happening after school more priority than the actual school day itself.

Only 1 month before school starts, it made it very difficult for me to change schools. Luckily, I was able to get him into another great school.

The CDC says middle school and high school start times should start: “…. no earlier than 8:30 AM to aid students in getting sufficient sleep to improve their overall health.”

Might be for the best anyway because since then, I’ve had more than one person tell me there are a lot of fights at Thoreau.

Dads Rock First Day School

Categories: Dads Rock!