Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Year End Review

On Monday, we finally reached a day we had all been looking forward to- THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!! Some parents dread it, but I look forward to it. I am always ready for a break in routine, and more flexibility in how we spend the day. Of course, it never takes long before I am ready for them to go back to school (like, maybe a few weeks, but I enjoy it until then).

The last day was supposed to be Thursday, June 4th, but we had to make up two days from last fall when the power was out and school had to be canceled for several days.

Jacob had an amazing year! He very successfully completed Kindergarten- he LOVED school. He tends to be nervous about new things before they happen, but just opens right up and loves it in the end. For example, before swimming lessons, he said he "wasn't sure about swimming lessons" and before Kindergarten, he said he "wasn't sure about school." He excelled in both. He now says he "isn't sure about 1st grade"- but I am sure he will be great! The school has a behavior monitoring system where they individually start the day with a "green flag", and then as there are behavior problems, their flags are progressively changed to other colors. Jacob never once had to change his flag color! His teacher said he was very observant and focused and he excelled in all areas- reading at nearly an end of 1st grade level! Here he is with his teacher, Mrs. A-she was an amazing teacher!

And here is the Kindergarten aid Mrs G, who Jacob also loved.

On Friday, there was an awards ceremony, where they received a certificate of completion. I was a little disappointed that they didn't really do a "graduation"- with caps and all, it was pretty simple, but that's okay. Those ceremonies are really just for the parents anyway. (The pictures came out really dark- not sure why....)
They also sung a hilarious song to the tune of "New York, New York" but instead titled "1st Grade, 1st Grade." (I want to be a part of it, 1st grade, 1st grade!- ha! Very cute!)

Kenny also had a good, though tough, year. He was in second grade and had some struggles. His teacher was just simply not a good match for him. He really didn't like her and by the end of the year, I had to admit I felt the same way. This was tough because I have LOVED every other teacher in that school. One of the first indications I had that she wasn't a good match for him came last fall at the first parent/teacher conference, which just didn't go well. Read about it here.

Reading has not come easy to him, despite efforts throughout the years to teach him. It is just naturally tough for him, though he managed to keep up before. This year, he began to fall behind in reading. After lots of help and frustration, I began to expect there may be a specific reason he was struggling- such as dyslexia. A few weeks ago, we had him tested, and it is determined for now that he is most likely NOT dyslexic and just a bit of a delayed reader. We have been developing a plan to boost his skills over the summer to prepare him for 3rd grade. I know it will get harder then and we want him to be ready and get the help he needs. The person evaluating him said that he is actually very bright and has a lot of good skills, he just needs a little help in specific areas.

It is true that he is very bright. He did well in all other areas. He is very talented in math and is at grade level or above there. He was also very well behaved and worked so very hard this year. We are so proud of both of our boys. Here is Kenny with his teacher, Ms. C:(the hat is from a field trip earlier that day to the fire museum- definitely one of the highlights of the year for him, considering right now, he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.) Here he is at the awards ceremony being his goofy self:He is such a sweet kid and we look forward to an awesome 3rd grade year!

As I mentioned before, the school is staffed with some amazing people that show my kids a lot of love, which is so much appreciated. I wasn't able to catch everyone, but here are a few:

The principal:
He runs a tight ship, but is also friendly, happy and loving and knows how to "get it done." The boys think he is great!

This is Mrs. W, the library teacher. She is such a sweet lady who just adores all 4 of my kids, which automatically makes me like her! She is one of them on duty at the end of school who helps get kids into their parents' cars. She always walks with my boys to come to the van and say hello to the girls. On the last day of school, she gave them a gift of a big box filled with smarties and dum-dum pops. I don't think she did that for everyone....

So, anyway, it was a good year. Kenny made it through some tough challenges while excelling in other areas, and Jacob had a very successful first year of school.

We look forward to an action packed summer of the pool, the spray ground, the library summer reading club, the zoo and just enjoying the season!


Lauri said...

The end of the year was always so nostalgic for me...sort of bitter sweet. It meant my kids were growing up and things were changing. Have a great summer of no schedules!

Kelly said...

Bring on summer!! How many days till school starts again?! I am dying to know!!

Sara Emily said...

Your boys are amazing, Amanda! They are both very bright and talented and polite boys. :) I love em! I'm glad they both had good years, and I hope Kenny gets a better teacher next year! I'm sure the reading issues will resolve over time - it's good you guys are being proactive!!

Tracy said...

It sounds like you guys will have a great time this summer. I know when I was Kenny’s age, I didn’t like reading much. The main struggle I had (maybe he shares this) is that I had to learn what I thought was fun to read. Most of the content in 2nd grade fails to raise some real interest. It’s also possible that he might not be interested in fiction. My suggestion is to have him read newspaper articles or blog content that focuses on a niche that captures his passion.

Autumn said...

Great pix! Its interesting how different teachers are!! And how a kids talents/strengths are so different. I'm sure the reading will snap into place.