Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Preschool and Kindergarten

I wrote this post back in October or so.  I'm not sure why I never posted it.  I guess I was going to add something and now I can't remember what that was.

CLARK - age 3

first day of school

Clark started school on September 4 at the Peak.  He attends two days a week for 4 hours.  Matt and I were worried about Clark starting school.  I knew he needed some sort of school, but I was worried how he would do.  He wasn't completely potty trained even though his school requires the students be potty trained (and even though we had been diligently working on it for 8 months!!!).  He hadn't attended any sort of class other than nursery at church.  And Matt was one of his nursery teachers in Albuquerque so I wasn't sure if he'd have separation issues. He has swim lessons at school and Clark completely relied on me to dress and undress him.  I was hoping preschool would be a success, but I also feared that he would be kicked out.  All of my fears were for nothing.  Clark is doing really well.  It has been easy to drop him off from day one.  He hasn't had any accidents (and most of his accidents at home have stopped. He still sleeps in a diaper.)  He has learned to take his clothes off for swim lessons and then put them back on.  He's making friends, learning other kids' names, and talking so much more.  Preschool has been so good for Clark - it is amazing to see how much he has matured in the past few months.

Oh, and a little about his school...
It's at the Peak Heath and Wellness Center in Great Falls which is basically a big fancy gym.  They do really cool things like swim lessons and kidsercise and kid Pilates. His teachers have master's degrees in early ed and reading and they are so sweet and smart and kind and creative.  Clark loves his teachers.  It's a very active program with academics hidden in hands-on activities.  I have yet to see a worksheet come home.  

second day of school
WILLA - age 5
Willa started kindergarten on September 4. I learn the lesson over and over again as a mom that I worry about the wrong things.  I need to stop worrying because whatever I think is going to happen doesn't.  I wasn't a bit worried about Willa starting school.  (It was Clark I was worried about.) Willa has always been friendly and adaptable and easy going.  I thought the transition of starting school full time would be a breeze.  Willa was excited the first day and went the first two weeks without hesitation or complaint.  She loved school.  The third full week of school took a little turn.  Willa started to protest and complain about going to school.  She came home happy and chatty, but every morning we had tears and she begged to stay home.  She had tears at school everyday the third week as well.  Tears because she left her backpack at home (even though I told her a million times to grab it before we left the house).  Tears from falling on the playground and cutting her knee.  Tears because she didn't get to say bye to me the way she wanted.  Tears because she was supposed to take the bus home but forgot and went to parent pick up.  One morning the tears were so bad she called me from the principal's office to say hello.  Some of those tears were for understandable reasons and others not so much.  But regardless, it made me sad that she was getting upset at school everyday.  I knew she'd get over it.  I knew she had just hit that third week exhaustion.  Willa napped every day up until the first day of school.  I knew she was missing me and the boys.  Willa attended preschool two mornings a week for 4 hours in Albuquerque.  So going five days a week, all day was a big change. 
Willa is doing better now.  I don't think she has had tears at school since that third week.  And she doesn't whine about school in the morning nearly as much.  She worked for rewards for awhile, but she doesn't need them anymore.  If she went to school cheerfully, then she earned a sticker. Seven stickers earned a prize.  She earned some mail order caterpillars that changed into butterflies.
I am thrilled with Willa's school as well.  She has the best teacher - Miss Martinich.  She is a new grad so I had some reservations, but she has turned out to be very talented.  I volunteer twice a week in her class and I am amazed at the control Willa's teacher has over the kids.  She uses so many little rhymes and songs to keep the kids on task and transition.  For example, Miss Martinich says, "Class, Class". And immediately the kids respond. "Yes, Yes."  Or she'll say "Macaroni Cheese" and the kids say "Everybody Freeze."  Her teacher has tons of little things like that.  She doesn't raise her voice and she is always down on the carpet helping the kids learn. 
Willa has already learned so much.  She hadn't started reading on her own when school started despite hours and hours and hours of time with me working on letters and sounds and reading.  I was starting to get a little worried.  But since starting school everything clicked and she can now sound out words, read short stories, sound out words in her head and write them down.  It is fun to see her read little books and see the pride in her eyes and smile. 

first day of school

fourth day of school
And I have to jot a few words down about the first day of school...
Willa and Clark started on the same day.  It was such a crazy hectic morning.  Willa's school starts at 8:25 and Clark's starts at 8:30.  Of course everything in the morning took way longer than I intended (punctuality and time management when getting ready to go somewhere are my biggest weaknesses).  When we arrived, we had to park a mile away and walk since all the street parking was full by the school.  I didn't have a stroller so I had to carry Oliver and drag Clark along.  There isn't really a parent parking lot, just a staff parking lot.  It was a crazy morning and I forgot to get emotional. I don't think I shed any tears.  I missed Clark and Willa and the day seemed long.  I was really excited to pick them up and see how school went.

1 comment:

kate said...

It was neat to read about this, Olivia hit a wall the third week of Kindergarten too, but all is well now. Glad it has all worked out for you. Clark's school sounds awesome!!