Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Monday, December 01, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I know, I've been lax in talking about the boy. It's not for lack of things to say, but a lack of time to say it in.
We had our first parent-teacher conference with his first grade teacher last week, so I figure this would be a good time to catch up.
First, I should say that I really love his teacher, Mrs. Whaley. She's energetic and positive, and seems to really be able to control the classroom. Up until this year, she's always taught second grade--which means, as she puts it, she knows where all of these kids need to be at the end of this school year. Thanks to his school being a Title 1 school, there are still only about 18 kids in his class (compared to close to 30 in other schools).
She said Zack is always cheerful, always wants to be there, is friends with all of his classmates, and is very social. She asked us if he had siblings, and was surprised that he didn't--she said he never comes across as an only child (I was VERY pleased to hear this!). However, he needs to work on focusing. I wasn't too surprised to hear this. During class, they work with Mrs. Whaley in small groups. When they're not with her, they have a To Do list on the board that they have to work on. Zack apparently sees this as a race and tries to finish things as quickly as possible, so that he can get a book to read (and apparently see what all his friends are working on). In doing this, he doesn't check his work. He also makes up instructions for the worksheets sometimes--it's not clear if he thinks he's remembering the instructions correctly, or if he just doesn't want to ask. Mrs. Whaley said she rarely catches him doing this because he doesn't ask, and because he is working hard, unlike some of the kids that stare blankly at the page when they're not sure what to do.
He tests a bit below where he's supposed to be in reading, but again, she says that may be due to focusing. They're tested by reading a list of sight words that they've worked on, and the teacher isn't allowed to help them at all, or to ask them if they're sure about what they've said. She showed us what he missed and they're words he knows, he just went too fast. She said she's not worried about his reading because he's very good about sounding out words. I also added that he loves to read, and does it voluntarily all the time.
She said that we should keep the focus issue on our radar, but that we don't need to really worry about it yet. We should work with him on taking his time and paying attention to what he's doing. She said he has a lot of confidence--will raise his hand to answer questions, will write sentences and spell the words the way he thinks they should be spelled without worrying about it--and Rob and I were very happy to hear this, particularly after hearing about some of our friends' kids who are already agonizing about doing things perfectly. She told us that she'd be happy to have another conference later in the year to touch base about how he's doing, and we'll probably take her up on that.
Just in general, he's doing really well, and I've noticed a big boost in his confidence socially. He's been wanting to go to KAH (his aftercare) before schools sometimes, and when I drop him off there, he is less inclined to need a hug and a kiss; he just runs off and does his thing. He doesn't wave to me from the bus anymore (sniff, sniff). He has a lot of friends, in his class, in KAH, and in the neighborhood, and he seems to be finding friends that fit with his personality. As an example: in kindergarten, he was really good friends with Naeem and Grey, but none of them are in the same class this year. He still talks about Naeem, plays with him at recess, and has playdates with him. He mentioned Grey the other night, and I asked if he still played with him. Zack said, "Sometimes, but Grey is really into sports." So he's figuring out that kids have different interests and seems to be OK with that. What is also really nice is that he doesn't have a problem playing with boys or girls. There's a girl his age in the neighborhood, Ariana, who is in his grade and KAH who he plays really well with. Last Saturday, he and I went to the park with she and her mom, then he went to the movies with them (I couldn't go), then they came over for dinner--so about 8 hours of hanging out together and no bickering, no tears, they did great.
So all in all, I think we'll keep him. :) He's generally pretty happy with spells of attitude. He's got the funniest personality and is generally a pretty sweet kid. He still adores the dogs and wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Friday, August 08, 2014
Monday, August 04, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
So let me fill you in on this guy. I'd say little guy, but that's becoming less and less true. He's quickly closing in on 50 inches tall, and weighs about 1 pound per inch. There are mornings when I swear I can see the overnight growth.
Kindergarten is over. He's officially a first grader now. He's grown so much this year. He had great teachers this year, and learned so much (just ask him). He made a lot of friends. We're told he's a really good kid--is polite, gets along with everyone. The one challenge he runs into is that he just doesn't understand when others aren't nice to him. We have to work on helping him deal with that.
We went to a potluck for his aftercare the other night and were watching a slide show of things they'd done throughout the year. Rob and I are pretty sure that they do more in aftercare than we did in kindergarten.
He's in camp this summer. The camp is run by the same group that runs his aftercare, so he knows the ropes and the counselors and should have a lot of fun. They go swimming every Monday, and go on a field trip every Friday, with lots of fun stuff going on in between.
We've been spending more time with our neighbors lately. We've really lucked out in that regard. All the kids are pretty much in the same age range. The adults are very similarly minded in terms of parenting and politics. Over the past month or so, we've had two potlucks at different houses, and it's been so much fun. The kids are old enough that they can run around in a pack and amuse themselves, which leaves the adults free to have a drink and an uninterrupted conversation. It's been great. Zack has also been getting to know another boy in the neighborhood, and it's been working out that they have been getting together to play pretty spontaneously.
As for the boy himself, what can I say about him? He's got such a personality. He's got a great sense of humor and now that he's older, he gets more inside jokes, and makes some of his own. He's also taken to "getting" us---in other words, pulling our leg.
He's still working on reading. It's interesting to watch; you forget how much mental energy it takes when you're first learning. We can almost see the cogs turning. Now that they sent all his school work home, we've seen that he was working on a journal in school where they were supposed to draw a picture and write captions about it. He was doing a really good job of sounding out words on his own, though it's hard for us to read. For example, he wrote the word "science" as "siins". Which, to be honest, makes as much sense as the correct spelling.
He still loves to draw, and was very sad that the drawing class he'd been going to was over for the session. We'll definitely have to start those again when they start in the fall. He still loves Legos, too, and builds very complex things with interacting parts.
Along with everything else, he's developing a bit of an attitude. There are days where I'm pretty sure that he's 6 going on 13. But we're working on it. And overall, he's a really good kid.