Monday, August 29, 2016

Moose's first day of school and the fight for his education

Moose had his first day of school almost 2 weeks ago. 
It went great, no tears from any of us (me, Moose or Squirrel) and he has been excited to go every day since then. He even asks why he can't go on the weekend.
Despite it all being seemingly perfect, we were left wondering when the evaluations we were told and read about would be done. Then back to school night came and left more concerns about what this school year could hold for him and his education. 
Moose is a smart kid, we've known it for a while, but last year his preschool teacher put an idea into my head that isn't going away until questions are answered.
You see, she told us that Moose evaluates as being ready for kindergarten, that there should be evaluations over the summer to see where he is at school wise, and then they should offer to bump him up to regular kindergarten once he turns 5 in October.
When there were none of them over the summer, I went on to the district's website and looked up the information on Transitional Kindergarten. It says directly on their website that observations and assessments are done in class and then teacher can talk to the parents about possibly moving the child up to regular kindergarten.
"How do I know if my child should be enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten instead of a regular one-year kindergarten program?
If your child's birthday falls between September 2 and December 2, California law mandates placement in a Transitional Kindergarten program.  After assessment and observation by Transitional Kindergarten staff, there may be conversation about placement in a one-year kindergarten program (with parent permission) if that appears to be the best placement for the child. " -Directly from the district website
At back to school night on the 25th, nothing about that was mentioned by his teacher, so I had to ask.
I don't have an issue with Moose staying in Transitional Kindergarten if that is where he truly belongs, but after listening to his teacher talk about where other kids in his class are with their educations, Moose is leaps and bounds ahead.
Where they are learning to count and identify numbers to 10, Moose can go past 100 when counting and identify random numbers up to 100.
While his class is learning the alphabet, how to write it and phonics for each letter, Moose knows the entire alphabet in upper and lower case, not only writes letters but writes words, and not only knows most of the sounds letters can make, but is reading books. He finished 10 early reader books in 6 days.
His preschool teacher did so much to encourage him, help him grow and excel that we fear he will slide backwards when he is so far ahead of everyone else. 
While he sets the bar high for his classmates, where is the room for him to grow?
And will he get the work he needs to not only refresh what he knows, but to keep him moving forward?
After contacting his teacher about having his evaluated for regular kindergarten, we have been met with hesitation. It seems funny, since if he is ready for kindergarten, a teacher would want to allow her student to get the most of their education, but if they aren't then she has a better idea of where that child is and how she can help him to blossom more and be more prepared for the following school year. 
Having to go run around collecting paperwork to show her he deserves to have the evaluation done feels like another fight. One I was hoping we weren't going to have.
Only, instead of fighting what seemed like endless doctors for a diagnosis, treatment and understanding, I'mm fighting a teacher for his education.

Here is moose on his first day of school, excited to see what "big boy" school his in store for him

Working on basic math

a note he wrote all by himself

his reading chart, he finished book 10 last night

Monday, August 1, 2016

My new favorite find for my kids

With Moose starting transitional kindergarten soon, I wanted to get him a workbook to help refresh everything he learned in preschool last year, to help him with some of the newer things we have started working on over the summer, and even some new things we haven't thought about working on yet.
I've been looking for the right book for a few months now, but haven't been able to find one that met my requirements at the price point I wanted.
Then one day after checking all of the kindergarten books that our local Target store had to offer, I decided to go look at Sam's Club and see if they had anything better.
After walking through the book isle for a few minutes and looking through every educational book they had, including a few 1st grade ones, I came across the Get Ready for School Kindergarten book. 
To say that I was impressed is an understatement.
At $12.95 it was priced a little more than I was originally looking to spend, but it is completely worth every penny. Honestly, it is probably worth the $17.95 MSRP with the amount of material you receive.
It is put together similar to a binder with very easy to flip pages that I'm not worried my 4 year old will accidentally rip out if he flips them a little too hard. 

When you open the cover, you are greeted with a very easy to read table of contents that not only gives you the pages that each section begins on, but the color coding for that section to make for easy navigation between the different lessons.

There are so many different activities for kids to help them not only learn but retain the information the book supplies. It goes above and beyond what I had expected from a educational activity book. For example: In the alphabet section, there are 2-4 pages dedicated to each letter with different activities to help kids not only learn to write and identify each letter, but to know what sound it makes and identify words that start with that letter. 


Moose has enjoyed working on his book a little each day. He has gotten through several letters and their activities, worked on some sight words, and numbers. 
I can't wait to see how much more he is able to learn as we get through more and more, and to get into some of the suggested reading.
Watching him finish each page makes my heart swell as he celebrates his accomplishments and knowing that with each day and every page that he works on, he is getting more and more ready for kindergarten to begin.