As I hyped the boys up about school at breakfast with 'homework' my little man had me in tears with his response to "when I grow up."
Although he wanted me to change it to Ninja Turtle after hearing big brothers answer.
Yet, they did show off their Ninja moves....
The little guy is the youngest in his class, but I have a feeling he's also going to be the biggest ham. He has his big cousin in his class to look after him as well.
We really LOVE his school and as parents we are excited that they will be in a class with friends they already know and love. The first day we visited this new school I left with a big hug from the director and in tears after hearing how perfectly inline their philosophies are with that of our family.
I want my children to be taught inclusion and acceptance. Those are the most important social skills I feel that children need to learn at this age. I get my parenting advice from all over the place, mostly we stick with positive parenting but I like to get advice from anyone who's willing. I ask grandparents "how did you do it?" They've seen the most and know their own regrets.
But what it always comes down to, when I'm grading myself it is Erik Erikson's stages of development. It's a simple and easy checklist. If we get this part right, he will be okay. The stage Soren is in (2-4) is 'Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt.'
How do you navigate this stage? Well the child wants to know "is it okay to be me?" and they need an environment that leads them to YES!
When I visited Soren's new school the director was showing us around the playroom and when she got to the dress up clothes, (noting how my sister and I had four boys) she told us how the prior year one boy ran to claim a pink dress everyday and it was the cutest thing. It made everyones day to see him playing dress up in his favorite pink dress. "Is it okay to be me?" was clearly a priority at this school and why I was in tears.
Two days before school started we had a mini school day where we stayed with the boys and got to see what their daily routine would be. Each child gets a job to do for the day and they rotate, Soren was snack helper and was so proud to hand out the napkins to all of his friends. They had a blast and couldn't wait to go back.
But still, I was a nervous wreck dropping him off for his first day at school by himself, the first time I've ever left him anywhere. I expected lots of tears and screaming. He hugged me and said, I'm scared and I'll miss you and I said it is scary and I'll miss you too, but then he ran in to class with his friends. After school he said he cried and cried for me but he had a lot of fun at school and can't wait to go back! (But he's just a baby! I am really having a hard time letting him go.)
Cleary is in the 'Initiative vs. Guilt' stage according to Erikson
To me that means he needs to learn that he can lead successfully and accomplish tasks, okay.... I admit. I've always been a little fuzzy on this stage and more nervous about growing as a parent myself than Cleary's own actual development. (I mean, as soon as I figure out how to parent a 4 year old they are turning 5! I don't think I actually figured out 4.) Cleary seems to think growing up is so easy and doesn't worry about Eriksons stages. His existential concerns are much more logical, are the Ninja Turtles actually Ninjas? Can I be a gold Ninja or can only Power Rangers be gold? Are Power Rangers Ninjas? And then he meditates.
Cleary wanted to homeschool this year, actually he was adamant that he would never ever ever ever go back to school again (due to a really bad experience last year.) So, we are quasi-red shirting. We will decide next year if he is ready for Kindergarten or 1st grade or continue the homeschooling. This year he wants to have school in the woods everyday as long as we can have our snack with friends. Sounds like a dream to me! We walked through the woods and while I was trying to decide how to make a walk in the woods 'school' Cleary started picking up things and sounding out the letters they started with. We talked about tree bark and moss and he drew pictures in his journal of everything we found. He picked a spot in the woods and took out a workbook he had chosen for the day and started on the pages.
I'm a little nervous about 'being a teacher' and I hope he will lead me through this new homeschooling journey as I figure out what I'm suppose to be doing and what 5 year olds really need to learn.
That was our week, I hope all of you had a great first week back to school. Peace- Nikki