Little R has made it through his first few weeks of kindergarten. He is having a great time. I love hearing his stories when he comes home, or like most of the time, sporadically throughout the day as he remembers them. It seems like the newest thing for him is following structure and rules. It is not that we didn’t have any of this at home, but in a group setting it is much different. I get the impression that he likes it, though.
As far as academics, so far it seems a little repetitive of what we worked on last year. I look at it as a good review time that also gives him the chance to get use to school without the added pressure of academic learning. I am sure that in due time, Little R will get his dose of academic learning, so I am not worrying too much as of now. We are doing some extras at home to help keep him challenged.
Each month Mrs. M sends home a monthly plan of homework (if you want to call it that) that Little R can work on for extra practice. Some of the things seemed trivial for this month, but I like the idea of getting into the habit of one day having real homework. If he does at least three things each week on the list, I need to send it in signed and he can pick a prize at the end of the month for doing so.
I have made my own list of things for Little R to work on outside of the classroom as well. I have the first book for Explode The Code, and I think it will provide great handwriting practice, as well as phonics practice. I subscribed to Weekly Reader last spring and plan on making use of those as they come. They prove to be more fun than work. Based on the theme of the Weekly Readers, and whatever happens to be going on in our current month (holidays, etc.), we are going to the library for books to tie it all in. Since he is only in school for 2.5 hours each day, we still have the opportunity for our own field trips to places like the museum and zoo. These are easily turned into learning sessions that are still fun.
I was disappointed about not homeschooling, but I am starting to really enjoy this experience. Little R is learning some independence that I don’t think I could have handed to him if he were kept at home. Some of this independence is linked to his food allergies. For instance, it is very important for him to wash his hands after playing with toys or at the playground. Peanut butter residue is invisible to the naked eye, and we all know that many children eat it and probably are not always good at washing up afterward. Little R is contact reactive (meaning he will break out if he touches it), but the life threatening reaction would be if it somehow entered into his internal system- via putting his hands in his mouth, nose, or eyes for instance. Being away from me is a great opportunity for him to learn this responsibility for himself. When he is with me, it is too easy for me to always do the thinking. Mrs. M is great about reminding him, but at school I have discovered that Little R feels like it is something he needs to take care of. At first it was difficult for him, but now I think he is making progress. Luckily, I pick him up right after recess, so if he does forget, I have the handy dandy wipes in the car. When he does forget, he tells me before I get the chance to ask.
Isn’t it amazing how starting school for the first time is NOT just about the academic part? There are many adjustments that I originally had never thought about. No wonder we mothers cry that first day:)