Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What a Difference A Year Makes

On Monday and Tuesday, I attended Back To School Night for all 3 kids (well, for Rachel and Big Brother.....Simon's I kinda talked to the first grade SPED teacher to see how he's doing to get another perspective).  Big Brother's, for me, was really more about the information and getting to know the teacher.  He always acclimates pretty well to a new school year and he's happy to have several friends in his 3rd grade class.

Rachel, however, had such a miserable transition into kindergarten, I spent so much time worrying about how to make the start of first grade smoother.  We talked about how she would be in the new classroom.  We talked about how the lunch time was different.  We shared with her all of the information that was available to us.  But we had done this last year as well and still had trouble.  So, when I brought her in on the first day of school, I wasn't surprised to see the looks of apprehension on her face as we approached the building or the All Purpose Room, where the students were gathering for the day.  I wasn't surprised to see her sliding back to ensure that she would be the last person in line (a technique she used to cope with the All Purpose room early last year).  But her paraeducator, who worked with her so well all year last year, went to her and reminded her that she was supposed to find her place in line and remain there until it was time to go to class.  And she complied.

Since school started on August 26, I have been in touch with her teacher on numerous occasions, getting updates to how she is doing.  And I talked with him more during Back To School Night.  And he describes his experience teaching Rachel to be VERY different than what he was told to be prepared for.  She has only had 2 meltdowns since school began, and one of them he figured out what caused it (just a little too late) so he was able to intervene the next time a similar situation arose.  The second, he really didn't seem sure what had set her off.  She likes to work with her classmates and is demonstrating early signs of making friends.  She is fortunate that a former classmate (well, two of them) sits near her and they work together in a small group.  Additionally, a friend from girl scouts is also in her class and they have bonded during these first few weeks of school.

I have been avoiding talking to the school principal about her.  He told me last year during her IEP Meeting, when we were trying to figure out how to help her transition back to school that many students don't experience the same regressions that we've historically seen as they grow older.  They don't go away, but they aren't as severe.  And he suspected this would be true for Rachel.  I kept insisting that I didn't believe him.....we had several transitions into school (including the transition from Early Intervention to Preschool) and none have been smooth.  I couldn't see the start of this year being any different.  But, I have to admit (even on paper) that he was correct.  I hate that!  ;)

It's been a great start to the year!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Experiment Is Over

All right ... after I've been away from writing for a while, I'm really trying to get back into it all.  And when I was writing yesterday's post, I realized something.  It is TOTALLY unnatural for me to anonymize my children here.

So, I am going to stop.  Bye Bye "Ballerina" and "Music Man" (but I'm keeping "Big Brother" -- he likes that title).  Hello "Rachel" and "Simon".

That is, when I post here.  When I post on more public forums, I will continue to anonymize my children.  But on my own personal blog, in my own little world, I'm not going to worry about keeping their names out of the stories.  I chose those names because I like them.  And I want to just be able to tell my stories.

So, they're back folks!!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Day of School, 2 Weeks Late

2 weeks ago, school started for us.  I became a mother to 2 first graders and a 3rd grader.

I was so excited for this.  I was so happy for them to get back into a routine.  And I needed the break.

Music Man decided the night before school started, that he didn't want to go back.  He seemed excited up until that point.  But in the end, he decided he wanted to stay home.  But we went to his closet and chose his clothes for the next morning.  That seemed to have done the trick.  All 3 kids went to bed excited for their new adventure.

Ballerina was up first in the morning.  She just couldn't wait to put on her skirt and show off her bling!

 photo null_zpsee550710.jpg

Big Brother was up soon after and he too wanted to go to school.  He was disappointed that it wasn't time to go quite yet, but he still had over an hour to wait.

Finally, Music Man woke up and was prepared to get ready for a new school year.  His twin sister really tried to drive the enthusiasm.

 photo null_zps856fd610.jpg

But finally it was time to head to the car.

 photo null_zps1f804486.jpg

Almost the entire school was gathering in the "All Purpose Room", lining up with their classes.  When the bell rang, they had a short "Monday Morning Meeting" and then were dismissed to their respective classrooms.

 photo null_zps4a216994.jpg    photo null_zpsbc7773f8.jpg    photo null_zps5b6eeca7.jpg

They got through their day.  And they had a good first day.  And, at the end, I was waiting for them and they were happy to be picked up!

 photo null_zps9e2a84c7.jpg    photo null_zps0eb557d7.jpg

And we finished off the day with a trip to The Little Gym of Germantown for Rachel's first Hip Hop class.  Immediately after class, they had a special "Welcome Back to School Party!"  What a great way to end the first day of school!!!!!

 photo null_zpsa3d17d63.jpg