Last Wednesday was Elaine's last day of Pre-K 4. I can't believe it. Last summer I spent a fair bit of time, working with her on Kipper's Big Alphabet Book and by the end of the summer she still had no idea what any letter or number was. I could show her A fifty times in a row...nothing.
Enter Mrs. H., her pre-K 4 teacher. By the end of this school year, Elaine knows her entire alphabet, capital and lowercase letters. She can spell basic words. She can count to at least 50. And those are just the little things. She has learned and grown so much. She knows about weather and bugs and money. (She can sing a song to the tune of "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" that goes "Head, Thorax, Abdomen.") She knows about shells and shapes, pumpkins and penguins. She also knows many Bible verses by heart.
So here Elaine is on Wednesday, saying goodbye to the best pre-K 4 teacher in the world. Mrs. H. read a story about a teacher with a garden (her room is garden-themed) who got a packet of seeds from the principal in the fall. She planted and watered and tended her garden all year long and now the beautiful flowers have grown and are ready to grow. Now it's time for her to put away her tools for awhile until next fall when the principal comes down the hall with a new packet of seeds. She cried while she read it, and I teared up to because I have no more little girls to send to Mrs. H. for tending and growing.
They had all made a big memory book with pictures and journals from their year. (In the previous picture, Elaine is holding Buzzy, the class mascot. Instead of Circle Time, they have Buzzy Time. You're allowed to speak only if you're the one holding Buzzy.)
Even Mrs. H. commented as Elaine said goodbye on how much progress she had made this year. So now...she's ready for kindergarten in the fall.
On Thursday, Lucy had her last day of school. This girl did not have one bad day this year. Not one. Every single day when I would pick her up, I would ask "How was second grade today?" and she would fall back in her seat with a big sigh and say, "AWESOME."
Her teacher, Mrs. S., hugged her goodbye and told her she loved her. We walked to our car, and Lucy kept her head down. I could tell she wasn't feeling great, but before we even got to the parking lot she had burst into tears.
"I don't want to end second grade, Mom," she wailed. "I don't want to not see Mrs. S. every day anymore!"
I reported this later to my brother, and we both just looked at each other. "I know," I told him. "BIZARRE. I don't get it either."
That is a testament to their school--they'd rather go there than have summer vacation. Go figure.
But now it is summer, and I started by getting out a fresh, new, little notebook and writing down a daily plan of what we're going to do. I have a whole drawer full of little notebooks that my mom wrote similar plans for summers long past in. It makes me happy to know there's continuity even if it all falls apart and I'm tearing my hair out by August, at least I started out with a plan.
One of our main rules is almost no computer time, so I'm wrapping this up and getting back to our scheduled summer activities. As I type this, Elaine is sitting next to me, pen in hand, writing her numbers in a notebook and playing dot-to-dot. Can't wait to see what kindergarten brings this girl!