August 2012 – It has been too long since I’ve updated our friends and family on the progress of our three children. This is sad, because they are all growing so fast that there is way too much to summarize in short, little posts such as this one. So, please forgive me as I might rattle on a bit more in these next few posts about some of my favorite little people in the world.
Our first born son has grown and developed so much since the end of January when I told him quite proudly that he was now four and half years old. He finally became an independent dresser. He only asks for help every now and then with a button or a stubborn pair of socks. Jared also finally got control of his bladder during the night time hours and no longer wets his bed. I am very happy that we no longer have to buy night time “pull ups” for him. He has also enjoyed playing the role of big brother to Luke and Grace. He enjoys “teaching” them how to do things that he has learned how to do. Sometimes this leads to a certain level of frustration for all of them as Luke and Grace can’t quite keep up with his “lessons.”
I have also been impressed with his enthusiasm in learning new things. I had been working on basic phonics, spelling and math with him. Through the spring months, the thought of Jared starting kindergarten in the fall was always on my mind.
Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has two options for incoming pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. There is a half day program that begins at 8am and ends at noon, right before their lunch break. There is a full day program that includes lunch and fifteen minute segment of “rest” before the kindergarten class moves into more hands-on activities in the afternoon. The pre-kindergarten students actually take a nap for most of the afternoon in the full day program. That program ends at 3pm. There are also two segments of pre-kindergarten classes; the class for the three year old and the class for the four year olds.
So, one option facing us was sending both Jared and Luke to school for the full day. Stephen thought that this would be the best option, because I could get both boys out of the house and I would only have Grace at home. He didn’t think it would be a good idea for Jared to attend the half day program because most of the students in kindergarten are in the full day program and Jared might feel uncomfortable if he ended up being the only student pulled out of class at lunch time.
Once again, I struggled with the idea of sending my kids off to school all day. There were pros and cons to each side. Sending both boys off to school would mean fewer bodies in the house to care for during those hours. However, Grace becomes more clingy and emotional when she is the only child at home. So, I end up accomplishing less because I have to focus more attention on her. We finally decided against sending Luke to pre-k. (This decision is explained in another post.)
I knew that Jared was ready to start kindergarten. I just wasn’t sure he was ready to stop taking afternoon naps and attend school all day at the age of five. Maybe I’m still too attached to the routine of having all three of my kids take a nap after lunch, which allows me to relax for an hour or two and try to tackle some projects that cannot be done during their waking hours. If Jared attended the full day program, I would also have to disrupt the naps of Luke and Grace to pick Jared up at 3pm. Currently, their afternoon naps conclude somewhere between 3:30 to 4pm.
I met with the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers and the admissions director to talk about the options and to express my concerns with Jared starting kindergarten. After our meeting, I was affirmed in my concern about having Jared in the full day program. They recommended that I send Jared to the half day program.
Jared turned five this summer. His feet had grown a shoe size and he is hovering between the largest toddler size (5T) and the smallest boy size (4/5) in clothing. His bed was converted into a bunk bed (with him at the top), and he learned how to make the bed on his own. He has learned how to use scissors very well. He was ready for school to begin by the time the summer was over. His coloring has developed from “scribble scrabble” on the page to intentionally coloring in the spaces of objects while trying to stay in the lines.
School began on August 15, and I have not regretted for a moment the decision to keep Jared in the half day program. He is one of two kindergarten students out of 18 that go home at noon, but about six pre-kindergarten students are also leave at noon, so it doesn’t seem to bother him very much. Every once in a while, he’ll ask me why he can’t eat lunch at school with his classmates. I simply explain to him that he gets to eat at home with his brother and sister who miss him very much while he’s at school in the morning. That seems to satisfy Jared.
It took us several weeks for the kids to adjust to waking up at six in the morning and staying on task through breakfast and morning preparations. Before the summer ended, the kids were sleeping as late as 8am and often didn’t finish breakfast until nearly 10am. Now, there are still many mornings that Luke can’t get his breakfast finished before 7:30 am. Little Grace can only get through her bottle before I pile all the kids in the car to drop Jared off at school. So, they are usually still in their pajamas when we leave the house. BCS doesn’t offer school bus pick up or drop off, and Stephen always leaves for work by 7am. Therefore, I have to take Jared to school myself. After I drop off Jared, I come back home to finish feeding Grace and Luke. That’s usually when I’m finally able to eat my own breakfast.
I can see how God worked through our decision to put Jared into the half-day program, because Jared has had a very rough time physically at the beginning of this school year. He got sick with a bad cold and chest congestion a few days before the first day of school. He continued to struggle with this cough for the first few weeks of school. Those afternoon naps became essential to helping him recover.
I am also so grateful to see Jared’s positive attitude about school. He loves going to school. Even on the mornings when he had a hard time waking up and couldn’t seem to stop coughing, he would insist that he didn’t want to miss school. So far, he’s only had to stay home one day because of a temporary stomach flu that had him throwing up in the middle of the night.
His kindergarten teacher tells me that Jared is one of her most enthusiastic students and that he always is eager to participate in all the activities she has prepared for them. He has gotten excellent behavior reports for every day he’s been in school so far. His gym teacher has told me that Jared has displayed some real leadership qualities. She reflected on the day that he stepped out of line at the end of class. She asked him why he wasn’t in line. He explained that his classmates were not in the correct order and proceeded to rearrange the line until it was to his satisfaction. Only then would he step back into the line.
He always comes home bubbling over with stories of the things he has done in class and with his new friends at school. He seems to really enjoy math, music and physical education.
He is also growing spiritually. This past spring, Jared made the decision to ask Jesus into his heart and he loves memorizing verses and learning Bible stories. He goes to a special chapel for pre-k and K-5 students and can often recall what was discussed when I pick him up at noon.
I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to place him in a Christian school that is reinforcing these truths into his heart and mind. Our prayer for him is that he will continue to develop in his relationship with Jesus and that He will continue to mold our son as a little leader and as a role model for his classmates.