Friday, May 31, 2013

Kindergarten Lessons

Wow!  We have made it to the last day of kindergarten.  I can hardly believe that an entire school year has passed already.  I remember feeling so nervous and sad when my oldest guy started kindergarten last August.  I couldn't help but wonder how one of my children was entering elementary school.  Where does the time go?!  Now I am about to have a first grader.  Hard to believe!

We've learned some lessons this school year, both good and bad.  While it's always hard for me to send my kiddos out into the world without Mom, it is always a little bit tougher with my oldest guy.  I never quite know what to expect and I find myself full of anxiety and worry about these new milestones.  Kindergarten has produced the most anxiety to this point.  After all, someone else would be responsible for my child for 6.5 hours a day.  On top of that, my concern for his safety with his allergy (and being newly pregnant!) was enough to cause me to lose some sleep!  

Once we got settled into a routine, things got a bit easier.  When he started, he only new one little guy in his class, but soon he was talking about his new friends.  That's the beauty of young children.  They can quickly find a few people that they feel comfortable around and turn that into a friendship in just a matter of days.  Before long I was hearing all about what he and his new friends were doing every day at recess and being badgered to schedule playdates.  

Unfortunately as the year progressed, we started to hear unpleasant stories about a few classmates.  Our child who was so happy to go to school began to cry and tell us how much he hated school and did not want to go.  One child, in particular, continued to pick on our little guy at recess and other times throughout the day.  This produced a great deal of anxiety in him and caused a lot of problems for awhile.  We addressed this problem with his teacher and thankfully it came to an end.  While we are happy that it stopped, it still greatly concerns me that our child had to deal with this at the young age of 5.  It is so unfortunate and I know our son was not alone.

During this year, our little guy learned to read.  He can now sit down and read stories to his siblings and us.  How awesome!  He began to write books (about sports of course!) using a combination of inventive spelling and sight words and developed a love of drawing.  P.E. quickly became his favorite activity at school and he came home telling us how much he loved music class, too.  

At the beginning of the year he couldn't tie his shoes and this was a struggle for much of kindergarten.  Now he can easily do it and rarely asks for help.  He was always good about recognizing situations that might be dangerous for him due to his peanut allergy, but he is advocating for himself and taking all of the precautions that were put in place in stride.  Yes, it singles him out in many situations, but he realizes it is for his safety.  I am so proud of how far he's come.

We've made it through the first year of elementary school.  I am looking forward to not packing a lunch, scrambling to get everyone ready and out the door in the morning, and gathering everyone again at 3:00.  It will be great to get outdoors, have playdates with friends, and hit up some local child-friendly places.  I plan to keep my kiddos busy learning this summer, but it will be fun and child-directed.  We've got quite the summer bucket list and it's time to get at it!  

We made it!  Welcome summer!


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