Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Wrapping up Pre-K and 5th grade!

Well thats a wrap... we have one leaving elementary and one going into elementary.  Asher enjoyed his half year as a KG1 member (pre-K) and Pierce is eager to leave 5th grade and go to 6th (middle school... yikes).  Where does time go?

Here is a small picture recap of various projects, pics of classroom activities, field trips and more.  The boys entered this school half way through the year (started in late Jan.) and did a fabulous job jumping right in to new friendships, new teaching strategies, new projects, new learnings, and more.  We are so proud of them, they sure worked hard this year and finished strong.

Asher was the new kid on the block and went from a classroom size of 11 kids, 2 teachers, with a 4.5 hour day to a classroom size of 22 kids, 2 teachers, and a 7 hour day.  With these changes, jet lag, obvious changes at home (living out of "tent" with none of his toys and his dog had not arrived yet), he was having some emotional issues that he was having a hard time communicating or sharing appropriately.  So thankful for his teacher here who was patient, kind and knowledgeable in expatriated children and could pick up on the signs that he needed a little extra loving and support during this transition.  It was not rare that I would pick Asher up and the teacher would have to report to me that he had pulled someones hair, had kicked another kid, etc.  Asher has always been rowdy and active but never malicious or angry.  So of course this was alarming to us but thankful his teacher Mrs. Freny would remind me that this was normal and that he is just trying to communicate.  For example, there was this girl who sat beside him during circle time and Asher would pull her hair, so the teacher started watching him and noticed that her hair was brushing his shoulder and he would "shoo" it away but it would come back and he would get mad and then pull her pony tail.  She noticed that was his way of not knowing what to do with his personal space being compromised. So she moved him to the end of the circle where he had more space.  Now that is a good teacher, one that is able to recognize the problem and figure it out and then fix it.  We are so thankful for the time she took to love on him and help him with his communication in class.  He finished strong and Asher possess a gift that people are drawn too.  He is sociable and happy and well loved.  His social skills are good and we are still working on some letters in the Alphabet (M, N, B, D, Q and J).  He can make out 17 letter sounds, can spell, mom, daddy, vivi, dog, cat, love and he can count to 100.  He is starting to do addition like 4+2, and 100 + 100.  He loves to go to school and play with his friends and has become such a little drawer.  He loves to draw and play with his brother.  The worse thing you can do to Asher (in his opinion) is to send him to his room all alone.  

Pierce was also the new kid in 5th grade... now I was convinced that this was going to be rough... entering into a new school in a grade that is the top dog of elementary.  I thought these kids would have been friends for years and now my kid is coming in and going to have a hard time finding his people.  I also was concerned that since he had new teachers, that the teaching would be different and that they would be on a different lesson and Pierce would have missed something... etc.. etc... You get it... I was a little worried for this one... but He actually did the best out of all of us (in my opinion).  He swooped into school and had best friends within days, he was invited to playdates within a week and his teachers would always comment how smart he is and how much insight he brings into the classroom.  He was a rock star and its never that I doubted him, I just thought we where setting him for failure (a middle of the year move is never easy) but he proved us wrong (again).  Now all this said, we had been here around 3+ months and he did have a little breakdown.  This was about the time where everyone else was getting their footing, Blake was rocking it at work, I was getting into the grove of things during the day and Asher was back on track (and he had Goldie now too).  As soon as everyone gets on the same train as Pierce (the "we got it all together" train"), Pierce decides to de-rail.  His academics where doing great (although we did have a parent teacher conference about multiplying fractions) but he was starting to act out with his MOUTH.  He had an episode with his PE coach and spoke very disrespectfully and man did he push her button (the right one to make her not so happy).  She did not handle it well and acted back which caused Pierce to get angry.  He moved to the next class with the same mentality (anger) and decided to also act out in her class (arabic).  He was then sent to the principal office to cool down.  They of course called me and that night the tears came.  We had a long talk and he said, he figured if he acted out then they would kick him out of school and we could go back to Texas.  Well this was shocking, we had never heard him say he didn't like it here (he had moments where he missed things in Texas, mostly church and friends) but he never showed signs of being miserable here.  Well I guess everyone is allowed to have moments, and he had his.  It took Pierce about 2 weeks to get back on track and he too finished the year strong.  One of his good friends is moving back to TN and the other is staying here, so they have 6th grade to look forward too.  They do the grading system so different here so I am not sure what Pierce's grades are but his piece of paper says he is meeting requirements and exceeding requirements in some areas (so I guess that is good).  He loves History and science, and does not really like Math.  He has become interested in technology this year very much.  For instance instead of writing thank you letters to his teachers this year, he made each one of them (5 in total), thank you imovies... they where very impressed and he spoke so well in them.  He has also enjoyed music class and art.  His lease favorite was Arabic (but honestly I can't blame him, it is almost impossible to come into arabic in the mid year and try to learn anything).  He did not do any club sports this year but enjoyed Parkor club after school.  He did say he might be interested in trying swim team next year, we shall see.  


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