Friday, June 1, 2012

Last day of Young Scholars

J officially graduates to Junior Kindergarten today.  Mrs. Bach & Mrs. Sandoval have been wonderful additions to J's life this past year.  He has learned so much, and Matt & I could not be more proud of him.

And we a lot.  We learned Love & Logic together.  Learning it, using it, and being consistent has made our time together more enjoyable.

Key points for J:
- Sign language, he can do the full alphabet, certain words (hot, more), names if spelled out to him, he can do them.  He does all the names of the kiddos in his classroom from Aashray to Henry to Kaziem to Madi to etc...

It has been so much fun for me to work with him learning sign language from him.  I hope to continue working with him over the summer, as one of his before/after school & summer care teacher is deaf, so J will get lots of practice.

- Spanish as a second language.  J has not grown his Spanish speaking skills as much as his Sign Language.  He scored a 1 on his report card, so I know he is well within the goals set for him by his teachers, but I am hoping we can practice this over the summer.  He has the basics of colors and numbers, so I want to continue working those items, expanding them to include basic clothing items.  I believe a foreign language will be crucial for J as he gets older, and studies show it is so much easier to learn at this age.

- Imagination and creativity have grown exponentially.  Wow, where do I start.  J has become an independent player (not all the time) over this past school year.  I realize some of this has to do with age, but I think school has really helped J develop his skills in this area.  The weekly stories have become such a delightful treat for both me & my fellow co-workers every Friday afternoon to see what quirky twist J added to this week's story.  The most memorable has to be the insertion of me as a gravity defying super hero who saves the world from the run amok bird egg.

- Writing his name.  Granted you generally have to know what J's goal was to interpret what he was writing, but he can spell his own first and last name and even write it on a card.  I want to work on expanding that list to include basic names like Mommy, Daddy, Grandma & Grandpa this summer.  My goal is to have him writing his name more clearly going into school next fall.

- Counting.  J has finally gotten the hang of counting.  More over, he has really taken off on basic math skills.  We are constantly finding things to challenge him to count.  iPad has a wonderful game that he just loves playing that has really helped him grasp the concepts learned in the classroom. 

- Independence.  For the first time, J has recently been asking questions about why I don't call him *Jake* or being very clear on what he believes is right or wrong for him in a given moment.  Whether it has to do with what uniform option was selected, to what shoes, to (as of last week) gel in his hair.  He is so anxious to grow up and be big like Me & Daddy.  He loves spraying on deodorant and smelling so manly. 

I'm so not ready for all this independence.  This has probably been my hardest part over the past year, and yet, watching him grow & mature has also been my greatest delight.

- Not related to school, but over the past year, J has grown in his love for God.  His knowledge.  So curious he is, it is a joy to read Bible stories to him and try to explain things in terms he understands.  He has challenged me.  This quality time is some of the best spent moments of my day.   

I met a wonderful young man after his unexpected and tragic death this past fall through a couple of blogs I read.  I've known since before J was born, my greatest fear is losing him.  Jack's death was bone chilling to me as a stranger, who has since spent time learning about him and his faith.  He was such a wonderful little man with a profound faith.  His parents encouragement of his Christian learning's provided me with the swift kick I needed to open that door for Jacob. 

Not having a strong background to draw from, and frustrations with the man made rules of the Catholic Church during my Baptism, I was struggling.  Through Jack & his family, doors were opened for me and J & I think we have found a church we can be a part of.  A church we can support.  A church we can grow with in our faith.

Watching J develop a faith in God, and understanding of the real meaning of the Christmas and Easter has been one of my most rewarding achievements this year.  He still has a long way to go, but watching him say prayer before eating consistently without prompting shows me it is starting to stick.  His queries on did God make xyz show us he is listening and trying to understand.

J has grown this past year, not only educationally, but in height as well.

1st day

March 5th
Last uniform day (sniff, sniff)

Check out the change in where J hits the FRA in the heart.  Even from March he's been growing. 

So bittersweet...  

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