Thursday, August 4, 2016

2016-2017 School Year Begins

It's been a long time since I've posted here.  I often think about it as different events occur, but I have opted to spend time with my family rather than at the computer.  But today is different.  Today I must inform you of the latest news in our family. 

Today is Eli's first day of kindergarten!  That's right, Eli is in kindergarten and Zachary started third grade!  Our babies are growing so quickly!

Getting him ready for kindergarten has been a long time in the making.  He had two years of preschool (both years were at developmental preschool and one year was also at a regular preschool).  Through the summer he attended weekly tutoring sessions just to get some extra help with his letters, phonics, and other aspects.  He is still in outpatient therapy and a lot of the therapy has been geared toward kindergarten prep such as cutting, walking stairs, managing his backpack and lunch box well, and playing safely on the playground equipment.  Eli will continue to have PT and OT through school services and we've opted to also continue his outpatient therapy (pending insurance approval) for the time being.  Back in April we had a meeting with several members at his school about him and what needs we could anticipate him requiring before starting kindergarten.  We've planned and prepped as much as we can, now we are at the point that we see how it goes and adjust accordingly.  The most important thing is that Eli is in an environment that we are comfortable with and with people who are very welcoming to him.  The boys love the fact they are in the same school now.  Last night at Open House we found out the 3rd grade and kindergarten recess times overlap, so they'll get to see each other some in the middle of the day!

We wondered if Eli would be upset when it came time to actually leave him at school.  The first couple days, parents are allowed to walk them into the classroom so that's what I did.  After a hug and a kiss he got settled at his table.  I snapped a picture or two (didn't ask him to look at me because things were going well and I wasn't going to chance making him mad!!!), then I left.  He waved bye to me, but was fine!  Once I got to the van I had a few tears.  Not a bunch, but just tears of thankfulness for many things.  Mainly for the fact that he has overcome so much and worked so hard to get to this point.  Also because of the willingness of so many areas of the school staff to be excited for him to be there and work so hard to do what is best for him.  Thankful for the boys being together and for me to have this one on one time with Charlotte.  There are many more things I'm thankful for about this, but those cover the major points!

Enough sappiness (for now!).  Here are some photos of the boys as they start the 2016-2017 school year! 

Eli working with Ms Brooke (one of his therapists) on the school playground this summer.  We were trying to get him used to the playground equipment before it was full of other kids trying to play as well!

Working hard on this curved ladder!

Almost there, Eli!  He worked really hard that morning and we learned a lot about what he was and wasn't comfortable with.

Making his way across the suspended bridge.

Zachary with his third grade teacher, Mrs. Wadsworth.  The glasses on top of her head make her taller than him for now!  Eli had to get in on this picture, but wouldn't let me take one of him with his teacher!

Some major attitude coming out of this one the night of Open House.  I had to plead, bribe, and threaten for this picture.

Our third grader!  He's getting so grown up!

He's a little more photogenic this morning!

Goodbyes for baby sister before the first day.

At his table checking out his classmates.  I didn't dare ask him to look at me or smile!

💚💙  Be still my heart  💙💚
I pray they're always close and look out for each other. 
To reduce traffic congestion, the school has staggered release times for car riders and walkers.  Kindergarteners are let out first, then groups of siblings, and lastly the rest of the car riders and walkers.  For a couple days, Eli will be leaving just a few minutes before the other kindergarteners so he can get accustomed to the hallways and routine before having to navigate it with the other kids around him.  Today, Zachary was released with Eli and I got this precious picture of them coming out together.  Zachary was using Eli's lunchbox to shade him from the intense sun.  Such an amazing big brother!

The first day was a success!  Neither boy had any disciplinary reports in their folders, no blood was shed, and they both plan on going back tomorrow....I don't think it's fair to ask for much more on the first day!!!

Everyone, please keep all students, teachers, administrators, and school staff in your prayers as this 2016-2017 year begins.  There are so many negative things in the world these days and school should be a safe, fun, productive place for everyone.

~~~~~~  The days are long, but the years are short  ~~~~~~