A Year of Kindergarten & Preschool

When Aiden entered Kindergarten this year, I knew he was ready. Though he’ll always be one of the youngest (and probably shortest) kids in his class, he rose up to meet every challenge. Aiden blossoms in school. It suits his needs for structure and for socialization – two things he’s always needed – and he grew so much emotionally, socially and as a student as well. He has made a lot of new friends, is engaged in school, and is excited to learn. We were very lucky both with class composition and with teacher and I’ll forever be grateful that his first year in so school was so special.

Aiden’s favourite classes are music and library time, though he also loves math, reading and art activities at school. 

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Though we don’t hear much from Aiden about his days at school, he looks forward to each and every day and always comes out with a smile (and a hungry tummy!). I’m so proud of all he’s achieved this year. And just look at how much he’s changed! Onward to Grade 1 now (eek!)

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Damien, as well, had his first half-year of Preschool, starting in January. As a May baby, he’ll be starting Kindergarten at 5.5, instead of the nearly 5 that Aiden was. While I’m ok with this, it will mean he’s in preschool for a longer time (2 more years) and, given his engagement at school and his keen interests in learning, he may be quite ready by then. He’s already showing interests in learning to sound out words!

Damien did really well in preschool, adjusting quickly to drop-offs (most of the time), and learning to play with other kids (most of the time). He’s spirited and independent, with most of his interests being in very solo activities (making music). That said, he is learning to branch out into parallel play with other kids who have other interests, and this is nice to see. Occasionally he’s struggled with aggressive tendencies, but it has come and gone. We’re working on it and I feel he’ll be a different kid once September rolls around again. 

Here’s to a Summer of adventures!!

A Special Mother’s Day

Today I was invited to Aiden’s class for a special Mother’s Day tea. We were treated to a song (“Inch by Inch”), a poem, some treats plus some beautiful gifts. Each child created a piece of art about what they love about us (that I sing to Aiden at night), spoken to the whole group, a booklet with our portrait and favourite things, some jam they each made, plus a necklace they created in pottery class. It was so beautiful! I totally cried while Aiden sang.

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Every time I see Aiden perform I totally tear up. He used to hate it, and he almost never sings at home, despite the fact that he LOVES his music class at school. I don’t think he likes being on the spot! The only time I hear him singing is if I’m in the other room or if he’s falling asleep at night. Today, he stood right in front of me and proudly belted out the song! Such a beautiful boy. I was so proud!

 

I totally cried #mothersday

A video posted by Arieanna Schweber (@arieanna) onMay 8, 2015 at 10:32am PDT

Aiden’s First School Concert

16942682620 b3fd059c43 bAiden had his first elementary school concert this past week. His music teacher was unable to schedule a Christmas concert for this year because of a baby on the way, so this was our first concert with Aiden in school. 

The theme of the night was Disney, with each class performing two dances / songs from a different Disney movie. Aiden’s class had Robin Hood and performed two dances on stage, doing the do-si-do, some basic movements and lots of fun moments acted out. They tried So hard and it was quite adorable, mistakes and all!

In addition to the two Robin Hood performances, the primary classes present that night (I think half the K-3 classes) all sang together for about 5 or 6 songs, including Zip A Dee Doo Dah and It’s A Small World, among others. I was surprised how many songs Aiden knew by heart and he was very clearly enunciating the words, which I thought was quite impressive. 

Aiden often “doesn’t remember” much about his days at school, so I had no idea they were practicing so many songs, some of which had their own little performance elements to them. I was thoroughly impressed with it all!

Music is one of Aiden’s favourite classes at school and it was clear from this performance! I am so glad he no longer has a fear of performing and instead can clearly enjoy his moments in the spotlight!! So proud of my boy!

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Aiden the Kindergartner

Aiden has now been at Kindergarten for two full weeks, one week of which has been full time (8:45-2:50). The transition to school was very easy, though it’s taken me some adjustment to get used to our new schedule. We walk to and from school every day, which is a long process (25 minutes for 1km), but made easier by one of his best friend Zayden who stays with us in the mornings and some afternoons. The boys are in the same classroom, though they began the transition in different time slots. 

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Aiden wasn’t at all nervous to begin Kindergarten and really didn’t seem to understand why I kept asking / talking about it. He was immediately content when walked into his classroom and I felt kind of like the odd parent out who didn’t sit down and engage Aiden in a book or last minute cuddles. He was perfectly ok. Two days later, our drop-offs moved to out of the school and he has been perfect for every one. 

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Although I hear very little about his day, he is kept quite busy and his classroom and teacher are both amazing. His classroom is bright and colourful with many toys, activities and centres (impressive amount spent by the teacher, no doubt), and his teacher is amazing. She has been loving and supportive and encouraging, just what he needs. 

Since starting school, he has calmed down a great deal from any anxiety he’d been feeling over the summer. He’s had one playground “incident” let’s call it, where it was obvious he was keeping in some emotions and snapped, and in general has had a harder time going to sleep at night. He is very tired but also very wired, so afternoons are long and bedtimes even more so. I’m hoping this settles down. We saw that he was more tired over the weekend as well, which is hard as we do have a lot of stuff going on these weekends! 

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Our school held a PAC meeting / open house at the same time, when we all had a chance to visit Aiden’s classroom and school. It wasn’t a formal “sit down and chat” with the teacher, but I was able to ask some questions and Aiden really felt more comfortable and excited about school following that night. I was so happy to see his art decorating the classroom and hallways!

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So far it seems that Aiden has the most to say about music class and the playground. He’s not naturally verbose about his day, but with encouragement from his friends he’s getting there. It’s been so great to see him blossoming in such a short span of time!