On Tuesday, my sweet Boogie finished his first year in elementary school. I cannot believe how quickly the year flew by (I always seem to say that, don't I?) and that he will be in first grade next year. In reflecting over the year, I remembered how much he hated to write and how I had to bribe him with m & m's to write his name neatly before school even started. I also remember that he LOVED books and having someone read to him, but how he didn't want to read on his own. I also remember how his drawings seemed like a bunch of excited swirls of color without a whole lot of definition.
Now, at the end of the year, he writes his full name like it's no big deal. He also writes and illustrates his own "books." All nonfiction. He loves, loves, loves to write down animal facts and include an illustration. His drawings are decipherable and detailed. I bought him a magazine holder so that he can store all of the books he's written and keep them in one place. Now, he not only loves having someone read to him or listening to audiobooks, but now he reads to his siblings. He also becomes so distracted when he's reading a book he does not hear or has forgotten the directions I gave him.
We were so lucky to have had his teacher this year. Mr. S. was just awesome with our kiddo. He was firm, patient, and fun. He filled Boogie's mind with amazing facts and read no less than 5 stories a day to his class. He taught Boogie to be kind and said at our first conference that Boogs is a sensitive empathetic soul...I just we could transfer some of those feelings towards his sister. The only person with whom he has difficulty. According to Boogs, "Little sisters are annoying!"
Mr. S. taught Boogie that he was smart. Not by outright saying it, but by encouraging his creativity and love for learning. Boogie is a very confident soon-to-be first grader. He is willing to learn and willing to take constructive criticism. Mr. S.'s favorite phrase is "Practice makes better." Yes, hard work will be your foundation as you travel on the road to success.
Mr. S. also taught Boogie that he was important. Boogie felt like he was the most important kid in his class. He felt that Mr. S. listened to him and cared for him. The thing is...Mr. S. made every student in his class feel that way. A true mark of a good teacher. Everyone is important and everyone has something to contribute.
Yes...if you've been following along, I thought Mr. S. taught Boogie the same traits that Aibileen Clark from The Help taught her young charge, Mae Mobley. I think they are very important traits and help form a firm foundation in the kind of person I want my young son to be. If you haven't yet read The Help, you really need to pick up a copy!
The last day of school was a rainy, dreary day that did not dampen Boogie's spirits. Hubby took the day off of work to celebrate with Boogs. We made our special breakfast that we eat to commemorate all important events. We all walked Boogie to school and we all picked him up after school. I have to admit, I had tears in my eyes as I picked up my Boogie monster and we said goodbye to his teacher. Later, Boogie told me that he was crying a little bit before I picked him up from school. He said he was really going to miss Mr. S.
After our walk home, I got the big kids ready for a special swim lesson in the rain. A little too chilly to have fun, but also an exciting one! Boogie learned how to coordinate all of his limbs when swimming and actually swam across the short end of the pool instead of exerting tons of energy moving all of his limbs in a haphazard fashion and not going anywhere. Boogie actually swam! Happy dance!
After practice and after the little kids napped we had our celebratory dinner at our favorite family restaurant and then on to dessert at our favorite ice cream hut. It was so nice to celebrate together and to enjoy one another's company.
I am so proud of my Boogie Man. He did amazingly well in school and never had his card turned in kindergarten. He always stayed on green (they do a green, yellow, red card behavior system in his class), after 6 weeks of green gained "purple" status and stayed there all year long! Color me proud.
I am so grateful for this year's firm foundation in academics. We will continue over the summer studying word wall words and reading lots and lots of books. We just returned from a very successful trip to the library where we checked out a ton of books. I look forward to a fun and busy summer before I have a 1st grader and a pre-schooler! Yikes! Happy Summer!