Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Forseters at the Four-H Fair

Dagny, Finley and I had fun exploring all the animals and such at a local Four-H fair this past weekend.  But the animals could not compete with the bouncy house slide and enormous popsicles :)

 Though this little guy did have their attention for a while.
Finley was very impressed with its camouflage...his word, not mine! "He looks just like a rock, mommy, isn't that cool?"

And the owl presentation was pretty neat, too.
Nice that Richard Simmons joined us, right?

Dagny is a Monkey

On Monday, Dagny started in the Kofim classroom (monkeys) this week and it seems like she's already settled in.  This will be her third year at this school so she knows the drill, but it's still special to see her move up a classroom and become such a big girl on campus.
Her teachers report that she's a social butterfly and could read books all day.  Sounds like our girl!

Finley Visits Planet Kindergarten

After months of anticipation and several readings of Planet Kindergarten last night, Finley was finally ready to board the McCarthy-Towne ship and meet his new commander and crew mates.
 Finley will be going to the Extended Day program before and after school this year, which takes place at the administration building next door to his school.  He was all smiles at drop off and while I felt it was a little anticlimactic for me, I suspect that it was the ideal situation -- no tears or any concerns of any sort.  He waved me goodbye at 7:15 and that was that.

However, just before my students arrived, I checked my personal email and came across something that truly melted my heart --

Hi Allison,

This is Taran's dad Mike - my wife and I met you at t-ball in the spring.  Just wanted to mention, we dropped off Taran this morning around 7:15 at extended day, and he was a little nervous but he saw Finley in there which helped.  And Finley did an amazing job showing him around the classroom, showing him some toys, he was very animated and excited and Taran quickly settled in and seemed to be comfortable.  Yes, we stuck around for a few minutes and watched most of this from outside through the window :-)

Hope your drop-off went well this morning too, and please give Finley a huge Thank You today for being such a great friend for Taran!

  Mike and Kristen

I was so thrilled and proud to read this note!! 

I was up to my elbows in my own kindergarteners (our 2nd day of school) all day, but my thoughts often drifted to Finley and wondered what he was up to. Before I knew it, it was time to dismiss my class and then I jumped in the car to get him.

I arrived at Extended Day and he was digging in a bucket of legos with the same friend from this morning's email, but he jumped up to give me a huge hug when he saw me! He said he had a great day and that his class had music today.  On our drive home, I got a few other details about his day and it seemed like all went quite well.  He said he even went across the monkeybars two times all by himself!

The highlight of his tales from the classroom was when he told me that his teacher asked the class to draw a picture of something that they did by themselves or with friends or family.  He said he drew a picture of the time that Dan got pulled over by a police car on Route 2 for going too fast.  This particular incident happened nearly two years ago!  Ha! Aren't we the proudest parents?? He said he drew the police car, Dan's car (with a green since there wasn't a gray), Dan, the policeman, and himself.  And as Dan pointed out when he got home and heard this story, he did NOT get a ticket, just a warning.  How hysterical that the one memory he reached for was this one?? I suspect he just wanted to draw a police car and therefore this story fit the bill.  Genius.

All in all, we are thrilled that he had such a positive first day at school.  179 more to go :)

Basement Under Construction

With an influx of additional cardboard bricks (yard sale freebie), the kids were eager to get to the basement, put on their construction attire, and get to work.  Dagny wanted to use her beloved mechanical pencils and post-its pads, so we agreed that she could be the architect to draw up the plans while Finley did the building.
 "I work for Turner Construction, Mom.  Can you take my picture?"
Dan's little protege!

The Accidental Artist

As Finley prepares to enter the public school domain, the same one that I have spent over a decade working in, I sometimes wonder if he's ready.  He's great at making friends, connecting with adults, listening, counting, building, playing sports, rhyming, loves books, etc but his drawing/writing skills have always been a step behind all of that other stuff -- mostly due to the fact that he just wasn't into it.

About six months ago, his penmanship was much improved and he was able to write his name, our names and Dagny's with greater ease.  However, his drawings were limited to police vehicles and pirate ships (that were always drawn in the same way with nearly identical results).  He'd ask for us to show him how to draw things at times and we'd practice together, but his willingness to just try/make it work was not there.  Ah, boys will be boys, you say, and there's some merit to that phrase -- but today he shocked me as he initiated some drawing time and created an awesome picture for Dan (who is up in Maine playing frisbee this weekend).  He began by saying he wanted to make a frisbee field and drew two people holding frisbees (Dan is #11 and an opposing player is #10).  Then, he drew a cone and asked me how many cones are on the field and after I said, 8, he got to work.  He added grass, hair, and green cleats plus a clock with ten minutes left on it.  Since Dan's team is Big Wrench, he asked me to draw a wrench on a scrap piece of paper for him to copy. The final touch was a happy sun and his name with Dan's.
Looking at this made me realize it looks like the drawings my classroom kiddos do at school in the fall and I was hit with a wave of relief -- he's really ready for kindergarten in every way, not due to his emerging art skills, but because he's willing to try new things and he truly believes in himself and his abilities.
We emailed a photo to Dan and he told Finley he can't wait to put it up at his office!