Friday, May 22, 2015

End of the School Year Update

It has been...well, it's just been too long.  No excuse other than being busy and just feeling hesitant to write, for some reason. But here we are, at the end of my work year and the kids' school year, so it's definitely time for an update.

The kids are finishing Kindergarten like champs.  In terms of academics, they're both pretty much where they need to be, maybe even a bit ahead in some areas. Of course, looking at Anderson's district test scores, you'd never know it, but taking a multiple choice test on a computer is probably never going to be his thing. He's more of a "show what you know verbally" kind of kid.  Anyway, they can fluently read and write their "essential 25 sight words", they can write sentences to express their thoughts, they have a solid knowledge of numbers through 10.  Here's a little sample of Anderson's writing:
Trust me. That's impressive.We added some writing resource minutes to his IEP (time in a special ed room to work on writing, versus just doing writing in his regular classroom) and it seems to have made all the difference.

More importantly, the kids have come a long way socially this year. Amelia has made friends in her class, which is kind of a first for her. She often tells me that so-and-so is her BFF and that BFF means best friends forever, which is comical. Her class this year had many special needs students, so she's learned a lot about having empathy for others and not judging children as being "bad" just by their actions, which is wonderful to see. She works hard and has become more vocal, which has always been an issue for her. She has developed very good manners, always being sure to say please and thank you, especially when she is given a compliment. She's working on her sense of self-confidence, and we're doing all we can to encourage that at home.

Anderson has come a long way socially as well. With him, it's less about playing with and getting along with others--that's just not on his agenda at this point.  However, his ability to express himself clearly has just really taken off.  I have the Time Hop app on my phone, and it's so interesting to read about big moments with him, where he was able to express himself, or say something "normal". Those things are common now, which is of course fantastic, but I like the reminder of where we were, and how far we've come. It helps me to take nothing for granted.

As for me, I'm still just chugging along. I'm ready for a break from work, to spend more time with the kids. I'm still on the workout train, swimming 2-3 times a week, doing a few classes each week, and trying to squeeze in some running.  I timed my 400m swim tonight and it was about 50 seconds faster than the last time I timed myself, which is good. Running is still...challenging. I'm thinking I'm not spending enough time on it, but I'm also not ready to give up my classes because I really, really enjoy them. It's not quite triathlon crunch time yet, so I'm going to keep up what I'm doing for a bit longer.

Next week marks the end of the year and we are all looking forward to a summer of outdoor fun, which will hopefully include many days at the pool. I'm feeling as though this could be our best summer yet--they're at a really fun age. Remind me that I said that in about 6-8 weeks when I'm begging for the return of school.

That's about it! Now that things are slowing down, I hope to spend more time writing. I've got some pretty good stories just begging to be shared...