Sunday, September 7, 2008

First day of FIRST grade!

Well, things change, don't they? After my last post we had a nice peaceful and calm week of school and normalcy. Then, at the end of that calm week, life threw us another curve ball. All summer I KNEW it was the right thing to homeschool Joshua. Kindergarten wasn't going to be a good environment for him. I knew that academically he was probably about at a first grade level. And because he's so tall, he literally towers over all the other kidnergarteners. Because of those things, he sometimes has a hard time socializing and being in an evironment with his grade level. Besides the fact that pretty much all of his friends are in first grade (I think he's the only one in his primary class who didn't make the kindergarten cut off last year). Anyway, I KNEW we were making the right choice to keep him at home. I could work with him more on socializing and how to react better to authority and conflict. And things at home were great! I (much to my surprise) thoroughly enjoyed being with them all day and teaching them and doing so many fun things! We got to do science experiments, read fun books, make fun foods, learn about different countries, read, write, do math. Lots of fun stuff.

Anyway, after our calm little week, I found out that he was listed on the afternoon kindergarten class at the elementary school. He wasn't supposed to be. But...that got my mind working. What if that's a sign? What if he's supposed to go to school after all? (Public school was starting the next week.) I was so confused! I wanted to keep homeschooling him because I had really enjoyed the past month! John and I talked and talked about it. Should we send him to school just so he can play and then we still teach him at home? Should we still just keep him at home? What do we do?? What's the best thing for him?? Then, after we had talked for a really long time, John said. Why don't we just put him in first grade? (Or something to taht effect.) My first reaction was, but it's all day! He's not ready for that!! (Or was it me who wan't ready?) Anyway, we talked about that possibility for a while, and then it hit. That was exactly the right thing to do. There was no question in our minds. He belonged in first grade. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed right. I realized that this had all been a journey to get us to this final place. Whatever it was, something in the last month clicked with Joshua. Whether it was all the one on one time with me every day, whether it was doing all the school work. I don't know. But not only was he academically ready, but I truly felt he would be socially ready also. In the last month he's been nicer, and acting much more grown up.

So, the next morning (the Friday before school started) we went over to the school and told them we wanted to see about advancing him to the first grade. Long story short, we went through quite the complicated process the whole next week. Kindergarten assessment, IQ test with the school psychologist, behavior and social questionnares done by me and his previous preschool teacher, standardized tests to see exactly where he was academically. Hours of tests that poor kids went through. But when all was said and done, the decision was unanimous. He definately belongs in the first grade! So, a week after everyone else started, he began his adventures as a public school kid in the big first grade! I can't believe it!! When did my little boy grow up? I'm so proud of him, yet so sad! This all came on so fast, I wasn't prepared to let him go out into the big bad world for 6 hours a day for the rest of his life just yet! But, I KNOW that this is the very best thing for him and I am so excited for him!

He had a great first week and just loved it! He's happy to be in a class with his friends and where he feels like he belongs and where he feels he's on the same level as everyone else. We sure miss him when he's gone all day, but that's ok. Now I'll get lots more time to spend with Jared and Ethan. Well, I think that's enough for one post. :) I'll try to keep more updated now that I have more time since I'm not a teacher anymore. :)