My son, just shy of six and now wiggling not one, but TWO loose teeth, entered his first "big kid" classroom in August. He's excited about everything. He's having a wonderful time in Kindergarten, too.
He wears a uniform and asks me to take his picture every time he dons a new variation of it. Gym uniform with shorts? Click. Gym uniform with sweatpants? Click. Long-sleeved dress shirt? Click. Necktie? (Be still my weepy momma heart). Click.
Because it's our first time in Kindergarten, too, my husband and I have been paying attention to the small details alongside the big ones, figuring out how to be parents at a school as opposed to teachers. As former classroom teachers, we both enjoy hearing how the teacher approaches topics and handles situations. She's been at it a long time, and she's pretty fantastic. I was particularly delighted when my son came home explaining taste buds by saying, "Scientists say..." This kid wants to be a super suit inventor when he grows up. It looks like he's off to a good science-y start. I hope he has his father's science brain, though, because mine will be of no use to him.
These first few months of Kindergarten have lit a fire in him in more than just science, though. This is a child who used to have a somewhat lackadaisical approach to books and writing. Suddenly, reading and writing have become important work, which he is taking very seriously. I am delighting in this.
He loves library day and wants to show us the book he borrowed as soon as he gets into the car at the end of the day. He still sometimes chooses books that make me wrinkle my nose a little (we're still reading a lot of Transformers and Angry Birds, and right now it's a Skylanders Swap Force fact book, which might help me understand what exactly Skylanders Swap Force is), but now he wants to try to read them in addition to having us read to him. And (whew!) he's getting into the books of some pretty great authors as well: Tedd Arnold, Amy Krause Rosenthal, Tara Lazar, Corey Rosen Schwartz. He's churning out book reports to earn Pizza Hut Book It! certificates (yes, those still exist) and is eagerly requesting books from the Scholastic book order each month.
I was most excited, though, to learn about "Kid Writing," which is my favorite thing about Kindergarten so far. It's one of the centers the kids visit each week. And although he says they're all fun, my son talks about the Kid Writing center all week, planning out what he's going to write when it's his turn. Right now, the kids are writing sentences that start with "I like."
This week: "Mom, I'm going to write, "I like Marvel Avengers. I like the Hulk."
The kids get a little help from the teachers and use prompts for common phrases, but they're mostly on their own with figuring out spelling. My little guy was thrilled that he "only missed a couple of letters in 'Avengers.'" And when his teacher told him he did "fabulous kid writing" that day, he was over the moon.
So now, here at home, he has a notebook for the stories in his head. They're big and adventurous, so he dictates and I write them down for him. He is so proud of his words. So am I, so I try to drop what I'm doing when he asks to write stories so we can write together.
I'm having the most wonderful time in Kindergarten because I'm watching my child become a reader and writer. It's magical. And seeing him fall in love with words and how they work together is making me fall in love all over again with my own work with words.
I like words. I like writing.
Here's to writing, reading, smiling, and Marvel Avengers. I like them, too.