Thursday, April 16, 2015

Progress Report

We got his report card today. I won't bother to tell you his exact grades because they don't use ABCDF, and I'm not entirely sure I understand it all myself. That said, he's doing great. He has improved in reading so much this year and is exactly where he needs to be. We knew that he'd improved substantially just from how much more he reads voluntarily and how much better he does it. All the other metrics on the report card were really good, too. Notably, he got the very best grade possible in art. 

The chatting issue that he had in class has subsided. He no longer has a behavior plan; his teacher suggested that it wasn't necessary any longer. 

He's got a lot of friends and seems to pretty much get along with everyone. He has a lot of male friends, but his closest friend is a girl, and he often asks to have play dates with Ariana, who lives down the street. We think it's great that he has no qualms about hanging out with girls or boys. 

He's still loving KAH. I think he's gained so much confidence from being a part of that. He's made so many friends there, and gets involved in so many activities. He plays group games like dodgeball and gets involved in all the clubs and activities. It makes me so happy that he enjoys it. 

And he continues to be a really fun kid. He's funny and sweet and cares about his family and his pets. He loves hanging out with Kelly. She took him to the movies last weekend and they had a blast. He watches over the dogs, telling me if one threw up, or if they need to go out. He's picking up on sarcasm now. I have a tendency to be sarcastic (shocker, I know), which he didn't get for the longest time. Now he calls me out on it: "You're being sarcastic, Mommy." One day Kelly was going on about how much she loved JoJo, and Zack quips, "EVERYone knows how much you love JoJo." We nearly bust a gut laughing. 

He's a really good kid and this seems to be a really fun age. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Talking

This boy of ours is growing up so much. It seems like a switch flipped on when he turned 7. He'll get his things ready in the morning (getting his backpack ready, filling his water bottle) all by himself without too much reminding, if any at all. He'll take his dishes over to the sink all by himself. And just tonight he finished a book report for his homework all by himself without prompting from me. This is huge--even up to a week ago homework usually bordered on a struggle. 

He and I have such interesting conversations now. Two come to mind. 

Last Sunday he and I walked down to the park. We weren't there long when he fell in the creek and got soaked. I could tell he was embarrassed and he wanted to head home right away. I started telling him that it wasn't really a big deal, no one there knew him, and stuff like this happens to everyone. I told him that I've had some pretty embarrassing falls, too. Of course, he wanted to hear an example, so I told him about the time I was chasing geese at Lake Towhee and fell in the mud, then had to ride home on the back of my mom's bike in my underwear (I was around 3). The look on his face! He loved hearing that something like that could happen to someone else. We also talked about how the best way to deal with situations like this is to laugh them off. 

Last night I was lying with him as he was falling asleep. We'd had an off night; we were both tired and a bit grumpy and we'd gotten angry with each other. Somehow we started talking about emotions once the lights were out. I told him that I get angry and sad, too. He asked what made me sad. I told him a few things, then I asked him. Then he asked me about what made me angry, and then he told me. We talked about happy, too. It was such a sweet conversation, a great way to end the day on a good note. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Guys' day out

Zack didn't have school or aftercare yesterday, so Rob stayed home to hang out with him. First they went swimming, then they headed over to Sligo to hit some golf balls. Rob got this shot, which might have just become my all-time favorite picture of Zack. 

I asked Zack later if he had a good day. He nodded, then perked up: "No, no, it was an AWESOME day!" 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Good impressions.

So this is apparently the first '-ine' word that Zack thought of in class.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Science club

Today in science club they made their volcano erupt and started learning about parts of their body. They traced themselves, then drew in different organs, bones, etc.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Lizards and Snakes and Turtles, Oh My!


Yesterday was Zack's birthday party, at the Brookside Nature Center. (I think our days of having it at the house are over.) My lack of organization these past few months paid off in that we had a fabulous day for a nature party. First, the naturalist (who is AWESOME! Seriously, she is so very good with the kids and clearly loves doing this.) talked to them about reptiles and amphibians, and they got to check out a real turtle, look for similarities and differences between a frog and a toad, and then, for the piece de resistance, got to check out a snake. As the birthday boy, Zack was the only one who got to hold the snake---I love his look of anticipation in the picture above! Then they went outside on a hike. The naturalist said there might be signs of wood frogs coming out and heading to the ponds--I'm not sure if she was telling the truth or a white lie, but the kids love the idea. On the way, we stopped to talk to the man making maple syrup over a fire outside (40 gallons of sap are needed for one gallon of syrup--liquid gold!), they got a few wiggles out of their system, but no frogs. No one seemed to mind, really. Then we went back inside, decorated party hats, had some frog cupcakes and goldfish crackers, and everyone went home happy! 

I really think this might have been the best party yet. It was low key, but all the kids seemed to have fun. There were no tears. And this is such a funny, fun age---they're not afraid to show off what they know, they make a lot of astute observations, but they pretty much have no filter on what they say. So we got the whole story about how one boy's dad stepped on a turtle and its shell cracked and it was bloody. And Kelsey (Zack's best bud, in the purple next to him) suddenly observed, "Zack, you have very long eyelashes for a boy!" They were all just really adorable and really good. He seems to have found a set of really good kids. 

Oh, and the coolest part of the day for Zack? After all the kids had left and we were cleaning up, the naturalist gave him a bag with a molted snake skin in it. He thought that was just fabulous! 

Friday, March 06, 2015

Fortune

This was Zack's fortune from dinner tonight.