Owen is a kindergartener. Not unlike many major events in a person's life, there was all kinds of preparation and anticipation and then, in the blink of an eye, it began. And as is probably often the case it was the most traumatic for the mama (or me). I sobbed Monday evening (as I mentioned in my previous post.) Tuesday I woke to, "Mama! What yur doin'?" It was not yet 6 am so I was, as you may have guessed, still asleep. That day O and I were scheduled to go to his school together for just an hour of school. The goal was to meet the teacher, see the classroom, meet a few classmates, bring our supplies and see how the typical daily routine would be. We were supposed to be there at 1pm. Owen was ready at the door by 7am. He dressed himself in the appropriate clothes for school from the drawer in his dresser that holds all his uniform clothes.
Earlier in the summer these uniform clothes were the source of a big meltdown. He needs to wear polo shirts. Polo shirts have collars and buttons. Owen is not a fan of either. Meaning he would go naked in a snowstorm before he would choose a shirt with a collar and buttons. When the shirts arrived (I ordered them from Lands' End) he of course noticed the box and was eager to see what was inside. He loves packages! I explained what the shirts were for and he promptly became a flailing, sobbing, screaming mess of a boy. He did not want to wear THOSE shirts with buttons! And it was the edges of the buttons specifically, that he did not like. I told him at his new school all the children wear these clothes and he declared that he did not want to go to a school where he could not wear his own clothes. I explained that they were his own, I had bought them for him. "NO! MY REGULAR CLOTHES!" ie., no buttons, collars or boring colors without pictures. I put the shirts away and decided we would talk about them another time. Perhaps when he was in a more sane and rational mood. Yes, I know I'm referring to a 5 year old. Eventually, weeks later, I washed the shirts and got him to try one on for about 30 seconds just to see if it fit. There was not a meltdown but he was still not happy about the shirts. Fortunately, I was able to find pants in kahki and navy blue that do not have buttons or zippers. Oh yes, there are rules for the kinds of pants he will wear too. I was able to get him to try on the pants to check for size and he actually said, "Oh, I like these pants." and then, "I like the shirts too." I had a moment where I wondered if he and Morgan had been drinking beer together before I got home, but he smelled fine and his eyes were focusing so I figured maybe he had done some adjusting to the uniform concept.
Okay, so as I mentioned he was ready by 7am. We didn't need to be there until 1pm. It was going to be a long 6 hours. We talked him out of his shoes and backpack. He had some breakfast. He played some legos. He watched a tv show. He asked me three times if it was time for school yet. He played outside with the daycare kids. We had some lunch. Finally, it was time to leave! I love that Owen approaches most things in life as a new adventure. Provided he has enough time to anticipate the event. If we hadn't spent most of the summer talking about and getting ready for school, he may not have been as eager. But he was definitely ready.
When we arrived he was a little taken aback by his teacher talking to him in Spanish. But being a teacher she was able to recognize this apprehension and direct him out of it. I believe it also helped a great deal that I was there with him. For both of us.
He found his hook, and his cubby and chose a seat at a table in the front of the room. He chose a seat at the end of a table facing the front of the room. I was so proud! He has a prime seat for all the action. His teacher took us through what a typical lesson would be like in the classroom and Owen was engrossed the whole time.
(Frankly my head was starting to hurt! I think his teacher did a wonderful job with the lesson and teaching immersion is no easy task. It is very much hands on and requires a lot of energy. Both on the part of the teacher and the student. I have a hard time because I'm always trying to picture in my head how the words she is saying are spelled. I can read things in Spanish (not with a lot of understanding) and pronounce them because I know how the letters sound and I do this with English words too. For instance, I have a coworker who's name is Elisha. It is pronounced Alicia. I always want to pronounce it E-lisha, because of how it's spelled. And there are so many words in Spanish that sound the same (to me) but are spelled differently that I feel like if I see the words then maybe I will be able to remember the meaning. Obviously this is not how immersion education works!)
After our hour was up we waited for O's friend to have his hour (the A-H kids were first then the I-Z kids) and then we had a brief play at the park with his friend and a snack. On the way home O fell asleep. He slept for at least 2 hours. He also fell asleep on Wednesday, tried to Thursday but I gave him chocolate milk, and on Friday when he fell asleep on the way home I just let him sleep.
Tomorrow he begins going to the before kindergarten program, which is specifically for K students who are in 1/2 day but need all day care. The program builds on what the kids are covering in their regular class and includes lunch and recess. Then he goes to his afternoon class and comes home. I'm sure he will be wiped out again. He's been getting up around 6am everyday and he goes and goes all day!
|All ready for the Pre-first day!|
|At his seat in his classroom.|
|Cheezy smile on the actual first day.|