Monday, April 4, 2011

Surfacing for a Breath of Fresh Air

Hello friends!

It's been about a month since I last blogged, and what a month it's been. I feel like a mother whale surfacing for a breath of fresh air after a month in the deep dark depths of the sea.

As you know, we had a major life change at the end of February and it's taking some adjusting. Getting Jonas settled into his new school and routines, and finding another job, have become my top two priorities in life. Truthfully, it's been more difficult than I expected.

While there's no news on the job front, I'm happy to say that Jonas seems to be settling in nicely. He loves that he can stay up a little later at night now. He loves that he has more playtime in the mornings. He loves that he gets to see Dad every morning for breakfast. He loves that he gets to stay at school for lunch every day. (Notice I said "Stay for lunch" and not "eat lunch at school"? He's too distracted by the daily soccer game to eat.) He loves that he gets to have fresh cold chocolate milk for lunch every Friday. He loves that Dad joins me to pick him up after school most days, and that Tasha comes sometimes too. He loves that they've already gone on a field trip and there's another one coming up. He loves that they have pizza lunch every month at this school too. He loves that he got to join the Guitar Club and move one step closer to being a Rock Star twice a week. He loves that he doesn't have so much homework and that Dad can help him with it after school now. He loves that he can walk around the school by himself. And he loves that mom respects his request for no public displays of affection at school. ;)

Gone are the days of 3 or 4 pages a day, plus reading, spelling and writing. Now he only brings home a weekly spelling list and daily reading. Occasionally, there will be something else but so far, it's been nothing but fun stuff. like "Draw your favorite character" or "Pick out your favourite Hot Wheels car and bring it in for math class."

New school, new school picture
The new school has 120 kids, and only 12 who are in Grade 2, so it's a lot more intimate than his previous school.. He's in a Grade 2/3 split class, with 5 other Grade 2 kids. His teachers have called a couple of times to let us know how he's doing, and so far it's all been good news. He seems to enjoy it there, but I've been worried about him. Like any big change, there are positives and negatives. Moving to a new school in the middle of the year is daunting.

We soon discovered that the assessments from his previous school were bang on.  He's struggling in reading, writing and math, although he seems to be catching on in math. He also missed an important block of math in the school shuffle, so we have to do extra work on that. We were thrilled discovered that they have a great reading program for the kids that need extra help. A grandmother, who's a retired teacher, comes in on Mondays and Fridays to read with them, and gives them reading to work on at home every day. It's great that he now has a reading tutor twice a week, and even better that his reading homework comes directly from that program so it's not doubled up with the regular classroom stuff.

He seems to look forward to school, but watching him on the playground at home, I worry about him making friends. He's a wonderful kid who doesn't fit it sometimes, and he's self-conscious about that. He's branching out and playing with more kids from school while at home, but he's been hesitant and shy, almost afraid to ask to join in, even with the kids he usually plays with. It's been a month but he can't remember any of the kid's names, except for the guy that sits beside him in class, the guy in guitar club with the mohawk and "the class clown." After March Break he started complaining of a tummy ache at school time every morning, which makes me wonder how he really is at school.

Confession time: His teachers say he's fitting in well but I just had to see for my own eyes. I don't want to be helicopter mom, and I'm sensitive to his growing independence, so I covertly snuck over to the school yard to watch him for a few minutes at lunch the other day. He was playing soccer with the other kids and looked to be having a great time. He was laughing and running, when I saw that smile I thought, "Phew!"

Now, if I could just find a job so we can finish this change cycle!