Saturday, May 3, 2014

Second Child, First Kindergarten Orientation

Yesterday was the Pookie's kindergarten orientation! This was a first for us, since the Pumpkin stayed at the Montessori school through kindergarten. The Pumpkin started elementary school in first grade, and they are both so excited that they will be going to the same school next year!

After walking the Pumpkin to the bus stop in the morning, I talked with the Pookie as we walked back home. I reminded him that we were going to his kindergarten orientation later that morning, and answered some questions he had.

He asked if he was going to start in kindergarten tomorrow (everything in the future is tomorrow to him), and I once again described the seasons and how it was spring and soon would be summer and then it would be fall. And that's when he would start school. In the fall. And then he asked, "So I get to go tomorrow?" Sigh. We are working on the concept of time.

He asked if he would be in the Fives' room with the Pumpkin. His current preschool/daycare has their rooms by age, and he goes into the room with the five-year-olds in the afternoon, where his sister also goes after school. So I explained to him that he'd be in the Fives' room at the new school, which is called kindergarten, and the Pumpkin would be in a different room--the Sevens' room, which is called 2nd grade. But, I told him that he would get to ride on the bus with his sister every day!

After walking her to the bus and watching her ride off in the bus every day for the last 9 months, he is REALLY excited to ride the bus. Especially with his sister! In his words, "I want to sit next to my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL sister on the bus!"

When we got to the kindergarten orientation, it started with the Pookie writing his own name on his name tag! (He learned that in the last few months, and he's getting really good!) I had brought the Pumpkin's lunch with us, since I was in a hurry in the morning and figured I would just bring it in when we got there. So while we waited for the orientation to begin, the front office called the Pumpkin to the office to get her lunch. It was so cute to see them both in the elementary school hall together! They were excited and hugged each other.

Then the orientation started. A group of the future kindergarteners went into one room, and the parents were to go into another room. The Pookie suddenly shied away, saying he was scared. Neither of my kids is great with transitions, and the Pookie has an especially hard time going into groups or classes on his own. And he is especially clingy to me. So I started to ask a teacher if I could just go in with him, but I was hesitant, since I knew once we were in he would  not let me go easily. Thankfully, Londo knew all of the issues going on, swooped the Pookie up in a fun way, and got him into the classroom, pointing out the cool carpet and other things as they went.

I went into the other classroom to submit the paper work and register the boy for kindergarten. Londo met me after just a minute, letting me know that the Pookie was in the room and doing fine, listening to the book a teacher was reading to the kids.

We registered the Pookie, and then we went into another area where the principal talked to us about the school and starting kindergarten and the Core 2.0 Curriculum they use at the school. While she was talking, the kids came into the other side of the room and were coloring. The Pookie was as happy as could be, chatting with the other kids and having fun coloring. When they came over to us, he was so excited! He was LOVING everything about it!

Best of all? The next thing we did was take a ride on a school bus!!! We went out front and got on a bus that took us around the neighborhood. It was so cool! And it'd been so long since I'd been on a school bus!

One other cute thing: When we were leaving the last classroom to go to the bus, there was a box of legos sitting on the floor with quite a few legos left out on the ground. My little guy went over, saying indignantly, "Someone left the legos out!" He started cleaning them up! I told him to leave it so the kid who left it out could clean it up and so we could go on the bus. But what a neat guy! He was ready to clean up and keep the room neat, which gives me hope for him and what he's learning in his preschool!

It was a really neat experience for him, and for us. It will be hard to wait for the elementary school to start, but we still have to finish spring, then summer and then start in fall. Which I know I'll have to explain many more times until school starts, and I plan to show him on his calendar and we can mark off the days, if need be. But that's okay. He's learning so much, and I know he'll understand that soon, too.