Thursday, August 28, 2008

1st day of kindergarten!!!

(This is a long post, so if you just want the synopsis - Lucas loved everything about school! Yay)

I'll start with the day before K, which was Tuesday.

We went to a kindergarten get-together at a local park the day before school with his future classmates and their teachers. Even on the drive over there, thoughts were bent toward the first day of school, "Will I have fun at my new school? What if I don't like the teachers?" Once we got there we introduced Lucas to his teachers. And we all, parents included, sat down in a big circle time. Kevin and I were surprised when Lucas raised his hand during circle time to ask a question. "Will we have circle time at school?" The teachers assured him that they would have not one, but two circle times a day. At the end of circle time the teachers gathered the kids around to read a book about a kid who is getting ready to go to kindergarten (surprise!).
After the book, the kids went running wild throughout the park. I introduced Lucas to a boy who, rumor had it, loves LEGOS and Star Wars as much as Lucas. And immediately they were off and running. Lucas' new buddy invited us (actually he really invited Lucas) to dinner with him. So we hit Rubio's with Lucas' new found buddy and his family, plus another incoming kindergarten family.It was hard for Lucas to tear himself away from his new buddy, but we finally tore those two apart. Lucas talking on the way home about organizing a play date, etc.

Lucas awoke the next morning with some extra energy, which I account for as nervous energy. He got dressed in his school t-shirt and expressed his energy with a long string of potty talk. We told him to get his jollies out before he got into that classroom because it would end there. During the drive, he again expressed some concern about his new school, "I think one of my teachers is a vampire."

But once we got to school, he was all business. He was too busy to pose in front of the school sign, like the kid in the upper left, he wanted to get to the playground and start playing.

We also tried posing for a family photo at the playground, but it was hard to contain Lucas, so this is the best one we got. Lucas immediately sought out his new buddy. They found each other and started to do what any crazy 5-year olds would do on the first day of school...
Actually, they weren't trying to escape, they just wanted to get up to that tree and swing from the branches.

At 8:40, the kids lined up and filed inside their new classroom, found their cubbies and hung up their goods.

The class starts each day with a morning "meeting", this time the parents were invited to stay. The teachers, Liz and Diep, introduced themselves and asked all the kids to introduce themselves and tell everyone their favorite animals. Lucas of course said his was a tiger.The first order of business was the calendar and weather chart. Lucas looked at me with a smile because they did the same thing at his old school. And Lucas, like most kids, loves routine and familiarity.
They talked about bathroom etiquette (they taught them to use the sign language sign for bathroom, which surprisingly, is not holding your crotch) and directed them to the bathroom which is in the classroom (another source of concern for Lucas, "What if I can't find the bathroom?"). Then they went through the rest of the day's schedule and took roll call.

The the teachers said, "Now it's time to say goodbye to your parents." The kids turned around and waved and we were ushered to the music room with the other kindergarten parents. At this parent coffee, I signed our lives away to eScrip, joined probably one too many committees and chatted it up with the other parents. Even Kevin was unusually social, the parents seemed relaxed and relieved that the first drop off was over.

Back at the office, it was hard not to think about Lucas and how he was getting along on his first day of school. I left work early so I could pick him up just a little bit after the afterschool program started.

I got there and he was still in his fencing class. I peeked in and saw him, with some of the kids from his class. He was having a great time. Aside from fencing with these foam swords (not much difference than the light saber wars we have at home), they had lots of jumping exercises.After fencing we walked down to the afterschool area. And once we got down there he didn't want to leave. He and one of the kids from his class were playing LEGOs, then some older girls taught him the finer points of the flying turtle.After about an hour, Lucas was finally ready to leave. He was talking to me about all the things they did that day, nonstop, and could not stop smiling.
  • We have recess and lunch outside, and recess is the same as playtime at my old school, but recess is for bigger kids.
  • I played LEGOs and there are all sorts of different LEGO pieces at school, like windshields.
  • So-and-so also had a Speed Racer snack box, just like mine.
  • We did a scavenger hunt, but not to find treasures, to find things in the classroom, like tissues, glue, paper...
  • I got to do fencing with some of the older kids (I think his class is K-2) and I did really good.

I think this photo as we left school sums up Lucas' experience on his first day of kindergarten.

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