The Bowl Cut :: We Heart It

A photo of his kindergarten photo. GLORIOUS. I think it really accentuates the bowlness of his hair.
After something of a total disaster of a Monday, I am taking a moment to record Nate's 1st Kindergarten Parent Teacher Conference.

It happened this morning and, I will admit it, I was a little nervous. Like not nervous like expecting HORRIFYING reports nervous, but still, just ready to sit down face to face with his teacher and talk. The students receive behavior reports every single day (Can I just say thank you to Nate's teacher for making his class have a nice, easy 1-4 behavior scale and not like the purple stick must stay in the blue square until noon and then it moves to the yellow or the red (STAY AWAY FROM THE RED!) for the afternoon.) And they receive grades every week so, really, we have some semblance of how he is doing already and know that he isn't having any major issues. But still - Kindergarten = little up front interaction with his teacher and SOMEHOW it's already late October, so I sort of feel like he's going to be done with Kindergarten before we even get to know his teacher.

Additionally, school has been a source of nervousness for me for several other reasons.

1. My big kid baby has a mid to late summer birthday (June 26th) so the whole summer birthday/borderline the school cutoff date of Aug 1/he would always be one of the youngest/also he's a boy and apparently boys of summer birthday have a tendency to not be ready more than girls of summer birthdays (maybe the whole sitting still thing?). We definitely thought he was ready for the challenge of school but maybe not socially quite there. (Not the making friends part because our little extrovert is SUPER good at that; just the sitting in class and paying attention and not distracting other children.)

2.  PLUS, we had the whole public school vs private school argument over and over (and over). Karl and I both were privately educated from K-college, so, for a long time, we both sort of assumed we would do the same with our kids. (Additionally, when we bought our first house we had NO foresight to look at school zones. We were zoned for one of the worst rated schools in the city. All our neighbors attempted to send their kids there and moved them to different schools.)

So, send them? Move into a different district? Or send them to private school? I know this is a deeply personal decision for every family and every child and we were very lucky to find a house we could afford in a district that we liked. We had Nate enrolled at our local Catholic school until mid-July, when we moved. (Full discretion: I grew up in the Catholic Church and Karl grew up in church as well - mostly episcopal; we don't have a church right now and don't plan on having one any time in the near future.)

His pre-k teachers assured us he was ready. In the end, we agreed, enrolled him in our neighborhood school and took big deep breathes into brown paper bags and sent him on his way. I'm not going to lie, kindergarten has been a serious adjustment for all parties. (An additional adjustment on top of moving - let's just say JAYSUS MARY AND JOSEPH!!) For the first month of school, he chewed a hole or four into the collar of every. single. shirt he owns. We tried not to comment on it and let the habit pass (all part of the transition) but it was super gross and super expensive. STOP EATING YOUR SHIRTS. (As a former disgusting hair chewer and current nail biter, I have no room to judge! Also, he appears to be finished with the habit these days. Lord only knows what is next.)

Additionally, Little Rock Kindergarteners? They get grades. Like A-B-C grades. They don't get naps. (Not that he would take one but not even a little quiet time??!?!) They have gym and art and music all in different classrooms with different teachers. They have an INTENSE dismissal process of craziness. There are so many things to volunteer for and donate to that I can't keep them straight.  Kindergarten, my friends, is hard core.

But, I have to say, so far,  he is doing great at Jeffers0n Elementary. (Jefferson is Home of the Patriots - can we get a little more red white and blue please!? My blond haired, blue eyed, fair skinned child already loves baseball, country music and the ice cream man more than life itself, so let's go ahead and make him a leeetle more American!)  

This guy = super nice. The Safety Clown = super terrifying.
A little rest after some intense run-ups/hotbox.

Here is the gist of his evaluation - I don't expect you to read the whole thing but basically it says he is awesome and right where he should be. He has made several new friends and our front yard, which is within walking distance of the school (can i please tell you how awesome walking is?), has become the after school "wrestling yard" where he and his friends can blow off a little pent up energy at the end of the day.

So, yea, so far so good!

Sidenote: OH, hi. Hello. Sorry my writing is rusty. Nora Kate turned two. Poor second child. Birthday post forthcoming. I promise we had cake.


Kate said...

You're ALIIIIIIVE!!!! Yea!

Um, OMG, Little Rock kindergarten does sound kind of intense. Georgia would DIE if she had to keep changing classrooms. (We're working on dealing with transitions...) Also, we get no daily behavior reports or weekly grades. Also, it is half day, which is awesome for her, but my God. SO FREAKING SHORT from my standpoint.

Nate looks adorable in his Cardinals hat. Glad to hear he is doing well in school! Totally hear you on the cutoff date angst and I will be nervous just like you when the teacher conference rolls around.

Yea for walking. I am jealous. I had no idea how much I loved city sidewalks until I moved to a dead end suburban street with no sidewalks. I might as well be living on an island!

Welcome back, and yeah, moving sucks. Misery loves company, right?

Aubrey said...

School posts are MEDICINAL for me. This helps me feel less overwhelmed simply because we are IN THIS TOGETHER. I hear you on so many levels: the disgusting "adjusting" habits, the youngest-child-in-the-classroom fears, the glory of walking to school, the tremendously overwhelming private vs public school debate, the endless volunteering and donating, and the RELIEF of finally hearing that your child is doing well.

Three cheers for Nate! Hip hip...hooray! Hip hip...hooray!! Hip hip...hooray!!! (They actually do that here. Now we do three cheers at home for the most random things. FYI, Kate is usually the instigator.)

P.S. I do not understand this "American" identity you speak of. Ella asked me this very morning what a baseball looked like. Sheesh. Just when I feel like I've got a few things right, I realize I've done it ALL WRONG.

katandkarl said...

@Kate - MOVING is the devil. I have whole unwritten posts in my head about the unsettled feelings still going on EVERYWHERE.

@Aubrey - I love hearing how all schools are totally different but yet still mostly the same. And RELIEF is right. I'm with Kate - HIP HIP HOORAY!!

Andrea Pautsch said...

Go Nate! That's awesome! I did read the teacher report and my nosy *ss has to ask, just what letter did he not know e sound of?!? I am intrigued.

Moving is definitely intense. We were totally not prepared for the impact it had on our 4yr H. It involved potty training regression of the bowel sort that (luckily?) was targeted for for tha back yard of both old and new house. Yeesh. Back on track now,,,

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