Saturday, September 8, 2012

Time for back to school, baby!

Each of our boys had a different first day back to school again this year. Chris started before Labor Day, and I failed to get a first-day photo of him (whoops!). Nicholas went to meet with his kindergarten teacher on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and Kieran tagged along.

With my boys at Spag Factory
That evening we all went to Spaghetti Factory to celebrate Nicholas' SIXTH birthday! I can't believe my baby just turned six and started kindergarten!!

The gifts were heavy on the Indiana Jones and Harry Potter themes! :) For his gift from Grandma and Grandpa, my dad is going to take him to see "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on IMAX--that should be an experience!

Family of the birthday boy!

Birthday ice cream
Obligatory first-day shot
Kieran started fourth grade the next day (Wednesday), and he tromped off to school with great feelings of ambivalence. I think he enjoyed his freedom during the summer, but he was excited to see his friends. Even though last year he announced that we would not be allowed to take him to school on the first day of fourth grade, he changed his mind.

In front of his new class
(fourth and fifth grades are in the portables)

Stability balls in place of chairs
 (the kids are very excited about this privilege!)
Nick's first-day shot
Back with his buddies
Nicholas FINALLY started yesterday. The kindergarten teachers spend the first few days meeting individually with the students and doing assessments.

When his teacher came out with him after his assessment, she told us that Nicholas said he loves to read, write books, and put on plays, and he can count to 16 backwards (we didn't know this!). Then he piped up, "And I'm addicted to video games," to Mike's horror! We remembered that at Chris' kindergarten assessment, he announced, "I'm going to be the best in the class at everything!" I found it fascinating to note that Mike was far more embarrassed about the videogame comment than the boastful one. Not me!

Nicholas is really, really academically ready for kindergarten, being born after the cutoff and six years old, but his youngest-child position seems to make him less socially mature than either of his brothers when starting kindergarten...he also is less eager to embrace change or new he was very nervous about starting in a new school, even though he's very familiar with the school (where Mike and I will spend 16 years of our life!!).

In front of school with the principal
Mike dropped us off in front of the school, and Kieran was off like a shot to his classroom. Nicholas clung fiercely to my hand all the way down the hallway. When we walked into the class and found his spot, it took me several minutes to get him to sit down. He was terrified. Of course, that's what loosened my tears! I held it together pretty well, but a few escaped! Finally I coaxed him into his chair and he started playing with his play dough.
Worried Nicholas
Daddy said something silly, so he smiled!

With my little baby, a kindergartener (and six-year-old)!!!
When we returned home, I realized I had neglected my oldest child so I made him pose for a photo...his eighth day of school photo!
Here's his happy dance, which looks a little bit painful!
As I previously mentioned, this is the first year in 16 YEARS that Mike has five days a week free to himself. He has been looking forward to this week for months!

The good news is that, even though Nicholas was complaining on the way to school that he did NOT want to go to school, now he can't get enough of it!

On the first day, he had five recesses (excellent strategy by his teacher!!), learned all about the brain, learned at least two songs, listened to a story, made a handprint in paint, played Scooby Doo at recess, made new friends, got a sliver removed by his "sliver expert" teacher, learned yoga, and was taught PE by "a girl" (the silver-haired PE teacher!).

Getting off the school bus

Upon emerging from the school bus (yes, we send our tiny kindergarteners on the school bus!!), he gave kindergarten a "thumbs up." 

Then he lamented, both last night and this morning, that he can't go to kindergarten every day. That, I would say, is a huge success!! I am so thrilled that he loves it!

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