Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was the big day!   My little man got himself up, got himself dressed, brushed his teeth and was all ready to go!     I made him some banana pancakes and while those were cooking he had himself a bowl of cereal as well.   He was all set to run outside and take his pictures in front of the house and then we were off - all four of us - to drop Ace off on his very first day of school!

A grand adventure awaits!
We stopped on campus and grabbed a few pictures since we were early enough and then we went to where drop off will be every day.   He found his class line and got in it.   Both Loving Husband and I took turns talking to him, his sister and him hugged each other.    Ace in general was nervous and trying to expel that by jumping up and down, but he did good to stay in his place.   He didn't really talk to the other kids around him, but could be because he was occupied with his own family. ;)

One last time before he headed off to his class I stopped and he and I prayed together.   I asked him if he wanted to pray and he at first said "Nah"  and then immediately said "Well, yah."   So I said a quick prayer with him and the he and his class walked off toward his class and the three of us headed home.  I didn't cry until we were nearly home and I was talking to Loving Husband about how it seems like not that long ago he was so little and now he's big enough to be off to kindergarten!  

Two hours and 45 minutes (Yes, that's all "half day" kindergarten is!)  go by very quickly, but this mama was eager to get back to the school to find out how he had done!    I arrived with Mae and her and I waited for brother (who she missed a lot!) to come out.  As Ace came out of the building he was leading the class and being ever so watchful of his teacher and what he had to do and where to go.    After everyone was out of the building his teacher told him to make point and make eye contact with mom, he got to give his teacher a high five, and then he was dismissed to me.       I had not yet obtained the 'sitting at his desk' picture and so we waited until the rest of the kids were dismissed to then go back to his classroom with his teacher.

While we were waiting for his teacher to put some of his classmates onto the buses I asked him about his day.   Here are a few of our conversations:

Me:   Did you have a good day?
A:  Yes, I loved it! 

Me:  What did you do? 
A:  Well, we didn't get to go outside.
Me:  Well, that's ok.  I am sure you will on a different day.  What else did you do?
A:  We colored, that was my favorite part, and we listened to a story.

Me:  What book did you read?
A:  {{Answered with the full name of the book that mommy no longer can recall but was thematically themed for the first day of school}}
Me:   Did you like it? 
A:   Well, sure.  I was a bit distracted.

Me:  Oh, why is that?  
A:  Well, the oldest kid in the class [Maybe he's the biggest?  Not sure how Ace determined he's the oldest] was very naughty today.  He was having a hard time.
Me:  Oh?
A:  Yah during story time he was under the desks knocking down all the chairs and then he got his own book and then kept saying a naughty word over and over
[Groan, first day really???]
Me: [Cautiously]  Um which one?
A: [Whispering]  Stupid.   He kept saying it over and over and wouldn't stop when Mrs. A said to.
Me:  I'm sorry, what did you do? 
A:  I tried to keep listening to the story.
Me:  That is good.  What else did you do today?
A:  We wrote out our names and colored.    That same kid ripped some one's paper during that part of class too.  I don't know why he was being so naughty!
Me:  Well, sounds like he was having a hard time adjusting and wasn't sure how best to handle himself.
A:  Hmm, yah, I guess. [Not convinced.]
Me:  Anything else exciting?
A:  We got goldfish for a snack!! [Eyes super big while he jumped up and down.]
Me:  Neat!  Do you want to go run around for a bit?  [He was gone before he could answer.]

After he and his sister ran around for a while longer, his teacher finished loading up the kids and we all headed back to the classroom after posing for a picture with his teacher.  He humored me by taking a picture at his desk, it went ok - but he was clearly done with photo-ops.   He is half his father after all - who is always done with photo-ops.  ;)      We headed home and he continued to tell me stories. 

Me:   What was your favorite part about kindergarten? 
A:  Getting to color.  I stayed in the lines the whole time.  Some other kids... did not.  
Me:  That's great that you did!   Did you meet anyone today?
A:  We all learned our names and our teacher wrote things on the board about how we were feeling about kindergarten.
Me:  What did you say?  
A:  I said I was curious. 
Me:  That's a good thing to feel.

After getting home and washing our hands - we started to load up into the car to head to meet dad for lunch and as we drove we sporadically continued to talk about school.

A:  So today I tried to help someone get their name tag off the paper and they took it from me and yelled.
Me:  What did you say when you had their name tag?
A:  I said "I can help you with that"  They were having trouble getting theirs off and I had already put mine on, so I was going to help but then they just snatched it from me.
Me:  Well, maybe they didn't understand you were trying to help.   How did you feel after they took it back from you?
A:  Fine. 
Me:  Well that is good that you didn't let it bother you.   Maybe next time it would be better to offer to help before you take it so no one feels you are trying to take it away. 
A:  Yah, that's a good idea.

Me:  Did you introduce yourself to anyone today and say "Nice to meet you!"? 
A:  No, I wasn't quite ready to say that to anyone yet today.  Maybe another day. 

Me: [My own self curious] So how did you get to be the first one in line?
A:  Well, the teacher said that whoever was first in line would get to give her a high five when they got picked up and so I wanted to have the high five so I got in  line first. 
Me:  Neat!  

Overall, he had a great day at kindergarten and is excited to return tomorrow.   Overall a very successful first day of school! 

Ace was very proud of his coloring. 
Both Loving Husband and I were super impressed with his pencil coloring!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Quick Introduction

Tonight before dinner there was open house at Ace's school.  It was an opportunity to see his class, meet his teacher, and generally get that initial unknown element out of the way.   He was pretty excited to go.  Our family of four set out on an exciting adventure for the boy! 

When we first walked up there were people out in the courtyard and he seemed a tad hesitant at the number of people there were there.  He said cautiously "Um, maybe we should wait until there are less people."  We reassured him it was ok and that this was a bigger school so there were going to be, in general, a lot more people.  He seemed to accept and process this just fine and we continued forward to locate where his classroom was.  

We played outside waiting for them to unlock the classrooms - and Ace was happy to be able to run around and swing on the bars that were in the area.    He didn't really socialize with any of the other kids, but he tends to do his own thing and then warm up to talking to the other kids.   He was enjoying showing us his new school.    :)

Once the doors opened we walked to his classroom and while Loving Husband signed Ace in, I grabbed the paperwork and Ace and his sister went to find his seat!  He will be sitting at a table with four other kids and so that will be interesting to see how that works out.  :)   Generally the class seems huge to me, I didn't get an exact  head count today - I'll ask tomorrow - but seems like so many for such a young age!! 

Upon meeting his teacher he was pretty shy, mumbled hello and not much else.  It was sweet and pretty standard for our little dude.   He went around exploring his classroom and had a lot of fun looking at all the books, the calendars, the subjects.  He tried to read everything he could and then asked for help on the ones he didn't yet know.    It was really cute to watch him explore. 

After we headed home, had dinner, and then got ready for bed where we read a book that seemed appropriate for the occasion.  :)     We talked about how he was a tiny bit nervous, but mostly excited to start school tomorrow!  I walked him through what all he needed to do in the morning and then kissed my boy goodnight on the eve of  him becoming an official kindergartener!   Sleep well my boy, dream big dreams of school!

Tomorrow it begins...

Didn't I just write about my boy's first day of preschool?   Wasn't he just turning two?    Didn't he just learn to roll over??   No, no I guess time has gone by and we press forward into more adventures and milestones.  Tomorrow we will mark another start to the latest chapter into childhood - the start of kindergarten and primary school.  Five days a week.   Ace will be doing half day - so it won't be terribly different from his preschool experience as far as time goes, but the class size will double (if not more) and the school is quadruple in size.   So while he's got an early start to the education and the listening to a teacher, this is a whole new adventure that we will navigate together.   

All summer Ace has been excited to start.  This morning he seems equally as excited and I hope that sentiment remains. When asked what he's most excited about starting school he says:  "That I get to go to school more.  I get to play with new friends."  Tonight we will go to an open house where we will be introduced to his teacher and see his classroom.     This mommy is mostly excited about his adventure too!  I can't wait and I pray that he'll have a wonderful experience and make as many great friends at he did at his preschool.  

Mommy has already taken an active role in getting him into the best spot for kindergarten.    He was initially assigned a PM slot and mommy wasn't a fan - started at 12 and ended before 3pm.   Smack in the middle of day, and while Ace no longer needs a nap - I wasn't so convinced all his classmates would be in the same boat, so a whiney bunch of classmates, a teacher that already had taught the AM class and time a day that Ace is notoriously ravenous for a few hours - just didn't seem the best choice, so I called in June and they asked me to wait until August 8th to call.   And I did as soon as the office opened on that day.    There was some push back and a hiccup in that there was also a specific teacher I didn't want Ace to be assigned to (which he was) so I had to be a tad persistent in the overly-nicest way I think I ever have had to problem solve, but Ace is now in AM kindergarten with another teacher.     Hopefully the office doesn't have a 'note' by my name already.  ;)

So tomorrow we'll march into school with what feels like a giant backpack for my little guy - armed with his supplies and hopefully great anticipation for great things to come!     We're so proud of you, Bear!  Although there are many days this is how big I think you are.  :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

August in Photos

August was a pretty light month in photography for me.   Ace's birthday was really the first time I took pictures because most of August was spent with crafting for said party.   Lots of sewing, drawing, painting and designing for the epic Superhero party!    Look for a separate post on that to come soon!