I can't believe Eli has been in pre-k for a month now. For the most part, he's really learning a lot and enjoying it. He's learning more about how to tell what today's date is, he has a new best buddy, and his letter-writing skills have improved dramatically. Eli had a hilarious light-bulb moment tonight when I explained to him what the lines on notebook and tablet paper were for. For a few seconds, he thought lines on paper were the greatest invention ever! He's also developed an almost rabid interest in writing, which caught me off guard. He was really interested in it several months ago...then his interest waned...and now he's REALLY interested again!
But there are some downsides to pre-k, too. One, in particular, is eating at me tonight. The teacher promised my son's class that they would have a "movie/popcorn party" when all of the kids learned their letters. This is a great idea to motivate kids to learn, and, as a fellow teacher I understand why she did it (and, generally, that is a really nice thing to do). It's having some unexpected consequences for my son, though. Each time she's reminded the class about the party, my son has come home upset. He doesn't understand that even though HE knows his letters, many of the other kids in the class really do not know theirs. He definitely doesn't understand why he must wait for a reward that he's technically already earned...and now the teacher has said it enough times to the class that Eli feels it is aimed at him (even though it is clearly NOT aimed at him)...and he is genuinely frustrated. I've explained to him that she's really talking to only the kids who DON'T know their letters, but he's still so sad : (. I know that this is truly minor in the grand scheme of things, but it is still so hard to see him feeling so hurt.
While I am somewhat concerned about what this means for next year, when Eli's still too young for Kindergarten and has to stay back in pre-k, there are many, MANY bright spots. There is a second teacher in the classroom who is definitely working with Eli on his reading. She sent home a note with the sentences and words he was working on today, which I truly appreciated. One of the words today was "big," which is one I hadn't started him on, and she did a great job helping him - with promise of helping him learn more as he was ready (which he is excited about). Hallelujah! What a sweet lady for taking time out with my son feel special and to make sure that he was learning something new : )... for this, we are very grateful.