Aiden 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
I’ve been known to write you letters on your birthday and other special occasions. Tomorrow isn’t your birthday, but it is nonetheless momentous. I have felt all day that I am bursting with mixed emotions about the changes that begin tomorrow. There is so much that I am feeling and so much I want to say. So I’m writing you this letter.
Tomorrow you begin Kindergarten. Tomorrow you begin walking a path that will slowly take you into your own future life. Your own independence.
Up to now, we have walked hand in hand as you have grown up. I have been with you almost every day of your nearly 5 years. I have had the privilege to take care of you each and every day. Yes, you had preschool, but what is 4 hours really? Just a moment gone by. And now 5 years of those moments have flown by and you are here, on the precipice of all this change. This change which suddenly overwhelms me.
Tomorrow I will walk you to school. I will hold your hand and I will give you a hug and I will wave at you as you enter your new school. You’ll meet new friends, some of whom may turn out to be lifelong friends, some of whom may not. But either way, most of those kids will be with you for years to come. You will spend most of your waking hours with them.
Tomorrow I will let go of your hand as you enter your school. Those first steps take you to a place where I cannot hold your hand, but will forever be at your side, thinking of you. Even as the years pass and you no longer want to hold my hand as we walk to school, I’ll still be there. Even as you head off to high school then graduate, I’ll still be there. Even as you forge your own life on your own, I’ll still be there. I’ll always be there.
Tomorrow I will let go of your hand. Tomorrow your new life begins.
I love you Aiden. I am so proud of you and so excited for you and so nervous as well.
A couple of weeks ago, we received a letter from my son’s school with a list of “School Supplies” for his entrance into Kindergarten this September. The list only includes a pair of velcro shoes, a paint shirt, an extra set of clothes and a backpack on it. Our school supplies for class are purchased by the teachers out of a shared fund. While the basics are great, I put together my own list of essentials for Kindergarten.
10 Essentials for Kindergarten
- Backpack – there are many cute backpacks out there, but size and fit are a huge factor for me. I wanted a backpack that would be appropriate for a 5-year old’s body and had good strap padding with a chest clip for back and neck health. After a lot of research, I purchased one from Pottery Barn Kids.
- Lunchbox – you can purchase a traditional lunchbox and fill it with a myriad of containers and bags, or you could purchase a Planetbox (review here) and be done in one step. I looked into a variety of bento-type systems, and am very happy with our choice. You can purchase a sleeve or carry bag as well, so you can insert an ice pack. If you’re willing to back a Kickstarter bid (US only), the OmieBox looks like another great option to offer hot / cold options all from one box. TIP: your child should know how to open and close all containers.
- Water bottle – I’ve lately found our water bottles too small for my 4-year-old, so I purchased a larger volume bottle. I have never had leaks with the Thermos brand, so I purchased their 12oz bottle. Hopefully it’s large enough!
- Snack and Sandwich Bags – I have a variety of these including some from lunch skins and pottery barn kids, with other local options including gogobags. I plan to use these for either snacks, packed separately from lunch, or take them with me for after-school pick-up, since I expect full-day K will be hungry work and we’re planning on walking to/from school!
- Insulated Food Jar / Thermos – for days when you want to pack a hot lunch. We have cute thermoses from Crocodile Creek, though if I could do it again, I would purchase a thermos with a wider mouth such as the Klean Kanteen vacuum insulated container.
- Snack kit – for days when I want to pack a larger snack, or send a hot lunch in a thermos with some additional food, I purchased the PlanetBox Shuttle. I’m tired of washing a million snack containers, so I have two of these now to simplify day trips and picnics too!
- Labels – we have a basic kit of Mabel’s Labels that we’ve been using for a couple of years now to mark bottles, bags and containers as well as shoes and spare clothes. I’ve never had a single label peel off.
- Smoothie Pouch – we often have smoothies for snack. They are great to make ahead and freeze. My favourite brand is the Sili Squeeze (see review here).
- Art Smock – A simple art smock that is easy to put on and covers the full arms helps for kids who don’t like to get messy.
- Love – This goes without saying! It’s a big change and our kids will need our help through it. Take some inspiration from the Napkin Notes Dad and perhaps slip a little drawing or printable in with your lunch bag. I am currently DIYing a dry-erase or chalk magnet for our lunchbox and have a few fun lunch forks and things to bring a smile to my son’s face during the day.