And here we are, the last day of kindergarten. I have no idea how that happened so fast.
It’s been a year of challenges, delights, and new adventures for Sammy, and I suppose, for me. I’m still putting it all in perspective because when I look back over the time, it’s a LOT. The bottom line is that Sammy has risen to the tests and come away learning how to read more, write much more legibly (spelling yet to be tackled n earnest, but we’ll get there), and work with numbers in every way imaginable (this is a math man, for sure). And it’s just the beginning. He’s still got a long way to go to control his distractibility, work with his classmates to finish assignments, and reign his general feral boyness, but he’s made a start. He’s learned what school is, what boundaries are, even if he crosses right over them from time to time, and to respect and love adults that aren’t related to him. That’s a big win in my book.
Sammy was incredibly lucky in the great teacher lotto this year, and I’m so grateful to Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Radcliffe, Mrs. Schafer, and the list goes on. But I’ll call out Mrs. Scott because she was his official kindergarten teacher and general beacon of patience. Seriously, I have no idea how she can be s calm with Sammy, much less a dozen and a half other 6-year-olds who can go completely nutter at any moment. Sammy is no easy child, but she has done wonders teaching him concepts that I can’t remember even touch in the 3rd grade, much less kindergarten. And the best part is that she is moving up with the class next year to 1st grade, which either proves the mutual admiration society that is this group or that she is actually madder than a hatter.
Now, it’s my turn. I’m not about to leave Sammy’s completely to his whims this summer, and he could really use some extra emphasis on the areas he continues to stumble with, like reading comprehension and anaylsis (which sounds way sophisticated for kindergarten, but really translates to being about to answer questions about a story he’s just read), phonics, and writing legibly. I am a worrier by nature, I know, shocker), so of course I’m already stressed about 1st grade and how much more difficult that step up might be and I really want to help bridge that transition this summer. I’ve broached the idea of “Mommy Lessons” with Sammy, and he seems enthusiastic, at least now when it’s just a concept and he hadn’t actually had to sit with me at a table and work (just for a little bit each day – I’m not a prison warden). But, thank the heavens, his generous teacher gave me lots of heads up on what to do (think games instead of lectures) and materials to use with him. It takes a little of the stress away that she’ll be the face we see when we walk through the door in about 10 weeks (I have no idea, I’m guessing at this point), and she’ll have a working knowledge of how Sammy was doing, how he learns, and where to go with him. Having no break in period for the class will be golden.
So now, we change. There will be shorts and tank tops, trips to the park as early as possible to beat the heat, and swimming at Grandma and Grandpa’s. There will be lots of popsicles. There will be grocery store trips with 2 elastic-armed children that may require bribery to get through unscathed. And, hopefully, there will be memories at the end of sweet summer days and a readiness to hit a new challenge head on. And that, I hope for both of us.