Friday, March 14, 2014

What child is this?

Someone is having a great time in his new school. We've had a fantastic first week, and Eli is loving it. I know that we are in sort of a 'honeymoon' period with the new school, but I am noticing a lot of differences that make me very grateful that we listened to Eli and switched caregivers.  While I would prefer less screen time at school (they get TV time during each of three quiet times - before/during breakfast, after lunch/before nap, and after the "school day" portion is technically done and they are waiting on parent pick up), I don't mind their reasons for doing so.

First - he's had zero time outs. None at all.  He's not been in trouble once this week...and his moods have improved at home, too. He's is much happier overall, and is significantly more relaxed.

He's also had zero accidents. None. Nada. Zilch. I hope I am not jinxing myself by writing this, but because of the easily accessible restroom and the expectation that he will use it, Eli's been fine. He has even been dry during nap times - no pull-up needed : ). I know that he is really enjoying not having his previous teachers constantly nag him about using the restroom. I think that he had continued to use pull-ups at nap time simply because his former teacher didn't think he was capable of doing better.

Bed time has also become pretty awesome (again, hope I'm not jinxing myself!). He went to bed the last couple of nights with no fussing or whining. He is genuinely tired at the end of the day : ). For the last two nights, he simply stated, "I'm tired. I need to go to bed."  Patrick and I are still relishing those words. Not to say that he's stopped whining at all...but his anxiety about bedtime and having to go to school in the morning has vanished.  Although he was still tired this morning when it was time to get up, he still got ready for school without complaint.  At drop off time, he went to hug one of his teachers, and to see what the other kids were doing that morning.

I also love that I am allowed to supplement his lunch with extra food from home. He was coming home so hungry at the end of each day, that I'd begun to make sure I always had a banana or snack in the car for him.  I spoke with his teachers about this multiple times, and they insisted that he was a good eater and that he was eating double or triple portions at school. His teachers at his new school have been astounded at how much Eli will put away in a single sitting. Today, for example, I packed him some leftover pancakes, bacon and an egg (from last night's breakfast-for-dinner), a small amount of honey for his pancake), roasted asparagus, blueberries, and cheese wedges. I am reasonably sure that it will all disappear....along with his school lunch! Thankfully, Eli is growing and gaining weight, so we know where it's all going : ). He is comfortably on his growth curve (albeit at the bottom 3rd-5th percentile of the American growth chart). 

Finally, he is learning SO much!  At his previous school, I knew (for the most part) what was being taught. I also knew that Eli was a little bored with the lessons. He already knew the vast majority of what his teacher was allowing him to work on (like learning colors, letters or numbers), and her teaching style was not enjoyable for him.  Since she found out that he could read simple words (he managed to keep this hidden for a loooonngg time), she began to make him to practice some of the Dolch sight words. She did drill some of them into his head, but it was making reading less fun for him. Since we've left, Eli has a strongly renewed interest in reading and books. The last few days, he has been coming home with new information and understanding each day. From showing us how to run a soccer drill he'd learned (which also helped reinforce left and right directions), to telling us about how plants have roots, stems, and leaves, he is a lot more excited about what he's doing.

Here's to hoping that he continues to thrive at the new school : )!


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