June 22nd marked a milestone. Silas finished kindergarten, and we are so proud of him.
While the school year seemed to drag on and on, we are thankful for a wonderful first year of school. Silas learned to read (even words like “camouflage”) and to write letters, words, and stories. My favorite is a series of stories he wrote called The Little Man about a guy who moves to a new house and makes lots of friends, perhaps inspired by our recent move? He was able to learn from a variety of teachers, to cooperate with others, to create and imagine and to solve problems. Kindergarten was his first exposure to science as a category of learning. His curriculum included learning about animal classification (invertebrates/vertebrates, mammals, reptiles, etc.) and oviparous birds that culminated in watching live baby chicks hatch in his classroom’s incubator. I couldn’t believe they were learning the word ‘oviparous’ in kindergarten.
His teacher was a perfect match for Silas. Her sweet and gentle demeanor created a loving learning environment. She’s also a mom which gave her that special insight for knowing kids well. Daily picking up Silas in the gym gave me a chance to have regular personal interactions with his teacher. She usually had some cute story or thoughtful comment to share. We’ll definitely always have a special place in our hearts for Silas’s kindergarten teacher.
Silas made new friends and grew up so much. He navigated hot lunch in the cafeteria, sometimes rode his bike to school, and enjoyed his “specials”—technology, PE, music, and library. His one field trip this year was to see a play in downtown Portland. Stephen was able to chaperone that trip, and I was able to volunteer in the classroom throughout the year. Each day I’d ask Silas for his “high” and his “low” (the best and worst parts) of his day. That gave me a chance to hear a little about his school life without asking him to rehash it all.
I felt that sending Silas to school where he could be stimulated academically and socially actually improved my relationship with him. We’d read together for his homework, and it was a special bonding time for us. He’s a great kid and such a gift to our family.
To celebrate his accomplishment, we gave him a military watch with an alarm, stopwatch, back light, compass, and military time setting. He was ecstatic! That night we took the family out to Chuck E. Cheese for some pizza and game time.
Congratulations, Silas, on graduating from kindergarten!