Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Adios, Kindergarten

Aiden had his last day of kindergarten today, that's just according to the school calender however since they've been watching movies and having "double recess" for the past week or so. He said goodbye to his teacher who was an absolute saint and had a pretty lively group this year. He said goodbye to his art teacher who encouraged his drawing which is his one creative outlet, and his music teacher who gave him top grades no matter how on or off pitch he sings, and his gym teacher who always gave him poor grades because he'd rather pass the ball to the opposite team since they didn't get a chance to score yet and he was just trying to be nice.

He's learned to count by fives and tens, he's learned some new fangled method of addition that he had to teach me because it's the least intuitive thing I've ever seen and he surprised his teacher with his grasp of small multiplication and his fantastic  spatial awareness. None of this came from me. He's beginning reading and slowly becoming more confident although he's lost any interest in fiction and only wants to read nonfiction. I love reading with him but I'd really love to read a story instead of an in-depth explanation of the life cycle of cicadas but I'm just glad he's reading.

His curiosity is at an all time high which is a wonderful and exhausting thing to witness. He'll ask "How do narwhals communicate? Who first classified humans as animals? Is the moon spinning around the earth or is it that the earth is turning and it looks like the moon is? Let's talk about chickens..." and that's all in the first seven minutes he's awake.

His grasp of and willingness to use sarcasm and his penchant for eye-rolling is also at an all time high, especially if I don't immediately know the answer to his questions. 

Sean and I have no idea how it's already the end of June and we've just gotten him acclimated to school and now he's got a new teacher and new class and new standards. Kindergarten was a great chance for Aiden to make new friends and generally learn how school works but academically it wasn't much of a challenge and we feel like he might've even lost a little ground in certain areas. First grade seems to be totally different and much more focused on actual school work which I think Aiden will enjoy but did seem a teeny little bit intimidating when we got the long list of things Aiden needed to have mastered by the first day of first grade.  He also has a whole summer writing journal to fill out along with summer reading requirements and optional math work. We planned on doing these things with him anyway but the minute it becomes "required" I start to hyperventilate (sheer panic at the idea of failure pretty much drove all of my academic achievements from 4th grade through my senior year of college, and for better or worse Aiden has inherited this trait. We like to do things perfectly or get an ulcer trying). In all honesty though, he's ready and he's excited and that's really refreshing to see in him.

We hope to spend the summer reading and visiting the library. We also plan on catching grasshoppers and riding bikes and spraying each other with the hose.

Oh, and eating ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream.

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