Henry and Silas' transition to school has settled down a bit. We had a difficult episode with Henry over some homework that led to a meltdown. But other than that Silas has found his groove and is loving preschool and Henry seems to be doing well in Kindergarten as well. He was the first person in his class to get into the "100 club," being able to count to 100. Then at back to school night he and i estimated the number of Hershey's kisses in a jar, were closest, and won!
We've been learning more about the boys' school now that Henry is in Kindergarten. At Goethe, Kindergarten has a more similar program to the lower elementary grades than preschool-- which operates semi-autonomously. Henry has library twice a week with a newly hired library teacher (a huge coup for the school), music twice a week and gym once a week. They go outside for recess every day and Henry has a teacher that is clearly dedicated to her kids. I'm starting to learn about the curriculum more, because parts of it feel a little "rote" to me. But i've seen instances of positive things as well--
-at back to school night Mrs. R talked about how studies had shown the positive effects of reading poetry with children and that poetry would be a big focus of the year (each week a poem comes home that we read out loud.)
- after the homework meltdown that involved writing "S" on a worksheet (yuck!) the next night Henry was supposed to count all the spoons in our flatware drawer, homework that feels "right" instead of "rote" to me.
-they use Fountas and Pinnell leveled readers (which i've heard of only because my mother is an educator parexellence; and even then i always thought she was saying Fountain and Spinell.)
-they have time to "read" independently every day and do Writer's workshop daily as well-- a school-wide initiative.
Silas' favorite food: note how all the others have pizza (which was modeled by their teacher). Silas-- not afraid to strike out on his own!
Beyond learning about the curriculum i've found our family life centering much more around our neighborhood and the school. We're meeting lots of new families that have enrolled their kids in Goethe's preschool program. The vast majority of them live nearby so we see new friends at the parks, at the farmers market, even while buying school supplies. Not to mention our block is the most kid-friendly urban block i think i could ask for. The boys now regularly and organically arrange their own after-school play and just this evening spent a blissfull 1.5 hours on our porch with friends from down the street eating popcorn and pressing the 11 year-old to read more stories to them.
at 10:26 PM