Archive for the ‘School’ Category

The once and future Reid – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Just a few words: I wonder if this pic is a glimpse into the future. Reid’s face seems very mature for Senior Kindergarten graduation, at least to me.

Senior Kindergarten graduation

View More Wordless Wednesday Participants, look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries, or check out the cute babies and kids at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Last day of Senior Kindergarten

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

It seems far more than just 10 months ago that Reid started Senior Kindergarten at the Academy. She was delighted to have Natalie as her teacher and settled quickly into her role as teacher’s pet. (I call it like I see it.) When we decided to put her in her new school after March Break, Reid was sad to leave the kids with whom she’d spent a year-and-a-half and, especially, Natalie but she adapted very well to a new day care for before- and after-care and a school. I’m glad we made the switch mid-year so that she could go through the transition with both Ken and me to offer hugs and so she has had a chance to make friends in a more playful environment.

And suddenly, it seems, it was the last day of school yesterday. I wasn’t quick enough to offer to send cupcakes any day to celebrate her birthday at school. (The rainbow cake was for daycare.) Reid asked if I would bake something but since they had treats on Monday and Tuesday, I knew the rest of the week had already been spoken for, I decided to spring for pizza at lunch on Friday at daycare. It was ideal – Reid loves treating her friends and I don’t love packing lunch. Another parent sent watermelon and they had treats left over from the graduation lunch. It was a fun party, from what I was told.

At school, as near as I can figure, Reid and her class watched a movie and ate freezies and yellow cheesies (whatever that means.  - sounds disgusting to me but Reid smiled when she told me about them). She’d brought her report card home on Wednesday – she did well – and all of her art and other work through the week that the last day of school seemed anti-climatic. If Reid’s was the elementary school someone tweeted about playing Alice Cooper’s *School’s out*, she never mentioned it.

At day care, we gathered Reid’s spare clothes, the last of her art worlk, and then said “good bye”. It was a great place and I’m glad they were able to take her at the last minute and in the middle of the year, but I’m looking very forward to being able to put Reid on the bus at home and then walk straight to my bus. She’ll go to the community centre after school and I’ll be able to walk there and walk her back home. I’ll have to start work a bit later but not too much, I don’t think. When Ken is back, we might not need daycare at all. Imagine the money we’ll save! Even if we keep her at the community centre, we’re still saving a lot. Hooray for full day school, even if I had to wait until Reid was in grade one.

On the advice of Andrea at Peek Inside the Fishbowl, I took a picture of Reid to mark the last day of school. Reid thought this pose was the most appropriate:

Last day of school pic

Compare it to her first day:

First day of school pic

Reid’s earthquake story

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Reid says that she was in the gym when the earthquake happened. They went back to their classroom to have snack and then, before they finished snack, they had to go outside. Everyone in the school, even the principal, was outside. They stayed outside until the buses came. I asked if kids were frightened or thought it was silly. Reid said, “Everybody thought it was an earthquake. And it was. Everybody was okay. R, a girl in grade 1, fell off her chair and was upset but Reid reports this as interesting not frightening.” When speaking with Ken over Skype, Reid said that a girl in her class was terrified. She looked at me and said, “Really scared.” Like I wouldn’t know what “terrified” meant. Nice mama, but dumb.

The kids were talking on the playground at daycare about the earthquake in much the same way as my colleagues were as we stood outside our evacuated building. Kind of funny in parallel.

Times they are a’changing

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Reid went to her new daycare and school on Monday. She was much more calm about the change than I was feeling (but I don’t think she knew I was worried).

There are a couple of girls in her class at daycare who were in her Kindermusik class in the fall. There is also a girl named H, who was eager to befriend Reid when we went for the “get to know you” visit. H told us when we were first introduced that her name wasn’t spelled the way it sounded, and then proceeded to provide the correct spelling. It’s obviously the sort of thing she is used to having to explain. Reid should get used to doing that, too, since whoever labelled her cubby and other things reversed the “ei” in her name.

When we asked Reid about her first day of school, she said, “It was great!” She talked happily about taking the bus twice each day but didn’t offer details on the rest of the day. She had told Ken that she got off the bus and went straight to the JK/SK play yard and that was a great way to start her time at Le Phare (the lighthouse). Reid didn’t know the names of any of the kids in her class. Ken pressed for just one name but Reid was stumped. It doesn’t seem to bother her not to know the names of the other kids. She refers to them as “friends” and that is enough until she has heard their names enough from other people to learn them herself.

Each day since, Reid has cheerfully gone off to the new daycare and school. I’m so happy that she didn’t have the trouble she had when she started at the Academy. I guess I’d forgotten about Mean M having such an important role in the trouble. Or maybe the important difference is that Ken is here and the only changes are away from home.

Reid’s school Christmas pageant

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Reid had her Christmas pageant on December 18th. Ken and I were both able to attend, which is a very nice thing. We arrived early enough to get seats in the front row on the gym.

Reid’s teachers sang a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas at the beginning of the performance – I don’t know why they sang first, given that kids aren’t known for their patience but they did and the kids loved what they sang:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my students gave to me, twelve teachers fussing, eleven students jumping, ten runny noses, nine children running, eight tots a-tumbling, seven kids a-swimming, six shoes to tie, five more grey hairs, four crying tots, three funny faces, two dirty diapers and a smile from ear-to-ear.

Every time the teacher sang, “two dirty diapers” the Junior and Senior Kindergarten kids giggled. Who better to understand kids’ potty humour than their teachers, eh?

After the teachers had finished, the toddlers came forward. They were wearing angels’ wings made from white paper with glitter glue on them and halos. Many of those select number who made it to the front were crying, most of the others looked scared. Their teachers led them through an unintentionally ironic rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” as most of the kids cried while the teachers sang. The English and French Preschool classes each sang a couple songs and then it was time for the main (in my opinion) attraction – the Senior Kindergarten play.

Reid’s teacher was more nervous than the kids were, I think. She hadn’t been in charge of a play before whereas the kids were confident in themselves and their practicing. The kids all knew their lines and spoke clearly but the noise from the other classes made it difficult to hear them. The plot was simple – one of the girls had forgotten to mail her letter to Santa and when her sister discovered it, she woke her up to ask what to do and then they woke up a brother and then the three woke a fourth and so on until a whole crowd went to wake up the parents. The dad told them to call 1-800-Père-Noël, which they did. Maman Noël (played brilliantly by Reid) answered the call, “Maison de Père Noël” and told them not to worry, “Père Noël a des cadeaux pour tous les amis.” Reid’s teacher gave each of the students a rose after their bows and then the Junior Kindergarten kids joined the Senior Kindergarten kids at the front and they all sang “Jingle Bells” and “Vive le vent” (the French words that correspond to the same tune).

Santa arrived and had candy canes and a few words for each child. Reid, being Reid and thus the teacher’s pet, went up with Natalie at her side. After Reid had her turn with Santa, we went to the JK/SK classroom for cookies and juice. The kids were hyped on the excitement of the concert and didn’t really need the extra sugar but I have to confess that I liked the cookies with sprinkles.

All in all, the pageant was a success. Reid was proud of herself for speaking clearly and loudly. Ken and I were pleased that it hadn’t been the sort of event that is funny when you tell people about it later but not so much when it’s happening. It’s all about managing expectations and claiming small victories.

What the teacher has to say about Reid

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Reid’s communication book had the following comment for yesterday:

Reid did a fantastic job decorating our tree. She was very helpful when others put 2 of the same colour balls side by side. She would move them but without those children knowing as to not hurt their feelings. ;+)

Seems a bit like someone else I know. But who?

I’ll take that as a compliment

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

A few weeks ago, Ken and I went to the parent information session at Reid’s school. Reid went to Aunty Amanda’s house for supper and the evening, a very good trade-off as far as Reid was concerned. She asked if Nam’s mom and dad would be there, too, because they make very good rice and noodles and “not-Canada” food. I supplied the word, “Asian” since she seemed to need it and assured her that Nam’s mom and dad would be there. Reid responded, “Woo hoo! Rice and noodles and rice-noodles are the best food ever.” I made a point of telling Amanda that I hoped that she wasn’t planning to have non-Asian food on Reid’s account because Reid was anticipating Asian.

At the school presentation, we were among only five (out of 16) families that turned up for the Junior-Senior Kindergarten session and were the only parents of kids in Senior Kindergarten. I never understand how people can resist the opportunity to learn more about what their kids do all day and about the people with whom they do these things. There wasn’t any earth-shattering information given, though they did tell us where to find the kids’ workbooks if ever we wanted to see what they’re doing. There were other tidbits of information and then the meeting ended.

On the way out, one of the other dads stopped us to tell us that Reid was a sweet girl who took very good care of his son, who was having trouble adjusting to JK. He said that Reid was like “a little mother hen” and he wanted us to know that he appreciated her. Sometimes Reid takes the “mother hen” role over the line to “bossy” but it’s good to know that it seems to be what is required in many situations. Ken and I decided to take it as a compliment. And a lovely one at that.

Hot air balloons

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Reid and I saw 21 balloons in the sky on the way to school this morning. I saw quite a few more while waiting for my bus, including a turtle and a skunk’s head (or maybe it was a black-and-white cat’s head). It’s going to be perfect weather for the Gatineau Balloon Festival and it’s not too late to decide to hop in the car and come to Ottawa for the weekend.

Not going to win “Mom of the Week”

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

I received a call yesterday at 4:15, just as I was shutting down my computer. The caller said, “It’s M, from Reid’s school. Were you aware that there is not post-care tonight.” I was surprised and said that I’d checked the handout and it said that post-care was available until 5:30 on the third.” M maintained a non-confrontational tone as he said, “It’s the second today.” Oops! I rushed to a cab and then to the school. Reid and two other kids were playing while M tried to reach the other kids’ parents. Apparently I wasn’t the only mixed up parent.

Aunt Pam had taken Reid to school and so our car was at home, waiting for me to pick it up. I told Reid that we were going to take a bus home and, surprisingly, she balked. Since we had no choice, we walked to the nearest bus stop and waited. A few short minutes proved to be the length of time we enjoyed the wait. Okay, it was me more than Reid. She had fun looking in the news paper boxes, checking what wild things were hanging around in the bushes. I was focused on all of the traffic passing by on the busy road. I decided that we’d double our chances by going up a couple of bus stops where two buses would pass. The walk, itself, was a good diversion and we ended up taking the same bus that would have passed in front by the first bus stop. Two buses and one transfer later, we made it to the station near our house. Our walk home was meandering and I had lots of time to be grateful that we have access to a car on most days but grateful also that I have Reid to remind me to take notice of the things that I usually walk right by.

First day of Senior Kindergarten

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Reid was a bit trepidatious as we left for school yesterday but she didn’t say anything outright and neither did I. After the obligatory photos of Reid leaving the house, Aunt Pam drove us to school and I took a couple more pics of Reid going inside. We walked to Reid’s classroom – the same one as last year – and she asked me to walk in front while she hid behind me. This made me remember a middle of the night that I’d had. I leaned down and reminded her of how she’d been worried on her first day of junior kindergarten and then told her that there would be new kids or kids who were new to the classroom who might be sad. I asked her if she’d be extra-sweet to those kids. Reid seemed to straighten her shoulders and went into the classroom.

N (her teacher) greeted Reid enthusiastically and Reid was drawn in. We went to Reid’s cubby and put her things away. When Reid tried to put on her indoor shoes, they didn’t fit. Those same shoes that I bought in July, that were a bit loose, seem to have shrunk while sitting on the table waiting for school to start. Lucky for me, her teacher decided to waive the “inside shoes” rule just for the day. I had to ask Reid for a kiss when we went back to the main part of the classroom or she would have otherwise wandered off to play at one of the tables.

I had to wait about an hour for a group meeting with the principal. I’m pretty sure I was the only parent of a Senior Kindergarten kid to stay. The mom of one of Reid’s friends asked me why I was staying and I had to answer that I’m a bit of an overachiever. I’m glad that I attended as the principal covered some topics that I’d have learned about eventually but not before wondering what was happening for a while.

Reid was home from school and playing outside with the neighbour kids by the time I got home. She volunteered very little about her day, even when I asked leading questions. Some days Reid will talk and talk about something but she usually keeps her school life to herself. Her first day of senior kindergarten was no exception.

This morning I offered her the chance to spend the day with Grandma Joyce, Aunt Pam and Brianna instead of going to school. Reid refused, saying that she missed N. I’m hoping that this enthusiasm for school lasts. (Last year’s troubles are still fresh in my mind, though Reid didn’t mention them.)