What a year it’s been; both for the school year and the overall year of 2020! I can’t say that I ever thought the last half of the school year would end the way it did but here we are! Nathan’s official last day of senior kindergarten was yesterday, although we actually stopped doing distance education a few weeks back because I just couldn’t keep up with it any more. This school year has been the strangest one I’ve ever experienced; it started out with a few switch ups between classes and the loss of one E.C.E. to another classroom and the gain of a new one then we spent several days throughout February on strike which literally feels like it was ages ago now, not only four months… and then we were told there would be no classes for two weeks following March Break only to have that extended at least twice before finally being told that we were done in-class learning for the remainder of the year at the end of May.
Nathan has been a trooper through all of it. I always say that he doesn’t handle big changes very well and he definitely thrives when he has a set routine so the first few weeks of quarantine were especially hard on us. He would act out and have multiple outbursts a day and as much as I tried to remind myself he needed time to adjust to it all, it was extremely difficult being confined to the house with him, his two and a half year old brother, and baby sister. But we managed to get through it together! Nathan and I spent a lot of time talking through his emotions and coming up with ways to problem solve through his feelings. We implemented daily strike counts for both him and his brother and within a few weeks, I didn’t even have to threaten him with a strike, he would take a deep breath and figure out how to handle himself in a positive way. He was also able to bond with Sage in a way that might not have been possible had he still been going to school for almost eight hours a day. His relationship with Eli (although they fight multiple times a day still) has also become stronger too. I’ve noticed a huge shift in the way they play together and that Nathan has been encouraging and teaching Eli to use his vocabulary more and more. It really has been amazing to see how far they’ve both come in such a short period of time.
Although I’m sad we didn’t get to see Nathan “graduate” from kindergarten, he did get a chance to see and say good-bye to his teachers and friends in an online party yesterday. It was emotional for not only him but for me as well and when I read his report card later on in the day, I actually started tearing up at just how many times it was mentioned that he is kind, compassionate, and likes to include everyone in activities. This was so obvious in how excited he got every time a new classmate entered onto the chat. He would yell bonjour *insert name* and wave enthusiastically. His teachers also wrote about how well liked he is by not only his peers in the classroom but throughout the school which speaks volumes to him as a kid since he is still so young. They also brought up how he is able to play with a diverse group of personalities and how “because of his kindness and compassion, it makes him a great contributor to a group and allows him to be able to work with each and every student in the class”. The words consistently used throughout his report card when describing him were: bright, kind, compassionate, caring, respectful, and affectionate. He loves dramatic play and gravitates towards sound and music. He loves singing and dancing in class and takes great pride in describing the creations he’s made to anyone willing to listen. He’s developed critical thinking tools and will walk away and ask for help from a teacher if a problem does arise.
The more I read, the more I teared up. I am so proud of him and how far he’s come. I remember when he started JK thinking how difficult school was going to be for him because of how shy and introverted he was but man, in two years he has truly come into his own. He has just blossomed into this outgoing kid who waves and yells hi to anyone we pass on the street and is no longer afraid to voice his own opinions or thoughts with those he’s talking to. He is just such a remarkable boy and I cannot wait to see what grade 1 has in store for him!
On the left: pics from his first day of SK, Sept. 2019
On the right: pics from his last day of SK June 2020
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